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  • Telomerase and telomeres: from development, cancer and stem cells

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    Research in the field of molecular processes of aging in the
    last decade can be described as enormous, with many surprises that explain many
    basic biological processes of multicellular organisms. Blasco and her team make
    much of the progress occurring in this area of research. The concepts with which
    they work (cancer, aging, stem cells, telomere length and amount of telomerase)
    are woven together to shed light on the possible link between stem cells in
    cancer development and aging.

    Among their findings, highlights the relationship between telomere shortening
    and advancement of aging and its acceleration in the context of human diseases
    associated with mutations in telomerase. 1 These patients suffer a premature
    loss of tissue renewal; a phenomenon which suggests that telomerase and its
    mutations may affect tissue homeostasis and survival of the individual.
    Moreover, this altered telomerase activity is related to the ability of stem
    cells to regenerate tissues.

    Next to envececimiento and cancer, embryonic development is another stage in
    that telomeres play a role. While the oocytes show a very low telomerase
    activity and a short telomeres, the embryo rapidly retrieves this activity and
    telomere length, although not yet sure how. 2 The recent work of Telomeres and
    Telomerase have shown that this telomere elongation in the embryo is independent
    of telomerase and could depend on DNA recombination protein RAD50 or as TRF1.
    From the blastocyst stage, the length of telomeres being maintained, then yes,
    of telomerase activity. In relation to these particular mechanisms, has also
    identified a novel function of the machinery of DNA repair errors in mediating
    the cellular response of the presence of short telomeres (telomere dysfunction).
    3

    Published on November 28, 2012 · Filed under: Bioscience; Tagged as: , , , ,
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