Telomerase activity is believed to be crucial for cell immortalization and cancerization, and is proven to be induced by c-myc protein. Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) has been recently identified as a catalytic subunit of telomerase, whose expression is closely correlated with telomerase activity. We estimated telomerase activity by the telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) assay and examined the immunohistochemical expression of TERT and c-myc protein in 21 ameloblastoma tissues. All ameloblastoma samples were positive for telomerase activity, and TERT expression was detected in the nuclei of neoplastic cells but not in those of stromal cells. Numerous peripheral columnar or cuboidal cells, sporadic central polyhedral cells and some granular cells in ameloblastomas reacted with anti-TERT antibody. These results suggest that telomerase activity is associated with the oncogenesis or proliferative potential of odontogenic epithelium. The expression of c-myc protein showed a similar distribution pattern to that of TERT, suggesting that c-myc protein might induce telomerase activity in ameloblastomas.
- c-myc protein
- Telemorase reverse transcriptase (TERT)
- Telomerase activity
- Telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) assay