Scientists clarify much-sought enzyme, pave road to cancer therapy

Scientists worldwide have eagerly eyed the enzyme telomerase as an ideal target for anti-cancer therapy. Active in cancer cells, which need it to divide, telomerase has sparked keen research. Biotech companies have pumped millions into finding a telomerase inhibitor.

Now a team of researchers at Johns Hopkins has taken a key step toward such anti-telomerase cancer therapy. In a report in the March issue of Cell, they describe the fundamental shape of the telomerase molecule in mammals and other vertebrates. Knowing this structure, they say, helps them pinpoint the enzyme's vulnerable spots. "This puts us far closer to finding a way to inhibit it," says molecular biologist Carol Greider, Ph.D., who led the team.

After cloning the gene for the "business end" of the telomerase molecule in 32 different animals -- from shrew to elephant -- the researchers compared the structure of the resulting enzyme. They found four common areas highly involved with the enzyme's working, regardless of animal type.

"By taking this comparative or phylogenetic approach, we learned what shape nature thought best for telomerase to work," says Greider. That shape is basically the same from animal to animal, even though parts of the enzyme differ in length and chemical makeup. It emphasizes how important the particular structure must be for telomerase to function.

Telomerase's role in cells is to maintain highly specialized bits of DNA at the ends of chromosomes. These areas, called telomeres, act as caps, protecting chromosome ends either from being degraded or from abnormally sticking to other chromosomes. Without telomeres, one scientist wrote in an earlier Cell article, the resulting chromosome instability would "wreak havoc on the genome."

Scientists have found that normal and cancer cells differ greatly with respect to telomerase. Normal cells shut down production of telomerase early on, in embryo development. In cancer cells, however, the enzyme c

Contact: Marjorie Centofanti
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Scientists to prototype cyberinfrastructure for research and education access to ocean observatories
2. Scientists sequence genome of kind of organism central to biospheres carbon cycle
3. Scientists find nanowires capable of detecting individual viruses
4. Scientists discover potential new way to control drug-resistant bacteria
5. Scientists explore genome of methane-breathing microbe
6. Scientists decipher genetic code of biothreat pathogen
7. Stuck on you: Scientists lay bare secrets of bacterial attachment proteins
8. Scientists discover proteins involved in spread of HIV-1 infection
9. Scientists fear new Ebola outbreak may explain sudden gorilla disappearance
10. Scientists reinvent DNA as template to produce organic molecules
11. Scientists visualise cellular handmaiden that restores shape to proteins

Post Your Comments:

(Date:7/1/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... July 01, 2020 , ... ... that it had completed the purchase of Teva-Takeda Pharmaceuticals’ packaging facility in Minakuchi, ... company’s existing Japanese clinical supply facility located in Kakegawa, the new 60,000-square-foot facility ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... ... June 25, 2020 , ... ... today announced that it has entered into a multi-year contract with Merus ... support their translational and clinical research strategy to discover and develop ground-breaking ...
(Date:6/25/2020)... ... June 24, 2020 , ... eClinical Solutions ... data services that accelerate drug development, is collaborating with Karyopharm Therapeutics (Nasdaq: ... hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19. This is the first study of an XPO1 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/22/2020)... ... July 22, 2020 , ... Join experts from Reed Tech , Gary ... in a one hour live webinar on Thursday, August 13, 2020 at ... drugs and medical devices. Specifically, for medical devices, the NMPA has departments dealing with ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... LORTON, Va. (PRWEB) , ... July 08, 2020 ... ... laboratory testing services and products, announces a significant expansion of laboratory operations through ... robust collection for agencies implementing testing programs. , Bode-CARES provides ...
(Date:7/7/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... July 06, 2020 , ... ... Practices Awards. Entries from Roche, Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb, the University of Chicago, ... 2003, Bio-IT World has hosted an elite awards program, highlighting outstanding examples of ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... , ... June 25, 2020 , ... ... racing to develop a vaccine or drug treatment. In an effort to better ... has publicly released the world’s largest imaging dataset portraying therapeutic compound effects from ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: