Telomere Science Library

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Expression of targeted ribozyme against telomerase RNA causes altered expression of several other genes in tumor cells.

Authors: Suresh Kumar SK. Ramakrishnan, Akhil A. Varshney, Amod A. Sharma, Bhudev C BC. Das, Pramod K PK. Yadava
Published: 03/25/2014, Tumour biology : the journal of the International Society for Oncodevelopmental Biology and Medicine


Telomeres are tandem repeat sequences present at chromosome end that are synthesized by RNA-protein enzyme called telomerase. The RNA component (TR) serves as template for telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) for generating telomere repeats. TERT is overexpressed in actively dividing cells including cancerous cells, absent in differentiated somatic cells whereas human telomerase RNA (hTR) is present in normal as well as in cancer cells. Telomerase overexpression in cancer cells ensures telomere length maintenance that actually provides proliferative advantage to cells. Stable expression of ribozyme against hTR in HeLa cells results in reduction of hTR levels, telomerase activity, and telomere length which is accompanied by altered cell morphology and expression of several specific cellular genes. The altered genes deduced from differentially display PCR and 2D gel electrophoresis upon hTR knockdown have function in ribosome biogenesis, chromatin modulation, cell cycle control, and p63-dependant pathways. Our observations shows hTR participates in diverse cellular functions other than telomere maintenance, validates as a possible drug targets in p53- and pRB-negative status, and indicated possible cross-talks between telomerase and other cellular pathways.

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