Telomere Basics

Telomeres are repetitive, noncoding sequences that cap the ends of linear chromosomes. They consist of hexameric nucleotide sequences (TTAGGG in humans) repeated hundreds to thousands of times. 

May 1, 2012
Rodrigo Calado and Neal Young

Infographic: Telomere Basics
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SCOTT LEIGHTON, CMI

Telomeres are repetitive, noncoding sequences that cap the ends of linear chromosomes. They consist of hexameric nucleotide sequences (TTAGGG in humans) repeated hundreds to thousands of times. Telomeres protect the protein-coding sequences of DNA on the chromosome, and telomeric shortening during sequential cell divisions is believed to dictate a cell’s life span.

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