Jul 6, 2014

Human telomeres and telomere biology disorders

Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science
Sharon A Savage

Abstract

Telomeres consist of long nucleotide repeats and a protein complex at chromosome ends essential for chromosome stability. Telomeres shorten with each cell division and thus are markers of cellular age. Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is a cancer-prone inherited bone marrow failure syndrome caused by germ-line mutations in key telomere biology genes that result in extremely short telomeres. The triad of nail dysplasia, abnormal skin pigmentation, and oral leukoplakia is diagnostic of DC but highly variable. Patients with DC may also have but numerous other medical problems, including pulmonary fibrosis, liver abnormalities, avascular necrosis of the hips, and stenosis of the esophagus, lacrimal ducts, and/or urethra. All modes of inheritance have been reported in DC and de novo mutations are common. Broad phenotypic heterogeneity occurs within DC. Clinically severe variants of DC are Hoyeraal-Hreidarsson syndrome and Revesz syndrome. Coats plus syndrome joined the spectrum of DC with the discovery that it is caused by mutations in a telomere-capping gene. Less clinically severe variants, such as subsets of apparently isolated aplastic anemia or pulmonary fibrosis, have also been recognized. These patients may not have the DC-associa...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes
Aplastic Anemia
Transverse Tubule of Muscle Cell
Leukoplakia, Oral
Urethra
Cap Formation
Germ-Line Mutation
Bone Necrosis
Esophageal Tissue
Malignant Neoplasm of Urethra

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