Laboratory of Telomere Research
Telomeres are special nucleoprotein structures at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes that are crucial for genome stability, and they are important regulators of cellular and organismal lifespan. Because of the inability of conventional DNA polymerase to fully replicate chromosome ends, telomere length shortens during organismal aging. It is known that short telomere length contributes to aging, and telomere shortening is accelerated by various stress factors, such as oxidative stress or emotional stress, however, exact mechanisms are unknown. Telomere length is maintained by special reverse transcriptase, called telomerase, which binds to chromosome ends and adds there new telomeric DNA.
Our research is aimed to contribute to fundamental knowledge about the role of telomeres and telomerase in regulation of lifespan and stress resistance, and our studies are performed on several insect species using molecular genetics, cytological and biochemical approaches.