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After a limited number of divisions, most eukaryotic cells grown in culture will undergo a terminal growth arrest called cellular senescence. This growth arrest is thought to be a consequence of progressive telomere shortening that occurs due to incomplete DNA replication of the chromosome ends. In addition, cellular senescence can also be induced by a(More)
Short leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is associated with atherosclerosis in adults and diminished survival in the elderly. LTL dynamics are defined by LTL at birth, which is highly variable, and its age-dependent attrition thereafter, which is rapid during the first 20 years of life. We examined whether age-dependent LTL attrition during adulthood can(More)
The Cdc6 protein of budding yeast and its homologues in other species play an essential role in the initiation of DNA replication. A cDNA encoding a human homologue of Cdc6 (HsCdc6) has been cloned and expressed as a fusion protein in a soluble and functionally active form. The purified protein bound specifically to ATP and slowly hydrolyzed it, whereas(More)
The aging of organisms is characterized by a gradual functional decline of all organ systems. Mammalian somatic cells in culture display a limited proliferative life span, at the end of which they undergo an irreversible cell cycle arrest known as replicative senescence. Whether cellular senescence contributes to organismal aging has been controversial. We(More)
Cellular senescence, a stress induced growth arrest of somatic cells, was first documented in cell cultures over 40 years ago, however its physiological significance has only recently been demonstrated. Using novel biomarkers of cellular senescence we examined whether senescent cells accumulate in tissues from baboons of ages encompassing the entire(More)
Telomeres, the ends of our linear chromosomes, can function as 'replicometers', capable of counting cell division cycles as they progressively erode with every round of DNA replication. Once they are critically short, telomeres become dysfunctional and consequently activate a proliferative arrest called replicative senescence. For many years, telomeres were(More)
The tumor suppressor protein BRCA2 is a key component of the homologous recombination pathway of DNA repair, acting as the loader of RAD51 recombinase at sites of double-strand breaks. Here we show that BRCA2 associates with telomeres during the S and G2 phases of the cell cycle and facilitates the loading of RAD51 onto telomeres. Conditional deletion of(More)
In normal human somatic cells, telomere dysfunction causes cellular senescence, a stable proliferative arrest with tumour suppressing properties. Whether telomere dysfunction-induced senescence (TDIS) suppresses cancer growth in humans, however, is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that multiple and distinct human cancer precursor lesions, but not corresponding(More)
Telomerase is a reverse transcriptase associated with cellular immortality through telomere maintenance. This enzyme is activated in 90% of human cancers, and inhibitors of telomerase are currently in clinical trials to counteract tumor growth. Many aspects of telomerase biology have been investigated for therapy, particularly inhibition of the enzyme, but(More)
The DNA damage response (DDR) orchestrates DNA repair and halts cell cycle. If damage is not resolved, cells can enter into an irreversible state of proliferative arrest called cellular senescence. Organismal ageing in mammals is associated with accumulation of markers of cellular senescence and DDR persistence at telomeres. Since the vast majority of the(More)