blog-026 Oct 2013

What is telomere shortening?

Studies of telomere length regulation provided the first molecular mechanism capable of counting cell divisions and implementing cell cycle arrest (Harley et al., 1990). Telomeres consist of repetitive DNA elements at the end of linear chromosomes that protect the DNA ends from degradation and recombination (Chan et al., 2001, de Lange, 2005). Due to the intrinsic inability of the replication machinery to copy the ends of linear molecules, telomeres become progressively shorter with every round