Telomeres are DNA-protein complexes located at the ends of linear eukaryotic chromosomes, and are essential for chromosome stability and maintenance. In most organisms, telomeres consist of tandemly repeated sequences of guanine-clusters. In higher eukaryotes, most of the telomeric repeat regions are tightly packaged into nucleosomes, even though telomeric repeats act as nucleosome-disfavoring sequences. Although telomeres were considered to be condensed heterochromatin structures, recent studies revealed that the chromatin structures in telomeres are actually dynamic. The dynamic properties of telomeric chromatin are considered to be important for the structural changes between the euchromatic and heterochromatic states during the cell cycle and in cellular differentiation. We propose that the nucleosome-disfavoring property of telomeric repeats is a crucial determinant for the lability of telomeric nucleosomes, and provides a platform for chromatin dynamics in telomeres. Furthermore, we discuss the influences of telomeric components on the nucleosome organization and chromatin dynamics in telomeres.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience