Proteins, Peptides and Amino Acids
Published Online: 15 SEP 2006
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Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine
How to Cite
Cerone, M. A. and Bacchetti, S. 2006. Telomerase. Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .
- Published Online: 15 SEP 2006
Immortal cells transmit essentially a complete genome from one division to the next. To ensure the full replication of their DNA, most immortal eukaryotic cells possess a unique enzyme, telomerase, which apparently evolved with the ends of linear chromosomes, specifically for the de novo synthesis of telomeric DNA. Telomere maintenance is the only known biochemical function of telomerase, and in the absence of telomerase, telomeric DNA is gradually lost with each round of cell division. Normal human somatic cells are considered mortal since they have a finite capacity for division. The observation that normal cells lack telomerase, while most tumor cell populations express telomerase, suggests an important biological function for this enzyme in controlling a key difference between mortal and immortal cells.
- Telomerase Primer;