Key points from article :
Telomeres - caps at the end of DNA, might have a role to play in managing cancer.
“DNA in telomeres shorten when cells divide, eventually halting cell division” - Titia de Lange, researcher.
When this happens cell is unable to divide anymore and dies.
However, in cancer cells, an enzyme called telomerase is triggered.
Telomerase prevents telomere shortening, and the cell can divide indefinitely.
Researchers created cells with TINF2 gene mutation.
The TINF2 gene controls the TIN2 protein, which is responsible for telomere length.
Telomeres were found to be “too long” in these cells.
“Loss of the telomere tumour suppressor pathway leads to breast, colorectal, thyroid cancers & melanoma". "These cancers would normally have been blocked by telomere shortening."
This breakthrough could help develop innovative cancer prevention and treatment strategies.
Research by Rockefeller University published in eLife.