Re: Re: Immortal Human Cells & wonderful news

CurtAdams (
Thu, 15 Jan 1998 14:00:00 EST

Damien Broderick <> writes:
> >Could it be that telomerase is harmful in some tissues?
> My guess is that its production is inactivated in somatic cells as a
> general prophylaxis against cancer. Immortal tumors do, indeed, switch
> telomerase production back on. If we wish to extend our lives by tweaking
> this mechanism, we're going to have to be *very careful*...

My preferred method would be to introduce the telomerase in a method
such that the cell does not have control over its existence. For
example, add in a short artificial chromosome to the cells containing
the telomerase gene but a different kind of telomere which the telomerase
can't affect. Set up the artificial chromosome so that after a
specified number of divisions the shortening of its telomeres either
aborts its replication or, better, inactivates the telomerase.
That way you could protect the cells from senescence for a limited time
but after the desired number of replications the cell loses the telomerase
and returns to the normal replicative control and normal cancer risk.