Karl A. Rodriguez

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The accumulation of somatic DNA damage has been implicated as a cause of ageing in metazoa. One possible mechanism by which increased DNA damage could lead to cellular degeneration and death is by stochastic deregulation of gene expression. Here we directly test for increased transcriptional noise in aged tissue by dissociating single cardiomyocytes from(More)
The ubiquitin-proteasome pathway plays a crucial role in regulation of intracellular protein turnover. Proteasome, the central protease of the pathway, encompasses multi-subunit assemblies sharing a common catalytic core supplemented by regulatory modules and localizing to different subcellular compartments. To better comprehend age-related functions of the(More)
Interstrand cross-links at T(A/T)4A sites in cellular DNA are associated with hypercytotoxicity of an anticancer drug, bizelesin. Here we evaluated whether these lethal effects reflect targeting critical genomic regions. An in silico analysis of human sequences showed that T(A/T)4A motifs are on average scarce and scattered. However, significantly higher(More)
The naked mole-rat (NMR) is the longest-lived rodent and possesses several exceptional traits: marked cancer resistance, negligible senescence, prolonged genomic integrity, pronounced proteostasis, and a sustained health span. The underlying molecular mechanisms that contribute to these extraordinary attributes are currently under investigation to gain(More)
Naked mole-rats (NMRs) are the oldest-living rodent species. Living underground in a thermally stable ecological niche, NMRs have evolved certain exceptional traits, resulting in sustained health spans, negligible cognitive decline, and a pronounced resistance to age-related disease. Uncovering insights into mechanisms underlying these extraordinary traits(More)
Bizelesin is the first anticancer drug capable of damaging specific regions of the genome with clusters of its binding sites T(A/T)(4)A. This study characterized the sequence- and region-specificity of a bizelesin analogue, U-78779, designed to interact with mixed A/T-G/C motifs. At the nucleotide level, U-78779 was found to prefer runs of A/Ts interspersed(More)
Sympatric speciation (SS), i.e., speciation within a freely breeding population or in contiguous populations, was first proposed by Darwin [Darwin C (1859) On the Origins of Species by Means of Natural Selection] and is still controversial despite theoretical support [Gavrilets S (2004) Fitness Landscapes and the Origin of Species (MPB-41)] and mounting(More)
Reactive oxygen species (ROS), by-products of aerobic metabolism, cause oxidative damage to cells and tissue and not surprisingly many theories have arisen to link ROS-induced oxidative stress to aging and health. While studies clearly link ROS to a plethora of divergent diseases, their role in aging is still debatable. Genetic knock-down manipulations of(More)
The longest-lived rodent, the naked mole-rat (Bathyergidae; Heterocephalus glaber), maintains robust health for at least 75% of its 32 year lifespan, suggesting that the decline in genomic integrity or protein homeostasis routinely observed during aging, is either attenuated or delayed in this extraordinarily long-lived species. The ubiquitin proteasome(More)
Diabetic peripheral polyneuropathy is associated with decrements in motor/sensory neuron myelination, nerve conduction and muscle function; however, the mechanisms of reduced myelination in diabetes are poorly understood. Chronic elevation of oxidative stress may be one of the potential determinants for demyelination as lipids and proteins are important(More)