BRCA2 deletion induces alternative lengthening of telomeres in telomerase positive colon cancer cells

Pompili Luca, Maresca Carmen, Dello Stritto Angela, Biroccio Annamaria, Salvati Erica

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BRCA1/2 are tumor suppressor genes controlling genomic stability also at telomeric and subtelomeric loci. Their mutation confers a predisposition to different human cancers but also sensitivity to antitumor drugs including poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors and G-quadruplex stabilizers. Herewe demonstrate that BRCA2 deletion triggers TERRA hyperexpression and alternative lengthening mechanisms (ALT) in colon cancer cells in presence of telomerase activity. This finding opens the question if cancer patients bearing BRCA2 germline or sporadic mutation are suitable for anti-telomerase therapies, or how ALT activation could influence the short or long-term response to anti-PARP inhibitors or anti-G-quadruplex therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number697
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019



  • ALT
  • BRCA2 mutation
  • Telomeres

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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