Special Issue "Role of Telomeres and Telomerase in Cancer and Aging 2019"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2019).
Interests: telomerase in ageing and cancer; TERT in mitochondria and brain; oxidative stress; mitochondria; senescence and ageing
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Telomeres and telomerase receive ever-increasing interest from the scientific community. This includes biologists deciphering the complex mechanisms and interactions between the different components of telomeres and telomerase, as well as clinicians aiming to use telomere lengths as a biomarker for aging and diseases. Ever more details emerge about the tightly-regulated interaction of telomerase activity in the regulation of telomere lengths, and many mechanisms still remain a mystery, ready to be solved.
Telomerase activity is under tight physiological regulation in human tissues, where the enzyme is active in only a few adult tissues, such as endothelial cells and lymphocytes, but can be up-regulated in many types of adult stem cells. Telomere shortening has been associated with cellular senescence and the aging process, as well as major diseases, such as atherosclerosis, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. It is thus of high clinical relevance, and is often measured in easily-accessible blood monocytes. In contrast, telomerase activity is highly up-regulated and associated with tumorigenesis by maintaining telomeres and, thereby, constituting an important pre-requisite for the ongoing proliferation of cancer cells. Our growing understanding of the mechanisms of telomerase up-regulation during cancer development might help in tumour prognosis and in the development of new anti-cancer treatments and therapies.
In addition, many telomere-independent functions for the telomerase reverse transcriptase protein TERT have been discovered, which add to the complexity of telomerase and the multitude of its functions. It also extends the function of telomerase in its non-canonical role to cell types such as neurons, and organs such as brain.
The aim of this Special Issue is to demonstrate and share new results and the growing knowledge about the roles of telomeres and telomerase during processes such as aging and cancer development.
Dr. Gabriele Saretzki
Manuscript Submission Information
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- telomere length
- telomerase activity
- stem cells
- cellular senescence