The maintenance of telomere length is important in upholding the integrity of the genome. However, it is clear from detailed observations of both telomere length and internal repeat structure that human telomeres are extremely dynamic structures and are subjected to multiple processes that create considerable heterogeneity. Genetic evidence suggests that meiotic recombination within telomeres is rare. However, there are various lines of evidence that implicate the involvement of intra-allelic processes in human telomere dynamics. In this paper, we briefly review some of this evidence and the putative mechanisms of intra-allelic telomeric mutation.

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