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Bibliography on: Telomeres

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 29 May 2023 at 01:47 Created: 


Wikipedia: A telomere is a region of repetitive nucleotide sequences at each end of a chromosome, which protects the end of the chromosome from deterioration or from fusion with neighboring chromosomes. Its name is derived from the Greek nouns telos (τέλος) "end" and merοs (μέρος, root: μερ-) "part". For vertebrates, the sequence of nucleotides in telomeres is TTAGGG, with the complementary DNA strand being AATCCC, with a single-stranded TTAGGG overhang. This sequence of TTAGGG is repeated approximately 2,500 times in humans. In humans, average telomere length declines from about 11 kilobases at birth to less than 4 kilobases in old age,[3] with average rate of decline being greater in men than in women. During chromosome replication, the enzymes that duplicate DNA cannot continue their duplication all the way to the end of a chromosome, so in each duplication the end of the chromosome is shortened (this is because the synthesis of Okazaki fragments requires RNA primers attaching ahead on the lagging strand). The telomeres are disposable buffers at the ends of chromosomes which are truncated during cell division; their presence protects the genes before them on the chromosome from being truncated instead. The telomeres themselves are protected by a complex of shelterin proteins, as well as by the RNA that telomeric DNA encodes.

Created with PubMed® Query: telomere.q.txt NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2023-05-28

Chieffi Baccari G, Iurato G, Santillo A, et al (2023)

Male Germ Cell Telomeres and Chemical Pollutants.

Biomolecules, 13(5): pii:biom13050745.

In recent decades, male infertility has been correlated with the shortening of sperm telomeres. Telomeres regulate the reproductive lifespan by mediating the synapsis and homologous recombination of chromosomes during gametogenesis. They are composed of thousands of hexanucleotide DNA repeats (TTAGGG) that are coupled to specialized shelterin complex proteins and non-coding RNAs. Telomerase activity in male germ cells ensures that the telomere length is maintained at maximum levels during spermatogenesis, despite telomere shortening due to DNA replication or other genotoxic factors such as environmental pollutants. An emerging body of evidence has associated an exposure to pollutants with male infertility. Although telomeric DNA may be one of the important targets of environmental pollutants, only a few authors have considered it as a conventional parameter for sperm function. The aim of this review is to provide comprehensive and up-to-date data on the research carried out so far on the structure/function of telomeres in spermatogenesis and the influence of environmental pollutants on their functionality. The link between pollutant-induced oxidative stress and telomere length in germ cells is discussed.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Zhang Q, Han XZ, Burraco P, et al (2023)

Telomere length, oxidative stress and their links with growth and survival in a lizard facing climate warming.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)03045-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Higher temperatures enhance ectothermic metabolism and development, which can reduce individual health and life expectancy, and therefore increase their vulnerability to climate warming. However, the mechanistic causes and consequences of such a temperature-driven impact remain unclear. Our study aimed to address two questions: (1) does climate warming alter early-life growth and physiology, and, if so, what are the associated carry-over effects in terms of reduced survival, increased oxidative stress and telomere shortening? (2) can oxidative stress and telomere dynamics at early life stages predict the effect of climate warming on individual survival? To answer these questions, we conducted a longitudinal experiment under semi-natural conditions where we exposed multiocellated racerunner (Eremias multiocellata) to warming conditions from juvenile to adult stages. We found that exposure to climate warming enhanced growth rates, induced oxidative stress, and shortened telomere length of juvenile lizards. Warming conditions did not induce carry-over effects in terms of altered growth rate or physiology but resulted in increased mortality risk in the later life. Intriguingly, telomere shortening in young individuals was associated with mortality risk later in life. This study improves our mechanistic understanding of how global warming impacts on ectotherms' life-history traits, which encourages the inclusion of physiological information in assessing species vulnerability to climate change.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Zhou F, Guo C, Wang L, et al (2023)

Mono-(2-ethylhexyl) Phthalate (MEHP)-Induced Telomere Structure and Function Disorder Mediates Cell Cycle Dysregulation and Apoptosis via c-Myc and Its Upstream Transcription Factors in a Mouse Spermatogonia-Derived (GC-1) Cell Line.

Toxics, 11(5): pii:toxics11050448.

As a typical environmental endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC), di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) is thought to be related to reproductive disorders, especially in males. Growing evidence suggests that various EDCs may result in an impaired telomere structure and function, which is associated with male infertility. However, the adverse effect of DEHP on telomeres in male reproductive cells has rarely been studied, and the related mechanisms remain unclear. In this study, we tested the effects of mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP), the primary metabolite of DEHP, on telomere dysfunction in mouse spermatogonia-derived cells (GC-1) and the potential role of TERT and c-Myc in MEHP-induced spermatogenic cell damage. Results showed that MEHP induced cell viability inhibition, G0/G1 phase cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis in GC-1 cells in a dose-dependent manner. Shortened telomeres, reduced telomerase activity, and decreased expression of TERT, c-Myc, and upstream transcription factors of c-Myc were also observed in the MEHP-treated cells. In conclusion, it can be concluded that TERT-mediated telomere dysfunction may contribute to MEHP-induced G0/G1 phase cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in GC-1 cells through the impairment of c-Myc and its upstream transcription factors.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Chen B, Yan Y, Wang H, et al (2023)

Association between genetically determined telomere length and health-related outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis of Mendelian randomization studies.

Aging cell [Epub ahead of print].

Emerging evidence has shown that leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is associated with various health-related outcomes, while the causality of these associations remains unclear. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of current evidence from Mendelian randomization (MR) studies on the association between LTL and health-related outcomes. We searched PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science up to April 2022 to identify eligible MR studies. We graded the evidence level of each MR association based on the results of the main analysis and four sensitive MR methods, MR-Egger, weighted median, MR-PRESSO, and multivariate MR. Meta-analyses of published MR studies were also performed. A total of 62 studies with 310 outcomes and 396 MR associations were included. Robust evidence level was observed for the association between longer LTL and increased risk of 24 neoplasms (the strongest magnitude for osteosarcoma, GBM, glioma, thyroid cancer, and non-GBM glioma), six genitourinary and digestive system outcomes of excessive or abnormal growth, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential. Robust inverse association was observed for coronary heart disease, chronic kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and facial aging. Meta-analyses of MR studies suggested that genetically determined LTL was associated with 12 neoplasms and 9 nonneoplasm outcomes. Evidence from published MR studies supports that LTL plays a causal role in various neoplastic and nonneoplastic diseases. Further research is required to elucidate the underlying mechanisms and to bring insight into the potential prediction, prevention, and therapeutic applications of telomere length.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Tsatsakis A, Oikonomopoulou T, Nikolouzakis TK, et al (2023)

Role of telomere length in human carcinogenesis (Review).

International journal of oncology, 63(1):.

Cancer is considered the most important clinical, social and economic issue regarding cause‑specific disability‑adjusted life years among all human pathologies. Exogenous, endogenous and individual factors, including genetic predisposition, participate in cancer triggering. Telomeres are specific DNA structures positioned at the end of chromosomes and consist of repetitive nucleotide sequences, which, together with shelterin proteins, facilitate the maintenance of chromosome stability, while protecting them from genomic erosion. Even though the connection between telomere status and carcinogenesis has been identified, the absence of a universal or even a cancer‑specific trend renders consent even more complex. It is indicative that both short and long telomere lengths have been associated with a high risk of cancer incidence. When evaluating risk associations between cancer and telomere length, a disparity appears to emerge. Even though shorter telomeres have been adopted as a marker of poorer health status and an older biological age, longer telomeres due to increased cell growth potential are associated with the acquirement of cancer‑initiating somatic mutations. Therefore, the present review aimed to comprehensively present the multifaceted pattern of telomere length and cancer incidence association.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Naspolini NF, Sichieri R, Cunha Barbosa D, et al (2023)

Dietary patterns, obesity markers and leukocyte telomere length among Brazilian civil servants: Cross-sectional results from the Pro-Saude study.

Public health nutrition pii:S1368980023001064 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: Dietary patterns express the combination and variety of foods in the diet. The Partial Least Squares (PLS) method allows extracting dietary patterns related to a specific health outcome. Few studies have evaluated obesity-related dietary patterns associated with telomeres length. This study aims to identify dietary patterns explaining obesity markers and to assess their association with leucocyte telomere length (LTL), a biological marker of the aging process.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

SETTING: University campuses in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

PARTICIPANTS: 478 participants of a civil servants' cohort study with data on food consumption, obesity measurements (total body fat, visceral fat, BMI, leptin, adiponectin), and blood samples.

RESULTS: Three dietary patterns were extracted: (1) fast food and meat; (2) healthy; and (3) traditional pattern, which included rice and beans, the staple foods most consumed in Brazil. All three dietary patterns explained 23.2% of food consumption variation and 10.7% of the obesity-related variables. The fast food and meat pattern was the first factor extracted, explaining 11-13% variation of the obesity-related response variables (BMI, total body fat and visceral fat), leptin and adiponectin showed the lowest percentage (4.5-0.1%). The healthy pattern mostly explained leptin and adiponectin variations (10.7 and 3.3%, respectively). The traditional pattern was associated with LTL (β= 0.0117; 95% CI 0.0001 - 0.0233) after adjustment for the other patterns, age, sex, exercise practice, income, and energy intake.

CONCLUSION: Leucocyte telomere length was longer among participants eating a traditional dietary pattern that combines fruit, vegetables, and beans.

RevDate: 2023-05-25

Jacome Burbano MS, Robin JD, Bauwens S, et al (2023)

Non-canonical telomere protection role of FOXO3a of human skeletal muscle cells regulated by the TRF2-redox axis.

Communications biology, 6(1):561.

Telomeric repeat binding factor 2 (TRF2) binds to telomeres and protects chromosome ends against the DNA damage response and senescence. Although the expression of TRF2 is downregulated upon cellular senescence and in various aging tissues, including skeletal muscle tissues, very little is known about the contribution of this decline to aging. We previously showed that TRF2 loss in myofibers does not trigger telomere deprotection but mitochondrial dysfunction leading to an increased level of reactive oxygen species. We show here that this oxidative stress triggers the binding of FOXO3a to telomeres where it protects against ATM activation, revealing a previously unrecognized telomere protective function of FOXO3a, to the best of our knowledge. We further showed in transformed fibroblasts and myotubes that the telomere properties of FOXO3a are dependent on the C-terminal segment of its CR2 domain (CR2C) but independent of its Forkhead DNA binding domain and of its CR3 transactivation domain. We propose that these non-canonical properties of FOXO3a at telomeres play a role downstream of the mitochondrial signaling induced by TRF2 downregulation to regulate skeletal muscle homeostasis and aging.

RevDate: 2023-05-25

Liu Q, Song L, Fan G, et al (2023)

Associations of self-reported sleep duration and sleep quality during pregnancy with newborn telomere length.

Sleep health pii:S2352-7218(23)00044-X [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Telomere length (TL) at birth is considered a potential biomarker for lifelong health. Although maternal sleep disturbance has been linked to a series of adverse pregnancy outcomes, evidence on the effect of maternal sleep on newborn TL remains scarce. Therefore, we aim to investigate the association of maternal sleep duration and sleep quality with newborn TL.

METHODS: A total of 742 mother-newborn pairs were recruited from Wuhan Children's Hospital between November 2013 and March 2015. Cord blood TL was measured using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Maternal sleep duration and quality during late pregnancy were obtained via questionnaires. Multivariate linear regression models were used to estimate the effects of maternal sleep duration and sleep quality on newborn TL.

RESULTS: A total of 742 maternal-newborn pairs were included in the analyses. Mothers sleeping ≥10 hours had a 9.30% (95% CI: 2.09%, 15.99%) shorter newborn TL than those sleeping 7-<9 hours. However, the association in mothers with short sleep duration (<7 hours) did not reach statistical significance. Compared to mothers with good sleep quality, those with poor sleep quality had a 9.91% (95% CI: 4.06%, 15.40%) shorter newborn TL. We observed a joint effect of sleep duration and sleep quality on newborn telomere shortening. Women with sleep duration ≥10 hours and poor sleep quality were most likely to have newborns with short TL (percent change:-19.66%, 95% CI: -28.42, -9.84%).

CONCLUSIONS: Long sleep duration and poor sleep quality during late pregnancy were associated with shorter newborn TL.

RevDate: 2023-05-25

Giunco S, Padovan M, Angelini C, et al (2023)

Prognostic role and interaction of TERT promoter status, telomere length and MGMT promoter methylation in newly diagnosed IDH wild-type glioblastoma patients.

ESMO open, 8(3):101570 pii:S2059-7029(23)00801-3 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The clinical relevance of promoter mutations and single nucleotide polymorphism rs2853669 of telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) and telomere length in patients with isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) wild-type glioblastoma (GBM) patients remains unclear. Moreover, some studies speculated that TERT promoter status might influence the prognostic role of O6-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter methylation in newly diagnosed GBM. We carried out a large study to investigate their clinical impact and their interaction in newly diagnosed GBM patients.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We included 273 newly diagnosed IDH wild-type GBM patients who started treatment at Veneto Institute of Oncology IOV - IRCCS (Padua, Italy) from December 2016 to January 2020. TERT promoter mutations (-124 C>T and -146 C>T) and SNP rs2853669 (-245 T>C), relative telomere length (RTL) and MGMT methylation status were retrospectively assessed in this prospective cohort of patients.

