Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes that cap the ends of all linear chromosomes and function to prevent aberrant repair and end-to-end chromosome fusions. In somatic cells, telomere shortening is a natural part of the aging process as it occurs with each round of cell division. In germ and stem cells, however, the enzyme telomerase synthesizes telomere DNA to counter-balance telomere shortening and help maintain cellular proliferation. Of the primary telomere end-binding proteins, TPP1 has recently emerged as a primary contributor in protecting telomere DNA and in recruiting telomerase to the telomere ends. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge regarding the role of TPP1 in telomere maintenance.