[mage lang=”en|es|fr|en” source=”flickr”]telomerase process[/mage]
Could increased cell senescence be avoided during healing process by activating the telomerase gene?
During a healing process, our cells divide to repair a damaged area of our body. Telomere sequences are therefore shortened by this process, reducing the lifespan of the newly created cells.
Theoretically, could this be avoided by enabling the telomerase gene in the cells as they reproduce and then disabled upon successful completion of the process or would it be impossible to disable the gene in such a large amount of cells?
(Obviously the cells would need to be monitored to ensure that any defective cells are removed to avoid cancer developing.)
I think, theoretically, this may be feasible. But remember that the effect of activating the telomerase doesn’t apply to all cells. Our body is composed of so many complex tissues and cells. An effect on one cell doesn’t necessarily mean the same effect to all other cells.
Yes, I agree that you must first remove any defective cells to avoid cancer development since activation of telomerase makes some cells immortal (that is, if there are cancer cells, it will multiply and live forever making it hard to destroy them). However, detection of defective cells involves a very tedious and complex process and you might end up destroying the good cells.
Besides, our body needs cell senescence. The process of senescence is complex, and may derive from a variety of different mechanisms and exist for a variety of different reasons. Senescence is not universal, and scientific evidence suggests that cellular senescence evolved in certain species as a mechanism to prevent the onset of cancer. In a few simple species, senescence is negligible and cannot be detected. All such species have no “post-mitotic” cells; they reduce the effect of damaging free radicals by cell division and dilution.
These are just my thoughts. Please feel free to correct me if I misunderstood some of the terms.
What’s a Telomere and Why is it Important to the Aging Process