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

BRCA1 inhibition of telomerase activity in cultured cells.

Telomerase, an enzyme that maintains telomere length, plays major roles in cellular immortalization and cancer progression. We found that an exogenous BRCA1 gene strongly inhibited telomerase enzymatic activity in human prostate and breast cancer cell lines and caused telomere shortening in cell lines expressing wild-type BRCA1 (wtBRCA1) but not a tumor- associated mutant BRCA1 (T300G). wtBRCA1 inhibited the expression of the catalytic subunit ( telomerase reverse transcriptase [TERT]) but had no effect on the expression of a subset of other components of the telomerase holoenzyme or on the expression of c-Myc, a transcriptional activator of TERT. However, endogenous BRCA1 associated and partially colocalized with c-Myc; exogenous wtBRCA1 strongly suppressed TERT promoter activity in various cell lines. The TERT inhibition was due, in part, to suppression of c-Myc E-box-mediated transcriptional activity. Suppression of TERT promoter and c-Myc activity required the amino terminus of BRCA1 but not the carboxyl terminus. Finally, endogenous BRCA1 and c-Myc were detected on transfected mouse and human TERT promoter segments in vivo. We postulate that inhibition of telomerase may contribute to the BRCA1 tumor suppressor activity.[1]


  1. BRCA1 inhibition of telomerase activity in cultured cells. Xiong, J., Fan, S., Meng, Q., Schramm, L., Wang, C., Bouzahza, B., Zhou, J., Zafonte, B., Goldberg, I.D., Haddad, B.R., Pestell, R.G., Rosen, E.M. Mol. Cell. Biol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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