Dr. Richard D. Wood
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Molecular Carcinogenesis
The Virginia Harris Cockrell Cancer Research Center
My laboratory is located in Smithville, Texas, at UT Science Park
- DNA repair mechanisms and damage responses
- DNA polymerases
- DNA damage tolerance
- Genetic dependence of mutagenesis and carcinogenesis
Many enzymes and regulatory proteins are devoted to the repair of DNA damage arising from agents inside cells and from the environment. DNA repair is a front-line defense against the mutations that can accumulate to cause cancer. Research in my laboratory includes exploration of the biochemical mechanism of the DNA nucleotide excision repair pathway in human cells. In one study we are examining how this repair process participates in resolving cross-links between DNA strands. We also investigate several DNA polymerases that help cells tolerate DNA damage. Some of the work is with a mouse model deficient in DNA polymerase zeta, to understand the role of this enzyme in chromosome instability, skin carcinogenesis and mammary carcinogenesis. We also are determining the biochemical and cellular functions of two other specialized DNA polymerases which were isolated in our laboratory, POLQ and POLN. These enzymes have an unusual ability to bypass specific lesions in DNA templates.
A tutorial in my laboratory would provide experience with expression of recombinant proteins, protein purification, and biochemical measurements of DNA repair and DNA replication as well as measurements using genetically manipulated living mammalian cells.
Takata K, Arana ME, Seki M, Kunkel TA, Wood RD (2010) Evolutionary conservation of residues in vertebrate POLN conferring low fidelity and bypass activity. Nucleic Acids Res, 38:3233-44
Yamanaka K, Minko IG, Takata K-i, Kolbanovskiy A, Kozekov ID, Wood RD, Rizzo CJ, Lloyd RS (2010) Novel enzymatic function of DNA polymerase ν in translesion DNA synthesis past major groove DNA−peptide and DNA−DNA cross-links. Chemical Research in Toxicology: 23:689-95
Wittschieben JP, Patil V, Glushets V, Robinson LJ, Kusewitt DF, Wood RD (2010) Loss of DNA polymerase zeta enhances spontaneous tumorigenesis. Cancer Research 70:2770-8
Takata K, Wood RD (2009) Bypass specialists work together. EMBO J 28(4): 313-314
Program in Molecular Carcinogenesis