The many faces of the helicase RTEL1 at telomeres and beyond

Noa Hourvitz, Aya Awad, Yehuda Tzfati*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Regulator of telomere elongation 1 (RTEL1) is known as a DNA helicase that is important for telomeres and genome integrity. However, the diverse phenotypes of RTEL1 dysfunction, the wide spectrum of symptoms caused by germline RTEL1 mutations, and the association of RTEL1 mutations with cancers suggest that RTEL1 is a complex machine that interacts with DNA, RNA, and proteins, and functions in diverse cellular pathways. We summarize the proposed functions of RTEL1 and discuss their implications for telomere maintenance. Studying RTEL1 is crucial for understanding the complex interplay between telomere maintenance and other nuclear pathways, and how compromising these pathways causes telomere biology diseases, various aging-associated pathologies, and cancer.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)109-121
Number of pages13
JournalTrends in Cell Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

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© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • G-quadruplexes
  • R-loops
  • genome stability
  • telomere biology disease


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