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ETS1, nucleolar and non-nucleolar TERT expression in nevus to melanoma progression

Kohli, J. S., Mir, H., Wasif, A., Chong, H., Akhras, V., Kumar, R., Nagore, E. & Bennett, D. C., 28-Nov-2017, In : Oncotarget. 8, 61, p. 104408-104417 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • Jaskaren S. Kohli
  • Hira Mir
  • Afsheen Wasif
  • Heung Chong
  • Victoria Akhras
  • Rajiv Kumar
  • Eduardo Nagore
  • Dorothy C. Bennett

TERT (telomerase reverse transcriptase) is the catalytic component of telomerase. TERT shows little expression in normal somatic cells but is commonly re-expressed in cancers, facilitating immortalization. Recently-discovered TERT promoter mutations create binding sites for ETS-family transcription factors to upregulate TERT. ETS1 is reported to be important for TERT upregulation in melanoma. However it is unclear when in melanoma progression TERT and ETS1 proteins are expressed. To elucidate this question, ETS1 and TERT immunohistochemistry were performed on a panel of benign (n=27) and dysplastic nevi (n=34), radial growth phase (n=29), vertical growth phase (n=25) and metastatic melanomas (n=27). Lesions were scored by percentage of positive cells. ETS1 was readily detectable in all lesions, but not in normal melanocytes. TERT was located in either the nucleolus, the nucleoplasm (non-nucleolar) or both. Non-nucleolar TERT increased in prevalence with progression, from 19% of benign nevi to 78% of metastases. It did not however correlate with cell proliferation (Ki-67 immunostaining), nor differ significantly in prevalence between primary melanomas with or without a TERT promoter mutation. These results demonstrate that ETS1 is expressed very early in melanoma progression, and interestingly only non-nucleolar TERT correlates clearly in prevalence with melanoma progression. It can be acquired at various stages and by mechanisms other than promoter mutations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104408-104417
Number of pages10
JournalOncotarget
Volume8
Issue number61
Publication statusPublished - 28-Nov-2017

    Keywords

  • TERT, ETS1, melanoma, nevus, nucleolus, PROMOTER MUTATIONS, CELLULAR SENESCENCE, MELANOCYTIC LESIONS, PRECURSOR LESIONS, TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR, MALIGNANT-MELANOMA, TUMOR PROGRESSION, HUMAN TELOMERASE, INVASIVE STAGE, CANCER

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