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:3/11/2016)... , March 11, 2016 ... new market research report "Image Recognition Market by Technology ... (Marketing and Advertising), by Deployment Type (On-Premises and Cloud), ... To 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global market is ... to USD 29.98 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... March 9, 2016 Nigeria ... that more than 23,000 public service employees either did ... receiving their salary unlawfully.    --> ... identified that more than 23,000 public service employees either ... been receiving their salary unlawfully.    --> ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... Calif. , March 3, 2016  2016FLEX, ... launched this week highlighting advancements in flexible, hybrid ... a record setting attendance - have gathered for ... this fast-growing field of electronics. The Flex Conference ... focal point for companies, R&D organizations, and universities ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)... , May 3, 2016  Dr. Thomas ... surgeon in The Woodlands, Texas , ... 24 percent of treated fat cells in just 25-minutes, ... Close to 90 percent of Americans report feeling bothered ... Nonsurgical fat reduction procedures are a growing industry. This ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... 2016 Q BioMed Inc. (QBIO), ... Mannin Research Inc. will be attending the Association for ... from May 1-5, 2016 in Seattle Washington ... its vendors and research partners. The meeting provides organizations ... other collaborative opportunities for the MAN-01 program for treatment ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... F.E.E.D. ... pre-launch success of their revolutionary, veterinarian-designed product for indoor cats. The NoBowl Feeding ... play with their food the way nature intended. NoBowls make cats happy and ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Amendia, Inc., a leading designer, developer, manufacturer ... completion of a significant transaction and partnership that positions Amendia for accelerated growth ... Kohlberg & Company, L.L.C. (“Kohlberg”), a leading private equity firm specializing in middle ...
Breaking Biology Technology: