Telomere crisis results when the protective caps at the end of chromosomes, known as telomeres, become shortened as a result of cell divisions. With less DNA present in telomeres, it becomes harder to prevent separate chromosomes from attaching to each other. If those abnormal cells survive and continue to divide, they can give rise to cancer.
Titia de Lange, Ph.D., Leon Hess Professor; American Cancer Society Professor; Head, Laboratory of Cell Biology and Genetics; Director, Anderson Center for Cancer Research; Rockefeller University, New York.
Awarded the Gairdner Award for her discovery of the mechanisms by which mammalian telomeres are protected from deleterious DNA repair and damage responses.