TERT promoter gene mutations are highly recurrent in malignant glioma. However, little information exists regarding their presence in experimental brain tumor models. To better characterize systems in which TERT mutation studies could be appropriately modeled experimentally, the TERT promoter was examined by conventional sequencing in primary brain tumor initiating cells (BTIC), two matched recurrent BTIC lines, a panel of established malignant glioma cell lines, and two meningioma cell lines. Telomerase gene expression was examined by quantitative PCR. We found that all glioblastoma BTIC lines harbored a TERT mutation, which was retained in two patient-matched recurrent BTIC. The TERT C228T or C250T mutation was found in 33/35 (94 %) of established malignant glioma cell lines and both meningioma cell lines examined. Brain tumor cell lines expressed variably high telomerase levels. Thus, a high percentage of glioma cell lines, as well as two meningioma cell lines, harbors TERT mutations. These data characterize tractable, accessible models with which to further explore telomerase biology in these tumor types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-227
Number of pages6
JournalBrain Tumor Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Brain tumor initiating cells
  • Cancer
  • Glioblastoma
  • Glioma
  • Meningioma
  • TERT
  • Telomerase


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