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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1871;

Measurement of Telomere Length in Colorectal Cancers for Improved Molecular Diagnosis

CHRU Hôpital de Tours Trousseau, avenue de la République, 37170 Chambray-lès-Tours, France
UMR CNRS 7292, UFR Pharmacy, University of Tours, Parc Grandmont, 31 avenue Monge, 37200 Tours, France
Current address: GReD, CNRS UMR6293, INSERM U1103, Université Clermont-Auvergne; Faculté de Médecine; 28 place Henri Dunant, 63001 Clermont-Ferrand, France.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 25 August 2017 / Published: 29 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Telomeres and Telomerase in Cancer and Aging)
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All tumors have in common to reactivate a telomere maintenance mechanism to allow for unlimited proliferation. On the other hand, genetic instability found in some tumors can result from the loss of telomeres. Here, we measured telomere length in colorectal cancers (CRCs) using TRF (Telomere Restriction Fragment) analysis. Telomeric DNA content was also quantified as the ratio of total telomeric (TTAGGG) sequences over that of the invariable Alu sequences. In most of the 125 CRCs analyzed, there was a significant diminution in telomere length compared with that in control healthy tissue. Only 34 tumors exhibited no telomere erosion and, in some cases, a slight telomere lengthening. Telomere length did not correlate with age, gender, tumor stage, tumor localization or stage of tumor differentiation. In addition, while telomere length did not correlate with the presence of a mutation in BRAF (V-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B), PIK3CA (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase catalytic subunit), or MSI status, it was significantly associated with the occurrence of a mutation in KRAS. Interestingly, we found that the shorter the telomeres in healthy tissue of a patient, the larger an increase in telomere length in the tumor. Our study points to the existence of two types of CRCs based on telomere length and reveals that telomere length in healthy tissue might influence telomere maintenance mechanisms in the tumor. View Full-Text
Keywords: colorectal cancer; telomere length; KRAS mutations; telomere restriction fragment analysis colorectal cancer; telomere length; KRAS mutations; telomere restriction fragment analysis

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Balc’h, E.L.; Grandin, N.; Demattei, M.-V.; Guyétant, S.; Tallet, A.; Pagès, J.-C.; Ouaissi, M.; Lecomte, T.; Charbonneau, M. Measurement of Telomere Length in Colorectal Cancers for Improved Molecular Diagnosis. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1871.

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