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

Author: Romaniuk A1, Paszel-Jaworska A1, Totoń E1, Lisiak N1, Hołysz H1, Królak A1, Grodecka-Gazdecka S2, Rubiś B3
Author Information:
1Department of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, 49 Przybyszewskiego St., 60-355, Poznań, Poland.
2Department of Oncology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznań, Poland.
3Department of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, 49 Przybyszewskiego St., 60-355, Poznań, Poland. blazejr@ump.edu.pl.
Conference/Journal: Mol Biol Rep.
Date published: 2018 Nov 17
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1007/s11033-018-4496-x. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 130


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

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