Interstitial telomeric loops and implications of the interaction between TRF2 and lamin A/C

Differentiation. Jul-Aug 2018;102:19-26. doi: 10.1016/j.diff.2018.06.001. Epub 2018 Jun 18.


The protein-DNA complexes that compose the end of mammalian chromosomes-telomeres-serve to stabilize linear genomic DNA and are involved in cellular and organismal aging. One mechanism that protects telomeres from premature degradation is the formation of structures called t-loops, in which the single-stranded 3' overhang present at the terminal end of telomeres loops back and invades medial double-stranded telomeric DNA. We identified looped structures formed between terminal chromosome ends and interstitial telomeric sequences (ITSs), which are found throughout the human genome, that we have termed interstitial telomeric loops (ITLs). While they form in a TRF2-dependent manner similar to t-loops, ITLs further require the physical interaction of TRF2 with the nuclear intermediate filament protein lamin A/C. Our findings suggest that interactions between telomeres and the nucleoskeleton broadly impact genomic integrity, including telomere stability, chromosome structure, and chromosome fragility. Here, we review the roles of TRF2 and lamin A/C in telomere biology and consider how their interaction may relate telomere homeostasis to cellular and organismal aging.

Keywords: Aging; Interstitial t-loops; Lamin A/C; Stem cells; T-loops; TRF2; Telomeres.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics*
  • Animals
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Humans
  • Lamin Type A / genetics*
  • Telomere / genetics
  • Telomere / metabolism*
  • Telomeric Repeat Binding Protein 2 / genetics*
  • Telomeric Repeat Binding Protein 2 / metabolism


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Lamin Type A
  • Telomeric Repeat Binding Protein 2
  • DNA