Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995 Jan 3;92(1):258-62.

DNA damage and repair in telomeres: relation to aging.

Author information

Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD 21224.


We have established a method for the detection of DNA damage and its repair in human telomeres, the natural ends of chromosomes which are necessary for replication and critical for chromosomal stability. We find that ultraviolet light-induced pyrimidine dimers in telomeric DNA are repaired less efficiently than endogenous genes but more efficiently than inactive, noncoding regions. We have also measured telomeric length, telomeric DNA damage, and its repair in relation to the progression of aging. Telomeres are shorter in fibroblasts from an old donor compared to fibroblasts from a young donor, shortest in cells from a patient with the progeroid disorder Werner syndrome, and relatively long in fibroblasts from a patient with Alzheimer disease. Telomeric DNA repair efficiency is lower in cells from an old donor than in cells from a young donor, normal in Alzheimer cells, and slightly lower in Werner cells. It is possible that this decline in telomeric repair with aging is of functional significance to an age-related decline in genomic stability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center