Inhibition of human telomerase reverse transcriptase in hep-2 cells using short hairpin RNA expression vectors

Shi-Ming Chen, Ze-Zhang Tao, Qing-Quan Hua, Dan Liu, Hua-Ming Chi, Qing Cai
Archives of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery 2006, 132 (2): 200-5

OBJECTIVE: Telomerase activity is mainly regulated by the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) gene. Our objective was to investigate the effect of short hairpin RNA (shRNA) on hTERT expression and telomerase activity in laryngeal cancer cells.

DESIGN: Short hairpin RNA expression vectors targeting the messenger RNA of hTERT were constructed. Cells were treated with shRNA expression vectors directed against 2 different hTERT sites, control vectors that included mismatched shRNA and those without shRNA. The expression of hTERT was determined by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting. The activity of telomerase was measured by telomeric repeated amplification enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The cell viability was examined using the 3-(4,5-dimethyl thizol-2-yl) 2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide assay.

RESULTS: We found that treatment of shRNA expression vectors induced a significant decrease in hTERT messenger RNA expression, the level of hTERT protein, telomerase activity, and cell viability. All of these effects were seen regardless of the target site, and the shRNA control showed none of these effects.

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that shRNA directed against hTERT inhibits telomerase activity through suppression of the hTERT expression in laryngeal cancer cells and that RNA interfering technology may be a promising strategy for the treatment of laryngeal cancers.

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