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Hum Cell. 1996 Dec;9(4):301-8.

Genetic regulation of telomerase in a multiple pathways model to cellular senescence.

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Department of Molecular and Cell Genetics, School of Life Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University.


Hybrids between immortal cells and normal cells senesce, indicating that immortal cells have lost, mutated or inactivated genes that are required for the program of senescence in normal cells. Genes involved in the senescence program have been mapped to over 10 different genetic loci by introduction of normal human chromosomes via microcell fusion. Multiple pathways of cellular senescence have also been demonstrated by chromosome transfer, indicating that the functions of the mapped senescence genes are probably different. One possibility is that one or more of these senescence genes may suppress telomerase activity in immortal cells, resulting in telomere shortening and cellular senescence. To test this hypothesis, telomerase activity and the length of terminal restriction fragments (TRFs) have been examined in microcell hybrids. The loss of indefinite growth potential was either with or without the loss of telomerase activity activity and shortening of telomeres in the microcell hybrids containing the introduced chromosome. The findings suggest that telomerase regulation is one of multiple pathways to cellular senescence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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