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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Telomerase activity and in situ telomerase RNA expression in oral carcinogenesis.

To investigate the role of telomerase in oral carcinogenesis, we assayed telomerase activity in various oral tissues by a modified telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) analysis. Also, using digoxigenin-labeled probes, we measured the in situ expression of human telomerase RNA component (hTR) in paired oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) and adjacent non-cancerous matched tissue (NCMT). We detected telomerase activity in three OSCC cell lines, but not in primary oral keratinocytes. In patient samples, most OSCC (36/42, 86%) and oral premalignant lesions (8/12, 67%) possessed telomerase activity. In addition, 6 of 27 (22%) NCMT contained weak telomerase activity. In situ hybridization showed that hTR was expressed in almost all OSCC (23/27, 85%) as well as in the majority of NCMT (20/25, 80%). In most cases, accumulation of hTR was observed both in the nucleus and cytoplasm of epithelial cells. A correlation between hTR expression and more advanced tumor grade was observed. The appearance of telomerase activation and hTR expression during oral carcinogenesis was different. This study indicates that the activation of telomerase is an early and frequent event in OSCC.[1]


  1. Telomerase activity and in situ telomerase RNA expression in oral carcinogenesis. Chang, L.Y., Lin, S.C., Chang, C.S., Wong, Y.K., Hu, Y.C., Chang, K.W. J. Oral Pathol. Med. (1999) [Pubmed]
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