Telomerase, a specialized reverse transcriptase that maintains telomere during cell division, is commonly associated with cell proliferation. Increasing evidence suggests that telomerase may bear functions other than telomere elongation. We investigated whether telomerase is expressed in the continuously growing goldfish retina. Telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) assay reveals telomerase activity in goldfish retina. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and western blot show that telomerase catalytic subunit (TERT) is expressed at both mRNA and protein levels. Localization of TERT by immunohistochemistry indicates prominent expression of TERT in the outer nuclear layer, the inner nuclear layer, and, in a small population of cells, in the ganglion cell layer. Coexpression of TERT with proliferative cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) immunoreactivity is found in rod progenitor cells. These results suggest the role of telomerase in vertebrate central nervous system (CNS) other than telomere maintenance, such as regulation of cell cycle progression and maintenance of retinal cell phenotypes. 2007.
- Retinal progenitor cell
- Telomerase reverse transcriptase
- Telomeric repeats amplification protocol
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