RESULTS: Median overall survival (OS) of 273 newly diagnosed IDH wild-type GBM patients was 15 months. TERT promoter was mutated in 80.2% of patients, and most had the rs2853669 single nucleotide polymorphism as T/T genotype (46.2%). Median RTL was 1.57 (interquartile range 1.13-2.32). MGMT promoter was methylated in 53.4% of cases. At multivariable analysis, RTL and TERT promoter mutations were not associated with OS or progression-free survival (PFS). Notably, patients C carrier of rs2853669 (C/C+C/T genotypes) showed a better PFS compared with those with the T/T genotype (hazard ratio 0.69, P = 0.007). In terms of OS and PFS, all interactions between MGMT, TERT and RTL and between TERT and rs2853669 genotype were not statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest the presence of the C variant allele at the rs2853669 of the TERT promoter as an attractive independent prognostic biomarker of disease progression in IDH wild-type GBM patients. RTL and TERT promoter mutational status were not correlated to survival regardless of MGMT methylation status.

RevDate: 2023-05-25

Pan Y, Hu C, Hou LJ, et al (2023)

Swc4 protects nucleosome-free rDNA, tDNA and telomere loci to inhibit genome instability.

DNA repair, 127:103512 pii:S1568-7864(23)00066-6 [Epub ahead of print].

In the baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, NuA4 and SWR1-C, two multisubunit complexes, are involved in histone acetylation and chromatin remodeling, respectively. Eaf1 is the assembly platform subunit of NuA4, Swr1 is the assembly platform and catalytic subunit of SWR1-C, while Swc4, Yaf9, Arp4 and Act1 form a functional module, and is present in both NuA4 and SWR1 complexes. ACT1 and ARP4 are essential for cell survival. Deletion of SWC4, but not YAF9, EAF1 or SWR1 results in a severe growth defect, but the underlying mechanism remains largely unknown. Here, we show that swc4Δ, but not yaf9Δ, eaf1Δ, or swr1Δ cells display defects in DNA ploidy and chromosome segregation, suggesting that the defects observed in swc4Δ cells are independent of NuA4 or SWR1-C integrity. Swc4 is enriched in the nucleosome-free regions (NFRs) of the genome, including characteristic regions of RDN5s, tDNAs and telomeres, independently of Yaf9, Eaf1 or Swr1. In particular, rDNA, tDNA and telomere loci are more unstable and prone to recombination in the swc4Δ cells than in wild-type cells. Taken together, we conclude that the chromatin associated Swc4 protects nucleosome-free chromatin of rDNA, tDNA and telomere loci to ensure genome integrity.

RevDate: 2023-05-24

Raee P, Shams Mofarahe Z, Nazarian H, et al (2023)

Male obesity is associated with sperm telomere shortening and aberrant mRNA expression of autophagy-related genes.

Basic and clinical andrology, 33(1):13.

BACKGROUND: Obesity is regarded a global public health crisis. It has been implicated in a variety of health problems, but when it comes to male fertility, how and to what extent obesity affects it are poorly understood. Accordingly, semen samples from 32 individuals with obesity (body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 kg/m[2]) and 32 individuals with normal weight (BMI: 18.5-25 kg/m[2]) were obtained. Here, for the first time, we examined the association between obesity, relative sperm telomere length (STL) and autophagy-related mRNA levels such as Beclin1, AMPKa1, ULK1, BAX, and BCL2. Each group was also evaluated for conventional semen parameters, sperm apoptotic changes, DNA fragmentation index (DFI), sperm chromatin maturation, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels.

RESULTS: Based on our findings, there was a marked reduction in relative STL in individuals with obesity as compared to the normal-weight group. We also found a significant negative correlation between relative STL and age, BMI, DFI, percentage of sperm with immature chromatin, and intracellular ROS levels in patients with obesity. In the normal-weight group, relative STL was only negatively correlated with DFI and intracellular ROS levels. Regarding mRNA expression, there was considerable upregulation of Beclin1, ULK1, and BCL2 in the group with obesity compared to the normal-weight group. Obesity was also found to be associated with a considerable decline in semen volume, total sperm count, progressive motility, and viability in comparison to normal-weight individuals. Furthermore, obesity was associated with considerably higher percentages of DFI, sperm with immature chromatin, late-stage apoptosis, and elevated ROS levels.

CONCLUSION: According to our findings, obesity is associated with sperm telomere shortening and aberrant autophagy-related mRNA expression. It should be emphasized that telomere shortening in sperm may be an indirect consequence of obesity due to the oxidative stress associated with the condition. Nevertheless, further investigation is required for a more comprehensive understanding.

RevDate: 2023-05-24
CmpDate: 2023-05-24

Aix E, Gallinat A, Yago-Díez C, et al (2023)

Telomeres Fuse During Cardiomyocyte Maturation.

Circulation, 147(21):1634-1636.

RevDate: 2023-05-24
CmpDate: 2023-05-24

Allaire P, He J, Mayer J, et al (2023)

Genetic and clinical determinants of telomere length.

HGG advances, 4(3):100201.

Many epidemiologic studies have identified important relationships between leukocyte telomere length (LTL) with genetics and health. Most of these studies have been significantly limited in scope by focusing predominantly on individual diseases or restricted to GWAS analysis. Using two large patient populations derived from Vanderbilt University and Marshfield Clinic biobanks linked to genomic and phenomic data from medical records, we investigated the inter-relationship between LTL, genomics, and human health. Our GWAS confirmed 11 genetic loci previously associated with LTL and two novel loci in SCNN1D and PITPNM1. PheWAS of LTL identified 67 distinct clinical phenotypes associated with both short and long LTL. We demonstrated that several diseases associated with LTL were related to one another but were largely independent from LTL genetics. Age of death was correlated with LTL independent of age. Those with very short LTL (<-1.5 standard deviation [SD]) died 10.4 years (p < 0.0001) younger than those with average LTL (±0.5 SD; mean age of death = 74.2 years). Likewise, those with very long LTL (>1.5 SD) died 1.9 years (p = 0.0175) younger than those with average LTL. This is consistent with the PheWAS results showing diseases associating with both short and long LTL. Finally, we estimated that the genome (12.8%) and age (8.5%) explain the largest proportion of LTL variance, whereas the phenome (1.5%) and sex (0.9%) explained a smaller fraction. In total, 23.7% of LTL variance was explained. These observations provide the rationale for expanded research to understand the multifaceted correlations between TL biology and human health over time, leading to effective LTL usage in medical applications.

RevDate: 2023-05-23

Cai SW, Takai H, Walz T, et al (2023)

Structural basis of CST-Polα/Primase recruitment and regulation by POT1 at telomeres.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.05.08.539880.

UNLABELLED: CST-Polα/Primase maintains telomeres through fill-in synthesis of the C-rich telomeric DNA. We report cryo-EM structures that reveal how human CST is recruited to telomeres by the shelterin subunits POT1 and TPP1. CST-POT1/TPP1 is formed through interactions between POT1 and the Ctc1 subunit of CST. Coats plus syndrome mutations map to the POT1-Ctc1 interface, providing mechanistic insights into this disease. CST-POT1/TPP1 is compatible with the previously reported inactive recruitment complex of CST-Polα/Primase but not with the distinct conformation of active CST-Polα/Primase. We propose that shelterin both recruits and regulates CST-Polα/Primase. Structural and biochemical data indicate that this regulation involves phosphorylation of POT1, which promotes CST-POT1/TPP1 interaction and recruitment, whereas POT1 dephosphorylation releases CST-Polα/Primase for fill-in synthesis.

ONE-SENTENCE SUMMARY: Cryo-EM structures reveal how telomere maintenance factors are recruited and regulated by the shelterin complex.

RevDate: 2023-05-22

Granger SL, Sharma R, Kaushik V, et al (2023)

Human hnRNPA1 reorganizes telomere-bound Replication Protein A.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.05.09.540056.

UNLABELLED: Human replication protein A (RPA) is a heterotrimeric ssDNA binding protein responsible for many aspects of cellular DNA metabolism. The binding to and dissociation of the four individual DNA binding domains (DBDs) from DNA result in configurational dynamics of the RPA-DNA complexes which are essential for replacement of RPA by downstream proteins in various cellular metabolic pathways. RPA plays several important functions at telomeres where it binds to and melts telomeric G-quadruplexes, non-canonical DNA structures formed at the G-rich telomeric ssDNA overhangs. Here, we combine single-molecule total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (smTIRFM), mass photometry (MP) with biophysical and biochemical analyses, of a gain-of-function RPA mutant to demonstrate that heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1 (hnRNPA1) specifically remodels RPA bound to telomeric ssDNA by dampening the RPA configurational dynamics and forming a stable ternary complex. Uniquely among hnRNPA1 target RNAs, TERRA is capable of releasing hnRNPA1 from the RPA-telomeric DNA complex. We speculate that this telomere specific RPA-DNA-hnRNPA1 complex is an important structure in telomere protection.

ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: At the single-stranded ends of human telomeres, the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1 (hnRNPA1) binds to and modulates conformational dynamics of the ssDNA binding protein RPA forming a ternary complex which is controlled by TERRA RNA.

RevDate: 2023-05-22

Cai X, Ning C, Fan L, et al (2023)

Triclosan is associated with breast cancer via oxidative stress and relative telomere length.

Frontiers in public health, 11:1163965.

INTRODUCTION: Triclosan (TCS), a widely prescribed broad-spectrum antibacterial agent, is an endocrine-disrupting chemical. The relationship and biological mechanisms between TCS exposure and breast cancer (BC) are disputed. We aimed to examine the correlation between urinary TCS exposure and BC risk and estimated the mediating effects of oxidative stress and relative telomere length (RTL) in the above association.

METHODS: This case-control study included 302 BC patients and 302 healthy individuals in Wuhan, China. We detected urinary TCS, three common oxidative stress biomarkers [8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), 8-iso-prostaglandin F2α (8-isoPGF2α), 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal-mercapturic acid (HNE-MA)], and RTL in peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

RESULTS: Significant associations were observed between log-transformed urinary concentrations of TCS, 8-OHdG, HNE-MA, 8-isoPGF2α, RTL, and BC risk, with the odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) being 1.58 (1.32-1.91), 3.08 (1.55-6.23), 3.39 (2.45-4.77), 3.99 (2.48-6.54), and 1.67 (1.35-2.09), respectively. Continuous TCS exposure was significantly positively correlated with RTL, HNE-MA, and 8-isoPGF2α (all p<0.05) but not with 8-OHdG (p = 0.060) after adjusting for covariates. The mediated proportions of 8-isoPGF22α and RTL in the relationship between TCS and BC risk were 12.84% and 8.95%, respectively (all p<0.001).

DISCUSSION: In conclusion, our study provides epidemiological evidence to confirmed the deleterious effects of TCS on BC and indicated the mediating effect of oxidative stress and RTL on the correlation between TCS and BC risk. Moreover, exploring the contribution of TCS to BC can clarify the biological mechanisms of TCS exposure, provide new clues for the pathogenesis of BC, which is of great significance to improving public health systems.

RevDate: 2023-05-21

Ämmälä AJ, Suvisaari J, Kananen L, et al (2023)

Corrigendum to Childhood adversities are associated with shorter leukocyte telomere length at adult age in a population-based study [Psychoneuroendocrinology (2021) 130 105276].

RevDate: 2023-05-21

Gu Z, Niu Z, Yan Z, et al (2023)

Chain-mediating effect of interaction between telomeres and mitochondria under oxidative stress in coke oven workers.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) pii:S0269-7491(23)00857-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Coke oven emissions (COEs) exposure leads to oxidative stress, an imbalance between oxidant production and antioxidant defence in the body, which then leads to shortened relative telomere length (RTL) and reduced mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNAcn), ultimately leading to ageing and disease. By analysing the relationship among COEs, oxidative stress, RTL and mtDNAcn, we investigated the chain-mediating effects of oxidative stress and telomeres on mitochondrial damage and mitochondria on telomere damage in coke oven workers. A total of 779 subjects were included in the study. Cumulative COEs exposure concentrations were estimated, and the RTL and mtDNAcn of peripheral blood leukocytes were measured using real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR. Total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) was measured to reflect the level of oxidative stress. The data were statistically analysed using SPSS 21.0 software and discussed using mediation effect analysis. After adjusting for age, sex, smoking, drinking and BMI, generalised linear model revealed dose-response associations between COEs and T-AOC, RTL and mtDNAcn, respectively. (Ptrend < 0.05). The results of chain-mediating effect showed that the proportion of the chain-mediating effect of "CED-COEs→T-AOC→ RTL→mtDNAcn" was 0.82% (β = -0.0005, 95% CI = [-0.0012, -0.0001]), and the proportion of the chain-mediating effect of "CED-COEs→T-AOC→ mtDNAcn → RTL ″ was 2.64% (β = -0.0013, 95% CI = [-0.0025, -0.0004]). After oxidative stress is induced by COEs, mitochondria and telomeres may interact with each other while leading further to potential bodily damage. This study provides clues to explore the association between mitochondria and telomeres.

RevDate: 2023-05-20

Wang W, Huang N, Zhuang Z, et al (2023)

Identifying potential causal effects of telomere length on health outcomes: A phenome-wide investigation and Mendelian randomization study.

The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences pii:7174950 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Telomere length has been linked to various health outcomes. To comprehensively investigate the causal effects of telomere length throughout the human disease spectrum, we conducted a phenome-wide Mendelian randomization study (MR-PheWAS) and a systematic review for MR studies.

METHODS: We conducted a PheWAS to screen for associations between telomere length and 1,035 phenotypes in the UK Biobank (n = 408,354). The exposure of interest was the genetic risk score (GRS) of telomere length. Observed associations passing multiple testing corrections were assessed for causality by two-sample MR analysis. A systematic review for MR studies on telomere length was performed to harmonize the published evidence and complement our findings.

