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To examine the role of telomerase in normal and neoplastic growth, the telomerase RNA component (mTR) was deleted from the mouse germline. mTR-/- mice lacked detectable telomerase activity yet were viable for the six generations analyzed. Telomerase-deficient cells could be immortalized in culture, transformed by viral oncogenes, and generated tumors in(More)
Telomeres play a central role in cell fate and aging by adjusting the cellular response to stress and growth stimulation on the basis of previous cell divisions and DNA damage. At least a few hundred nucleotides of telomere repeats must "cap" each chromosome end to avoid activation of DNA repair pathways. Repair of critically short or "uncapped" telomeres(More)
The proliferative life-span of the stem cells that sustain hematopoiesis throughout life is not known. It has been proposed that the sequential loss of telomeric DNA from the ends of human chromosomes with each somatic cell division eventually reaches a critical point that triggers cellular senescence. We now show that candidate human stem cells with a(More)
To study telomere length dynamics in hematopoietic cells with age, we analyzed the average length of telomere repeat sequences in diverse populations of nucleated blood cells. More than 500 individuals ranging in age from 0 to 90 yr, including 36 pairs of monozygous and dizygotic twins, were analyzed using quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization and(More)
To measure the average length of telomere repeats at chromosome ends in individual cells we developed a flow cytometry method using fluorescence in situ hybridization (flow FISH) with labeled peptide nucleic acid (PNA) probes. Results of flow FISH measurements correlated with results of conventional telomere length measurements by Southern blot analysis (R(More)
Mammalian telomerase is essential for the maintenance of telomere length [1-5]. Its catalytic core comprises a reverse transcriptase component (TERT) and an RNA component. While the biochemical role of mammalian TERT is well established [6-11], it is unknown whether it is sufficient for telomere-length maintenance, chromosome stability or other cellular(More)
It is generally assumed that sister chromatids are genetically and functionally identical and that segregation to daughter cells is a random process. However, functional differences between sister chromatids regulate daughter cell fate in yeast and sister chromatid segregation is not random in Escherichia coli. Differentiated sister chromatids, coupled with(More)
Telomeres have emerged as crucial cellular elements in aging and various diseases including cancer. To measure the average length of telomere repeats in cells, we describe our protocols that use fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) with labeled peptide nucleic acid (PNA) probes specific for telomere repeats in combination with fluorescence measurements(More)
The yeast Sir2p protein has an essential role in maintaining telomeric and mating type genes in their transcriptionally inactive state. Mammalian cells have a very large proportion of their genome inactive and also contain seven genes that have regions of homology with the yeast sir2 gene. One of these mammalian genes, sir2alpha, is the presumptive(More)
Little is known about the genes that regulate telomere length diversity between mammalian species. A candidate gene locus was previously mapped to a region on distal mouse Chr 2q. Within this region, we identified a gene similar to the dog-1 DNA helicase-like gene in C. elegans. We cloned this Regulator of telomere length (Rtel) gene and inactivated its(More)