Standard Article

Telomeres: Protection and Maintenance

  1. Titia de Lange

Published Online: 23 SEP 2005

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0005281



How to Cite

de Lange, T. 2005. Telomeres: Protection and Maintenance. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. The Rockefeller University, New York, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 23 SEP 2005


Eukaryotic chromosomes terminate in telomeres, nucleoprotein complexes thought to mask chromosome ends from the machinery that detects and repairs damaged deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The maintenance of this protective telomeric cap requires a specialized mode of DNA synthesis, because chromosome duplication results in incomplete replication of DNA ends. Proteins associated with the telomeric DNA sequence at chromosome ends execute and regulate the maintenance and protection functions of telomeres.


  • telomere;
  • telomerase;
  • cancer;
  • chromosome;
  • genome instability