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Go to the end of the Ku

Genome Biology20001:spotlight-20001213-02

  • Published:


  • Critical Role
  • Specialize Structure
  • Repair Protein
  • Fusion Event
  • Surface Plasma

Telomeres are specialized structures at the ends of chromosomes that prevent fusion events and promote chromosomal end replication. Telomeres are maintained by the regulation of telomerase activity and their capping by telomeric proteins. In the November Genes and Development, Hsu et al. show that the DNA repair protein Ku plays a role in telomere capping (Gene Dev 2000, 14:2807-2812). Hsu et al. used surface plasma resonance and co-immunoprecipitation to demonstrate that Ku forms a high-affinity interaction with the mammalian telomere binding protein TRF1. The Ku-TRF1 complex binds to telomeric DNA repeats. Furthermore, Ku80-deficient fibroblasts contained high levels of telomere fusions. These results suggest that Ku is localized to telomeres via its interaction with TRF1 and plays a critical role in preventing chromosomal end joining.


  1. Genes and Development, []
  2. Ku80: product of the XRCC5 gene and its role in DNA repair and V(D)J recombination.Google Scholar
  3. Biomolecular interaction analysis: affinity biosensor technologies for functional analysis of proteins.Google Scholar
  4. Control of telomere length by the human telomeric protein TRF1.Google Scholar


© BioMed Central Ltd 2000