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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
 
 
 
 
 

Demethylating reagent 5-azacytidine inhibits telomerase activity in human prostate cancer cells through transcriptional repression of hTERT.

Telomerase activation is thought to be a critical step in cellular immortality and oncogenesis. Several reagents including differentiation-inducing and antineoplastic agents are known to inhibit telomerase activity, although the molecular mechanisms through which they inhibit telomerase activity remain unclear. Demethylating reagents have recently been used as potential antineoplastic drugs for some types of cancers including those of the prostate. In the present study, we examined the effect of the demethylating reagent 5-azacytidine (5-aza-CR) on telomerase activity using cells of two prostate cancer cell lines, DU-145 and TSU-PR1. 5-aza-CR treatment significantly reduced telomerase activity in TSU-PR1 cells, but not in DU-145 cells, although growth inhibition was observed to a similar extent in both cell lines. Reverse transcription-PCR analyses revealed that inhibition of telomerase activity was accompanied by down-regulation of telomerase catalytic subunit (hTERT) mRNA expression. Transient expression assays showed that 5-aza-CR repressed the transcriptional activity of the hTERT promoter and that the E-box within the core promoter was responsible for this down-regulation. Western blot analyses revealed that 5-aza-CR reactivated p16 expression and repressed c-Myc expression in TSU-PR1 cells but not in DU-145 cells. Overexpression of p16 in TSU-PR1 cells led to significant repression of c-Myc transcription. These findings suggest that 5-aza-CR inhibits telomerase activity via transcriptional repression of hTERT, in which p16 and c-Myc may play a key role.[1]

References

  1. Demethylating reagent 5-azacytidine inhibits telomerase activity in human prostate cancer cells through transcriptional repression of hTERT. Kitagawa, Y., Kyo, S., Takakura, M., Kanaya, T., Koshida, K., Namiki, M., Inoue, M. Clin. Cancer Res. (2000) [Pubmed]
 
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