Student Information Training Programs Research Centers

Pharmacology & Toxicology

Research and Graduate Training Faculty


Vasquez, Karen, Ph.D.
Professor of Pharm./Tox.
Doluisio Regents Professor
PHR 5.224B & DPRI 2.214

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Original Research Articles

  1. Bacolla A, Wang G, Jain A, Chuzhanova NA, Cer RZ, Collins JR, Cooper DN, Bohr VA, Vasquez KM. Non-B DNA-forming Sequences and WRN Deficiency Independently Increase the Frequency of Base Substitution in Human Cells. J Biol Chem. 2011 Mar 25;286(12):10017-26. Epub 2011 Feb 1. PMID: 21285356.

  2. Jain A, Bacolla A, Chakraborty P, Grosse F, Vasquez KM. Human DHX9 helicase unwinds triple-helical DNA structures.Biochemistry. 2010 Aug 24;49(33):6992-9. PMID: 20669935.

  3. Kha DT, Wang G, Natrajan N, Harrison L, Vasquez KM. Pathways for double-strand break repair in genetically unstable Z-DNA-forming sequences. J Mol Biol. 2010 May 14;398(4):471-80. Epub 2010 Mar 27. PMID: 20347845

  4. Powell KL, Boulware S, Thames H, Vasquez KM, MacLeod MC. 2,6-Dithiopurine blocks toxicity and mutagenesis in human skin cells exposed to sulfur mustard analogues, 2-chloroethyl ethyl sulfide and 2-chloroethyl methyl sulfide. Chem Res Toxicol. 2010 Mar 15;23(3):497-503.PMID: 20196133

  5. Zhao J, Bacolla A, Wang G, Vasquez KM. Non-B DNA structure-induced genetic instability and evolution. Cell Mol Life Sci, 9/1/2009. e-Pub 9/1/2009. PMID: 19727556.

  6. Liu Y, Nairn RS, Vasquez KM. Targeted gene conversion induced by triplex-directed psoralen interstrand crosslinks in mammalian cells. Nucleic Acids Res, 9/2/2009. e-Pub 9/2/2009. PMID: 19726585.

  7. Lange SS, Reddy MC, Vasquez KM. Human HMGB1 directly facilitates interactions between nucleotide excision repair proteins on triplex-directed psoralen interstrand crosslinks. DNA Repair (Amst) 8(7):865-72, 7/2009. e-Pub 5/14/2009. PMCID: PMC2700216.

  8. Kolb J, Chuzhanova NA, Hogel J, Vasquez KM, Cooper DN, Bacolla A, Kehrer-Sawatzki H. Cruciform-forming inverted repeats appear to have mediated many of the microinversions that distinguish the human and chimpanzee genomes. Chromosome Res. e-Pub 5/28/2009. PMID: 19475482.

  9. Zhao J, Jain A, Iyer RR, Modrich PL, Vasquez KM. Mismatch repair and nucleotide excision repair proteins cooperate in the recognition of DNA interstrand crosslinks. Nucleic Acids Res. e-Pub 5/25/2009. PMID: 19468048.

  10. Betous R, Rey L, Wang G, Piliare MJ, Puget N, Selves J, Biard DS, Shin-ya K, Vasquez KM, Cazaux C, Hoffman JS. Role of TLS DNA polymerases eta and kappa in processing naturally occurring structured DNA in human cells. Mol Carcinog 48(4):369-78, 4/2009. PMCID: PMC2696892.

  11. Wang G, Carbajal S, Vijg J, DiGiovanni J, Vasquez KM. DNA structure-induced genomic instability in vivo. J Natl Cancer Inst 100(24):1815-7, 12/2008. e-Pub 12/9/2008. PMCID: PMC2639325.

  12. Christensen LA, Wang H, Van Houten B, Vasquez KM. Efficient processing of TFO-directed psoralen DNA interstrand crosslinks by the UvrABC nuclease. Nucleic Acids Res 36(22):7136-45, 12/2008. e-Pub 11/7/2008. PMCID: PMC2602775.

