Michelle L. Heacock

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Orthologs of the yeast telomere protein Stn1 are present in plants, but other components of the Cdc13/Stn1/Ten1 (CST) complex have only been found in fungi. Here we report the identification of conserved telomere maintenance component 1 (CTC1) in plants and vertebrates. CTC1 encodes an approximately 140 kDa telomere-associated protein predicted to contain(More)
End-to-end fusion of critically shortened telomeres in higher eucaryotes is presumed to be mediated by nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ). Here we describe two PCR-based methods to monitor telomere length and examine the fate of dysfunctional telomeres in Arabidopsis lacking the catalytic subunit of telomerase (TERT) and the DNA repair proteins Ku70 and(More)
Double-strand breaks are a cataclysmic threat to genome integrity. In higher eukaryotes the predominant recourse is the nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) double-strand break repair pathway. NHEJ is a versatile mechanism employing the Ku heterodimer, ligase IV/XRCC4 and a host of other proteins that juxtapose two free DNA ends for ligation. A critical(More)
In the absence of the telomerase, telomeres undergo progressive shortening and are ultimately recruited into end-to-end chromosome fusions via the non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) double-strand break repair pathway. Previously, we showed that fusion of critically shortened telomeres in Arabidopsis proceeds with approximately the same efficiency in the(More)
The combination of poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP) inhibitors and alkylating agents is currently being investigated in cancer therapy clinical trials. However, the DNA lesions producing the synergistic cell killing effect in tumors are not fully understood. Treatment of human and mouse fibroblasts with the monofunctional DNA methylating agent methyl(More)
BACKGROUND Exposure to inorganic and organic arsenic compounds is a major public health problem that affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Exposure to arsenic is associated with cancer and noncancer effects in nearly every organ in the body, and evidence is mounting for health effects at lower levels of arsenic exposure than previously thought.(More)
BACKGROUND Electronic waste (e-waste) is produced in staggering quantities, estimated globally to be 41.8 million tonnes in 2014. Informal e-waste recycling is a source of much-needed income in many low- to middle-income countries. However, its handling and disposal in underdeveloped countries is often unsafe and leads to contaminated environments.(More)
Base excision repair (BER) can protect a cell after endogenous or exogenous genotoxic stress, and a deficiency in BER can render a cell hypersensitive to stress-induced apoptotic and necrotic cell death, mutagenesis, and chromosomal rearrangements. However, understanding of the mammalian BER system is not yet complete as it is extraordinarily complex and(More)
We explored DNA metabolic events potentially relevant to somatic hypermutation (SHM) of immunoglobulin genes using a yeast model system. Double-strand break (DSB) formation has been discussed as a possible component of the SHM process during immunoglobulin gene maturation. Yet, possible mechanisms linking DSB formation with mutagenesis have not been well(More)