Ugeskr Læger 2010;172(40):2745-2748
Summary Telomeres and telomerase Ugeskr Læger 2010;172(40):2745-2748 In 2009 the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to EH Blackburn, CW Greider and JW Szostak for their work on "How chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase". Telomeres are specialized DNA structures localized at the end of linear chromosomes. Telomeres are known as the biological clock of the cell, since they shorten with each cell division. Telomerase can elongate telomeres. Telomeres protect chromosome ends against being recognized as double stranded DNA breaks, and are thought to be a guard against cancer. It has furthermore been suggested that telomeres may play a role in aging and age-related diseases.