Alexandra R Frank

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States

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Publications (3)13.79 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The ability of caffeine to reverse cell cycle checkpoint function and enhance genotoxicity after DNA damage was examined in telomerase-expressing human fibroblasts. Caffeine reversed the ATM-dependent S and G2 checkpoint responses to DNA damage induced by ionizing radiation (IR), as well as the ATR- and Chk1-dependent S checkpoint response to ultraviolet radiation (UVC). Remarkably, under conditions in which IR-induced G2 delay was reversed by caffeine, IR-induced G1 arrest was not. Incubation in caffeine did not increase the percentage of cells entering the S phase 6-8h after irradiation; ATM-dependent phosphorylation of p53 and transactivation of p21(Cip1/Waf1) post-IR were resistant to caffeine. Caffeine alone induced a concentration- and time-dependent inhibition of DNA synthesis. It inhibited the entry of human fibroblasts into S phase by 70-80% regardless of the presence or absence of wildtype ATM or p53. Caffeine also enhanced the inhibition of cell proliferation induced by UVC in XP variant fibroblasts. This effect was reversed by expression of DNA polymerase eta, indicating that translesion synthesis of UVC-induced pyrimidine dimers by DNA pol eta protects human fibroblasts against UVC genotoxic effects even when other DNA repair functions are compromised by caffeine.
    Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 12/2003; 532(1-2):85-102. · 3.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inhibition of replicon initiation is a stereotypic DNA damage response mediated through S checkpoint mechanisms not yet fully understood. Studies were undertaken to elucidate the function of checkpoint proteins in the inhibition of replicon initiation following irradiation with 254 nm UV light (UVC) of diploid human fibroblasts immortalized by the ectopic expression of telomerase. Velocity sedimentation analysis of nascent DNA molecules revealed a 50% inhibition of replicon initiation when normal human fibroblasts were treated with a low dose of UVC (1 J/m2). Ataxia telangiectasia (AT), Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS), and AT-like disorder fibroblasts, which lack an S checkpoint response when exposed to ionizing radiation, responded normally when exposed to UVC and inhibited replicon initiation. Pretreatment of normal and AT fibroblasts with caffeine or UCN-01, inhibitors of ATR (AT mutated and Rad3 related) and Chk1, respectively, abolished the S checkpoint response to UVC. Moreover, overexpression of kinase-inactive ATR in U2OS cells severely attenuated UVC-induced Chk1 phosphorylation and reversed the UVC-induced inhibition of replicon initiation, as did overexpression of kinase-inactive Chk1. Taken together, these data suggest that the UVC-induced S checkpoint response of inhibition of replicon initiation is mediated by ATR signaling through Chk-1 and is independent of ATM, Nbs1, and Mre11.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 01/2003; 22(24):8552-61. DOI:10.1128/MCB.22.24.8552-8561.2002 · 4.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lack of DNA polymerase eta and the attendant defect in bypass replication of pyrimidine dimers induced in DNA by ultraviolet light (UV) underlie the enhanced mutagenesis and carcinogenesis observed in xeroderma pigmentosum variant (XP-V). We investigated whether diploid XP-V fibroblasts growing in culture are also more susceptible to UV-induced clastogenesis than normal human fibroblasts (NHF). This study utilized diploid fibroblasts immortalized by the ectopic expression of human telomerase. The cell lines displayed checkpoint responses to DNA damage comparable with those measured in the parental strains. Shortly after exposure to low doses of UVC (< or =4 J/m2), XP-V cells accumulated daughter strand gaps in excess of normal controls (>25-fold). Daughter strand gaps generated in UV-irradiated S phase cells are potential precursors of chromatid-type chromosomal aberrations. Nonetheless, chromatid-type chromosomal aberrations were only 1.5 to 2 times more abundant in XP-V than in NHF exposed to the same UVC dose. XP-V cells, however, displayed S phase delays at lower doses of UVC and for longer periods of time than NHF. These results support the hypothesis that aberrant DNA structures activate S phase checkpoint responses that increase the time available for postreplication repair. Alternatively, cells that cannot be properly repaired remain permanently arrested and never reach mitosis. These responses protect human cells from chromosomal aberrations, especially when other pathways, such as accurate lesion bypass, are lost.
    Carcinogenesis 06/2002; 23(6):959-65. · 5.33 Impact Factor