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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2001 Apr;11(2):189-98.

Telomeric chromatin: replicating and wrapping up chromosome ends.

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  • 1University of Geneva, Switzerland.


Recent advances in our understanding of the specialized chromatin structure at telomeres, the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, have focused on three separate areas: replication of telomeres through the coordinated action of conventional DNA polymerases and the telomerase enzyme, protection of the chromosome end from DNA damage checkpoint sensors and DNA-repair processes, and the discovery of a novel deacetylase enzyme (Sir2p) required for the establishment and maintenance of telomeric heterochromatin. Although the number of proteins and the complexity of their interactions at telomeres continues to grow, a picture of at least some of the major players and mechanisms underlying telomere replication, end 'capping' and chromatin assembly is beginning to emerge.

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