Friday, July 5, 2019
Telomeres and cancer therapy
In cancer treatment mostly chemotherapy is used to cure it, in most childhood cancers is toxic . In addition, it has significant consequences for the child: infertility, deafness, and premature aging. After chemotherapy sessions, the child suffers a loss of stem cells, which are crucial to the healing and regeneration of tissues. The cured child has an entire life to live, yet the capacity of his or her tissues to regenerate has diminished.
A telomere is a region of repetitive nucleotide sequences at each end of a chromosome, which protects the end of the chromosome from deterioration , it also play a vital role in aging. Normally, telomeres shorten over time, causing cells and organs to age. This is natural aging
In a cancer cell, telomeres don't shorten. As a result, the cancer cells don't age and they divide indefinitely, forming tumors and metastases
some cancer cells establish an alternative system based on a mechanism called alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT). It is completely pathological - in other words, ALT is not active in any of our healthy cells, making it an ideal target for new anti-tumor therapies.
research carried out ,identified a protein that allows the survival of cancer cells that use the alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) mechanism, which is not essential to the survival of healthy cells. Its name: TSPYL5. This protein is absolutely essential to the proper functioning of the telomeres of cancer cells that have the alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) mechanism, but not the telomeres of cells using telomerase or healthy cells. When the TSPYL5 protein is removed, the cancer cells die due to dysfunction of their telomeres
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