The end protection problem-an unexpected twist in the tail

More about Open Access at the Crick

Abstract

In this perspective, we introduce shelterin and the mechanisms of ATM activation and NHEJ at telomeres, before discussing the following questions: How are t-loops proposed to protect chromosome ends and what is the evidence for this model? Can other models explain how TRF2 mediates end protection? Could t-loops be pathological structures? How is end protection achieved in pluripotent cells? What do the insights into telomere end protection in pluripotent cells mean for the t-loop model of end protection? Why might different cell states have evolved different mechanisms of end protection? Finally, we offer support for an updated t-loop model of end protection, suggesting that the data is supportive of a critical role for t-loops in protecting chromosome ends from NHEJ and ATM activation, but that other mechanisms are involved. Finally, we propose that t-loops are likely dynamic, rather than static, structures.

Journal details

Volume 35
Issue number 1-2
Pages 1-21
Available online
Publication date

Crick authors

Crick First author
Crick Corresponding author