Understanding Telomerase Inhibitors and Potential Benefits

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Interviewer: Can you explain what a telomerase inhibitor is?

Dr. Park: Sure. The telomerase enzyme is like a printing press. It prints out six base pairs that human [inaudible]. So every time it prints out six it moves along and six more, etc. So if you do a reverse image of that GGATT, then it gums up the printing press. So you're just trying to keep the printing press from working. So the company that discovered PTA65 back in 2002, they have long been working on a drug called the pethalstat (sp), which is just that, an anti-template for the printing press. And so they recently published studies showing it helps with a form of blood disorder.

Interviewer: Like a Leukemia?

Dr. Park: Yes. Like . . .

Interviewer: They've been [pre-leutied] there too. Can you talk about how that ties in, and how that works?

Dr. Park: I'm not really too clear.

Interviewer: OK.

Dr. Park: The research is preliminary, but it just basically is cells that are funky, they're damaged, you gum up their printing press, so they die of old age just like ordinary cells. Which sounds like a good thing but in my opinion usually [inaudible] lengthening is a better way to handle cancer cells, because when you lengthen tumors often times the cells are able to go into [inaudible] and kill themselves. But both ways work. I guess it would be like putting out a fire with fire or water. You can do it either way as long as you're destroying the stem cell that's bad.


The field of stem cells is relatively new but it continues to yield potentially beneficial treatments for a number of conditions that were thought to previously be tough or impossible to treat. Dr. Ed Park discusses telomerase inhibitors and how they work. He also discusses some possible applications and compared them to products that lengthen telomeres.

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