Journal Article

Recombination involving interstitial telomere repeat-like sequences promotes chromosomal instability in Chinese hamster cells.

J P Day, C L Limoli and W F Morgan

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 19, issue 2, pages 259-265
Published in print February 1998 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online February 1998 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Recombination involving interstitial telomere repeat-like sequences promotes chromosomal instability in Chinese hamster cells.

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The physical termini of mammalian chromosomes are capped with tandem repeats of the telomere sequence (TTAGGG)n. After fluorescence in situ hybridization with a labeled (TTAGGG)n probe, telomere-repeat-like sequences are seen as discrete bands at distinct intrachromosomal sites in a variety of vertebrate species. There is increasing evidence that these sites may be hot-spots for chromosomal rearrangements, fragility and neoplasia. We have investigated whether the interstitial telomere bands found in hamster chromosomes from a human hamster hybrid cell line are hot-spots for chromosome rearrangements induced by DNA-damaging agents. Our data indicate that the interstitial telomere bands are involved in chromosomal rearrangements observed at the first mitosis after G1 exposure of cells to X-rays or restriction endonucleases at a four- to fivefold higher frequency than expected based on their size. In addition, we have extended these observations to demonstrate for the first time that these interstitial telomere-repeat-like sequences participate in the delayed chromosomal instability observed in the progeny of cells surviving X-ray-exposure at multiple generations after irradiation. In two highly unstable clones showing multiple populations of rearranged chromosomes, interstitial telomere bands were observed at the site of recombination between the human and hamster chromosomes at a five- to sixfold higher frequency than expected. There were also rearrangement and amplification of the interstitial telomere bands within the hamster chromosomes. These rearrangements occur during clonal expansion of cells surviving treatment with DNA-damaging agents and suggest a role for the interstitial telomere band in driving chromosomal instability. We conclude from the observed data that interstitial telomere bands function as recombinational hot-spots that participate in generating the diverse chromosome rearrangements observed both immediately and as a delayed effect of cellular exposure to DNA damaging agents.

Keywords: Non-programmatic

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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