The primary objective of this proposal is to support the applicant's professional reintegration in a European host academic institution (DMBG, University of Thrace, Greece) in order to pursue an academic career. This objective will be met by establishing independent research in the host institution from which the applicant has already been offered a three-year contract. The proposed research project falls within the general thematic area of life sciences and improving quality of life, which is supported by the Community. It focuses on investigating the role and mechanism(s) of aldehyde dehydrogenase 3A1 (ALDH3A1) in protecting the eye from UV damage, which is of high relevance of human health and prevention of eye-related diseases. ALDH3A1, a detoxifying enzyme, is recruited in the corneal epithelium as a crystalline protein with additional functions beyond its metabolic role, which remain to be determined. Previous results demonstrated that ALDH3A1 confers resistance against UV- and 4-hydroxynonenal-induced a poptosis, mainly by metabolising toxic lipid peroxidation aldehydes. However, a recently proposed novel role of ALDH3A1 as a negative cell cycle regulator in corneal epithelial cells further supports its protective function in the cornea and reveals its multifunctional character.
The hypothesis to be tested is that ALDH3A1 modulates cell cycle and apoptotic cascades in order to allow for DNA repair, and thus, promotes cell survival in response to UV-induced oxidative damage. A number of studies are proposed to identify the underlying mechanisms involved in ALDH3A1 protection against such damage. To pursue the goals of this project, isogenic cell lines along with techniques to assess growth control, apoptosis and DNA repair will be employed. Accomplishment of the proposed studies will facilitate the applicant's successful reintegration, while transfer of the acquired knowledge to the host institution will contribute to promoting excellence in European research.
Fields of science
- natural sciencesbiological sciencesgeneticsDNA
- natural scienceschemical sciencesorganic chemistryaldehydes
- natural sciencesbiological sciencesbiochemistrybiomoleculeslipids
- natural sciencesbiological sciencesbiochemistrybiomoleculesproteinsenzymes
- medical and health sciencesclinical medicineophthalmology
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