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:4/29/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Since launching its annual volunteer campaign on ... footwear industry, has broken all previous participation records in its first two weeks ... during the months of April and May, the 2016 Footwear Cares initiative is ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Our bodies are bombarded daily by ... and deal with these stressors is to adopt a more healthful diet, but too ... Risa Groux, a certified Holistic Nutritionist and the creator of the Newport Beach Cleanse ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... advocating optimistic healthcare awareness and author of best seller "LOVE, MEDICINE and MIRACLES") ... Radio Monday, May 2, 2016 and podcasted thereafter . Dr. Bernie Siegel, ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... Fort Stewart, GA (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... on Monday, May 16, 2016, at its new location in the Exchange Furniture Mall ... including a raffle for a 50-inch Samsung Smart TV. Plus attendees will have the ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... team BioCellection won the $30,000 Perlman Grand Prize of the 2016 Wharton Business ... Award, the Michelson People’s Choice Award, and the Committee Award for Most ‘Wow ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... Schweiz, April 27, 2016 ... CEO Forums in Zürich gab Strekin AG ... Wirkstoffkandidaten STR001 zur Erhaltung des Resthörvermögens von ... bekannt. Für die umfassende Phase-II-Doppelblindstudie mit Placebo-Kontrollgruppe ... angeworben. STR001 wird während der Operation direkt ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... , April 27, 2016   Zillion ... its digital health technology platform, which specializes in ... programs into scalable digital products, Zillion enables companies ... and empower consumers to take control of their ... live video conferencing – including one-to-one, group and ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... 2016 Oasmia Pharmaceutical AB ... a new generation of drugs within human and ... for Paclical/Apealea in the Phase III study that ... ovarian cancer. These preliminary results showed non-inferiority between ... carboplatin versus Taxol in combination with carboplatin. In ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: