R-loops and G4-structures: from DNA damage to innate immune response gene activation

Arleo, Andrea (2023) R-loops and G4-structures: from DNA damage to innate immune response gene activation, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Biologia cellulare e molecolare, 35 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10860.
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Non-B DNA structures like R-loops and G-quadruplexes play a pivotal role in several cellular vital processes like DNA transcription regulation. Misregulation of said non-canonical DNA structures can often lead to genome instability, DNA damage, and, eventually, to the activation of an innate immune response. For such reasons they have been studied as adjuvants in anticancer therapies. Here we studied drugs targeting R-loops (Top1 poisons) and G4s (hydrazone derivatives) in order to observe their effects in terms of DNA damage induction and, subsequently, activation of innate immune response. We studied how non-cytotoxic doses of ampthotecin and LMP-776 impact on genome instability, are capable to induce DNA damage and micronuclei, and, eventually lead to an innate immune gene response via the cGAS/STING pathway. G-quadruplexes are another ubiquitous, non-canonical DNA structure, more abundant in telomeric regions, demonstrating a marked relation with the impairment of telomerase and the regulation of DNA replication and transcription. Furthermore, we investigated the properties of new-synthesized molecules belonging to the highly promising class of hydrazone derivatives, in terms of cytotoxicity, ability to stabilize G4-structures, induce DNA damage, and activate interferon-B production. Both Top1 poisons and G4-stabilizers possess several features that can be very useful in clinical applications, in light of their ability to stimulate innate immune response factors and exert a certain cell-killing power, plus they offer a broad and diverse range of treatment options in order to face a variety of patient treatment needs. It is for these very reasons that it is of uttermost importance that further studies are conducted on these compounds, in order to synthesize new and increasingly powerful and flexible ones, with fewer side effects to customize therapies on specific cancers’ and patients’ features.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Arleo, Andrea
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Micronuclei, DNA damage, G-quadruplex, innate immune response
Data di discussione
19 Giugno 2023

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