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Department of Biological Engineering
Bevin P. Engelward, Sc.D.

Bevin P. Engelward, Sc.D.

Professor of Biological Engineering

Research group web site

E-mail: bevin@mit.edu
Office: 16-743
Phone: (617) 258-0260
Fax: (617) 258-0499
Administrative Assistant: Kathleen L. Reposa

Courses: 20.109 Laboratory Fundamentals in Biological Engineering
20.213 DNA Damage, Repair, and Mutagenesis

Research Focus

In the Engelward Lab, we study DNA damage, repair, and homologous recombination. Our cells are subjected to an onslaught of DNA lesions every day. One way that cells cope with DNA lesions is to use homology directed repair to exploit sequence information on sister chromatids or homologous chromosomes for the purpose of repairing DNA damage. Although this is a critically important defense against toxicity caused by DNA damaging agents, misalignments during homology directed repair can lead to sequence rearrangements that contribute to cancer (e.g., loss of heterozygosity and deletions). On the other hand, being unable to perform homology directed repair puts cells at risk of other types of tumorigenic rearrangements (e.g., chromosome aberrations). Thus, either too much or too little homology directed repair is potentially threatening to human health.

Homology directed repair is a critical system for maintaining genomic integrity. Indeed, we now know that many cancer-prone diseases are associated with defects in homology directed repair. For example, 55-75% of women who inherit mutations in the BRCA1 gene will get breast cancer before the age of 70, and we now know that BRCA1 is directly involved in homology directed repair. What types of DNA lesions cause homologous recombination in people? How does enzymatic processing of DNA lesions affect the likelihood that a lesion will lead to homologous recombination? Our mission is to reveal how excision repair affects cellular susceptibility to homologous recombination in eukaryotes, and to develop novel tools for studying homologous recombination in mammals.

In our laboratory, we have recently developed the first transgenic mice in which somatic cells that have undergone homologous recombination become fluorescent. The Fluorescent Yellow Direct Repeat (FYDR) mice are being used to compare recombination susceptibility among different cell types and to evaluate the effects of specific genetic defects on recombination susceptibility. Thus, the FYDR mice offer a novel approach for revealing the underlying causes of homologous recombination in mammals.

Selected Publications

Click here for a complete list of publications.

C. A. Hendricks, K. H. Almeida, M. S. Stitt, V. S. Jonnalagadda, G. F. Kerrison, R. E. Rugo, B. P. Engelward, Spontaneous mitotic homologous recombination at an enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) cDNA direct repeat in transgenic mice, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA,100: 6325-6330 (2003)pdf

E. J. Spek, L. N. Vuong, T. Matsuguchi, M. G. Marinus, and B. P. Engelward, Nitric oxide induced homologous recombination in Escherichia coli is promoted by DNA glycosylases, J. Bacteriol., 184:3501-3507 (2002)pdf

C. A. Hendricks, M. Razlog, T. Matsuguchi, A. Goyal, A. L. Brock, and B. P. Engelward, The S. cerevisiae Mag1 3-methyladenine DNA glycosylase modulates susceptibility to homologous recombination, DNA Repair 1:645-659 (2002)pdf

Spek, E. J., Wright, T. L., Stitt, M. S., Taghizadeh, N. R., Tannenbaum, S. R., Marinus, M. G., and Engelward, B. P.  Recombinational Repair is Critical for the Survival of Escherichia coli Exposed to Nitric Oxide, J. Bacteriol.,183:131-138 (2001)pdf

Smith, S. and Engelward, B. P. In vivo Repair of Methylation Damage in Aag3-Methyladenine DNA Glycosylase Null Mouse Cells, Nucleic Acids Res.,28:3294-3300 (2000).

B. P. Engelward, J. M. Allan, A. J. Dreslin, J. D. Kelly, M. M. Wu, B. Gold, and L. D. Samson, A chemical and genetic approach together define the biological consequences of 3-methyladenine lesions in the mammalian genome, J. Biol. Chem.,273: 5412-5418 (1998).

J. M. Allan, B. P. Engelward, A. J. Dreslin, M. D. Wyatt, M. Tomasz, and L. D. Samson, Mammalian 3-methyladenine DNA glycosylase protects against the toxicity and clastogenicity of certain chemotherapeutic DNA cross-linking agents, Cancer Res., 58: 3965-3973 (1998).

D. M. Wilson, III, B. P. Engelward, and L. Samson. Prokaryotic base excision repair, in J. A. Nickoloff and M. F. Hoekstra (eds.), DNA Damage and Repair: Biochemistry, Genetics, and Cell Biology, Humana Press, Inc., Totowa, NJ, Vol. I, pp. 29-64 (1998).

B. P. Engelward, G. Weeda, M.D. Wyatt, J. L. M. Broekhof, J. de Wit, I. Donker, J. M. Allan, B. Gold, J. H. J. Hoeijmakers, and L. D. Samson. Base excision repair deficient mice lacking the Aag alkyladenine DNA glycosylase,Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 94: 13087-13092 (1997).

B. P. Engelward, A. Dreslin, J. Christensen, D. Huszar, C. Kurahara, and L. Samson, Repair deficient 3-methyladenine DNA glycosylase homozygous mutant mouse cells have increased sensitivity to alkylation induced chromosome damage and cell killing, EMBO J., 15, 945-952 (1996).

B. P. Engelward, M. S. Boosalis, B. J. Chen, Z. Deng, M. J. Siciliano, and L. D. Samson, Cloning and characterization of a mouse 3-methyladenine/7-methylguanine/3-methylguanine DNA glycosylase cDNA whose gene maps to chromosome 11, Carcinogenesis14, 175-181 (1993).


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