RESULTS: Of the 1,035 phenotypes tested, PheWAS identified 29 and 78 associations of telomere length GRS at a Bonferroni- and false discovery rate-corrected threshold; 24 and 66 distinct health outcomes were causal in the following principal MR analysis. The replication MR using data from the FinnGen study provided evidence of causal effects of genetically instrumented telomere length on 28 out of 66 outcomes, including decreased risks of 5 diseases in respiratory diseases, digestive diseases, and myocardial infarction, and increased risks of 23 diseases, mainly comprised of neoplasms, diseases of the genitourinary system, and essential hypertension. Systematic review of 53 MR studies found evidence to support 16 out of the 66 outcomes.

CONCLUSION: This large-scale MR-PheWAS identified a wide range of health outcomes that were possibly affected by telomere length, and suggested that susceptibility to telomere length may vary across disease categories.

RevDate: 2023-05-21

Liao S, Zhou Q, Y Zhang (2023)

Association of ABCA1 R219K polymorphism and telomere length in a Chinese rural population: possible linking to systemic inflammation.

Journal of genetics, 102:.

The ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) gene polymorphisms have been shown to be associated with various human diseases and pathological conditions such as cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's disease. However, these associations remain unclear and inconclusive. Interestingly, short telomere length was also observed in these diseases. In the present study, our aims were to investigate the interaction between two selected ABCA1 polymorphisms (-565C/T and R219K) and telomere length in a Chinese rural population including 1629 subjects and explore the underlying mechanisms. Genotyping was conducted using Taqman SNP Genotyping Assays. Mean relative leukocyte telomere length was measured using monochrome multiplex quantitative PCR method. We found that the telomere length of R219K RR genotype was significantly shorter than RK or KK genotypes (1.242 ± 0.198 vs 1.271 ± 0.207, P = 0.027 and 1.242 ± 0.198 vs 1.276 ± 0.209, P = 0.021, respectively). While the neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR) of R219K RR genotype was significantly higher than KK genotype (1.929 ± 0.826 vs 1.768 ± 0.893, P = 0.019). In the general linear models after adjustments for confounding factors, the KK and RK genotypes were both significantly associated with telomere length and NLR. A significant association was also observed for K allele carrier genotypes when compared with RR genotype for telomere length and NLR. In conclusion, the R219K polymorphism of ABCA1 was independently associated with telomere length. R219K K allele could be protective against shortening of telomeres and inflammation.

RevDate: 2023-05-19
CmpDate: 2023-05-18

Carlund O, Norberg A, Osterman P, et al (2023)

DNA methylation variations and epigenetic aging in telomere biology disorders.

Scientific reports, 13(1):7955.

Telomere Biology Disorders (TBDs) are characterized by mutations in telomere-related genes leading to short telomeres and premature aging but with no strict correlation between telomere length and disease severity. Epigenetic alterations are also markers of aging and we aimed to evaluate whether DNA methylation (DNAm) could be part of the pathogenesis of TBDs. In blood from 35 TBD cases, genome-wide DNAm were analyzed and the cases were grouped based on relative telomere length (RTL): short (S), with RTL close to normal controls, and extremely short (ES). TBD cases had increased epigenetic age and DNAm alterations were most prominent in the ES-RTL group. Thus, the differentially methylated (DM) CpG sites could be markers of short telomeres but could also be one of the mechanisms contributing to disease phenotype since DNAm alterations were observed in symptomatic, but not asymptomatic, cases with S-RTL. Furthermore, two or more DM-CpGs were identified in four genes previously linked to TBD or telomere length (PRDM8, SMC4, VARS, and WNT6) and in three genes that were novel in telomere biology (MAS1L, NAV2, and TM4FS1). The DM-CpGs in these genes could be markers of aging in hematological cells, but they could also be of relevance for the progression of TBD.

RevDate: 2023-05-19

Bhala S, SA Savage (2023)

What is the future of telomere length testing in telomere biology disorders?.

RevDate: 2023-05-17

Byrjalsen A, Brainin AE, Lund TK, et al (2023)

Size matters in telomere biology disorders ‒ expanding phenotypic spectrum in patients with long or short telomeres.

Hereditary cancer in clinical practice, 21(1):7.

The end of each chromosome consists of a DNA region termed the telomeres. The telomeres serve as a protective shield against degradation of the coding DNA sequence, as the DNA strand inevitably ‒ with each cell division ‒ is shortened. Inherited genetic variants cause telomere biology disorders when located in genes (e.g. DKC1, RTEL1, TERC, TERT) playing a role in the function and maintenance of the telomeres. Subsequently patients with telomere biology disorders associated with both too short or too long telomeres have been recognized. Patients with telomere biology disorders associated with short telomeres are at increased risk of dyskeratosis congenita (nail dystrophy, oral leukoplakia, and hyper- or hypo-pigmentation of the skin), pulmonary fibrosis, hematologic disease (ranging from cytopenia to leukemia) and in rare cases very severe multiorgan manifestations and early death. Patients with telomere biology disorders associated with too long telomeres have in recent years been found to confer an increased risk of melanoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Despite this, many patients have an apparently isolated manifestation rendering telomere biology disorders most likely underdiagnosed. The complexity of telomere biology disorders and many causative genes makes it difficult to design a surveillance program which will ensure identification of early onset disease manifestation without overtreatment.

RevDate: 2023-05-15

Li S, Liu Z, Zhang J, et al (2023)

Links between telomere dysfunction and hallmarks of aging.

Mutation research. Genetic toxicology and environmental mutagenesis, 888:503617.

Aging is characterized by the gradual loss of physiological integrity, leading to impaired function and increased risk of death. This deterioration is the main risk factor for the great majority of chronic diseases, which account for most of the morbidity, death and medical expenses. The hallmarks of aging comprise diverse molecular mechanisms and cell systems, which are interrelated and coordinated to drive the aging process. This review focuses on telomere to analyze the interrelationships between telomere dysfunction and other aging hallmarks and their relative contributions to the initiation and progression of age-related diseases (such as neurodegeneration, cardiovascular disease, and cancer), which will contribute to determine drug targets, improve human health in the aging process with minimal side effects and provide information for the prevention and treatment of age-related diseases.

RevDate: 2023-05-15

Kurokochi H, Tajima N, Sato MP, et al (2023)

Telomere-to-telomere genome assembly of matsutake (Tricholoma matsutake).

DNA research : an international journal for rapid publication of reports on genes and genomes pii:7142856 [Epub ahead of print].

Here, we report the first telomere-to-telomere genome assembly of matsutake (Tricholoma matsutake), which consists of 13 sequences (spanning 161.0 Mb) and a 76 kb circular mitochondrial genome. All the 13 sequences were supported with telomeric repeats at the ends. GC-rich regions are located at the middle of the sequences and are enriched with long interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs). Repetitive sequences including long-terminal repeats (LTRs) and LINEs occupy 71.6% of the genome. A total of 21,887 potential protein-coding genes were predicted. The genomic data reported in this study served not only matsutake gene sequences but also genome structures and intergenic sequences. The information gained would be a great reference for exploring the genetics, genomics, and evolutionary study of matsutake in the future, and ultimately facilitate the conservation of this vulnerable genetic resource.

RevDate: 2023-05-15

Delmonico L, Bines J, Nascimento CMD, et al (2023)

Nuclear and Cytoplasmic hTERT, Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes, and Telomere Elongation Leukocytes Are Independent Factors in the Response to Neoadjuvant Treatment in HER2-Enriched Breast Cancer.

Current oncology (Toronto, Ont.), 30(4):4094-4109 pii:curroncol30040311.

HER2-enriched tumors are responsible for 20% of breast tumors and have high rates of immune infiltrates in the tumor stroma that respond favorably to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. In the context of tumors, telomeres control cell death and prevent tumor cells from replicating discontinuously, leading to their immortalization. This study aimed to evaluate the presence of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, hTERT expression, hTERT promoter mutation, and leukocyte telomere length in HER2-enriched breast tumors. A total of 103 cases were evaluated, 19 with pathologic complete response. The TILs percentage was above ≥10 in 44 cases (43%) and significantly present in patients ≥50 years of age. hTERT staining positivity was mostly nuclear, significantly present in the non-pCR group, and associated with a lower survival rate. Leukocyte telomeres were elongated for HER2-enriched tumors, and in multivariate analysis, shortening was associated with an increased risk of death. Overall, our results show that the nuclear and cytoplasmic presence of hTERT may indicate a worse prognosis and that leukocyte telomere elongation is a protective factor.

RevDate: 2023-05-15

Vittal A, Niewisch MR, Bhala S, et al (2023)

Progression of liver disease and portal hypertension in dyskeratosis congenita and related telomere biology disorders.

Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.) pii:01515467-990000000-00436 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND AIMS: Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) and related telomere biology disorders (TBD) are characterized by very short telomeres and multi-system organ involvement including liver disease. Our study aimed to characterize baseline hepatic abnormalities in patients with DC/TBD and determine risk factors associated with liver disease progression.

APPROACH AND RESULTS: Retrospective review of a cohort of 58 patients (39 males) with DC/TBD who were prospectively evaluated at a single institute from 2002-2019. The median age at initial assessment was 18 (1.4-67.6) years and median follow-up duration was 6 (1.4-8.2) years. Patients with autosomal or X-linked recessive inheritance and those with heterozygous TINF2 DC were significantly younger, predominantly male, and more likely to have DC-associated mucocutaneous triad features and severe bone marrow failure compared with autosomal dominant-non-TINF2 DC/TBD patients. Liver abnormality (defined at baseline assessment by laboratory and/or radiological findings) was precent in 72.4% of patients with predominantly cholestatic pattern of liver enzyme elevation. Clinically significant liver disease and portal hypertension developed in 17.2% of patients during the six-year follow-up, this progression was mainly seen in patients with recessive or TINF2-associated DC. Significant risk factors associated with progression included the presence of pulmonary or vascular disease.

CONCLUSION: Our experience shows a high prevalence of cholestatic pattern of liver abnormality with progression to portal hypertension in patients with DC/TBD. Presence of pulmonary and/or vascular disease in patients with recessive or TINF2 DC were important predictors of liver disease progression suggesting the need for increased vigilance and monitoring for complications in these patients.

RevDate: 2023-05-15

Zade NH, E Khattar (2023)

POT1 mutations cause differential effects on telomere length leading to opposing disease phenotypes.

Journal of cellular physiology [Epub ahead of print].

The protection of telomere protein (POT1) is a telomere-binding protein and is an essential component of the six-membered shelterin complex, which is associated with the telomeres. POT1 directly binds to the 3' single-stranded telomeric overhang and prevents the activation of DNA damage response at telomeres thus preventing the telomere-telomere fusions and genomic instability. POT1 also plays a pivotal role in maintaining telomere length by regulating telomerase-mediated telomere elongation. Mutations in POT1 proteins result in three different telomere phenotypes, which include long, short, or aberrant telomere length. Long telomeres predispose individuals to cancer, while short or aberrant telomere phenotypes result in pro-aging diseases referred to as telomeropathies. Here, we review the function of POT1 proteins in telomere length hemostasis and how the spectrum of mutations reported in POT1 can be segregated toward developing very distinct disease phenotypes of cancer and telomeropathies.

RevDate: 2023-05-13

De Rosa M, PL Opresko (2023)

Translating the telomeres.

Trends in genetics : TIG pii:S0168-9525(23)00123-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Telomeres are transcribed into long noncoding telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA). Or so we thought. Recently, Al-Turki and Griffith provided evidence that TERRA can code for valine-arginine (VR) or glycine-leucine (GL) dipeptide repeat proteins by undergoing repeat-associated non-ATG (RAN) translation. This finding uncovers a new mechanism by which telomeres can impact cellular function.

RevDate: 2023-05-13

Morland F, Ewen JG, Simons MJP, et al (2023)

Early-life telomere length predicts life-history strategy and reproductive senescence in a threatened wild songbird.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Telomeres are well known for their associations with lifespan and ageing across diverse taxa. Early-life telomere length can be influenced by developmental conditions and has been shown positively affect lifetime reproductive success in a limited number of studies. Whether these effects are caused by a change in lifespan, reproductive rate or perhaps most importantly reproductive senescence is unclear. Using long-term data on female breeding success from a threatened songbird (the hihi, Notiomystis cincta), we show that the early-life telomere length of individuals predicts the presence and rate of future senescence of key reproductive traits: clutch size and hatching success. In contrast, senescence of fledging success is not associated with early-life telomere length, which may be due to the added influence of biparental care at this stage. Early-life telomere length does not predict lifespan or lifetime reproductive success in this species. Females may therefore change their reproductive allocation strategy depending on their early developmental conditions, which we hypothesise are reflected in their early-life telomere length. Our results offer new insights on the role that telomeres play in reproductive senescence and individual fitness and suggest telomere length can be used as a predictor for future life history in threatened species.

RevDate: 2023-05-12

McLester-Davis LWY, Estrada P, Hastings WJ, et al (2023)

A review and meta-analysis: Cross-tissue telomere length correlations in healthy humans.

Ageing research reviews pii:S1568-1637(23)00101-0 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND AND AIM: Tissue source has been shown to exert a significant effect on the magnitude of associations between telomere length and various health outcomes and exposures. The purpose of the present qualitative review and meta-analysis is to describe and investigate the impact of study design and methodological features on the correlation between telomere lengths measured in different tissues from the same healthy individual.

