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  • DKFZ Publication Database  (20)
  • 1
    Keywords: CELLS ; TUMORS ; FREQUENCY ; POPULATIONS ; MELANOCYTIC NEVI ; GLIOMAS ; BRAF MUTATIONS ; HUMAN CANCERS ; OCCUR ; DISEASE RECURRENCE
    Abstract: We previously reported a disease segregating causal germline mutation in a melanoma family and recurrent somatic mutations in metastasized tumours from unrelated patients in the core promoter region of the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) gene. Here we show that the TERT promoter mutations, besides causing an increased gene expression, associate with increased patient age, increased Breslow thickness and tumour ulceration in 287 primary melanomas. The mutations are more frequent at both intermittently and chronically sun-exposed sites than non-exposed sites and tend to co-occur with BRAF and CDKN2A alterations. The association with parameters generally connected with poor outcome, coupled with high recurrence and mechanistic relevance, raises the possibility of the eventual use of TERT promoter mutations in the disease management.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24569790
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  • 2
    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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  • 3
    Keywords: EXPRESSION ; CELL ; LUNG-CANCER ; TUMORS ; HIGH-FREQUENCY ; UROTHELIAL CARCINOMA ; GENE PROMOTER ; THYROID-CANCER ; WHOLE-GENOME ; DISEASE RECURRENCE
    Abstract: Mutations in the promoter of the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) and fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) genes constitute the most recurrent somatic alterations in urothelial carcinoma of bladder. In this study, we screened DNA from 327 urothelial bladder carcinomas from well-documented patients, with different stages and grades and known TERT promoter mutational status, for FGFR3 alterations and measured relative telomere length (RTL). Although, the frequency of the TERT promoter mutations was higher than those in FGFR3; however, the alterations at the two loci occurred together more frequently than per chance [Odds ratio (OR) = 4.93, 95% CI = 2.72-8.92, p 〈 0.0001]. While tumors with TERT promoter and FGFR3 mutations had shorter RTL than those without mutations (p 〈 0.0001), the TERT promoter mutations in conjunction with the common allele of the rs2853669 polymorphism defined sub-group of patients with an observed decreased overall survival (OR = 2.15, 95% CI = 1.00-4.61) and increased recurrence in patients with TaG1+TaG2 disease categories (OR = 3.68, 95%CI = 1.12-12.05). The finding of shorter telomeres in tumors with TERT promoter and/or FGFR3 mutations than without mutations implies mechanistic relevance of telomere biology in cancer progression. The observed association with recurrence and survival shows that the TERT promoter mutations can potentially be used as markers to refine selection of patients for different treatments. The overwhelming frequency of the TERT promoter mutations also represents a case for development of an eventual therapeutic target.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25809917
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  • 4
  • 5
    Abstract: Despite advances in targeted therapies, the treatment of advanced melanoma remains an exercise in disease management, hence a need for biomarkers for identification of at-risk primary melanoma patients. In this study, we aimed to assess the prognostic value of TERT promoter mutations in primary melanomas. Tumors from 300 patients with stage I/II melanoma were sequenced for TERT promoter and BRAF/NRAS mutations. Cumulative curves were drawn for patients with and without mutations with progression-free and melanoma-specific survival as outcomes. Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to determine the effect of the mutations on survivals. Individually, presence of TERT promoter and BRAF/NRAS mutations associated with poor disease-free and melanoma-specific survival with modification of the effect by the rs2853669 polymorphism within the TERT promoter. Hazard ratio (HR) for simultaneous occurrence of TERT promoter and BRAF/NRAS mutations for disease-free survival was 2.3 (95% CI 1.2-4.4) and for melanoma-specific survival 5.8 (95% CI 1.9-18.3). The effect of the mutations on melanoma-specific survival in noncarriers of variant allele of the polymorphism was significant (HR 4.5, 95% CI 1.4-15.2) but could not be calculated for the carriers due to low number of events. The variant allele per se showed association with increased survival (HR 0.3, 95% CI 0.1-0.9). The data in this study provide preliminary evidence that TERT promoter mutations in combination with BRAF/NRAS mutations can be used to identify patients at risk of aggressive disease and the possibility of refinement of the classification with inclusion of the rs2853669 polymorphism within TERT promoter.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26875008
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  • 6
    Abstract: The mechanism of telomerase re-activation in cancer had remained elusive until the discovery of frequent mutations in the promoter of the TERT gene that encodes the catalytic reverse transcriptase subunit of telomerase. We investigated the regulation of TERT expression in melanoma cell lines and our results show that promoter mutations render TERT expression dependent on MAPK activation due to oncogenic BRAF or NRAS mutations. Mutations in the TERT promoter create binding sites for ETS transcription factors. ETS1, expressed in melanoma cell lines, undergoes activating phosphorylation by ERK at Thr38 residue as a consequence of constitutively activated MAPK pathway. We demonstrate that ETS1 binds on the mutated TERT promoter leading to the re-expression of the gene. The inhibition of ETS1 resulted in reduced TERT expression. We provide evidence that the TERT promoter mutations provide a direct link between TERT expression and MAPK pathway activation due to BRAF or NRAS mutations via the transcription factor ETS1.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 27449293
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  • 7
