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Title: There is no correlation between c-Myc mRNA expression and telomerase activity in human breast cancer
Authors: Kirkpatrick, KL
Newbold, RF
Mokbel, K
Issue Date: 2004
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd
Citation: International Seminars in Surgical Oncology 1: 2, May 2004
Abstract: Background Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein enzyme that synthesises telomeres after cell division and maintains chromosomal length and stability thus leading to cellular immortalisation. The hTERT (human telomerase reverse transcriptase) subunit seems to be the rate-limiting determinant of telomerase and knowledge of factors controlling hTERT transcription may be useful in therapeutic strategies. The hTERT promoter contains binding sites for c-Myc and there is experimental and in vitro evidence that c-Myc may increase hTERT expression. Materials and methods RNA was extracted from 18 breast carcinomas and c-Myc mRNA expression was estimated by quantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR (RT-PCR) with Taqman methodology. These tumours had already been analysed for ER and PgR status using ligand-binding assays and had had their DNA ploidy and S-phase fractions measured by flow cytometry. Telomerase activity had already been determined by using a modified telomeric repeat and amplification protocol (TRAP) assay. Results Telomerase activity ranged from 0 to 246 units of Total Protein Generated (TPG), where one unit of TPG was equal to 600 molecules of telomerase substrate primers extended by at least three telomeric repeats. Median levels of TPG were 60 and mean levels 81. There was no significant correlation between levels of c-Myc mRNA expression, telomerase activity, S phase fraction or PgR. There was a significant negative correlation with ER status. Conclusion Although the hTERT promoter contains potential binding sites for c-Myc oncoprotein, we have found no correlation between c-Myc mRNA levels and telomerase activity.
Appears in Collections:Biological Sciences
Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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