Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2003 Feb;301(3):627-32
Department of Molecular Genetics, Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, 27 Taiping Road, Beijing, People's Republic of China.
We have constructed a 27-kDa hTERT C-terminal polypeptide (hTERTC27) devoid of domains required for telomerase activity and demonstrated that it is capable of nuclear translocation/telomere-end targeting. Here we showed that expression of a low level of hTERTC27 renders hTERT positive HeLa cells sensitive to H(2)O(2)-induced oxidative stress and subsequent cell senescence. The senescence-associated gene, the cyclin/cdk inhibitor p21(Waf1), was up-regulated. This occurs without changing the expression of endogenous hTERT, causing significant telomere shortening or inhibiting telomerase activity. Results from this study suggest for the first time that in addition to telomerase activity, the C-terminus of hTERT also plays a role in hTERT-mediated cellular resistance to oxidative stress.