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Tumour Biol. 2016 Sep;37(9):11917-11926. Epub 2016 Apr 12.

Shorter telomeres and high telomerase activity correlate with a highly aggressive phenotype in breast cancer cell lines.

Author information

1
Departamento de Genética y Biología Molecular, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CINVESTAV), Av. Instituto Politécnico Nacional 2508, 07360, Ciudad de México, Mexico.
2
Unidad de Investigación Médica en Enfermedades Oncológicas, Hospital de Oncología, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Av. Cuauhtémoc 330, 06725, Ciudad de México, Mexico.
3
Unidad de Investigación Médica en Genética Humana, Hospital de Pediatría, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Ciudad de México, Mexico.
4
Departamento de Genética y Biología Molecular, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CINVESTAV), Av. Instituto Politécnico Nacional 2508, 07360, Ciudad de México, Mexico. vidal@cinvestav.mx.
5
Unidad de Investigación Médica en Enfermedades Oncológicas, Hospital de Oncología, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Av. Cuauhtémoc 330, 06725, Ciudad de México, Mexico. benibribiesca@gmail.com.

Abstract

Maintenance of telomere length is one function of human telomerase that is crucial for the survival of cancer cells and cancer progression. Both telomeres and telomerase have been proposed as possible biomarkers of cancer risk and cancer invasiveness; however, their clinical relevance is still under discussion. In order to improve our understanding of the relationship between telomere length and telomerase activity with cancer invasiveness, we studied telomere length as well as telomerase levels, activity, and intracellular localization in breast cancer cell lines with diverse invasive phenotypes. We found an apparently paradoxical coincidence of short telomeres and enhanced telomerase activity in the most invasive breast cancer cell lines. We also observed that hTERT intracellular localization could be correlated with its level of activity. There was no association between human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) protein expression levels and invasiveness. We propose that simultaneous evaluation of these two biomarkers-telomere length and telomerase activity-could be useful for the assessment of the invasive capacity and aggressiveness of tumor cells from breast cancer patients.

KEYWORDS:

Breast cancer; Cell lines; Telomerase activity; Telomere length; hTERT

PMID:
27072825
DOI:
10.1007/s13277-016-5045-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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