Post-Grant Reports


Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Grant Report

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Biology | Cancer Biology | Genetics and Genomics


The project focused on elucidating the mechanism by which cancer-associated variants of Mre11 alter alternative non-homologous end-joining (aNHEJ) repair activity. This project seeks to understand the potential role of cancer-associated variants of DNA repair genes (such as Mre11) in inducing genomic instability. Mutations in Mre11 genes can have a significant impact on cancer prognosis and treatment. Our data from the summer suggests that the three variants of Mre11 are sensitive to bleomycin (BLM) and etoposide and have accumulated double strands breaks (DSBs). This indicates Mre11 variants induce genomic instability. Importantly, our results suggest that the status of Mre11 variants can influence treatment of tumors with BLM and etoposide. Work is ongoing to characterize how the Mre11 variants alter DSB repair mechanisms. Our study will enhance the basic mechanistic understanding of cancer biology and how the DNA repair status of germlines and somatic cells of individuals influences tumorigenesis and therapy.


This research was conducted as part of a Linfield College Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Grant in 2019, funded by the Office of Academic Affairs.

Student collaborators were Abigail Gunning, Avery Moen, and Austin Hilton.

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