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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2001 Oct;4(5):558-64.

The circle is broken: telomere resolution in linear replicons.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Western Ontario, London, Ont. N6A 5C1, Canada.


Linear DNA molecules with covalently closed hairpin ends (telomeres) exist in a wide variety of organisms. Telomere resolution, a DNA breakage and reunion reaction in which replicated telomeres are processed into hairpin ends, is now known to be a common theme in poxviruses, Borrelia burgdorferi and Escherichia coli phage N15. Candidate proteins that may perform this reaction have recently been identified in poxviruses. Moreover, the first purification and definitive identification of a telomere resolvase has been reported for phage N15. This protein is the prototype for a new class of DNA enzyme that performs a unique reaction. Advances in the study of telomere resolution in poxviruses, B. burgdorferi and E. coli phage N15 are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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