Position of telomeres in nucleus influences length

Jul 13, 2011
Top: Telomeres (bright green focus) localized to the nuclear periphery (green ring) in wildtype cells. on Bottom: Delocalization of telomeres to the nuclear interior in siz2Δ (SUMO-ligase deleted) cells.

(PhysOrg.com) -- A study the latest issue of Nature Cell Biology sheds light on the mechanism controlling telomere length in budding yeast. In this publication, scientists from the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research could show that telomere localization is influenced by post-translational modifications of telomeric proteins. In the absence of these modifications the telomeres moved away from the periphery of the nucleus and in turn became longer.

Telomeres are specialised structures at the ends of chromosomes and protect these from damage much like the plastic caps on a shoelace protect it from fraying. And as anyone who has threaded a shoelace will tell you, it's important that shoelace ends are neither too short nor too long.

A recent paper in from the laboratory of Susan Gasser from the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research has shown that the position of telomeres within the nucleus can influence how long they become. Using the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the authors showed that telomere localization is influenced by the post-translational modification of telomeric proteins by SUMO. In cells where these proteins were not SUMO modified, because the SUMO-ligase Siz2 was deleted, telomeres detached from their usual location at the nuclear periphery and move to the interior of the nucleus. Subsequently, telomeres became longer.

In addition, the researchers were able to show that cells can use nuclear localisation to promote the restoration of normal telomere length when these became too short. This study helps to understand how cells organise the location of their within the nucleus and the significance of such a nuclear compartmentalization.

Explore further: First detailed microscopy evidence of bacteria at the lower size limit of life

More information: Ferreira HC, et al. (2011) The PIAS homologue Siz2 regulates perinuclear telomere position and telomerase activity in budding yeast. Nat Cell Biol 13,867-874

Provided by Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Telomere length affects colorectal cancer risk

Oct 28, 2010

For the first time, researchers have found a link between long telomeres and an increased risk for colorectal cancer, according to research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research special conference on Colorectal ...

Size Matters - When it Comes to DNA

Jun 09, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new study at the University of Leicester is examining a sequence of DNA- known as telomeres - that varies in length between individual.

Common weed could provide clues on aging and cancer

Oct 26, 2009

A common weed and human cancer cells could provide some very uncommon details about DNA structure and its relationship with telomeres and how they affect cellular aging and cancer, according to a team led by scientists from ...

Recommended for you

Malaria transmission linked to mosquitoes' sexual biology

Feb 26, 2015

Sexual biology may be the key to uncovering why Anopheles mosquitoes are unique in their ability to transmit malaria to humans, according to researchers at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and University of Per ...

Intermediary neuron acts as synaptic cloaking device

Feb 26, 2015

Neuroscientists believe that the connectome, a map of each and every connection between the millions of neurons in the brain, will provide a blueprint that will allow them to link brain anatomy to brain function. ...

Skeleton of cells controls cell multiplication

Feb 26, 2015

A research team from Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia (IGC; Portugal), led by Florence Janody, in collaboration with Nicolas Tapon from London Research Institute (LRI; UK), discovered that the cell's skeleton ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.