Little is known about the mechanisms that regulate species-specific telomere length, particularly in mammalian species. The genetic regulation of telomere length was therefore investigated by using two inter-fertile species of mice, which differ in their telomere length. Mus musculus (telomere length > 25 kb) and Mus spretus (telomere length 5-15 kb) were used to generate F1 crosses and reciprocal backcrosses, which were then analyzed for regulation of telomere length. This analysis indicated that a dominant and trans-acting mechanism exists capable of extensive elongation of telomeres in somatic cells after fusion of parental germline cells with discrepant telomere lengths. A genome wide screen of interspecific crosses, using M. spretus as the recurrent parent, identified a 5-centimorgan region on distal chromosome 2 that predominantly controls the observed species-specific telomere length regulation. This locus is distinct from candidate genes encoding known telomere-binding proteins or telomerase components. These results demonstrate that an unidentified gene(s) mapped to distal chromosome 2 regulates telomere length in the mouse.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Jul 21 1998|
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