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Damaging telomerase extensions at the ends of chromosomes can cause cancer cells to die
Update time:2019-08-14 23:13:12   【 Font: Large  Medium Small

Scientists have identified two enzymes that protect chromosomes from oxidative damage and shortening. Blocking cancer cells could be a new strategy for treating cancer. Their role may be to prevent telomerase from doing its job, leaving chromosomes unprotected, and dividing chromosomes eventually disappearing. But telomeres contract over time, so a cell's lifespan is not infinite. Telomere shortening is the cause of cell aging.
Scientists have identified two antioxidant enzymes that work together to prevent the oxidation of DNA at the ends of chromosomes. In addition, in an experiment, scientists destroyed two enzymes associated with the structure of telomeres in cancer cells.

Now, scientists think a promising target for new cancer treatments is telomerase. In general, telomerase prevents telomere shortening in germ cells and stem cells, which helps with development. But telomerase also keeps their telomeres intact in cancer cells, keeping them in a constant state of division. Effective blocking of telomerase is therefore key, but the attempt is still in its infancy. The discovery of cooperative enzymes opens up new opportunities for indirect blocking of telomerase. "Instead of inhibiting the enzyme itself, it can turn to its substrate, making the ends of chromosomes unable to extend telomerase,” the scientists said.

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