ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-200731-3
Anti-Proliferative and Pro-Apoptotic Effects of Short-Term Inhibition of Telomerase In Vivo and in Human Malignant B Cells Xenografted in Zebrafish
Giunco, S., Zangrossi, M., Dal Pozzolo, F., Celeghin, A., Ballin, G., Petrara, M.R., Amin, A., Argenton, F., Godinho Ferreira, M., De Rossi, A.
Date: 2020
Source: Cancers   12(8): (Journal)
Registered Authors: Argenton, Francesco
Keywords: B-cell malignancies, TERT/telomerase, new therapeutic approach, xenograft, zebrafish
MeSH Terms: none
PubMed: 32722398 Full text @ Cancers
Besides its canonical role in stabilizing telomeres, telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) may promote tumor growth/progression through extra-telomeric functions. Our previous in vitro studies demonstrated that short-term TERT inhibition by BIBR1532 (BIBR), an inhibitor of TERT catalytic activity, negatively impacts cell proliferation and viability via telomeres' length-independent mechanism. Here we evaluate the anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects of short-term telomerase inhibition in vivo in wild-type (wt) and tert mutant (terthu3430/hu3430; tert-/-) zebrafish embryos, and in malignant human B cells xenografted in casper zebrafish embryos. Short-term Tert inhibition by BIBR in wt embryos reduced cell proliferation, induced an accumulation of cells in S-phase and ultimately led to apoptosis associated with the activation of DNA damage response; all these effects were unrelated to telomere shortening/dysfunction. BIBR treatment showed no effects in tert-/- embryos. Xenografted untreated malignant B cells proliferated in zebrafish embryos, while BIBR pretreated cells constantly decreased and were significantly less than those in the controls from 24 to up to 72 h after xenotransplantation. Additionally, xenografted tumor cells, treated with BIBR prior- or post-transplantation, displayed a significant higher apoptotic rate compared to untreated control cells. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that short-term telomerase inhibition impairs proliferation and viability in vivo and in human malignant B cells xenografted in zebrafish, thus supporting therapeutic applications of TERT inhibitors in human malignancies.