Next Article in Journal
Pancreatic Stellate Cells Serve as a Brake Mechanism on Pancreatic Acinar Cell Calcium Signaling Modulated by Methionine Sulfoxide Reductase Expression
Next Article in Special Issue
No Causal Effect of Telomere Length on Ischemic Stroke and Its Subtypes: A Mendelian Randomization Study
Previous Article in Journal
Multidisciplinary Roles of LRRFIP1/GCF2 in Human Biological Systems and Diseases
Previous Article in Special Issue
Telomere Biology and Human Phenotype
Article Menu
Issue 2 (February) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Cells 2019, 8(2), 107;

Revisiting Telomere Shortening in Cancer

Division of Molecular Biotherapy, Cancer Chemotherapy Center, Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-8550, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 December 2018 / Revised: 28 January 2019 / Accepted: 28 January 2019 / Published: 31 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Telomere Biology in Aging and Human Disease)
Full-Text   |   PDF [564 KB, uploaded 7 February 2019]   |  


Telomeres, the protective structures of chromosome ends are gradually shortened by each cell division, eventually leading to senescence or apoptosis. Cancer cells maintain the telomere length for unlimited growth by telomerase reactivation or a recombination-based mechanism. Recent genome-wide analyses have unveiled genetic and epigenetic alterations of the telomere maintenance machinery in cancer. While telomerase inhibition reveals that longer telomeres are more advantageous for cell survival, cancer cells often have paradoxically shorter telomeres compared with those found in the normal tissues. In this review, we summarize the latest knowledge about telomere length alterations in cancer and revisit its rationality. Finally, we discuss the potential utility of telomere length as a prognostic biomarker. View Full-Text
Keywords: telomere; telomerase; TERT; cancer; interferon stimulated gene; telomere position effect; shelterin; TERRA; biomarker telomere; telomerase; TERT; cancer; interferon stimulated gene; telomere position effect; shelterin; TERRA; biomarker

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Okamoto, K.; Seimiya, H. Revisiting Telomere Shortening in Cancer. Cells 2019, 8, 107.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Cells EISSN 2073-4409 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top