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Telomeres reforged with non-telomeric sequences in mouse embryonic stem cells

Cited 3 time in Web of Science Cited 4 time in Scopus

Kim, Chuna; Sung, Sanghyun; Kim, Jong-Seo; Lee, Hyunji; Jung, Yoonseok; Shin, Sanghee; Kim, Eunkyeong; Seo, Jenny J.; Kim, Jun; Kim, Daeun; Niida, Hiroyuki; Kim, V. Narry; Park, Daechan; Lee, Junho

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Nature Publishing Group
Nature Communications, Vol.12 No.1, p. 1097
Telomeres are part of a highly refined system for maintaining the stability of linear chromosomes. Most telomeres rely on simple repetitive sequences and telomerase enzymes to protect chromosomal ends; however, in some species or telomerase-defective situations, an alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) mechanism is used. ALT mainly utilises recombination-based replication mechanisms and the constituents of ALT-based telomeres vary depending on models. Here we show that mouse telomeres can exploit non-telomeric, unique sequences in addition to telomeric repeats. We establish that a specific subtelomeric element, the mouse template for ALT (mTALT), is used for repairing telomeric DNA damage as well as for composing portions of telomeres in ALT-dependent mouse embryonic stem cells. Epigenomic and proteomic analyses before and after ALT activation reveal a high level of non-coding mTALT transcripts despite the heterochromatic nature of mTALT-based telomeres. After ALT activation, the increased HMGN1, a non-histone chromosomal protein, contributes to the maintenance of telomere stability by regulating telomeric transcription. These findings provide a molecular basis to study the evolution of new structures in telomeres. Telomeres can be maintained by a telomerase-independent mechanism called an alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT). Here the authors use mouse Terc (telomerase RNA) knockout embryonic cells and provide longitudinal analysis of ALT telomeres maintained with non-telomeric sequences.
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  • College of Natural Sciences
  • School of Biological Sciences
Research Area Molecular Interactomics, Proteomics, Systems Biology, 단백체학, 분자상호작용체학, 시스템생물학


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