Radiation-induced deregulation of PiRNA pathway proteins : a possible molecular mechanism underlying transgenerational epigenomic instability

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Merrifield, Matthew
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Biological Science, c2011
PiRNAs and their Piwi family protein partners are part of a germline specific epigenetic regulatory mechanism essential for proper spermatogenesis, silencing of transposable elements, and maintaining germline genome integrity, yet their role in the response of the male germline to genotoxic stress is unknown. Ionizing radiation (IR) is known to cause transgenerational genome instability that is linked to carcinogenesis. Although the molecular etiology of IR-induced transgenerational genomic instability is not fully understood, it is believed to be an epigenetically mediated phenomenon. IR-induced alterations in the expression pattern of key regulatory proteins involved in the piRNA pathway essential for paternal germline genome stability may be directly involved in producing epigenetic alterations that can impact future generations. Here we show whole body and localized X-irradiation leads to significant altered expression of proteins that are necessary for, and intimately involved in, the proper functioning of the germline specific piRNA pathway in mice and rats. In addition we found that IR-induced alterations to piRNA pathway protein levels were time and dose dependent.
ix, 123 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 29 cm
Piwi genes -- Effect of radiation on -- Research , Ionizing radiation -- Research , Genes -- Effect of radiation on -- Research , Germ cells -- Effect of radiation on -- Research , Genetic toxicology -- Research , Mice as laboratory animals , Rats as laboratory animals , Dissertations, Academic