Special Issue "ALT: From Telomere Maintenance Mechanisms to Proposed Therapies"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2019).
Interests: Telomere, oxidative stress, genotoxicity, epigenetic, ALT in human primary fibroblasts, senescence, DNA damage, ionizing radiations
Interests: Genotoxicity, senescence, telomerase inhibitors, telomere biology, telomere evolution.
Interests: Telomeric G-quadruplex, telomere and telomerase targeting, ALT, cancer, DNA damage, ionizing radiations.
Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) is one of the Telomere Maintenance Mechanisms (TMM). Because the mechanism was unknown at the beginning, many studies were aimed to point out the molecular markers of ALT, since the only distinctive known feature at the time was telomere length maintenance in absence of telomerase. Nowadays, ALT cells have been characterized by different markers widely accepted, including chromatin modifications, but the mechanism and the events triggering ALT are still little known. Several experimental evidences came in favour of a recombinogenic mechanism, fuelling the need to clarify whether ALT is nothing but homologous recombination (HR) or it is a telomere-specific type of HR. The complexity of the ALT mechanisms is one of the keys to unfold the heterogeneous behavior of ALT tumors in terms of disease progression and response to treatment. As a consequence, while specific telomerase drugs have been discovered and are presently employed in clinical applications, the therapeutic relevance of molecular players involved in ALT is still debated. Furthermore, considering the role of telomere in chromosome structure and therefore in genome stability and in tumor progression, the mechanisms involved in telomere maintenance need to be clarified and great efforts are needed to allow an in-depth comprehension of the ALT molecular mechanisms; especially in order to develop specific and effective anticancer strategies.
Prof. Antonella Sgura
Dr. Ion Udroiu
Dr. Francesco Berardinelli
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- telomere biology
- alternative lengthening of telomeres
- DNA damage
- telomere maintenance mechanism
- genome stability