home   genetic news   bioinformatics   biotechnology   literature   journals   ethics   positions   events   sitemap
  HUM-MOLGEN -> Genetic News | search  

New Telomerase Study Sheds Light on Cancer Development Mechanism

  August, 14 2000 5:54
your information resource in human molecular genetics

Chromosomes, which store our genetic iformation in the form of DNA, are vulnerable to damage by 'fraying' at their ends. Here, special protective structures called telomeres are continually repaired by the enzyme telomerase, preventing the loss of important information. As our cells age, however, it is thought that a gradual erosion of telomere DNA is linked to an increased incidence of cancer.

In Nature [Vol. 406, Issue 6796 (2000), p. 641], Ronald DePinho of Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, and colleagues, report the generation of mice which lack telomerase and p53, another protein which is responsible for protecting genetic information. Intriguingly, the mutant mice develop cancers which are typical of those seen in ageing humans, including breast and colon carcinomas. Looking directly at the chromosomes of the mutant mice reveals frequent 'non-reciprocal translocations', in which DNA from one chromosome is joined incorrectly and irreversibly to the end of another chromosome, another hallmark of human cancer.

These studies should help us to understand the mechanisms underlying the development of common human cancers. Could telomerase be a target for new anticancer drug therapies? Discussing the research in an accompanying News & Views article (p. 573), Douglas Hanahan of the University of California at San Francisco advises caution.


Ronald DePinho tel +1 617 632 6085,
fax +1 617 632 6069,
email ron_depinho@dfci.harvard.edu

Douglas Hanahan tel +1 415 476 9209,
fax +1 415 731 3612,
email dh@biochem.ucsf.edu

(C) Nature press release

Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

print this article mail this article
Latest News
Variants Associated with Pediatric Allergic Disorder

Mutations in PHF6 Found in T-Cell Leukemia

Genetic Risk Variant for Urinary Bladder Cancer

Antibody Has Therapeutic Effect on Mice with ALS

Regulating P53 Activity in Cancer Cells

Anti-RNA Therapy Counters Breast Cancer Spread

Mitochondrial DNA Diversity

The Power of RNA Sequencing

‘Pro-Ageing' Therapy for Cancer?

Niche Genetics Influence Leukaemia

Molecular Biology: Clinical Promise for RNA Interference

Chemoprevention Cocktail for Colon Cancer

more news ...

Generated by News Editor 2.0 by Kai Garlipp
WWW: Kai Garlipp, Frank S. Zollmann.
7.0 © 1995-2023 HUM-MOLGEN. All rights reserved. Liability, Copyright and Imprint.