Telomeres are structures present at all chromosomal ends. Telomeric repeat sequences (TTAGGG) prevent the fusion of chromosomal ends; such end-to-end fusions can occur once telomeres lose most or all of their telomere repeat sequences. Telomere fusions that arise in critically short telomeres will either elicit DNA damage responses that lead to cell death or cause breakage-fusion-breakage cycles with ongoing chromosomal instability, which is a main mechanism that contributes to the progression of many precancerous neoplasms to invasive cancers.
Most cancer cells display significant telomere shortening,and telomere shortening is observed in most pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia lesions, including pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia. Read more . . .