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Matteo Longaretti

“I met R-loops for the first time during my master’s thesis, and since then, I have been fascinated by these structures and their regulation, especially in their role in genome maintenance and stability.”

Under normal conditions, RNase H2 removes RNA-DNA hybrids at normal-length telomeres. However, when telomeres become critically short, the ability of RNase H2 to localize to telomeres diminishes. This led to the formation of stable hybrids, which are essential for initiating homologous recombination (HR) at short telomeres. Overexpression of RNase H1, and its catalytically dead version, accelerates cell senescence and reduces telomeric recombination, suggesting that RNA-DNA hybrids, while promoting homologous recombination, must be transient. Deletion of RNase H2 results in slow cell senescence, but when RNase H1 is additionally deleted, senescence accelerates again. The hypothesis suggests that at short telomeres, hybrids accumulate due to the lack of RNase H2, and RNase H1 subsequently removes these hybrids. This idea is the focus of the project’s investigation.

I enjoy rock climbing, gardening, and storytelling.

2019 – 2021: Industrial Biotechnology, University of Milano-Bicocca.

2016 – 2019: Biotechnology, University of Milano-Bicocca.


work in progress...