About this Book
Linear chromosomes represent an evolutionary innovation associated with the origin of eukaryotic cells. This book describes how linear chromosomes and primordial pathways for maintaining their terminal structures, telomeres, emerged in early eukaryotes.
Telomeres, derived from the Greek meaning terminal part, were first described by Hermann Muller in 1938. Telomeres are specialized structures that comprise the ends of linear chromosomes in eukaryotes. Linearity is crucial for chromosome pairing during meiosis and sexual reproduction.
Inspired by Dobzhansky's dictum that "nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution", this book brings together information about the origin and evolution of telomeres, their functions and the consequences of eukaryotic linearity which is an essential prerequisite of meiotic cell division and sexual reproduction. Selective pressure toward linearization must have been associated with the emergence of robust and redundant mechanisms for the maintenance of telomeres. These pathways comprise a molecular clock involved in cell senescence, carcinogenesis and immortalization.
Table of Contents
1. Telomerase: Evolution, Structure and Function
Marie-Eve Brault, Yasmin D’Souza and Chantal Autexier
2. Drosophila Telomeres: A Variation on the Telomerase Theme
Mary-Lou Pardue and P. Gregory DeBaryshe
3. Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres in Mammalian Cells
Anthony J. Cesare and Roger R. Reddel
4. T-Loops, T-Circles and Slippery Forks
Sarah A. Compton, Anthony J. Cesare, Nicole Fouche, Sezgin Ozgur and Jack
5. Molecular Diversity of Telomeric Sequences
6. Evolution of Telomere Binding Proteins
Martin P. Horvath
7. Telomeres: Guardians of Genomic Integrity or Double Agents of Evolution?
Michael J. McEachern
8. Evolution, Composition and Interrelated Functions of Telomeres and
Subtelomeres: Lessons from Plants
Jiří Fajkus, Andrew R. Leitch, Michael Chester and Eva Sýkorová
9. Telomere Position Effect and the Evolution of the Genome
Frederique Magdinier, Alexandre Ottaviani and Eric Gilson
10. Cancer as a Microevolutionary Process Affecting Telomere Structure
and Dynamics: The Contribution of Telomeres to Cancer
J. Arturo Londoño-Vallejo
11. Prokaryotic Telomeres: Replication Mechanisms and Evolution
Sherwood R. Casjens and Wai Mun Huang
12. Mitochondrial Telomeres: An Evolutionary Paradigm for the Emergence
of Telomeric Structures and Their Replication Strategies
Jozef Nosek and Ľubomír Tomáška