Open Access

The intrabody targeting of hTERT attenuates the immortality of cancer cells

  • Xiangying Zhu1,
  • Nan Yang1,
  • Jianguo Cai1,
  • Guimei Yang1,
  • Shenghua Liang1 and
  • Daming Ren1Email author
Cellular & Molecular Biology LettersAn International Journal200915:32

DOI: 10.2478/s11658-009-0032-2

Received: 17 March 2009

Accepted: 1 September 2009

Published: 23 September 2009

Abstract

hTERT (human telomerase reverse transcriptase) plays a key role in the process of cell immortalization. Overexpression of hTERT has been implicated in 85% of malignant tumors and offers a specific target for cancer therapy. In this paper, we describe an effective approach using a single-chain variable fragment (scFv) intrabody derived from monoclonal hybridoma directed against hTERT to attenuate the immortalization of human uterine cervix and hepatoma cells. The scFv we constructed had a high affinity to hTERT, and specifically neutralized over 70% of telomere synthesis activity, thereby inhibiting the viability and proliferation of the cancer cells. Our results indicate that this anti-hTERT intrabody is a promising tool to target hTERT and intervene in the immortalization process of cancer cells.

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