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Prokayotic and eukarotic chromosome structure differs. Generally prokaryotes have a single circular chromosome, while eukaryotes have multiple linear chromosomes. Linear chromosomes contain telomeres, composed of repeated DNA sequences, at the ends of the chromosome. While telomeres play crucial roles in capping telomeres, they create an end-replication problem. To overcome this issue, most eukaryotes possess the ribonucleoprotein enzyme complex telomerase. Despite the existence of telomerase, telomeres nonetheless shorten with aging and are thought to be a major contributor to this phenomenon. On the other hand, telomerase is upregulated in >85% of human cancers in order to allow the uncontrolled cell proliferation that is a hallmark of the disease.

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Challenges in creating circularized versions of linear chromosomes



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