Although scientific advances have recognised the prognostic power of telomerase activity in different cancers, as yet there has been no investigation regarding the expression variation of telomerase subunits in glioma tissues and cell lines. In this study, a recurrent anaplastic ependymoma and seven glioblastoma biopsy samples, four cell lines and four controls including two normal brain tissues were analysed for telomerase subunit expression profiles together with telomerase activity. Since telomerase activity is linked to tumourgenesis, the genes were analysed with respect to their expression variation. TEP1 was expressed in all glioma cell lines and 70% of glioblastoma tissues, in addition to the control brain tissues. Tankyrase was expressed in 85% of the glioblastoma tissues and was down-regulated in the recurrent anaplastic ependymoma tissue control cell lines. However, it was expressed in the control tissues. Dyskerin was expressed in all cell lines and tissues apart from U87-MG and NHA cells and the recurrent anaplastic ependymoma tissue. As expected, PARP1 and GAPDH showed constitutive expression throughout all cell lines and tissues since both are known to be housekeeping genes. hTERT was expressed in all glioma cell lines and tissues but was absent in the control cells and tissues. Telomerase activity was absent in IPDDC-A2 cells and 57% of the glioblastoma tissues. These results suggest that hTERT expression and not telomerase activity possibly represents a simple and reliable biological diagnostic tool.