Theories of aging: telomeres and senescence. Reading: Handbook of Aging, Ch 9 A&S300-003 Jim Lund. Chromosome End Replication Problem. DNA replication and telomere shortening. The chromosome End Replication Problem DNA polymerases add bases 5’ -> 3’ and require a primer template.
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Reading: Handbook of Aging, Ch 9
A&S300-003 Jim Lund
DNA replication and telomere shortening
5’ -> 3’ and require a primer template
Telomeres/telomerase maintain chromosome ends
Blue = DNA White = Telomere protein (TERT)
Repeated G rich sequence on one strand
in humans: (TTAGGG)n
Repeats can be several thousand basepairs long. In humans, telomeric repeats average 5-15 kilobases.
Telomere specific proteins, eg. TRF1 & TRF2 bind to
the repeat sequence and protect the ends.
Hayflick limit: cells are only capable of a limited number of population doublings in culture.
Here’s what is meant by the term doubling in vitro.
Term is used to describe replication going on in culture dishes.
One serial passage or doubling of cells
Organism + L.S: Hayflick Limit:
-mouse about 3 years -doublings about 20
-human about 100 -doublings about 40-60
-Galapagos tortoise about 150 -doublings about 140
Senescence of keratinocytes
Telomere also provide a means for "counting" cell division: telomeres shorten with each cycle
Telomeres shorten from 10-15 kb
(germ line) to 3-5 kb after 50-60 doublings
(average lengths of TRFs)
Cellular senescence is triggered when
cells acquire one or a few
critically short telomeres.
Telomere Length (humans)
Cellular (replicative) Senescence
Number of Doublings
Dermal fibroblasts transformed with TERT (telomerase) continue dividing, Werner’s cells typically stop dividing at 20 population doublings.