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Chromosomes are 'nibbled' before they fuse, researchers report

at fused chromosomes do break randomly, at which point exonucleases attack the exposed ends," says Greider. "Fusion is a big part of what leads to major genomic instability when telomeres aren't working, but it's not the initial problem. Our discovery should spark researchers in the field to think along new lines."

Greider cautions that they still need to verify that the same mechanism is to blame for genomic instability in mammalian cells as in yeast. If so, identifying other proteins that work with exonucleases may offer a target to block the process and push cells in cancer toward death instead of genomic instability.


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Contact: Joanna Downer
jdowner1@jhmi.edu
410-614-5105
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
2-Dec-2003


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