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J Cell Biochem. 2006 Apr 1;97(5):904-15.

The significance of telomeric aggregates in the interphase nuclei of tumor cells.

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Manitoba Institute of Cell Biology, CancerCare Manitoba, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3E 0V9.


Telomeres are TTAGGG repetitive motifs found at the ends of vertebrate chromosomes. In humans, telomeres are protected by shelterin, a complex of six proteins (de Lange [2005] Genes Dev. 19: 2100-2110). Since (Müller [1938] Collecting Net. 13: 181-198; McClintock [1941] Genetics 26: 234-282), their function in maintaining chromosome stability has been intensively studied. This interest, especially in cancer biology, stems from the fact that telomere dysfunction is linked to genomic instability and tumorigenesis (Gisselsson et al. [2001] Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 98: 12683-12688; Deng et al. [2003] Genes Chromosomes Cancer 37: 92-97; DePinho and Polyak [2004] Nat. Genetics 36: 932-934; Meeker et al. [2004] Clin. Cancer Res. 10: 3317-3326). In the present overview, we will discuss the role of telomeres in genome stability, recent findings on three-dimensional (3D) changes of telomeres in tumor interphase nuclei, and outline future avenues of research.

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