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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2002 Mar 15;399(2):239-44.

Calcium-mediated telomerase activity in ovarian epithelial cells.

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University of South Florida and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida 33612, USA.


Though the potential of telomerase as an anti-cancer target is evident, information about regulation of telomerase remains fragmentary. In the present study, we examined the role of calcium, an essential cellular signaling molecule, in the regulation of telomerase. We found that calcium induced de novo telomerase activity in telomerase-negative ovarian surface epithelial (OSE) cell lines but not in primary cultures of OSE. In addition, we showed that calcium elevated endogenous telomerase levels in a telomerase-positive ovarian cancer cell line. The use of calcium channel blockers or calcium chelators inhibited this calcium-mediated induction of telomerase activity. Furthermore, cadmium and chromium appeared to cause a moderate induction of telomerase activity while several other metal salts did not. Our data provide the first example of calcium-induced telomerase activity in human cell lines, provide a novel avenue for possible intervention of telomerase, and permit development of therapeutic agents for adjunctive chemotherapy.

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