The Bouquet is a rare tissue or cell type found in only a few other places in the body. It is typically found inside the86-kilogram (190-pound) muscles, where it makes up the external layer of the muscle.
These Bouquet cells help keep the muscle healthy by monitoring how much oxygen and nutrients it needs. When this cell needs a new supply of oxygen and nutrients, it switches to an alternate cell type called an Accessory Mitochondrion (AM). This occurs when the cell needs more energy, like during exercise.
The Accessory Mitochondrion (AM) can supply energy to either a working or nonworking muscle, depending on your workout goals.
Clues to where you might find these structures
There are several tissues and cell types that contain telomere clusters. These include the haematinic cells found in the gut, the blood-forming hematin cells found in your bone marrow, and some of the nonhaematin cells that make up your skin.
While it may seem like a strange place to put a cluster, it’s actually not that rare. In fact, one study found just over half of people have at least one cluster.
In people with an underactive T-cell count or noventory, clusters can be associated with poor health outcomes such as immune system overreactivity and risk for cancer. As we discussed earlier in this article, having too many immune system cells can cause health issues such as overresponse and Chronic Inflammatory Response (CIR) ischemic damage to other parts of the body.
A cluster may also appear during times when you need more red blood Cells (“RBCs”) or bone marrow stem cells (“BMSCs”).
These times include when you are recovering from surgery or when you are transplanting new BMSCs into another part of your body.
Telomere clusters in human cells
As mentioned earlier, the end of a DNA sequence is called a terminus. When a cell receives a signal to divide, it attaches another end to itself and begins to divide.
The two new cells that form will have one end of their DNA copies with the other end still covered with non-DNA material, like in this picture. This is because when the cell divides, new DNA copies are made with new instructions for what to do, like make a Red Blood Cell or RBC and then you split it into two cells.
But when it came time for these two new cells to divide again, their non-DNA material had to be re-covering one anothers ends of the DNA copy so that they could continue producing new blood cells or RBCs.
Telomere clusters in plants
As we speak, research is underway to identify the cells that maintain the length of our chromosomes. As it turns out, these cells are located at the ends of our DNA strands and plug into a system known as the end-member chromosome family.
In order for a cell to have a complete end-member chromosome family, it must have both ends joined together. This is how the cell knows which side to discard its genome and which to add as new.
This occurs at the poles of certain cells such as mitochondrion (powerhouses) and ETCs (electrochemical components). When a cell has two halves that don’t match up in this way, one half must be discarded and the other added.
This process is called duplicated or extra-chromosomal material. It happens when one parent has an extra copy of its genome that doesn’t match up with its existing one.
Telomere clusters in bacteria
As a final surprise, some bacteria have telomere clusters. These are short sequences at the end of your DNA that help prevent overlong copying and storage processes.
These clusters are found in certain types of archaea, which include certain kinds of unicellular algae. These bacteria don’t have a human version, but they may be important for us because they contribute to our vitamin and mineral stores.
Many strains of these bacteria can even grow inside the bones of dead humans, making it an alternative way to get enough vitamin D.
It’s not known why some bacteria have telomere clusters while others do not, but it may be related to which cells need them and whether they use them or not.
Applications of knowledge about telomeres and telomere clustering
There are several reasons to know about telomeres and how they work. First, telomeres are important structural elements that limit the number of copies of DNA that can be added to a cell.
Second, cells with short telomeres have been linked to various health conditions, including cancer.
Third, certain drugs that target shortening of telomeres can prevent or reverse certain diseases, including Alzheimer’s.
Last, understanding shortening of telomeres may help you choose better drugs to target them. If you know you have a long list of demands your body must meet, you may be more inclined to choose drugs that require less energy to use and maintain.
Summary of telomeres and telomere clustering
Telomeres are short stretches of DNA at the end of each eukaryotic cell or organism’s genetic material. As you may know, cells with a shorter telomere will naturally divide less frequently, which can be harmful.
However, there are several cell types in the body that have longer telomeres than non-cellular sources such as skin or bones. This is because cellularity is integral to the function of these cells.
Because of this, we can find telomere clusters in some places in the body. For example, on cartilage we can find clusters around joint openings and on bone where it has begun to break down.
These clusters may help with long-term storage of cellular data. They may also aid healing by providing more equitable access to nutrients and repair materials.