PhD defence Y. (Yasemin) Türkyilmaz


Prof.dr. W. Vermeulen


Dr. J.A.F. Marteijn

Friday 3 Jul 2020, 13:30 - 15:00
PhD defence
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On Friday 3 July 2020, Y. Türkyוlmaz will defend her PhD dissertation, entitled: ‘A Quest to Reveal Novel Players in Nucleotide Excision Repair’.

All the information required to generate and sustain an organism is stored in the genome. However, this precious source of genetic information is constantly damaged by environmental agents such as UV light, cigarette smoke, roasted meat and X-ray scans. If left unrepaired, these damages can cause mutations or cell death in the short term and cancer development or accelerated aging in the long term. Fortunately, such detrimental outcomes can be prevented by DNA repair mechanisms that can repair DNA damage specifically and efficiently.

In this thesis, we focus on nucleotide excision repair (NER) which repairs DNA damage induced by the UV light from the sun. NER is a complex mechanism involving at least 30 proteins that act collaboratively in the consecutive steps of damage recognition, verification, incision, and repair synthesis. It is essential that each step is accurately orchestrated and tightly regulated to ensure efficient repair and maintenance of genomic integrity. Since its discovery more than fifty years ago, NER is already heavily-studied. However, the current knowledge about its dynamic regulation in time and space, and the transition between different reaction steps is still limited. In this thesis, we aimed to identify novel NER regulators and found two new regulators, HLTF (Chapter 2 and 3) and the FACT subunit Spt16 (Chapter 4). We report the former to be required for removal of incised DNA fragment including the DNA damage, and latter to be required for recruitment of transcription coupled NER factor UVSSA to lesion.

The PhD defences will not take place publicly in the Senate Hall or Professor Andries Queridoroom due to the coronavirus. The candidates will defend their thesis online.

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