Telomerase Trouble

Charles Carter ccarter2 at mustang.uwo.ca
Tue Apr 2 10:16:50 EST 1996


imm3gjg7 at NOVELL2.BHAM.AC.UK ("G.J.Griffiths") wrote:
>So if it's true that the telomere length dictates cellular ageing, then 
>what would be the easiest way to maintain it in cells? How would it 
>posible to upregulate telomerase expression? Three methods spring to 
>mind.

Before we get ahead of ourselves and look for a way to incorporate the 
telomerase enzyme (or more simply the telomerase gene via a retrovirus of 
some sort) into all of the cells of a fully developed multicellular 
organisms, shouldn't we apply gene therapy to an embryonic mouse cell and 
see how long it lives?  Or maybe we should make antibodies to telomerase 
or use antisence regulation (cDNA's of the telomerase mRNA) to inhibit 
its translation and see if we can make senesence come sooner.  By the 
time we prove that telomerase is behind aging, there may be better gene 
targeting methods at our disposal that can be used to change all of our 
own cells, and not just those of our unborn children.
  
Or maybe you do an experiment with nematodes (ie, C. elegans) where you 
look for a correlation between telomerase efficiency and lifespan?  Make 
a few (~10) isolated communities of varying lifespans and sample some of 
each (throw them in a blender or polytron) and check out their mRNA or 
telomerase functioning with some sort of assay.  After you gather the 
lifespan data for each community you can do some regressions and so 
forth. 
 Anyways, I'm just thinking out loud..

Chuck






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