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Regulation of telomerase by alternate splicing of human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) in normal and neoplastic ovary, endometrium and myometrium.

Authors: Ulaner, GA  Hu, JF  Vu, TH  Oruganti, H  Giudice, LC  Hoffman, AR 
Citation: Ulaner GA, etal., Int J Cancer. 2000 Feb 1;85(3):330-5.
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:10652422

Telomerase extends telomeric repeats at the ends of linear chromosomes, thereby prolonging the replicative capacity of cells. To investigate possible regulatory mechanisms of telomerase, we measured telomerase enzyme activity, human telomerase RNA (hTR) and human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) mRNA in normal and neoplastic ovary, endometrium and myometrium. Telomerase activity was detected in most malignancies and in normal endometrium but not in myometrial leiomyoma, normal myometrium or normal ovary. hTR was expressed in all tissue samples. hTERT mRNA was expressed in many tissue samples, and no tissue sample exhibited telomerase activity without expressing hTERT mRNA. However, the presence of hTR and hTERT mRNA was not sufficient for telomerase activity. Alternate splicing of hTERT produced mRNAs lacking critical reverse transcriptase (RT) motifs in both normal and neoplastic tissues. Only tissues expressing hTERT containing complete A and B RT motifs demonstrated telomerase activity. Finally, several normal ovarian tissues and myometrial leiomyomas lacked telomerase activity despite expressing hTR and hTERT containing complete A and B RT motifs. This was not seen in ovarian and myometrial malignancies, where the expression of hTR and hTERT containing complete A and B RT motifs was sufficient for telomerase activity. We conclude that in ovarian and uterine tissues, the presence of a functional telomerase complex is regulated at multiple levels, including hTERT transcription and alternative splicing of hTERT transcripts. The lack of telomerase activity in several normal but not malignant tissues expressing hTR and hTERT containing complete A and B RT motifs suggests that there are further mechanisms for suppressing telomerase activity downstream of hTERT transcription and mRNA splicing, and these mechanisms have been lost during neoplastic transformation.

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CRRD Object Information
CRRD ID: 2298564
Created: 2008-07-11
Species: All species
Last Modified: 2008-07-11
Status: ACTIVE



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RGD is funded by grant HL64541 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on behalf of the NIH.