Why do some cells have telomeres?

To prevent the loss of genes as chromosome ends wear down, the tips of eukaryotic chromosomes have specialized DNA “caps” called telomeres. … Telomeres need to be protected from a cell’s DNA repair systems because they have single-stranded overhangs, which “look like” damaged DNA.

Why do some cells have telomerase?

Telomerase has been detected in human cancer cells and is found to be 10-20 times more active than in normal body cells. This provides a selective growth advantage to many types of tumors. If telomerase activity was to be turned off, then telomeres in cancer cells would shorten, just like they do in normal body cells.

Do all cells have telomerase?

Most human somatic cells do not produce active telomerase and do not maintain stable telomere length with proliferation. Most or all do have telomerase RNP, which raises the possibility of a second telomerase function independent of DNA synthesis.

Why do prokaryotes have telomeres?

Bacteria and viruses possess circular DNA, whereas eukaryotes with typically very large DNA molecules have had to evolve into linear chromosomes to circumvent the problem of supercoiling circular DNA of that size. Consequently, such organisms possess telomeres to cap chromosome ends.

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What are the telomeres and why are they important?

Telomeres, the specific DNA–protein structures found at both ends of each chromosome, protect genome from nucleolytic degradation, unnecessary recombination, repair, and interchromosomal fusion. Telomeres therefore play a vital role in preserving the information in our genome.

What cells have telomeres?

Repetitive regions at the very ends of chromosomes are called telomeres, and they’re found in a wide range of eukaryotic species, from human beings to unicellular protists. Telomeres act as caps that protect the internal regions of the chromosomes, and they’re worn down a small amount in each round of DNA replication.

Why is there no telomerase in somatic cells?

Telomerase activity is absent in most normal human somatic cells because of the lack of expression of TERT; TERC is usually present. On the other hand most mouse cells have telomerase activity (Blasco, 2005). … The absence of telomerase activity in most human somatic cells results in telomere shortening during aging.

Why do eukaryotic cells have telomeres?

Telomeres are repetitive nucleotide sequences at each end of chromosomes. Their function is to protect the ends of the chromosomes from deterioration or fusion to other chromosomes during cell division.

What are telomeres made of?

A telomere is the end of a chromosome. Telomeres are made of repetitive sequences of non-coding DNA that protect the chromosome from damage. Each time a cell divides, the telomeres become shorter. Eventually, the telomeres become so short that the cell can no longer divide.

Why do humans need telomerase?

Expression of telomerase is usually required for cell immortalization and long-term tumor growth. In humans, telomerase activity is tightly regulated during development and oncogenesis. The modulation of telomerase activity may therefore have important implications in antiaging and anticancer therapy.

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Can you explain why don’t prokaryotes have telomeres?

The “end replication problem” is exclusive to linear chromosomes as circular chromosomes do not have ends lying without reach of DNA-polymerases. Most prokaryotes, relying on circular chromosomes, accordingly do not possess telomeres.

Do leading strands have telomeres?

In the leading strand, synthesis continues until the end of the chromosome is reached. … The ends of the linear chromosomes are known as telomeres, which have repetitive sequences that code for no particular gene. In a way, these telomeres protect the genes from getting deleted as cells continue to divide.

Do bacterial cells have telomeres?

Although much less commonly appreciated, linear chromosomes and telomeres are not exclusive to the eukaryotic kingdom; they can be found in a number of bacteria, including Streptomyces, Borrelia, Rhodococcus, etc.

How does the function of telomeres help explain why humans physically age?

Telomeres get shorter each time a cell copies itself, but the important DNA stays intact. Eventually, telomeres get too short to do their job, causing our cells to age and stop functioning properly. Therefore, telomeres act as the aging clock in every cell.

How does a telomere protect DNA?

They protect the ends of our chromosomes by forming a cap, much like the plastic tip on shoelaces. If the telomeres were not there, our chromosomes may end up sticking to other chromosomes. … Without telomeres, important DNA would be lost every time a cell divides (usually about 50 to 70 times).