Departments & Divisions
Currently seeking M.S. & Ph.D. students
Alan Y Sakaguchi, Ph.D.
Department of Cell Systems and Anatomy
Dr. Alan Sakaguchi is a lecturer and laboratory instructor in Gross Anatomy and Embryology for 1st-year medical students and in Gross Anatomy for the Occupational Therapy program. He directs the section on In vitro Cell Growth and Transfection for Core Course IV: Methods in Cell Biology. Dr. Sakaguchi currently serves on the Preclinical Promotions Committee in the School of Medicine.
My research interests include the role of telomeres in genome stability, cell growth regulation, oncogenesis, and human disease. Telomeres protect chromosome termini and prevent chromosome rearrangements, end-to-end fusion, and illegitimate recombination. The shortening of telomeres during replication of most normal somatic cells may function as a tumor suppressor mechanism that prevents the immortalization step in carcinogenesis, and might also contribute to human diseases such as Werner syndrome, ataxia telangiectasia, and dyskeratosis congenita. We are interested in the roles of telomere binding proteins in telomere metabolism and chromosome stability. Our research focuses on mammalian TRF1 and TRF2 proteins that bind the double-stranded vertebrate telomere repeat (TTAGGG) and the KU70 protein which has a dual role in DNA repair and telomere stability. TRF1 can regulate telomere length through poorly understood mechanisms whereas TRF2 prevents end-to-end telomere fusions which may result from attrition of telomeric DNA. We have identified new cDNA isoforms of human and mouse TRF proteins and are testing the hypothesis that they carry out distinct functions in telomere regulation, perhaps via an altered interaction with other telomere-associated proteins such as KU70. We employ RNA-ligation mediated RACE to isolation new TRF isoforms, and epitope tagging with a green fluorescent protein to track the locations of isoforms in cells. We are also testing the hypothesis that TRF2 protein, which is over-expressed in over 2/3 of human breast carcinomas, may promote carcinogenesis in this human disease.
- 1981 - Postdoctoral Training - Human Molecular Genetics - Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School & MIT
- 1978 - PhD - Microbiology - University of Southern California
- 1972 - MS - Microbiology - California State University at Los Angeles
- 1969 - BA - Bacteriology - University of California at Los Angeles
- Postdoctoral Training - Somatic Cell Genetics, Postdoc Res Affiliate IV - Roswell Park Memorial Institute
- 1/1990 - Associate Professor - University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Cellular & Structural Biology, San Antonio
Instruction & Training
- 12/2018 - 5/2020, Masters' Thesis Directed, UTHSCSA
Research & Grants
Funding Agency Title Telomere Gatekeepers Status Active Period 1/2005 - Present Role Principal Investigator Grant Detail
Tanner J, Sakaguchi A, Bartanuszova M, Ruparel N, Jackson J, Johnson L, Nation H, King T, Jethwa B, Bhattacharya A, and Sharma R. A three-dimensional model of the pterygopalatine fossa significantly enhances the learning experience; 2019 Jan. (Experimental Biology). Harmon D, Hankin M, Martindale J, Farias A, Cotter MM, Royer D, Topping D, Latacha K, Zumwalt A, Lisa Lopez, McNary T, Giannaris EL, Kar R, Alan Y Sakaguchi AY, Notebaert A. Essential Anatomy for Clerkships and Electives ? A Multi-Site Survey of Clinical Educators; 2019 Jan. (Experimental Biology).
Sakaguchi AY, Bartanuszova M, Williams EL, Moore CM. The Anterior Abdominal Wall: A Self-Study Paper Model MedEdPORTAL 2014 Sep;.