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Discovery of molecules allowing telomere restoration


Key points from article :

Researchers screened more than 100,000 known chemicals.

This is in search of compounds that could preserve healthy function of PARN gene.

By inhibiting an enzyme called PAPD5, unravel PARN and destabilize TERC.

PARN normally processes and stabilizes TERC, an important component of telomerase.

Chemicals were tested on lab stem cells from patients' cells with dyskeratosis congenita(DC).

These boosted TERC levels in those stem cells and restored telomeres to their normal length.

Team wanted to test for safety and precision in targetting stem cell for telomerase formation.

Specifically to see if PAPD5-inhibiting drugs recognize and respond to TERT.

Tested human blood stem cells, triggered mutations in PARN giving rise to DC.

These were then implanted into mice that were treated with the compounds.

Treatment boosted TERC, restored stem cells telomere length and had no ill effects on mice.

Research by Harvard University team, published in Cell Stem Cell.

Demonstrated in mice, study paves way for treating ageing-related diseases

Mentioned in this article:

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Boston Children's Hospital

Center for pediatric health care

Cell Stem Cell

Scientific journal covering stem cell biology.

Harvard University

Private Ivy League research university in Massachusetts

Suneet Agarwal

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School