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Trends Biochem Sci. 2006 Feb;31(2):114-22. Epub 2006 Jan 6.

Telomere dynamics in genome stability.

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Department of Biochemistry, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.


The past several years have seen an increasing interest in telomere recombinational interactions that provide many functions in telomere capping, in telomere size homeostasis and in overcoming the catastrophic effects of telomerase deficiency. Several key recombination mechanisms have emerged from recent investigations. In the yeasts, these mechanisms include exchange between subtelomeric regions and telomere sequences, rapid telomere expansion and telomere deletion. These processes proceed by pathways that use both the cellular recombination machinery and novel mechanisms such as rolling circle replication. The insights gained from recent studies extend our understanding of similar processes in higher eukaryotes and suggest that the recombinational dynamics of telomeres have additional roles that contribute to genomic stability and instability.

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