July 2010

Meeting Theme: DNA Replication, Recombination and Repair

Next, Marlene Belfort (Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health) will describe bacterial group II introns, which are mobile retroelements, and the presumptive molecular ancestors of spliceosomal introns and target-primed retrotransposons. She will explain how group II introns interact in cooperation with their bacterial host to transpose under conditions of cellular stress. In contrast, in a nuclear environment, group II introns inhibit host gene expression, possibly accounting for their evolution into spliceosomal introns.

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Finally, Robert H. Silverman (Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic) will describe a newly discovered human retrovirus— xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus. XMRV was first detected in prostate cancer tissues from men with a deficiency in an innate immunity gene. XMRV infections focus interest on two major human diseases: prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Many different routes of genomic instability will be discussed in this thematic meeting, ranging from classical types of mutagenesis to more novel mobile genetic elements and the processing of non-B form DNA. The workshop will provide important insight into the molecular mechanisms of genomic instability. Harnessing these inherent cellular processes for gene therapy also is an exciting new development. Thus, technological innovation will be described with respect to genome manipulation, and new methodologies for mutation detection also will be discussed. We strongly encourage participation in the 3R’s workshop, as groundbreaking discoveries in the field will be presented and discussed.

Joann B. Sweasy (joann.sweasy@yale.edu) is a professor in the department of genetics at Yale University, and Marlene Belfort (belfort@wadsworth.org) is a research scientist at Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health and a professor of biomedical sciences at the State University of New York at Albany.

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