Telomere structure, replication and length maintenance

K. Muniyappa, K. Mary Kironmai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Telomeres are the termini of linear eukaryotic chromosomes consisting of tandem repeats of DNA and proteins that bind to these repeat sequences. Telomeres ensure the complete replication of chromosome ends, impart protection to ends from nucleolytic degradation, end-to-end fusion, and guide the localization of chromosomes within the nucleus. In addition, a combination of genetic, biochemical, and molecular biological approaches have implicated key roles for telomeres in diverse cellular processes such as regulation of gene expression, cell division, cell senescence, and cancer. This review focuses on recent advances in our understanding of the organization of telomeres, telomere replication, proteins that bind telomeric DNA, and the establishment of telomere length equilibrium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-336
Number of pages40
JournalCritical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998


  • Aging
  • Cancer
  • G4-quadruplex structures
  • Heterochromatin
  • Recombinational repair
  • Subtelomeric elements
  • TG repeats
  • Telomerase RNA
  • Telomere end-binding proteins
  • Telomere position effect
  • Telomere replication
  • Transcriptional silencing


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