Telomeric chromatin: replicating and wrapping up chromosome ends

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2001 Apr;11(2):189-98. doi: 10.1016/s0959-437x(00)00178-7.


Recent advances in our understanding of the specialized chromatin structure at telomeres, the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, have focused on three separate areas: replication of telomeres through the coordinated action of conventional DNA polymerases and the telomerase enzyme, protection of the chromosome end from DNA damage checkpoint sensors and DNA-repair processes, and the discovery of a novel deacetylase enzyme (Sir2p) required for the establishment and maintenance of telomeric heterochromatin. Although the number of proteins and the complexity of their interactions at telomeres continues to grow, a picture of at least some of the major players and mechanisms underlying telomere replication, end 'capping' and chromatin assembly is beginning to emerge.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Chromatin / physiology*
  • DNA Damage
  • DNA Replication
  • DNA, Fungal / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Histone Deacetylases / metabolism
  • Protein Conformation
  • Silent Information Regulator Proteins, Saccharomyces cerevisiae*
  • Sirtuin 2
  • Sirtuins
  • Telomerase / chemistry
  • Telomerase / genetics
  • Telomerase / metabolism
  • Telomere / metabolism
  • Telomere / physiology*
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism
  • Yeasts / genetics
  • Yeasts / metabolism


  • Chromatin
  • DNA, Fungal
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Silent Information Regulator Proteins, Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Trans-Activators
  • Telomerase
  • SIR2 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Sirtuin 2
  • Sirtuins
  • Histone Deacetylases