Open Access
Telomere protein complexes and interactions with telomerase in telomere maintenance
Alexander Ruvantha Pinto1,He Li1,Craig Nicholls1,Jun-Ping Liu1
Molecular Signaling Laboratory, Department of Immunology, Central Clinical School, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria 3004, Australia
DOI: 10.2741/3683 Volume 16 Issue 1, pp.187-207
Published: 01 January 2011

Telomeres are the termini of linear chromosomes. They are composed of DNA and DNA-binding proteins critical for maintaining chromosome integrity and cellular function. Telomere binding proteins regulate the structure and function of telomeres through the formation of different complexes with telomeric DNA. Double- and single-stranded telomeric DNA binding protein complexes have shared and unique functions that regulate telomere homeostasis. Recent studies have shown that telomerase interacts with several telomere-binding protein complexes including shelterin, CST, DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) and MRN. The present review describes the recognised telomere-binding protein complexes, sub-complex exchanges and inter-complex molecular interactions. It also discusses the evidence suggesting that telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) switches between different complexes. Studies of the telomere protein inter-complex interactions and the switching of components between complexes provide insight into their fundamental roles of programming telomere length and configuration, and thus cell proliferative potential.

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Alexander Ruvantha Pinto, He Li, Craig Nicholls, Jun-Ping Liu. Telomere protein complexes and interactions with telomerase in telomere maintenance. Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark. 2011. 16(1); 187-207.