Video: How telomere shortening affects aging

The End Replication problem and how it affects aging

Telomeres, in particular telomere length, have been shown to play a role in aging. In this video we explore how and why telomere shortening affects the aging process.

Telomeres are unique structures of proteins and DNA, found on the ends of our chromosomes. Each time cells replicate, the number of DNA repeats making up our telomeres decreases.

When telomeres become too short, a DNA damage response is triggered, signaling the cell to undergo senescence or apoptosis (cell death).

Telomeres shorten with each cell division because of the specific mechanism of DNA replication itself, this is called the ‘end replication problem’.

Within this video we explore how DNA replication works, and why this, along with other processes, results in telomere shortening and how this affects aging.

This is part of a series of six videos where we explore telomeres, telomere length and telomerase, as well as the impacts they have on our health and aging.

Watch the video on the links between telomerase and aging to find out more.

Want to discover some of the basics of what telomeres are and how they protect our cells? Watch this video.

RepeatDx is a leading clinical laboratory for telomere length testing. You can find out more about telomere length testing with RepeatDx here.

Follow us on Twitter: @RepeatDx

References
  1. Bartlett, Zane, “The Hayflick Limit”. Embryo Project Encyclopedia (2014-11-14). ISSN: 1940-5030 http://embryo.asu.edu/handle/10776/8237.
  2. Lingner, J., Cooper, J. P. & Cech, T. R. Telomerase and DNA end replication: no longer a lagging strand problem? Science 269, 1533-1534 (1995).
  3. Bodnar, A. G. et al. Extension of life-span by introduction of telomerase into normal human cells. Science 279, 349-352 (1998).