Journal Article

<i>TERT</i> polymorphisms modify the risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in Chinese children

Xiaojing Sheng, Na Tong, Guoquan Tao, Dewei Luo, Meilin Wang, Yongjun Fang, Jie Li, Ming Xu, Zhengdong Zhang and Dongmei Wu

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 34, issue 1, pages 228-235
Published in print January 2013 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online October 2012 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgs325
TERT polymorphisms modify the risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in Chinese children

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Human telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) is essential for the maintenance of telomere DNA length, chromosomal stability and cellular immortality. We hypothesized that TERT polymorphisms are associated with risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). We first conducted a case-control study of 570 ALL cases and 673 cancer-free controls of Chinese children, using the tagging single-nucleotide polymorphisms (tSNPs) approach. We then examined the functionality of the important SNPs. We found that TERT promoter region tSNP (rs2735940) and two intron region tSNPs (rs2736100 and rs10069690) were associated with risk of childhood ALL (P = 0.036, 0.011 and 0.022, respectively, in allele comparison). The in vitro luciferase assays in Jurkat cells showed an increased transcriptional activity of rs2735940 T allele compared with the C allele. Additional experiments with ALL bone marrow revealed that the rs2735940 T allele increased levels of the TERT messenger RNA. Notably, TERT intron 2 polymorphism (rs2736100) was associated with lower telomerase activity and longer telomeres. Our findings suggested that TERT promoter rs2735940 polymorphism may affect the TERT activity, and rs2736100 may be associated with telomere function, and thus, it is a potential biomarker for genetic susceptibility to ALL in Chinese children.

Journal Article.  5005 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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