Molecular Biology

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 476-487

First online:

Possibilities and effects of telomerase activation

  • N. A. KovalenkoAffiliated withRF Ministry of Health, Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University Email author 
  • , D. D. ZhdanovAffiliated withOrekhovich Institute of Biomedical Chemistry, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences
  • , T. F. KovalenkoAffiliated withShemyakin and Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences

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The mechanisms regulating the activity of telomerase, predominantly human telomerase, are considered in brief. The localization of telomerase complex components in the cell is described, and telomerase activities unrelated to telomere elongation are discussed. Human diseases that correlate with reduced telomerase activity, short telomeres, and rapid telomere shortening are overviewed. The possibilities to activate transcription of exogenous hTERT by various natural and synthetic compounds are described along with the effects of cell transfection with active hTERT. Exogenous hTERT activation increases the cell proliferation potential and may be employed in cell therapy. It is emphasized that elevated hTERT expression may cause cell malignant transformation, especially in the case of hTERT transfection. This possibility must be considered when choosing the means of telomerase activation for therapeutic purposes.


human telomerase telomerase activators hTERT gene