Welcome to the Paeschke lab!
The maintenance of genome stability is a major challenge for every cell and depends on a large variety of factors. Loss of genome stability can result in dramatic outcomes for the cell, including mutation, DNA deletions, recombination, and/or dysregulation of the cellular machinery, which eventually results in cell death (apoptosis) or a disease state (cancer).
It is well documented that secondary nucleic acid structures like riboswitches, stem-loops, and pseudoknots are involved in gene regulation. Recent research by many groups led to the hypothesis that G-quadruplexes, stable secondary RNA or DNA structures, have key regulatory functions during many cellular processes (e.g., meiosis, transcription, and replication). Because of their stability, G-quadruplex structures must be tightly regulated, and mistakes that occur during these regulation events lead to genome instability.
The focus of our research is the functional analysis of G-quadruplex structures. We are also interested in telomerase activity on DNA double-strand breaks and its impact on genome integrity in vivo.