Albino Bacolla

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Although the capability of DNA to form a variety of non-canonical (non-B) structures has long been recognized, the overall significance of these alternate conformations in biology has only recently become accepted en masse. In order to provide access to genome-wide locations of these classes of predicted structures, we have developed non-B DB, a database(More)
Cancer genome sequence data provide an invaluable resource for inferring the key mechanisms by which mutations arise in cancer cells, favoring their survival, proliferation and invasiveness. Here we examine recent advances in understanding the molecular mechanisms responsible for the predominant type of genetic alteration found in cancer cells, somatic(More)
The non-B DB, available at, catalogs predicted non-B DNA-forming sequence motifs, including Z-DNA, G-quadruplex, A-phased repeats, inverted repeats, mirror repeats, direct repeats and their corresponding subsets: cruciforms, triplexes and slipped structures, in several genomes. Version 2.0 of the database revises and(More)
Homo(purine*pyrimidine) sequences (R*Y tracts) with mirror repeat symmetries form stable triplexes that block replication and transcription and promote genetic rearrangements. A systematic search was conducted to map the location of the longest R*Y tracts in the human genome in order to assess their potential function(s). The 814 R*Y tracts with > or =250(More)
Single base substitutions constitute the most frequent type of human gene mutation and are a leading cause of cancer and inherited disease. These alterations occur non-randomly in DNA, being strongly influenced by the local nucleotide sequence context. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying such sequence context-dependent mutagenesis are not fully(More)
Sequences that have the capacity to adopt alternative (i.e. non-B) DNA structures in the human genome have been implicated in stimulating genomic instability. Previously, we found that a naturally occurring intra-molecular triplex (H-DNA) caused genetic instability in mammals largely in the form of DNA double-strand breaks. Thus, it is of interest to(More)
Methylation of cytosine at the 5-carbon position (5 mC) is observed in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In humans, DNA methylation at CpG sites plays an important role in gene regulation and has been implicated in development, gene silencing, and cancer. In addition, the CpG dinucleotide is a known hot spot for pathologic mutations genome-wide. CpG tracts(More)
Repetitive DNA sequences with the potential to form alternative DNA conformations, such as slipped structures and cruciforms, can induce genetic instability by promoting replication errors and by serving as a substrate for DNA repair proteins, which may lead to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). However, the contribution of each of the DSB repair pathways,(More)
Gross chromosomal rearrangements (including translocations, deletions, insertions and duplications) are a hallmark of cancer genomes and often create oncogenic fusion genes. An obligate step in the generation of such gross rearrangements is the formation of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Since the genomic distribution of rearrangement breakpoints is(More)
DNA damage in somatic cells originates from both environmental and endogenous sources, giving rise to mutations through multiple mechanisms. When these mutations affect the function of critical genes, cancer may ensue. Although identifying genomic subsets of mutated genes may inform therapeutic options, a systematic survey of tumor mutational spectra is(More)