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Curr Biol. 2000 Apr 20;10(8):487-90.

Cell cycle restriction of telomere elongation.

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CEA/Saclay, Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, UMR5665 CNRS/ENSL, Service de Biochimie et de Génétique Moléculaire, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France.


Telomere elongation by telomerase balances the progressive shortening of chromosome ends due to the succession of replication cycles [1] [2]. Telomerase activity is regulated in vivo at its site of action by the telomere itself. In yeast and human cells, the mean telomere length is maintained at a constant value through a cis-inhibition of telomerase by factors specifically bound to the telomeric DNA [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]. Here, we address an unexplored aspect of telomerase regulation by testing the link between telomere dynamics and cell cycle progression in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We followed the elongation of an abnormally shortened telomere and observed that, like telomere shortening in the absence of telomerase, telomere elongation is linked to the succession of cell divisions. In cells progressing synchronously through the cell cycle, telomere elongation coincided with the time of telomere replication. On a minichromosome, a replication defect partially suppressed telomere elongation, suggesting a coupling between in vivo telomerase activity and conventional DNA replication.

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