John mentioned that the effects of short telomeres seem to be determined
by the shortest one (in contrast to the average length).
I'm not sure what source could be found for the "average length" theory.
Most of the literature I'm familiar with seemed to draw connections
between the shortening of telomeres activating a DNA Damage response.
If one thinks about it this makes sense. Cells try to block division
if there are any double strand breaks present. In theory chromosome
ends should look like double strand breaks. The telomeres must
function in such a way that they "hide" their appearance from
the machinery that detects double strand breaks. Short telomeres
may well lose that ability and trigger the double strand break
response. So the shortest one may well be more important than
the average length.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:12 MDT