Variable TERRA abundance and stability in cervical cancer cells
- Bong-Kyeong Oh
- Ponnarath Keo
- Jaeman Bae
- Jung Hwa Ko
- Joong Sub Choi
Published online on: April 20, 2017
Telomeres are transcribed into long non-coding RNA, referred to as telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA), which plays important roles in maintaining telomere integrity and heterochromatin formation. TERRA has been well characterized in HeLa cells, a type of cervical cancer cell. However, TERRA abundance and stability have not been examined in other cervical cancer cells, at least to the best of our knowledge. Thus, in this study, we measured TERRA levels and stability, as well as telomere length in 6 cervical cancer cell lines, HeLa, SiHa, CaSki, HeLa S3, C-33A and SNU-17. We also examined the association between the TERRA level and its stability and telomere length. We found that the TERRA level was several fold greater in the SiHa, CaSki, HeLa S3, C-33A and SNU-17 cells, than in the HeLa cells. An RNA stability assay of actinomycin D-treated cells revealed that TERRA had a short half-life of ~4 h in HeLa cells, which was consistent with previous studies, but was more stable with a longer half-life (>8 h) in the other 5 cell lines. Telomere length varied from 4 to 9 kb in the cells and did not correlate significantly with the TERRA level. On the whole, our data indicate that TERRA abundance and stability vary between different types of cervical cancer cells. TERRA degrades rapidly in HeLa cells, but is maintained stably in other cervical cancer cells that accumulate higher levels of TERRA. TERRA abundance is associated with the stability of RNA in cervical cancer cells, but is unlikely associated with telomere length.