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Genes Cells. 1998 Jul;3(7):405-13.

Meiotic telomeres: a matchmaker for homologous chromosomes.

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Kansai Advanced Research Center, Communications Research Laboratory, Kobe, Japan.


Telomeres, with their special structures and special schemes of synthesis, are essential for protecting the ends of eukaryotic linear chromosomes during cell proliferation. In addition to this basic function, the meiosis-specific functions of telomeres have long been inferred from the cytological observations of characteristic chromosome configurations in meiotic prophase. Recent studies in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe have provided deeper insights into the role of meiotic telomeres in the pairing of homologous chromosomes. Here I have summarized our current understanding of the meiotic behaviour of telomeres in S. pombe, and discuss the role of telomeres in meiosis.

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