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Front Oncol. 2013 Mar 7;3:46. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2013.00046. eCollection 2013.

Chromatin structure in telomere dynamics.

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1
Dipartimento di Biologia e Biotecnologie, Istituto Pasteur - Fondazione Cenci Bolognetti, Sapienza Università di Roma Rome, Italy.

Abstract

The establishment of a specific nucleoprotein structure, the telomere, is required to ensure the protection of chromosome ends from being recognized as DNA damage sites. Telomere shortening below a critical length triggers a DNA damage response that leads to replicative senescence. In normal human somatic cells, characterized by telomere shortening with each cell division, telomere uncapping is a regulated process associated with cell turnover. Nevertheless, telomere dysfunction has also been associated with genomic instability, cell transformation, and cancer. Despite the essential role telomeres play in chromosome protection and in tumorigenesis, our knowledge of the chromatin structure involved in telomere maintenance is still limited. Here we review the recent findings on chromatin modifications associated with the dynamic changes of telomeres from protected to deprotected state and their role in telomere functions.

KEYWORDS:

epigenetics; telomere; telomere dynamics; telomeric chromatin

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