Altered mRNA expression of telomere binding proteins (TPP1, POT1, RAP1, TRF1 and TRF2) in ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease

Nancy Da-Silva, Ramesh Arasaradnam, Katherine Getliffe, Edward Sung, Ye Htun Oo, Chuka Nwokolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


AIMS: To determine mRNA expression of telomeric binding proteins in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and to note any effects of pharmacotherapy on telomere binding protein expression.

METHODS: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) obtained from 31 IBD patients and 13 controls were activated with phytohaemagglutinin and purified to yield activated (CD25+) T lymphocytes. TPP1, POT1, RAP1, TRF1 and TRF2 mRNA expression in PBMC and activated T lymphocytes was measured with RT-PCR.

RESULTS: In activated (CD25+) T lymphocytes, mean TRF2 mRNA levels were lower in both UC (6.6 vs 10, p=0.004) and CD subjects (6.9 vs 10; p=0.004). Similarly. in activated (CD25+) T lymphocytes mean RAP1 mRNA expression was significantly lower in UC subjects (4.5 vs 9.8, p=0.029) but not in CD subjects. In resting PBMC, mean TRF1 mRNA levels were lower in both UC (2.6 vs 3.5; p=0.008) and CD subjects (1.0 vs 3.5; p=0.04). No difference in PBMC and activated (CD25+) T lymphocytes mRNA levels of TPP1 and POT1 were noted in either UC or CD subjects. An association with 5-aminosalicylate therapy (R(2)=0.4) was only detected with RAP1 mRNA expression. TRF2 mRNA expression was inversely associated with disease duration only in UC subjects (p=0.05; R(2)=-0.6).

CONCLUSIONS: The downregulation of TRF2 and RAP1 mRNA expression in CD25+ T-lymphocytes in IBD suggests that these telomere binding proteins play a role in telomere regulation and may contribute to the telomeric fusions and chromosomal abnormalities observed in UC. These findings may also indicate a systemic process of telomere uncapping which could represent a biomarker for IBD associated cancer risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-548
Number of pages5
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue number8
Early online date12 Jan 2010
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


  • Azathioprine
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Chromosomal Instability
  • Colitis, Ulcerative
  • Colon
  • Colonic Neoplasms
  • Crohn Disease
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Mesalamine
  • Middle Aged
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Telomere
  • Telomere-Binding Proteins
  • Telomeric Repeat Binding Protein 1
  • Telomeric Repeat Binding Protein 2


Dive into the research topics of 'Altered mRNA expression of telomere binding proteins (TPP1, POT1, RAP1, TRF1 and TRF2) in ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this