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M Ueno, W Adachi, S Kawasaki, C Mochida, S Kinoshita; Detection of Telomerase Activity in Ocular Surface Tumors . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):1659.
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Purpose:The ribonucleoprotein telomerase maintains telomere length and ensures chromosomal stability in supporting continued cell growth. Telomerase activation is found in human malignant tumors and stem cells. There are no reports on the telomerase activity of sqamous cell carcinomas and conjunctival intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) in the ocular surface. This study investigated telomerase activity in these tumors in comparision with normal limbal epithelium. Methods:Using telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) assay, we examined the telomerase activity of 1 squamous cell carcinoma, 2 CIN and limbal epithelia. Normal conjunctival epithelium and corneal epithelium obtained from bullous keratopathy were used as controls. Results:Telomerase activity was found in these tumors and in limbal epithelium, but no telomerase activity was detected in normal conjunctival epithelium or corneal epithelium from bullous keratopathy. Telomerase activity in these tumors was far higher than that in limbal elithelium. There was correlation between telomerae activity in these tumors and a clinical grade of malignancy. Conclusion:As in other tumors, telomerase activity was detected in ocular surface tumors. this activity reflected the grade of malignancy, and might be useful as a biomarker in the ocular surface tumors. The fact that telomerase activity was detected in limbal epithelium strongly suggests the concentrated presence of corneal epithelial stem cells.
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