中国科技核心期刊
CN:31-1600/Q
ISSN:1004-0374
“健康与疾病的免疫”国际学术研讨会通知      关于有网站冒充本刊网站的声明
《生命科学》 2009, 21(6): 760-769
端粒和端粒酶的发现及其生物学意义
童夏静*,周金秋
中国科学院上海生命科学研究院生物化学与细胞生物学研究所,分子生物学国家重点实验室,上海 200031
摘 要:2009年的诺贝尔生理学或医学奖授予了美国加州大学旧金山分校的Elizabeth H. Blackburn、约翰霍普金斯大学的Carol W. Greider以及哈佛医学院的Jack W. Szostak三位科学家,肯定他们在发现端粒以及端粒酶保护染色体末端方面所做出的贡献。端粒以及端粒酶的发现历经近半个世纪,追溯起端粒和端粒酶的整个发现过程,却是耐人寻味,给人启发。端粒是真核生物中位于染色体末端的DNA和蛋白质的复合物,它对于维持基因组的完整性以及染色体的稳定性都有着至关重要的作用。端粒DNA可以被一种特化的称为“端粒酶”的逆转录酶延伸。端粒长度的维持以及端粒结构的稳定在细胞衰老、癌症发生以及干细胞全能性自我更新能力维持等生命过程中都起重要作用。
关键词:端粒;端粒酶;DNA复制;染色体;衰老;癌症;干细胞
 
Telomere, telomerase and their biological senses
TONG Xia-jing*, Zhou Jin-qiu
The State Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031, China
Abstract: The 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is shared by Elizabeth H. Blackburn (University of California San Francisco), Carol W. Greider (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine) and Jack W. Szostak (Harvard Medical School) for their discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase. It took about half a century to solve the chromosome end protection problem, and the entire process of discovery is very intriguing and highly enlightening. Telomeres are protein-DNA complexes found at the ends of eukaryotic linear chromosomes. They are essential for maintaining genome integrity and chromosome stability. The telomere length could be elongated by a specialized reverse transcriptase telomerase. The maintenance of telomere length and structure plays important roles in many biological processes including cellular aging, tumor genesis and stem cell self-renewal.
Key words: telomere; telomerase; chromosome stability; aging; cancer; stem cell
 
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