WILT, ALT, and Zscan4

From the SENS Foundation: "To develop an unbreachable defense against cancer, SENS Foundation is pursuing the WILT (Wholebody Interdiction of Lengthening of Telomeres) strategy (OncoSENS) of systematically deleting genes essential to the cellular telomere-maintenance mechanisms (TMM) from all somatic cells, while ensuring ongoing tissue repair and maintenance through periodic re-seeding of somatic stem-cell pools with autologous TMM-deficient cells whose telomeres have been lengthened ex vivo. In addition to the deletion of one or more genes coding for essential element(s) of the telomerase holoenzyme, success will also require the deletion of some essential element of the machinery for the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) phenomenon, observed in a minority of cancer cells. Heretofore, the identity of that machinery has been elusive. Yeast cells have the ability to lengthen telomeres through a telomerase-independent mechanism involving telomere recombination, and there has been evidence for some time suggesting that ALT cancers lengthen telomeres through a similar process." The article goes on to look in detail at one plausible candidate mechanism for ALT, and how this new knowledge might be incorporated into WILT.

Link: http://www.sens.org/node/739


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