Association of (hTERT) Gene Expression with Clinicopathological Parameters in Breast Carcinoma - Abstract
Introduction: Telomerase a ribonucleoprotein enzyme maintains chromosomal stability by adding tandem DNA repeats to ends of chromosomes. Human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT), the catalytical subunit of the telomerase core enzyme, regulates enzyme activity. The present study aims at evaluating the expression of telomerase hTERT subunit in invasive ductal breast carcinoma with clinicopathological parameters like: age at diagnosis, menopausal status, clinical stage, histopathological grade, lymph node status, hormone receptor status (estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor) and HER2/neu status. Methods: hTERT gene expression analysis was performed on tumor samples from 186 patients with primary invasive breast cancer using qPCR analysis and SYBR chemistry using Beta-2 microglobulin (B2M) a housekeeping gene as an internal control. Results: hTERT tissue expression was found to be significantly higher in breast tumor tissues when compared to the adjacent normal tissue (p < 0.01), with 73.98% cases positive for hTERT expression. We observed a significant association between hTERT expression and stage of disease (p < 0.01) and positive lymph node status (p = 0.01). However, there was no significant association with age, menopausal status, histopathological grade and hormone receptor status. This study showed that higher expression of hTERT in tumor tissue and its significant association with advanced stage of disease and metastasis may serve it as a molecular marker for adverse disease outcome and a predictor of high telomerase activity in tumor tissues.