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Article

Telomerase (hTERT) Overexpression Reveals a Promising Prognostic Biomarker and Therapeutical Target in Different Clinical Subtypes of Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia

1
Department of Medicine, Pharmacogenetics Laboratory, Drug Research and Development Center (NPDM), Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza 60430-275, CE, Brazil
2
Department of Pediatrics, Octávio Lobo Children’s Hospital, Belém 60430-275, PA, Brazil
3
Molecular Biology Laboratory, Ophir Loyola Hospital, Belém 66063-240, PA, Brazil
4
Department of Biological Sciences, Oncology Research Center, Federal University of Pará, Belém 66073-005, PA, Brazil
5
Hematology and Transfusion Medicine Center, University of Campinas, Campinas 13083-970, SP, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Equal contribution as first authors.
Equal contribution as senior authors.
Academic Editor: Gael Roue
Genes 2021, 12(10), 1632; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12101632
Received: 16 September 2021 / Revised: 6 October 2021 / Accepted: 12 October 2021 / Published: 17 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases)
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) is a neoplasm of the hematopoietic system defined as a clonal expansion of an abnormal lymphoid precursor cell. It mostly affects children under five years of age and is the most common tumor to afflict pediatric patients. The expression of the human telomerase gene (hTERT) in patients with ALL has been studied as a biomarker and could become a new therapeutic target. We evaluate the role of hTERT gene expression in ALL pediatric patients, through quantitative real-time PCR technique, and the possible correlation between hTERT expression and clinical variables: gender, age, white blood cells (WBC), gene fusions, and immunophenotyping. The analysis between healthy controls and ALL patients (N = 244) was statistically significant (p < 0.001), demonstrating hTERT overexpression in these patients. In comparison with the usual set of clinical variables, the data were not statistically significant (p > 0.05), indicating that hTERT is equally overexpressed among patients regardless of gender, age, gene fusions, and immunophenotyping. Moreover, patients who presented a higher hTERT expression level had a significant (p < 0.0001) lower overall survival rate. In summary, hTERT expression emerges as an important molecular pathway in leukemogenesis regardless patient’s clinical variables, thus, the data here presented pointed it as a valuable biomarker in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia and a promising target for new therapeutic and prognostic measures. View Full-Text
Keywords: acute lymphoblastic leukemia; gene expression; molecular biomarker; telomerase acute lymphoblastic leukemia; gene expression; molecular biomarker; telomerase
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nogueira, B.M.D.; da Costa Pantoja, L.; da Silva, E.L.; Mello Júnior, F.A.R.; Teixeira, E.B.; Wanderley, A.V.; da Silva Maués, J.H.; de Moraes Filho, M.O.; de Moraes, M.E.A.; Montenegro, R.C.; Khayat, A.S.; Moreira-Nunes, C.A. Telomerase (hTERT) Overexpression Reveals a Promising Prognostic Biomarker and Therapeutical Target in Different Clinical Subtypes of Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. Genes 2021, 12, 1632. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12101632

AMA Style

Nogueira BMD, da Costa Pantoja L, da Silva EL, Mello Júnior FAR, Teixeira EB, Wanderley AV, da Silva Maués JH, de Moraes Filho MO, de Moraes MEA, Montenegro RC, Khayat AS, Moreira-Nunes CA. Telomerase (hTERT) Overexpression Reveals a Promising Prognostic Biomarker and Therapeutical Target in Different Clinical Subtypes of Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. Genes. 2021; 12(10):1632. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12101632

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nogueira, Beatriz M.D., Laudreísa da Costa Pantoja, Emerson L. da Silva, Fernando A.R. Mello Júnior, Eliel B. Teixeira, Alayde V. Wanderley, Jersey H. da Silva Maués, Manoel O. de Moraes Filho, Maria E.A. de Moraes, Raquel C. Montenegro, André S. Khayat, and Caroline A. Moreira-Nunes 2021. "Telomerase (hTERT) Overexpression Reveals a Promising Prognostic Biomarker and Therapeutical Target in Different Clinical Subtypes of Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia" Genes 12, no. 10: 1632. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12101632

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