Telomere Length Therapy

Can we insert the telomerase gene into all of our cells and extend our lifespan?

Inserting the gene directly into our DNA, through the use of viral vectors, is not a viable option. The main problem with this approach is that inserting genes into cells often causes cancer. That’s because the gene gets inserted into our chromosomes at random sites, and if the wrong site is chosen, the gene can interrupt and disable cancer suppressor genes or turn on cancer-inducing genes. And you only need one out of the hundred trillion cells in your body to become cancerous in order to kill you.

Fortunately, the telomerase gene already exists in all our cells. That’s because the DNA in every one of our cells is identical: a skin cell, muscle cell, and liver cell all contain exactly the same genetic information.

Thus, if the cells that create our sperm and egg cells contain the code for telomerase, every other cell must contain that code as well.

The reason that most of our cells don’t express telomerase is that the gene is repressed in them. There are one or more regions of DNA neighboring the telomerase gene that serve as binding sites for a protein, and, if that protein is bound to them, telomerase will not be created by the cell.

However, it is possible to coax that repressor protein off its binding site with the use of a small-molecule, drug-like compound that binds to the repressor and prevents it from attaching to the DNA. If we find the appropriate compound, we can turn telomerase on in every cell in the human body.

Source: http://www.sierrasci.com/

Dr Bill Andrews interviewed by Dr Ross Walker on 2UE

About The Author

Katherine Baltazar

I am a media reporter writing for the Hair, Beauty and Spa Industry. I've been writing and covering salons, beauty products and hair treatments for the pace 5 years.