Telomere Science Library

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about the Nobel-Prize Winning Science of Telomere Biology

Naïve T-cells in myelodysplastic syndrome display intrinsic human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) deficiency

Telomeres are specialized structures providing chromosome integrity during cellular division along with protection against premature senescence and apoptosis. Accelerated telomere attrition in patients with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) occurs by an undefined mechanism. Although the MDS clone originates within the myeloid compartment, T-lymphocytes display repertoire contraction and loss of naïve T-cells. The replicative lifespan of T-cells is stringently regulated by telomerase activity. In MDS cases, we show that purified CD3+ T-cells have significantly shorter telomere length and reduced proliferative capacity upon stimulation compared to controls. To understand the mechanism, telomerase enzymatic activity and telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) gene expression were compared in MDS cases (n=35) and healthy controls (n=42) within different T-cell compartments. Telomerase activity is greatest in naïve T-cells illustrating the importance of telomere repair in homeostatic repertoire regulation. Compared to healthy controls, MDS cases had lower telomerase induction (P

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