Repeating nucleotides: “TTAGGG” added to 3’ ends of DNA. Telomerase is an enzyme that adds the repeated DNA sequence.
Leonard Hayflick in 1961 Hayflick- number of times a normal human cell population will divide until cell division stops A normal human fetal cell can divide about 40-60 times in its lifespan. More telomerase production can extend cell division past 60. When cells stop dividing, they begin to “age” which correlates to physical aging of the human body. If more telomerase is produced extending the telomeres past the average length, aging will occur at a slower rate and later in life than on average.
Physical Sign of aging: gray hair, balding, age spots Contribute to aging: telomere length corresponds to lifespan
Telomere shortening- telomere length shortens with each round of cell division, shortening lifespan of cells Chronological age- higher risks for disease and death as you age. After 60, risk of death doubles every 8 years. Oxidative stress-damage to DNA, proteins, and lipids by oxidants. Result from inflammation, infection, and alcohol and cigarettes. Glycation- glucose binds to DNA, proteins, and lipds and inhibits their functions. Causes tissues to malfunction as we age, which can cause disease and death. All these things work together to contribute to the cause of aging.
Cancerous cells undergo rapid division, shortening their telomere significantly. They produce more telomerase to prevent telomere shortening and cell death.
Although there is not yet a diagnostic indication where telomerase assays have shown a clear clinical benefit, there may be settings where telomerase assays could be useful—for example, as adjuncts to cytology. The vast majority of breast cancers exhibit telomerase activity. In three independent studies, 79% to 95% of breast carcinoma samples were positive for telomerase activity. For detection of bladder carcinoma in urine specimens, telomerase proved far more sensitive than cytology or other available screens. In three independent studies, the sensitivity of telomerase was 85%, 70%, and 62%, compared with 51%, 44%, and not done, for cytology.
Blocking telomerase allows telomeres to begin shortening again and leading to eventual cell death. Telomerase blocking also includes risks such as, infertility, slow wound healing, and impairment of RBC and immune cell production.
Sequence of repeating nucleotides
3’ ends of DNA
Protection during replication
Shorten over time
Created by telomerase reverse
Telomerase is capable of:
Extending lifespan of a cell
Slowing the process of aging
Extending the Hayflick limit
Hayflick limit: the number of times
a normal human cell population will
divide until cell division stops
been linked to
Sign of aging
Contribute to aging
do not determine
lifespan and aging.
Cancerous cells produce more telomerase to
prevent cell death.
Telomerase could be used as an additional
diagnostic marker for cancer.
Inhibiting telomerase in cancer cells can lead
to tumor cell death, but there are risks.
Sedentary life style
Excessive sodium intake
Linked to heart disease
•Discovered in 2009(Blackburn and Greider)
• longer the Telomeres longer life
•Stumbled upon during experiment with
statin to lower cholesterol in Italy(2013)
Mice engineered to lack enzyme telomerase
Barely fertile, suffer from osteoporosis, diabetes,
Inactive telomerase switched back on
feeding mice 4-OHT
Mice grew to adulthood without it and then the
enzyme was reawakened
Shriveled testes grew back, regained fertility,
spleen, liver, and intestines recuperated, and
revered aging on brain
-published in “Nature”, study done in 2010
Since we know for almost certainty that telomerase is the
enzyme that lengths telomeres why not make a drug, stop
time now?...We have (Not technically a drug, it’s
considered a supplement.)
Made from astragalus plant
• Permits the cell
• Creating more
• Telomerase-combined with various mutations
that promote cell growth and inhibit cell death
allows the cancer cells to become “immortal”
• Telomerase has been detected to be 20
times more active in cancer cells than in a
normal body cell
• A technique to measure telomerase TRAP
• Scientist believe blocking telomerase can
• Inhibiting telomerase would cause the
telomerase to actually shorten
• Forcing telomerase to make mutant
telomeric DNA in cancer cells
• Optimum nutrition
• Weight control
• Stress reduction
• Withdrawal of substances of abuse
– Simple sugar
• Restoration of normal sleep patterns
• Pursuit of a balanced protein intake with
rotation among meat, dairy, vegetables and
– Increase intake of omega 3 fatty acids in active
forms e.g. cold-water fish, salmon
• Decrease intake of saturated fat,
hydrogenated oils, and trans-fatty acids
• Diet that is high in antioxidants
– Decrease in mean telomere length can be the
result of severe oxidative damage to telomeres.
Study done at the University of Utah Department
of Human Genetics done on 143 individuals over
the age of 60 years of age
Results showed that those individuals with shorter
telomere had a higher mortality rate than individuals
with longer telomere
Milwaukee Center for Longevity Medicine
They test clients telomere in cells by a blood test to
determine biological age and make recommendations
Hormone replacement therapy
Should telomere science advance to such a
degree, the effect on human life could be
People may be able to know how long they will
live until their natural death;
People may be able to know their risk for cancer
and other diseases;
Insurance companies may require telomere
testing before providing life, health or disability
Employers may require telomere testing results
"Now that I know I'm going to die in 9
"Do I tell my wife? Do I tell my kids? Do I tell my
"Do I quit my job and start tackling my bucket
"Do I spend all my money over the next 9 years?"
"Do I start exercising and eating right and try to
turn this thing around?"
Would you get tested?