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Sturla_SJ

Research Abstracts Online
January 2009 - March 2010

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Pharmacy
Department of Medicinal Chemistry

PI: Shana J. Sturla

Molecular Recognition of DNA Adducts

Cancer incidence is linked to environmental factors that can give rise to genomic alternations. These mutations are initiated by carcinogen-induced structural changes that reflect the critical and fundamentally chemical first step in the complex process of cancer development. Enzymatic metabolism of xenobiotic compounds often produces chemically reactive entities with the potential to modify DNA. Because of such compounds’ transient nature and the diversity in their modes of reactivity, genotoxicity is poorly characterized in many cases. Structural characteristics of DNA adducts can strongly influence their biological effects. Many of the bioanalytical techniques that are typically used to detect DNA adducts, however, provide limited structural information regarding these important bioconjugates. For this reason, little is known about the structural and biological significance of certain lesions.

The goal of this research is to develop structure-based molecular probes for the detection and study of DNA adducts and their influence on DNA structure and function. The researchers want to establish a relationship between adduct structure, effects on DNA replication, DNA repair, and biological endpoints. Understanding how certain chemicals initiate cancer will help researchers to establish diagnostic tools for carcinogen exposure.

Group Members

Heidi Dahlmann, Graduate Student
Hailey L. Gahlon, Graduate Student
Jiachang Gong, Research Associate
Jolanna Norton, Graduate Student
Kathryn E. Pietsch, Graduate Student