Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology

Connie Nugent

Sample Profile Graphic
Phone: (951) 827-2383
Fax: (951) 827-2996
Office Location: 2107 Biological Sciences
Office Hours:
Email: connie.nugent@ucr.edu

Constance I. Nugent

Associate Professor of Cell Biology


Maintaining genomes as sets of linear chromosomes poses intrinsic challenges for the cell. The first is that chromosome ends must be protected from degradation and fusion with other chromosome ends. Telomeres, the natural chromosome ends, are typically composed of repetitive sequence tracts complexed into specialized chromatin structures. This terminal structure may mediate the protective function of telomeres. Linear chromosomes also pose a problem for cells that divide indefinitely, such as germ cells, in that their terminal sequences need to be duplicated without a loss of genetic material. The enyzme telomerase, a reverse transcriptase, functions to extend the repetitive sequence unit, facilitating complete terminal replication and a solution for this challenge. Regulation of the ability of telomerase to maintain telomeres is one way to affect the lifespan of cells.

My laboratory is interested in understanding the fundamental cellular processes responsible for maintaining telomeres, using the yeast S. cerevisiae as a model system. Questions we are focusing on include: How is the activity of telomerase regulated and coordinated with the DNA replication machinery? How do cells distinguish telomeres from DNA double strand breaks that are in need of repair? Current projects employ genetic, molecular and biochemical approaches for functional analysis of proteins involved in telomere replication.


  • Chandra, A., Hughes, T.R., Nugent, C.I. and Lundblad, V. (2001) Cdc13 both positively and negatively regulates telomere replication. Genes Dev. 15: 404-414.
  • Nugent, C.I., Bosco, G., Ross, L., Evans, S.K., Salinger, A.P., Moore, J.K., Haber, J.E., and V. Lundblad. (1998) Telomere maintenance is dependent on activities required for end repair of double strand breaks. Curr. Biol. 8: 657-660.
  • Nugent, C.I. and V. Lundblad (1998) The telomerase reverse transcriptase: components and regulation. Genes Dev. 12: 1073-1085.
  • Evans, S.K., Sistrunk, M.L., Nugent, C.I. and V. Lundblad (1998) Telomerase, Ku, and telomeric silencing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Chromosoma 107: 352-358.
  • Hughes, T.R., Morris, D.K., Salinger, A., Walcott, N., Nugent, C.I., and V. Lundblad (1997) The role of the EST genes in yeast telomere replication. Ciba Found Symp 211:41-47.
  • Nugent, C.I., Hughes, T.R., Lue, N.F. and V. Lundblad. (1996) Cdc13p: a single-strand telomeric DNA-binding protein with a dual role in yeast telomere maintenance. Science 274: 249-252.

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Career OpportunitiesUCR Libraries
Campus StatusDirections to UCR

Department Information

Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology
2111 Biological Sciences Bldg.

Manuela Martins-Green: Chair of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology
Tel: (951) 827-2831
Fax: (951) 827-3087
E-mail: manuela.martins@ucr.edu