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Promoter mutations and cellular distribution of telomerase in non-clear cell and clear cell hepatocellular carcinoma.


ABSTRACT: Reactivation of telomerase is a critical step in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Here we identified the frequency of mutations in telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) promoter was 34% in non-clear cell HCC (NCCHCC, n = 259) and 26.3% in clear cell HCC (CCHCC, n = 57). The mutations were independently associated with poor recurrence-free survival of HCCs. Interestingly immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated a higher positive rate of TERT cytoplasmic localization (95%) than nuclear localization (64%) in HCCs. In NCCHCCs, the mutations correlated with higher TERT nuclear expression and increased telomere-dependent telomerase activity. Higher cytoplasmic expression was found in adjacent tissues compared to tumor tissues, and was associated with tumor well-differentiation and lower level of ?-fetoprotein. NCCHCCs with low nuclear as well as high cytoplasmic expression correlated with better prognosis. In CCHCCs, elevated TERT cytoplasmic expression was observed in CCHCCs harboring mutations. Higher TERT cytoplasmic expression was found in tumor tissues compared to adjacent tissues, and was associated with multiple numbers of tumors and poor prognosis of CCHCCs. In conclusion, mutations in TERT promoter disclose the significance of both nuclear and cytoplasmic TERT in HCC. Cytoplasmic TERT should also be considered when determining prognosis and treatment of HCCs.

SUBMITTER: Huang W 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5432257 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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