  13. Wu Q, Vasquez KM. Human MLH1 protein participates in genomic damage checkpoint signaling in response to DNA interstrand crosslinks, while MSH2 functions in DNA repair. PLoS Genet 4(9):e1000189, 9/2008. PMCID: PMC2526179.

  14. Liu Y, Nairn RS, Vasquez KM. Processing of triplex-directed psoralen DNA interstrand crosslinks by recombination mechanisms. Nucleic Acids Res 36(14):4680-8, 8/2008. PMCID: PMC2504320.

  15. Lange SS, Mitchell DL, Vasquez KM. High mobility group protein B1 enhances DNA repair and chromatin modification after DNA damage. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 105(30):10320-5, 7/2008. PMCID: PMC2492475.

  16. Ditlevson JV, Tornaletti S, Belotserkovskii BP, Teijeiro V, Wang G, Vasquez KM, Hanawalt PC. Inhibitory effect of a short Z-DNA forming sequence on transcription elongation by T7 RNA polymerase. Nucleic Acids Res 36(10):3163-70, 6/2008. PMCID: PMC2425487.

  17. Benfield AP, Macleod MC, Liu Y, Wu Q, Wensel TG, Vasquez KM. Targeted generation of DNA strand breaks using pyrene-conjugated triplex-forming oligonucleotides. Biochemistry 47(23):6279-88, 6/2008. PMCID: PMC2662494.

  18. Belotserkovskii BP, di Silva E, Tornaletti S, Wang G, Vasquez KM, Hanawalt PC. A triplex-forming sequence from the human c-Myc promoter interferes with DNA transcription. J Biol Chem 282(44):32433-41, 11/2007. PMID: 17785457.

  19. Wu Q, Kiguchi K, Kawamoto T, Ajiki T, Traag J, Carbajal S, Ruffino L, Thames H, Wistuba I, Thomas M, Vasquez KM, DiGiovanni J. Therapeutic effect of rapamycin on gallbladder cancer in a transgenic mouse model. Cancer Res 67(8):3694-800, 4/2007. PMID: 17440093.

  20. Wu Q, Gaddis SS, MacLeod MC, Walborg EF, Thames HD, DiGiovanni J, Vasquez KM. High affinity triplex-forming oligonucleotide target sequences in mammalian genomes. Mol Carcinog 46(1):15-23, 1/2007. PMID: 17013831.

  21. Christensen LA, Finch RA, Booker AJ, Vasquez KM. Targeting oncogenes to improve breast cancer chemotherapy. Cancer Res 66(8):4089-94, 4/2006. PMID: 16618728.

  22. Wang G, Christensen LA, Vasquez KM. Z-DNA-forming sequences generate large-scale deletions in mammalian cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 103(8):2677-82, 2/2006. PMCID: PMC1413824.

  23. Gaddis SS, Wu Q, Thames HD, DiGiovanni J, Wahlborg EF, MacLeod MC, Vasquez KM. A web-based search engine for triplex-forming oligonucleotide target sequences. Oligonucleotides 16(2):196-201, 2006. PMID: 16764543.

  24. Lu X, Zhang N, Vasquez K, Barton M, Legerski R. Repair of psoralen interstrand cross-links in Xenopus laevis egg extracts is highly mutagenic. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 336(1):69-75, 10/2005. PMID: 16125670.

  25. Wu Q, Christensen LA, Legerski RJ, Vasquez KM. Mismatch repair participates in error-free processing of DNA interstrand crosslinks in human cells. EMBO Rep 6(8):551-7, 6/2005. PMCID: PMC1369090.

  26. Reddy MC, Christensen J, Vasquez KM. Interplay between human high mobility group protein 1 and replication protein A on psoralen-cross-linked DNA. Biochemistry 44(11):4188-95, 3/2005. PMID: 15766246.

  27. Thoma BS, Wakasugi M, Christensen J, Reddy MC, Vasquez KM. Human XPC-hHR23B interacts with XPA-RPA in the recognition of triplex-directed psoralen DNA interstrand crosslinks. Nucleic Acids Res 33(9):2993-3001, 2005. PMCID: PMC1140082.

  28. Wang G, Vasquez KM. Naturally occurring H-DNA-forming sequences are mutagenic in mammalian cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 101(37):13448-53, 9/2004. PMCID: PMC518777.

