The linear ends of chromosome are protected by specialized ribonucleoprotein (RNP) termed as telomere. These specialized terminal elements with tandem repeated sequence are the protective cap that alleviate end replication problem and cell senescence. The telomere length maintenance is essential to avoid cell death and apoptosis. Telomere shortening has been related to chronic stress due to several factors, which include not only psychological stress but also diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Telomerase enzyme which maintains telomere length is the major factor responsible for evading cell death. Telomere length maintenance and telomerase expression put together are the prerequisite for immortality, an essential character for cancer cells. Understanding the mechanism of telomere and telomerase functions paves way for eradicating the diseases such as cancer.
Part of the book: Telomere