Activation and regulation of E. coli DNA Polymerase V studied at the single-molecule level

Caldas, V. E. A., 2016, [Groningen]: University of Groningen. 158 p.

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)Academic

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  • Title and contents

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  • Chapter 1

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  • Chapter 2

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  • Chapter 3

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  • Chapter 4

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  • Chapter 5

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  • Chapter 6

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  • Summary

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  • Samenvatting

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  • Resumo

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  • Acknowledgements

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  • Complete thesis

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  • Victor Emanoel Armini Caldas
To support growth and health, cells in our body are constantly dividing. DNA replication, the duplication of the genomic material just before cell division, is a process ubiquitous to all living cells. Such DNA copying is performed by a number of specialized proteins, so-called DNA polymerases, in a highly coordinated process.

Cells contain two different classes of DNA polymerases. One type copies DNA under normal conditions with high accuracy, but is unable to deal with damaged DNA; the other is produced in response to DNA damage and can copy damaged DNA, ensuring that the replication process can continue. The latter class is important because cells are constantly exposed to harsh conditions: UV light from the sun, starvation, extreme pH and temperature are all factors that may severely impact cellular metabolism and lead to DNA damage.
In this thesis, a new type of microscopy is described to visualize how these DNA polymerases work inside single living bacterial cells. For the first time, we are now able to see at the level of individual polymerase molecules how cells deal with DNA damage and how the two classes of polymerases work together to enable DNA replication and thus cell survival.

And why is this work important? Specialized DNA polymerases are key players in evolution. They promote genetic diversity and boost adaptation. For instance, understanding evolution at this level helps us explain why bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics or why cancer cells fail to respond to certain treatments.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • van Oijen, A.M., Supervisor, External person
  • Robinson, A., Co-supervisor, External person
  • Poolman, Berend, Assessment committee
  • Peterman, E.J.G., Assessment committee, External person
  • Foster, P.L., Assessment committee, External person
Award date6-May-2016
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-90-367-8806-9
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-8805-2
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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