Caister Academic Press

CIMB Abstract

Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. (2020) 35: 85-98.
https://doi.org/10.21775/cimb.035.085

The Role of Ubiquitination and SUMOylation in Telomere Biology

Michal Zalzman, W. Alex Meltzer, Benjamin A. Portney, Robert A. Brown and Aditi Gupta

Telomeres are a unique structure of DNA repeats covered by proteins at the ends of the chromosomes that protect the coding regions of the genome and function as a biological clock. They require a tight regulation of the factors covering and protecting their structure, as they are shortened with each cell division to limit the ability of cells to replicate uncontrollably. Additionally, they protect the chromosome ends from DNA damage responses and thereby, prevent genomic instability. Telomere dysfunction can lead to chromosomal abnormalities and cancer. Therefore, dysregulation of any of the factors that regulate the integrity of the telomeres will have implications to chromosomal stability, replicative lifespan and may lead to cell transformation. This review will cover the main factors participating in the normal function of the telomeres and how these are regulated by the ubiquitin and SUMO systems. Accumulating evidence indicate that the ubiquitin and SUMO pathways are significant regulators of the shelterin complex and other chromatin modifiers, which are important for telomere structure integrity. Furthermore, the crosstalk between these two pathways has been reported in telomeric DNA repair. A better understanding of the factors contributing to telomere biology, and how they are regulated, is important for the design of new strategies for cancer therapies and regenerative medicine.

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