Telomeres and DNA double-strand breaks

Ever the twain shall meet?

S. M. Bailey, Michael Cornforth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Telomeres were first recognized as a bona fide constituent of the chromosome based on their inability to rejoin with broken chromosome ends produced by radiation. Today, we recognize two essential and interrelated properties of telomeres. They circumvent the so-called end-replication problem faced by genomes composed of linear chromosomes, which erode from their termini with each successive cell division. Equally vital is the end-capping function that telomeres provide, which is necessary to deter chromosome ends from illicit recombination. This latter property is critical in facilitating the distinction between the naturally occurring DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) found at chromosome ends (i.e., telomeres) and DSBs produced by exogenous agents. Here we discuss, in a brief historical narrative, key discoveries that led investigators to appreciate the unique properties of telomeres in protecting chromosome ends, and the consequences of telomere dysfunction, particularly as related to recombination involving radiation-induced DSBs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2956-2964
Number of pages9
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Volume64
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2007

Fingerprint

Double-Stranded DNA Breaks
Telomere
Chromosomes
DNA
Genetic Recombination
Radiation
Cell Division
Genes
Cells
Research Personnel
Genome

Keywords

  • DNA repair
  • Double-strand breaks
  • Ionizing radiation
  • Telomeres

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Telomeres and DNA double-strand breaks : Ever the twain shall meet? / Bailey, S. M.; Cornforth, Michael.

In: Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, Vol. 64, No. 22, 11.2007, p. 2956-2964.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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