Telomeres In Cancer Cells Biology Essay

1 ) What is the job with finishing DNA reproduction in additive chromosomes? Deoxyribonucleic acid polymerases are known to be dependent on a preformed RNA or DNA primer to originate elongation for DNA reproduction from the 3 ‘ terminal of the DNA strand. The reproduction procedure occur at the same time but in opposite waies and while the taking strand ( 3 ‘ – 5 ‘ ) goes all the manner to the terminal of the parental templet without losing any deoxyribonucleotides, the lagging strand ( 5 ‘ – 3 ‘ ) replicates in a stepwise manner dependant on an RNA primer that is later degraded and the spreads filled in with DNA polymerase and ligated by DNA ligase. But at the really terminal, the ribonucleotides can non be served as a templet for replicative DNA polymerases ; the Deoxyribonucleic acid polymerases hence can non make full in the spreads at the terminal of the lagging strand, ensuing in the lagging strand in turn going shorter and shorter upon each unit of ammunition of reproduction.

2 ) How have eukaryotes solved this job?

This job is solved by the add-on of an enzyme that adds telomeric ( TEL ) sequences to the terminals of each chromosome, a protein-RNA composite called telomere terminal transferase or telomerase. The sequence of telomerase-associated RNA acts as the templet for add-on of deoxyribonucleotides to the terminals of the telomeres and utilizing the drawn-out templet strand, the okazaki fragments can so be added to the templet strand and go on the reproduction procedure.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

? The shortening of the lagging strand prevented.

3 ) How was the being of the telomeres demonstrated?

The tests to make DNA ends for a stabilized in vitro DNA reproduction showed that a really specialised piece of DNA is required for map as a stable Deoxyribonucleic acid end point in barm. DNA ends originated by gamma irradiation and DNA terminals of plasmids generated by restrictive enzymes are unstable as they are really recombinogenic, they ligate to other free terminals and are susceptible to exonucleolytic debasement. Artificially constructed hairpin end point excessively was unable to stabilise a additive plasmid in barm.

A survey was so conducted by building a additive barm plasmid by fall ining fragments from the end point of Tetrahymena ribosomal DNA ( rDNA ) to a barm vector.

During a comparing of Tetrahymena rDNA end point and barm, it was found that there are cluster of repetitions of the hexonucleotides C-C-C-C-A-A ( C4A2 ) at or near the DNA end point ; the bunchs are of variable size and with specific spreads or dents, and there are present at the 5 ‘ terminal of the Tetrahymena rDNA strands, 3-4 repetitions apart in barm, therefore proposing that the enzymatic procedure responsible for these lesions to be similar in the two beings. The fact that barm can acknowledge and utilize DNA terminals from being Tetrahymena suggests a high evolutional preservation for the structural characteristics required for telomere reproduction and declaration.

One Tetrahymena terminal was removed by limitation enzyme, and barm fragments that can work as an terminal on a additive plasmid were selected. As the unusual construction of Tetrahymena terminal is maintained in barm, limitation fragment of the tetrahymena rDNA plasmid can work as a telomere on a additive plasmid in barm. The additive plasmid is so used as vector to clone chromosomal telomeres from barm. Restriction function and hybridisation analysis demonstrated that these fragments were yeast telomeres and suggested that all yeast chromosomes might hold a common telomere sequence.

( Szostak and Blackburn 1982 )

4 ) What is the mechanism of action of telomerase?

The telomerase composite contains a telomerase-associated RNA templet and telomerase catalytic site. Telomerase fundamentally maps by rearward written text and translocation hybridisation stairss.

After acknowledgment of the TTGGGG sequence, the telomerase-associated RNA templet base brace with the 3 ‘ terminal of the lagging strand templet.

The telomerase catalytic site so uses rearward written text and adds deoxyribonucleotides on the lagging strand utilizing the RNA molecule as templet, therefore stretching the lagging strand.

The DNA-RNA semidetached house are so thought to be slip comparative to each other, taking to translocation of a single-stranded part of the telomeric DNA strand and the 3 ‘ most TTG bases of the lagging strand are hybridized to the telomerase-associated RNA templet.

The lagging strand is elongated once more as in measure ( two ) . This mechanism explains how oligonucleotides with 3 ‘ terminals ending at any nucleotide with TTGGGG sequence are right elongated to give perfect tandem repetitions of ( TTGGGG ) n. ( Or any sequence for that affair ) .

Figure 4. Mechanism of action of telomerase utilizing a Tetrahymena theoretical account.

5 ) How does a telomerase check work?

A telomeric sequence of G-rich DNA is added de novo onto the preexisting telomeric terminal, and one time the strand is formed, it serves as the templet for the synthesis of the complementary C-rich strand by conventional primase and DNA polymerase activities.

Using TTGGGG sequence as primer, the telomere elongation activity is assayed in the Tetrahymena cell infusions by adding assorted combinations of ?32P-labeled deoxynucleoside triphosphates ( ?32P-dNTPs ) and unlabelled nucleoside triphosphates ( dNTPs ) . The sets are observed on the cataphoresis and this check besides shows that the bases sequence is non due to sequence-specific nuclease activity.

