Telomeres, the essential structures at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, are composed of G-rich DNA and asociated proteins. These structures are crucial for the integrity of the genome, because they protect chromosome ends from degradation and distinguish natural ends from chromosomal breaks. The complete replication of telomeres requires a telomere-dedicated reverse transcriptase called telomerase. Paradoxically, proteins that promote the very activities against which telomeres protect, namely DNA repair, recombination and checkpoint activation, are integral to both telomeric chromatin and telomere elongation. This review focuses on recent findings that shed light on the roles of ATM-like kinases and other checkpoint and repair proteins in telomere maintenance, replication and checkpoint signaling.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology