Sci. Aging Knowl. Environ., 14 May 2003
Vol. 2003, Issue 19, p. pe11
[DOI: 10.1126/sageke.2003.19.pe11]


Telomerase and the Aging Heart

E. Kevin Heist, Fawzia Huq, and Roger Hajjar

The authors are at the Cardiovascular Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02129, USA. E-mail: hajjar{at} (R.H.);2003/19/pe11

Key Words: cardiovascular disease • telomerase • telomere • Terc-/- mice • cardiomyocyte • replicative senescence

Abstract: Telomeres are highly conserved structures that cap and protect the ends of linear chromosomes. The telomerase enzyme is present in germline cells as well as in many rapidly dividing tissues and serves to maintain chromosome length and integrity during cell division. Telomerase activity is typically reduced as an organism ages, and this phenomenon has been implicated in the aging process. In this Perspective, we focus on the effects of both gene knockout and gene replacement of telomerase in the heart and discuss the implications of these findings for potential cardiovascular therapeutics.

Citation: E. K. Heist, F. Huq, R. Hajjar, Telomerase and the Aging Heart. Sci. SAGE KE 2003, pe11 (14 May 2003);2003/19/pe11

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