Telomerase Efficiently Elongates Highly Transcribing Telomeres in Human Cancer Cells
Farnung, Benjamin O.
Brun, Catherine M.
Lorenzi, Luca E.
Azzalin, Claus M.
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
RNA polymerase II transcribes the physical ends of linear eukaryotic chromosomes into a variety of long non-coding RNA molecules including telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA). Since TERRA discovery, advances have been made in the characterization of TERRA biogenesis and regulation; on the contrary its associated functions remain elusive. Most of the biological roles so far proposed for TERRA are indeed based on in vitro experiments carried out using short TERRA-like RNA oligonucleotides. In particular, it has been suggested that TERRA inhibits telomerase activity. We have exploited two alternative cellular systems to test whether TERRA and/or telomere transcription influence telomerase-mediated telomere elongation in human cancer cells. In cells lacking the two DNA methyltransferases DNMT1 and DNMT3b, TERRA transcription and steady-state levels are greatly increased while telomerase is able to elongate telomeres normally. Similarly, telomerase can efficiently elongate transgenic inducible telomeres whose transcription has been experimentally augmented. Our data challenge the current hypothesis that TERRA functions as a general inhibitor of telomerase and suggest that telomere length homeostasis is maintained independently of TERRA and telomere transcription. Show more
Journal / seriesPLoS ONE
Pages / Article No.
PublisherPublic Library of Science
Organisational unit03802 - Azzalin, Claus Maria (SNF-Professur) (ehemalig)
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