Purpose: Specific simple DNA repeats occur at the telomeric ends of mammalian chromosomes. Loss of (G + C)-rich repeats can result in genetic instability, associated with tumorigenesis. So far, data on telomere shortening have not been available for different types of soft-tissue tumors. Methods: Using tumor material and the blood of the corresponding patient, high-molecular-mass DNA was prepared by digestion with proteinase K and extraction with phenol/chloroform. A 10-μg sample of DNA was digested with the restriction enzyme HinfI. DNA fragments were separated in a 0.7% agarose gel, and in-gel hybridization was performed with the telomere-specific repeat probe (TTAGGG)3. Results: Shortening of the telomere repeat was observed in 14/30 soft-tissue tumors; 5 tumors showed elongated telomere repeats, whereas the telomeres appeared unchanged in 11 tumors. Decreased telomere repeat length correlated with advanced age, DNA ploidy, and a higher proliferation index. There was no association between telomere repeat length and tumor grade. Interestingly, in contrast to other entities, all malignant schwannomas and leiomyosarcomas showed significantly reduced telomere lengths. An explanation for the telomere heterogeneity in liposarcomas may include differential telomerase reactivation in well and poorly differentiated tumors. Conclusions: Telomere shortening is frequent but not a uniform phenomenon in different types of soft-tissue tumor. Studies on telomerase activity should be performed in the same cohort of sarcomas.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research