Expressional Profiling of Telomerase and Telomere-Associated Molecules in the Rat Testis and Seminal Vesicle during Postnatal Developmental Period

  • Seo, Hee-Jung (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Eulji University) ;
  • Lee, Seong-Kyu (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Eulji University) ;
  • Baik, Haing-Woon (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Eulji University) ;
  • Cheon, Yong-Pil (Department of Biology, Sungshin Women's University) ;
  • Chun, Tae-Hoon (School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Korea University) ;
  • Choi, In-Ho (School of Biotechnology, Yeugnam University and Bovine Genome Resources Bank) ;
  • Lee, Ki-Ho (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Eulji University)
  • Received : 2011.05.13
  • Accepted : 2011.06.12
  • Published : 2011.06.30


Maintenance of adequate telomere length in developing cells is the most important concern to preserve the integrity of the genome. The length of telomere is strictly regulated by numerous telomere-binding proteins and/or interacting factors. Even though the expression of telomerase in the male reproductive tract has been characterized, developmental expressional profiling of telomerase and other telomere-associated proteins has not been determined in detail. The present study was attempted to examine expression patterns of catalytic subunit (Tert) and RNA component (Terc) of telomerase and two telomerase associated factors, telomerase associated protein 1 (Tep1) and TERF1 (TRF1) interacting nuclear factor 2 (Tinf2) in the testis and seminal vesicle of male rat during postnatal development. The real-time PCR analysis was utilized to quantify mRNA expression of molecules. The abundance of Tep1 mRNA in the testis and seminal vesicle was the highest at 5 months of age. Expressional fluctuation of Tinf2 during postnatal development was found in the testis, while expression of Tinf2 in the seminal vesicle was gradually increased until 5 months of age and then significantly decreased later. mRNA level of Tert gene in the testis was significantly increased at the adult and the elder, while the highest expression of Tert gene in the seminal vesicle was found at 5 months of age. Expression of Terc transcript in the testis and seminal vesicle was the highest at 5 months of age, followed by significant reduction at 1 and 2 years of ages. Such differential gene expression of telomere-associated factors and telomerase components in different male reproductive tissues during postnatal development indicates that maintenance of telomere length would be regulated in tissue- and/or age-specific manners.


