Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Cell Biol. 1996 Mar;16(3):1267-74.

New telomere formation coupled with site-specific chromosome breakage in Tetrahymena thermophila.

Author information

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington 98104, USA.


Programmed chromosome breakage occurs in many ciliated protozoa and is accompanied by efficient new telomere formation. In this study, we have investigated the relationship between programmed chromosome breakage and telomere formation in Tetrahymena thermophila. Using specially constructed DNA clones containing the breakage signal Cbs in transformation studies, we have determined the locations of telomere addition around the breakage sites. They occur at variable positions, over 90% of which are within a small region (less than 30 bp) starting 4 bp from Cbs. This distribution is independent of the nucleotide sequence in the region or of the orientation of Cbs. In five of six cases determined, these sites occur at or before a T, and in the remaining case, the site occurs at or before a G. When sequences devoid of G or T are placed in this region, telomere addition still occurs within the region to maintain a similar distance relationship with Cbs. This efficient and healing process appears to be associated specifically with Cbs-directed breakage, since it does not occur when DNA ends are generated by restriction enzyme digestion. These results suggest a strong mechanistic link between chromosome breakage and telomere formation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center