Mannu, Andrea (2014) Studio della lunghezza telomerica nella popolazione sarda. Doctoral Thesis.
Telomeres are nucleoprotein structures that caps the ends of chromosomes. Human telomeres are repeats of TTAGGG sequences that measures between 5 and 15 kb. Telomeres protect chromosome ends from DNA damage and are associated with the nuclear membrane to maintain nuclear organization. During the process of DNA synthesis and cell division, telomere length decreases as a result of the incomplete replication of chromosome ends. Telomerase is a ribonuclear protein-enzyme complex that synthesizes telomeric repeats by adding hexameric (TTAGGG) repeats onto the telomeric ends of chromosomes. Telomerase is active in germ line cells and stem cells but not in most adult tissue. Telomere shortening has been proposed to play an important role in the process of cellular senescence. Cellular senescence may represent therefore, the manifestation of the aging process at the cellular level. In this work, telomere length was analized in the Sardinian population in relation to age and sex. The age of subjects enrolled in the research project Akea (A Kent'Annos ) was comprised between 20 and 105 years. Telomere length was determined using a method based on Cawthon’s quantitative real time PCR. Results have shown a negative correlation between the average length of telomeres and age. In addition, telomere length in women was lower than in men, a result in opposition with data observed in other scientific works. Finally, some centenarian samples showed a LTL unusually high.
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