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Stanford researchers unmask proteins in telomerase
April 2008
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STANFORD, Calif.Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine have identified two new proteins that make up the telomerase complex and have a lead on several more. This is the first significant step toward understanding the makeup of telomerase since 1999, the researchers say, and the discovery of these two proteins provides new targets for cancer treatments. One of the more intriguing workhorses of the cell, the protein conglomerate called telomerase has been implicated in critical areas of medicine including cancer, aging and stem cell health. But researchers have been frustrated in their attempts to find the proteins that make up this complex. In their study, they describe two protein components of telomerase. They also show that disabling one of the proteins brings telomerase to a grinding halt. Although the work was done in cells in a lab dish, the findings suggest that a drug blocking that protein may be a useful tool against cancer.  

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