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Oncogene. 2001 Feb 15;20(7):828-35.

Functional evidence for a telomerase repressor gene on human chromosome 10p15.1.

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Department of Molecular and Cell Genetics, School of Life Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University, Yonago, Tottori 683-8503, Japan.


Based on the sites of frequent allelic loss in hepatocellular carcinoma, five normal human chromosomes (2, 4, 5, 10 and 16) were transferred individually into a telomerase-positive human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line, Li7HM, by microcell-mediated chromosome transfer (MMCT). Chromosome 10, but not the others, repressed telomerase activity immediately and stopped cell growth after 50 population doublings (PDs). Loss of the transferred 10p loci resulted in the emergence of revertant cells that continued to proliferate and expressed telomerase activity, suggesting the presence of a telomerase repressor gene on this chromosomal arm. Transfer of a series of defined fragments from chromosome 10p successfully narrowed down the responsible region: a 28.9-cM region on 10p15 (between WI-4752 and D10S249), but not a 26.2-cM region (between D10S1728 and D10S249), caused repression of telomerase activity and progressive telomere shortening. A strong correlation between the expression level of telomerase catalytic subunit gene (hTERT) and telomerase activity was observed. These findings suggest that a novel telomerase repressor gene which controls the expression of hTERT is located on the 2.7-cM region (between WI-4752 and D10S1728) on chromosome 10p15.1.

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