Navigation Links
New telomere discovery could help explain why cancer cells never stop dividing
Date:10/4/2007

Lausanne, Switzerland, October 4, 2007 A group working at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in collaboration with the University of Pavia has discovered that telomeres, the repeated DNA-protein complexes at the end of chromosomes that progressively shorten every time a cell divides, also contain RNA. This discovery, published online October 4 in Science Express, calls into question our understanding of how telomeres function, and may provide a new avenue of attack for stopping telomere renewal in cancer cells.

Inside the cell nucleus, all our genetic information is located on twisted, double stranded molecules of DNA which are packaged into chromosomes. At the end of these chromosomes are telomeres, zones of repeated chains of DNA that are often compared to the plastic tips on shoelaces because they prevent chromosomes from fraying, and thus genetic information from getting scrambled when cells divide. The telomere is like a cellular clock, because every time a cell divides, the telomere shortens. After a cell has grown and divided a few dozen times, the telomeres turn on an alarm system that prevents further division. If this clock doesnt function right, cells either end up with damaged chromosomes or they become immortal and continue dividing endlessly either way its bad news and leads to cancer or disease. Understanding how telomeres function, and how this function can potentially be manipulated, is thus extremely important.

The DNA in the chromosome acts like a sort of instruction manual for the cell. Genetic information is transcribed into segments of RNA that then go out into the cell and carry out a variety of tasks such as making proteins, catalyzing chemical reactions, or fulfilling structural roles. It was thought that telomeres were silent that their DNA was not transcribed into strands of RNA. The researchers have turned this theory on its head by discovering telomeric RNA and showing that this RNA is transcribed from DNA on the telomere.

Why is this important" In embryonic cells (and some stem cells), an enzyme called telomerase rebuilds the telomere so that the cells can keep dividing. Over time, this telomerase dwindles and eventually the telomere shortens and the cell becomes inactive. In cancer cells, the telomerase enzyme keeps rebuilding telomeres long past the cells normal lifetime. The cells become immortal, endlessly dividing, resulting in a tumor. Researchers estimate that telomere maintenance activity occurs in about 90% of human cancers. But the mechanism by which this maintenance takes place is not well understood. The researchers discovered that the RNA in the telomere is regulated by a protein in the telomerase enzyme. Their discovery may thus uncover key elements of telomere function.

Its too early to give yet a definitive answer, to whether this could lead to new cancer therapies, notes Joachim Lingner, senior author on the paper. But the experiments published in the paper suggest that telomeric RNA may provide a new target to attack telomere function in cancer cells to stop their growth.


'/>"/>

Contact: Joachim Lingner
joachim.lingner@isrec.ch
41-216-925-912
Ecole Polytechnique Fdrale de Lausanne
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Chromosome Ends Trigger DNA Damage Response For Telomere Protection
2. Telomere Plays an Important Role in Ageing
3. Got a Short Telomere-Watch Your Heart
4. OHSU Researchers Announce New Discovery
5. Discovery of bone gene
6. Latest discovery on Autism
7. Bacterial discovery may help CF patients
8. A new discovery about Acetaminophen
9. A new discovery about Acetaminophen
10. Resistant tumors could be treated with the discovery of a new molecule within cancer cells
11. Treatment for cholesterol-related illnesses likely with the discovery of receptor in mice
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society’s (PATS) Annual ... Convention Center on June 8-10. The weekend consisted of many educational presentations, ... scholarship presentations, and professional networking. , On Friday June 9th, PATS hosted ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Rhode Island Quality Institute (RIQI) and ... Dashboards, an innovative new service enabling healthcare providers to proactively coordinate care and ... Dashboards provide near real-time data about patients admitted to and/or discharged from acute ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... ... Studies show evidence that carotenoids and antioxidants derived either from the diet or from ... how often do ophthalmologists and optometrists in Sweden recommend the use of nutritional supplements, ... symptoms of AMD? A study published recently in Dove Medical Press journal, ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Everybody has their own personal preference when ... read it, and some people don't like it at all. FindaTopDoc took a look ... , Erotic literature can give readers a taste of their deepest, darkest fantasies and ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Georgia State ... 18 to 20. , The two-day conference is focused on advancing scientific knowledge ... improving patients’ lives and eliminating racial breast cancer-related disparities. The conference theme is ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/8/2017)... 8, 2017  StatLab Medical Products ("StatLab" ... manufacturer of diagnostic supplies for the anatomic ... & Company LP ("Cressey & Company"), a ... growth-focused investment in the Company. Cressey & ... from selling shareholder, Prairie Capital, L.P., with ...
(Date:6/7/2017)... , June 7, 2017  Novavax, Inc., (Nasdaq: ... two Phase 2 trials of its RSV F protein recombinant ... bearing age have been published in the journal ... been shared in prior scientific conferences). The Company previously announced ... 2014. Novavax is developing the RSV F Vaccine with the ...
(Date:6/5/2017)... , June 5, 2017 The ... brand of Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO), has been awarded ... Cincinnati Enquirer . Results are based on an ... in organizational health and workplace improvement. The survey measures several ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: