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Mouse Model Used To Study Aging At The Molecular Level

High fidelity during each cycle of cell division is required to maintain genomic stability and prevent and rearrangements that can cause disease and aging.

Mutations in , a gene that encodes a protein that participates in DNA replication, are associated with X-linked mental retardation, various cancers, and , but the cellular functions of are still unclear.

In this issue of the , researchers led by at the University of Western Ontario report on the effects of Atrx deficiency in mice. Using neural precursor cells (NPCs) from Atrx-deficient mice, Bérubé and colleagues found that loss of ATRX is associated with increased DNA damage. Additionally, mice lacking neural Atrx exhibited systemic endocrine dysfunction, shortened lifespans, and degenerative phenotypes similar to human premature aging disorders.

These studies demonstrate that ATRX plays a critical role in maintaining the integrity of cellular DNA.

TITLE: Atrx deficiency induces telomere dysfunction, endocrine defects, and reduced lifespan



Journal of Clinical Investigation