Scientists find a source of chronic inflammation

An enzyme called telomerase has been found to be the cause of chronic inflammation in a host of diseases.

Scientists have recently isolated the enzyme telomerase as a source of chronic inflammation with cancer in humans.

Research at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore found that telomerase was already known to give cancer cells the capability to divide limitlessly, but research at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore found that the enzyme helps to initiate, then sustain chronic inflammation.

Inflammation is a key contributor to many chronic diseases -- patients with cancer, autoimmune disorders, neurodegenerative illnesses, and metabolic diseases like diabetes, battle inflammation daily.

Led by Associate Professor Vinay Tergaonkar, the team expects that their discovery will have a direct impact on drug development for chronic inflammation, and thus a reduction in overall healthcare costs for those suffering from related diseases.

"We show that these two activities are actually interdependent,” Tergaonkar said. “They also may lead to potentially novel drugs that will target a range of human ailments with inflammation as an underlying cause."