Indexed on: 24 Dec '18Published on: 20 Dec '18Published in: Reproductive BioMedicine Online
Telomeres are specialized nucleoprotein structures located at the ends of chromosomes that protect them from degradation and chromosomal rearrangements. In vertebrates, they are composed of TTAGGG repeats bound by a specialized protein complex known as shelterin (de Lange 2018). Owing to the so-called “end-replication problem”, telomeric repeats cannot be fully replicated by the DNA polymerases during cell division, leading to a progressive telomere shortening with each DNA replication round. Thus, telomere shortening occurs associated to physiological aging in humans and mice (Blasco 2007).