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Abstract

Telomerase RNA component (TERC) and telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) function together to elongate telomeres and to protect chromosomal ends. Recent studies have discovered that overexpression of telomerase's TERT subunit promoted epidermal stem-cell mobilization, hair growth and stem-cell proliferation without changes in length of telomeres.1,2 This telomerase functional characteristic is TERC independent and is operated through a mechanism other than telomere elongation. These findings open new doors for future explorations to understand telomerase function and its interaction with other cell components in the regulation of cell senescence and tumorigenesis. BioEssays 28: 109–112, 2006. © 2006 Wiley periodicals, Inc.