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Introduction: Telomerase is an enzyme formed by two subunits, the protein subunit (TERT) and the RNA subunit (TERC) and has the function of elongating telomeres. Telomerase reactivation is responsible for the immortalization of approximately 90% of all neoplasms. In prostate cancer (PC), reactivation of telomerase is essential for the onset of the disease. In addition, there is evidence that this enzyme is also related to disease progression.

Objective: In this work, we evaluated the gene expression of TERT and TERC in tissue samples of primary prostate cancer, and evaluated its possible prognostic potential.

Methods: In our casuistry, tissue samples from two groups were analyzed. The first group consisted of 10 patients with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, which were used as control, and 60 patients with Prostate Cancer which were further subdivided according to their prognosis, according to “D'Amico Risk Classification” (groups G1, G2 and G3). The gene expression was obtained through the Q-PCR technique and the data were analyzed through the T Student and ANOVA statistical tests.

Results: There was an upregulation of TERC (p= 0.0013) as well as TERT (p= 0.018) in PC tissue samples when compare with control group. When we analyzed the PC subgroups, the group composed of high-risk patients (G3) demonstrated a greater upregulation only of TERT (p=0.026).

Conclusion: Both components of telomerase showed an upregulation in PC, with TERT demonstrating this upregulation associated to the high-risk group, and since telomerase reactivation is related to the risk of developing prostate cancer, the identification of TERT expression can present itself as a possible prognostic factor in patients with prostate cancer.

Palavras Chave

Prostate Cancer, Telomeres, Telomerase


Câncer de Próstata Localizado


Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo - Sao Paulo - Brasil


Matheus Alves Martins, Gabriel Arantes Galvão Dias Dos Santos, Ruan Cesar Aparecido Pimenta, Vanessa R Guimaraes, Juliana Alves de Camargo, Kátia Ramos Moreira Leite, Miguel Srougi, Sabrina Talita Reis