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Mol Biol Rep. 2019 Feb;46(1):1401-1411. doi: 10.1007/s11033-018-4496-x. Epub 2018 Nov 17.

The non-canonical functions of telomerase: to turn off or not to turn off.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, 49 Przybyszewskiego St., 60-355, Poznań, Poland.
2
Department of Oncology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznań, Poland.
3
Department of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, 49 Przybyszewskiego St., 60-355, Poznań, Poland. blazejr@ump.edu.pl.

Abstract

Telomerase is perceived as an immortality enzyme that enables passing the Hayflick limit. Its main function is telomere restoration but only in a limited group of cells, including cancer cells. Since it is found in a vast majority of cancer cells, it became a natural target for cancer therapy. However, it has much more functions than just altering the metabolism of telomeres-it also reveals numerous so-called non-canonical functions. Thus, a question arises whether it is always beneficial to turn it off when planning a cancer strategy and considering potential side effects? The purpose of this review is to discuss some of the recent discoveries about telomere-independent functions of telomerase in the context of cancer therapy and potential side effects.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer; Telomerase; Telomeres; hTERT

PMID:
30448892
DOI:
10.1007/s11033-018-4496-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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