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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1999 Feb;9(1):97-103.

Telomere maintenance mechanisms and cellular immortalization.

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Children's Medical Research Institute, 214 Hawkesbury Road, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia.

Erratum in

  • Curr Opin Genet Dev 1999 Apr;9(2):247.


Immortal cell populations are able to proliferate indefinitely. Immortalization is associated with activation of processes that compensate for the telomeric shortening that accompanies cell division in normal somatic cells. In many immortal cell lines, telomere maintenance is provided by the action of the ribonucleoprotein enzyme complex, telomerase. Some immortal cell lines have undetectable or very low levels of telomerase activity and there is evidence that these cells maintain their telomeres by an alternative mechanism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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