Sequence comparison of human and yeast telomeres identifies structurally distinct subtelomeric domains

Hum Mol Genet. 1997 Aug;6(8):1305-13. doi: 10.1093/hmg/6.8.1305.


We have sequenced and compared DNA from the ends of three human chromosomes: 4p, 16p and 22q. In all cases the pro-terminal regions are subdivided by degenerate (TTAGGG)n repeats into distal and proximal sub-domains with entirely different patterns of homology to other chromosome ends. The distal regions contain numerous, short (<2 kb) segments of interrupted homology to many other human telomeric regions. The proximal regions show much longer (approximately 10-40 kb) uninterrupted homology to a few chromosome ends. A comparison of all yeast subtelomeric regions indicates that they too are subdivided by degenerate TTAGGG repeats into distal and proximal sub-domains with similarly different patterns of identity to other non-homologous chromosome ends. Sequence comparisons indicate that the distal and proximal sub-domains do not interact with each other and that they interact quite differently with the corresponding regions on other, non-homologous, chromosomes. These findings suggest that the degenerate TTAGGG repeats identify a previously unrecognized, evolutionarily conserved boundary between remarkably different subtelomeric domains.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Chromosomes, Artificial, Yeast
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Telomere*

Associated data

  • GENBANK/Z96138