PerspectiveMolecular Biology

DNA Ends RecQ-uire Attention

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Science  13 Apr 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5515, pp. 229-230
DOI: 10.1126/science.1060832

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From yeast to flies to humans, cells have evolved a conserved series of proteins that repair breaks in the DNA and maintain the ends of chromosomes (telomeres) at a constant length. In their Perspective, Wu and Hickson discuss the part played by the RecQ helicase family of enzymes in maintaining genome stability and explain how mutations in these proteins result in several rare cancer-susceptibility and premature-aging syndromes.