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Transgenerational effects have wide-ranging implications for human health, biological adaptation, and evolution; however, their mechanisms and biology remain poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that a germline nuclear small RNA/chromatin pathway can maintain stable inheritance for many generations when triggered by a piRNA-dependent foreign RNA response(More)
Telomeres are composed of simple tandem DNA repeats that protect the ends of linear chromosomes from replicative erosion or inappropriate DNA damage response mechanisms. The mammalian Protection Of Telomeres (POT1) protein interacts with single-stranded telomeric DNA and can exert positive and negative effects on telomere length. Of four distinct POT1(More)
Mutants of trt-1, the Caenorhabditis elegans telomerase reverse transcriptase, reproduce normally for several generations but eventually become sterile as a consequence of telomere erosion and end-to-end chromosome fusions. Telomere erosion and uncapping do not cause an increase in apoptosis in the germlines of trt-1 mutants. Instead, late-generation trt-1(More)
BACKGROUND In response to genotoxic stress, cells activate checkpoint pathways that lead to a transient cell cycle arrest that allows for DNA repair or to apoptosis, which triggers the demise of genetically damaged cells. RESULTS During positional cloning of the C. elegans rad-5 DNA damage checkpoint gene, we found, surprisingly, that rad-5(mn159) is(More)
End-to-end chromosome fusions that occur in the context of telomerase deficiency can trigger genomic duplications. For more than 70 years, these duplications have been attributed solely to breakage-fusion-bridge cycles. To test this hypothesis, we examined end-to-end fusions isolated from Caenorhabditis elegans telomere replication mutants. Genome-level(More)
DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) can be repaired by homologous recombination (HR), which can involve Holliday junction (HJ) intermediates that are ultimately resolved by nucleolytic enzymes. An N-terminal fragment of human GEN1 has recently been shown to act as a Holliday junction resolvase, but little is known about the role of GEN-1 in vivo. Holliday(More)
Germline immortality is a topic that has intrigued theoretical biologists interested in aging for over a century. The germ cell lineage can be passed from one generation to the next, indefinitely. In contrast, somatic cells are typically only needed for a single generation and are then discarded. Germ cells may, therefore, harbor rejuvenation mechanisms(More)
Homeostasis of postmitotic and proliferating cells is maintained by pathways that repress stress. We found that the Caenorhabditis elegans histone 3 lysine 4 (H3K4) demethylases RBR-2 and SPR-5 promoted postmitotic longevity of stress-resistant daf-2 adults, altered pools of methylated H3K4, and promoted silencing of some daf-2 target genes. In addition,(More)