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Telomerase and Telomeric Proteins in Telomere Maintenance, Cellular Plasticity, and Age-Related Disease

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 — Concurrent Symposia Session II

10:00 a.m. – Noon

Balcony A


  • Yie Liu, NIA
  • Sharon Savage, NCI


More than 25 years ago, Carol Greider and Elizabeth Blackburn identified telomerase, which was capable of synthesizing the repetitive DNA at the ends of most eukaryotic chromosomes. In the absence of telomerase, telomeres gradually shorten and associated with aging and premature aging syndromes. Besides telomerase, telomeric proteins also play key roles in telomere maintenance. Mutations in telomerase and telomeric proteins contribute to diseases in humans. While telomerase or telomeric proteins are specialized for telomere regulation, other functions that are independent of telomere maintenance have been reported. This section will highlight new findings in telomere biology including: the mechanisms of telomere length regulation in model organisms; the role of telomere attrition in human aging; mutagenesis of telomerase components and telomeric proteins in inherited diseases; DNA repair pathways in telomere damage repair, telomere damage response, and premature aging syndromes; and the extracurricular activities of telomerase and telomeric proteins.

Characterization of Human Telomere Biology Disorders
Sharon Savage, NCI

Telomere Dynamics in iPS Cells Derived From Human Patients With Telomerase Mutations
Thomas Winkler, NIBIB

Coordinated Changes of Telomere Length, Telomerase Activity, and Composition of Subsets in Blood Lymphocytes In Vivo With Age
Nan-ping Weng, NIA

Epigenetic Protection of Drosophila Telomeres
Yikong Rong, NCI

Nontelomeric Functions of TRF2 in Neural Stem Cells, Neurons, and Tumor Cells
Mark Mattson, NIA

Oxidative DNA Damage Affects Telomere Integrity *FARE Award Winner
Haritha Vallabhaneni, NIA

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