Projects per year
Genetic information is under constant attack from endogenous and exogenous sources, and the use of model organisms has provided important frameworks to understand how genome stability is maintained and how various DNA lesions are repaired. The advance of high throughput next generation sequencing (NGS) provides new inroads for investigating mechanisms needed for genome maintenance. These emerging studies, which aim to link genetic toxicology and mechanistic analyses of DNA repair processes in vivo, rely on defining mutational signatures caused by faulty replication, endogenous DNA damaging metabolites, or exogenously applied genotoxins; the analysis of their nature, their frequency and distribution. In contrast to classical studies, where DNA repair deficiency is assessed by reduced cellular survival, the localization of DNA repair factors and their interdependence as well as limited analysis of single locus reporter assays, NGS based approaches reveal the direct, quantal imprint of mutagenesis genome-wide, at the DNA sequence level. As we will show, such investigations require the analysis of DNA derived from single genotoxin treated cells, or DNA from cell populations regularly passaged through single cell bottlenecks when naturally occurring mutation accumulation is investigated. We will argue that the life cycle of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, its genetic malleability combined with whole genome sequencing provides an exciting model system to conduct such analysis.
1/01/13 → 30/09/18