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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1997 Dec;7(6):822-8.

Chromosome ends: all the same under their caps.

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  • 1Institut of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford UK.


The recent characterisation of subtelomeric regions from a variety of organisms from yeast to man has led to the realisation that all chromosome ends are similar in structure although maintenance of the terminus varies. The mosaic of repeats and proteins associated with telomeres has an architectural role which divides the genome into two domains, allowing for the adaptive use of the region as well as the evolution of non-telomerase-mediated telomere maintenance.

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