Michael Jarstfer

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The chromosomes of eukaryotes end in a specialized complex of proteins and repetitive DNA called the telomere. Telomeres form a protective cap that prevents chromosome fusions, protects chromosome ends from degradation, and assists in positioning chromosomes in the nucleus. In the absence of replenishing mechanisms, telomeric DNA is lost during each cell(More)
Telomeric DNA can fold into four-stranded structures known as G-quadruplexes. Here we investigate the ability of G-quadruplex DNA to serve as a substrate for recombinant Tetrahymena and native Euplotes telomerase. Inter- and intramolecular G-quadruplexes were gel-purified and their stability examined using native gel electrophoresis, circular dichroism (CD)(More)
Guanine-rich DNA and RNA sequences can fold into unique structures known as G-quadruplexes. The structures of G-quadruplexes can be divided into several classes, depending on the parallel or antiparallel nature of the strands and the number of G-rich tracts present in an oligonucleotide. Oligonucleotides with single tracts of guanines form intermolecular(More)
Senescence is a highly regulated process that limits cellular replication by enforcing a G1 arrest in response to various stimuli. Replicative senescence occurs in response to telomeric DNA erosion, and telomerase expression can offset replicative senescence leading to immortalization of many human cells. Limited data exists regarding changes of microRNA(More)
Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein complex that synthesizes the G-rich DNA found at the 3'-ends of linear chromosomes. Human telomerase consists minimally of a catalytic protein (hTERT) and a template-containing RNA (hTR), although other proteins are involved in regulating telomerase activity in vivo. Several chaperone proteins, including hsp90 and p23, have(More)
Clinical evidence suggests that oxytocin treatment improves social deficits and repetitive behavior in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). However, the neuropeptide has a short plasma half-life and poor ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier. In order to facilitate the development of more bioavailable oxytocinergic compounds as therapeutics to treat(More)
Here we tested the ability to augment the biological activity of the thrombin aptamer, d(GGTTGGTGTGGTTGG), by using locked nucleic acid (LNA) to influence its G-quadruplex structure. Compared to un-substituted control aptamer, LNA-containing aptamers displayed varying degrees of thrombin inhibition. Aptamers with LNA substituted in either positions G5, T7,(More)
Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein complex that reverse transcribes a portion of its RNA subunit during the synthesis of G-rich DNA at the 3' end of each chromosome in most eukaryotes. This activity compensates for the inability of the normal DNA replication machinery to fully replicate chromosome termini. The roles of telomerase in cellular immortality and(More)
Social deficits are a hallmark feature of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related developmental syndromes. Although there is no standard treatment for social dysfunction, clinical studies have identified oxytocin as a potential therapeutic with prosocial efficacy. We have previously reported that peripheral oxytocin treatment can increase sociability and(More)