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DNA, Volume 4, Issue 2 (June 2024) – 4 articles

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17 pages, 1963 KiB  
Review
Mutagenesis and Repair of γ-Radiation- and Radical-Induced Tandem DNA Lesions
by Ashis K. Basu, Laureen C. Colis and Jan Henric T. Bacurio
DNA 2024, 4(2), 154-169; https://doi.org/10.3390/dna4020009 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 417
Abstract
Ionizing radiation induces many different types of DNA lesions. But one of its characteristics is to produce complex DNA damage, of which tandem DNA damage has received much attention, owing to its promise of distinctive biological properties. Oxidative stresses in response to inflammation [...] Read more.
Ionizing radiation induces many different types of DNA lesions. But one of its characteristics is to produce complex DNA damage, of which tandem DNA damage has received much attention, owing to its promise of distinctive biological properties. Oxidative stresses in response to inflammation in tissues and metal-catalyzed reactions that result in generation of radicals also form these DNA lesions. In this minireview, we have summarized the formation of the tandem lesions as well as the replication and repair studies carried out on them after site-specific synthesis. Many of these lesions are resistant to the traditional base excision repair, so that they can only be repaired by the nucleotide excision repair pathway. They also block DNA replication and, when lesion bypass occurs, it may be significantly error-prone. Some of these tandem DNA lesions may contribute to ageing, neurological diseases, and cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physics and Chemistry of Radiation Damage to DNA and Its Consequences)
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13 pages, 2596 KiB  
Brief Report
Exploring the Roles of Different DNA Repair Proteins in Short Inverted Repeat Mediated Genomic Instability: A Pilot Study
by Pooja Mandke and Karen M. Vasquez
DNA 2024, 4(2), 141-153; https://doi.org/10.3390/dna4020008 - 5 Apr 2024
Viewed by 647
Abstract
Repetitive DNA sequences are abundant in the human genome and can adopt alternative (i.e., non-B) DNA structures. These sequences contribute to diverse biological functions, including genomic instability. Previously, we found that Z-DNA-, H-DNA- and cruciform DNA-forming sequences are mutagenic, implicating them in cancer [...] Read more.
Repetitive DNA sequences are abundant in the human genome and can adopt alternative (i.e., non-B) DNA structures. These sequences contribute to diverse biological functions, including genomic instability. Previously, we found that Z-DNA-, H-DNA- and cruciform DNA-forming sequences are mutagenic, implicating them in cancer etiology. These sequences can stimulate the formation of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), causing deletions via cleavage by the endonuclease ERCC1-XPF. Interestingly, the activity of ERCC1-XPF in H-DNA-induced mutagenesis is nucleotide excision repair (NER)-dependent, but its role in Z-DNA-induced mutagenesis is NER-independent. Instead, Z-DNA is processed by ERCC1-XPF in a mechanism dependent on the mismatch repair (MMR) complex, MSH2-MSH3. These observations indicate distinct mechanisms of non-B-induced genomic instability. However, the roles of NER and MMR proteins, as well as additional nucleases (CtIP and MRE11), in the processing of cruciform DNA remain unknown. Here, we present data on the processing of cruciform-forming short inverted repeats (IRs) by DNA repair proteins using mammalian cell-based systems. From this pilot study, we show that, in contrast to H-DNA and Z-DNA, short IRs are processed in a NER- and MMR-independent manner, and the nucleases CtIP and MRE11 suppress short IR-induced genomic instability in mammalian cells. Full article
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13 pages, 1002 KiB  
Review
Activity and Silencing of Transposable Elements in C. elegans
by Sylvia E. J. Fischer
DNA 2024, 4(2), 129-140; https://doi.org/10.3390/dna4020007 - 2 Apr 2024
Viewed by 492
Abstract
Since the discovery of transposable elements (TEs) in maize in the 1940s by Barbara McClintock transposable elements have been described as junk, as selfish elements with no benefit to the host, and more recently as major determinants of genome structure and genome evolution. [...] Read more.
Since the discovery of transposable elements (TEs) in maize in the 1940s by Barbara McClintock transposable elements have been described as junk, as selfish elements with no benefit to the host, and more recently as major determinants of genome structure and genome evolution. TEs are DNA sequences that are capable of moving to new sites in the genome and making additional copies of themselves while doing so. To limit the propagation of TEs, host silencing mechanisms are directed at transposon-encoded genes that are required for mobilization. The mutagenic properties of TEs, the potential of TEs to form new genes and affect gene expression, together with the host silencing mechanisms, shape eukaryotic genomes and drive genome evolution. While TEs constitute more than half of the genome in many higher eukaryotes, transposable elements in the nematode C. elegans form a relatively small proportion of the genome (approximately 15%). Genetic studies of transposon silencing, and the discovery of RNA interference (RNAi) in C. elegans, propelled Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) to the forefront of studies of RNA-based mechanisms that silence TEs. Here, I will review the transposable elements that are present and active in the C. elegans genome, and the host defense mechanisms that silence these elements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Organization in Model Organisms)
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25 pages, 3540 KiB  
Perspective
Transposon and Transgene Tribulations in Mosquitoes: A Perspective of piRNA Proportions
by Nelson C. Lau and Vanessa M. Macias
DNA 2024, 4(2), 104-128; https://doi.org/10.3390/dna4020006 - 30 Mar 2024
Viewed by 668
Abstract
Mosquitoes, like Drosophila, are dipterans, the order of “true flies” characterized by a single set of two wings. Drosophila are prime model organisms for biomedical research, while mosquito researchers struggle to establish robust molecular biology in these that are arguably the most [...] Read more.
Mosquitoes, like Drosophila, are dipterans, the order of “true flies” characterized by a single set of two wings. Drosophila are prime model organisms for biomedical research, while mosquito researchers struggle to establish robust molecular biology in these that are arguably the most dangerous vectors of human pathogens. Both insects utilize the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway to generate small RNAs to silence transposons and viruses, yet details are emerging that several RNAi features are unique to each insect family, such as how culicine mosquitoes have evolved extreme genomic feature differences connected to their unique RNAi features. A major technical difference in the molecular genetic studies of these insects is that generating stable transgenic animals are routine in Drosophila but still variable in stability in mosquitoes, despite genomic DNA-editing advances. By comparing and contrasting the differences in the RNAi pathways of Drosophila and mosquitoes, in this review we propose a hypothesis that transgene DNAs are possibly more intensely targeted by mosquito RNAi pathways and chromatin regulatory pathways than in Drosophila. We review the latest findings on mosquito RNAi pathways, which are still much less well understood than in Drosophila, and we speculate that deeper study into how mosquitoes modulate transposons and viruses with Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) will yield clues to improving transgene DNA expression stability in transgenic mosquitoes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Organization in Model Organisms)
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