Extra-chromosomal telomere repeat DNA in telomerase-negative immortalized cell lines

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1998 Jun 29;247(3):765-72. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.1998.8876.


We found novel extra-chromosomal telomere repeat (ECTR) DNAs in telomerase-negative immortalized KMST-6 cells, by staining these cells with a (TTAGGG)n probe using both cycling oligonucleotide-primed in situ synthesis and by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Relatively small amounts of ECTR DNAs were also observed in telomerase-negative VA13 and SUSM-1 cells, but not observed in telomerase-positive immortalized HeLa cells. The ECTR DNAs existed mainly in the nucleoplasm with a small amount in the cytoplasm. The nucleoplasm ECTR DNAs were co-stained with an antibody directed to the telomeric-repeat binding factor 1 (TRF1), suggesting that they exist as a complex with TRF1. In consistent with these cytological studies, Southern blot analysis showed the existence of small telomere repeat DNAs. The ECTR DNA may provide an insight into the elucidation of the mechanisms responsible for the maintenance of telomeres in telomerase-negative immortalized cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • Cell Nucleus / chemistry
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA / analysis*
  • DNA Probes / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid / genetics*
  • Telomerase / deficiency
  • Telomere / genetics*
  • Telomeric Repeat Binding Protein 1


  • DNA Probes
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Telomeric Repeat Binding Protein 1
  • DNA
  • Telomerase