Protein Composition of Catalytically Active Human Telomerase from Immortal Cells

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Science  30 Mar 2007:
Vol. 315, Issue 5820, pp. 1850-1853
DOI: 10.1126/science.1138596

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Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein enzyme complex that adds 5′-TTAGGG-3′ repeats onto the ends of human chromosomes, providing a telomere maintenance mechanism for ∼90% of human cancers. We have purified human telomerase ∼108-fold, with the final elution dependent on the enzyme's ability to catalyze nucleotide addition onto a DNA oligonucleotide of telomeric sequence, thereby providing specificity for catalytically active telomerase. Mass spectrometric sequencing of the protein components and molecular size determination indicated an enzyme composition of two molecules each of telomerase reverse transcriptase, telomerase RNA, and dyskerin.

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