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Telomeres of eukaryotic chromosomes contain many tandem repeats of a G-rich sequence (for example, TTAGGG in vertebrates). In most normal human cells, telomeres shorten with each cell division, and it is proposed that this limits the number of times these cells can replicate. Telomeres may be maintained in germline cells, and in many immortalized cells and(More)
Telomerase-negative immortalized human cells maintain their telomeres by a mechanism known as alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT). We report here that ALT cells contain a novel promyelocytic leukemia (PML) body (ALT-associated PML body, APB). APBs are large donut-shaped nuclear structures containing PML protein, telomeric DNA, and the telomere(More)
It has been shown previously that some immortalized human cells maintain their telomeres in the absence of significant levels of telomerase activity by a mechanism referred to as alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT). Cells utilizing ALT have telomeres of very heterogeneous length, ranging from very short to very long. Here we report the effect of(More)
Some immortalized mammalian cell lines and tumors maintain or increase the overall length of their telomeres in the absence of telomerase activity by one or more mechanisms referred to as alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT). Characteristics of human ALT cells include great heterogeneity of telomere size (ranging from undetectable to abnormally long)(More)
Immortalized human cells are able to maintain their telomeres by telomerase or by a recombination-mediated DNA replication mechanism known as alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT). We showed previously that overexpression of Sp100 protein can suppress ALT and that this was associated with sequestration of the MRE11/RAD50/NBS1 (MRN) recombination(More)
Telomere dysfunction is typically studied under conditions in which a component of the six-subunit shelterin complex that protects chromosome ends is disrupted. The nature of spontaneous telomere dysfunction is less well understood. Here we report that immortalized human cell lines lacking wild-type p53 function spontaneously show many telomeres with a DNA(More)
Some cancers use alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT), a mechanism whereby new telomeric DNA is synthesized from a DNA template. To determine whether normal mammalian tissues have ALT activity, we generated a mouse strain containing a DNA tag in a single telomere. We found that the tagged telomere was copied by other telomeres in somatic tissues but(More)
The linear chromosomes of vertebrates terminate in telomeres that consist of a tandemly repeated hexameric sequence, 5'TTAGGG3'. Telomeres form a protective loop structure (t-loop), which is thought to prevent them from being recognized as a double-strand break. Approximately 10% of human tumors prevent shortening of their telomeres by using a(More)
Replicative senescence is accompanied by a telomere-specific DNA damage response (DDR). We found that DDR+ telomeres occur spontaneously in early-passage normal human cells and increase in number with increasing cumulative cell divisions. DDR+ telomeres at replicative senescence retain TRF2 and RAP1 proteins, are not associated with end-to-end fusions and(More)
Telomeres in cells that use the recombination-mediated alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) pathway elicit a DNA damage response that is partly independent of telomere length. We therefore investigated whether ALT telomeres contain structural abnormalities that contribute to ALT activity. Here we used next generation sequencing to analyze the DNA(More)