Endoplasmic reticulum stress activates telomerase

Junzhi Zhou, Beibei Mao, Qi Zhou, Deqiang Ding, Miao Wang, Peng Guo, Yuhao Gao, Jerry W. Shay, Zengqiang Yuan, Yu Sheng Cong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Telomerase contributes to cell proliferation and survival through both telomere-dependent and telomere-independent mechanisms. In this report, we discovered that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress transiently activates the catalytic components of telomerase (TERT) expression in human cancer cell lines and murine primary neural cells. Importantly, we show that depletion of hTERT sensitizes cells to undergo apoptosis under ER stress, whereas increased hTERT expression reduces ER stress-induced cell death independent of catalytically active enzyme or DNA damage signaling. Our findings establish a functional link between ER stress and telomerase, both of which have important implications in the pathologies associated with aging and cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-200
Number of pages4
JournalAging Cell
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Apoptosis
  • ER stress
  • Telomerase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Cell Biology


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