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

Inhibition of telomerase by site-specific ribonucleases in gastric and esophageal adenocarcinoma.

Increased expression of telomerase is critical in the pathogenesis of cancer. Telomerase expression is reported variably in foregut cancers, possibly as a result of telomerase inhibition or ribonucleases. We performed experiments to assess telomerase and telomerase RNA expression in foregut cancers and to quantify and characterize telomerase inhibition. Cancer specimens were obtained from 27 patients. Telomerase activity of cancers was determined by the telomeric repeat amplification protocol, the presence of telomerase RNA component (hTERC) by reverse transcription PCR, and the quantity of telomerase inhibitors in mixing experiments. Ribonuclease activity was measured by assessing degradation of labeled RNA by cancers. Telomerase was found in 8/11 adenocarcinomas of the esophagus or gastroesophageal junction and 6/16 distal gastric adenocarcinomas; hTERC was detectable in all cancers. Telomerase inhibition was more marked in distal compared to proximal adenocarcinomas (P = 0.01) and correlated with ribonuclease activity (rS = 0.65). Ribonucleases contribute significantly to telomerase inhibitory activity detectable in foregut cancer specimens. In vitro, the presence of telomerase inhibitors in some specimens did not prevent the detection of telomerase by the TRAP assay. This suggests a more complex relationship between telomerase and its inhibitors. Site-specificity of telomerase inhibitors generally and ribonuclease activity specifically suggests a putative regulatory role in vivo.[1]


  1. Inhibition of telomerase by site-specific ribonucleases in gastric and esophageal adenocarcinoma. Usselmann, B., Portsmouth, D., Barclay, J., Morris, A.G., Nwokolo, C.U. Dig. Dis. Sci. (2001) [Pubmed]
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