METHODS: This meta-analysis included studies published from 1988 to 2022. Databases searched included PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science and studies were identified using the keywords "telomere length" and "tissues" or "tissue." A total of 220 articles of 7,856 initially identified studies met inclusion criteria for qualitative review, of which 55 met inclusion criteria for meta-analysis in R RESULTS: Studies meeting inclusion criteria for meta-analysis tended to have enhanced demographic and methodological reporting relative to studies only included in the qualitative review. A total of 463 pairwise correlations reported for 4,324 unique individuals and 102 distinct tissues were extracted from the 55 studies and subject to meta-analysis, resulting in a significant effect size z = 0.66 (p < 0.0001) and meta-correlation coefficient of r = 0.58. Meta-correlations were significantly moderated by sample size and telomere length measurement methodology, with studies of smaller size and those using hybridization-based analyses exhibiting the largest meta-correlation. Tissue source also significantly moderated the meta-correlation, wherein correlations between samples of a different lineage (e.g., blood vs. non-blood) or collection method (e.g., peripheral vs. surgical) were lower than correlations between samples of the same lineage or collection method.

CONCLUSION: These results suggest that telomere lengths measured within individuals are generally correlated, but future research should be intentional in selecting a tissue for telomere length measurement that is most biologically relevant to the exposure or outcome investigated and balance this with the feasibility of obtaining the sample in sufficient numbers of individuals.

RevDate: 2023-05-13

Wu W, Li C, Zhu X, et al (2023)

Genetic association of telomere length, obesity and tobacoo smoking with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis risk.

BMC public health, 23(1):868.

BACKGROUND: Due to the inadequacy of published evidence, association of telomere length (TL), obesity and tobacco smoking with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) remains unclear. The aim of the study was to explore whether these exposures genetically affected the risk of the disease.

METHODS: Genetic variants from genome-wide association studies for TL, body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage (BFP) and tobacco smoking (including maternal smoking) were used as instrumental variables. Inverse-variance weighted were mainly adopted to determine the genetic association of these exposures with IPF. All analyses were conducted by R-software (version 3.6.1).

RESULTS: Firstly, longer TL was associated with the decreased risk of IPF (OR = 0.475 per SD increase in TL, 95%CI = 0.336 ~ 0.670, P<0.001). Secondly, higher levels of BMI and BFP were related to the increased risk of the disease (OR = 1.425 per SD increase in BMI level, 95%CI = 1.114 ~ 1.823, P = 0.005; OR = 1.702 per SD increase in BFP level, 95%CI = 1.202 ~ 2.409, P = 0.003). Thirdly, maternal smoking was implicated in the increased risk of the disease (OR = 13.183 per SD increase in the prevalence of maternal smoking, 95%CI = 1.820 ~ 95.484, P = 0.011).

CONCLUSION: TL should be a genetic risk factor for IPF. Obesity and exposure to tobacco smoking as a fetus might also contribute to the development of this fibrotic diseases. These findings should be verified by future studies.

RevDate: 2023-05-11

Mastrosimini MG, Manfrin E, Remo A, et al (2023)

Endoscopic ultrasound fine-needle biopsy to assess DAXX/ATRX expression and alternative lengthening of telomeres status in non-functional pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.

Pancreatology : official journal of the International Association of Pancreatology (IAP) ... [et al.] pii:S1424-3903(23)00139-4 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Death domain-associated protein (DAXX) and/or α-thalassemia/mental retardation X-linked (ATRX) chromatin remodeling genes mutations and alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) activation are associated with more aggressive behavior of non-functional pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NF-PanNETs). We aimed to evaluate the reliability of such markers on endoscopic-ultrasound fine-needle biopsy (EUS-FNB) specimens.

METHODS: Patients who underwent EUS-FNB and subsequent surgical resection for PanNETs between January 2017 and December 2019 were retrospectively identified. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) to evaluate DAXX/ATRX expression and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for ALT status were performed. Primary outcome was the concordance rate of markers expression between EUS-FNB and surgical specimens. Secondary aims were association between markers and lesion aggressiveness, their diagnostic performance in predicting aggressiveness, and agreement of preoperative and post-surgical Ki67-based grading.

RESULTS: Forty-one NF-PanNETs (mean diameter 36.1 ± 26.5 mm) were included. Twenty-four showed features of lesion aggressiveness. Concordance of expressions of DAXX, ATRX, and ALT status between EUS-FNB and surgical specimens were 95.1% (κ = 0.828; p < 0.001), 92.7% (κ = 0.626; p < 0.001), and 100% (κ = 1; p < 0.001), respectively. DAXX/ATRX loss and ALT-positivity were significantly (p < 0.05) associated with metastatic lymphnodes and lymphovascular invasion. The combination of all tumor markers (DAXX/ATRX loss + ALT-positivity + grade 2) reached an accuracy of 73.2% (95%CI 57.1-85.8) in identifying aggressive lesions. Pre- and post-operative ki-67-based grading was concordant in 80.5% of cases (k = 0.573; p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: DAXX/ATRX expression and ALT status can be accurately evaluated in a preoperative setting on EUS-FNB samples, potentially improving the identification of patients with increased risk and poorer prognosis.

RevDate: 2023-05-11

Maiese K (2023)

The Implications of Telomere Length: Advanced Aging, Cell Senescence, MRI Phenotypes, Stem Cells and Alzheimer's Disease.

RevDate: 2023-05-10

Mannherz W, S Agarwal (2023)

Publisher Correction: Thymidine nucleotide metabolism controls human telomere length.

RevDate: 2023-05-10

Ida CM, RB Jenkins (2023)

SMARCAL1: Expanding the spectrum of genes associated with alternative lengthening of telomeres.

RevDate: 2023-05-10

Yang D, Chen X, Cao W, et al (2023)

Association between mixed exposure of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and telomere length in general population: NHANES 2001-2002.

Environmental science and pollution research international [Epub ahead of print].

Although an association between single polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) adult exposure and telomere length has been reported, the evidence of mixed PAHs (1-napthol, 2-napthol, 3-fluorene, 2-fluorene, 3-phenanthrene, 1-phenanthrene, 2-phenanthrene, and 1-pyrene) exposure and telomere length in the adult general population is still not clear. A total of 1460 adults over the age of 20 years provided urine information on 8 PAHs and selected covariates from the 2001-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Bayesian nuclear machine regression (BKMR) was conducted to analyze these associations of telomere length in multiple PAH-exposed environments. Linear regression is mainly used for correlation analysis of PAHs with selected covariate adjustments. Restricted cubic spline (RCS) is used to estimate the correlation between selected PAHs and telomere length. After adjusting for potential covariates, PAHs mixed exposure was negatively associated with telomere length. The linear regression results showed that 2-napthol and 2-fluorene were negatively correlated with telomere length. Telomere length decreased by 1.0% in the fully adjusted model per increment of one unit in the base-10-logarithm-transformed 2-napthol and 2-fluorene concentrations (P = 0.030 and 0.049, respectively). However, the other 6 PAH metabolites were not significantly different. In addition, RCS results showed that 2-napthol has a marginal dose effect relationship with telomere length. Our present study suggested that PAHs are negatively associated with telomere length in the general population of the USA. Considering that the low level of PAHs exposure in the general population can also induce reduced telomere length and potential health risks, future research is needed to explore potential mechanisms.

RevDate: 2023-05-09

Biswas U, Deb Mallik T, Pschirer J, et al (2023)

Cohesin SMC1β promotes closed chromatin and controls TERRA expression at spermatocyte telomeres.

Life science alliance, 6(7): pii:6/7/e202201798.

Previous data showed that meiotic cohesin SMC1β protects spermatocyte telomeres from damage. The underlying reason, however, remained unknown as the expressions of telomerase and shelterin components were normal in Smc1β [-/-] spermatocytes. Here. we report that SMC1β restricts expression of the long noncoding RNA TERRA (telomeric repeat containing RNA) in spermatocytes. In somatic cell lines increased TERRA was reported to cause telomere damage through altering telomere chromatin structure. In Smc1β [-/-] spermatocytes, we observed strongly increased levels of TERRA which accumulate on damaged chromosomal ends, where enhanced R-loop formation was found. This suggested a more open chromatin configuration near telomeres in Smc1β [-/-] spermatocytes, which was confirmed by ATAC-seq. Telomere-distal regions were not affected by the absence of SMC1β but RNA-seq revealed increased transcriptional activity in telomere-proximal regions. Thus, SMC1β promotes closed chromatin specifically near telomeres and limits TERRA expression in spermatocytes.

RevDate: 2023-05-08

Hart M, Conrad J, Barrett E, et al (2023)

X-linked hydrocephalus genes: Their proximity to telomeres and high a + T content compared to Parkinson's disease.

Experimental neurology pii:S0014-4886(23)00118-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Proximity to telomeres (i) and high adenine and thymine (A + T) content (ii) are two factors associated with high mutation rates in human chromosomes. We have previously shown that >100 human genes when mutated to cause congenital hydrocephalus (CH) meet either factor (i) or (ii) at 91% matching, while two factors are poorly satisfied in human genes associated with familial Parkinson's disease (fPD) at 59%. Using the sets of mouse, rat, and human chromosomes, we found that 7 genes associated with CH were located on the X chromosome of mice, rats, and humans. However, genes associated with fPD were in different autosomes depending on species. While the contribution of proximity to telomeres in the autosome was comparable in CH and fPD, high A + T content played a pivotal contribution in X-linked CH (43% in all three species) than in fPD (6% in rodents or 13% in humans). Low A + T content found in fPD cases suggests that PARK family genes harbor roughly 3 times higher chances of methylations in CpG sites or epigenetic changes than X-linked genes.

RevDate: 2023-05-10
CmpDate: 2023-05-10

Jain M, Madeka S, E Khattar (2023)

Optimization of Performance Parameters of the TAGGG Telomere Length Assay.

Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE.

Telomeres are repetitive sequences which are present at chromosomal ends; their shortening is a characteristic feature of human somatic cells. Shortening occurs due to a problem with end replication and the absence of the telomerase enzyme, which is responsible for maintaining telomere length. Interestingly, telomeres also shorten in response to various internal physiological processes, like oxidative stress and inflammation, which may be impacted due to extracellular agents like pollutants, infectious agents, nutrients, or radiation. Thus, telomere length serves as an excellent biomarker of aging and various physiological health parameters. The TAGGG telomere length assay kit is used to quantify average telomere lengths using the telomere restriction fragment (TRF) assay and is highly reproducible. However, it is an expensive method, and because of this, it is not employed routinely for large sample numbers. Here, we describe a detailed protocol for an optimized and cost-effective measurement of telomere length using Southern blots or TRF analysis and non-radioactive chemiluminescence-based detection.

RevDate: 2023-05-07

Gregório C, Thakur S, Camara Rivero R, et al (2023)

Telomere length assessment and molecular characterization of TERT gene promoter in periampullary carcinomas.

Gene pii:S0378-1119(23)00301-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Genetic and epigenetic alterations of the telomere maintenance machinery like telomere length and telomerase reverse transcriptase (encoded by TERT gene) are reported in several human malignancies. However, there is limited knowledge on the status of the telomere machinery in periampullary carcinomas (PAC) which are rare and heterogeneous groups of cancers arising from different anatomic sites around the ampulla of Vater. In the current study, we investigated the relative telomere length (RTL) and the most frequent genetic and epigenetic alterations in the TERT promoter in PAC and compared it with tumor-adjacent nonpathological duodenum (NDu). We found shorter RTLs (1.27 vs 1.33, P=0.01) and lower TERT protein expression (p=0.04) in PAC tissues as compared to the NDu. Although we did not find any mutation at two reactivating hotspot mutation sites of the TERT promoter, we detected polymorphism in 45% (9/20) of the cases at rs2853669 (T>C). Also, we found a hypermethylated region in the TERT promoter of PACs consisting of four CpGs (cg10896616 with Δβ 7%; cg02545192 with Δβ 9%; cg03323598 with Δβ 19%; and cg07285213 with Δβ 15%). In conclusion, we identified shorter telomeres with DNA hypermethylation in the TERT promoter region and lower TERT protein expression in PAC tissues. These results could be used further to investigate molecular pathology and develop theranostics for PAC.

RevDate: 2023-05-07

Carson LM, RL Flynn (2023)

Highlighting vulnerabilities in the alternative lengthening of telomeres pathway.

Current opinion in pharmacology, 70:102380 pii:S1471-4892(23)00033-4 [Epub ahead of print].

The alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) pathway is a telomere elongation mechanism found in a small but often aggressive subset of cancers. Dependent on break-induced replication, telomere extension in ALT-positive cells relies on a baseline level of DNA replication stress to initiate elongation events. This results in an elevated level of DNA damage and presents a possible vulnerability to be exploited in the development of ALT-targeted cancer therapies. Currently, there are no treatment options that target the ALT mechanism or that are specific for ALT-positive tumors. Here, we review recent developments and promising directions in the development of ALT-targeted therapeutics, many of which involve tipping the balance towards inhibition or exacerbation of ALT activity to selectively target these cells.

RevDate: 2023-05-06

Deregowska A, Lewinska A, Warzybok A, et al (2023)

Telomere loss is accompanied by decreased pool of shelterin proteins TRF2 and RAP1, elevated levels of TERRA and enhanced glycolysis in imatinib-resistant CML cells.

