Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) is the protein component of telomerase and combined with an RNA molecule, telomerase RNA component, forms the telomerase enzyme responsible for telomere elongation. Telomerase is essential for maintaining telomere length from replicative attrition and thus contributes to the preservation of genome integrity. Although diverse mouse models have been developed and studied to prove the physiological roles of telomerase as a telomere- elongating enzyme, recent studies have revealed non-canonical TERT activities beyond telomeres. To gain insights into the physiological impact of extra-telomeric roles, this review revisits the strategies and phenotypes of telomerase mouse models in terms of the extra-telomeric functions of telomerase.
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