Telomere biology is closely linked to the process of aging. The restoration of telomere length by maintaining telome-rase activity in certain cell types of human adults allows for the proliferative capacity of the cells and preserves the regeneration potential of the tissue. The absence of telome-rase, that leads to telomere attrition and irreversible cell cycle arrest in most somatic cells, acts as a protective mechanism against uncontrolled cancer growth. Nevertheless, there have been numerous studies indicating noncanonical functions of telomerase besides those involved in telomere lengthening. Eusocial insects serve as a great system for aging research. This is because eusocial reproductives, such as queens and kings, have a significantly extended lifespan compared to nonreproductive individuals of the same species. We report that the somatic tissues of honeybee queens (Apis mellifera) are associated with upregulated telomerase activity; however, this upregulation does not fully correlate with the rate of DNA replication in the tissues. This indicates a noncanonical role of telomerase in the somatic tissues of honeybee queens.
© 2021 S. Karger AG, Basel.