Toxicology in vitro : an international journal published in association with BIBRA pii:S0887-2333(23)00057-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Telomere length may be maintained by telomerase nucleoprotein complex and shelterin complex, namely TRF1, TRF2, TIN2, TPP1, POT1 and RAP1 proteins and modulated by TERRA expression. Telomere loss is observed during progression of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) from the chronic phase (CML-CP) to the blastic phase (CML-BP). The introduction of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), such as imatinib (IM), has changed outcome for majority of patients, however, a number of patients treated with TKIs may develop drug resistance. The molecular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are not fully understood and require further investigation. In the present study, we demonstrate that IM-resistant BCR::ABL1 gene-positive CML K-562 and MEG-A2 cells are characterized by decreased telomere length, lowered protein levels of TRF2 and RAP1 and increased expression of TERRA in comparison to corresponding IM-sensitive CML cells and BCR::ABL1 gene-negative HL-60 cells. Furthermore, enhanced activity of glycolytic pathway was observed in IM-resistant CML cells. A negative correlation between a telomere length and advanced glycation end products (AGE) was also revealed in CD34[+] cells isolated from CML patients. In conclusion, we suggest that affected expression of shelterin complex proteins, namely TRF2 and RAP1, TERRA levels, and glucose consumption rate may promote telomere dysfunction in IM-resistant CML cells.

RevDate: 2023-05-05

Thompson AJ, CC Henrich (2023)

Maternal depression and child telomere length: The role of genetic sensitivity.

Journal of affective disorders pii:S0165-0327(23)00588-8 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The stress of a mother's depression may increasingly tax psychobiological systems that help children with self-regulation, increasing children's allostatic load over time. Some evidence supports children exposed to maternal depression tend to have shorter telomeres and tend to have more somatic and psychological problems. Children having one or more A1 alleles of dopamine receptor 2 (DRD2, rs1800497), tend to have greater sensitivity to maternal depression and could experience more adverse child outcomes that contribute to greater allostatic load.

METHODS: Using the Future Families and Child Wellbeing dataset, secondary-data analyses were used to test the effect of repeated exposure to maternal depression during early childhood on children's telomere length during middle childhood moderated by children's DRD2 genotype (N = 2884).

RESULTS: Greater maternal depression was not significantly associated with shorter child telomere length and this association was not moderated by DRD2 genotypes while controlling for factors associated with child telomere length.

IMPLICATIONS: The effect of maternal depression on children's TL may not be significant in populations from diverse racial-ethnic and family backgrounds during middle childhood. These findings could help further our current understanding psychobiological systems affected by maternal depression that result in adverse child outcomes.

LIMITATIONS: Even though this study used a relatively large and diverse sample, replication of DRD2 moderation in even larger samples is an important next step.

RevDate: 2023-05-04

Mascarenhas Dos Santos AC, Julian AT, Liang P, et al (2023)

Telomere-to-Telomere genome assemblies of human-infecting Encephalitozoon species.

BMC genomics, 24(1):237.

BACKGROUND: Microsporidia are diverse spore forming, fungal-related obligate intracellular pathogens infecting a wide range of hosts. This diversity is reflected at the genome level with sizes varying by an order of magnitude, ranging from less than 3 Mb in Encephalitozoon species (the smallest known in eukaryotes) to more than 50 Mb in Edhazardia spp. As a paradigm of genome reduction in eukaryotes, the small Encephalitozoon genomes have attracted much attention with investigations revealing gene dense, repeat- and intron-poor genomes characterized by a thorough pruning of molecular functions no longer relevant to their obligate intracellular lifestyle. However, because no Encephalitozoon genome has been sequenced from telomere-to-telomere and since no methylation data is available for these species, our understanding of their overall genetic and epigenetic architectures is incomplete.

METHODS: In this study, we sequenced the complete genomes from telomere-to-telomere of three human-infecting Encephalitozoon spp. -E. intestinalis ATCC 50506, E. hellem ATCC 50604 and E. cuniculi ATCC 50602- using short and long read platforms and leveraged the data generated as part of the sequencing process to investigate the presence of epigenetic markers in these genomes. We also used a mixture of sequence- and structure-based computational approaches, including protein structure prediction, to help identify which Encephalitozoon proteins are involved in telomere maintenance, epigenetic regulation, and heterochromatin formation.

RESULTS: The Encephalitozoon chromosomes were found capped by TTAGG 5-mer telomeric repeats followed by telomere associated repeat elements (TAREs) flanking hypermethylated ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene loci featuring 5-methylcytosines (5mC) and 5-hemimethylcytosines (5hmC), themselves followed by lesser methylated subtelomeres and hypomethylated chromosome cores. Strong nucleotide biases were identified between the telomeres/subtelomeres and chromosome cores with significant changes in GC/AT, GT/AC and GA/CT contents. The presence of several genes coding for proteins essential to telomere maintenance, epigenetic regulation, and heterochromatin formation was further confirmed in the Encephalitozoon genomes.

CONCLUSION: Altogether, our results strongly support the subtelomeres as sites of heterochromatin formation in Encephalitozoon genomes and further suggest that these species might shutdown their energy-consuming ribosomal machinery while dormant as spores by silencing of the rRNA genes using both 5mC/5hmC methylation and facultative heterochromatin formation at these loci.

RevDate: 2023-05-04

Wang Z, Liu J, Chen H, et al (2023)

Telomere Targeting Chimera Enables Targeted Destruction of Telomeric Repeat-Binding Factor Proteins.

Journal of the American Chemical Society [Epub ahead of print].

Telomeres are naturally shortened after each round of cell division in noncancerous normal cells, while the activation of telomerase activity to extend telomere in the cancer cell is essential for cell transformation. Therefore, telomeres are regarded as a potential anticancer target. In this study, we report the development of a nucleotide-based proteolysis-targeting chimera (PROTAC) designed to degrade TRF1/2 (telomeric repeat-binding factor 1/2), which are the key components of the shelterin complex (telosome) that regulates the telomere length by directly interacting with telomere DNA repeats. The prototype telomere-targeting chimeras (TeloTACs) efficiently degrade TRF1/2 in a VHL- and proteosome-dependent manner, resulting in the shortening of telomeres and suppressed cancer cell proliferation. Compared to the traditional receptor-based off-target therapy, TeloTACs have potential application in a broad spectrum of cancer cell lines due to their ability to selectively kill cancer cells that overexpress TRF1/2. In summary, TeloTACs provide a nucleotide-based degradation approach for shortening the telomere and inhibiting tumor cell growth, representing a promising avenue for cancer treatment.

RevDate: 2023-05-04

Robertson CM, Xue Y, Chowdhury S, et al (2023)

A CDK-Dependent Phosphorylation of a Novel Domain of Rif1 Regulates its Function during Telomere Damage and Other Types of Stress.

Molecular and cellular biology [Epub ahead of print].

Rif1 mediates telomere length, DNA replication, and DNA damage responses in budding yeast. Previous work identified several posttranslational modifications of Rif1, however none of these was shown to mediate the molecular or cellular responses to DNA damage, including telomere damage. We searched for such modifications using immunoblotting methods and the cdc13-1 and tlc1Δ models of telomere damage. We found that Rif1 is phosphorylated during telomere damage, and that serines 57 and 110 within a novel phospho-gate domain (PGD) of Rif1 are important for this modification, in cdc13-1 cells. The phosphorylation of Rif1 appeared to inhibit its accumulation on damaged chromosomes and the proliferation of cells with telomere damage. Moreover, we found that checkpoint kinases were upstream of this Rif1 phosphorylation and that the Cdk1 activity was essential for maintaining it. Apart from telomere damage, S57 and S110 were essential for Rif1 phosphorylation during the treatment of cells with genotoxic agents or during mitotic stress. We propose a speculative "Pliers" model to explain the role of the PGD phosphorylation during telomere and other types of damage.

RevDate: 2023-05-04

DeBoy EA, Tassia MG, Schratz KE, et al (2023)

Familial Clonal Hematopoiesis in a Long Telomere Syndrome.

The New England journal of medicine [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Telomere shortening is a well-characterized cellular aging mechanism, and short telomere syndromes cause age-related disease. However, whether long telomere length is advantageous is poorly understood.

METHODS: We examined the clinical and molecular features of aging and cancer in persons carrying heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in the telomere-related gene POT1 and noncarrier relatives.

RESULTS: A total of 17 POT1 mutation carriers and 21 noncarrier relatives were initially included in the study, and a validation cohort of 6 additional mutation carriers was subsequently recruited. A majority of the POT1 mutation carriers with telomere length evaluated (9 of 13) had long telomeres (>99th percentile). POT1 mutation carriers had a range of benign and malignant neoplasms involving epithelial, mesenchymal, and neuronal tissues in addition to B- and T-cell lymphoma and myeloid cancers. Five of 18 POT1 mutation carriers (28%) had T-cell clonality, and 8 of 12 (67%) had clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential. A predisposition to clonal hematopoiesis had an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance, as well as penetrance that increased with age; somatic DNMT3A and JAK2 hotspot mutations were common. These and other somatic driver mutations probably arose in the first decades of life, and their lineages secondarily accumulated a higher mutation burden characterized by a clocklike signature. Successive generations showed genetic anticipation (i.e., an increasingly early onset of disease). In contrast to noncarrier relatives, who had the typical telomere shortening with age, POT1 mutation carriers maintained telomere length over the course of 2 years.

CONCLUSIONS: POT1 mutations associated with long telomere length conferred a predisposition to a familial clonal hematopoiesis syndrome that was associated with a range of benign and malignant solid neoplasms. The risk of these phenotypes was mediated by extended cellular longevity and by the capacity to maintain telomeres over time. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.).

RevDate: 2023-05-04

Vassiliou G (2023)

Telomere Length and Clonal Hematopoiesis.

RevDate: 2023-05-04

Gavia-García G, Rosado-Pérez J, Arista-Ugalde TL, et al (2023)

The consumption of Sechium edule (chayote) has antioxidant effect and prevents telomere attrition in older adults with metabolic syndrome.

Redox report : communications in free radical research, 28(1):2207323.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of the consumption of Sechium edule (1.5 g/day) for six months on oxidative stress (OxS) and inflammation markers and its association with telomere length (TL) in older adults with metabolic syndrome (MetS).

METHODS: The study was conducted in a sample of 48 older adults: placebo (EP) and experimental (EG) groups. Lipoperoxides, protein carbonylation, 8-OHdG, total oxidant status (TOS), SOD, GPx, H2O2 inhibition, total antioxidant status (TAS), inflammatory cytokines (IL6, IL10, TNF-α), and TL were measured before and six months post-treatment.

RESULTS: We found a significant decrease in the levels of lipoperoxides, protein carbonylation, 8-OHdG, TOS in the EG in comparison PG. Likewise, a significante increase of TAS, IL-6, and IL-10 levels was found at six months post-treatment in EG in comparison with PG. TL showed a statistically significant decrease in PG compared to post-treatment EG.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findigns showed that the supplementation of Sechium edule has antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects, and diminushion of shortening of telomeric DNA in older adults with MetS. This would be the first study that shows that the intervention with Sechium edule has a possible geroprotective effect by preventing telomeres from shortening as usually happens in these patients. Therefore, suggesting a protection of telomeric DNA and genomic DNA.

RevDate: 2023-05-04

Whittemore K, M Fossel (2023)

Editorial: Telomere length and species lifespan.

Frontiers in genetics, 14:1199667.

RevDate: 2023-05-04

Liu M, Luo P, Liu L, et al (2023)

Immune-mediated inflammatory diseases and leukocyte telomere length: A Mendelian randomization study.

Frontiers in genetics, 14:1129247.

Objective: To elucidate the potential causality of leukocyte telomere length (LTL) with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs), we conducted a Mendelian randomization (MR) study. Methods: The genetically predicted causation between LTL and IMIDs was evaluated using a two-sample MR method. We analyzed 16 major IMIDs, which included systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcerative colitis (UC), Crohn's disease (CD), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), sicca syndrome (SS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), type 1 diabetes (T1D), primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), atopic dermatitis (AD), sarcoidosis, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, psoriasis, and childhood asthma. The random-effects inverse-variance weighted (IVW) method was performed as the main analytical approach in MR. Various sensitivity analyses, including MR-Egger, MR robust adjusted profile score (MR-RAPS), weighted median, MR pleiotropy residual sum and outlier (MR-PRESSO) methods, weighted mode, radial plot, and radial regression, were used to guarantee the robustness of the results and detect horizontal pleiotropy. Cochran's Q value was calculated to check for heterogeneity, and the MR Steiger approach was used to test the causal direction. Results: The MR results indicated significant inverse associations of LTL with risks of psoriasis (OR: 0.77, 95% CI: 0.66-0.89, and p = 3.66 × 10[-4]), SS (OR: 0.75, CI: 0.58-0.98, and p = 0.03), RA (OR: 0.77, 95% CI: 0.68-0.88, and p = 9.85 × 10[-5]), hypothyroidism (OR: 0.84, 95% CI: 0.78-0.91, and p = 7,08 × 10[-6]), hyperthyroidism (OR: 0.60, 95% CI: 0.44-0.83, and p = 1.90 × 10[-3]), sarcoidosis (OR: 0.67, 95% CI: 0.54-0.83, and p = 2.60 × 10[-4]), and IPF (OR: 0.41, 95% CI: 0.29-0.58, and p = 4.11 × 10[-7]) in the FinnGen study. We observed that longer LTL was associated with an increased risk of AS susceptibility (OR: 1.51, 95% CI: 1.18-1.94, and p = 9.66 × 10[-4]). The results of the IVW method showed no causal relationship between TL and SLE (OR: 0.92, 95% CI: 0.62-1.38, and p = 0.69) in the FinnGen study; however, a significantly positive correlation was shown between LTL and SLE in another larger GWAS (OR: 1.87, 95% CI: 1.37-2.54, and p = 8.01 × 10[-5]). Conclusion: Our findings reveal that abnormal LTL has the potential to increase the risk of IMIDs. Therefore, it could be treated as a predictor and may provide new potential treatment targets for IMIDs. However, the change of LTL may not be the direct cause of IMIDs. Further studies should aim at the pathogenic mechanism or potential protective effects of LTL in IMIDs.

