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Relation between telomerase activity, hTERT and telomere length for intracranial tumours

Relation between telomerase activity, hTERT and telomere length for intracranial tumours

Oncology Reports 18(6): 1571-1576

Human linear chromosomes are capped by specialized DNA-protein structures called telomeres. The present study analysed the telomerase activity, hTERT protein and telomere length in meningiomas and gliomas in relation to their WHO grading. Fifty-three freshly dissected tumour biopsies were analysed for telomerase activity, hTERT protein expression and telomere length. Telomerase activity was examined in 41 of the 53 biopsies. Telomerase activity was detected in 3 of 35 (8.6%) screened meningiomas (I benign, 1 atypical and I malignant meningioma). For hTERT expression, 56.4% of meningiomas were positive with a mean labelling index (hTERT LI) of 31.3% (SD=26.5) for the hTERT positive meningiomas. The mean telomere length for meningiomas was 6.983 kb (SD=1.969). For gliomas, no active telomerase was detected in 2 low-grade astrocytomas, whereas three of the four screened glioblastomas were positive for telomerase activity. The only hTERT protein positive astrocytoma had a mean labelling index of 9.0%. On the other hand, the hTERT LI for glioblastomas was 53.6% (SD=28.0). The two low-grade astrocytomas had a telomere length of 14.310 and 9.236 kb. The anaplastic astrocytoma had a telomere length of 4.903 kb and the glioblastomas 5.767 kb (SD=2.042). The normal meningeal and neuronal tissue is negative for telomerase activity and hTERT. The length was +/- 10.000 kb. These results indicate that telomere shortening may be a critical step in pathogenesis of atypical and malignant meningiomas and gliomas. Critical telomere shortening in vitro was shown to activate telomerase.

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Accession: 021662683

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PMID: 17982646

DOI: 10.3892/or.18.6.1571

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