Oct 20, 1999

Telomere instability in a human cancer cell line

Mutation Research
C N SprungJ P Murnane


Telomere maintenance is essential in immortal cancer cells to compensate for DNA lost from the ends of chromosomes, to prevent chromosome fusion, and to facilitate chromosome segregation. However, the high rate of fusion of chromosomes near telomeres, termed telomere association, in many cancer cell lines has led to the proposal that some cancer cells may not efficiently perform telomere maintenance. Deficient telomere maintenance could play an important role in cancer because telomere associations and nondisjunction have been demonstrated to be mechanisms for genomic instability. To investigate this possibility, we have analyzed the telomeres of the human squamous cell carcinoma cell line SQ-9G, which has telomere associations in approximately 75% of the cells in the population. The absence of detectable telomeric repeat sequences at the sites of these telomere associations suggests that they result from telomere loss. The analysis of telomere length by quantitative in situ hybridization demonstrated that, compared to the human squamous cell carcinoma cell line SCC-61 which has few telomere associations, SQ-9G has more extensive heterogeneity in telomere length and more telomeres without detectable telomeric repeat sequences. ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Fluorescent in Situ Hybridization
Autosomal Chromosome Disorders
Telomerase Catalytic Subunit
Selfish DNA
Southern Blot Result
Autosome Abnormalities

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