Molecular regulation of telomerase activity in aging

Craig Nicholls, He Li, Jian Qiu Wang, Jun-Ping Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


The process of aging is mitigated by the maintenance and repair of chromosome ends (telomeres), resulting in extended lifespan. This review examines the molecular mechanisms underlying the actions and regulation of the enzyme telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT), which functions as the primary mechanism of telomere maintenance and regulates cellular life expectancy. Underpinning increased cell proliferation, telomerase is also a key factor in facilitating cancer cell immortalization. The review focuses on aspects of hormonal regulations of telomerase, and the intracellular pathways that converge to regulate telomerase activity with an emphasis on molecular interactions at protein and gene levels. In addition, the basic structure and function of two key telomerase enzyme components-the catalytic subunit TERT and the template RNA (TERC) are discussed briefly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)726-738
Number of pages13
JournalProtein & Cell
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • aging
  • telomerase
  • telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT)

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