Telomere Biology and Human Phenotype

Cells. 2019 Jan 19;8(1):73. doi: 10.3390/cells8010073.


Telomeres are nucleoprotein structures that cap the end of each chromosome arm and function to maintain genome stability. The length of telomeres is known to shorten with each cell division and it is well-established that telomere attrition is related to replicative capacity in vitro. Moreover, telomere loss is also correlated with the process of aging in vivo. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms that lead to telomere shortening and summarise telomere homeostasis in humans throughout a lifetime. In addition, we discuss the available evidence that shows that telomere shortening is related to human aging and the onset of age-related disease.

Keywords: aging; senescence; telomere length; telomeres.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • DNA Replication
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Phenotype
  • Telomere / chemistry
  • Telomere / metabolism*
  • Telomere Homeostasis