Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Telomerase

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_5715-7

Definition

Telomerase (TE-LÓM-ER-ACE) is a ribonucleoprotein enzyme complex (a cellular reverse transcriptase) that maintains chromosome ends and has been referred to as a cellular immortalizing enzyme. Telomerase is composed of both RNA and proteins and uses its internal RNA component (complementary to the telomeric single-stranded overhang) as a template in order to synthesize telomeric DNA (TTAGGG)n directly onto the ends of chromosomes using the catalytic hTERT component. Telomerase is present in most fetal tissues, in normal adult male germ cells, in inflammatory cells, in proliferative cells of renewal tissues, and in most tumor cells. After adding six bases, the enzyme is thought to pause while it repositions (translocates) the template RNA for the synthesis of the next six-base pair repeat. This extension of the 3′ DNA template end in turn permits additional replication of the 5′ end of the lagging strand, thus compensating for the end replication problem.

Characteristics

Telome...

Keywords

Telomere Length Cellular Senescence Short Telomere Normal Human Cell Normal Somatic Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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References

  1. Bodnar AG, Ouellette M, Frolkis M et al (1998) Extension of lifespan by introduction of telomerase in normal human cells. Science 279:349–352PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Kim NW, Piatyszek MA, Prowse KR et al (1994) Specific association of human telomerase activity with immortal cells and cancer. Science 266:2011–2015PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Morales CP, Holt SE, Oullette M et al (1999) Lack of cancer-associated changes in human fibroblasts after immortalization with telomerase. Nat Genet 21:115–118PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Shay JW (1998) Telomerase in cancer: diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic implication. Cancer J Sci Am 4:26–34Google Scholar

See Also

  1. (2012) End replication problem. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer, 3rd edn. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, p 1221. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_1867Google Scholar
  2. (2012) HTERT. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer, 3rd edn. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, p 1752. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_2843Google Scholar
  3. (2012) Immortalization. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer, 3rd edn. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, p 1811. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_2969Google Scholar
  4. (2012) Senescence. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer, 3rd edn. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, p 3370. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_5236Google Scholar
  5. (2012) Telomere. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer, 3rd edn. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, p 3637. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_5716Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA