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Overexpression of Telomerase Confers a Survival Advantage Through Suppression of TRF1 Gene Expression While Maintaining Differentiation Characteristics in K562 Cells

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Leukemic stem cells that expressed endogenous telomerase activity were induced to show overexpression of exogenous hTERT and were analyzed for biological changes in order to assess the possible influence of telomerase gene therapy on the transplantation of normal hematopoietic stem cells. Introduction of hTERT into K562, a telomerase-positive immortal cell line, resulted in a 2.5-fold elevation of telomerase activity and the lengthening of telomeres by 6 kb to 23 kb. Real-time fluorescent PCR, which could perform quantitative analysis of transcripts, revealed a 175-fold increase in hTERT expression, suggesting the posttranscriptional regulation of telomerase. Ectopic expression of hTERT in K562 cells showed a survival advantage during culture in the absence of serum. Expression of mRNA for the telomeric-repeat binding factor 1 (TRF1) and caspase-3 activity were both decreased in hTERT-transfected K562 cells. Transduced cells retained their usual phenotypic characteristics, differentiation ability, and signal transduction response to TPA. These data suggest that ectopic expression of hTERT by normal hematopoietic stem cells may confer a survival advantage without changing their innate biological characteristics.
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Keywords: Growth advantage; K562 cells; Stem cell transplantation; Telomerase

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: *Medical Research Institute and Department of Hematology, Tokyo Women's Medical University 2: ¶Department of Pediatrics, Jikei University School of Medicine 3: †Department of Medicine, Tokyo Women's Medical University 4: ‡Department of Gynecology, Tokyo Women's Medical University 5: #Department of Molecular Genetics, Jikei University School of Medicine 6: **Department of Veterinary Anatomy, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology 7: §Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Tokyo Women's Medical University

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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