RevDate: 2023-05-04
CmpDate: 2023-05-04

Voituron Y, Guillaume O, Dumet A, et al (2023)

Temperature-independent telomere lengthening with age in the long-lived human fish (Proteus anguinus).

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 290(1998):20230503.

Despite a number of studies showing a negative relationship between age and telomere length, the universality of this pattern has been recently challenged, mainly in ectothermic animals exhibiting diverse effects of age on telomere shortening. However, data on ectotherms may be strongly affected by the thermal history of the individuals. We thus investigated the age-related changes in relative telomere length in the skin of a small but long-lived amphibian living naturally in a stable thermal environment over its entire life, allowing comparison with other homeothermic animals like birds and mammals. The present data showed a positive relation between telomere length and individual age, independent of sex and body size. A segmented analysis highlighted a breakpoint in the telomere length-age relationship, suggesting that telomere length reached a plateau at the age of 25 years. Further studies focusing on the biology of animals that live much longer than expected based on body mass will contribute to our better understanding of how ageing processes evolved and may also bring innovation for extending human health span.

RevDate: 2023-05-02

Kalal AA, Shetty RA, Manjappa AB, et al (2023)

Prognostic significance of dysregulation of shelterin complex and its correlation with telomere length and cytogenetics in multiple myeloma.

Journal, genetic engineering & biotechnology, 21(1):50.

BACKGROUND: MM (multiple myeloma) is a bone marrow disease with the accumulation of malignant plasma cells characterized by the neoplastic transformation of differentiated B cells. The onset and progression of cancer are greatly influenced by telomere dysfunction. We aimed to study the biomarker potential and prognostic significance of shelterin complex and hTERT. Telomere length and gene expression were measured using real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), and these results were further correlated with clinical parameters.

RESULTS: Our study showed increased expression of all genes in complex, hTERT, and TL in MM (n = 72) in comparison with controls (n = 31). TRF2 (P = 0.025) and hTERT (P = 0.0002) displayed significant association among cytogenetic analysis. The receiver operative curve showed POT1 and RAP1 with a greater area under the curve (AUC). RAP1 (P = 0.020) and hTERT (P = 0.037) displayed to be independent prognostic markers for overall survival. Clinical parameters and genes were observed to be significantly correlated.

CONCLUSION: Our study findings showed variation in telomere-associated genes and suggest the participation of these genes as prognostic markers in MM. These results all together highlight the evaluation and role of genes involved in telomeric alteration and TL, providing the opportunity to study new therapeutic approaches in patients with MM.

RevDate: 2023-05-02

Zhao N, Yin G, Liu C, et al (2023)

Critically short telomeres derepress retrotransposons to promote genome instability in embryonic stem cells.

Cell discovery, 9(1):45.

Telomeres, at the ends of chromosomes, protect chromosomes from fusion and preserve genomic stability. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying telomere attrition-induced genome instability remain to be understood. We systematically analyzed the expression of retrotransposons and performed genomic sequencing of different cell and tissue types with telomeres of varying lengths due to telomerase deficiency. We found that critically short telomeres altered retrotransposon activity to promote genomic instability in mouse embryonic stem cells, as evidenced by elevated numbers of single nucleotide variants, indels and copy number variations (CNVs). Transpositions of retrotransposons such as LINE1 resulting from the short telomeres can also be found in these genomes with elevated number of mutations and CNVs. Retrotransposon activation is linked to increased chromatin accessibility, and reduced heterochromatin abundance correlates with short telomeres. Re-elongation of telomeres upon recovery of telomerase partly represses retrotransposons and heterochromatin accumulation. Together, our findings suggest a potential mechanism by which telomeres maintain genomic stability by suppressing chromatin accessibility and retrotransposon activity.

RevDate: 2023-05-02

Schreglmann SR, Goncalves T, Grant-Peters M, et al (2023)

Age-related telomere attrition in the human putamen.

Aging cell [Epub ahead of print].

Age is a major risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases. Shortening of leucocyte telomeres with advancing age, arguably a measure of "biological" age, is a known phenomenon and epidemiologically correlated with age-related disease. The main mechanism of telomere shortening is cell division, rendering telomere length in post-mitotic cells presumably stable. Longitudinal measurement of human brain telomere length is not feasible, and cross-sectional cortical brain samples so far indicated no attrition with age. Hence, age-related changes in telomere length in the brain and the association between telomere length and neurodegenerative diseases remain unknown. Here, we demonstrate that mean telomere length in the putamen, a part of the basal ganglia, physiologically shortens with age, like leukocyte telomeres. This was achieved by using matched brain and leukocyte-rich spleen samples from 98 post-mortem healthy human donors. Using spleen telomeres as a reference, we further found that mean telomere length was brain region-specific, as telomeres in the putamen were significantly shorter than in the cerebellum. Expression analyses of genes involved in telomere length regulation and oxidative phosphorylation revealed that both region- and age-dependent expression pattern corresponded with region-dependent telomere length dynamics. Collectively, our results indicate that mean telomere length in the human putamen physiologically shortens with advancing age and that both local and temporal gene expression dynamics correlate with this, pointing at a potential mechanism for the selective, age-related vulnerability of the nigro-striatal network.

RevDate: 2023-05-02

Aguilera P, Dubarry M, Géli V, et al (2023)

NPCs and APBs: two HUBs of non-canonical homology-based recombination at telomeres?.

Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) [Epub ahead of print].

Apart from a few rare exceptions, the maintenance of functional telomeres by recombination-based mechanisms is restricted to accidental and/or pathological situations. Originally described in the yeast S. cerevisiae, this mode of telomere repair has gained interest with the discovery of telomerase negative cancers that use alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT cancer) dependent on homologous recombination. In both yeast and humans, it has been shown that recombination at telomeres is spatially regulated and occurs preferentially at the nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) in yeast and at ALT-associated promyelocytic leukemia nuclear bodies (APBs) in human cells. Here, we discuss the potential relationships between these two membrane-less structures and their role in enabling unconventional recombination pathways.

RevDate: 2023-05-01

Doherty T, Dempster E, Hannon E, et al (2023)

A comparison of feature selection methodologies and learning algorithms in the development of a DNA methylation-based telomere length estimator.

BMC bioinformatics, 24(1):178.

BACKGROUND: The field of epigenomics holds great promise in understanding and treating disease with advances in machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence being vitally important in this pursuit. Increasingly, research now utilises DNA methylation measures at cytosine-guanine dinucleotides (CpG) to detect disease and estimate biological traits such as aging. Given the challenge of high dimensionality of DNA methylation data, feature-selection techniques are commonly employed to reduce dimensionality and identify the most important subset of features. In this study, our aim was to test and compare a range of feature-selection methods and ML algorithms in the development of a novel DNA methylation-based telomere length (TL) estimator. We utilised both nested cross-validation and two independent test sets for the comparisons.

RESULTS: We found that principal component analysis in advance of elastic net regression led to the overall best performing estimator when evaluated using a nested cross-validation analysis and two independent test cohorts. This approach achieved a correlation between estimated and actual TL of 0.295 (83.4% CI [0.201, 0.384]) on the EXTEND test data set. Contrastingly, the baseline model of elastic net regression with no prior feature reduction stage performed less well in general-suggesting a prior feature-selection stage may have important utility. A previously developed TL estimator, DNAmTL, achieved a correlation of 0.216 (83.4% CI [0.118, 0.310]) on the EXTEND data. Additionally, we observed that different DNA methylation-based TL estimators, which have few common CpGs, are associated with many of the same biological entities.

CONCLUSIONS: The variance in performance across tested approaches shows that estimators are sensitive to data set heterogeneity and the development of an optimal DNA methylation-based estimator should benefit from the robust methodological approach used in this study. Moreover, our methodology which utilises a range of feature-selection approaches and ML algorithms could be applied to other biological markers and disease phenotypes, to examine their relationship with DNA methylation and predictive value.

RevDate: 2023-05-01

Fattahi M, Maghsudlu M, M Hasan Sheikhha (2023)

Is sperm telomere length altered in teratozoospermia specimens? A case-control study.

International journal of reproductive biomedicine, 21(3):229-236.

BACKGROUND: Male factor infertility is a multifactorial defect, and many of its etiologies are unknown. Teratozoospermia is determined by the existence of over 85% morphologically abnormal spermatozoa in semen which are almost incompetent in fertilization function. One of the most novel issues in genetic alterations studies is the variation of sperm telomere lengths (STL) and its collaboration with male infertility. The present study has been focused on STL alterations in teratozoospermia.

OBJECTIVE: Investigation of differences in telomere length of teratozoospermia specimens and sperms with normal parameters.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this case-control study, 60 men referred to Arak Fertility Clinic, Markazi province, Iran from November 2017 to February 2018 were categorized into teratozoospermia and normozoospermic groups. Sperm genomic DNA extraction was conducted, and STL were evaluated using quantitative polymerase chain reaction.

RESULTS: Statistical evaluation of relative telomere length was calculated by the ratio of telomere to single-copy gene for teratozoospermia and normal specimens. Results significantly demonstrated that relative telomere length in teratozoospermia samples is nearly 3 times shorter than in normal samples (p > 0.001).

CONCLUSION: Our results represent the reduction of telomeres length in teratozoospermia and suggest that this alteration might be one of the factors contributing to the sperm fertility potential of this kind of specimen. However, defining relevant molecular processes requires further detailed investigations.

RevDate: 2023-04-29

Ngo K, Gittens TH, Gonzalez DI, et al (2023)

A comprehensive map of hotspots of de novo telomere addition in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Genetics pii:7147207 [Epub ahead of print].

Telomere healing occurs when telomerase, normally restricted to chromosome ends, acts upon a double-strand break to create a new, functional telomere. De novo telomere addition on the centromere-proximal side of a break truncates the chromosome but, by blocking resection, may allow the cell to survive an otherwise lethal event. We previously identified several sequences in the baker's yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, that act as hotspots of de novo telomere addition (termed Sites of Repair-associated Telomere Addition or SiRTAs), but the distribution and functional relevance of SiRTAs is unclear. Here, we describe a high-throughput sequencing method to measure the frequency and location of telomere addition within sequences of interest. Combining this methodology with a computational algorithm that identifies SiRTA sequence motifs, we generate the first comprehensive map of telomere-addition hotspots in yeast. Putative SiRTAs are strongly enriched in subtelomeric regions where they may facilitate formation of a new telomere following catastrophic telomere loss. In contrast, outside of subtelomeres, the distribution and orientation of SiRTAs appears random. Since truncating the chromosome at most SiRTAs would be lethal, this observation argues against selection for these sequences as sites of telomere addition per se. We find, however, that sequences predicted to function as SiRTAs are significantly more prevalent across the genome than expected by chance. Sequences identified by the algorithm bind the telomeric protein Cdc13, raising the possibility that association of Cdc13 with single-stranded regions generated during the response to DNA damage may facilitate DNA repair more generally.

RevDate: 2023-04-29

Kong PL, Looi LM, PL Cheah (2023)

Potential utility of telomere length assessment in breast cancer in a diagnostic histopathology setting.

The Malaysian journal of pathology, 45(1):51-63.

INTRODUCTION: Telomeres shorten with cell cycling but are restored above mortality threshold in many cancers making them potentially exploitable for differentiating malignant from benign tissues, and for cancer evaluation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We assessed telomeres in a diagnostic histopathology setting using quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridisation on 33 fibroadenoma (FA) and 73 invasive breast carcinoma of no special type (IBC-NST) (prototypes of benign and malignant breast tumours, respectively) with paired benign, non-lesional breast tissues (BNL). Telomere lengths were expressed as telomere/chromosome-2-centromere ratio (TCR). The telomere length cut-off for malignancy was also determined.

RESULTS: Mean TCR of IBC-NST was significantly shorter than FA and BNL (p<0.001). Mean TCR of FA was shorter than BNL but not significantly (p>0.05). TCR cut-off for IBC-NST based on FA was ≤0.29 (sensitivity=75.3%; specificity=78.8%), and ≤0.30 based on BNL (sensitivity=76.7%; specificity=89.0%). TCR of IBC-NST did not differ in relation to histological grade, nodal and hormonal status (p>0.05) but was significantly shorter in HER2-overexpressing cancers (p<0.05).

CONCLUSION: We have demonstrated a first-step to the development of methodologybased cut-off values of mean telomere length for distinguishing benign from malignant breast tissues. Telomere length may not value-add to the standard prognostic and predictive parameters, but has potential in relation to HER2.

RevDate: 2023-04-29

Lai TP, Verhulst S, Savage SA, et al (2023)

Buildup from birth onward of short telomeres in human hematopoietic cells.

Aging cell [Epub ahead of print].

Telomere length (TL) limits somatic cell replication. However, the shortest among the telomeres in each nucleus, not mean TL, is thought to induce replicative senescence. Researchers have relied on Southern blotting (SB), and techniques calibrated by SB, for precise measurements of TL in epidemiological studies. However, SB provides little information on the shortest telomeres among the 92 telomeres in the nucleus of human somatic cells. Therefore, little is known about the accumulation of short telomeres with age, or whether it limits the human lifespan. To fill this knowledge void, we used the Telomere-Shortest-Length-Assay (TeSLA), a method that tallies and measures single telomeres of all chromosomes. We charted the age-dependent buildup of short telomeres (<3 kb) in human hematopoietic cells from 334 individuals (birth-89 years) from the general population, and 18 patients with dyskeratosis congenita-telomere biology disorders (DC/TBDs), whose hematopoietic cells have presumably reached or are close to their replicative limit. For comparison, we also measured TL with SB. We found that in hematopoietic cells, the buildup of short telomeres occurs in parallel with the shortening with age of mean TL. However, the proportion of short telomeres was lower in octogenarians from the general population than in patients with DC/TBDs. At any age, mean TL was longer and the proportion of short telomeres lower in females than in males. We conclude that though converging to the TL-mediated replicative limit, hematopoietic cell telomeres are unlikely to reach this limit during the lifespan of most contemporary humans.

