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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2019 Jun 12;55:185-193. doi: 10.1016/j.sbi.2019.04.009. [Epub ahead of print]

Telomerase structures and regulation: shedding light on the chromosome end.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA; California Institute for Quantitative Biology (QB3), University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA; Molecular Biophysics and Integrative Bio-Imaging Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA; Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. Electronic address: knguyen289@berkeley.edu.
2
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA; California Institute for Quantitative Biology (QB3), University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
3
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA; California Institute for Quantitative Biology (QB3), University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA; Molecular Biophysics and Integrative Bio-Imaging Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.

Abstract

During genome replication, telomerase adds repeats to the ends of chromosomes to balance the loss of telomeric DNA. The regulation of telomerase activity is of medical relevance, as it has been implicated in human diseases such as cancer, as well as in aging. Until recently, structural information on this enzyme that would facilitate its clinical manipulation had been lacking due to telomerase very low abundance in cells. Recent cryo-EM structures of both the human and Tetrahymena thermophila telomerases have provided a picture of both the shared catalytic core of telomerase and its interaction with species-specific factors that play different roles in telomerase RNP assembly and function. We discuss also progress toward an understanding of telomerase RNP biogenesis and telomere recruitment from recent studies.

PMID:
31202023
DOI:
10.1016/j.sbi.2019.04.009

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