Paeschke lab "one cannot plan for the unexpected" Aaron Klug
The Fate of Secondary DNA/RNA structures in biological processes
Secondary DNA or RNA structures are a curse or a blessing for the cell. It is known that DNA and RNA can fold into alternative structures which influence positively and negatively biological processes. However it is not clear how these alternative structures are regulated in vivo and how they challenge the genome. Our lab studies how G-quadruplex (G4) DNA and RNA structures form in living cells and which functions and relevance they have for cellular functions and pathways. In particular we study the impact of G4 for DNA repair, telomere maintenance and gene regulation. We aim to understand the importance and relevance of G4 structures for genome stability and set this into context with changes during stress and immune response as well as tumorigenesis. By combining of standard fundamental biochemical and molecular experiment with translational scientific approaches we aim to transfer our gained knowledge into clinical settings. The gained knowledge we will use to aid in diagnosis and prognosis of different types of cancers and will foster novel mechanistic models to characterize and target immune response after infection.