Scientists have examined the enzyme responsible for cancer cells immortality in detail

Almost every cell of the human body has its copy of the genetic material enclosed in the chromosomes. In the process of cell division, the end parts of chromosomes can be lost. To prevent this they are protected by special elements of DNA - telomeres. The formation of telomeres is regulated by the enzyme telomerase, "Vlad Time" reports.

Scientists already know the sequence of genes encoding telomerase. However, up to now, the spatial structure of this molecule remained a mystery. Employees of the University of California were able to examine telomerase by using a cryoelectron microscope.

Knowledge of the enzyme structure will allow the scientists to start developing medicines that slow down the growth of tumors. After all, the increased activity of telomerase is the cause of cancer cells immortality. In addition, agents increasing telomerase activity can be used to restore damaged tissues.

Source: "Vlad Time".