Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Clin Oncol. 2003 May 15;21(10):2034-43.

Role of telomeres and telomerase in the pathogenesis of human cancer.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. William_Hahn@dfci.harvard.edu

Abstract

Specialized nucleoprotein structures, termed telomeres, cap the ends of human chromosomes. These terminal structures, composed of repetitive arrays of guanine-rich hexameric DNA together with specific telomere-binding proteins, play essential roles in protecting the chromosome from damage and degradation. In addition, several lines of evidence implicate telomere maintenance as an important regulator of cell life span. Activation of telomerase, a dedicated reverse transcriptase that synthesizes telomeric sequences, is strongly associated with cancer, and recent observations confirm that telomeres and telomerase perform important roles in both suppressing and facilitating malignant transformation. These dual functions of telomere biology are evident in the clinical manifestations of the multisystem syndrome, dyskeratosis congenita, forms of which display defects in telomerase function. Recent advances in our understanding of telomere biology indicate that the manipulation of telomeres and telomerase will lead to clinically significant applications in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of neoplastic disease.

PMID:
12743159
DOI:
10.1200/JCO.2003.06.018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon
    Loading ...
    Support Center