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Telomere Extension by Telomerase

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Unlimited replicative potential and widespread genomic disarray are among the most common characteristics exhibited by human cancer cells. Although several distinct molecular pathways regulate specific aspects of each of these phenotypes, specialized chromosomal terminal structures, termed telomeres act as essential regulators of both cell life span and chromosomal integrity (Ref.1).

Telomeres are dynamic DNA-protein complexes that cap the ends of linear chromosomes, preventing detrimental chromosome rearrangements and defending against genomic instability and the associated risk of cancer. Telomeres shorten every time a cell divides because of incomplete DNA replication and DNA end processing. When telomere length reaches a critical point, cells stop dividing and undergo replicative senescence (Ref.2). Mammalian telomeres are composed of tandem repeats of the TTAGGG sequence and [...]


1.Telomere regulation in pluripotent stem cells.
Huang Y, Liang P, Liu D, Huang J, Songyang Z.
Protein Cell. 2014 Mar;5(3):194-202. doi: 10.1007/s13238-014-0028-1. Epub 2014 Feb 22. Review.
2.The asymmetry of telomere replication contributes to replicative senescence heterogeneity.
Bourgeron T, Xu Z, Doumic M, Teixeira MT.
Sci Rep. 2015 Oct 15;5:15326. doi: 10.1038/srep15326.
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