How Structural Features Define Biogenesis and Function of Human Telomerase RNA Primary Transcript

Maria Rubtsova, Olga Dontsova

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Telomerase RNA has been uncovered as a component of the telomerase enzyme, which acts as a reverse transcriptase and maintains the length of telomeres in proliferated eukaryotic cells. Telomerase RNA is considered to have major functions as a template for telomeric repeat synthesis and as a structural scaffold for telomerase. However, investigations of its biogenesis and turnover, as well as structural data, have provided evidence of functions of telomerase RNA that are not associated with telomerase activity. The primary transcript produced from the human telomerase RNA gene encodes for the hTERP protein, which presents regulatory functions related to autophagy, cellular proliferation, and metabolism. This review focuses on the specific features relating to the biogenesis and structure of human telomerase RNA that support the existence of an isoform suitable for functioning as an mRNA. We believe that further investigation into human telomerase RNA biogenesis mechanisms will provide more levels for manipulating cellular homeostasis, survival, and transformation mechanisms, and may contribute to a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of aging.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1650
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • alternative function
  • hTERP
  • localization
  • RNA biogenesis
  • RNA processing
  • telomerase RNA
  • transport


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