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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The relationship between telomerase activity and proliferation in cutaneous melanoma.

Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein reverse transcriptase which RNA component (TERC) and reverse transcriptase (TERT) function together to elongate telomeres. If cells are to survive and proliferate indefinitely, telomere preservation is essential for the immortalization process. Somatic cells rarely possess TA, but over 90% of tumor cells express active telomerase. Increased cell proliferation and deregulation of cell cycle occur in human cancers, including cutaneous melanoma. The exact nature of links between TA, cell proliferation and apoptosis has not been extensively elucidated in cutaneous melanoma. We hypothesize a relationship between TA and cutaneous melanoma cell proliferation in a way that TA in telomere elongation is only an early event in cell immortalization. The telomere elongation makes their proliferation possible and being, at the same time, one of its limiting factors. But the TA other than telomere elongation (TERC independent) is crucial to initiate or restore melanoma cell proliferation. On the other hand, TA in telomere elongation, together with other factors (for example TNF), has an active anti-apoptotic role. This way melanoma cells overwhelm the apoptotic defense mechanisms, finally resulting in their indefinite proliferation. In evaluation of our hypothesis, we suggest thorough studies of both telomerase activity and proliferation in cutaneous melanoma on multiple checkpoints and targets. We also suggest combined analyses of TA and telomere length. This approach seems inevitable since it is obvious that telomerase is no longer just for the elongation of telomeres and, to our knowledge, most of the studies conducted so far evaluated TA as an expression of a single subunit or associated molecule.[1]


  1. The relationship between telomerase activity and proliferation in cutaneous melanoma. Zamolo, G., Coklo, M., Bosnar, A., Batinac, T. Med. Hypotheses (2007) [Pubmed]
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