Actions of human telomerase beyond telomeres

Cell Res. 2008 Jul;18(7):725-32. doi: 10.1038/cr.2008.74.


Telomerase has fundamental roles in bypassing cellular aging and in cancer progression by maintaining telomere homeostasis and integrity. However, recent studies have led some investigators to suggest novel biochemical properties of telomerase in several essential cell signaling pathways without apparent involvement of its well established function in telomere maintenance. These observations may further enhance our understanding of the molecular actions of telomerase in aging and cancer. This review will provide an update on the extracurricular activities of telomerase in apoptosis, DNA repair, stem cell function, and in the regulation of gene expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Cellular Senescence
  • DNA Repair
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • RNA / metabolism
  • Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Telomerase / metabolism*
  • Telomere / metabolism*


  • RNA
  • Telomerase