Telomerase redefined: integrated regulation of hTR and hTERT for telomere maintenance and telomerase activity

Cairney, C. and Keith, W. (2008) Telomerase redefined: integrated regulation of hTR and hTERT for telomere maintenance and telomerase activity. Biochimie, 90(1), pp. 13-23. (doi:10.1016/j.biochi.2007.07.025)

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Abstract

Telomerase activity is dependent on the expression of 2 main core component genes, hTERT, which encodes the catalytic component and hTR (also called TERC), which encodes the RNA component. The correlation between telomerase activity and carcinogenesis has made this molecule of great interest in cancer research, however in order to fully understand the regulation of telomerase the mechanisms controlling both telomerase genes need to be studied. Some of these mechanisms of regulation have begun to emerge, however many more remain to be deciphered. For many years hTERT has been regarded as the limiting component of telomerase and much of the research in this field has focussed on its regulation, however it was clear from an early stage that hTR expression was also tightly regulated in normal cells and disease. More recently evidence from biochemistry, promoter studies and mouse models has been steadily increasing for a role for hTR as a limiting and essential component for telomerase activity and telomere maintenance. Perhaps the time has come to redefine our view of telomerase regulation. Knowledge of the mechanisms controlling both telomerase genes in normal systems and cancer may aid our understanding of the role of telomerase in carcinogenesis or highlight potential areas for therapeutic intervention. Here we review the essential requirement of hTR for telomere maintenance and telomerase activity in normal tissues and disease and focus on recent advances in our understanding of hTR regulation in relation to hTERT.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cairney, Dr Claire and Keith, Professor Nicol
Authors: Cairney, C., and Keith, W.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cancer Sciences
Journal Name:Biochimie
ISSN:0300-9084
ISSN (Online):1638-6183
Published Online:06 August 2007

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