Telomere biology, a key component of the hallmarks of ageing, offers insight into dysregulation of normative ageing processes that accompany age-related diseases such as cancer. Telomere homeostasis is tightly linked to cellular metabolism, and in particular with mitochondrial physiology, which is also diminished during cellular senescence and normative physiological ageing. Inherent in the biochemistry of these processes is the role of magnesium, one of the main cellular ions and an essential cofactor in all reactions that use ATP. Magnesium plays an important role in many of the processes involved in regulating telomere structure, integrity and function. This review explores the mechanisms that maintain telomere structure and function, their influence on circadian rhythms and their impact on health and age-related disease. The pervasive role of magnesium in telomere homeostasis is also highlighted.
Keywords: TERT; magnesium; mitochondria; oxidative stress; telomerase; telomeres.