Enzyme that drives cancer under study

Researchers are helping unlock the cellular-level function of the telomerase enzyme which drives cancer growth, thus paving the way for improved cancer-fighting therapies. The number of times a cell divides is determined by telomeres, protective caps on the ends of chromosomes (genes) that indicate cell age. Every time a cell divides, the telomeres shorten, the journal Molecular Cell reports.

When telomeres shrink to a certain length, the cell either dies or stops dividing. In cancer cells, the enzyme telomerase keeps rebuilding the telomeres, so the cell never receives the cue to stop dividing. Read more…


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