Telomerase reverse transcriptase contains a BH3-like motif and interacts with BCL-2 family members

Young Jin, Long You, Hye Jeong Kim, Han Woong Lee

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Abstract

Upregulation of human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) expression is an important factor in the cellular survival and cancer. Although growing evidence suggests that hTERT inhibits cellular apoptosis by telomere-independent functions, the mechanisms involved are not fully understood. Here, we show that hTERT contains a BH3-like motif, a short peptide sequence found in BCL-2 family proteins, and interacts with anti-apoptotic BCL-2 family proteins MCL-1 and BCL-xL, suggesting a functional link between hTERT and the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis. Additionally, we propose that hTERT can be categorized into the atypical BH3-only proteins that promote cellular survival, possibly due to the non-canonical interaction between hTERT and anti-apoptotic proteins. Although the detailed mechanisms underlying the hTERT BH3-like motif functions and interactions between hTERT and BCL-2 family proteins have not been elucidated, this work proposes a possible connection between hTERT and BCL-2 family members and reconsiders the role of the BH3-like motif as an interaction motif.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)684-694
Number of pages11
JournalMolecules and cells
Volume41
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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