The structural biology of the shelterin complex

Biol Chem. 2019 Mar 26;400(4):457-466. doi: 10.1515/hsz-2018-0368.


The shelterin complex protects telomeric DNA and plays critical roles in maintaining chromosome stability. The structures and functions of the shelterin complex have been extensively explored in the past decades. This review summarizes the current progress on structural studies of shelterin complexes from different species. It focuses on the structural features and assembly of common structural domains, highlighting the evolutionary plasticity and conserved roles of shelterin proteins in telomere homeostasis and protection.

Keywords: DNA binding; protein-protein interaction; shelterin complex; structural biology; telomere; telomeric protein.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • DNA / chemistry
  • DNA / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Telomere
  • Telomere-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • Telomere-Binding Proteins / metabolism*


  • Telomere-Binding Proteins
  • shelterin, human
  • DNA