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Telomerase and its extracurricular activities

Abstract

The classical activity of telomerase is to synthesize telomeric repeats and thus maintain telomere length, which in turn ensures chromosome stability and cellular proliferation. However, there is growing evidence that implicates telomerase in many other functions that are independent of TERC being used as its template. Telomerase has an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) activity in the mitochondria. Other than viral RdRPs, it is the only RNA-dependent RNA polymerase that has been identified in mammals. It also plays a role in the Wnt signaling pathway by acting as a transcriptional modulator. Telomerase acts as a reverse transcriptase independent of its core subunit, TERC. Studies indicate that telomerase is also involved in apoptosis and DNA repair.

Abbreviations

BRG1:

Brahma-related gene 1

PIP1:

POT1-interacting protein 1

PTOP:

POT1- and TIN2-organizing protein

RAP1:

repressor and activator protein 1

RdRP:

RNA-dependent RNA polymerase

SMARCA4:

SWI/SNF-related matrix-associated actin-dependent regulator of chromatin, subfamily a, member 4

SWI/SNF:

SWItch/sucrose non-fermentable

TEP1:

telomerase-associated protein 1

TINT1:

TIN2 Interacting Protein 1

TIN2 or TINF2:

TRF1-interacting nuclear protein 2

TRF1 or TERF1:

telomeric repeat-binding factor 1

TRF2 or TERF2:

telomeric repeat-binding factor 2

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Correspondence to Pramod Kumar Yadava.

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Jaiswal, R.K., Kumar, P. & Yadava, P.K. Telomerase and its extracurricular activities. Cell Mol Biol Lett 18, 538–554 (2013). https://doi.org/10.2478/s11658-013-0105-0

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Key words

  • Telomerase
  • Telomere
  • RNA-dependent RNA polymerase
  • TERT
  • TERC
  • Apoptosis