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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2007 Apr;64(7-8):906-21.

Telomeres and telomerase as targets for cancer therapy.

Author information

1
Department of Hematology/Oncology, Freiburg University Medical Center, Hugstetterstr 55, Freiburg, Germany. zimmermann@mm11.ukl.uni-freiburg.de

Abstract

Telomeres are protective structures located at the ends of all eukaryotic chromosomes. Telomere shortening upon cell division restricts the proliferative capacity of most normal human cells due to the lack of telomerase, an enzyme synthesizing telomeric DNA de novo. Since most tumor cells are reliant on the activity of telomerase to maintain the stability of predominantly short individual telomeres, inhibition of this enzyme presents an attractive approach for a mechanism-based anticancer therapy. Here, we review advances and obstacles in targeting telomerase and telomeres and discuss potential applications of such approaches for the clinic.

PMID:
17310277
DOI:
10.1007/s00018-007-6481-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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