Assessing the Epigenetic Status of Human Telomeres
|Author||Vaquero Sedas, María Isabel
Vega Palas, Miguel Ángel
|Department||Universidad de Sevilla. Departamento de Bioquímica Vegetal y Biología Molecular|
|Abstract||The epigenetic modifications of human telomeres play a relevant role in telomere functions and cell proliferation. Therefore, their study is becoming an issue of major interest. These epigenetic modifications are usually ...
The epigenetic modifications of human telomeres play a relevant role in telomere functions and cell proliferation. Therefore, their study is becoming an issue of major interest. These epigenetic modifications are usually analyzed by microscopy or by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP). However, these analyses could be challenged by subtelomeres and/or interstitial telomeric sequences (ITSs). Whereas telomeres and subtelomeres cannot be differentiated by microscopy techniques, telomeres and ITSs might not be differentiated in ChIP analyses. In addition, ChIP analyses of telomeres should be properly controlled. Hence, studies focusing on the epigenetic features of human telomeres have to be carefully designed and interpreted. Here, we present a comprehensive discussion on how subtelomeres and ITSs might influence studies of human telomere epigenetics. We specially focus on the influence of ITSs and some experimental aspects of the ChIP technique on ChIP analyses. In addition, we propose a specific pipeline to accurately perform these studies. This pipeline is very simple and can be applied to a wide variety of cells, including cancer cells. Since the epigenetic status of telomeres could influence cancer cells proliferation, this pipeline might help design precise epigenetic treatments for specific cancer types.