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: TERT promoter mutations were detected at high frequencies in several cancer types including melanoma. Previous reports showed that these recurrent mutations increase TERT gene expression and the use of TERT mutation status as prognostic factor was suggested. OBJECTIVES: Here we screen a panel of 115 melanoma tumor samples from Austrian patients to evaluate the prevalence and distribution of TERT promoter mutations. The association with clinical and tumor characteristics and the effect on overall survival was analyzed. METHODS: Genomic DNA from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor samples was isolated followed by PCR amplification, Sanger sequencing and statistical analysis. RESULTS: We identified TERT promoter mutations in 63 of 115 (54.8%) tumor samples. No statistical significant difference in mutation frequency between primary (22/40 [55%]) and metastatic lesions (41/75 [54.7%]) was detected. BRAF-/NRAS-mutated tumors showed a higher frequency of TERT mutations (pT OR 2.24, 95% CI 0.56-9.02, p = 0.3) (met OR 2.74, 95% CI 0.98-7.66, p = 0.05). In primary melanoma, the presence of alterations in TERT was associated with the carrier status of a common single-nucleotide polymorphism rs2853669 (OR 4.55, CI 1.18-17.52, p = 0.03). In this patient cohort, TERT promoter mutations were not associated with clinical characteristics such as the presence of ulceration or Breslow thickness or showed an effect on overall survival. CONCLUSION: Alterations in the TERT promoter region are one of the most frequent mutations in melanoma. Based on this analysis and preliminary evidence, prospective studies will be needed to evaluate the reliability of TERT promoter mutations as prognostic factors in melanoma.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 27990595
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  • 8
    Keywords: EXPRESSION ; RISK ; FAMILY ; BREAST-CANCER ; MELANOMA ; HUMAN TUMOR-CELLS ; TRANSCRIPTIONAL REGULATION ; WILD-TYPE P53 ; HTERT GENE ; TELOMERASE HTERT
    Abstract: The telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) promoter, an important element of telomerase expression, has emerged as a target of cancer-specific mutations. Originally described in melanoma, the mutations in TERT promoter have been shown to be common in certain other tumor types that include glioblastoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, and bladder cancer. To fully define the occurrence and effect of the TERT promoter mutations, we investigated tumors from a well-characterized series of 327 patients with urothelial cell carcinoma of bladder. The somatic mutations, mainly at positions - 124 and - 146 bp from ATG start site that create binding motifs for E-twenty six/ternary complex factors (Ets/TCF), affected 65.4% of the tumors, with even distribution across different stages and grades. Our data showed that a common polymorphism rs2853669, within a preexisting Ets2 binding site in the TERT promoter, acts as a modifier of the effect of the mutations on survival and tumor recurrence. The patients with the mutations showed poor survival in the absence [hazard ratio (HR) 2.19, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02-4.70] but not in the presence (HR 0.42, 95% CI 0.18-1.01) of the variant allele of the polymorphism. The mutations in the absence of the variant allele were highly associated with the disease recurrence in patients with Tis, Ta, and T1 tumors (HR 1.85, 95% CI 1.11-3.08). The TERT promoter mutations are the most common somatic lesions in bladder cancer with clinical implications. The association of the mutations with patient survival and disease recurrence, subject to modification by a common polymorphism, can be a unique putative marker with individualized prognostic potential.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24101484
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  • 9
    Keywords: EXPRESSION ; DOWN-REGULATION ; BREAST-CANCER ; CATALYTIC SUBUNIT ; BLADDER-CANCER ; STEM-CELLS ; C-MYC ; TELOMERASE-REVERSE-TRANSCRIPTASE ; HTERT PROMOTER ; RNA COMPONENT
    Abstract: Human telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) encodes a rate-limiting catalytic subunit of telomerase that maintains genomic integrity. TERT expression is mostly repressed in somatic cells with exception of proliferative cells in self-renewing tissues and cancer. Immortality associated with cancer cells has been attributed to telomerase over-expression. The precise mechanism behind the TERT activation in cancers has mostly remained unknown. The newly described germline and recurrent somatic mutations in melanoma and other cancers in the TERT promoter that create de novo E-twenty six/ternary complex factors (Ets/TCF) binding sites, provide an insight into the possible cause of tumor-specific increased TERT expression. In this review we discuss the discovery and possible implications of the TERT promoter mutations in melanoma and other cancers.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24657534
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  • 10
    Keywords: CANCER ; EXPRESSION ; TUMORS ; NERVOUS-SYSTEM ; GLIOMA ; temozolomide ; TELOMERASE ACTIVITY ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; SECONDARY GLIOBLASTOMAS ; PHASE-3 TRIAL
    Abstract: Background. Activating somatic mutations in the promoter region of the telomerase reverse transcriptase gene (TERT) have been detected in several cancers. In this study we investigated the TERT promoter mutations and their impact on patient survival in World Health Organization grade IV glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Methods. The TERT core promoter region containing the previously described mutations and a common functional polymorphism (rs2853669) was sequenced in tumors and blood samples from 192 GBM patients. O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter methylation status was assessed by pyrosequencing in 177 (92.2%) cases. Relevant clinical data were obtained from a prospectively maintained electronic database. Results. We detected specific (-124 C〉T and -146 C〉T) TERT promoter mutations in 143/178 (80.3%) primary GBM and 4/14 (28.6%) secondary GBM (P〈 .001). The presence of TERT mutations was associated with poor overall survival, and the effect was confined to the patients who did not carry the variant G-allele for the rs2853669 polymorphism. An exploratory analysis suggested that TERT mutations might be prognostic only in patients who had incomplete resections and no temozolomide chemotherapy. Conclusions. In this study, specific TERT promoter mutations were markers of primary GBM and predicted patient survival in conjunction with a common functional polymorphism. The prognostic impact of TERT mutations was absent in patients with complete resections and temozolomide chemotherapy. If confirmed in additional studies, these findings may have clinical implications, that is, TERT mutations appear to characterize tumors that require aggressive treatment.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25140036
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