Cancers (Basel). 2013 Aug 22;5(3):1086-102. doi: 10.3390/cancers5031086.
SourceManitoba Institute of Cell Biology, Cancer Care Manitoba, Department of Physiology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 0V9, Canada. email@example.com.
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a myeloproliferative neoplasm characterized by the t(9;22) translocation. As in most cancers, short telomeres are one of the features of CML cells, and telomere shortening accentuates as the disease progresses from the chronic phase to the blastic phase. Although most individual telomeres are short, some of them are lengthened, and long individual telomeres occur non-randomly and might be associated with clonal selection. Telomerase is the main mechanism used to maintain telomere lengths, and its activity increases when CML evolves toward advanced stages. ALT might be another mechanism employed by CML cells to sustain the homeostasis of their telomere lengths and this mechanism seems predominant at the early stage of leukemogenesis. Also, telomerase and ALT might jointly act to maintain telomere lengths at the chronic phase, and as CML progresses, telomerase becomes the major mechanism. Finally, CML cells display an altered nuclear organization of their telomeres which is characterized by the presence of high number of telomeric aggregates, a feature of genomic instability, and differential positioning of telomeres. CML represents a good model to study mechanisms responsible for dynamic changes of individual telomere lengths and the remodeling of telomeric nuclear organization throughout cancer progression