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Exp Mol Med. 2003 Jun 30;35(3):141-53.

Mouse models for telomere and telomerase biology.

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Samsung Biomedical Research Institute, Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Suwon 440-746, Korea.


Telomeres serve a critical role in maintenance of genomic stability in all eukaryotes, from yeast to human. The maintenance of telomeres is achieved by the telomerase complex, which is largely composed of telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) and telomerase RNA component (TERC). A variety of mouse models have provided valuable insights into the relationship between the telomerase complex and telomere dysfunction at the organismal level and helped understand their biological significance in human. Recently, in addition to its role in maintenance of the telomeres, novel functions of the telomerase complex have been emerging. In this review, studies of all gene-targeted or transgenic mouse models so far generated for telomerase and telomere biology are comprehensively described, and potential novel functions of telomerase are briefly discussed.

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