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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2005 Jun;15(3):249-57.

Dyskeratosis congenita: telomerase, telomeres and anticipation.

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Department of Haematology, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London, W12 0NN, UK.


Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is a rare bone marrow failure syndrome that displays marked clinical and genetic heterogeneity. The identification of dyskeratosis congenita gene 1 (DKC1) mutations in X-linked recessive patients initially suggested that DC is a defective pseudouridylation disorder. The subsequent identification of mutations in the telomerase RNA component (TERC) of autosomal dominant DC patients together with the discovery that both TERC and the DKC1-encoded protein, dyskerin, are closely associated in the telomerase complex have suggested that the pathophysiology of DC predominantly relates to defective telomere maintenance. Recent discoveries have shown that autosomal dominant DC exhibits disease anticipation and that this is associated with progressive telomere shortening owing to the haplo-insufficiency of TERC.

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