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12/09/2016 Prof. Stone's Lab Helps Identify the Role of DNA Polymerase z in Processing DNA Damage Induced by Dietary Exposures to Aflatoxin B1 Aflatoxin B1 is a toxic mutagen produced by fungi in the genus Aspergillus. Dietary consumption of foods that are contaminated with aflatoxin B1 is a leading cause of environmental carcinogenesis worldwide, especially hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Aflatoxin B1-driven mutagenesis is initiated through metabolic activation of aflatoxin B1 to its epoxide form, which then reacts with N7 guanine in DNA. The resulting AFB1-N7-dG adduct undergoes either spontaneous depurination or imidazole-ring opening yielding formamidopyrimidine AFB1 (AFB1-Fapy-dG). The latter adduct persists in human tissues and contributes to the high frequency G-to-T mutation signature associated with HCC. Prof. Stone and post-doctoral scientist Dr. Liang Li were part of a research team, also involving scientists at the Oregon Health & Science University and the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, which sought to establish the identity of the DNA polymerase(s) involved in processing AFB1-Fapy-dG lesions. Their biochemical analyses demonstrated the ability of polymerase ζ (pol ζ) to incorporate dATP opposite AFB1-Fapy-dG and extend from this mismatch. They challenged mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) deficient in pol ζ (Rev3L-/-) and showed that cellular survival was reduced relative to cells that produced this protein, or cells that were complemented through expression of wild-type human REV3L. Following AFB1 exposure, cell-cycle progression of Rev3L-/- MEFs was arrested in late S/G2 phase. These Rev3L-/- cells showed increased replication-dependent formation of γ-H2AX foci, micronuclei, and chromatid breaks and radials. Collectively, the team's data suggest that pol ζ plays an essential role in humans for processing AFB1-induced DNA adducts and that, in its absence, cells do not have efficient backup polymerases or a repair/tolerance mechanisms. This work was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA).
10/11/2016 Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) releases website – the CIT is a collaborative analytical facility specializing in a range of cutting edge mass spectrometry and confocal microscopy techniques. - www.vanderbilt.edu/cit.
8/4/2016: Congratulations to Suzanne M. Batiste and Vanderbilt University for being awarded one of the 1st Annual WCC Merck Research Awards. This award recognizes excellence in 3rd & 4th year female graduate students with a research focus in one or more of the following - Organic, Medicinal, Analytical, Chemical Biology, Computational or Structural Chemistry and related disciplines.
Suzanne’s winning of this award highlights how effective your department is in preparing the next generation scientists. We are looking forward to additional applicants from Vanderbilt Universityfor the next WCC Merck Research Award application. The applications are due December 1, 2016. Additional information can be found at http://www.womenchemists.sites.acs.org/awardsrecognition.htm.
6/29/2016: Congratulations to Westley Bauer of the Wright group who won the best poster prize at the 2016 Bioanalytical Sensor Gordon Research Conference. His poster detailed efforts to incorporate sample preparation into point-of-care diagnostics for the detection of malaria.
5/23/2016: Thomas Scherr selected to receive a Burroughs Wellcome Fund 2016 Collaborative Research Travel Grant for his project entitled: Mobile phones for objective malaria diagnosis and rapid reporting.
12/16/2015: Jens Meiler receives Humboldt Foundation award
Professor Meiler, has been elected as a Chancellor Faculty Fellow
12/22/2014: Mike Turo Awarded DOE Graduate Student Research (SCGSR)
11/26/2014: Professor David Wright has been elected as an AAAS Fellow
10/21/2014: Professor Townsend, "Studies the glycobiology of human milk"
10/07/2014: Vanderbilt Chemistry Alumnus, Samantha Arnett, was featured in C&EN in an article entitled "State Department’s Biosecurity Engagement Program manager works to combat bioterrorism"
10/07/2014: Congratulations to Noah Orfield (Rosenthal Group) and Darwin Fu (Meiler Group) for selection to participate in the first Federal STEM Policy and Advocacy Program
09/15/2014 : Research by Prof. Stone and co-Workers Illuminates the Replication Bypass of Aflatoxin Adducts in Mammalian Cells
09/15/2014: C&EN published an article regarding Professor Lindsleys' research on "Small Molecules Help Reactivate Receptor Linked With Schizophrenia"