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Keywords:

  • telomere;
  • telomerase;
  • cancer;
  • regenerative disease;
  • gene therapy

Abstract

Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein that directs the synthesis of telomeric sequence. It is detected in majority of malignant tumors, but not in most normal somatic cells. Because telomerase plays a critical role in cell immortality and tumor formation, it has been one of the targets for anti-cancer and regeneration drug development. In this review, we will discuss therapeutic approaches based mainly on small molecules that have been developed to inhibit telomerase activity, modulate telomerase expression, and telomerase directed gene therapy.