Send to

Choose Destination
Cell. 1991 Nov 15;67(4):823-32.

Developmentally programmed healing of chromosomes by telomerase in Tetrahymena.

Author information

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, San Francisco 94143.


Healing of a broken chromosome and in eukaryotes involves acquisition of a telomere. During macronuclear development in ciliated protozoans, germline chromosomes are fragmented into linear subchromosomes, whose ends are healed by de novo addition of telomeres. We showed previously that the ribonucleoprotein enzyme telomerase elongates preexisting telomeres by synthesizing one telomeric DNA strand, using a template sequence in the RNA moiety of the enzyme. By marking telomerase with a mutation in the telomerase RNA template, which causes synthesis of novel telomeric sequences, we now show that in the ciliate Tetrahymena, telomerase directly adds telomeric DNA onto nontelomeric sequences during developmentally controlled chromosome healing. Unexpectedly, one telomerase RNA template mutation converted telomerase from an enzyme that normally synthesizes precisely templated sequences to a less precise polymerase that sometimes synthesizes irregular telomeric repeats in vivo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center