The response of cells to telomere loss is thought to resemble the DNA damage response. In the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Shivani Nautiyal and colleagues describe genome-wide gene expression changes upon deletion of TLC1, the telomerase RNA component in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2002, 10.1073/pnas.142162499).

The coin the term 'telomerase deletion response' (TDR) to refer to the transcriptional program induced by telomere shortening. The TDR overlaps with the DNA damage response and the environmental stress response. Nautiyal et al. define a set of genes, the 'telomerase deletion signature', that are distinct from other stress responses.

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