RevDate: 2023-04-28

Aman Y (2022)

Telomere vesicle transfer protects T cells from senescence.

Nature aging, 2(10):872.

RevDate: 2023-04-28

Vinciguerra M (2022)

Telomere oxidative lesions and cell senescence.

Nature aging, 2(8):690.

RevDate: 2023-04-28

Singh M, MacKenzie D, Desai S, et al (2023)

Diagnostic Biomarkers and Therapeutic Targets of Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres-Positive Cancers.

Genetic testing and molecular biomarkers, 27(4):123-125.

RevDate: 2023-04-28

Codd V, Denniff M, Swinfield C, et al (2022)

Measurement and initial characterization of leukocyte telomere length in 474,074 participants in UK Biobank.

Nature aging, 2(2):170-179.

Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is a proposed marker of biological age. Here we report the measurement and initial characterization of LTL in 474,074 participants in UK Biobank. We confirm that older age and male sex associate with shorter LTL, with women on average ~7 years younger in 'biological age' than men. Compared to white Europeans, LTL is markedly longer in African and Chinese ancestries. Older paternal age at birth is associated with longer individual LTL. Higher white cell count is associated with shorter LTL, but proportions of white cell subtypes show weaker associations. Age, ethnicity, sex and white cell count explain ~5.5% of LTL variance. Using paired samples from 1,351 participants taken ~5 years apart, we estimate the within-individual variability in LTL and provide a correction factor for this. This resource provides opportunities to investigate determinants and biomedical consequences of variation in LTL.

RevDate: 2023-04-28

Hägg S, Y Zhan (2022)

Telomere research entering the big data era.

Nature aging, 2(2):102-104.

RevDate: 2023-04-28

Saraswati S, Martínez P, Graña-Castro O, et al (2021)

Short and dysfunctional telomeres sensitize the kidneys to develop fibrosis.

Nature aging, 1(3):269-283.

Accumulation of short telomeres is a hallmark of aging. Mutations in telomerase or telomere-binding proteins lead to telomere shortening or dysfunction and are at the origin of human pathologies known as 'telomere syndromes', which are characterized by loss of the regenerative capacity of tissues and fibrotic pathologies. Here, we generated two mouse models of kidney fibrosis, either by combining telomerase deficiency to induce telomere shortening and a low dose of folic acid, or by conditionally deleting Trf1, a component of the shelterin telomere protective complex, from the kidneys. We find that short telomeres sensitize the kidneys to develop fibrosis in response to folic acid and exacerbate the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) program. Trf1 deletion in kidneys led to fibrosis and EMT activation. Our findings suggest that telomere shortening or dysfunction may contribute to pathological, age-associated renal fibrosis by influencing the EMT program.

RevDate: 2023-04-28

Moraes IB, Paiva IM, Moreira-Júnior RE, et al (2023)

Ethanol Preference Leads to Alterations in Telomere Length, Mitochondria Copy Number, and Antioxidant Enzyme Activity in Zebrafish Brains.

Frontiers in bioscience (Landmark edition), 28(4):73.

BACKGROUND: The motivations for and effects of ethanol consumption vary considerably among individuals, and as such, a significant proportion of the population is prone to substance abuse and its negative consequences in the physical, social, and psychological spheres. In a biological context, the characterization of these phenotypes provides clues for understanding the neurological complexity associated with ethanol abuse behavior. Therefore, the objective of this research was to characterize four ethanol preference phenotypes described in zebrafish: Light, Heavy, Inflexible, and Negative Reinforcement.

METHODS: To do this, we evaluated the telomere length, mtDNA copy number using real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR), and the activity of these antioxidant enzymes: catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) in the brain, and the interactions between these biomarkers. Changes observed in these parameters were associated with ethanol consumption and alcohol abuse.

RESULTS: The Heavy, Inflexible, and Negative Reinforcement phenotypes showed ethanol preference. This was particularly the case with the Inflexible phenotype, which was the group with the greatest ethanol preference. These three phenotypes showed telomere shortening as well as high SOD/CAT and/or GPx activities, while the Heavy phenotype also showed an increase in the mtDNA copy number. However, the Light phenotype, containing individuals without ethanol preference, did not demonstrate any changes in the analyzed parameters even after being exposed to the drug. Additionally, the PCA analysis showed a tendency to cluster the Light and Control groups differently from the other ethanol preference phenotypes. There was also a negative correlation between the results of the relative telomere length and SOD and CAT activity, providing further evidence of the biological relationship between these parameters.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results showed differential molecular and biochemistry patterns in individuals with ethanol preference, suggesting that the molecular and biochemical basis of alcohol abuse behavior extends beyond its harmful physiological effects, but rather is correlated with preference phenotypes.

RevDate: 2023-04-28

Duncan E, Papatheodoulou M, Metcalfe NB, et al (2023)

Does pre-spawning catch and release angling affect offspring telomere dynamics in Atlantic salmon?.

Conservation physiology, 11(1):coad018.

The practice of 'catch and release' (C&R) angling confers a balance between animal welfare, conservation efforts and preserving the socio-economic interests of recreational angling. However, C&R angling can still cause exhaustion and physical injury, and often exposes the captured fish to the stress of air exposure. Therefore, the true conservation success of C&R angling depends on whether the angled individuals then survive to reproduction and whether there are any persisting effects on subsequent generations. Here we tested the hypothesis that the stress of C&R angling is then passed on to offspring. We experimentally manipulated the C&R experience of wild adult salmon prior to the spawning season. These parental fish either underwent a C&R simulation (which involved exercise with/without air exposure) or were left as control individuals. We then measured the telomere length of the arising offspring (at the larval stage of development) since previous studies have linked a shorter telomere length with reduced fitness/longevity and the rate of telomere loss is thought to be influenced by stress. Family-level telomere length was positively related to rate of growth. However, the telomere lengths of the salmon offspring were unrelated to the C&R experience of their parents. This may be due to there being no intergenerational effect of parental stress exposure on offspring telomeres, or to any potential effects being buffered by the significant telomere elongation mechanisms that are thought to occur during the embryonic and larval stages of development. While this may suggest that C&R angling has a minimal intergenerational effect on offspring fitness, there have been numerous other reports of negative C&R effects, therefore we should still be aiming to mitigate and refine such practices, in order to minimize their impacts on fish populations.

RevDate: 2023-04-28

Yang Q, Nie Z, Zhu Y, et al (2023)

Inhibition of TRF2 Leads to Ferroptosis, Autophagic Death, and Apoptosis by Causing Telomere Dysfunction.

Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2023:6897268.

BACKGROUND: Gastric cancer (GC) is an aggressive malignancy with a high mortality rate and poor prognosis. Telomeric repeat-binding factor 2 (TRF2) is a critical telomere protection protein. Emerging evidence indicates that TRF2 may be an essential treatment option for GC; however, the exact mechanism remains largely unknown.

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to explore the role of TRF2 in GC cells. The function and molecular mechanisms of TRF2 in the pathogenesis of GC were mainly discussed in this study.

METHODS: Relevant data from GEPIA and TCGA databases regarding TRF2 gene expression and its prognostic significance in GC samples were analyzed. Analysis of 53BP1 foci at telomeres by immunofluorescence, metaphase spreads, and telomere-specific FISH analysis was carried out to explore telomere damage and dysfunction after TRF2 depletion. CCK8 cell proliferation, trypan blue staining, and colony formation assay were performed to evaluate cell survival. Apoptosis and cell migration were determined with flow cytometry and scratch-wound healing assay, respectively. qRT-PCR and Western blotting were carried out to analyze the mRNA and protein expression levels after TRF2 depletion on apoptosis, autophagic death, and ferroptosis.

RESULTS: By searching with GEPIA and TCGA databases, the results showed that the expression levels of TRF2 were obviously elevated in the samples of GC patients, which was associated with adverse prognosis. Knockdown of TRF2 suppressed the cell growth, proliferation, and migration in GC cells, causing significant telomere dysfunction. Apoptosis, autophagic death, and ferroptosis were also triggered in this process. The pretreatment of chloroquine (autophagy inhibitor) and ferrostatin-1 (ferroptosis inhibitor) improved the survival phenotypes of GC cells.

CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that TRF2 depletion can inhibit cell growth, proliferation, and migration through the combined action of ferroptosis, autophagic death, and apoptosis in GC cells. The results indicate that TRF2 might be used as a potential target to develop therapeutic strategies for treating GC.

RevDate: 2023-04-28

Wang X, Wen J, Qu Q, et al (2023)

Association of weight range with telomere length: A retrospective cohort study.

Frontiers in endocrinology, 14:1106283.

OBJECTIVE: Previous research has shown a significant association between weight and telomere length, but did not take into consideration weight range. The study was to investigate the association of weight range with telomere length.

METHODS: Data of 2918 eligible participants aged 25-84 years from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2000 cycle were analyzed. Information about demographic variables, lifestyle factors, anthropometric variables, and medical comorbidities were included. Univariate and multivariate linear regression model with adjustments for potential confounders were employed to determine the association between weight range and telomere length. A non-parametrically restricted cubic spline model was used to illustrate the possible non-linear relationship.

RESULTS: In univariate linear regression, BMImax, BMI range, and weight range all revealed significant negative associations with telomere length. However, annual rate of BMI/weight range showed a significant positive associations with telomere length. There was no significant association between telomere length and BMImin. After adjusting for potential confounders, the inverse associations persisted in BMImax (β=-0.003, P<0.001), BMI range (β=-0.002, P=0.003), and weight range (β=-0.001, P=0.001). Furthermore, annual rate of BMI range (β=-0.026, P=0.009) and weight range (β=-0.010, P=0.007) presented negative associations with telomere length, after adjusting for covariates in Model 2-4. The association between BMImin (β =-0.002, P=0.237) and telomere length still could not reach statistical significance in multivariate linear regression model. The results of restricted cubic spline analysis showed that BMImax (P for nonlinear =0.026), BMI range (P for nonlinear =0.022), weight range (P for nonlinear =0.035), annual rate of BMI range (P for nonlinear =0.030), and annual rate of weight range (P for nonlinear =0.027) all had nonlinear inverse associations with telomere length.

CONCLUSIONS: The study suggests that weight range is inversely associated with telomere length in U.S. adults. Larger weight fluctuation may accelerate telomere shortening and aging.

RevDate: 2023-04-28

Adwan Shekhidem H, Sharvit L, Huffman DM, et al (2023)

Damage-Free Shortening of Telomeres Is a Potential Strategy Supporting Blind Mole-Rat Longevity.

Genes, 14(4): pii:genes14040845.

Telomere shortening or loss of shelterin components activates DNA damage response (DDR) pathways, leading to a replicative senescence that is usually coupled with a senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Recent studies suggested that telomere aberration that activates DDR may occur, irrespective of telomere length or loss of shelterin complex. The blind mole-rat (Spalax) is a subterranean rodent with exceptional longevity, and its cells demonstrate an uncoupling of senescence and SASP inflammatory components. Herein, we evaluated Spalax relative telomere length, telomerase activity, and shelterin expression, along with telomere-associated DNA damage foci (TAFs) levels with cell passage. We show that telomeres shorten in Spalax fibroblasts similar to the process in rats, and that the telomerase activity is lower. Moreover, we found lower DNA damage foci at the telomeres and a decline in the mRNA expression of two shelterin proteins, known as ATM/ATR repressors. Although additional studies are required for understanding the underling mechanism, our present results imply that Spalax genome protection strategies include effective telomere maintenance, preventing early cellular senescence induced by persistent DDR, thereby contributing to its longevity and healthy aging.

RevDate: 2023-04-28

Pennarun G, Picotto J, P Bertrand (2023)

Close Ties between the Nuclear Envelope and Mammalian Telomeres: Give Me Shelter.

Genes, 14(4): pii:genes14040775.

The nuclear envelope (NE) in eukaryotic cells is essential to provide a protective compartment for the genome. Beside its role in connecting the nucleus with the cytoplasm, the NE has numerous important functions including chromatin organization, DNA replication and repair. NE alterations have been linked to different human diseases, such as laminopathies, and are a hallmark of cancer cells. Telomeres, the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, are crucial for preserving genome stability. Their maintenance involves specific telomeric proteins, repair proteins and several additional factors, including NE proteins. Links between telomere maintenance and the NE have been well established in yeast, in which telomere tethering to the NE is critical for their preservation and beyond. For a long time, in mammalian cells, except during meiosis, telomeres were thought to be randomly localized throughout the nucleus, but recent advances have uncovered close ties between mammalian telomeres and the NE that play important roles for maintaining genome integrity. In this review, we will summarize these connections, with a special focus on telomere dynamics and the nuclear lamina, one of the main NE components, and discuss the evolutionary conservation of these mechanisms.

RevDate: 2023-04-27

Lanna A, C D'Ambra (2023)

Detection of Telomere Transfer at Immunological Synapse.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2654:251-261.

Eukaryotes solve the DNA-end replication problem synthesizing hexameric chromosome ends known as telomeres. Recent studies have uncovered unexpected functions of telomeres in linking synaptic signaling and vesicle transport, with at least one pathway directly involved in transferring telomeres through the immune synapse. These emerging forms of cellular communication may originate a new class of antiaging interventions based on telomere transplants.

