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Radiat Res. 2001 Jan;155(1 Pt 2):194-200.

Alternative lengthening of telomeres in human cells.

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Children's Medical Research Institute, 214 Hawkesbury Road, Westmead, Sydney, New South Wales, 2145 Australia.


Activation of a telomere maintenance mechanism appears to be essential for immortalization. In most human tumors and tumor cell lines, the telomere maintenance mechanism involves the activity of telomerase, a reverse transcriptase holoenzyme that synthesizes telomeric repeat DNA. In some cases, telomere maintenance occurs in the absence of telomerase activity by a mechanism referred to as alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT). The development of telomere-targeted anticancer therapies will be facilitated by an understanding of the molecular mechanisms of ALT and of the means whereby ALT is repressed in normal cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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