Re: Human Cell Lifespan Extended

Michael Lorrey (
Thu, 15 Jan 1998 12:23:31 -0500

Arjen Kamphuis wrote:

> Human Cell Lifespan Extended
> NEW YORK (Reuters) --


> In the new study, the gene for telomerase was inserted inside three types of
> cells that don't normally carry the enzyme -- retinal pigment epithelial
> cells, foreskin fibroblasts, and the vascular endothelial cells -- or those
> lining blood vessels. In contrast with cultured cells that have telomere
> shortening, the genetically engineered cells continued to vigorously divide
> and have long telomeres.
> The treated cell population doubled at least 20 more times than normal and
> continues to grow, according to the report. The new findings confirm that
> telomeres are the "clock" that keeps cells from growing out of control,
> according to an editorial by Titia de Lange, of the Laboratory for Cell
> Biology and Genetics at The Rockefeller University in New York. And that
> mechanism has all "the makings of a powerful tumor suppressor system," de
> Lange wrote.
> "The results should strengthen the determination of those who are searching
> for telomerase inhibitors as potential anti-cancer agents." SOURCE: Science
> (1998;279:349-352, 334-335)

What about finding single treatment drugs that will do a quick flood of the body
with telomerase to rebuild the telomeres, and then flush the drugs from the
system. With a short term exposure for rebuilding telomeres, long term effects on
cancer probabilty would be low.