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Korean Journal of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery > Volume 39(7); 1996 > Article
Korean Journal of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery 1996;39(7): 1110-6.
Comparsion of Telomerase Activity in Normal and Head and Neck Cancer Tissues
Kyung Tae, MD1, Hyung Seok Lee, MD1, Kyung Rae Kim, MD1, Chul Won Park, MD1, Kyung Sung Ahn, MD1, Sun Kon Kim, MD1, and Myung Ju Ahn, MD2
1;Department of Otolaryngology & 2;Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea
정상 및 두경부암조직에서 Telomerase 활성도의 비교연구
태 경1 · 이형석1 · 김경래1 · 박철원1 · 안경성1 · 김선곤1 · 안명주2
한양대학교 의과대학 이비인후과학교실1;내과학교실2;

Telomeres are specialized structures found at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. Telomeres contain tandem repeated G rich sequences, such as TTAGGG and stabilize the chromosome and protect DNA from illegitimate recombination and may aid in chromosome attachment to the nuclear membrane. Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein, a RNA dependent DNA polymerase and acts as a reverse transcriptase-like enzyme which maintains telomere length by adding telomeric repeat units of TTAGGG to the telomeric end, and this has been found only in cells with unlimited replicative potential such as sperm cells, immortalized cell lines and cencer tissues, but not in normal somatic cells. Telomerase is believed to be one characteristic and may be the best indicator of cell immortality. To assess the role of telomerase in the development of malignant transformation of head and neck cancer, we have measured telomerase activity in head and neck cancer tissues and corresponding normal tissues using a recently developed sensitive PCR-based telomerase assay (telomeric repeat amplification protocol : TRAP). Sixteen of 18 cancer tissues were positive for telomerase actibity, whereas corresponding normal tissues were negative for telomerase activity. These findings suggest that telomerase may play a key role in the establishment and progression of the head and neck cancer.

Keywords: TelomeraseHead and neck cancer.
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