Telomere Shortening Project for Preventing Cancer

-By KI News Team | Dec. 31, 2020, 5:41 p.m.


Researchers at Rockefeller University studied the TIN2 protein which is responsible for the shortening of the Telomere length.

Telomeres are mostly found the edges of any chromosome. Ordinary cells that possess a DNA with telomere will follow a standard mechanism that will shorten the telomere sequence with every division. This phenomenon allows the cell to recognise how far more can the cell divide without losing important DNA coding region that gets shorter with multiplications of the cell. Interestingly, the cancer cells manipulate this mechanism and intend to keep the telomere sequence to stay long and thus has no control over multiplication. The scientists are now eager to know what will happen if these telomeres are cut short of the cancer cells will it prevent Cancer cell’s nonstop division and multiplication?

To support this theory, Researchers at Rockefeller University studied the TIN2 protein which is responsible for the shortening of the Telomere length. The cells are killed and replaced every single day in human body. But when these abnormal cells that need to be killed are kept unseen and allowed to continue to grow, they tend to develop tumors or tumorous growth in tissues of human body. They can be benign or malignant according to the cancer that is present. Some humans have selected gene sequences that can be related to Cancer for example gene sequence, BRCA1 that is responsible for breast cancer.

Titia de Lange, the head of Laboratory Cell Biology and Genetics at Rockefeller University quotes that “Telomeres protect the genetic material." "The DNA in telomeres shorten when cells divide, eventually halting cell division when the telomere reserve is depleted.”

He found that the cancer cells produced a protein that works against the TIN2 protein named telomerase enzyme is reactivated that promotes the infinite cell multiplication by not letting the telomere shorten. The whole telomere sequence idea for preventing cancer doesn’t originate here but the application with live subjects can now be proved. The study took a turn with one information about a family that suffers from hereditary cancer. When the whole genome sequencing was done for this family a mutation in the ‘tin2’ gene was observed whose product is TIN2 protein that is responsible for telomere length. The analysis done by Titia de Lange, Isabelle Schmutz and team revealed that there is a fair chance for people with long telomere sequence will develop cancer. The scientists claim that telomerase suppressing therapies can provide a cutting-edge solution to cancers like breast cancer, colorectal cancer, melanoma, and thyroid cancers prevailing in that particular family.

The scientist Titia de Lange adds

“We imagine that the TINF2 mutations exert their cancer-promoting effects in the first weeks or months after fertilization,”
TINF2 would be a tumor suppressor gene with a very specific window of opportunity, exerting its effect early in development but not later.”
“And by working on a fundamental problem, we were eventually able to understand the origins of a human disease.”

The treatments are said to be given in an early stage of development mostly fetal stage of the children. If cracked correctly this therapy and method can revolutionize the world of Oncology. The study is confined to subjects of that family but will expand eventually.