Salk Institute

Karlseder Lab - Telomeres

Telomere function in aging and cancer

Karlseder Lab

The Karlseder Lab focuses on understanding the functions of mammalian and nematode telomeres. Telomeres, the protein-DNA complexes at the ends of linear chromosomes, are crucial in DNA replication, tumor suppression, and aging. Every time a primary human cell divides its telomeres get shorter, until critically short telomeres lead to terminal cell cycle arrest. We believe that a better understanding of this telomere shortening process will lead to an ability to influence the aging process, and as a result to the restriction of cancer cell growth. Currently, we work on several aspects of telomere structure and function:

  • Interactions between the DNA damage machinery and telomeres
  • Telomere processing and function during the cell cycle
  • Changes in telomere length and chromatin structure
  • G-rich and C-rich telomeric overhangs at chromosome ends
  • Telomere localization in the nucleus

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