G-rich 3′ telomeric overhangs are required both for forming the distinct telomere structures to protect chromosome ends and for extending telomeres by telomerase. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms generating telomere overhangs in human cells. We show here that cultured normal human diploid cells have longer G overhangs at telomeres generated by lagging-strand synthesis than by leading-strand synthesis. We also demonstrate that telomerase expression results in elongated overhangs at the leading daughter telomeres. Thus, the overhangs at the leading and lagging daughter telomeres are generated differently in human cells, and telomerase may preferentially affect overhangs generated at the telomeres produced by leading-strand synthesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology