The role of telomeres in stem cells and cancer

Cell. 2013 Jan 31;152(3):390-3. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.01.010.


Telomere shortening impairs proliferation of transformed cells but also leads to cancer initiation by inducing chromosomal instability. Here, we discuss recent developments in our understanding of the role of telomeres in replication stress and how telomerase expression in somatic stem cells may affect genome integrity control and carcinogenesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Repair
  • DNA Replication
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Telomere / metabolism*