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Telomeric 3′-overhang length is associated with the size of telomeres

Rahman, Ruman; Forsyth, Nicholas R.; Cui, Wei


Nicholas R. Forsyth

Wei Cui


Telomeres are specialized DNA/protein complexes that cap eukaryotic chromosome ends as T-loop structures and maintain genomic integrity. Vertebrate telomeric DNA consists of tandem double-strand repeats which terminate in a 3 0 single-strand G-rich overhang. The telomeric 3 0-overhang is important for the formation of the T-loop. In mammalian mortal somatic cells, telomeres shorten with each successive division and contribute to the onset of replicative senescence. The exact molecular mechanism underlying replicative senes-cence remains unclear: whether telomere shortening is the only trigger or loss of telomeric 3 0-overhang plays a causal role. To further address this issue, we investigated telomeric 3 0-overhang and telomere changes during cell proliferation toward replicative senescence. We demonstrate here that telomeric 3 0-overhang, similar to telomeres, exhibits progressive attrition with each cell division in primary sheep fibroblasts and that telomeric 3 0-overhang size does not determine the rate of telomere shortening. Furthermore, the sizes of telo-meric 3 0-overhangs are associated with telomere lengths. Our results suggest that alteration of the 3 0-overhang and the telomere during cellular proliferation are associated. Together they may contribute to maintain chromosomal stability and to regulate replicative senescence.


Rahman, R., Forsyth, N. R., & Cui, W. (2008). Telomeric 3′-overhang length is associated with the size of telomeres. Experimental Gerontology, 43(4), 258-265.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 15, 2008
Online Publication Date Jan 26, 2008
Publication Date 2008-04
Deposit Date Dec 13, 2018
Journal Experimental Gerontology
Print ISSN 0531-5565
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 43
Issue 4
Pages 258-265
Keywords Telomere; Telomerase; Telomeric 3 0 -overhang; Senescence; hTERT-immortalized
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