Special Issue "Telomerase Activity in Human Cells"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2016).
Interests: telomerase in ageing and cancer; TERT in mitochondria; oxidative stress; mitochondria; senescence and ageing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Special Issue in International Journal of Molecular Sciences: Role of Telomeres and Telomerase in Cancer and Aging
Special Issue in International Journal of Molecular Sciences: Role of Telomeres and Telomerase in Cancer and Aging 2019
Special Issue in International Journal of Molecular Sciences: Role of Telomeres and Telomerase in Cancer and Aging 2020
Special Issue in International Journal of Molecular Sciences: Role of Telomeres and Telomerase in Cancer and Aging 2021
The activity of the reverse transcriptase telomerase is a canonical function to maintain telomeres, the ends of linear chromosomes. Telomeres shorten in the absence of telomerase, causing senescence and ageing. In contrast to other organisms, telomerase activity is downregulated early in development in many somatic human tissues. However, some cell types, such as lymphocytes, adult stem cells, and endothelial cells retain, or can upregulate, telomerase activity. Importantly, this activity is strongly controlled by physiological conditions. In contrast, telomerase activity is continuously expressed at a high level in the majority of cancer cells, contributing to their indefinite proliferation potential. Although telomerase activity has been vigorously investigated over the last few decades, many questions still remain open regarding the mechanisms of physiological regulation in normal cells, as well as its up-regulation during tumourigenesis. The complex regulation at the levels of transcription, splicing, and posttranscriptional activation certainly contribute to that. Recently, interventions into its activation to counteract telomere shortening in healthy tissues, as well as its inhibition as tumour therapy, have been suggested and trials have been started with no final breakthrough yet. Thus, we still need to better understand the biology and regulation of telomerase activity in order to interfere with it successfully.
Dr. Gabriele Saretzki
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- reverse transcriptase