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Nucleic Acids Res. 1992 Jun 25;20(12):3021-8.

Hoogsteen G-G base pairing is dispensable for telomere healing in yeast.

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Program in Molecular Biology, Sloan-Kettering Institute, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.


The G-rich strands of most eukaryotic telomeres are capable of forming highly folded structures in vitro, mediated, in part, through Hoogsteen G-G base pairing. The ability of most telomeres to form these structures has led to the suggestion that they play an important role in telomere addition. I have investigated this possibility in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae through the use of an in vivo assay that measures healing via poly(G1-3T) addition onto plasmid substrates containing synthetic telomeres. Synthetic telomere healing is a highly size- and sequence-specific process that allows the discrimination of telomeres of differing efficiency. Plasmids containing synthetic telomeres with differing abilities to form secondary structures were tested in this assay for healing in vivo. The results of this study demonstrate that telomeres incapable of forming Hoogsteen base pairs nonetheless serve as efficient substrates for poly(G1-3T) addition, indicating that intramolecular Hoogsteen G-G base pairing is not essential for this process.

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