Objective: Analysis of the correlation between telomerase and the expression of its related proteins may provide insight into the molecular mechanism of nasopharyngeal carcinogenesis. We investigated the effect of short hair pin ribonucleic acid (RNA) specific for human telomerase reverse transcriptase messenger RNA on the expression of the proteins c-myc (the transcription factor c-myc is a shortlived nuclear phospho-protein involved in cell proliferation and differentiation, belongs to the myc family), proliferating cell nuclear antigen and Caspase-3 in nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells.
Methods: Short hairpin RNA expression vectors targeting the messenger RNA of human telomerase reverse transcriptase were constructed. Cells were treated with the short hairpin RNA expression vectors targeting human telomerase reverse transcriptase or vectors that included mismatched short hairpin RNA, and telomerase activity was measured by telomeric repeat amplification enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Cell viability was examined using the 3-(4,5-dimethyl thizol-2-yl) 2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide assay. The expression of the three proteins (c-myc, proliferating cell nuclear antigen and Caspase-3) was determined by Western blotting.
Results: Short hairpin RNA specific for human telomerase reverse transcriptase messenger RNA significantly inhibited telomerase activity. In addition, the expression of and proliferating cell nuclear antigen were both inhibited, while the expression of Caspase-3 was up-regulated.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that short hairpin RNA directed against human telomerase reverse transcriptase inhibits cell viability by regulating telomerase activity and its related proteins expression in nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells. Therefore, RNA interference technology may be a promising strategy for the treatment of nasopharyngeal cancer.