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Nat Rev Immunol. 2002 Sep;2(9):699-706.

Telomeres in T and B cells.

Author information

1
National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA. Richard_Hodes@nih.gov

Abstract

Telomeres are the structures at the ends of linear chromosomes. In mammalian cells, they consist of hexanucleotide (TTAGGG) repeats, together with many associated proteins. In the absence of a compensatory mechanism, dividing cells undergo gradual telomere erosion until a critical degree of shortening results in chromosomal abnormalities and cell death or senescence. For T and B cells, the ability to undergo extensive cell division and clonal expansion is crucial for effective immune function. This article describes our current understanding of telomere-length regulation in lymphocytes and its implications for immune function.

PMID:
12209138
DOI:
10.1038/nri890
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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