Immunohistochemical detection of telomerase (hTERT) protein in human cancer tissues and a subset of cells in normal tissues

Eiso Hiyama, Keiko Hiyama, Takashi Yokoyama, Jerry W. Shay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

137 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) protein distribution by immunohistochemistry in cultured cells and tissue sections. Cells with telomerase activity had nuclear positive signals whereas cells without telomerase activity did not. In most normal epithelial tissues, hTERT expression was prominent in the early proliferative descendent progenitor cells. In cancers with high telomerase activity, hTERT expression was detected in almost all neoplastic cells and correlated with telomerase activity levels, whereas cancers with low telomerase activity had fewer hTERT-positive cancer cells. In pediatric neuroblastomas with a favorable outcome, both the percentage of positive cells and the signal intensity of each hTERT-expressing cell decreased. These studies indicate that detection of telomerase at the cellular level is achievable and may have utility in cancer diagnostics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-26
Number of pages10
JournalNeoplasia
Volume3
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 20 2001

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Human
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Telomerase
  • hTERT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research

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