Comparative Study of TERT Promoter Mutation Status within Spatially, Temporally and Morphologically Distinct Components of Urothelial Carcinoma

Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) is a ribonucleoprotein involved in maintaining the length of telomeres. In the absence of TERT expression, differentiated cells can only divide a finite number of times before undergoing cellular senescence - often referred to as the Hayflick limit. Mutations within the promoter region of TERT that create consensus binding sequences for ETS family transcription factors are a common mechanism by which neoplastic cells increase TERT expression and overcome this limit [1]. TERT promoter mutations are common in many cancer types including 60-80% of urothelial carcinomas (UC) [2,3]. Given the high frequency of these mutations in UC and absence of these mutations in non-neoplastic/benign mimics of UC [4], TERT promoter mutations may serve as potential biomarker for monitoring patients with a history of malignancy. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Histopathology. 2017 Jul 25 [Epub ahead of print]

Noah A Brown, Madelyn Lew, Helmut C Weigelin, Alon Weizer, Jeffrey Montgomery, Bryan L Betz, Rohit Mehra

Department of Pathology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA., Division of Urologic Oncology, Department of Urology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.