Introduction to Telomeres and Telomerase

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1587:1-13. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-6892-3_1.


Telomeres are ends of chromosomes that play an important part in the biology of eukaryotic cells. Continued optimization and development of technologies have enabled researchers to probe the mechanisms of telomere maintenance in ever expanding areas. A combination of molecular, genetic, proteomic, and biochemical approaches has revealed the complex and coordinated action of telomerase and telomere-associated proteins. The length and integrity of telomeres are maintained to prevent telomere dysfunction, which has been linked to senescence, aging, disease, and cancer. The tools and assays used to study telomeres today have helped assemble a more detailed, high-resolution picture of the various players and pathways at work at the telomeres.

Keywords: Telomerase; Telomere; Telomere dysfunction; Telomere interactome; Telomere length; Telomere protection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cellular Senescence / physiology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Proteomics / methods
  • Telomerase / metabolism*
  • Telomere / metabolism*


  • Telomerase