Cancer researchers are eying to unlock the cellular-level function of the telomerase enzyme, which is linked to the disease's growth. The latest findings by the researchers at the UT Southwestern Medical Center demonstrated that telomerase repairs chromosomes in one of two ways - depending on whether a cell is dividing normally or if the cell is under stress from enzyme inhibition - and could lead to new or improved cancer-fighting therapies that promote inhibition of this enzyme. The number of times a cell divides is determined by telomeres, protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that indicate cell age. Every time a cell divides, the telomeres shorten. When telomeres shrink to a certain length, the cell either dies or stops dividing. In cancer cells, the enzyme telomerase keeps rebuilding the telomeres, so the cell never receives the cue to stop dividing. Although telomerase was discovered in 1985, exactly how this enzyme repairs telomeres to enable cancer cells to divide and grow was largely unknown. Until now, researchers didn't know how many telomerase molecules went into action at the telomeres and under what conditions. "It's a single molecule under normal cancer growth conditions, but if you shorten telomeres artificially by inhibiting telomerase, now it's more than one molecule acting on the ends of the telomeres," said Dr. Woodring Wright, professor of cell biology and senior author of the study. When acting as a single molecule at the telomeres, telomerase adds about 60 nucleotide molecules "in one fell swoop to the end of the chromosome," Wright added. Researchers also discovered that structures in cells called Cajal bodies help process telomerase during chromosome-repair activity. Cajal bodies assemble ribonucleic acid (RNA) within proteins. "Telomerase uses this RNA in order to add the sequences onto the end, and this complex is assembled or modified in some way in these Cajal bodies," said Wright. The study has been published in Molecular Cell. Source: ANI << Mass Circumcision Guinness Record Attempt By Filipino Teen ... Mommys Worth $61,436 Each Year - the Love and Affection Os ... >> Recommended Reading Study Reveals Serious Gaps in Cancer Research A study has revealed serious gaps in cancer research, as several cancers with a high burden of disease are not receiving the clinical trial investment they require. READ MORE Most Recent Cancer Research Discovery Could Lead to Novel Treatments for a Variety of Cancers Scientists have discovered that the overproduction of a key protein in stem cells causes those stem cells to form cancerous tumors. READ MORE Cancer Research Indicates That The Disease Causes Loss of Protein That Hooks Skin Cells Together A new study has found that the lack of a protein important in hooking our skin cells together could be an early indicator of skin cancer development. READ MORE The Centre for "Cutting Edge Cancer Research" to Open Its Doors on Tuesday The Champalimaud Center For the Unknown will officially open on the outskirts of Lisbon Tuesday, with the stated aim of working at the cutting edge of cancer research. READ MORE Food Preservatives - How Safe Are They? Food preservatives are basically antimicrobials or anti-oxidants that help preserve food by destroying the microbes and stopping decomposition of food products. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Drug Interaction Checker Fongitar (Zinc Pyrithionone) Accident and Trauma Care More News on: Food Preservatives - How Safe Are They?