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《Current Zoology》 2010年06期
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Telomeres:Linking stress and survival,ecology and evolution

Mark F.HAUSSMANN  Nicole M.MARCHETTO  
【摘要】:正 Telomeres are protective structures at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. The loss of telomeres through cell divisionand oxidative stress is related to cellular aging, organismal growth and disease. In this way, telomeres link molecular andcellular mechanisms with organismal processes, and may explain variation in a number of important life-history traits. Here, wediscuss how telomere biology relates to the study of physiological ecology and life history evolution. We emphasize currentknowledge on how telomeres may relate to growth, survival and lifespan in natural populations. We finish by examining interestingnew connections between telomeres and the glucocorticoid stress response. Glucocorticoids are often employed as indices ofphysiological condition, and there is evidence that the glucocorticoid stress response is adaptive. We suggest that one way thatglucocorticoids impact organismal survival is through elevated oxidative stress and telomere loss. Future work needs to establishand explore the link between the glucocorticoid stress response and telomere shortening in natural populations. If a link is found,it provides an explanatory mechanism by which environmental perturbation impacts life history trajectories

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