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Title: Ultrastructure and nuclear architecture of telomeric chromatin revealed by correlative light and electron microscopy
Authors: Hübner, Barbara
von Otter, Eric
Ahsan, Bilal
Wee, Meiling
Henriksson, Sara
Ludwig, Alexander
Sandin, Sara
Keywords: Science::Biological sciences
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Hübner, B., von Otter, E., Ahsan, B., Wee, M., Henriksson, S., Ludwig, A. & Sandin, S. (2022). Ultrastructure and nuclear architecture of telomeric chromatin revealed by correlative light and electron microscopy. Nucleic Acids Research, 50(9), 5047-5063.
Project: MOE 2012-T3-1-001
MOE 2017-T1-002-067
Journal: Nucleic Acids Research
Abstract: Telomeres, the ends of linear chromosomes, are composed of repetitive DNA sequences, histones and a protein complex called shelterin. How DNA is packaged at telomeres is an outstanding question in the field with significant implications for human health and disease. Here, we studied the architecture of telomeres and their spatial association with other chromatin domains in different cell types using correlative light and electron microscopy. To this end, the shelterin protein TRF1 or TRF2 was fused in tandem to eGFP and the peroxidase APEX2, which provided a selective and electron-dense label to interrogate telomere organization by transmission electron microscopy, electron tomography and scanning electron microscopy. Together, our work reveals, for the first time, ultrastructural insight into telomere architecture. We show that telomeres are composed of a dense and highly compacted mesh of chromatin fibres. In addition, we identify marked differences in telomere size, shape and chromatin compaction between cancer and non-cancer cells and show that telomeres are in direct contact with other heterochromatin regions. Our work resolves the internal architecture of telomeres with unprecedented resolution and advances our understanding of how telomeres are organized in situ.
ISSN: 0305-1048
DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkac309
DOI (Related Dataset): 10.21979/N9/LFBAF8
Schools: School of Biological Sciences 
Research Centres: NTU Institute of Structural Biology 
Rights: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SBS Journal Articles

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