Difference between Telomere and Telomerase

What is a telomere?

Telomere is a repetitive nucleotide region that is present at the end of the chromosome. This genetic structure is found in most eukaryotic cells. In most eukaryotes, they are viewed as short-tandem repeats.

They ensure stability of the chromosome. Also they protect the terminal ends of the DNA from degradation, and aid in the replication of linear DNA.

What is telomerase?

Telomerase is an enzyme that adds repetitive nucleotides to the terminal end of the DNA. Thus, it is important for the maintenance of the telomeres. It is a type of enzyme that can make DNA from RNA template (RNA-dependent DNA polymerase).

It is most active in the eukaryotic germ cells such as stem cells. Tumour cells show unlimited proliferation due to the active action of this telomerase enzyme.

Difference between Telomere and Telomerase

Telomere

Telomerase

It is a region of repeating nucleotide sequences at the terminal end of chromosomes.

It is an enzyme that adds repetitive nucleotides to the terminal end of the DNA.

It is a protective end that maintains the stability of the chromosomes.

It is an enzyme which can lead to indefinite proliferation of cells under active conditions.

It prevents DNA degradation and also aids in the replication process.

It restores the length of the telomere.

Explore: Senescence and Absicission

Frequently Asked Questions on Difference between Telomere and Telomerase

What is a tandem repeat?

It is a pattern in which nucleotides are repeated in a particular fashion. Usually, the repetitions directly adjoin each other. An example of tandem repeats would be – ATTCG ATTCG ATTCG

How does telomerase protect the cells from senescence?

Shortening of telomeres can lead to senescence (aging) in cells. The telomerase (enzyme) prevents this process by adding nucleotides to the telomeres. Thus, it restores the length of the telomeres.

Also Read: DNA Packaging

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