Long Telomeres Protect Against Genetic Predisposition to Age-Related Disease
Researchers at the Gladstone Institute have shown in a mouse model how longer telomeres can protect carriers of the NOTCH1 haploinsufficiency mutation from developing premature calcification of the aortic valve (Cav). The researchers found that the mice that carried this mutation but had longer telomeres did not develop CAV whereas the mice that had the mutation and shorter telomeres did develop CAV and the degree of telomere shortening followed the severity of disease.
Mice with a genetic mutation for a form of cardiovascular disease that causes premature calcification of the aortic valve (CAV) in addition to longer telomeres, did not develop disease. In contrast, mice with this mutation but short telomeres, did develop CAV and the severity of the disease progression tracked the degree of telomeric shortening.