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Reduced hTERT protein levels are associated with DNA aneuploidy in the colonic mucosa of patients suffering from longstanding ulcerative colitis

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Longstanding ulcerative colitis (UC) is a disease of chronic inflammation of the colon. It is associated with the development of colorectal cancer through a multistep process including increasing degrees of dysplasia and DNA-ploidy changes. However, not all UC patients will develop these characteristics even during lifelong disease, and patients may therefore be divided into progressors who develop dysplasia or cancer, and non-progressors who do not exhibit such changes. In the present study, the amount of hTERT, the catalytic subunit of the enzyme telomerase, was estimated by using peroxidase immunohistochemistry (IHC) in a set of progressor and non-progressor UC colectomies. The protein levels in the colonic mucosa of the progressors and nonprogressors were compared, and further comparisons between different categories of dysplastic development and to DNA-ploidy status within the progressors were made. Levels of hTERT were elevated in the colonic mucosa of the progressors and non-progressors when compared to non-UC control samples, but no difference was observed between the hTERT levels in the mucosa of progressors and non-progressors. The levels of hTERT associated with levels of Ki67 to a significant degree within the non-progressors. hTERT expression in lesions with DNA-aneuploidy were decreased as compared to diploid lesions, when stratified for different classes of colonic morphology. Our results indicate an association between hTERT protein expression and aneuploidy in UC-progressor colons, and also a possible protective mechanism in the association between hTERT and Ki67, against development of malignant features within the mucosa of a UC-colon.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Diagnostics and Intervention, Department of Pathology, Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, 0424 Oslo, Norway 2: Department of Pathology, University of Oslo, 0424 Oslo, Norway 3: Department of Pathology, Akershus University Hospital, Division of Medicine and Laboratory Sciences, University of Oslo, 1474 Nordbyhagen, Norway

Publication date: June 1, 2014

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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