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Woloschak Lab

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Our laboratory has three main areas of interest:

Studies of DNA-TiO2 nanoparticles
We have developed nanocomposites with combined functional properties of the biomolecule (DNA) and the inorganic compound (TiO2). The DNA is covalently bound to the TiO2 nanoparticle when the nanoparticles are smaller than 20nm in size. These nanoparticles have the ability to hybridize to DNA and participate in PCR reactions (function of the biomolecule) and to carry out light- or radiation-induced charge separation (function of the inorganic TiO2). We have been able to use these nanocomposites to carry out site-specific cleavage of DNA, to home to particular intracellular sites (mitochondria, nucleoli), and to participate in enzymatic reactions. This project is oriented toward functional use of these nanocomposites for (1) intracellular manipulation, (2) imaging, and (3) gene silencing.

Paunesku, T., Rajh, T., Wiederrecht, G., Maser, J., Vogt, S., Stojicevic, N., Protic, M., Lai, B., Oryhon, J., Thurnauer, M. C., and Woloschak, G. E. Biology of TiO2-olignucleotide nanocomposites. Nature Materials, 13 April 2003.

Studies of radiosensitivity/motor neuron disease
The wasted mouse is a model that has a combined radiation sensitivity, immunodeficiency, and motor neuron dysfunction. The purpose of this project is to understand the molecular basis for the combined abnormalities from a molecular-cellular perspective. We have identified several candidate genes that are important in the disease progression, with much of the work focusing on PCNA and its role in the development of radiation sensitivity. Chip-based mRNA studies, gene promoter analyses, immunohistochemistry, and standard molecular approaches are being used to address this question.

Paunesku, T., Mittal, S., Protic, M., Korolev, S., Joachimiak, A. and Woloschak, G.E. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA): Ringmaster of the genome. International Journal of Radiation Biology (2001) 77 (10): 1007-1021

Studies of radiation-induced mutations in radiation-induced cancers
We have available in the laboratory tissues from 49,000 mice and 7,000 dogs that were exposed to varying doses, dose-rates and qualities of ionizing radiation. We are currently studying lymphomas from these tissues for differences in mutational spectra that occur in tumors induced in radiation-exposed animals compared to those that occur in spontaneous tumors. In addition, we are examining the effects of several radioprotectors on radiation-induced genomic instability.

Paunesku, Tatjana, Zhang, Yueru, Gemmell, M. Anne, and Woloschak, Gayle E. p53 gene deletions in radiation-induced tumors. Leukemia Research, (2000) 24: 511-517.

Last Modified 02/7/14 06:47