While 90% of cancer cells significantly express telomerase, an enzymatic complex responsible for the maintenance of telomeres, its activity is not detected in normal somatic cells. Expression of the catalytic component of the telomerase complex, hTERT (human Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase), is the limiting factor for telomerase activity, and plays a fundamental role in cellular immortalisation.
The knowledge of factors and mechanisms controlling hTERT transcription is crucial to understanding the telomerase reactivation process, a key step during oncogenesis, and could bring to light new molecular targets for anticancer therapy. Our ambitious project contributes to this task by using cutting-edge techniques of cellular and molecular biology.
Fields of science
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