23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Telomerase expression, resulting from transcriptional activation of the hTERT gene, allows cells to acquire indefinite proliferative potential during cellular immortalization and tumorigenesis. However, mechanisms of hTERT gene activation in many immortal cell lines and cancer cells are poorly understood. Here, we report our studies on hTERT activation using genetically related pairs of telomerase-negative (Tel-) and -positive (Tel+) fibroblast lines. First, whereas transiently transfected plasmid reporters did not recapitulate the endogenous hTERT promoter, the promoter in chromosomally integrated bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) reporters was activated in a subset of Tel+ cells, indicating that activation of the hTERT promoter required native chromatin context and/or distal regulatory elements. Second, the hTERT gene, located near the telomere of chromosome 5p, was translocated in all three Tel+ cell lines but not in their parental precrisis cells and Tel- immortal siblings. The breakage points were mapped to regions upstream of the hTERT promoter, indicating that the hTERT gene was the target of these chromosomal rearrangements. In two Tel+ cell lines, translocation of the endogenous hTERT gene appeared to be the major mechanism of its activation as the activity of hTERT promoter in many chromosomally integrated BAC reporters, with intact upstream and downstream neighboring loci, remained relatively low. Therefore, our results suggest that rearrangement of upstream sequences is an important new mechanism of hTERT promoter activation during cellular immortalization. The chromosomal rearrangements likely occurred during cellular crisis and facilitated by telomere dysfunction. Such translocations allowed the hTERT promoter to escape from the native condensed chromatin environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)963-974
Number of pages12
JournalGenes Chromosomes and Cancer
Volume48
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009

Fingerprint

Telomerase
Bacterial Artificial Chromosomes
Telomere
Cell Line
Transcriptional Activation
Genes
Chromatin
Carcinogenesis
Plasmids
Fibroblasts
Chromosomes
Neoplasms

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research

Cite this

@article{10d2f9181281443b982a43ccd64a8da2,
title = "Rearrangement of upstream sequences of the hTERT gene during cellular immortalization",
abstract = "Telomerase expression, resulting from transcriptional activation of the hTERT gene, allows cells to acquire indefinite proliferative potential during cellular immortalization and tumorigenesis. However, mechanisms of hTERT gene activation in many immortal cell lines and cancer cells are poorly understood. Here, we report our studies on hTERT activation using genetically related pairs of telomerase-negative (Tel-) and -positive (Tel+) fibroblast lines. First, whereas transiently transfected plasmid reporters did not recapitulate the endogenous hTERT promoter, the promoter in chromosomally integrated bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) reporters was activated in a subset of Tel+ cells, indicating that activation of the hTERT promoter required native chromatin context and/or distal regulatory elements. Second, the hTERT gene, located near the telomere of chromosome 5p, was translocated in all three Tel+ cell lines but not in their parental precrisis cells and Tel- immortal siblings. The breakage points were mapped to regions upstream of the hTERT promoter, indicating that the hTERT gene was the target of these chromosomal rearrangements. In two Tel+ cell lines, translocation of the endogenous hTERT gene appeared to be the major mechanism of its activation as the activity of hTERT promoter in many chromosomally integrated BAC reporters, with intact upstream and downstream neighboring loci, remained relatively low. Therefore, our results suggest that rearrangement of upstream sequences is an important new mechanism of hTERT promoter activation during cellular immortalization. The chromosomal rearrangements likely occurred during cellular crisis and facilitated by telomere dysfunction. Such translocations allowed the hTERT promoter to escape from the native condensed chromatin environment.",
author = "Yuanjun Zhao and Shuwen Wang and Evgenya Popova and Sergei Grigoryev and Jiyue Zhu",
year = "2009",
month = "11",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1002/gcc.20698",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "48",
pages = "963--974",
journal = "Genes Chromosomes and Cancer",
issn = "1045-2257",
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}

Rearrangement of upstream sequences of the hTERT gene during cellular immortalization. / Zhao, Yuanjun; Wang, Shuwen; Popova, Evgenya; Grigoryev, Sergei; Zhu, Jiyue.

