Telomeric interactions with the nuclear matrix have been described in a variety of eukaryotic cells and seem to be essential for specific nuclear localization. Macronuclear DNA of hypotrichous ciliates occurs in small gene-sized DNA molecules, each being terminated by telomeres. Each macronucleus contains over 10(8)individual DNA molecules. Owing to the high number of telomeres present in this nucleus it provides an excellent model to study telomere behaviour throughout the cell cycle. In this study we provide experimental evidence that the telomere-telomere-binding protein (TEBP) complex specifically interacts with components of the nuclear matrix in vivo. In the course of replication the specific interaction of the TEBP with components of the nuclear matrix is resolved and an attachment of the telomeres to the matrix no longer occurs.

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