Factors impacting human telomere homeostasis and age-related disease

David Gilley, Brittney Shea Herbert, Nazmul Huda, Hiromi Tanaka, Terry Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Scopus citations


Loss of telomere length homeostasis has been linked to age-related disease especially cancer. In this review, we discuss two major causes of telomere dysfunction that potentially lead to tumorigenesis: replicative aging and environmental assaults. Aging has long been recognized as a source for telomere dysfunction through increasing numbers of cell divisions in the absence of sufficient telomerase activity. However, environmental assaults that cause telomere dysfunction are only beginning to be identified and recognized. Environmental stressors that influence telomere length may be physical or induced by psychological situations like stress. Knowledge of all factors, including genetic and environmental forces, that moderate telomere length will be critical for understanding basic mechanisms of human telomere maintenance during development and aging as well as for disease prevention and treatment strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-34
Number of pages8
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008


  • Cancer
  • Environment
  • Replicative aging
  • Telomere dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Biochemistry
  • Developmental Biology
  • Developmental Neuroscience

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Factors impacting human telomere homeostasis and age-related disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this