Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 7 December 2015, last major update June 2005

Copyright: (c) 2003-2015,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Telomerase[title]

Cite this page: Telomerase. website. Accessed February 22nd, 2018.
Definition / general
  • A ribonucleoprotein multisubunit enzyme complex that functions as a specialized reverse transcriptase, to synthesize telomeric repeats (TTAGGG) to the 3 ends of human chromosomes
  • Components of telomerase: RNA template, telomerase associated protein, human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT)
  • RNA template and telomerase associated protein are expressed ubiquitously
  • hTERT protein expression is highly regulated, generally correlates with telomerase activity; reexpression correlates with laryngeal carcinogenesis (Mod Pathol 2005;18:406)
  • hTERT is a nuclear stain
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on

hTERT expression in larynyx -

Normal epithelium (in isolated basal cells)

Basal cell hyperplasia (in occasional basal cells)

Carcinoma in situ (full thickness staining)

Squamous cell carcinoma (present in most cells)