Telomerase RNA component

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PDB 1ymo EBI.png
Aliases TERC, DKCA1, PFBMFT2, SCARNA19, TR, TRC3, hTR, Telomerase RNA component
External IDs GeneCards: TERC
Species Human Mouse
RefSeq (mRNA)



RefSeq (protein)



Location (UCSC) n/a n/a
PubMed search [1] n/a
View/Edit Human
Vertebrate telomerase RNA
Symbol Telomerase-vert
Rfam RF00024
Other data
RNA type Gene
Domain(s) Eukaryote; Virus
SO {{{SO}}}
Ciliate telomerase RNA
Symbol Telomerase-cil
Rfam RF00025
Other data
RNA type Gene
Domain(s) Eukaryote
SO {{{SO}}}
Saccharomyces cerevisiae telomerase RNA
Symbol Sacc_telomerase
Rfam RF01050
Other data
RNA type Gene
Domain(s) Eukaryote
SO {{{SO}}}

Telomerase RNA component, also known as TERC, is an ncRNA found in eukaryotes, that is a component of telomerase - The enzyme used to extend telomeres.[2][3] TERC serves as a template for telomere replication (reverse transcription) by telomerase. Telomerase RNAs differ greatly in sequence and structure between vertebrates, ciliates and yeasts, but they share a 5' pseudoknot structure close to the template sequence. The vertebrate telomerase RNAs have a 3' H/ACA snoRNA-like domain.[4][5][6]


Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein polymerase that maintains telomere ends by addition of the telomere repeat TTAGGG. This repeat does vary across eukaryotes (see the table on the telomere article for a complete list). The enzyme consists of a protein component (TERT) with reverse transcriptase activity, and an RNA component, encoded by this gene, that serves as a template for the telomere repeat. CCCUAA found near position 50 of the vertebrate TERC sequence acts as the template. Telomerase expression plays a role in cellular senescence, as it is normally repressed in postnatal somatic cells resulting in progressive shortening of telomeres. Deregulation of telomerase expression in somatic cells may be involved in oncogenesis. Studies in mice suggest that telomerase also participates in chromosomal repair, since de novo synthesis of telomere repeats may occur at double-stranded breaks.[7] Homologs of TERC can also be found in the Gallid herpes viruses.[8]

Clinical significance[edit]

Mutations in this gene cause autosomal dominant dyskeratosis congenita, and may also be associated with some cases of aplastic anemia.[7]


  1. ^ "Human PubMed Reference:". 
  2. ^ Feng J, Funk WD, Wang SS, Weinrich SL, Avilion AA, Chiu CP, Adams RR, Chang E, Allsopp RC, Yu J (September 1995). "The RNA component of human telomerase". Science. 269 (5228): 1236–41. doi:10.1126/science.7544491. PMID 7544491. 
  3. ^ Jády BE, Richard P, Bertrand E, Kiss T (February 2006). "Cell Cycle-dependent Recruitment of Telomerase RNA and Cajal Bodies to Human Telomeres". Mol. Biol. Cell. 17 (2): 944–54. doi:10.1091/mbc.E05-09-0904. PMC 1356602Freely accessible. PMID 16319170. 
  4. ^ McCormick-Graham, M; Romero DP (1995). "Ciliate telomerase RNA structural features". Nucleic Acids Res. 23 (7): 1091–1097. doi:10.1093/nar/23.7.1091. PMC 306816Freely accessible. PMID 7739888. 
  5. ^ Lingner, J; Hendrick LL; Cech TR (1994). "Telomerase RNAs of different ciliates have a common secondary structure and a permuted template". Genes Dev. 8 (16): 1984–1998. doi:10.1101/gad.8.16.1984. PMID 7958872. 
  6. ^ Theimer CA, Feigon J (2006). "Structure and function of telomerase RNA". Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol. 16 (3): 307–18. doi:10.1016/ PMID 16713250. 
  7. ^ a b "Entrez Gene: TERC telomerase RNA component". 
  8. ^ Fragnet, L; Kut E; Rasschaert D (2005). "Comparative functional study of the viral telomerase RNA based on natural mutations". J Biol Chem. 280 (25): 23502–23515. doi:10.1074/jbc.M501163200. PMID 15811851. 

Further reading[edit]

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