The Importance Of Chromosomes And Chromosomal Structure

1515 WordsDec 4, 20147 Pages
The vast majority of the scientific community is cognizant of the importance of chromosomes and chromosomal structure in cellular replication and lifespan. One of the most prominent and greatly researched discoveries of chromosomes has been the telomere and the enzyme telomerase with which telomeres interact. The term telomere refers to the caps located on the ends of chromosomes as a form of protection against chromosomal shortening and aging. Telomerase is an enzyme that aids in the lengthening of telomeres through replenishing TTAGGG ribonucleic repeats that do not code for particular amino acids and is present in high amounts exclusively in cells such as gametes or stem cells. These repeats then undergo chromosomal shortening rather than the necessary ribonucleic acid sequences of DNA. (Yuanjun et al., 2014). Telomerase itself is a highly intricate enzyme that is capable of interacting with accessory proteins, RNA templates, and the ribonucleoprotein complex of a catalytic human reverse transcriptase. The human telomerase gene commonly referred to as hTERT is responsible for activating telomerase and is further regulated by transcription factors. Copious studies have revealed that aging and other growth crises such as cancer is telomere length dependent and may be avoided through the increased expression of the hTERT gene, telomerase activity, and stabilization of telomere length. (Degerman et al., 2011). Aging is additionally avoided in cells through the negation of
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