Carolina Maria Berra

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Graduated in Biological Sciences in Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Master in microbiology and molecular biology (ICB-USP). Now she is PhD student at the Department of Microbiology, ICB-USP.

Research abstract

Nucleotide excision repair (NER) mechanism is well known to be involved in the removal of a variety of helix-distorting lesions, such as UV-induced lesions. However, the participation of this repair mechanism in oxidative DNA lesions is still controversial. Few data indicate that NER-deficient cells have problems to recognize and remove oxidized bases, suggesting the involvement of this pathway in oxidative lesion repair. In order to study the participation of NER mechanism in the removal of oxidative DNA lesions, we examined the effects of photoactivated methylene blue (MB) in NER-deficient and proficient cell lines. MB and light can produce reactive oxygen species (ROS). The reaction of ROS with DNA results in many kinds of oxidative damage, such as single base damage, bulky adducts and strand breaks. Whereas the small oxidative base damage and strand breaks are usually formed by a direct attack of ROS on DNA, the bulky adducts probably result from secondary products produced in reactions with lipids and proteins. Our results have shown that XP-A and XP-C NER-deficient cells are more sensitive to photoactivated MB-induced damage than wild type cells. In addition, using alkaline comet assay, XP-A and XP-C deficient cells were found to have more oxidative DNA lesions after MB and light treatment than wild type cells, although we have shown similarity in their repair kinetic. Therefore, these results suggest that XPA and XPC proteins may also have a role in the protection of cellular oxidative stress, in addition to its participation in repair of UV-induced DNA damage.

Selected publications

Berra C.M., Menck C.F.M. & Di Mascio P. Oxidative stress, genome lesions and signaling pathways in cell cycle control. Quím Nova, 29(6): 1340-1344, 2006.

Morgante P.G *.; Berra C.M. *.; Nakabashi M.; Costa R.M.A.; Menck C.F.M. & Van-Sluys M.A. Functional XPB/RAD25 redundancy in Arabidopsis genome: characterization of AtXPB2 and expression analysis. Gene, 344: 93-103, 2005. *These author contributed equaly to this work.

Costa, R.M.A.; Morgante, P.G.; Berra, C.M.; Nakabashi, M.; Bruneau, D.; Bouchez, D.; Sweder, K.S.; Van Sluys, M.A. & Menck, C.F.M. The participation of AtXPB1, the XPB/RAD25 homologue gene from Arabidopsis thaliana, in DNA repair and plant development. Plant Journal, 28(4): 385-395, 2001.

Costa, R.M.A.; Lima, W.C.; Vogel, C.I.G.; Berra, C.M.; Luche, D.D.; Medina-Silva, R.; Galhardo, R.S.; Menck, C.F.M. & Oliveira, V.R. DNA repair – related genes in sugarcane expressed sequence tags (ESTs). Genetics and Molecular Biology, 24 (1-4): 131-140, 2001.

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