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Functional and gene expression analysis of hTERT overexpressed endothelial cells

Authors Takano H, Murasawa S, Asahara T

Published 12 September 2008 Volume 2008:2(3) Pages 547—554


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Haruna Takano1, Satoshi Murasawa1,2, Takayuki Asahara1,2,3

1Institute of Biomedical Research and Innovation, Kobe, Japan; 2RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, Kobe 650-0047, Japan; 3Tokai University of School of Medicine, Tokai, Japan

Abstract: Telomerase dysfunction contributes to cellular senescence. Recent advances indicate the importance of senescence in maintaining vascular cell function in vitro. Human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) overexpression is thought to lead to resistance to apoptosis and oxidative stress. However, the mechanism in endothelial lineage cells is unclear. We tried to generate an immortal endothelial cell line from human umbilical vein endothelial cells using a no-virus system and examine the functional mechanisms of hTERT overexpressed endothelial cell senescence in vitro. High levels of hTERT genes and endothelial cell-specific markers were expressed during long-term culture. Also, angiogenic responses were observed in hTERT overexpressed endothelial cell. These cells showed a delay in senescence and appeared more resistant to stressed conditions. PI3K/Akt-related gene levels were enhanced in hTERT overexpressed endothelial cells. An up-regulated PI3K/Akt pathway caused by hTERT overexpression might contribute to anti-apoptosis and survival effects in endothelial lineage cells.

Keywords: endothelial, telomerase, senescence, oxidative stress, anti-apoptosis, PI3K/Akt pathway

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