Telomere length and TERT abnormalities in pituitary adenomas.

  Vol. 39 (1) 2018 Neuro endocrinology letters Journal Article   2018; 39(1): 49-55 PubMed PMID:  29803207    Citation

OBJECTIVES: Pituitary adenomas (PAs) are among the most frequent intracranial tumors in humans. Abnormal telomerase activity and telomere lengthening are features of tumor cells. They may result from mutations in TERT promoter region, gene amplification or aberrant DNA methylation pattern. Such changes were found in variety of tumors including those of brain. Aim of the study was to evaluate the incidence of TERT abnormalities and to assess their role in telomere lengthening in PAs. METHODS: Study involved 101 patients with PA including both nonfunctioning and functioning subtypes. Telomerase length as well as TERT mRNA level and gene amplification were estimated using quantitative PCR (qPCR). Promoter mutations were assessed using Sanger sequencing. The results from genome-wide DNA methylation profiling with HumanMethylation 450K (Illumina) were used for the analysis of TERT locus. RESULTS: Variable telomere length was observed in patients, however no relationship with clinicopathological features was found. We observed a missense variant in TERT promoter in one patient only whereas increased TERT copy number were identified in 6 patients (5.6%). However no relationship between these results and telomere length or TERT expression was found. DNA methylation at TERT locus was not found to be changed when adenoma samples and normal tissue sections were compared. CONCLUSION: The results indicate that telomerase abnormalities do not play a role in pathogenesis of pituitary tumors.

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