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Telomere Length Inheritance throughout Generations: Role of Germ Cell Mortality

DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1107798, PP. 1-15

Subject Areas: Cell Biology

Keywords: Telomere, Telomerase, Germ Cell, Inheritance, Mortality

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Telomere is a structure of the repetitive DNA sequence TTAGGG and protein complex, found in vertebrates. This protein complex is known as the shelterin complex. It is localized at the end of each chromosome to protect them from deterioration or fusion with other chromosomes. Although as being part of a chromosome, the telomere is inherited from parents to their offspring, its mode of inheritance is a crucial part of the genetic transmission process. Theoretically, germ cells are thought to be immortal as they link generations, suggesting that telomere length is completely inherited. Furthermore, several studies reported that sperm telomere length gets elongated with age. This observation is consistent with other studies, which have reported that, with advancing paternal age at the time of conception, telomere length of the offspring gets increased. However, the mechanism by which telomere becomes longer is not fully understood. Moreover, it has been reported that there is a negative correlation between maternal age at conception and the offspring’s telomere length; whereas other studies reported that there is no correlation between those data. Herein, we review our current understanding of these topics and compare different aspects of the telomere length behavior in germ cells, germ cells mortality and, in accordance, the risks of aging on reproduction.

Cite this paper

Rakha, A. (2021). Telomere Length Inheritance throughout Generations: Role of Germ Cell Mortality. Open Access Library Journal, 8, e7798. doi:


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