Differential expression of genes associated with telomere length homeostasis and oncogenesis in an avian model

Susan E. Swanberg, Mary E. Delany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Telomere-binding proteins, their interaction partners and transcription factors play a prominent role in telomere maintenance and telomerase activation. We examined mRNA expression levels of tankyrase 1 and 2, TRF1 and 2, c-myc, TERT and TR in Gallus domesticus, the domestic chicken, by quantitative real-time PCR, establishing expression profiles for three contrasting cell systems: the pluripotent gastrula, differentiated embryo fibroblasts and transformed DT40 cells. All seven genes were up-regulated in DT40 cells compared to telomerase-negative CEFs and a majority of the genes were also up-regulated in the gastrula relative to CEFs. Surprisingly, we found TERT and TR transcripts in CEFs, albeit at low levels. TRF1 was down-regulated in the six CEF cultures by the time of culture growth arrest. A marked increase in the TRF2:TRF1 ratio occurred at or near senescence in all of the CEF cultures studied, with the most elevated ratio found in a short-lived culture in which TRF1 mRNA levels decreased two-fold and TRF2 levels increased 21-fold. This culture also showed highly reduced, degraded telomeres by Southern blot analysis. These data suggest that genes involved in telomere maintenance and telomerase induction are expressed differentially in pluripotent, differentiated and transformed cell systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1060-1070
Number of pages11
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • c-myc
  • Chicken
  • Tankyrase
  • Telomerase
  • Telomere
  • TRF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Developmental Biology


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