Telomere-Binding Proteins of Ciliated Protozoa
A great deal of our current knowledge about telomere structure and function has come from studies performed with ciliated protozoa. The reason that studies of ciliate telomeres have been so productive stems from the unusual genomic organization of these organisms. All ciliates have two functionally and structurally distinct nuclei: the germline micronucleus and the vegetative macronucleus. Although the micronucleus contains relatively few large chromosomes, the macronucleus contains thousands or millions of separate DNA molecules that have telomeres on each end (Blackburn 1986; Klobutcher and Prescott 1986). For example, macronuclei from the holotrichous ciliate Tetrahymena contain over 1 x 104 DNA molecules (2 x 104 telomeres) while macronuclei from the hypotrichous ciliates Euplotes and Oxytricha contain >2 x 107 DNA molecules (>4 x 107 telomeres). This abundance of macronuclear telomeres has greatly facilitated the characterization of telomere structure and isolation of telomere-binding proteins.
KeywordsCiliated Protozoan Telomere Structure Telomere Protein Telomeric Complex Hypotrichous Ciliate
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