Telomeres protect the ends of chromosomes and prevent chromosomal end-to-end fusions. The DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) has been implicated in DNA repair and telomere maintenance. In the December 18
Analysis of fibroblast and primary cultured kidney cells lacking DNA-PK catalytic subunit revealed no changes in telomere length, but high levels of telomere fusions.
These observations differ from those seen in SCID (severe combined immune deficiency) mice, which have a genetically altered DNA-PK catalytic subunit gene.