Expression of Telomerase RNA Template, but Not Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase, Is Limiting for Telomere Length Maintenance in Vivo
Chiang, Y. Jeffrey
Hemann, Michael T.
Hathcock, Karen S.
Hahn, William C.
Hodes, Richard J.
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CitationChiang, Y. J., M. T. Hemann, K. S. Hathcock, L. Tessarollo, L. Feigenbaum, W. C. Hahn, and R. J. Hodes. 2004. “Expression of Telomerase RNA Template, but Not Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase, Is Limiting for Telomere Length Maintenance In Vivo.” Molecular and Cellular Biology 24 (16): 7024–31. doi:10.1128/MCB.24.16.7024-7031.2004.
AbstractTelomerase consists of two essential components, the telomerase RNA template (TR) and telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT). The haplo-insufficiency of TR was recently shown to cause one form of human dyskeratosis congenita, an inherited disease marked by abnormal telomere shortening. Consistent with this finding, we recently reported that mice heterozygous for inactivation of mouse TR exhibit a similar haplo-insufficiency and are deficient in the ability to elongate telomeres in vivo. To further assess the genetic regulation of telomerase activity, we have compared the abilities of TR-deficient and TERT-deficient mice to maintain or elongate telomeres in interspecies crosses. Homozygous TERT knockout mice had no telomerase activity and failed to maintain telomere length. In contrast, TERT+/- heterozygotes had no detectable defect in telomere elongation compared to wild-type controls, whereas TR+/- heterozygotes were deficient in telomere elongation. Levels of TERT mRNA in heterozygous mice were one-third to one-half the levels expressed in wild-type mice, similar to the reductions in telomerase RNA observed in TR heterozygotes. These findings indicate that both TR and TERT are essential for telomere maintenance and elongation but that gene copy number and transcriptional regulation of TR, but not TERT, are limiting for telomerase activity under the in vivo conditions analyzed.
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