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Concurrence of replicative senescence and elevated expression of p16INK4A with subculture-induced but not calcium-induced differentiation in normal human oral keratinocytes

By Gene Lee, Beom Seok Park, Song Ee Han, Ju-Eun Oh, Yong-Ouk You, Jeong-Hwa Baek, Gwan-Shik Kim and Byung-Moo Min


Primary normal human oral keratinocytes (NHOKs) undergo differentiation in the presence of calcium concentrations higher than 0.15 mM in vitro, which is useful in investigating the mechanisms involved in the differentiation of epithelial cells. Serial subculture of NHOKs to the postmitotic stage also induces terminal differentiation. However, the detailed mechanisms of both differentiation processes remain substantially unknown. To investigate the molecular differences in these processes, NHOKs were induced to differentiate by exposure to 1.2 mM of calcium and by serial subculture to the postmitotic stage. To study whether the cells were induced to differentiate and to undergo replicative senescence, the amount of cellular involucrin and the expression of senescence-associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-gal) were measured respectively. The expression of replicative senescence-associated genes and the activity of telomerase from the differentiated cells were also determined. Both calcium treatment and serial subculture to the postmitotic stage notably elevated the cellular involucrin. The percentage of SA-β-gal-positive cells was significantly elevated by the continued subculture, but such changes were not observed in keratinocytes exposed to calcium. The concentration of cellular p16INK4A protein was progressively increased by the continued subculture but was not changed by calcium treatment. On the other hand, the concentrations of cellular p53 were similar in both differentiation processes. However, telomerase activity was lost in NHOKs that had undergone differentiation by both calcium treatment and serial subculture. The results indicate that calcium-induced differentiation of NHOKs has similar characteristics to their serial subculture-induced differentiation, but that the differentiation processes are not identical, because calcium-induced differentiation does not concur with either replicative senescence or the gradually increased concentration of p16INK4A.This study was partly supported by a grant from the Seoul National University Hospital Research Fund (1999)

Topics: Calcium-induced differentiation, Subculture-induced differentiation, Normal human oral keratinocytes, Replicative senesence, p16INK4A
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2000
DOI identifier: 10.1016/S0003-9969(00)00061-3
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