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Mutat Res. 2008 Dec 1;647(1-2):86-93. doi: 10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2008.08.005. Epub 2008 Aug 20.

Telomeric chromatin: roles in aging, cancer and hereditary disease.

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Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


Over the last several years there has been an explosion in our understanding of the organization of telomeric chromatin in mammals. As in other regions of the genome, chromatin composition at the telomere regulates structure, which defines function. Mammalian telomeres, similar to what has been demonstrated for telomeres of other eukaryotes, carry marks of heterochromatin and alteration in this underlying epigenetic code has effects on telomere replication and recombination. Experiments aimed at determining links between changes in telomeric chromatin and possible roles in aging and disease are beginning to emerge. The rapid refinement of our knowledge of the structure and alterations in telomeric chromatin over the last several years makes it likely that we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg.

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