Telomeric Transcription and Telomere Rearrangements in Quiescent Cells

J Mol Biol. 2020 Jul 10;432(15):4220-4231. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2020.01.034. Epub 2020 Feb 13.


Despite the condensed nature of terminal sequences, the telomeres are transcribed into a group of noncoding RNAs, including the TElomeric Repeat-containing RNA (TERRA). Since the discovery of TERRA, its evolutionary conserved function has been confirmed, and its involvement in telomere length regulation, heterochromatin establishment, and telomere recombination has been demonstrated. We previously reported that TERRA is upregulated in quiescent fission yeast cells, although the global transcription is highly reduced. Elevated telomeric transcription was also detected when telomeres detach from the nuclear periphery. These intriguing observations unveil unexpected facets of telomeric transcription in arrested cells. In this review, we present the different aspects of TERRA transcription during quiescence and discuss their implications for telomere maintenance and cell fate.

Keywords: TERRA; fission yeast; quiescence; telomere.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • RNA, Untranslated / genetics*
  • Telomere / genetics*
  • Telomere Homeostasis
  • Transcription, Genetic*
  • Yeasts / genetics


  • RNA, Untranslated