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Wesolowska, N., Amariei, F.L., Rong, Y.S. (2013). Clustering and Protein Dynamics of Drosophila melanogaster Telomeres.  Genetics 195(2): 381--391.
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Research paper

Telomeres are obligatory chromosomal landmarks that demarcate the ends of linear chromosomes to distinguish them from broken ends and can also serve to organize the genome. In both budding and fission yeast, they cluster at the periphery of the nucleus, potentially to establish a compartment of silent chromatin. To gain insight into telomere organization in higher organisms, we investigated their distribution in interphase nuclei of Drosophila melanogaster. We focused on the syncytial blastoderm, an excellent developmental stage for live imaging due to the synchronous division of the nuclei at this time. We followed the EGFP-labeled telomeric protein HOAP in vivo and found that the 16 telomeres yield four to six foci per nucleus, indicative of clustering. Furthermore, we confirmed clustering in other somatic tissues. Importantly, we observed that HOAP signal intensity in the clusters increases in interphase, potentially due to loading of HOAP to newly replicated telomeres. To determine the rules governing clustering, we used in vivo imaging and fluorescence in situ hybridization to test several predictions. First, we inspected mutant embryos that develop as haploids and found that clustering is not mediated by associations between homologs. Second, we probed specifically for a telomere of novel sequence and found strong evidence against DNA sequence identity and homology as critical factors. Third, we ruled out predominance of intrachromosomal interactions by marking both ends of a chromosome. Based on these results, we propose that clustering is independent of sequence and is likely maintained by an as yet undetermined factor.

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PMC3781967 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    Aberrations (1)
    Alleles (6)
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    Natural transposons (1)
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