DNA repair, insulin signaling and sirtuins: At the crossroads between cancer and aging

Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA.
Frontiers in Bioscience (Impact Factor: 3.52). 02/2008; 13(13):6966-90. DOI: 10.2741/3203
Source: PubMed


For many years organismal aging and cancer were viewed as separate entities. Recent studies however have suggested that these two seemingly disparate biological processes may in fact share common biochemical pathways. One area of emerging convergence involves the intersection of pathways known to mediate DNA repair with pathways previously implicated in insulin signaling. Recent evidence suggests that the sirtuin family of proteins act as central mediators of this molecular crosstalk. The coordination of DNA repair with overall energy balance may be essential for reducing the risk of developing cancer as well as for determining the rate at which we age. This review will summarize our current knowledge on how the maintenance of genomic integrity and insulin signaling intersect, the potential regulation of sirtuins in this crosstalk, and how this coordinated regulation may have important implication for both tumor-free and overall survival.

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    • "Accordingly, altered sensitivity to insulin paves the way to defects in DNA repair and results in genomic instability (Mostoslavsky 2008). Although phytohormones possess unique features when compared to animal hormones, the current state of the art concerning the interaction between DNA damage sensing/ repair and hormone signal transduction pathways in animal cells might be highly informative for plant biologists facing the same topics in planta and in vitro. "
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    ABSTRACT: The role played by phytohormone signaling in the modulation of DNA repair gene and the resulting effects on plant adaptation to genotoxic stress are poorly investigated. Information has been gathered using the Arabidopsis ABA (abscisic acid) overly sensitive mutant abo4-1, defective in the DNA polymerase ε function that is required for DNA repair and recombination. Similarly, phytohormone-mediated regulation of the Ku genes, encoding the Ku heterodimer protein involved in DNA repair, cell cycle control and telomere homeostasis has been demonstrated, highlighting a scenario in which hormones might affect genome stability by modulating the frequency of homologous recombination, favoring plant adaptation to genotoxic stress. Within this context, the characterisation of Arabidopsis AtKu mutants allowed disclosing novel connections between DNA repair and phytohormone networks. Another intriguing aspect deals with the emerging correlation between plant defense response and the mechanisms responsible for genome stability. There is increasing evidence that systemic acquired resistance (SAR) and homologous recombination share common elements represented by proteins involved in DNA repair and chromatin remodeling. This hypothesis is supported by the finding that volatile compounds, such as methyl salicylate (MeSA) and methyl jasmonate (MeJA), participating in the plant-to-plant communication can trigger genome instability in response to genotoxic stress agents. Phytohormone-mediated control of genome stability involves also chromatin remodeling, thus expanding the range of molecular targets. The present review describes the most significant advances in this specific research field, in the attempt to provide a better comprehension of how plant hormones modulate DNA repair proteins as a function of stress.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Plant Cell Reports
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    • "An increasing body of evidence suggests an age-related slowdown in the efficacy of DNA repair and DNA damage accumulation [5] [6] [7] [8]. This is in line with the DNA theory of aging formulated by Alexander in 1967 [9]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a retinal degenerative disease that is the main cause of vision loss in individuals over the age of 55 in the Western world. Clinically relevant AMD results from damage to the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells thought to be mainly caused by oxidative stress. The stress also affects the DNA of RPE cells, which promotes genome instability in these cells. These effects may coincide with the decrease in the efficacy of DNA repair with age. Therefore individuals with DNA repair impaired more than average for a given age may be more susceptible to AMD if oxidative stress affects their RPE cells. This may be helpful in AMD risk assessment. In the present work we determined the level of basal (measured in the alkaline comet assay) endogenous and endogenous oxidative DNA damage, the susceptibility to exogenous mutagens and the efficacy of DNA repair in lymphocytes of 100 AMD patients and 110 age-matched individuals without visual disturbances. The cells taken from AMD patients displayed a higher extent of basal endogenous DNA damage without differences between patients of dry and wet forms of the disease. DNA double-strand breaks did not contribute to the observed DNA damage as checked by the neutral comet assay and pulsed field gel electrophoresis. The extent of oxidative modification to DNA bases was greater in AMD patients than in the controls, as probed by DNA repair enzymes NTH1 and Fpg. Lymphocytes from AMD patients displayed a higher sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide and UV radiation and repaired lesions induced by these factors less effectively than the cells from the control individuals. We postulate that the impaired efficacy of DNA repair may combine with enhanced sensitivity of RPE cells to blue and UV lights, contributing to the pathogenesis of AMD.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2009 · Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
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    ABSTRACT: The macro module is a globular protein domain of about 25 kDa that is evolutionarily conserved in organisms from viruses, bacteria, yeast to humans. It is generally part of proteins that have wide-ranging (and yet to be discovered) cellular functions. There are several examples of macro domains associated with modules showing homology to poly-ADP-ribosyl-polymerases. Many macro domains, including those of the human histone macroH2A1.1, bind NAD metabolites such as ADP-ribose, suggesting that macro domains may function in the recognition of this and related molecules. The presence of a metabolite-binding function in a repressive chromatin component opens new potential connections between chromosome structure, gene silencing and cellular metabolism. Current evidence suggests that macro domains also represent a novel tool for studying NAD metabolites and may be an attractive drug target for the treatment of diseases.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2009 · Frontiers in Bioscience
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