  29. Christensen LA, Conti CJ, Fischer SM, Vasquez KM. Mutation frequencies in murine keratinocytes as a function of carcinogenic status. Mol Carcinog 40(2):122-33, 6/2004. PMID: 15170817.

  30. Rogers FA, Vasquez KM, Egholm M, Glazer PM. Site-directed recombination via bifunctional PNA-DNA conjugates. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 99(26):16695-700, 12/2002. PMCID: PMC139206.

  31. Vasquez KM, Christensen J, Li L, Finch RA, Glazer PM. Human XPA and RPA DNA repair proteins participate in specific recognition of triplex-induced helical distortions. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 99(9):5848-53, 4/2002. PMCID: PMC122865.

  32. Vasquez KM, Dagle JM, Weeks DL, Glazer PM. Chromosome targeting at short polypurine sites by cationic triplex-forming oligonucleotides. J Biol Chem 276(42):38536-41, 10/2001. PMID: 11504712.

  33. Vasquez KM, Marburger K, Intody Z, Wilson JH. Manipulating the mammalian genome by homologous recombination. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 98(15):8403-10, 7/2001. PMCID: PMC37450.

  34. Datta HJ, Chan PP, Vasquez KM, Gupta RC, Glazer PM. Triplex-induced recombination in human cell-free extracts. Dependence on XPA and HsRad51. J Biol Chem 276(21):18018-23, 5/2001. PMID: 11278954.

  35. Vasquez KM, Narayanan L, Glazer PM. Specific mutations induced by triplex-forming oligonucleotides in mice. Science 290(5491):530-3, 10/2000. PMID: 11039937.

  36. Finch RA, Liu M, Grill SP, Rose WC, Loomis R, Vasquez KM, Cheng Y, Sartorelli AC. Triapine (3-aminopyridine-2-carboxaldehyde- thiosemicarbazone): A potent inhibitor of ribonucleotide reductase activity with broad spectrum antitumor activity. Biochem Pharmacol 59(8):983-91, 4/2000. PMID: 10692563.

  37. Perkins BD, Wensel TG, Vasquez KM, Wilson JH. Psoralen photo-cross-linking by triplex-forming oligonucleotides at multiple sites in the human rhodopsin gene. Biochemistry 38(39):12850-9, 9/1999. PMID: 10504255.

  38. Vasquez KM, Wang G, Havre PA, Glazer PM. Chromosomal mutations induced by triplex-forming oligonucleotides in mammalian cells. Nucleic Acids Res 27(4):1176-81, 2/1999. PMCID: PMC148300.

  39. Perkins BD, Wilson JH, Wensel TG, Vasquez KM. Triplex targets in the human rhodopsin gene. Biochemistry 37(32):11315-22, 8/1998. PMID: 9698379.

  40. Vasquez KM Wilson JH. Triplex-directed modification of genes and gene activity. Trends Biochem Sci 23(1):4-9, 1998. PMID: 9478127.

  41. Vasquez KM, Wensel TG, Hogan ME, Wilson JH. High-efficiency triple-helix-mediated photo-cross-linking at a targeted site within a selectable mammalian gene. Biochemistry 35(33):10712-9, 8/1996. PMID: 8718860.

  42. Vasquez KM, Wensel TG, Hogan ME, Wilson JH. High-affinity triple helix formation by synthetic oligonucleotides at a site within a selectable mammalian gene. Biochemistry 34(21):7243-51, 5/1995. PMID: 7766635.

  43. Zendegui JG, Vasquez KM, Tinsley JH, Kessler DJ, Hogan ME. In vivo stability and kinetics of absorption and disposition of 3' phosphopropyl amine oligonucleotides. Nucleic Acids Res 20(2):307-14, 1/1992. PMCID: PMC310371.

  44. . Avery TL, Finch RA, Vasquez KM, Radparvar S, Hanna NB, Revankar GR, Robins RK. Chemotherapeutic characterization in mice of 2-amino-9-beta-D-ribofuranosylpurine-6-sulfinamide (sulfinosine), a novel purine nucleoside with unique antitumor properties. Cancer Res 50(9):2625-30, 5/1990. PMID: 2328488.

