Stains & molecular markers
TERT


Topic Completed: 23 April 2021

Minor changes: 23 April 2021

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PubMed Search: TERT[TI] stains free full text[sb]

Phuong Nhat Nguyen, M.D., M.Sc.
Lewis A. Hassell, M.D.
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Cite this page: Nguyen PN, Hassell LA. TERT. PathologyOutlines.com website. https://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/stainstert.html. Accessed May 11th, 2021.
Definition / general
Essential features
  • TERT / telomerase activity is detected in human cells before the neonatal period and immortal cells (stem cells and cancers) but not in most adult human somatic cells (Cancer Res 1998;58:622, Science 1994;266:2011, Int J Cancer 2001;91:644, Dev Genet 1996;18:173)
  • TERT upregulation, especially through TERT promoter mutations, is an important tumorigenic mechanism
  • Telomerase diseases: idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, aplastic anemia, dyskeratosis congenita, acute myeloid leukemia, liver disease and bone marrow failure
  • TERT IHC staining pattern varies among types of tumors and clones of antibodies
Terminology
Pathophysiology
Diagrams / tables

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TERT in cancer progression

TERT and potential therapeutic targets

Clinical features
Interpretation
Uses by pathologists
Prognostic factors
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Mitotic cells show diffuse cytoplasmic staining
  • Among 4 commercial markers, PC563 (Oncogene), ab177 (Abcam), Ab-2 (Calbiochem) and NCL-TERT (Novocastra), only 1 provides reproducible IHC staining results: NCL-TERT (Histochem Cell Biol 2004;121:391)
  • Most frequently used TERT antibodies (including NCL-TERT) recognize nucleolin rather than telomerase, leading to the inconsistency in the specificity of TERT IHC results (J Cell Sci 2006;119:2797)
Tissues / tumors Staining pattern  References Clone
Skin tumors  N/C  J Invest Dermatol 2014;134:2251Novocastra / 44F12 / 1:25 
C   J Cutan Pathol 2004;31:544Calbiochem / Ab-2  
Skin / melanomas   N/C   Arch Pathol Lab Med 2020 Oct 14 [Epub ahead of print]Abcam / Y182 / 1:100  
C   Br J Cancer 2018;118:98Rockland / 1:125  
Gliomas   N   Acta Neuropathol 2006;111:569,
J Clin Oncol 2006;24:1522
Novocastra / 44F12 / 1:100
1:25  
Glioblastomas   N   J Cancer 2019;10:2397Thermofisher / MA5-16033  
N/C   Nat Commun 2013;4:2185Novocastra / 44F12 / 1:25  
Mesotheliomas   N   Am J Surg Pathol 2002;26:365Novus Lab / 1:750  
Lung tumors   N/n   Br J Cancer 2004;90:1222Novocastra / 44F12 / 1:20  
N/C   Anticancer Res 2013;33:2643Gene Tex / TERT 2C4  
Liver tumors   N/C   Oncotarget 2017;8:26288Abcam / Y182 / 1:100  
N/C   Oncotarget 2016;7:27838Abcam / Ab5181 / 1:20  
C   Pathol Res Pract 2015;211:316Santa Cruz  
Breast tumors   N   J Carcinog 2005;4:17Novocastra / 44F12 / 1:50  
N   Sci Rep 2018;8:3881Alpha Diagnostic / 1:100  
Cervical tumors   N/C   Cancer Genomics Proteomics 2020;17:615Abcam / Ab5181 / 1:20  
N/C   J Clin Pathol 2005;58:911DIESSE / Tel 3-36-10  
N   Diagn Cytopathol 2006;34:739EMD Biosciences / PC563 / 1:100  
Ovarian tumors   N   Int J Clin Exp Pathol 2015;8:14971Rockland / 1:200  
N   J Med Assoc Thai 2009;92:308,
Gynecol Oncol 2005;98:396
Novocastra / 44F12 / 1:50  
C   Indian J Pathol Microbiol 2012;55:187Gene Tex / 1:80  
Endometrial lesions   N   Int J Gynecol Pathol 2005;24:184Novocastra / 44F12 / 1:50  
N/C   Mod Pathol 2011;24:1254Santa Cruz / Sc-7215 / 1:40  
Colorectal tumors   N/C   Oncol Rep 2015;33:2728Abcam / Y182 / 1:100  
N/C   Clin Cancer Res 2008;14:7444Santa Cruz / TRT H-231 / 1:50  
N/n   Clin Cancer Res 2008;14:7444Novocastra / 44F12 / 1:20  
Ulcerative colitis  N   Int J Mol Med 2014;33:1477Abcam / Ab5181 / 1:500  
Gastric tumors   N   Biomarkers 2009;14:630Novocastra / 44F12 / 1:50  
C   Mod Pathol 2003;16:700Santa Cruz / 1:50  
Urothelial tumors   n   Cytojournal 2006;3:18Novocastra / 44F12 / 1:25  
N/C   Anticancer Res 2005;25:3109Santa Cruz / Sc-7215 / 1:60  
Prostatic tumors   N   Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2013;51:66,
Cancer 2002;95:2487
Novus Lab / 1:1500-1:300  
Sarcomas   N/n   Pathology 2009;41:527,
Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol 2006;14:198
Novocastra / 44F12 / 1:20 - 1:75  
Bone tumors   N/n   Mod Pathol 2008;21:423Alexis / ALX-804-504 / 1:25  
Pituitary tumors   N/C   Turk Patoloji Derg 2017;33:103Bioss / 1:100  
Parathyroid tumors   N   Int J Mol Med 2009;24:733Novocastra / 44F12  
Thyroid   C   Oncol Lett 2018;15:2763Rockland / 1:300  
C   J BUON 2018;23:229Abcam  
N: nuclear, n: nucleolar, C: cytoplasmic
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Expression of TERT in lung tumors

Positive staining - normal
Positive staining - disease
Negative staining
Molecular / cytogenetics description
Molecular / cytogenetics images

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TERT expression is lower in ALS patients

In situ hybridization for hTR expression

TERT promoter sequence chromatograms

Board review style question #1
Which of the following cells is not immunoreactive with TERT?

  1. Basal keratinocytes
  2. Lymphocytes
  3. Myocytes
  4. Neurons
  5. Spermatocytes
Board review style answer #1
C. Myocytes

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