Myc activates telomerase

Jing Wang, Lin Ying Xie, Susan Allan, David Beach, Gregory J. Hannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

549 Scopus citations


Telomere maintenance has been proposed as an essential prerequisite to human tumor development. The telomerase enzyme is itself a marker for tumor cells, but the genetic alterations that activate the enzyme during neoplastic transformation have remained a mystery. Here, we show that Myc induces telomerase in both normal human mammary epithelial cells (HMECs) and normal human diploid fibroblasts. Myc increases expression of hEST2 (hTRT/TP2), the limiting subunit of telomerase, and both Myc and hEST2 can extend the life span of HMECs. The ability of Myc to activate telomerase may contribute to its ability to promote tumor formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1769-1774
Number of pages6
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 1998


  • Myc
  • Telomerase
  • Tumorigenesis
  • hEST2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology

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