Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase Contains a BH3-Like Motif and Interacts with BCL-2 Family Members
Young Jin, Long You, Hye Jeong Kim, and Han-Woong Lee*
Department of Biochemistry, College of Life Science and Biotechnology, Yonsei University, Seoul 03722, Korea
*Correspondence: hwl@yonsei.
Received May 13, 2018; Accepted May 21, 2018.; Published online June 25, 2018.
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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 antiapoptotic 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.
Keywords: apoptosis, BH3-like motif, BCL-2 family proteins, hTERT

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30 June 2018 Volume 41,
Number 6, pp. 495~611

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