Researcher Profile

Virginia A. Zakian, PhD

Harry C. Wiess Professor in the Life Sciences of Molecular Biology
Princeton University

103A Lewis Thomas Laboratory
Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544-1014

Phone: (609) 258-6770

Assistant: Carolynne Lewis-Arevalo
(609) 258-2933

Research Program Alignment

Membership Type: Full

Research Interests

  • Telomere biology and replication fork progression. Perturbation of either leads to genome instability of the type that can lead to cancer.

Selected Publications

Fachinetti D, Bermejo R, Cocito A, Minardi S, Katou Y, Kanoh Y, Shirahige K, Azvolinsky A, Zakian VA, and Foiani M. (2010) Replication termination at eukaryotic chromosomes is mediated by Top2 and occurs at genomic loci containing pausing elements. Mol Cell. 39: 595-605. (issue highlight) PMC3041477

Tuzon CT*, Wu Y*, Chan A, and Zakian VA. (2011) The S. cerevisiae telomerase subunit Est3 binds telomeres in a cell cycle and Est1 dependent manner and interacts directly with Est1 in vitro (*co-first authors) PLoS Genetics 7: e1002060. PMC3088721

Paeschke K, Capra JA, and Zakian VA. (2011) DNA replication through G-quadruplex motifs is promoted by the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Pif1 DNA helicase. Cell 145: 678-691. (highlighted in Nature Struc. Mol. Biol; Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology. PMC3129610

Bochman ML Judge C, and Zakian VA. (2011) The Pif1 family in prokaryotes: What are our helicases doing in your bacteria? Molec Biol Cell.22:1955-1959. PMC3113762

Hang LE, Liu X, Cheung I, Yang Y, and Zhao X. (2011). SUMOylation regulates telomere length homeostasis by targeting Cdc13. Nature Stuct. Molec. Biol. 18: 920-926 (I. Cheung was a post doc in my lab when she contributed to this story; my grant is acknowledged for funding support, but I declined to be a co-author.) PMID: 21743457.

Wu Y and Zakian VA. (2011) The telomeric Cdc13 protein interacts directly with the telomerase subunit Est1 to bring it to telomeric DNA ends in vitro. PNAS108: 20362-20369. PMC3251085

Chisholm KM, Aubert SD, Freese KP, Zakian VA, King M-C, and Welcsh PL. (2012) A genomewide screen for suppressors of Alu-mediated rearrangements reveals a role for PIF1. PLoS One. 7: e30748. PMC3276492

Webb CJ and Zakian VA. (2012). Schizosaccharomyces pombe Ccq1 and TER1 bind the 14-3-3-like domain of Est1, which promotes and stabilizes telomerase-telomere association. Genes Dev. 26: 82-91. PMC3258969

Sabouri N, McDonald K, Webb CJ, Cristea I, and Zakian VA. (2012) DNA replication through hard-to-replicate sites, including both highly transcribed RNA Pol II and Pol III genes, requires the S. pombe Pfh1 helicase. Genes Dev. 26: 581-593. PMC3315119 (commentary in Shimada K, Gasser SM. 2012 Curr Biol 22: R404-5 DNA replication: pif1 pulls the plug on stalled replication forks.)

Wellinger R and Zakian VA. (2012) Everything you ever wanted to know about S. cerevisiae telomeres: beginning to end. Genetics Society sponsored Yeast Book (editor in chief, A. Hinnebusch). Genetics191: 1073-1105 doi: 10.1534/genetics.111.137851

Zakian VA. (2012) Telomeres: the beginnings and ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. Exp Cell Res. 318: 1456-1460. PMC3372703

Zakian VA, Webb CJ, and Wu Y. (in preparation, 2012) solicited review on Telomeres and DNA Repair in DNA Repair and Mutagenesis CSHL Press (edited by Errol Friedberg, Steve Elledge, Tomas Lindahl, Alan Lehmann and Marco-Muzi-Falcone).

Bochman ML, Paeschke K, and Zakian VA. (2012) DNA secondary structures: stability and function of G-quadruplex structures. Nature Reviews Genetics 13: 770-780. PMID: 23032257

Phillips JA, Paeschke K, and Zakian VA. (submitted) The Pif1 DNA helicase inhibits the frequency and processivity of S. cerevisiae telomerase action and helps target telomerase to short telomeres.

Wu Y, DiMaggio Jr PA, Perlman DH, Zakian VA, and Garcia BA. (2012, in press) Novel phosphorylation sites in the S. cerevisiae Cdc13 protein reveal new targets for telomere length regulation. Proteome Research

* Paeschke K, *Bochman ML, Cejka P, Friedman KL, Kowalczykowski SC, and Zakian VA. (submitted) Pif1 helicases from bacteria to humans suppress genome instability at G-quadruplex DNA motifs

The content for this Research Profile is maintained by Paul Novembre (