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Biomolecular Concepts

Editor-in-Chief: Di Cera, Enrico

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CiteScore 2018: 3.35

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 1.475
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.825

ICV 2017: 131.30

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Volume 3, Issue 4


Long telomeres: too much of a good thing

Michael Chang
  • Corresponding author
  • European Research Institute for the Biology of Ageing, University Medical Centre Groningen, University of Groningen, A. Deusinglaan 1, NL-9713 AV Groningen, The Netherlands
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Published Online: 2012-05-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bmc-2012-0009


Telomeres, the physical ends of linear eukaryotic chromosomes, protect chromosome ends from end fusions and degradation. Telomere length is tightly regulated to ensure that telomeres are neither too short nor too long. Short telomeres are preferentially elongated by the enzyme telomerase. In the absence of telomerase, telomeres progressively shorten with each round of cell division. Critically shortened telomeres lose their ability to protect chromosome ends, inducing cell cycle arrest and senescence. While the consequences and cellular response to short telomeres are frequently explored, long telomeres also pose problems and cells have evolved mechanisms to shorten over-elongated telomeres. These aspects of long telomeres are discussed in this short conceptual overview.

Keywords: telomerase; telomere length regulation; telomere rapid deletion; telomeres

About the article

Michael Chang

Michael Chang received his PhD degree at the University of Toronto in 2005 under the supervision of Dr. Grant W. Brown, studying DNA damage response pathways using high-throughput functional genomics. After his PhD, he took a position at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research in Lausanne as a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Joachim Lingner, whose research is focused on telomerase and chromosome end replication. In 2008, Michael moved to the lab of Dr. Rodney Rothstein at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, where he continued to study factors that regulate telomerase as well as telomerase-independent mechanisms of telomere maintenance. In 2011, he joined the European Research Institute for the Biology of Ageing in the Netherlands as an Assistant Professor. Work in his lab focuses on telomere maintenance and genome integrity as it relates to cancer and aging.

Received: 2012-03-20

Accepted: 2012-04-10

Published Online: 2012-05-01

Published in Print: 2012-08-01

Citation Information: BioMolecular Concepts, Volume 3, Issue 4, Pages 387–393, ISSN (Online) 1868-503X, ISSN (Print) 1868-5021, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bmc-2012-0009.

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