Wykorzystanie aktywności telomerazy w terapii genowej nowotworów
Use of telomerase activity in gene therapy of tumours. Telomeres, the ends of linear chromosomes, shorten with each round of DNA replication. Loss of telomeric DNA can lead to senescence, a state in which cells no longer divide, and crisis, which triggers cell death. To prevent these phenomena, cancer and stem cells must maintain their telomeres, for example by expressing telomerase, an enzyme that can extend telomeres. Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein that directs the synthesis of telomeric sequence. It is detected in majority of malignant tumors, but not in most normal somatic cells. Because telomerase plays a critical role in cell immortality and tumour formation, it has been one of the targets for anti-cancer and regeneration drug development. In this review, we will discuss therapeutic approaches based mainly on small molecules that have been developed to inhibit telomerase activity, an immune response to telomerase, modulate telomerase expression, and telomerase directed gene therapy.