Telomerase activity and Metallothionein expression in renal cell carcinomas

A.Ioakim-Liossi MD, MIAC, P.Athanassiadou MD, MIAC, D.Pantazopoulos MD, P.Karakitsos, MD, A.Karkabasi MD, D.Karandrea MD, E.Stergiou MD, E.Petrakakou MD, A.Giachnaki MD, P.Athanassiades MD

Cytopathology Department “Laiko” Hospital, Athens, Greece

AIM: Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has unusual biological properties. Telomerase activity has been proposed to be important in the immortalization of tumor cells. Metallothionein (MT) expression has been detected in various malignant tumors. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of Telomerase activity and Metallothionein expression in renal cell carcinomas (RCC). MATERIALS: Our material comprised 60 cases of RCC. The expression of Telomerase RNA was studied by in situ hybridization technique (Biogenex) in formalin fixed and paraffin embedded tissue specimens. MT expression was determined immunohistochemically by ABC technique with anti-MT antibody (DAKO). RESULTS: Telomerase activity was detected in 70% of tissue samples. The pattern of staining is granular, with a predominant distribution along the nuclear membrane. MT expression was localized in the cytoplasm, nucleus and cell membrane in 35% of RCC. A statistically significant relationship was found between the frequency of telomerase activity and tumor grade (p<0.05). MT expression was also related to tumor grade (p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that telomerase activity and metallothionein expression might be related to the malignant potential of RCC.

Paper presented at the International Symposium on Predictive Oncology and Intervention Strategies; Paris, France; February 9 - 12, 2002; in the section on Prognostic Markers.