The check besides comprises of several trials to extinguish other possible factors. For one, the whole cell infusions were separated into S100 supernatant and pellet fractions, pretreated with micrococcal nuclease, in order to prove whether the repetition add-on was independent of Tetrahymena DNA. Different endogenous oligomers ( CCCAA ) ( TTGGGG ) are primed in repetition synthesis to prove the possibility of their hybridisation as the input man-made oligomer. The engagement of endogenous Tetrahymena ?-type DNA polymerase in the repetition synthesis is besides tested utilizing the inhibitor drug aphidicolin. These experiments indicate that the add-on activity is independent of both endogenous Deoxyribonucleic acid and endogenous DNA polymerase CI.

The oligomer sequence is farther verified utilizing the Sanger sequencing method with dideoxynucleotides ( Sanger et al. , 1977 ) , where each dideoxynucleoside triphosphate ( ddNTP ) – that was added in bend to the in vitro reactions in the presence of labeled dGTP and the other unlabelled dNTPs – terminates the concatenation at the site of add-on, doing sequencing tax write-off possible with the add-on merchandises.

The extent of ?32P-dGTP incorporation was besides measured as a map of increasing input oligomer concentration with a high concentration proposing a high affinity for the oligomer primer hence a high efficiency at micromolar concentrations and a high affinity for triphosphate substrates, supplying grounds that the add-on activity in the Tetrahymena extracts has the belongingss expected of an enzyme. The label incorporation is so stopped by heating the infusions or by intervention with protease K.

6 ) What are the functions of telomeres and telomerase in the followers:


Familial grounds showed that short telomeres induce aging ; shortening telomere is to a great extent associated with the decrease of replicative life span of civilized human cells. Conversely, debut of telomerase into these cultured homo cells proved to widen their life spans in the absence of other cellular changes. However the nexus between ageing and telomere length is non absolute and compromised telomere map can do tissue devolution even in the absence of telomere shortening. Besides, it ‘s now known that human telomerase, TERT, has several other activities aside telomere care that could be potentially lending to increased cell proliferation. Care of telomere length and protection are undoubtedly of import factors in the control of cellular life span but ageing in itself is a complex procedure influenced by many different factors, hence, farther research needs to be done before one can confirm the functions of telomeres and telomerase in ageing.


Absence of telomeres from the terminal of a chromosome triggers breakage-fusion-bridge ( BFB ) cycles that accordingly inflict major harm to chromosome constructions. Absence of telomerase causes merger ( span ) of sister chromatids during mitosis and during anaphase, this later leads to amplication or omission of terminal cistrons wherein the sister cells separate unevenly ( mention to calculate 6.2 ) .

Transformation of civilized human cells is known to be in three stairss ( Hahn et al. , 1999, 2000 ) : activation proliferation e.g. , induced by look of a mutant reticular activating system ocogene ; inactivation of tumour suppressers p53 and Rb ; and activation of telomerase by look of hTERT.

Extensive shortening of telomeres is recognized as a type of DNA harm and at the loss of telomeres, attendant stabilisation and activation of p53 protein by the cells leads to p53 triggered programmed cell death and eventual cell decease. Loss of telomeres limits the figure of unit of ammunitions of cell division, hence, in order to last and avoid eventual cell decease, malignant neoplastic disease cells strive to keep the telomere length as to guarantee space cell division. About 85 % -90 % of human malignant neoplastic disease instances showed increased telomerase activity reactivation while the remainder maintain telomeres by ALT ( alternate prolongation of telomeres ) which occurs by exchange of sequences between telomeres ( Dunham et al. , 2000 ) .

Antisense RNA against telomerase production causes HeLa cells ( tumour cells ) to discontinue growing in four hebdomads. Dominant negative ( DN ) telomerase e.g. , the modified RNA templets, can interfere with malignant neoplastic disease cell growing and lead to programmed cell death ( Hahn et al. , 1999 ; Zhang et al. , 1999 ) . Telomerase-null mice are besides found to develop tumors less readily than normal mice and in another instance, high degrees of telomerase predict a hapless response to therapy and frailty versa. Degree of N-myc protein, a written text factor that regulates look of telomerase excessively, is prognostic for tumour results. Other mutants are besides found to be reduced if mice deficiency telomerase.

The loss of telomeres in malignant neoplastic disease cells coupled with multiple mechanisms can trip the BFB rhythms.

?Telomerase look is indispensable for malignant neoplastic disease cells to last, hence suppressing telomerase can be a utile curative intervention for malignant neoplastic disease cells.

There is, nevertheless, a reverse as a recent observation in mouse theoretical accounts showed that tumors can still develop in the absence of telomerase activity and that short telomeres may in some state of affairss enhance genomic instability and speed up tumor development, peculiarly in beings with familial disease syndromes characterized by defects in telomerase maps.

Stem cells

It is found that induced pluripotent root cells ( information science ) show telomere features similar to embryologic root cells with regard to epigenetic Markss. Telomerase reintroductions are besides found to be diminishing reprogramming efficiency of cells in mice with telomerase lack. However, a recent find showed that spliting primary fibroblasts have low degrees of hTERT look and telomerase activity and that break of this activity by ectopic look e.g by catalytically inactive mutation of hTERT ( DN-hTERT ) or by RNA intervention ( RNAi ) leads to premature aging. Conclusively, more grounds is needed to stress the functions of telomeres and telomerase in root cells.


I'm Ruth!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out