Telomere Binding Proteins and Disease

Maria A. Blasco

Abstract An increasingly growing number of human diseases including cancer and age-related diseases have been associated to telomeric dysfunction. The progressive telemore loss that occurs with aging in humans is proposed to contribute to the patho-biology of age-related diseases. Evidence for this comes from the study of mouse models that reproduce the corresponding full-blown human pathology only when in the setting of critically short telemores. Moreover, telomerase itself, as well as several telomere-binding proteins, has been found altered in human pathologies. Here, we will review recent findings suggesting that the length and function of telomeres are a biological determinant in the development of certain human diseases associated with aging, particularly from the perspective of mouse models for telomere dysfunction.

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