A deeper understanding of chromosome capping could improve therapies for both cancer and aging
Switching off the enzyme that adds protective caps to chromosome ends could help fight many types of cancer, A*STAR researchers have shown. The team demonstrated the treatment's potential by using it to thwart tumor growth in mice. The zipper style of DNA replication means that the tips of chromosomes cannot be copied, leaving them slightly shorter with each cell division. To prevent loss of genetic information, chromosome ends are protected by caps called telomeres—repetitive, gene-free regions (see image).