Telomere functions: Lessons from yeast

Virginia A. Zakian

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Telomeres are specialized DNA-protein structures that form the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. In yeast, loss of even a single telomere causes a prolonged, but transitory, cell-cycle arrest. During this arrest, many broken chromosomes acquire a new telomere by one of three pathways, although at the cost of a partial loss of heterozygosity. In addition, a substantial fraction of the chromosomes lacking a telomere is lost, which generates an aneuploid cell. In these cases, the broken chromosome is usually replicated and segregated for ten or more cell divisions in unstable form. Extrapolation from yeast suggests that the gradual loss of telomeric DNA that accompanies ageing in humans may initiate the kinds of chromosomal rearrangements and genetic changes that are associated with tummorigenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-33
Number of pages5
JournalTrends in Cell Biology
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cell Biology

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