Chromosome stability is conditioned by functional chromatin structure of chromosome ends – telomeres. Organisation and regulation of telomere maintenance represent a complex process whose details still remain enigmatic, especially in plants. Several telomere-binding or telomere-associated proteins and distinct epigenetic marks have been shown to influence telomere length and telomerase activity. HMGB proteins play important role in dynamic changes of chromatin structure and are involved in regulation of cellular processes of key importance, such as replication, transcription, recombination and DNA-repair. HMGB proteins in plants are more diversified than in other eukaryotes. Here, we summarise the roles of plant HMGB proteins in regulation of chromatin structure and dynamics and report on the newly identified role of AtHMGB1 protein in the regulation of plant telomere length. Astonishingly, contrary to mice mHMGB1 homologue, AtHMGB1 does not affect telomerase activity and AtHMGB1 loss or overexpression does not cause any obvious changes in chromatin architecture.
Keywords: HMGB, telomere shortening/elongation, plants, chromatin, epigenetics, chromosome stability, DNA-dependent processes, DNA-binding domain, eukaryotic organisms, chromatin loop, nucleosome mobility, DNA Methylation, Heterochromatin
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