Caffeine sensitivity in Drosophila melanogaster Open Access
- Other title
- Type of item
- Degree grantor
University of Alberta
- Author or creator
- Supervisor and department
Campbell, Shelagh (Biological Sciences)
King-Jones, Kirst (Biological Sciences)
- Examining committee member and department
Westwood, Tim (Biology, University of Toronto)
Nargang, Frank (Biological Sciences)
Locke, John (Biological Sciences)
Chan, Gordon (Oncology)
Department of Biological Sciences
Molecular Biology and Genetics
- Date accepted
- Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
- Degree level
Besides being the most popular drug in the world, caffeine is an attractive tool used in research to help us answer fascinating scientific questions, because caffeine impinges on a number of molecular pathways. In my research, I used caffeine to study DNA repair pathways and insect xenobiotic detoxification.
My work has led to the identification of caffeine-sensitive components of the SMC5/6 complex as critical players conveying resistance to genotoxic stress in Drosophila. We were the first group to isolate mutants of Smc5, Smc6 and MAGE in Drosophila melanogaster and showed that the Smc5/6 complex is not essential for viability but plays a conserved role in protecting against genotoxic agents. Smc5/6 is not required for DNA damage checkpoint response; rather it is involved in homologous recombination repair pathway mediated by Rad51.
My other project was aimed at establishing caffeine as a tool to comprehensively study detoxification responses in Drosophila. Using DNA microarray, I measured the transcription response of feeding 8 mM caffeine to wild type larvae, and then derived a set of ~ 48 transcripts that represents a highly significant set of genes affected by caffeine and other xenobiotic treatments such as Phenobarbital (PB), a strong xenobiotic response inducer. Such a condensed “xenobiotic core set” was then used to test whether any of these genes were misregulated in mutants of the JNK or CREB pathways. Because the nature of the Smc5/6 caffeine mutants were not elucidated at the time, I tested whether the caffeine mutants had defects in xenobiotic responses. The ultimate goal was to identify transcription factors that regulate xenobiotic detoxification in Drosophila melanogaster. Another study appeared during my thesis study that showed that dNrf2/Keap1 is a key regulator of detoxification responses in Drosophila. My own analysis did identify this factor too, but also suggested that additional transcriptional regulators likely contribute to the induction of xenobiotic enzymes as well.
- Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
- Citation for previous publication
Li X, Zhuo R, Tiong S, Di Cara F, King-Jones K, Hughs S, Campbell S, Wervrick R. (2013) The Smc5/Smc6/MAGE Complex Confers Resistance to Caffeine and Genotoxic Stress in Drosophila melanogaster. PLoS ONE 8(3): e59866. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059866
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