TERRA in biology is an abbreviation for "TElomeric Repeat-containing RNA". TERRA is RNA that is transcribed from telomeres — the repeating 6-nucleotide sequences that cap the ends of chromosomes. TERRA functions with shelterin to inhibit telomere lengthening by enzyme telomerase. At least four factors contribute to telomere maintenance: telomerase, shelterin, TERRA and the CST Complex.
TERRA can also regulate telomere length by increasing euchromatin formation. On the other hand, nonsense-mediated decay factor enrichment at telomeres may exist to prevent TERRA inhibition of telomerase. TERRA levels vary during the cell cycle, decreasing during S phase, and increasing in the transition from G2 phase to G1 phase.
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- Wang C, Zhao L, Lu S (2015). "Role of TERRA in the regulation of telomere length". International Journal of Biological Sciences. 11 (3): 316–323. doi:10.7150/ijbs.10528. PMC . PMID 25678850.
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