Telomeres to the rescue?

JULIO KARWOSKI 102225.2745 at CompuServe.COM
Wed Sep 27 01:31:13 EST 1995

George: Responding to your inquiry about telomeres I should say 
that Allsop & Harley have found an average critical telomere 
length to be 0-2kbp at the onset of senescence. Also, at onset of 
senescense there are still many telomere sequences left on the 
average but since telomeres are heterochromatic, the prevailing 
theory is that the heterochromatin traps the first few genetic 
bases which will become silent. Yes, at this point senility is 
still reversible according to experimental evidence by J.W.Shay 
and W.E.West because actual genetic sequences have not been lost 
just yet. Your question about a senescent factor being expressed 
is partially right, actually there is some evidence of an anti 
senescent regulatory factor expressed by those first few genes 
but when they become engulfed in heterochromatin they become 
silent and senescence will occur. This is a hot area in biology 
and its interesting to know that some people like yourself are 
interested to learn more about whats making us old.
    best regards,
    Julio Karwoski

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