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Lookup NU author(s): Professor Thomas von Zglinicki
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Telomeres in most human cells shorten with each round of DNA replication, because they lack the enzyme telomerase. This is not, however, the only determinant of the rate of loss of telomeric DNA. Oxidative damage is repaired less well in telomeric DNA than elsewhere in the chromosome, and Oxidative stress accelerates telomere loss, whereas antioxidants decelerate it. I suggest here that oxidative stress is an important modulator of telomere loss and that telomere-driven replicative senescence is primarily a stress response. This might have evolved to block the growth of cells that have been exposed to a high risk of mutation.
Author(s): von Zglinicki T
Publication type: Editorial
Publication status: Published
Journal: Trends in Biochemical Sciences
ISSN (print): 0968-0004
ISSN (electronic): 0167-7640
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd