Identification of novel protein interactions within DNA damage pathways regulated by non-canonical and novel DNA damage kinases

Year of award: 2016


  • Dr Zuzana Licenikova Horejsi

    Queen Mary University of London

Project summary

Exposing DNA to agents such as UV light or products of cellular metabolism can result in damage, leading to mutations in the DNA, which can transform normal cells into tumours.

Normal cells are protected from these mutations by DNA damage repair (DDR) mechanisms. The DDR mechanisms are regulated by kinases – enzymes that modify other proteins through a process called phosphorylation. 

The kinases that mainly take part in DDR are called the canonical DDR kinases. The kinases that mainly regulate other cellular processes, but have some involvement in DDR, are called the non-canonical DDR kinases. Surprisingly little is known about the role of these non-canonical kinases in DDR.

My project aims to identify the novel protein-protein interactions within DDR which are dependent on phosphorylation carried out by the non-canonical kinases. It also aims to identify the kinases responsible for the phosphorylation. Ultimately, understanding how DNA damage repair is carried out and regulated will help identify and develop more efficient ways of treating cancer.