Sheila A. Stewart

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To enable arrayed or pooled loss-of-function screens in a wide range of mammalian cell types, including primary and nondividing cells, we are developing lentiviral short hairpin RNA (shRNA) libraries targeting the human and murine genomes. The libraries currently contain 104,000 vectors, targeting each of 22,000 human and mouse genes with multiple(More)
Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein enzyme that maintains the protective structures at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, called telomeres. In most human somatic cells, telomerase expression is repressed, and telomeres shorten progressively with each cell division. In contrast, most human tumors express telomerase, resulting in stabilized telomere length.(More)
Werner syndrome (WS) is marked by early onset of features resembling aging, and is caused by loss of the RecQ family DNA helicase WRN. Precisely how loss of WRN leads to the phenotypes of WS is unknown. Cultured WS fibroblasts shorten their telomeres at an increased rate per population doubling and the premature senescence this loss induces can be bypassed(More)
Genome-wide genetic approaches have proven useful for examining pathways of biological significance in model organisms such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Drosophila melanogastor, and Caenorhabditis elegans, but similar techniques have proven difficult to apply to mammalian systems. Although manipulation of the murine genome has led to identification of genes(More)
In normal human cells, telomeres shorten with successive rounds of cell division, and immortalization correlates with stabilization of telomere length. These observations suggest that human cancer cells achieve immortalization in large part through the illegitimate activation of telomerase expression. Here, we demonstrate that the rate-limiting telomerase(More)
Once immortalized, human cells are susceptible to transformation by introduction of an oncogene such as ras. Several lines of evidence now suggest that the maintenance of telomere length is a major determinant of replicative lifespan in human cells and thus of the immortalized state. The majority of human tumor cells acquire immortality through expression(More)
RNA interference methodology suppresses gene expression, thus mimicking loss-of-function mutation and enabling in vitro and in vivo gene function analysis. In this study, we used retroviral and lentiviral vectors to deliver small interfering RNAs and report high-efficiency silencing of a green fluorescent protein (GFP) trans gene and the stem cell-specific(More)
An enhancer element was identified in the virus Orgyia pseudotsugata multicapsid nuclear polyhedrosis virus (OpMNPV) that is located adjacent to the 3' end of the IE-2 gene and 5' to an open reading frame that codes for a predicted protein that has 37% homology to the AcMNPV PE-38 gene. The OpMNPV enhancer (OpE) consists of a 66-bp element that is tandemly(More)
The cell phenotypes of senescence and crisis operate to circumscribe the proliferative potential of mammalian cells, suggesting that both are capable of operating in vivo to suppress the formation of tumors. The key regulators of these phenotypes are the telomeres, which are located at the ends of chromosomes and operate to protect the chromosomes from(More)
The IE-1 gene of Orgyia pseudotsugata multicapsid nuclear polyhedrosis virus (OpMNPV) was mapped between 95.7 and 97.1 map units on the viral genome. Sequence analysis of the OpMNPV IE-1 gene (OpIE-1) identified an open reading frame that coded for a predicted protein of 560 amino acids with a molecular weight of 64,775. Transcriptional analysis of(More)