- an enzyme, active chiefly in tumors and reproductive cells, that causes telomeres to lengthen: facilitates cell division and may account for the immortality of cancer cells.
Origin of telomerase
telomere + -ase
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for telomerase
Blasco takes these changes as evidence that TA-65 works by “turning on” telomerase.
TA-65, the new study claims, is a “telomerase activator”—that is, it turns on telomerase in cells.
- an enzyme that is involved in the formation and repair of telomeres, so that chromosomes are not shortened during cell division
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
- An enzyme that preserves the length of telomeres across cell divisions in germ cells, stem cells, and most cancer cells. A kind of reverse transcriptase, telomerase is an RNA-containing enzyme that synthesizes the DNA of telomeres by reverse transcription. It is active during DNA replication and is thought to play a role in the proliferation and apparent immortality of cells in which it is present. In cells that lack telomerase (that is, in most somatic cells of the body), the telomeres of chromosomes shorten and eventually disappear over repeated cell divisions. The inhibition of telomerase is being investigated as a method of killing cancerous cells. See more at telomere.
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