In: Genes Chromosomes and Cancer, Vol. 48, No. 11, 01.11.2009, p. 963-974.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Rearrangement of upstream sequences of the hTERT gene during cellular immortalization

AU - Zhao, Yuanjun

AU - Wang, Shuwen

AU - Popova, Evgenya

AU - Grigoryev, Sergei

AU - Zhu, Jiyue

PY - 2009/11/1

Y1 - 2009/11/1

N2 - Telomerase expression, resulting from transcriptional activation of the hTERT gene, allows cells to acquire indefinite proliferative potential during cellular immortalization and tumorigenesis. However, mechanisms of hTERT gene activation in many immortal cell lines and cancer cells are poorly understood. Here, we report our studies on hTERT activation using genetically related pairs of telomerase-negative (Tel-) and -positive (Tel+) fibroblast lines. First, whereas transiently transfected plasmid reporters did not recapitulate the endogenous hTERT promoter, the promoter in chromosomally integrated bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) reporters was activated in a subset of Tel+ cells, indicating that activation of the hTERT promoter required native chromatin context and/or distal regulatory elements. Second, the hTERT gene, located near the telomere of chromosome 5p, was translocated in all three Tel+ cell lines but not in their parental precrisis cells and Tel- immortal siblings. The breakage points were mapped to regions upstream of the hTERT promoter, indicating that the hTERT gene was the target of these chromosomal rearrangements. In two Tel+ cell lines, translocation of the endogenous hTERT gene appeared to be the major mechanism of its activation as the activity of hTERT promoter in many chromosomally integrated BAC reporters, with intact upstream and downstream neighboring loci, remained relatively low. Therefore, our results suggest that rearrangement of upstream sequences is an important new mechanism of hTERT promoter activation during cellular immortalization. The chromosomal rearrangements likely occurred during cellular crisis and facilitated by telomere dysfunction. Such translocations allowed the hTERT promoter to escape from the native condensed chromatin environment.

AB - Telomerase expression, resulting from transcriptional activation of the hTERT gene, allows cells to acquire indefinite proliferative potential during cellular immortalization and tumorigenesis. However, mechanisms of hTERT gene activation in many immortal cell lines and cancer cells are poorly understood. Here, we report our studies on hTERT activation using genetically related pairs of telomerase-negative (Tel-) and -positive (Tel+) fibroblast lines. First, whereas transiently transfected plasmid reporters did not recapitulate the endogenous hTERT promoter, the promoter in chromosomally integrated bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) reporters was activated in a subset of Tel+ cells, indicating that activation of the hTERT promoter required native chromatin context and/or distal regulatory elements. Second, the hTERT gene, located near the telomere of chromosome 5p, was translocated in all three Tel+ cell lines but not in their parental precrisis cells and Tel- immortal siblings. The breakage points were mapped to regions upstream of the hTERT promoter, indicating that the hTERT gene was the target of these chromosomal rearrangements. In two Tel+ cell lines, translocation of the endogenous hTERT gene appeared to be the major mechanism of its activation as the activity of hTERT promoter in many chromosomally integrated BAC reporters, with intact upstream and downstream neighboring loci, remained relatively low. Therefore, our results suggest that rearrangement of upstream sequences is an important new mechanism of hTERT promoter activation during cellular immortalization. The chromosomal rearrangements likely occurred during cellular crisis and facilitated by telomere dysfunction. Such translocations allowed the hTERT promoter to escape from the native condensed chromatin environment.

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U2 - 10.1002/gcc.20698

DO - 10.1002/gcc.20698

M3 - Article

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AN - SCOPUS:70349310232

VL - 48

SP - 963

EP - 974

JO - Genes Chromosomes and Cancer

JF - Genes Chromosomes and Cancer

SN - 1045-2257

IS - 11

ER -