Definition of telomerase in US English:



  • An enzyme that adds nucleotides to telomeres, especially in cancer cells.

    • ‘Human cells have an additional barrier to unfettered replication - most lack the chromosome repair enzyme called telomerase that rat cells possess.’
    • ‘Telomeres, the natural ends of linear chromosomes, are maintained by the specialized reverse transcriptase called telomerase.’
    • ‘In nature, a chromosome can be lengthened by the enzyme telomerase, which adds new TTAGGG sequences to the end of the telomere.’
    • ‘In eukaryotic cells with telomeres composed of short tandem repeats, this involves the enzyme telomerase.’
    • ‘If any components of the telomerase are missing, telomeres are gradually shortened and most cells die.’