Telomerase inhibition by stable RNA interference impairs tumor growth and angiogenesis in glioblastoma xenografts

Roberto Pallini, Antonio Sorrentino, Francesco Pierconti, Nicola Maggiano, Riccardo Faggi, Nicola Montano, Giulio Maira, Luigi Maria Larocca, Andrea Levi, Maria Laura Falchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Telomerase is highly expressed in advanced stages of most cancers where it allows the clonal expansion of transformed cells by counteracting telomere erosion. Telomerase may also contribute to tumor progression through still undefined cell growth-promoting functions. Here, we inhibited telomerase activity in 2 human glioblastoma (GBM) cell lines, TB10 and U87MG, by targeting the catalytic subunit, hTERT, via stable RNA interference (RNAi). Although the reduction in telomerase activity had no effect on GBM cell growth in vitro, the development of tumors in subcutaneously and intracranially grafted nude mice was significantly inhibited by antitelomerase RNAi. The in vivo effect was observed within a relatively small number of population doublings, suggesting that telomerase inhibition may hinder cancer cell growth in vivo prior to a substantial shortening of telomere length. Tumor xenografts that arose from telomerase-inhibited GBM cells also showed a less-malignant phenotype due both to the absence of massive necrosis and to reduced angiogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2158-2167
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2006


  • Glioblastoma multiforme
  • Short-interference RNA
  • Telomerase
  • Tumor xenograft

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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