Navigation Links
UIC study identifies a key molecular switch for telomere extension by telomerase
Date:11/23/2011

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine describe for the first time a key target of DNA damage checkpoint enzymes that must be chemically modified to enable stable maintenance of chromosome ends by telomerase, an enzyme thought to play a key role in cancer and aging.

Their findings are reported online in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology.

Telomeres are the natural ends of chromosomes, consisting of specialized DNA-and-protein structures that protect chromosome ends and ensure faithful duplication of chromosomes in actively dividing cells. An essential player in telomere maintenance is an enzyme complex called telomerase. Without telomerase, telomeres become progressively shorter each time the cell divides.

If telomeres become too short, chromosome ends will be recognized as broken, prompting DNA-damage checkpoint proteins to halt cell division and DNA repair proteins to fuse or rearrange the chromosome ends. Telomere dysfunction has been linked to tumor formation and premature aging in humans.

The UIC study, led by Toru Nakamura, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics, focused on understanding how two DNA-damage checkpoint enzymes called ATM and ATR contribute to the regulation of telomerase.

"Our current study found that ATM and ATR help to switch on the telomere complex by chemically modifying a specific target protein bound to telomeric DNA, which then attracts telomerase, much like honey bees are attracted if flowers open and show bright colors," Nakamura said.

The study was done in fission yeast cells, a model organism that utilizes very similar protein complexes as human cells do to maintain telomeres. Previous discoveries in fission yeast have provided key information that helped identify several key factors required in maintenance of human telomeres.

Nakamura thinks that a similar ATM/ATR-dependent molecular switch may exist in human cells to regulate telomere maintenance. However, certain details of the protective complex regulation may be different, he noted.

Because deregulation of telomere maintenance mechanisms is a key event in tumor formation, understanding how cellular components collaborate to generate functional telomeres may be important to finding ways to prevent cancer, Nakamura said.


'/>"/>
Contact: Jeanne Galatzer-Levy
jgala@uic.edu
312-996-1583
University of Illinois at Chicago
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Studying bat skulls, evolutionary biologists discover how species evolve
2. Genetic study confirms: First dogs came from East Asia
3. First study to reveal how paracetamol works could lead to less harmful pain relief medicines
4. New Study Shows Impact of Employee Wellness Efforts
5. New study identifies novel role for PEA-15 protein in cancer growth
6. UT Dallas research widens study of brains role in tinnitus
7. Study of flower petals shows evolution at the cellular level
8. Study explains how heart attack can lead to heart rupture
9. Study details links between climate, groundwater availability - will help states prepare for drought
10. Long-term study shows acid pollution in rain decreased with emissions
11. New study links excessive amounts of vitamin D to onset of atrial fibrillation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/21/2016)... , March 22, 2016 ... with passcodes for superior security   ... leading provider of secure digital communications services, today announced ... technology and offer enterprise customers, particularly those in the ... recognition and voice authentication within a mobile app, alongside, ...
(Date:3/17/2016)... LONDON , March 17, 2016 ... market intelligence, forecasts the global biometrics market will ... an impressive 118% increase from 2015. Consumer electronics, ... with embedded fingerprint sensors anticipated to reach two ... Dimitrios Pavlakis , Research Analyst ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... March 15, 2016 Yissum Research Development ... technology-transfer company of the Hebrew University, announced today the ... sensing technology of various human biological indicators. Neteera Technologies ... million from private investors. ... the detection of electromagnetic emissions from sweat ducts, enables ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... YORK , May 26, 2016 ... investors see value in this space. Today,s pre-market research on ... equities: Radius Health Inc. (NASDAQ: RDUS ), Cerus ... ARWR ), and Five Prime Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... stock technical briefings at: http://www.activewallst.com/ ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... FireflySci has been manufacturing quartz and ... over the globe. Their cute firefly logo has been spreading to more and ... spectrophotometer calibration standards that never require recalibration. These revolutionary standards have changed ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... Oregon (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... Set features a variety of fracture-specific plating options designed to address fractures of ... industry-leading fracture fixation solutions. , The Acumed Ankle Plating System 3 is composed ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... ... at the University of Athens say they have evidence that the variety of different ... lead to one good one. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted an article on the ... 98 mesothelioma patients who got a second kind of drug therapy after ...
Breaking Biology Technology: