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The Petitio Principii Collection

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 11:46 PM

The eventual understanding of the molecular basis of progeroid syndromes such as Werner syndrome (WS) and Hutchinson–Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is a major goal of modern gerontology. Not only is this important in its own right to eventually ease the suffering produced by these disorders, but also, by understanding the molecular basis of accelerated senescence, it is hoped that important clues to normal aging will be obtained. We have witnessed dramatic advances in this area over the last few years, with the identification of genes involved in several progeroid syndromes. The field has now entered a new phase, namely the elucidation of the biochemical roles of the proteins involved in these disorders and characterization of molecular defects associated with the primary mutations. One important tool in this new research effort in the study of progerias is the use of DNA microarrays.


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Posted 26 February 2005 - 01:19 AM

The aging process is one of the most challenging biological pathways to understand. Applications of model systems for aging have contributed significantly to the recent understanding of the aging process. Characteristics of the human Werner syndrome resemble those of normal aging in many ways. The premature aging disease Werner syndrome exhibits many symptoms of genomic instability, and the Werner syndrome protein (WRN) interacts with many proteins that participate in maintaining genomic integrity and repairing damaged DNA. This illustrates a strong correlation between aging and genomic instability. This review summarizes the biochemistry and the main DNA repair pathways of WRN and their impacts on genomic stability and aging.

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