Cutting edge

Telomerase activation in human T lymphocytes does not require increase in telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) protein but is associated with hTERT phosphorylation and nuclear translocation

Kebin Liu, R. J. Hodes, N. P. Weng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

185 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Capacity for cellular replication is critically important for lymphocyte function and can be regulated by telomerase-dependent maintenance of telomere length. In contrast to most normal human somatic cells that do not express telomerase due to the failure to transcribe telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT), lymphocytes express telomerase in a highly regulated fashion yet constitutively transcribe hTERT during development and activation. Here, we report that hTERT protein is present in both thymocytes and blood T cells at equivalent levels despite their substantial differences in telomerase activity, and that induction of telomerase activity in resting CD4 + T cells is not dependent on net hTERT protein increase. Moreover, hTERT is phosphorylated and translocated from cytoplasm to nucleus during CD4 + T cell activation. Thus, human T lymphocytes regulate telomerase function through novel events independent of hTERT protein levels, and hTERT phosphorylation and nuclear translocation may play a role in regulation of telomerase function in lymphocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4826-4830
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume166
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2001

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Telomerase
Phosphorylation
T-Lymphocytes
Proteins
Lymphocytes
Telomere Homeostasis
Thymocytes
Blood Cells
Cytoplasm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

Cite this

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title = "Cutting edge: Telomerase activation in human T lymphocytes does not require increase in telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) protein but is associated with hTERT phosphorylation and nuclear translocation",
abstract = "Capacity for cellular replication is critically important for lymphocyte function and can be regulated by telomerase-dependent maintenance of telomere length. In contrast to most normal human somatic cells that do not express telomerase due to the failure to transcribe telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT), lymphocytes express telomerase in a highly regulated fashion yet constitutively transcribe hTERT during development and activation. Here, we report that hTERT protein is present in both thymocytes and blood T cells at equivalent levels despite their substantial differences in telomerase activity, and that induction of telomerase activity in resting CD4 + T cells is not dependent on net hTERT protein increase. Moreover, hTERT is phosphorylated and translocated from cytoplasm to nucleus during CD4 + T cell activation. Thus, human T lymphocytes regulate telomerase function through novel events independent of hTERT protein levels, and hTERT phosphorylation and nuclear translocation may play a role in regulation of telomerase function in lymphocytes.",
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