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Novel Corneal Endothelial Responses to Genotoxic Stress

Roh, Daniel Sam (2011) Novel Corneal Endothelial Responses to Genotoxic Stress. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Most cells throughout their existence are constantly subjected to enormous amounts of endogenous and exogenous DNA damage. The cellular response to genotoxic stressors ultimately either leads to adaptive processes that mediate cellular repair and allow for continuous cellular function or leads to cell malfunction and death. In some theories of aging this cellular malfunction is due to accumulation of unrepaired DNA damage which over time leads to progressive deterioration of tissue/organ homoeostasis and function resulting in organismal aging. The overall goal of my studies is to understand the responses to DNA damage in corneal endothelial (CE) cells whose pump and barrier functions are essential for corneal transparency and which in vivo display age-related degeneration and accumulation of DNA damage. In three complementary and related studies I have focused on how the CE is affected by genotoxic stress. In the first study I have examined the clinical application of the DNA crosslinking agent mitomycin C during photorefractive keratectomy and documented its effects on the CE such as significant accumulation of DNA lesions and elevated levels of apoptosis. In the second study I have examined the long term consequences resulting from failure to repair endogenous DNA damage in vivo. Using a DNA repair-deficient mouse strain I have observed significant premature age-related dystrophic changes in the CE that only occur in very old mice. This suggests that the CE is sensitive and vulnerable to the effects of accumulating endogenous genotoxic stress and that DNA damage may drive CE aging. In the third study I have examined how CE cell-cell communication mediated by gap junctions is affected by acute genotoxic stress. Given that gap junction intercellular communication is essential for homeostasis and associated with cell proliferation, death and survival, alterations in the gap junction protein connexin-43 may be crucial for CE cell function and viability during genotoxic stress. The key findings of all my studies elucidate the role of genotoxic stress in CE aging and identify novel responses to stresses from DNA damage. Through a greater understanding of the responses to these stressors, efforts to preserve and improve CE viability and function can be achieved.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Roh, Daniel Samroh.daniel@medstudent.pitt.eduDSR16
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairFunderburgh, Jamejlfunder@pitt.eduJLFUNDER
Committee ChairMurray, Sandrasmurray@pitt.eduSMURRAY
Committee MemberCoyne, Carolyncoynec2@pitt.eduCOYNEC2
Committee MemberChu, Charleenctc4@pitt.eduCTC4
Committee MemberNiedernhofer,
Date: 2 August 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 15 July 2011
Approval Date: 2 August 2011
Submission Date: 25 July 2011
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Medicine > Cell Biology and Molecular Physiology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: aging; connexin; gap junction; genotoxic stress; cornea; corneal endothelial
Other ID:, etd-07252011-162750
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:53
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:36


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