Genome Maintenance Mechanisms, Cancer and Aging
Genomic instability is a hallmark of cancers and age-related diseases. Our long-term goal is to understand how cells maintain genomic integrity to regulate lifespan and avoid tumorigenesis. Emerging evidence suggests that a variety of environmental factors and toxins damage DNA, leading to an arrest of the DNA replication fork, the actual site of DNA synthesis. Arrested replication forks are prone to collapse, posing serious threats to genomic integrity, suggesting that DNA replication problems are critical drivers of genomic instability that promotes aging and tumorigenesis.
The Noguchi Lab works with mammalian cells and fission yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe). Fission yeast is an exceptional model system for studying cell cycle control and genome maintenance mechanisms that are highly conserved amongst most eukaryotes, including humans. Our general approach defines principles and identifies important proteins in fission yeast and then determines whether human homologues of these proteins have related function using mammalian cell culture. Our current research projects include:
- Identify and investigate the mechanisms of DNA replication at difficult-to-replicate chromosomal regions.
- Investigate the mechanisms of alcohol-mediated genomic instability and esophageal carcinogenesis.
- Investigate the genetic mechanisms that govern lifespan extension by preserving genomic integrity.
Environmental factors or even our metabolism can cause DNA damage during DNA replication, leading to genomic instability, which is a hallmark of cancer and aging. Therefore, our research projects will provide a framework for guiding investigations that will greatly impact the biology of cancer and aging.
Dr. Noguchi is a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the director of the graduate program in Molecular & Cell Biology & Genetics at Drexel University College of Medicine. He also directs the Techniques in Molecular & Cellular Biology & Genetics and Cell Cycle & Apoptosis courses.
For more information, please visit the Noguchi faculty profile page or the Noguchi Lab Website.
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