Telomerase activation in cervical neoplasia

Obstet Gynecol. 1998 Feb;91(2):260-2. doi: 10.1016/s0029-7844(97)00595-4.


Objective: To examine the critical point at which telomerase activation occurs in the course of cervical carcinogenesis.

Methods: Telomeric repeat assay protocol was used to measure telomerase activity in cell samples obtained from 155 Japanese women with various cervical conditions: normal cytology (n = 62), cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) (n = 63), and invasive squamous cell carcinoma (n = 30).

Results: Telomerase activity was detected in five (8%) women with normal cytology, in 26 (41%) patients with CIN (26% of patients with CIN I, 35% with CIN II, and 68% with CIN III), and in 29 (97%) patients with invasive carcinoma. Telomerase activation was significantly more frequent in CIN than in normal cervices (P < .001), and the positive rate in CIN III was significantly higher than that in CIN I (P < .01) and CIN II (P < .05). Furthermore, telomerase activation was significantly more frequent in invasive carcinoma than in CIN III (P < .01).

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that telomerase activation is a relatively early event in cervical carcinogenesis and correlates well with grade of cervical lesion.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / enzymology
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / enzymology
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Telomerase / metabolism*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / enzymology*


  • Telomerase