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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Dec 7;96(25):14436-9.

Telomeres of polytene chromosomes in a ciliated protozoan terminate in duplex DNA loops.

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  • 1Laboratory of Virology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.


The end of a telomeric DNA sequence isolated from a polytene chromosome of a hypotrichous ciliate folds back and hybridizes with downstream telomeric sequence to form a t loop that is stable in the absence of protein and DNA cross-linking. The single-stranded, telomeric DNA sequence at the end of a macronuclear molecule does not form a t loop but, instead, is complexed with a heterodimeric, telomere-binding protein. Thus, two mechanisms for capping the ends of DNA molecules are used in the same cell.

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