The ends (telomeres) of eukaryotic chromosomes are protected from degradation and from loss during DNA replication by buffers of simple tandem repetitive sequence. The nucleotide sequence of these telomeric arrays is fundamental to telomere function as a site for protein and ribonucleo-protein binding and varies only slightly in a wide range of organisms. We present evidence that arrays of this human telomeric sequence, TTAGGG, are present not only at the ends of human chromosomes but also at numerous interstitial sites. These interstitial loci share nucleotide sequence similarity outside the repetitive array, suggesting that they are related functionally or have evolved from a common progenitor locus.
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