Up-regulation of telomerase activity in human pancreatic cancer cells after exposure to etoposide

Abstract

Telomerase plays a critical role in the development of cellular immortality and oncogenesis. Activation of telomerase occurs in a majority of human malignant tumours, and the relation between telomerase and vulnerability to drug-mediated apoptosis remains unclear. In this study, we demonstrate, for the first time, up-regulation of telomerase activity in human pancreatic cancer cells treated with etoposide, a topoisomerase II inhibitor. Exposure of MIA PaCa-2 cells to etoposide at various concentrations (1–30 μM) resulted in two- to threefold increases in telomerase activity. Up-regulation was detectable 24 h after drug exposure and was accompanied by enhanced expression of mRNA of the human telomerase reverse transcriptase. Telomerase activation was also observed in AsPC-1 and PANC-1 cells but not in KP-3 and KP-1N cells. Furthermore, we found a negative correlation between increased telomerase activity and the percentage of dead cells after etoposide treatment. These findings suggest the existence of an anti-apoptotic pathway through which telomerase is up-regulated in response to DNA damage. This telomerase activation pathway may be one of the mechanisms responsible for the development of etoposide resistance in certain pancreatic cancer cells. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign

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From twelve months after its original publication, this work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

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Sato, N., Mizumoto, K., Kusumoto, M. et al. Up-regulation of telomerase activity in human pancreatic cancer cells after exposure to etoposide. Br J Cancer 82, 1819–1826 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1054/bjoc.2000.1117

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Keywords

  • telomerase
  • topoisomerase II inhibitor
  • DNA damage
  • hTERT
  • apoptosis
  • drug resistance

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