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Telomere length and telomerase expression in pituitary tumors.

Authors: C S CS. Martins, B A BA. Santana-Lemos, F P FP. Saggioro, L L. Neder, H R HR. Machado, A C AC. Moreira, R T RT. Calado, M M. de Castro
Published: 05/08/2015, Journal of endocrinological investigation


Telomere dysfunction and telomerase activation underlie cancer transformation. This study aims to investigate the contribution of telomere biology to pituitary tumor behavior.

Subjects And Methods

Samples from 50 patients with pituitary tumors (11 ACTH-secreting, 18 GH-secreting, and 21 non-secreting tumors) and 7 subjects without pituitary lesions were collected. The expressions of telomerase essential components TERT and TERC and tumor telomere content were measured by quantitative PCR techniques.


Telomerase (TERT) expression was detected in 36% of tumors. No correlation was observed between TERT and TERC expression level and tumor size in any tumor type. There was no association between gene expression and clinical findings. Telomere content (T/S ratio) was similar between pituitary adenomas (0.39 ± 0.16) and normal pituitaries (0.47 ± 0.12; p = 0.24) and also was between the different adenoma types: ACTH-secreting (0.43 ± 0.08), GH-secreting (0.31 ± 0.12), and non-secreting (0.42 ± 0.20; p = 0.10) tumors.


The telomere content and expression of telomerase components are comparable between normal pituitary glands and tumor tissues, suggesting that telomere biology does not play an important role in pituitary tumor development.

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