Universitą degli studi di Pavia


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Vitelli research activity

Telomeric transcription in genome integrity maintenance and carcinogenesis.

The longstanding dogma that telomeres are transcriptionally inactive regions of the genome was overturned by the discovery of telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA). These non-coding RNA molecules have heterogeneous lengths, ranging from 100 nt to more than 9000 nt and are primarily generated by RNA Polymerase II-dependent transcription. Mounting evidence indicates that TERRA might sustain normal telomere homeostasis by functionally cross-talking with shelterin, the nucleoproteic complex protecting chromosome ends, as well as with telomerase, the enzyme responsible for the maintenance of the telomeric DNA. During my Master degree thesis I contributed to the isolation and characterization of subtelomeric CpG island promoters responsible for TERRA transcription. During my doctorate I will focus on study how TERRA promoters are regulated and determine the roles of TERRA in genomic integrity maintenance and carcinogenesis.
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