Cell cycle checkpoints and tumor suppressor gene functions appear to be required for the maintenance of a stable genome in proliferating cells. In this study chromosomal destabilization was monitored in relation to telomere structure, lifespan control and G2 checkpoint function. Replicative senescence was inactivated in secondary cultures of human skin fibroblasts by expressing the human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16) E6 oncoprotein to inactivate p53. Chromosome aberrations were enumerated during in vitro aging of isogenic control (F5neo) and HPV-16E6-expressing (F5E6) fibroblasts.
Short, repetitive, G-rich telomeric sequences are synthesized by telomerase, a ribonucleoprotein consisting of telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) and an integrally associated RNA. Human TERT (hTERT) can repetitively reverse transcribe its RNA template, acting processively to add multiple telomeric repeats onto the same substrate. We investigated whether certain threshold levels of telomerase activity and processivity are required to maintain telomere function and immortalize human cells with limited lifespan.
Heterozygous mutations of the human telomerase RNA template gene (TERC) have been described in patients with acquired aplastic anemia and the autosomal dominant form of dyskeratosis congenita (DKC). Patients with mutations in both TERC alleles have not yet been reported. Here, we report a patient with DKC who inherited 2 distinct TERC sequence variants from her parents; a deletion (216_229del) in one and a point mutation (37A>G) in the other allele of the TERC gene. Her marrow was hypocellular and showed an abnormal clone [46, XX t(7;21)(q34;q22)].
OBJECTIVE: The author examined the chromosomal linkage method as an approach to the genetic basis of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. METHOD: Comparisons were conducted of recent meta-analyses of genome scans of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and of the three largest (N>300) sibling pair studies of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder and a comparable study of bipolar illness. RESULTS: Recent meta-analyses have not identified consistent sites of linkage.
Epigenetic modifications have been proposed to underlie age-related dysfunction and associated disorders. 5- hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) is a newly described epigenetic modification. It is generated by the oxidation of 5- methylcytosine (5-mC) by the ten-eleven translocation (TET) family of enzymes. Various studies have shown that 5-hmC is present in high levels in the brain. Its lower affinity to methyl-binding proteins as compared to 5-mC suggests that it might have a different role in the regulation of gene expression, while it is also implicated in the DNA demethylation process.
The metabolic syndrome has reached epidemic proportions worldwide, but currently there is a lack of effective therapies for this multifactorial endocrine disease. TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) has been utilized to treat a wide variety of diseases for centuries in the People's Republic of China, subsequently becoming a promising source for the development of new therapeutic agents. Chinese medicinal herbs Gynostemma pentaphyllum, Coptis chinensis and Salvia miltiorrhiza have been shown to have anti-atherosclerotic and antidiabetic properties.