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We cross-sectionally tested telomere length in different tissues of two long-lived (naked mole-rat and Spalax) and two short-lived (rat and mice) species to tease out this enigma.
Our growing understanding of the mechanisms of telomerase up-regulation during cancer development might help in tumour prognosis and in the development of new anti-cancer treatments and therapies.
In addition, many telomere-independent functions for the telomerase reverse transcriptase protein TERT have been discovered, which add to the complexity of telomerase and the multitude of its functions.
This includes biologists deciphering the complex mechanisms and interactions between the different components of telomeres and telomerase, as well as clinicians aiming to use telomere lengths as a biomarker for aging and diseases.
Ever more details emerge about the tightly-regulated interaction of telomerase activity in the regulation of telomere lengths, and many mechanisms still remain a mystery, ready to be solved.
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For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.Telomere dynamics have been found to be better predictors of survival and mortality than chronological age.Telomere length has been accepted widely as a biomarker of aging.Recently, a novel candidate biomarker has been suggested to predict an individual’s chronological age with high accuracy: The epigenetic clock is based on the weighted DNA methylation (DNAm) fraction of a number of cytosine-phosphate-guanine sites (Cp Gs) selected by penalized regression analysis.Both r LTL (0.79 ± 0.14) and DNAm age (69.67 ± 7.27 years) were available for 773 subjects (31.6% female; mean chronological age= 69.68 ± 11.01 years; mean DNAm age acceleration = −0.01 ± 7.83 years).While we detected a significant correlation between chronological age and DNAm age (n = 779, R = 0.69), we found neither evidence of an association between r LTL and the DNAm age (β = 3.00, p = 0.18) nor r LTL and the DNAm age acceleration (β = 2.76, p = 0.22) in the studied cohort, suggesting that DNAm age and r LTL measure different aspects of biological age.These findings in the NMR, suggest an age buffering mechanism, while in Spalax tissues the shortening of the telomeres are in spite of its extreme longevity traits.Therefore, using long-lived species as models for understanding the role of telomeres in longevity is of great importance since they may encompass mechanisms that postpone aging.Here, an established methylation-sensitive single nucleotide primer extension method was adapted, to estimate the epigenetic age of the 1005 participants of the Lipid Cardio Study, a patient cohort characterised by high prevalence of cardiovascular disease, based on a seven Cp Gs epigenetic clock.Furthermore, we measured relative leukocyte telomere length (r LTL) to assess the relationship between the established and the promising new measure of biological age.