Role of telomerase in cell senescence and oncogenesis

Virginia Urquidi, David Tarin, Steven Goodison

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

98 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The ends of linear chromosomes are capped by specialized nucleoprotein structures termed telomeres. Telomeres comprise tracts of noncoding hexanucleotide repeat sequences that, in combination with specific proteins, protect against degradation, rearrangement, and chromosomal fusion events. Due to the polarity of conventional DNA synthesis, a net loss of telomeric sequences occurs at each cell division. It has been proposed that this cumulative telomeric erosion is a limiting factor in replicative capacity and elicits a signal for the onset of cellular senescence. To proliferate beyond the senescent checkpoint, cells must restore telomere length. This can be achieved by telomerase, an enzyme with reverse-transcriptase activity. This enzyme is absent in differentiated somatic tissues, but telomerase reactivation has been detected in most tumors. Much investigative effort is focusing on telomere dynamics with a view to possible manipulation of cellular proliferative potential. In this article, we review the role of telomeres and telomerase in senescence and tumor progression, and we discuss the potential use of telomerase in diagnosis and treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-79
Number of pages15
JournalAnnual Review of Medicine
Volume51
DOIs
StatePublished - May 3 2000
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Cell Aging
Telomerase
Telomere
Carcinogenesis
Tumors
Nucleoproteins
RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
Enzymes
Chromosomes
Erosion
Fusion reactions
Cell Division
Cells
Tissue
Neoplasms
Degradation
DNA
Proteins

Keywords

  • Immortality
  • Replicative lifespan
  • Reverse transcriptase
  • Therapeutic target
  • Tumor marker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

Role of telomerase in cell senescence and oncogenesis. / Urquidi, Virginia; Tarin, David; Goodison, Steven.

In: Annual Review of Medicine, Vol. 51, 03.05.2000, p. 65-79.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Urquidi, Virginia ; Tarin, David ; Goodison, Steven. / Role of telomerase in cell senescence and oncogenesis. In: Annual Review of Medicine. 2000 ; Vol. 51. pp. 65-79.
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