The groundbreaking research, led by Professor Juli Feigon, was published online this week by the prestigious journal Science.
The team’s research has produced images of telomerase in much higher resolution than ever before, giving them major new insights about the enzyme. Their findings could ultimately lead to new directions for treating cancer and preventing premature aging.
Co-lead authors are postdoctoral researcher Jiansen Jiang and graduate student Henry Chan. Postdoctoral scholar Darian Cash, former postdoctoral scholar Edward Miracco, staff scientist Rachel Ogorzalek Loo, senior staff scientist Duilio Cascio, and graduate student Reid O’Brien Johnson are co-authors as well. Along with Professor Feigon, senior authors are Professor Joseph Loo and Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics Professor Hong Zhou. From UC Berkeley are co-author graduate student Heather Upton and senior author Professor Kathleen Collins.
The paper titled “Structure of Tetrahymena telomerase reveals previously unknown subunits, functions, and interactions” was published in Science online on October 15, 2015.
A rendering of telomerase, showing the enzyme’s various subunits. UCLA department of chemistry and biochemistry
From UCLA Newsroom (by Stuart Wolpert):
Scientists produce clearest-ever images of enzyme that plays key roles in aging, cancer
UCLA-led research on telomerase could lead to new strategies for treating disease
An enzyme called telomerase plays a significant role in aging and most cancers, but until recently many aspects of the enzyme’s structure could not be clearly seen.
Now, scientists from UCLA and UC Berkeley have produced images of telomerase in much higher resolution than ever before, giving them major new insights about the enzyme. Their findings, published online today by the journal Science, could ultimately lead to new directions for treating cancer and preventing premature aging.
“Many details we could only guess at before, we can now see unambiguously, and we now have an understanding of where the different components of telomerase interact,” said Juli Feigon, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the UCLA College and a senior author of the study. “If telomerase were a cat, before we could see its general outline and the location of the limbs, but now we can see the eyes, the whiskers, the tail and the toes.”
The research brought together experts in structural biology, biochemistry and biophysics, and a wide range of cutting-edge research techniques.
Read full UCLA Newsroom article here.
The research has been covered by several news sources: ScienceDaily, Phys.org, EurekAlert (American Association for the Advancement of Science), Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, Medical News Today, ScienceBlog, Bioscience Technology, Health Canal, AZoNano.com, EScienceNews.com, News-Medical.net, Science Codex.
To learn more about Professor Feigon’s research visit her group’s homepage.