Protein encoded in human telomerase RNA is involved in cell protective pathways

Maria Rubtsova, Yulia Naraykina, Daria Vasilkova, Mark Meerson, Maria Zvereva, Vladimir Prassolov, Vasily Lazarev, Valentin Manuvera, Sergey Kovalchuk, Nickolay Anikanov, Ivan Butenko, Olga Pobeguts, Vadim Govorun, Olga Dontsova

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)


    Several studies have described functional peptides encoded in RNA that are considered to be noncoding. Telomerase RNA together with telomerase reverse transcriptase and regulatory proteins make up the telomerase complex, the major component of the telomere length-maintaining machinery. In contrast to protein subunits, telomerase RNA is expressed constitutively in most somatic cells where telomerase reverse transcriptase is absent. We show here that the transcript of human telomerase RNA codes a 121 amino acid protein (hTERP). The existence of hTERP was shown by immunoblotting, immunofluorescence microscopy and mass spectroscopy. Gain-of-function and loss-of-function experiments showed that hTERP protects cells from drug-induced apoptosis and participates in the processing of autophagosome. We suggest that hTERP regulates crosstalk between autophagy and apoptosis and is involved in cellular adaptation under stress conditions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)8966-8977
    Number of pages12
    JournalNucleic Acids Research
    Issue number17
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


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