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F1000 Biol Rep. 2009;1:90. doi: 10.3410/B1-90. Epub 2009 Nov 26.

Telomeric RNAs as a novel player in telomeric integrity.


Telomeres protect linear chromosome ends from being recognized and processed as double-strand breaks by DNA repair activities. This protective function of telomeres is essential for chromosome stability. Until recently, telomeres have been considered to be transcriptionally silent. This notion was overturned in a series of recent papers that describe the existence of telomeric repeat-containing RNAs (TERRAs) in vertebrates and yeast. Here, we summarize recent developments in this field of telomere research, in particular the possible mechanisms that control TERRA expression.

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