Telomestatin-induced telomere uncapping is modulated by POT1 through G-overhang extension in HT1080 human tumor cells

Dennis Gomez, Thomas Wenner, Bertrand Brassart, Céline Douarre, Marie Françoise O'Donohue, Victoria El Khoury, Kazuo Shin-Ya, Hamid Morjani, Chantal Trentesaux, Jean François Riou*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    189 Citations (Scopus)


    Telomestatin is a potent G-quadruplex ligand that interacts with the 3′ telomeric overhang, leading to its degradation, and induces a delayed senescence and apoptosis of cancer cells. POT1 and TRF2 were recently identified as specific telomere-binding proteins involved in telomere capping and t-loop maintenance and whose interaction with telomeres is modulated by telomestatin. We show here that the treatment of HT1080 human tumor cells by telomestatin induces a rapid decrease of the telomeric G-overhang and of the double-stranded telomeric repeats. Telomestatin treatment also provokes a strong decrease of POT1 and TRF2 from their telomere sites, suggesting that the ligand triggers the uncapping of the telomere ends. The effect of the ligand is associated with an increase of the γ-H2AX foci, one part of them colocalizing at telomeres, thus indicating the occurrence of a DNA damage response at the telomere, but also the presence of additional DNA targets for telomestatin. Interestingly, the expression of GFP-POT1 in HT1080 cells increases both telomere and G-overhang length. As compared with HT1080 cells, HT1080GFP-POT1 cells presented a resistance to telomestatin treatment characterized by a protection to the telomestatin-induced growth inhibition and the G-overhang shortening. This protection is related to the initial G-overhang length rather than to its degradation rate and is overcome by increased telomestatin concentration. Altogether these results suggest that telomestatin induced a telomere dysfunction in which G-overhang length and POT1 level are important factors but also suggest the presence of additional DNA sites of action for the ligand.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)38721-38729
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
    Issue number50
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2006


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