ISSN : 2146-3123
E-ISSN : 2146-3131

The Status of Telomerase Enzyme Activity in Benign and Malignant Gynaecologic Pathologies
İlhami Gül 1, Özgür Dündar 2, Levent Tütüncü 2, Serkan Bodur 3, Yusuf Tunca 4
1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Military Hospital, Erzincan, Turkey
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, GATA Haydarpaşa Training Hospital, İstanbul, Turkey
3Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Mareşal Fevzi Çakmak Military Hospital, Erzurum, Turkey
4Department of Medical Genetics, GATA Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey
DOI : 10.5152/balkanmedj.2013.7328
Pages : 287-292


Background: Telomeres are essential for the function and stability of eukaryotic chromosomes. Telomerase consists of three subunits: human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT), human telomerase RNA (hTR), and telomerase protein 1 (TP1). The hTERT subunit determines the activity of telomerase as an enzyme and is detected in most human tumors and regenerative cells. Telomerase activity is a useful cancer-cell detecting marker in some types of cancers.

Aims: The aim of this study was to assess of telomerase hTERT mRNA in gynaecological tumors for diagnosis of malignancy.

Study Design: Cross-sectional study.

Methods: A total of 55 gynaecologic tumor samples (35 ovarian, 13 endometrial, 6 cervical and 1 placental site trophoblastic tumor tissue) were obtained at the time of surgery. Quantification of hTERT mRNA was performed in a real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using the LightCycler TeloTAGGG hTERT Quantification Kit.

Results: It was histopathologically detected that 18 of the tissue samples were malignant and 37 of the samples were benign. 16 of the malignant tissue samples (88.9%) and 3 (8.1%) (endometrial tissue in proliferative phase, mucinous cyst adenoma and endometriosis) of the benign tissue samples were found to be hTERT positive. With the presence of these data, sensitivity and specificity of hTERT for the diagnosis of malignancy were calculated to be 88.9% and 91.9%, respectively.

Conclusion: It was suggested that the measurement of telomerase activity in gynaecologic tumors, except for endometrial tissue in the reproductive phase, is a valuable method for pathological investigation.

Keywords : Telomerase, hTERT, gynecologic tumors, telomere, endometriosis

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