• Significance of DNA base excision repair in the maintenance of mitochondrial function in Saccharomyces cerevisiae /

      Fang, Fang.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2008-06-15)
      Mitochondria have an important role in cell metabolism, being the major site of ATP production via oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). Accumulation of mtDNA mutations have been linked to the development of respiratory dysfunction, apoptosis, and aging. Base excision repair (BER) is the major and the only certain repair pathway existing in mitochondria that is in responsible for removing and repairing various base modifications as well as abasic sites (AP sites). In this research, Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae) BER gene knockout strains, including 3 single DNA glycosylase gene knockout strains and Ap endonuclease (Apn 1 p) knockout strain were used to examine the importance of this DNA repair pathway to the maintenance of respiratory function. Here, I show that individual DNA glycosylases are nonessential in maintenance of normal function in yeast mitochondria, corroborating with previous research in mammalian experimental models. The yeast strain lacking Apn 1 p activity exhibits respiratory deficits, including inefficient and significantly low intracellular ATP level, which maybe due to partial uncoupling of OXPHOS. Growth of this yeast strain on respiratory medium is inhibited, but no evidence was found for increased ROS level in Apn 1 p mitochondria. This strain also shows an increased cell size, and this observation combined with an uncoupled OXPHOS may indicate a premature aging in the Apnlp knockout strain, but more evidence is needed to support this hypothesis. However, the BER is necessary for maintenance of mitochondrial function in respiring S.cerevisiae.