Telomeres and cancer mortality: The long and the short of it

10 abril 2015

Telomeres are short stretches of repeated nucleotides that protect the ends of chromosomes. In somatic cells, these protective sequences become shorter with each cellular replication until a critical length is reached, which can trigger cell death. At the conclusion of their study, the authors conclude, «We speculate that long telomeres may represent a survival advantage for cancer cells, allowing multiple cell divisions leading to high cancer mortality.»