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  • 1
    Keywords: EXPRESSION ; DISEASE ; GENES ; MELANOMA ; LENGTH ; telomerase ; GERMLINE ; HUMAN CANCERS
    Abstract: We screened promoter region of the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) for activating somatic mutations in 188 tumors from patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Twelve tumors (6.4%) carried a mutation within the core promoter region of the gene. The mutations were less frequent in high grade tumors compared to low grade tumors [odds ratio (OR)=0.15, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.03-0.72, p=0.02]. Multivariate analysis for cause specific survival showed statistically significant poor outcome in patients with TERT promoter mutations [hazard ratio (HR)=2.90, 95% CI=1.13-7.39, p=0.03]. A common polymorphism (rs2853669) within the locus seemed to act as a modifier of the effect of the mutations on patient survival as the noncarriers of the variant allele with the TERT promoter mutations showed worst survival (HR=3.34, 95% CI=1.24-8.98, p=0.02). We also measured relative telomere length (RTL) in tumors and difference between tumors with and without the TERT promoter mutations was not statistically significant. Similarly, no difference in patient survival based on RTL in tumors was observed. Our study showed a relatively low frequency of TERT promoter mutations in ccRCC. Nevertheless, patients with the mutations, particularly in the absence of the rs2853669 variant showed the worst disease-specific survival. Thus, it is possible that the TERT promoter mutations define a small subset of tumors with an aggressive behavior. What's new? The human telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) gene encodes the catalytic subunit of telomerase, a ribonucleoprotein complex that maintains genomic integrity. Activating somatic mutations in the promoter region of the TERT gene have been reported in many cancers. Here, the authors describe new TERT promoter mutations in clear cell renal cell carcinoma. Although present only in a proportion of the tumors, the TERT promoter mutations were independently associated with poor patient survival. The effect was enhanced by a common polymorphism within the core TERT promoter. The TERT promoter mutations may thus define a small subset of tumors with an aggressive behavior.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25331263
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  • 2
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: Relative telomere length in peripheral blood leukocytes has been evaluated as a potential biomarker for renal cell carcinoma (RCC) risk in several studies, with conflicting findings. OBJECTIVE: We performed an analysis of genetic variants associated with leukocyte telomere length to assess the relationship between telomere length and RCC risk using Mendelian randomization, an approach unaffected by biases from temporal variability and reverse causation that might have affected earlier investigations. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Genotypes from nine telomere length-associated variants for 10 784 cases and 20 406 cancer-free controls from six genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of RCC were aggregated into a weighted genetic risk score (GRS) predictive of leukocyte telomere length. OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Odds ratios (ORs) relating the GRS and RCC risk were computed in individual GWAS datasets and combined by meta-analysis. RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: Longer genetically inferred telomere length was associated with an increased risk of RCC (OR=2.07 per predicted kilobase increase, 95% confidence interval [CI]:=1.70-2.53, p〈0.0001). As a sensitivity analysis, we excluded two telomere length variants in linkage disequilibrium (R2〉0.5) with GWAS-identified RCC risk variants (rs10936599 and rs9420907) from the telomere length GRS; despite this exclusion, a statistically significant association between the GRS and RCC risk persisted (OR=1.73, 95% CI=1.36-2.21, p〈0.0001). Exploratory analyses for individual histologic subtypes suggested comparable associations with the telomere length GRS for clear cell (N=5573, OR=1.93, 95% CI=1.50-2.49, p〈0.0001), papillary (N=573, OR=1.96, 95% CI=1.01-3.81, p=0.046), and chromophobe RCC (N=203, OR=2.37, 95% CI=0.78-7.17, p=0.13). CONCLUSIONS: Our investigation adds to the growing body of evidence indicating some aspect of longer telomere length is important for RCC risk. PATIENT SUMMARY: Telomeres are segments of DNA at chromosome ends that maintain chromosomal stability. Our study investigated the relationship between genetic variants associated with telomere length and renal cell carcinoma risk. We found evidence suggesting individuals with inherited predisposition to longer telomere length are at increased risk of developing renal cell carcinoma.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 28797570
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