Summary of TERT

The TERT gene encodes one component of an enzyme called telomerase. Telomerase maintains telomeres and counteracts the shortening of telomeres to stop cells from dividing or self destructing. Telomerase is also abnormally active in most cancer cells (R). 

The Function of TERT

Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein enzyme essential for the replication of chromosome termini in most eukaryotes. Active in progenitor and cancer cells. Inactive, or very low activity, in normal somatic cells. Catalytic component of the teleromerase holoenzyme complex whose main activity is the elongation of telomeres by acting as a reverse transcriptase that adds simple sequence repeats to chromosome ends by copying a template sequence within the RNA component of the enzyme. Catalyzes the RNA-dependent extension of 3'-chromosomal termini with the 6-nucleotide telomeric repeat unit, 5'-TTAGGG-3'. The catalytic cycle involves primer binding, primer extension and release of product once the template boundary has been reached or nascent product translocation followed by further extension. More active on substrates containing 2 or 3 telomeric repeats. Telomerase activity is regulated by a number of factors including telomerase complex-associated proteins, chaperones and polypeptide modifiers. Modulates Wnt signaling. Plays important roles in aging and antiapoptosis.

Protein names

Recommended name:

Telomerase reverse transcriptase

Short name:


Alternative name(s):

Telomerase catalytic subunit
Telomerase-associated protein 2

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Top Gene-Substance Interactions

TERT Interacts with These Diseases

Substances That Increase TERT

Substances That Decrease TERT

Advanced Summary

Conditions with Increased Gene Activity

Conditions with Decreased Gene Activity