New Thinking on Telomerase

While the telomere theory of aging is largely discredited, resources presently dedicated to understanding telomeres and telomerase are starting to produce some new thinking: "Lack of telomerase activity in human somatic tissues and concomitant telomere erosion correlate with age-related pathologies. Mouse models either lacking or overexpressing telomerase support the notion that short telomeres cause premature aging. Recent evidence suggests that telomerase might have other functions besides maintaining telomere length. Here, we propose a possible role for telomerase in delaying the aging process, which is independent of telomere length." Who knows where our understand of telomere biochemistry will be five years from now, but it is a hopeful thought that all the groundwork to date could lead to anti-aging technologies after all - as well as, of course, effective cancer therapies.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mad.2006.01.017

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