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Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1997 Feb;214(2):99-106.

Replicative senescence and cell immortality: the role of telomeres and telomerase.

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Geron Corporation, Menlo Park, California 94025, USA.


Telomere shortening is correlated with cell senescence in vitro and cell aging in vivo. The telomere hypothesis suggests that telomere length serves as a mitotic clock for timing cellular replicative life span. Expression of telomerase stabilizes telomere length and allows for continual replication, or cell immortality. This article reviews recent evidences for the role of telomere length and telomerase in the regulation of cellular replicative life span. The therapeutic potential of manipulating telomerase expression and telomere length is also discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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