Whats the difference between telomeres and telomerase

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Offline CZARCAR

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whats the diff between telomeres & telomerase?

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Offline imatfaal

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Whats the difference between telomeres and telomerase
« Reply #1 on: 09/11/2011 10:20:33 »
Split from question about entering cancer research

Telomeres are lengths of repeating sequence of dna at end of chromosomes that, in simple terms, prevent DNA damage when replication occurs.  Each time a cell divides it loses some of the telomere - when the telomere reaches zero(ish) length then the cell stops dividing and dies (apoptosis if you wanna look it up). 

Telomerase is an enzyme (-ase is a very common ending for enzymes) - its action is to add on extra requences onto the telomere, this increases the number of divisions that the cell can make.

telomerase is not common throughout the body - but it is found in a few important places ie in cancers (also in foetal tissue and in adult germ cells ).  It is the fact that cancers have telomerase which means they can keep on self replicating - which is the problem.  whether cancerous cells generate telomerase or cells with telomerase become cancerous (ie which is cause and which is effect) is beyond my paygrade
« Last Edit: 09/11/2011 10:23:20 by imatfaal »
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Offline Nizzle

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How does one get into cancer research?
« Reply #2 on: 09/11/2011 10:23:10 »
whether cancerous cells generate telomerase or cells with telomerase become cancerous (ie which is cause and which is effect) is beyond my paygrade

Not sure if I earn more than you, but both are possible :)
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