Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Cell Mol Med. 2011 Jun;15(6):1227-38. doi: 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2011.01284.x.

The potential utility of telomere-related markers for cancer diagnosis.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pathology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA. cheaphy@jhmi.edu

Abstract

The role telomeres and telomerase play in the initiation and progression of human cancers has been extensively evaluated. Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes comprising the hexanucleotide DNA repeat sequence, TTAGGG and numerous telomere-associated proteins, including the six member Shelterin complex. The main function of the telomere is to stabilize the ends of the chromosomes. However, through multiple mechanisms, telomeres can become dysfunctional, which may drive genomic instability leading to the development of cancer. The majority of human cancers maintain, or actively lengthen, telomeres through up-regulation of the reverse transcriptase telomerase. Because there are significant differences in telomere length and telomerase activity between malignant and non-malignant tissues, many investigations have assessed the potential to utilize these molecular markers for cancer diagnosis. Here, we critically evaluate whether measurements of telomere lengths and telomerase levels may be clinically utilized as diagnostic markers in solid tumours, with emphasis on breast and prostate cancer as representative examples. Future directions focusing on the direct detection of dysfunctional telomeres are explored. New markers for telomere dysfunction may eventually prove clinically useful.

© 2011 The Authors Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine © 2011 Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine/Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

PMID:
21352473
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Blackwell Publishing
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk