Research Papers:

37 kDa LRP::FLAG enhances telomerase activity and reduces senescent markers in vitro

Tyrone C. Otgaar, Eloise Ferreira, Sibusiso Malindisa, Martin Bernert, Boitelo T. Letsolo and Stefan F.T. Weiss _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:86646-86656. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21278

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Tyrone C. Otgaar1, Eloise Ferreira1, Sibusiso Malindisa1,2, Martin Bernert1, Boitelo T. Letsolo1 and Stefan F.T. Weiss1

1School of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of the Witwatersrand, Wits 2050, Republic of South Africa

2Present Address: Department of Life and Consumer Sciences, University of South Africa, Florida 1710, Republic of South Africa

Correspondence to:

Stefan F.T. Weiss, email: [email protected]

Keywords: aging, LRP/LR, LRP::FLAG, telomerase, telomeres

Received: June 30, 2017    Accepted: August 15, 2017    Published: September 27, 2017


One of the core regulators of cellular aging are telomeres, repetitive DNA sequences at the ends of chromosomes that are maintained by the ribonucleoprotein DNA polymerase complex, telomerase. Recently, we demonstrated that knockdown of the 37kDa/ 67kDa laminin receptor (LRP/LR), a protein that promotes cell viability in tumorigenic and normal cells, reduces telomerase activity. We therefore hypothesized that upregulating LRP/LR might increase telomerase activity and impede aging. Here we show that overexpression of LRP::FLAG resulted in significantly elevated hTERT levels, telomerase activity and telomere length, respectively, with concomitantly reduced levels of senescence markers. These data suggest a novel function of LRP/LR hampering the onset of senescence through elevating hTERT levels and telomerase activity, respectively. LRP::FLAG might therefore act as a potential novel anti-aging drug through the impediment of the cellular aging process.

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