Telomerase;Testis;Seminal vesicle;Development;Telomerase-associated molecule


  1. Banerjee, P. P., Banerjee, S., Zirkin, B. R. and Brown, T. R. 1998a. Lobe-specific telomerase activity in the intact adult Brown Norway rat prostate and its regional distribution within the prostatic ducts. Endocrinology. 139:513-519.
  2. Banerjee, P. P., Banerjee, S., Zirkin, B. R. and Brown, T. R. 1998b. Telomerase activity in normal adult Brown Norway rat seminal vesicle: regional distribution and age-dependent changes. Endocrinology. 139:1075-1081.
  3. Bekaert, S., Derradji, H. and Baatout, S. 2004. Telomere biology in mammalian germ cells and during development. Dev. Biol. 274:15-30.
  4. Bianchi, A., Smith, S., Chong, L., Elias, P. and de Lange, T. 1997. TRF1 is a dimer and bends telomeric DNA. EMBO J. 16:1785-1794.
  5. Blasco, M. A., Lee, H.-W., Hande, M. P., Samper, E., Lansdorp, P. M., DePinho, R. A. and Greider, C. W. 1997. Telomere shortening and tumor formation by mouse cells lacking telomerase RNA. Cell. 91:25-34
  6. Chin, L., Artandi, S. E., Shen, Q., Tam, A., Lee, S. L., Gottlieb, G. J., Greider, C. W. and DePinho, R. A. 1999. p53 deficiency rescues the adverse effects of telomere loss and cooperates with telomere dysfunction to accelerate carcinogenesis. Cell. 97:527-538.
  7. Dwyer, J. M. and Liu, J. P. 2010. Ets2 transcription factor, telomerase activity and breast cancer. Clin. Exp. Pharmacol. Physiol. 37:83-87.
  8. Eisenhauer, K. M., Gerstein, R. M., Chiu, C., Conti, M. and Hsueh, A. J. W. 1997. Telomerase activity in female and male rat germ cells undergoing meiosis and in early embryos. Biol. Reprod. 56:1120-1125.
  9. Flores, J. M., Cayuela, M. L. and Blasco, M. A. 2005. Effects of telomerase and telomere length on epidermal stem cell behavior. Science. 309:1253-1256.
  10. Harrington, L., McPhail, T., Mar, V., Zhou, W., Oulton, R., Amgen EST program, Bass, M. B., Arruda, I. and Robinson, M. O. 1997. A mammalian telomerase-associated protein. Science. 275:973-977.
  11. Kim, S. H., Beausejour, C., Davalos, A. R., Kaminker, P., Heo, S. J. and Campisi, J. 2004. TIN2 mediates functions of TRF2 at human telomeres. J. Biol. Chem. 279:43799-43804.
  12. Kim, S. H., Kaminker, P. and Campisi, J. 1999. TIN2, a new regulator of telomere length in human cells. Nat. Genet. 23:405-412.
  13. Lee, H. W., Blasco, M. A., Gottlieb, G. J., Horner, J. W., Greider, C. W. and DePinho, R. A. 1998. Essential role of mouse telomerase in highly proliferative organs. Nature. 392:569-574.
  14. Li, H. and Liu, J. P. 2007. Mechanisms of action of TGF-beta in cancer: evidence for Smad3 as a repressor of the hTERT Li, H. Simpson, E. R. and Liu, J. P. 2010. Oestrogen, telomerase, ovarian ageing and cancer. Clin. Exp. Pharmacol. Physiol. 37:78-82.
  15. Morin, G. B. 1989. The human telomere terminal transferase enzyme is a ribonucleoprotein that synthesizes TTAGGG repeats. Cell. 59:521-529.
  16. Palm, W. and de Lange, T. 2008. How shelterin protects mammalian telomeres. Annu. Rev. Genet. 42:301-334.
  17. Siderakis, M. and Tarsounas, M. 2007. Telomere regulation and function during meiosis. Chromosome Res. 15:667-679.
  18. Sugihara, M., Ohshima, K., Nakamura, H., Suzumiya, J., Nakayama, Y., Kanda, M., Haraoka, S. and Kikuchi, M. 1999. Decreased expression of telomerase-associated RNAs in the proliferation of stem cells in comparison with continuous expression in malignant tumors. Int. J. Oncol. 15:1075-1080.
  19. Ulaner, G. A. and Giudice, L. C. 1997. Developmental regulation of telomerase activity in human fetal tissues during gestation. Mol. Hum. Reprod. 3:769-773.
  20. Walmsley, R. M. and Petes, T. D. 1985. Genetic control of chromosome length in yeast. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 82:506-510.
  21. Walne, A. J., Vulliamy, T., Beswick, R., Kirwan, M. and Dokal, I. 2008. TINF2 mutations result invery short telomeres: analysis of a large cohort of patients with dyskeratosis congenital and related bone marrow failure syndromes. Blood. 112:3594-3600.
  22. Weise, J. M. and Günes, C. 2009. Differential regulation of human and mouse telomerase reverse transcriptase (TEFT) promoter activity during testis development. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 76:309-317.
  23. Wright, D. L., Jones, E. L., Mayer, J. F., Oehninger, S., Gibbons, W. E. and Lanzendorf, S. E. 2001. Characterization of telomerase activity in the human oocyte and preimplantation embryo. Mol. Hum. Reprod. 7:947-955.
  24. Wright, W. E., Piatyszek, M. A., Rainey, W. E., Byrd, W. and Shay, J. W. 1996. Telomerase activity in human germline and embryonic tissues and cells. Dev. Genet. 18:173-179.<173::AID-DVG10>3.0.CO;2-3
  25. Yamada, K., Yajima, T., Yagihashi, A., Kobayashi, D., Koyanagi, Y., Asanuma, K., Yamada, M., Kameshima, H. and Watanabe, N. 2000. Role of human telomerase reverse transcriptase and telomeric-repeat binding factor protein 1 and 2 in human hematopoietic cells. Jpn. J. Cancer Res. 91:1278-1284.
  26. Yashima, K., Maitra, A., Rogers, B. B., Timmons, C. F., Rathi, A., Pinar, H., Wright, W. E. and Gazhar, A. F. 1998. Expression of the RNA component of telomerase during human development and differentiation. Cell Growth Differ. 9:805-813.

Cited by

  1. Expressional Profiling of Molecules Associated with Epigenetic Methylation-Related Fertility in the Rat Testis during Postnatal Period vol.54, pp.3, 2012,