Telomerase Inhibition by siRNA Causes Senescence and Apoptosis in Barrett's Adenocarcinoma Cells: Mechanism and Therapeutic Potential
Shammas, Masood A.
Batchu, Ramesh B.
Bertheau, Robert C.
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CitationShammas, Masood A., Hemanta Koley, Ramesh B. Batchu, Robert C. Bertheau, Alexei Protopopov, Nikhil C. Munshi, and Raj K. Goyal. 2005. Telomerase inhibition by siRNA causes senescence and apoptosis in Barrett's adenocarcinoma cells: mechanism and therapeutic potential. Molecular Cancer 4: 24.
AbstractBackground: In cancer cells, telomerase induction helps maintain telomere length and thereby bypasses senescence and provides enhanced replicative potential. Chemical inhibitors of telomerase have been shown to reactivate telomere shortening and cause replicative senescence and apoptotic cell death of tumor cells while having little or no effect on normal diploid cells.
Results: We designed siRNAs against two different regions of telomerase gene and evaluated their effect on telomere length, proliferative potential, and gene expression in Barrett's adenocarcinoma SEG-1 cells. The mixture of siRNAs in nanomolar concentrations caused a loss of telomerase activity that appeared as early as day 1 and was essentially complete at day 3. Inhibition of telomerase activity wades in more than 50% of the treated cells. Telomere loss caused senescence in 40% and apoptosis in 86% of the treated cells. These responses appeared to be associated with activation of DNA sensor HR23B and subsequent activation of p53 homolog p73 and p63 and E2F1. Changes in these gene regulators were probably the source of observed up-regulation of cell cycle inhibitors, p16 and GADD45. Elevated transcript levels of FasL, Fas and caspase 8 that activate death receptors and CARD 9 that interacts with Bcl10 and NFKB to enhance mitochondrial translocation and activation of caspase 9 were also observed.
Conclusion: These studies show that telomerase siRNAs can cause effective suppression of telomerase and telomere shortening leading to both cell cycle arrest and apoptosis via mechanisms that include up-regulation of several genes involved in cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Telomerase siRNAs may therefore be strong candidates for highly selective therapy for chemoprevention and treatment of Barrett's adenocarcinoma.
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