Human fibroblasts expressing hTERT show remarkable karyotype stability even after exposure to ionizing radiationPirzio L.M. · Freulet-Marrière M.-A. · Bai Y. · Fouladi B. · Murnane J.P. · Sabatier L. · Desmaze C.
aCEA-DSV/DRR/LRO, 92265 Fontenay aux roses (France); bDepartment of Radiation Oncology, University of California, San Francisco, CA (USA)
Ectopic expression of telomerase results in an immortal phenotype in various types of normal cells, including primary human fibroblasts. In addition to its role in telomere lengthening, telomerase has now been found to have various functions, including the control of DNA repair, chromatin modification, and the control of expression of genes involved in cell cycle regulation. The investigations on the long-term effects of telomerase expression in normal human fibroblast highlighted that these cells show low frequencies of chromosomal aberrations. In this paper, we describe the karyotypic stability of human fibroblasts immortalized by expression of hTERT. The ectopic overexpression of telomerase is associated with unusual spontaneous as well as radiation-induced chromosome stability. In addition, we found that irradiation did not enhance plasmid integration in cells expressing hTERT, as has been reported for other cell types. Long-term studies illustrated that human fibroblasts immortalized by telomerase show an unusual stability for chromosomes and for plasmid integration sites, both with and without exposure to ionizing radiation. These results confirm a role for telomerase in genome stabilisation by a telomere-independent mechanism and point to the possibility for utilizing hTERT-immortalized normal human cells for the study of gene targeting.
Request reprints from: Dr. Chantal Desmaze, CEA-DSV/DRR/LRO
18 Route du Panorama, 92265 Fontenay aux roses cedex (France)
telephone: +33 (1) 46 54 83 27; fax: +33 (1) 46 54 87 58
This work was supported by EDF and the European Union contract FIGH-CT-2002-00217 (TELOSENS). L.M.P. was a recipient of an EDF fellowship.
Received 26 September 2003;
accepted 26 November 2003.
Number of Print Pages : 8
Number of Figures : 1, Number of Tables : 3, Number of References : 55
Cytogenetic and Genome Research
Formerly ‘Cytogenetics and Cell Genetics’
Vol. 104, No. 1-4, Year 2004 (Cover Date: 2004)
Journal Editor: H.P. Klinger, Bronx, N.Y.; M. Schmid, Würzburg
ISSN: 1424–8581 (print), 1424–859X (Online)
For additional information: http://www.karger.com/journals/cgr