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Genes 2016, 7(8), 50; doi:10.3390/genes7080050

Transcription Regulation of the Human Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase (hTERT) Gene

1,†
,
1,†
,
1,†
and
1,2,*
1
Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Program, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore 169857, Singapore
2
Department of Physiology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117597, Singapore
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gabriele Saretzki
Received: 15 June 2016 / Revised: 23 July 2016 / Accepted: 1 August 2016 / Published: 18 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Telomerase Activity in Human Cells)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1581 KB, uploaded 18 August 2016]   |  

Abstract

Embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells have the ability to maintain their telomere length via expression of an enzymatic complex called telomerase. Similarly, more than 85%–90% of cancer cells are found to upregulate the expression of telomerase, conferring them with the potential to proliferate indefinitely. Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase (TERT), the catalytic subunit of telomerase holoenzyme, is the rate-limiting factor in reconstituting telomerase activity in vivo. To date, the expression and function of the human Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase (hTERT) gene are known to be regulated at various molecular levels (including genetic, mRNA, protein and subcellular localization) by a number of diverse factors. Among these means of regulation, transcription modulation is the most important, as evident in its tight regulation in cancer cell survival as well as pluripotent stem cell maintenance and differentiation. Here, we discuss how hTERT gene transcription is regulated, mainly focusing on the contribution of trans-acting factors such as transcription factors and epigenetic modifiers, as well as genetic alterations in hTERT proximal promoter. View Full-Text
Keywords: telomerase; telomere; transcription regulation; promoter; mutation telomerase; telomere; transcription regulation; promoter; mutation
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Ramlee, M.K.; Wang, J.; Toh, W.X.; Li, S. Transcription Regulation of the Human Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase (hTERT) Gene. Genes 2016, 7, 50.

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