Telomeres revisited.

Robert D. Darby darby at
Sat Mar 28 14:14:38 EST 1998

In 1977 I wrote a paper on a genetic model for the cause of cancer. 
The paper was not published, but was distributed to a small group. 
In 1991 it was transferred to a word processing document.  The
introduction was updated, spelling was corrected elsewhere, several
diagrams were redrawn with a plotter, but no other changes were
made. Now it has been transferred to an HTML document and it
available at:

with some personel information at:  (under construction)

In the paper I was describing a counter mechanism for the cell's
life span and how this counter can cause cancer. I described it as
having a coding of CGT, (which we now know is wrong) and as an
incremental counter. But, I did say the following in the paper:

   " is identical in all tissues of the body.  One of its    
    primary functions is to control when a cell divides and how   
    many times it will divide (or its life span). Unlocking the   
    secrets of this gene indeed, is the secret to aging, the secret 
    to immortality."

   "...the CGT is the counter mechanism and its occurrence from   
     tissue group to tissue group varies."

   " may occur 100, 1000, or 10,000 times within a cell."

What I was describing is now known as the telomere-TTAGGG, a
decremental counter controlling the number of cell divisions. 
Equally important, I described how the telomere subunit is involved
in the initiation of cancer.  In the paper I show that cancer is
initiated by the mutation of the telomere subunit sequence.  I have
not seen a paper describing the disposition of the deleted telomere 
subunit(s).  It probably has been done, but it needs to be

I theorize that there is an enzyme I call the "Where To Go" (WTG)
enzyme. After cell division WTG picks up or transcribes the
released telomere subunit(s) and initiates normal cell functioning.
If the telomere subunit is mutated then one of the following things
may happen depending on the mutated sequence:
   1.) The cell may die.
   2.) An oncogene may be initialized, but is still under normal  
       telomere counting.
   3.) Embryonic growth may be initialized, but is still under    
       normal telomere counting.
   4.) Telomerase may be initialized.

With a corrupted subunit anything may be initialized.  Someone with
the facilities should create a string of labeled and non TTAGGG
subunits and insert it in a living cell and observe the outcome
when the labeled sequence becomes active.  This is a lot of work as there
are 4,095 posibilities.

A mutated telomere subunit is the loose cannon in the cell.

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