Agnel Sfeir

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Agnel Sfeir, D.Phil.

Assistant Professor;
Departments of Cell Biology (Cell Biology) and Skirball (Skirball)

Contact Info

540 First Avenue
Floor 4 Room Lab 3
Skirball Institute
New York, NY 10016

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Research Summary

The linearity of chromosomes creates two major problems for eukaryotic cells: the end replication problem and the end protection problem. The former stems from the inherent inability of the replication machinery to fully duplicate linear templates. The latter refers to the propensity of linear chromosome ends to be recognized as DNA double stranded breaks. To surmount both problems, cells use telomeres, the specific nucleoprotein complexes that are essential to ensure genomic stability and promote cellular survival. In mammalian cells, telomeres consist of long tracts of repetitive DNA sequences (TTAGGG) that are bound by a specialized six-subunit protein complex termed shelterin. Telomeres are replenished by telomerase, a reverse transcriptase that is active in the germ line and during early embryonic development. Normal human somatic cells lack the activity of telomerase and gradually loose telomeric repeats during progressive division cycles until they ultimately undergo cellular senescence. Our lab is mainly interested in understanding the basic mechanism that leads to telomere length resetting. In particular, we rely on nuclear reprograming as a platform to identify factors that regulate telomere length. A second area of interest to us is to understand how telomere dynamics impact stem cell function and leads to tumorigenesis, using the mouse as a model organism.

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All data from NYU Health Sciences Library Faculty Bibliography — -


Nontelomeric Role for Rap1 in Regulating Metabolism and Protecting against Obesity
Yeung, Frank; Ramirez, Cristina M; Mateos-Gomez, Pedro A; Pinzaru, Alexandra; Ceccarini, Giovanni; Kabir, Shaheen; Fernandez-Hernando, Carlos; Sfeir, Agnel
2013 Jun;3(6):1847-1856, Cell reports
— id: 415092, year: 2013, vol: 3, page: 1847, stat: Journal Article,

53BP1 regulates DSB repair using Rif1 to control 5' end resection
Zimmermann, Michal; Lottersberger, Francisca; Buonomo, Sara B; Sfeir, Agnel; de Lange, Titia
2013 Feb;339(6120):700-704, Science
— id: 232802, year: 2013, vol: 339, page: 700, stat: Journal Article,

Telomeres at a glance
Sfeir, Agnel
2012 Sep;125(Pt 18):4173-4178, Journal of cell science
— id: 185922, year: 2012, vol: 125, page: 4173, stat: Journal Article,

Removal of shelterin reveals the telomere end-protection problem
Sfeir, Agnel; de Lange, Titia
2012 May;336(6081):593-597, Science
— id: 166976, year: 2012, vol: 336, page: 593, stat: Journal Article,

Rap1-independent telomere attachment and bouquet formation in mammalian meiosis
Scherthan, Harry; Sfeir, Agnel; de Lange, Titia
2011 Apr;120(2):151-157, Chromosoma
— id: 149045, year: 2011, vol: 120, page: 151, stat: Journal Article,

Taking apart Rap1: an adaptor protein with telomeric and non-telomeric functions
Kabir, Shaheen; Sfeir, Agnel; de Lange, Titia
2010 Oct 15;9(20):4061-4067, Cell cycle
— id: 149046, year: 2010, vol: 9, page: 4061, stat: Journal Article,

Loss of Rap1 induces telomere recombination in the absence of NHEJ or a DNA damage signal
Sfeir, Agnel; Kabir, Shaheen; van Overbeek, Megan; Celli, Giulia B; de Lange, Titia
2010 Mar 26;327(5973):1657-1661, Science
— id: 149047, year: 2010, vol: 327, page: 1657, stat: Journal Article,

Mammalian telomeres resemble fragile sites and require TRF1 for efficient replication
Sfeir, Agnel; Kosiyatrakul, Settapong T; Hockemeyer, Dirk; MacRae, Sheila L; Karlseder, Jan; Schildkraut, Carl L; de Lange, Titia
2009 Jul 10;138(1):90-103, Cell
— id: 149049, year: 2009, vol: 138, page: 90, stat: Journal Article,

Telomere extension occurs at most chromosome ends and is uncoupled from fill-in in human cancer cells
Zhao, Yong; Sfeir, Agnel J; Zou, Ying; Buseman, Christen M; Chow, Tracy T; Shay, Jerry W; Wright, Woodring E
2009 Aug 7;138(3):463-475, Cell
— id: 149048, year: 2009, vol: 138, page: 463, stat: Journal Article,

The involvement of the Mre11/Rad50/Nbs1 complex in the generation of G-overhangs at human telomeres
Chai, Weihang; Sfeir, Agnel J; Hoshiyama, Hirotoshi; Shay, Jerry W; Wright, Woodring E
2006 Feb;7(2):225-230, EMBO reports
— id: 149050, year: 2006, vol: 7, page: 225, stat: Journal Article,

POT1 protects telomeres from a transient DNA damage response and determines how human chromosomes end
Hockemeyer, Dirk; Sfeir, Agnel J; Shay, Jerry W; Wright, Woodring E; de Lange, Titia
2005 Jul 20;24(14):2667-2678, EMBO journal
— id: 149052, year: 2005, vol: 24, page: 2667, stat: Journal Article,

Telomere-end processing the terminal nucleotides of human chromosomes
Sfeir, Agnel J; Chai, Weihang; Shay, Jerry W; Wright, Woodring E
2005 Apr 1;18(1):131-138, Molecular cell
— id: 149053, year: 2005, vol: 18, page: 131, stat: Journal Article,

Fine-tuning the chromosome ends: the last base of human telomeres
Sfeir, Agnel J; Shay, Jerry W; Wright, Woodring E
2005 Nov;4(11):1467-1470, Cell cycle
— id: 149051, year: 2005, vol: 4, page: 1467, stat: Journal Article,

Developmental expression patterns and regulation of connexins in the mouse mammary gland: expression of connexin30 in lactogenesis
Talhouk, Rabih S; Elble, Randolph C; Bassam, Rola; Daher, Mariam; Sfeir, Agnel; Mosleh, Lina Abi; El-Khoury, Hilda; Hamoui, Samar; Pauli, Bendicht U; El-Sabban, Marwan E
2005 Jan;319(1):49-59, Cell & tissue research
— id: 149054, year: 2005, vol: 319, page: 49, stat: Journal Article,

Does a sentinel or a subset of short telomeres determine replicative senescence?
Zou, Ying; Sfeir, Agnel; Gryaznov, Sergei M; Shay, Jerry W; Wright, Woodring E
2004 Aug;15(8):3709-3718, Molecular biology of the cell
— id: 149055, year: 2004, vol: 15, page: 3709, stat: Journal Article,

Vps9p CUE domain ubiquitin binding is required for efficient endocytic protein traffic
Davies, Brian A; Topp, Justin D; Sfeir, Agnel J; Katzmann, David J; Carney, Darren S; Tall, Gregory G; Friedberg, Andrew S; Deng, Li; Chen, Zhijian; Horazdovsky, Bruce F
2003 May 30;278(22):19826-19833, Journal of biological chemistry
— id: 149057, year: 2003, vol: 278, page: 19826, stat: Journal Article,

ECM-induced gap junctional communication enhances mammary epithelial cell differentiation
El-Sabban, Marwan E; Sfeir, Agnel J; Daher, Myriam H; Kalaany, Nada Y; Bassam, Rola A; Talhouk, Rabih S
2003 Sep 1;116(Pt 17):3531-3541, Journal of cell science
— id: 149056, year: 2003, vol: 116, page: 3531, stat: Journal Article,