  45. Finch RA, Vasquez KM, Hanna NB, Revankar GR, Robins RK, Avery TL. Oxidation of 2-amino-9-beta-D-ribofuranosylpurine-6-sulfenamide to the corresponding 6-sulfonamide facilitates changes in biologic characterization that include activity against thiopurine-refractory experimental leukemia. Cancer Lett 50(1):63-70, 4/1990. PMID: 2322928.


Invited Articles

  1. Vasquez KM. Targeting and processing of site-specific DNA interstrand crosslinks. Environ Mol Mutagen. 2010 Mar 1. PMID: 201961332.

  2. Lange SS, Vasquez KM. HMGB1: The jack-of-all-trades protein is a master DNA repair mechanic. Mol Carcinog 48(7):571-80, 7/2009. PMID: 19360789.

  3. Wang G, Zhao J, Vasquez KM. Methods to determine DNA structural alterations and genetic instability. Methods 48(1):54-62, 5/2009. e-Pub 2/24/2009. PMCID: PMC2693251.

  4. Vasquez KM, Hanawalt PC. Intrinsic genomic instability from naturally occurring DNA structures: An introduction to the special issue. Mol Carcinog 48(4):271-2, 4/2009. PMID: 19306307.

  5. Wang G, Vasquez KM. Models for chromosomal replication-independent non-B DNA structure-induced genetic instability. Mol Carcinog 48(4):286-98, 1/2009. e-Pub 2009. PMID: 19123200.

  6. Jain A, Wang G, Vasquez KM. DNA triple helices: biological consequences and therapeutic potential. Biochimie 90(8):1117-30, 8/2008. PMCID: PMCPMC2586808.

  7. Wang G, Vasquez KM. Z-DNA, an active element in the genome. Front Biosci 12:4424-38, 2007. PMID: 17485386.

  8. Wang G, Vasquez KM. Non-B DNA structure-induced genetic instability. Mutat Res 598(1-2):103-19, 6/2006. PMID: 16516932.

  9. Reddy MC, Vasquez KM. Repair of genome destabilizing lesions. Radiat Res 164(4 Pt 1):345-56, 10/2005. PMID: 16187737.

  10. Thoma BS, Vasquez KM. Critical DNA damage recognition functions of XPC-hHR23B and XPA-RPA in nucleotide excision repair. Mol Carcinog 38(1):1-13, 9/2003. PMID: 12949838.

  11. Vasquez KM, Glazer PM. Triplex-forming oligonucleotides: principles and applications. Q Rev Biophys 35(1):89-107, 2/2002. PMID: 11997982.

  12. Vasquez KM, Wilson JH. Triplex-directed site-specific genome modification. Methods Mol Biol 133:183-200, 2000. PMID: 10561839.

Book Chapters

  1. Wilson JH Vasquez KM. Gene targeting by homologous recombination. In: Encyclopedia of the Human Genome. Encyclopedia of the Human Genome, 2003.

  2. Vasquez KM, Wilson JH. Antigene technology. In: Encyclopedia of Molecular Medicine. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.,, 2001.

  3. Vasquez KM, Glazer PM. DNA repair mechanisms. In: McGraw-Hill 2000 Yearbook of Science & Technology. McGraw-Hill Publishers,1999.

  4. Vasquez KM, Glazer PM. Genome modifications by triplex-forming oligonucleotides. In: Triple Helix Forming Oligonucleotides: Developments in Antisense Research. Kluwar Academic Publishers, 1998.

  5. Vasquez KM, Wilson JH. Triplex-directed site-specific genome modification. In: Gene Targeting Protocols. Humana Press, 1996.

More information about Dr. Vasquez
> Education and Training
> Selected Publications
> Lab
> Return to Vasquez Home

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Last Reviewed: April 6, 2011

Division Information

Mailing Address:
Pharmacology & Toxicology
College of Pharmacy
The University of Texas
at Austin
107 W. Dean Keeton
Stop C0875
Austin, TX, USA

Email Address: pharmtox

Phone: 512-471-5158

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