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Re: Stem Cells May Teach Immortalitylibfemme ( 07/04/2005, 13:35:07 )
No, it doesn't seem to be all about telomeres, but certainly telomere's are part of the mix. For instance, if you lack a helicase needed for maintenance of telomeres it can lead to Werner's syndrome. Children born with this disease suffer from osteoporosis, cataracts, and atherosclerosis. Their cells stop dividing after only ~20 doublings instead of the normal 70 or more. But there are other pathways that lead to premature a life span. For instance mutations in the genes needed for transcription-coupled DNA repair can also shorten life. It's called CS. Ataxia telangiectasia (AT)also leads to premature aging. In this case patients are lacking a protein that detects DNA damage and initiates the repair response. And Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome isn't related to mitosis at all. It is caused by mutations in the gene (LMNA) for lamin a protein in the nuclear membrane. So cells must go through a lot of steps, and the more steps the more chances for something to go wrong at each stage. Telomere's and free radicals are only part of the total picture.
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