Telomeres are complicated structures designed to allow one thing and avoid another. They allow replication of chromosome ends, an issue mostly about telomerase, which we seem to understand (though details of its regulation are works in progress). Telomeres must also avoid being detected as DNA breaks. This is important for two reasons: DNA breaks activate checkpoints that cause arrest of cell division, and DNA breaks engage repair machinery. Clearly, normal telomeres neither activate cell cycle arrest nor allow themselves to be repaired; arrest blocks cell division, and repair fuses chromosomes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology