Telomeres and telomerase as therapeutic targets to prevent and treat age-related diseases.

Author: Bär C1, Blasco MA1
1Telomeres and Telomerase Group, Molecular Oncology Program, Spanish National Cancer Centre (CNIO), Madrid, Spain.
Conference/Journal: F1000Res.
Date published: 2016 Jan 20
Other: Volume ID: 5 , Special Notes: doi: 10.12688/f1000research.7020.1. eCollection 2016. , Word Count: 118

Telomeres, the protective ends of linear chromosomes, shorten throughout an individual's lifetime. Telomere shortening is a hallmark of molecular aging and is associated with premature appearance of diseases associated with aging. Here, we discuss the role of telomere shortening as a direct cause for aging and age-related diseases. In particular, we draw attention to the fact that telomere length influences longevity. Furthermore, we discuss intrinsic and environmental factors that can impact on human telomere erosion. Finally, we highlight recent advances in telomerase-based therapeutic strategies for the treatment of diseases associated with extremely short telomeres owing to mutations in telomerase, as well as age-related diseases, and ultimately aging itself.

KEYWORDS: Aging; Telomerase; Telomeres; short telomeres; telomere length

PMID: 27081482 [PubMed]