Telomere maintenance: all’s well that ends well
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- Liew, L.P. & Norbury, C.J. Arch Toxicol (2009) 83: 407. doi:10.1007/s00204-009-0423-1
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The nucleoprotein structures termed telomeres serve to prevent the mis-identification of eukaryotic chromosome ends as sites of DNA damage, but are also among the genomic regions that pose the most problems during DNA replication. Here, we summarize some of the apparent difficulties encountered by the DNA replication machinery when it approaches the chromosome ends. Eukaryotic cells have evolved diverse mechanisms to overcome these problems, underlining the importance of telomere maintenance for a number of aspects of chromosome function. Of particular interest in this respect are the ways in which telomere-binding proteins and components of the DNA damage response machinery may facilitate replication fork progression through telomeres.