Telomere Length Regulation Unit
Telomeres are repetitive sequences of DNA bound to a complex of telomere-specific proteins that function to cap the ends of linear chromosomes, thus maintaining chromosome stability. Telomeric DNA is gradually eroded with each round of cell division, limiting the number of times a normal cell can divide. Telomere maintenance is vital for the continued growth of tumour cells and occurs either by activation of the enzyme telomerase, or by recombination-mediated telomere replication referred to as alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT).
The Pickett Lab focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying telomere length regulation and how telomere length can be manipulated to control cell division.