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Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society 2001;30(2): 137-143.
Expression of Telomerase Activity and Apoptosis in Human Brain Tumors.
Choong Hyun Kim, Jin Hwan Cheong, Koang Hum Bak, Jae Min Kim, Yong Ko, Suck Jun Oh
Department of Neurosurgery, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea.
S: Telomerase, a ribonucleoprotein adds telomere repeats to the ends of telomeres to compensate for the progressive loss. A favorable prognosis associated with low or no telomerase activity in some tumors, and cells transfected with antisense human telomerase lost telomeric repeats and die. We studied about the relationship between telomerase activity and apoptosis in the human brain tumors. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Between July 1998 and December 1999, 62 patients with brain tumors underwent surgery and their surgical specimens were obtained. Telomerase activity was investigated by telomeric repeats amplification protocol(TRAP) assay. Apoptosis was also evaluated by DNA fragmentation analysis. Differences and correlation in data were analyzed using Mann-Whitney test and Wilcoxon-signed rank test.
Expression rate of telomerase activity and apoptosis were 80% and 30% in malignant gliomas, 33% and 0% in low grade gliomas, 63% and 38% in meningiomas, 67% and 33% in pituitary adenomas, 33% and 33% in metastatic tumors, 67% and 17% in acoustic neurinomas, 100% and 100% in pineoblastomas, 100% and 0% in the hemangioblastoma, respectively. There was no significant difference of telomerase activity and apoptosis between histological types. But a significant difference was noted in the expression of telomerase activity between malignant gliomas and low grade gliomas(p = 0.022). Brain tumors with telomerase activity expressed the lower rate of apoptosis. A significant correlation was also found between telomerase activity and absence of apoptosis in the human brain tumors(p = 0.005).
Our data suggests that telomerase may protect from apoptosis of the human brain tumors and also may play an important role in the biological malignancy of the gliomas.
Key Words: Telomerase; Apoptosis; Brain tumors; Malignancy
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