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Ageing Res Rev. 2010 Jul;9(3):245-56. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2010.03.002. Epub 2010 Mar 31.

Regulation of telomerase activity by apparently opposing elements.

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Molecular Signaling Laboratory, Department of Immunology, Central Clinical School, Monash University, Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct (AMREP), Commercial Road, Melbourne, Victoria 3004, Australia.


Telomeres, the ends of chromosomes, undergo frequent remodeling events that are important in cell development, proliferation and differentiation, and neoplastic immortalization. It is not known how the cellular environment influences telomere remodeling, stability, and lengthening or shortening. Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein complex that maintains and lengthens telomeres in the majority of cancers. Recent studies indicate that a number of factors, including hormones, cytokines, ligands of nuclear receptor, vitamins and herbal extracts have significantly influence telomerase activity and, in some instances, the remodeling of telomeres. This review summarizes the advances in understanding of the positive and negative regulation by extracellular factors of telomerase activity in cancer, stem cells and other systems in mammals.

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