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Mod Pathol. 2000 Jul;13(7):723-9.

Telomerase activity significantly correlates with chromosome alterations, cell differentiation, and proliferation in lung adenocarcinomas.

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Department of Clinical Pathology, Japanese Red Cross Medical Center, Tokyo.


Telomerase activity was examined by the telomeric repeat amplification protocol assay in 25 cases of lung adenocarcinoma, in relation to cancer cell differentiation, proliferation, and chromosome alterations. Telomerase activity, chromosome alterations, and cell proliferation assessed by Ki-67 labeling were significantly lower (P < .001 to .05) in well-differentiated (10 cases) than in moderately differentiated (8 cases) or poorly differentiated (7 cases) lesions. Telomerase activity by semiquantitative analysis with scoring of 0 to 3 was significantly correlated with similarly graded chromosome alterations (P < .05) and Ki-67 labeling indices (P < .002). Telomerase activity and chromosome alteration (T-C) indices generated by multiplication of telomerase activity and chromosome alteration scores also showed a significant correlation with cell differentiation. The Clara cell subtype, confirmed by electron microscopic analysis, significantly predominated in the well-differentiated group, showing a low grade of telomerase activity and chromosome alterations and low Ki-67 labeling indices, suggesting clinical relevance. No significant association of telomerase activity was found with p53 protein accumulation or Bcl-2 protein expression. The good correlation of telomerase activity with chromosome alterations, cell differentiation, and Ki-67 labeling indices suggests that this parameter might have potential application in estimation of prognosis.

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