Updated: 5/6/2017

Telomeres

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Overview
  • Structure
    • regions of DNA at the ends of chromosomes that are non-coding and repetitive
    • added by telomerase enzyme
  • Function
    • protect ends of DNA from degradation
  • Clinical relevance
    • each round of replication shortens the telomere because DNA polymerase requires an RNA template and lagging strand cannot replicate all the way to the end of the chromosome
    • telomere shortening is implicated in cell senescence
    • cancer cell often have ↑ telomerase activity
      • makes unlimited replication potential possible
 

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