Telomeres and Viruses

Telomeres and Viruses

Do telomeres help viruses from spreading in your body? We already know they do amazing things, but is this one more incredible thing to add to the list?

“’We know that telomeres play a very important part in the lifespan of a cell,’ says Paul M. Lieberman, PhD, a professor and program leader of the Gene Expression and Regulation Program at The Wistar Institute. ‘We wanted to know whether they also play a role in either viral replication or protection from viruses, and our findings suggest – at least in the case of the herpes simplex virus – that this may indeed be the case.’

‘Telomeres may serve as a barrier to viral replication,’ Lieberman says. ‘We wanted to explore whether that protection was at a physical level or a more molecular level.’

‘This study expands our knowledge of telomeres further in two very important ways,’ Lieberman says. ‘First, it gives us an indication that some viruses are able to manipulate telomeres specifically in order to replicate. Second, it appears that proteins like TPP1 provide very specific protective functions. These findings allow us to ask additional questions and better understand just how telomeres may protect cells from viral infection.'” – Infection Control Today