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  1. Christa Lese Martin,
  2. David H Ledbetter

Published Online: 15 JUL 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0005787.pub2



How to Cite

Martin, C. L. and Ledbetter, D. H. 2008. Telomere. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2008

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (16 MAR 2015)


Telomeres, the ‘caps’ at the ends of human chromosomes, consist of specialized DNA and protein complexes that help to protect chromosomes from degradation. Other unique characteristics of telomeric DNA include the sequence homology shared between subtelomeric DNA regions, a high gene density and an increased frequency of chromosomal imbalances.


  • telomere;
  • subtelomeric domain;
  • chromosome structure;
  • fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), subtelomeric sequence homology