RUDN biochemists found a way to stop the immortality of cancer cells with oligonucleotides
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IMAGE: RUDN biochemists found a way to reduce the activity of telomerase (the enzyme of cell immortality) 10 times. The discovery will help create new antitumor drugs and give a better… view more 

Credit: Natalia Deryugina

RUDN biochemists found a way to reduce the activity of telomerase (the enzyme of cell immortality) 10 times. The discovery will help create new antitumor drugs and give a better understanding of how the activity of the enzyme can be controlled. The results of the study were published in the Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications journal.

The ends of chromosomes are covered with a kind of safety caps – telomeres. These are compact DNA sequences that stabilize chromatin structure. With each cell division telomeres become shorter, and the older a cell, the shorter are the telomeres of its chromosomes. However, certain types of cells (e.g. germ cells, stem cells, and lymphocytes) have an active immortality enzyme called telomerase. It compensates for the shortening of telomeres and allows the cells to divide practically endlessly. The highest telomerase activity is observed in cancer cells – this is one of the factors that makes them malignant. RUDN biochemists demonstrated that the activity of telomerase may be

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