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J Clin Invest. 2004 Jan;113(2):160-8.

Telomeres, stem cells, senescence, and cancer.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine and Genetics, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-8212, USA. nes@med.unc.edu

Abstract

Mammalian aging occurs in part because of a decline in the restorative capacity of tissue stem cells. These self-renewing cells are rendered malignant by a small number of oncogenic mutations, and overlapping tumor suppressor mechanisms (e.g., p16(INK4a)-Rb, ARF-p53, and the telomere) have evolved to ward against this possibility. These beneficial antitumor pathways, however, appear also to limit the stem cell life span, thereby contributing to aging.

PMID:
14722605
PMCID:
PMC311439
DOI:
10.1172/JCI20761
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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