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    Loss of NEIL3 DNA glycosylase markedly increases replication associated double strand breaks and enhances sensitivity to ATR inhibitor in glioblastoma cells.

    Oncotarget 2017 Dec 4;8(68):112942-112958. Epub 2017 Dec 4.
    Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Pharmacy, The University of Texas at Austin, Dell Pediatric Research Institute, Austin, TX, United States.
    DNA endonuclease eight-like glycosylase 3 (NEIL3) is one of the DNA glycosylases that removes oxidized DNA base lesions from single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) and non-B DNA structures. Approximately seven percent of human tumors have an altered NEIL3 gene. However, the role of NEIL3 in replication-associated repair and its impact on modulating treatment response is not known. Here, we report that NEIL3 is localized at the DNA double-strand break (DSB) sites during oxidative DNA damage and replication stress. Loss of NEIL3 significantly increased spontaneous replication-associated DSBs and recruitment of replication protein A (RPA). In contrast, we observed a marked decrease in Rad51 on nascent DNA strands at the replication fork, suggesting that HR-dependent repair is compromised in NEIL3-deficient cells. Interestingly, NEIL3-deficient cells were sensitive to ataxia-telangiectasia and Rad3 related protein (ATR) inhibitor alone or in combination with PARP1 inhibitor. This study elucidates the mechanism by which NEIL3 is critical to overcome oxidative and replication-associated genotoxic stress. Our findings may have important clinical implications to utilize ATR and PARP1 inhibitors to enhance cytotoxicity in tumors that carry altered levels of NEIL3.
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