Telomeres and telomerase: three decades of progress

Jerry W Shay, Woodring E Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many recent advances have emerged in the telomere and telomerase fields. This Timeline article highlights the key advances that have expanded our views on the mechanistic underpinnings of telomeres and telomerase and their roles in ageing and disease. Three decades ago, the classic view was that telomeres protected the natural ends of linear chromosomes and that telomerase was a specific telomere-terminal transferase necessary for the replication of chromosome ends in single-celled organisms. While this concept is still correct, many diverse fields associated with telomeres and telomerase have substantially matured. These areas include the discovery of most of the key molecular components of telomerase, implications for limits to cellular replication, identification and characterization of human genetic disorders that result in premature telomere shortening, the concept that inhibiting telomerase might be a successful therapeutic strategy and roles for telomeres in regulating gene expression. We discuss progress in these areas and conclude with challenges and unanswered questions in the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNature Reviews Genetics
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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Telomerase
Telomere
Chromosomes
Telomere Shortening
Inborn Genetic Diseases
Medical Genetics
Gene Expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

Cite this

Telomeres and telomerase : three decades of progress. / Shay, Jerry W; Wright, Woodring E.

In: Nature Reviews Genetics, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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