Lack of telomerase gene expression in alternative lengthening of telomere cells is associated with chromatin remodeling of the hTR and hTERT gene promoters

Atkinson, S.P., Hoare, S.F., Glasspool, R.M. and Keith, W.N. (2005) Lack of telomerase gene expression in alternative lengthening of telomere cells is associated with chromatin remodeling of the hTR and hTERT gene promoters. Cancer Research, 65(17), pp. 7585-7590. (doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-05-1715)

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Abstract

The presence of active telomere maintenance mechanisms in immortal cells allows the bypass of senescence by maintaining telomere length. In most immortal cell lines and tumors, telomere maintenance is attributable to telomerase reactivation. However, a number of immortal cell lines and tumors can achieve telomere maintenance in the absence of detectable telomerase activity by the alternative lengthening of telomere (ALT) mechanism. Epigenetic mechanisms have been implicated in the regulation of telomerase expression. We show that specific modifications within the chromatin environment of the hTR and hTERT promoters correlate with expression of hTR and hTERT in ALT, normal and telomerasepositive tumor cell lines. Lack of expression of hTR and hTERT in ALT cell lines is associated with histone H3 and H4 hypoacetylation and methylation of Lys(9) histone H3. Conversely, hTR and hTERT expression in telomerase-positive cell lines is associated with hyperacetylation of H3 and H4 and methylation of Lys(4) H3. Methylation of Lys(20) H4 was not linked to gene expression but instead was specific to the hTR and hTERT promoters of ALT cells. This may provide an insight into the differences between ALT and telomerase-positive cells as well as a novel marker for the ALT phenotype. Treatment of normal and ALT cells with 5-azadeoxycytidine in combination with Trichostatin A caused chromatin remodeling of both promoters and reactivation of hTR and hTERT expression in ALT and normal cell lines. This data establishes a definite link between the chromatin environment of the telomerase gene promoters and transcriptional activity

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hoare, Miss Stacey and Keith, Professor Nicol
Authors: Atkinson, S.P., Hoare, S.F., Glasspool, R.M., and Keith, W.N.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cancer Sciences
Journal Name:Cancer Research
ISSN:0008-5472

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