Telomere structure and function

Curr Opin Struct Biol. 1995 Jun;5(3):311-22. doi: 10.1016/0959-440x(95)80092-1.


Telomeres, the termini of linear eukaryotic chromosomes, contain specific DNA sequences that are widely conserved. These sequences not only recruit telomere-specific proteins, but also give telomeric DNA the ability to fold into four-stranded DNA structures. Recent structural studies have shown that the repertoire of quadruplexes formed by the G-rich strand is larger than had been envisaged. Even more surprising is a novel four-stranded structure formed by the C-rich strand, called the i-tetraplex. Genetic and biochemical analyses have been used to identify proteins involved in telomeric DNA packaging and organization. The possibility that four-stranded structures may play a role in telomere function has been strengthened by the discovery that telomeric proteins can bind to and promote the formation of G-quadruplexes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Molecular Conformation*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Structure
  • Telomere / chemistry*
  • Telomere / metabolism