RevDate: 2023-04-27

de Punder K, Heim C, Martens DS, et al (2023)

Maximal telomerase activity capacity (mTAC) underlies the link between the cortisol response to stress and telomere length.

Psychoneuroendocrinology, 153:106120 pii:S0306-4530(23)00098-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Exposure to various forms of stress has been associated with shorter telomere length (TL). However, the molecular underpinnings of this effect are poorly understood. Based on an understanding of the key role of the reverse transcriptase enzyme telomerase in regulating TL, and building upon our previous work in developing and validating a biomarker of the capacity of cells to express telomerase (maximal telomerase activity capacity (mTAC)), we examine here the hypotheses that mTAC is positively associated with TL and that the effect of stress on TL is mediated by individual differences in mTAC. In a proof-of-principle study of 28 healthy women and men we quantified the cortisol response to a standardized stress challenge, the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), and we concurrently assessed peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) mTAC and TL. Our results indicated that higher mTAC levels were associated with longer TL (r = 0.50, p = .01). Moreover, mediational analysis suggested that the effect of the cortisol stress response on TL was mediated by mTAC (completely standardized β = -0.17, bootstrap CI95 %: -0.44 to -0.01). Thus, our findings support the premise that individual differences in the capacity of cells to up-regulate telomerase may represent a key mediator in the link between stress and TL.

RevDate: 2023-04-27

Broderick R, Cherdyntseva V, Nieminuszczy J, et al (2023)

Pathway choice in the alternative telomere lengthening in neoplasia is dictated by replication fork processing mediated by EXD2's nuclease activity.

Nature communications, 14(1):2428.

Telomerase-independent cancer proliferation via the alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) relies upon two distinct, largely uncharacterized, break-induced-replication (BIR) processes. How cancer cells initiate and regulate these terminal repair mechanisms is unknown. Here, we establish that the EXD2 nuclease is recruited to ALT telomeres to direct their maintenance. We demonstrate that EXD2 loss leads to telomere shortening, elevated telomeric sister chromatid exchanges, C-circle formation as well as BIR-mediated telomeric replication. We discover that EXD2 fork-processing activity triggers a switch between RAD52-dependent and -independent ALT-associated BIR. The latter is suppressed by EXD2 but depends specifically on the fork remodeler SMARCAL1 and the MUS81 nuclease. Thus, our findings suggest that processing of stalled replication forks orchestrates elongation pathway choice at ALT telomeres. Finally, we show that co-depletion of EXD2 with BLM, DNA2 or POLD3 confers synthetic lethality in ALT cells, identifying EXD2 as a potential druggable target for ALT-reliant cancers.

RevDate: 2023-04-27

Dang MJ, Li T, Zhao LL, et al (2023)

Leukocyte Telomere Length and Lacunar Stroke: A Mendelian Randomization Study.

Biomedical and environmental sciences : BES, 36(4):367-370.

RevDate: 2023-04-27

McKnight I, Raines R, White H, et al (2023)

Mutability of druggable kinases and pro-inflammatory cytokines by their proximity to telomeres and A+T content.

PloS one, 18(4):e0283470 pii:PONE-D-22-21506.

Mutations of protein kinases and cytokines are common and can cause cancer and other diseases. However, our understanding of the mutability in these genes remains rudimentary. Therefore, given previously known factors which are associated with high mutation rates, we analyzed how many genes encoding druggable kinases match (i) proximity to telomeres or (ii) high A+T content. We extracted this genomic information using the National Institute of Health Genome Data Viewer. First, among 129 druggable human kinase genes studied, 106 genes satisfied either factors (i) or (ii), resulting in an 82% match. Moreover, a similar 85% match rate was found in 73 genes encoding pro-inflammatory cytokines of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. Based on these promising matching rates, we further compared these two factors utilizing 20 de novo mutations of mice exposed to space-like ionizing radiation, in order to determine if these seemingly random mutations were similarly predictable with this strategy. However, only 10 of these 20 murine genetic loci met (i) or (ii), leading to only a 50% match. When compared with the mechanisms of top-selling FDA approved drugs, this data suggests that matching rate analysis on druggable targets is feasible to systematically prioritize the relative mutability-and therefore therapeutic potential-of the novel candidates.

RevDate: 2023-04-27

Penrice DD, Jalan-Sakrikar N, Jurk D, et al (2023)

Telomere dysfunction in chronic liver disease: The link from aging.

Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.) pii:01515467-990000000-00410 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2023-04-25

Tometten M, Kirschner M, Meyer R, et al (2023)

Identification of Adult Patients With Classical Dyskeratosis Congenita or Cryptic Telomere Biology Disorder by Telomere Length Screening Using Age-modified Criteria.

HemaSphere, 7(5):e874.

Telomere biology disorders (TBD) result from premature telomere shortening due to pathogenic germline variants in telomere maintenance-associated genes. In adults, TBD are characterized by mono/oligosymptomatic clinical manifestations (cryptic TBD) contributing to severe underdiagnosis. We present a prospective multi-institutional cohort study where telomere length (TL) screening was performed in either newly diagnosed patients with aplastic anemia (AA) or if TBD was clinically suspected by the treating physician. TL of 262 samples was measured via flow-fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). TL was considered suspicious once below the 10th percentile of normal individuals (standard screening) or if below 6.5 kb in patients >40 years (extended screening). In cases with shortened TL, next generation sequencing (NGS) for TBD-associated genes was performed. The patients referred fell into 6 different screening categories: (1) AA/paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, (2) unexplained cytopenia, (3) dyskeratosis congenita, (4) myelodysplastic syndrome/acute myeloid leukemia, (5) interstitial lung disease, and (6) others. Overall, TL was found to be shortened in 120 patients (n = 86 standard and n = 34 extended screening). In 17 of the 76 (22.4%) standard patients with sufficient material for NGS, a pathogenic/likely pathogenic TBD-associated gene variant was identified. Variants of uncertain significance were detected in 17 of 76 (22.4%) standard and 6 of 29 (20.7%) extended screened patients. Expectedly, mutations were mainly found in TERT and TERC. In conclusion, TL measured by flow-FISH represents a powerful functional in vivo screening for an underlying TBD and should be performed in every newly diagnosed patient with AA as well as other patients with clinical suspicion for an underlying TBD in both children and adults.

RevDate: 2023-04-24

Ruan Y, Lv W, Li S, et al (2023)

Identification of telomere-related genes associated with aging-related molecular clusters and the construction of a diagnostic model in Alzheimer's disease based on a bioinformatic analysis.

Computers in biology and medicine, 159:106922 pii:S0010-4825(23)00387-6 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease that is strongly associated with aging. Telomeres are DNA sequences that protect chromosomes from damage and shorten with age. Telomere-related genes (TRGs) may play a role in AD's pathogenesis.

OBJECTIVES: To identify TRGs related to aging clusters in AD patients, explore their immunological characteristics, and build a TRG-based prediction model for AD and AD subtypes.

METHODS: We analyzed the gene expression profiles of 97 AD samples from the GSE132903 dataset, using aging-related genes (ARGs) as clustering variables. We also assessed immune-cell infiltration in each cluster. We performed a weighted gene co-expression network analysis to identify cluster-specific differentially expressed TRGs. We compared four machine-learning models (random forest, generalized linear model [GLM], gradient boosting model, and support vector machine) for predicting AD and AD subtypes based on TRGs and validated TRGs by conducting an artificial neural network (ANN) analysis and a nomogram model.

RESULTS: We identified two aging clusters in AD patients with distinct immunological features: Cluster A had higher immune scores than Cluster B. Cluster A and the immune system are intimately associated, and this association could affect immunological function and result in AD via the digestive system. The GLM predicted AD and AD subtypes most accurately and was validated by the ANN analysis and nomogram model.

CONCLUSION: Our analyses revealed novel TRGs associated with aging clusters in AD patients and their immunological characteristics. We also developed a promising prediction model based on TRGs for assessing AD risk.

RevDate: 2023-04-24

Zhou Y, Xiong J, Shu Z, et al (2023)

The telomere-to-telomere genome of Fragaria vesca reveals the genomic evolution of Fragaria and the origin of cultivated octoploid strawberry.

Horticulture research, 10(4):uhad027.

Fragaria vesca, commonly known as wild or woodland strawberry, is the most widely distributed diploid Fragaria species and is native to Europe and Asia. Because of its small plant size, low heterozygosity, and relative ease of genetic transformation, F. vesca has been a model plant for fruit research since the publication of its Illumina-based genome in 2011. However, its genomic contribution to octoploid cultivated strawberry remains a long-standing question. Here, we de novo assembled and annotated a telomere-to-telomere, gap-free genome of F. vesca 'Hawaii 4', with all seven chromosomes assembled into single contigs, providing the highest completeness and assembly quality to date. The gap-free genome is 220 785 082 bp in length and encodes 36 173 protein-coding gene models, including 1153 newly annotated genes. All 14 telomeres and seven centromeres were annotated within the seven chromosomes. Among the three previously recognized wild diploid strawberry ancestors, F. vesca, F. iinumae, and F. viridis, phylogenomic analysis showed that F. vesca and F. viridis are the ancestors of the cultivated octoploid strawberry F. × ananassa, and F. vesca is its closest relative. Three subgenomes of F. × ananassa belong to the F. vesca group, and one is sister to F. viridis. We anticipate that this high-quality, telomere-to-telomere, gap-free F. vesca genome, combined with our phylogenomic inference of the origin of cultivated strawberry, will provide insight into the genomic evolution of Fragaria and facilitate strawberry genetics and molecular breeding.

RevDate: 2023-04-23

Voirin CJ, Tsunekage T, Liu Y, et al (2023)

Brood size is associated with apparent telomere lengthening in nestling barn swallows.

Oecologia [Epub ahead of print].

Early life for animals is often a time of rapid growth and development. In a resource-limited environment, life history theory predicts that there must be trade-offs between resource sinks in ways that optimize future survival and reproductive success. Telomeres have emerged as putative indicators of these early life trade-offs, but there are conflicting accounts as to how developmental traits and conditions impact telomere length and dynamics. For 2 years, we studied the nestlings of a breeding population of barn swallows from day 6 to day 12 of life, measuring various ontogenetic factors to understand to what extent they explain variation in telomere length and dynamics. We unexpectedly found that telomeres lengthened between the two sampling points. Nestlings in large broods had shorter telomeres, but surprisingly, individuals that grew faster from day 6 to day 12 had longer telomeres and more telomere lengthening. Nestlings with higher mass relative to their nestmates on d6 had shorter telomeres, suggesting that the relatively fast growth barn swallows experience early in development is more costly than the relatively slower growth later in development. These effects were only found in the first year of study. Telomere lengthening may be due to the initiation of new hematopoietic cell lines during development or the expression of telomerase early in life. Favorable early life conditions and high parental investment could allow for more growth with little to no cost to telomere length or dynamics.

RevDate: 2023-04-21

Piñeiro-Hermida S, Bosso G, Sánchez-Vázquez R, et al (2023)

Telomerase deficiency and dysfunctional telomeres in the lung tumor microenvironment impair tumor progression in NSCLC mouse models and patient-derived xenografts.

Cell death and differentiation [Epub ahead of print].

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a leading cause of cancer death. Tumor progression depends on interactions of cancer cells with the tumor microenvironment. Here, we find increased copy number and mRNA expression of the catalytic subunit of telomerase, TERT, in tumors from NSCLC patients, contributing to a lower survival. Moreover, TERT expression in NSCLC patients from the TCGA cohort is mainly associated to the reduced infiltration of CD8[+] T lymphocytes, as well as to increased infiltration of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). We also show that TERT deficiency and dysfunctional telomeres induced by 6-thio-dG treatment in mice reduced lung tumor implantation and vascularization, increased DNA damage response, cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, as well as reduced proliferation, inflammation, lung tumor immunosupression and invasion upon induction of a Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC). Furthermore, 6-thio-dG-treated human NSCLC xenografts exhibited increased telomere damage, cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, as well as reduced proliferation, resulting in a reduced tumor growth. Our results show that targeting telomeres might be an effective therapeutic strategy in NSCLC.

RevDate: 2023-04-21

Anonymous (2023)

Telomere Shortening Induces T-cell Dysfunction and Squamous Cell Cancers.

Cancer discovery pii:726044 [Epub ahead of print].

Patients with short telomere syndromes are predisposed to squamous cell carcinomas due to T-cell dysfunction.

RevDate: 2023-04-20

Cortez Cardoso Penha R, Smith-Byrne K, Atkins JR, et al (2023)

Common genetic variations in telomere length genes and lung cancer: a Mendelian randomisation study and its novel application in lung tumour transcriptome.

eLife, 12: pii:83118.

BACKGROUND: Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified genetic susceptibility variants for both leukocyte telomere length (LTL) and lung cancer susceptibility. Our study aims to explore the shared genetic basis between these traits and investigate their impact on somatic environment of lung tumours.

METHODS: We performed genetic correlation, Mendelian randomisation (MR), and colocalisation analyses using the largest available GWASs summary statistics of LTL (N=464,716) and lung cancer (N=29,239 cases and 56,450 controls). Principal components analysis based on RNA-sequencing data was used to summarise gene expression profile in lung adenocarcinoma cases from TCGA (N=343).

RESULTS: Although there was no genome-wide genetic correlation between LTL and lung cancer risk, longer LTL conferred an increased risk of lung cancer regardless of smoking status in the MR analyses, particularly for lung adenocarcinoma. Of the 144 LTL genetic instruments, 12 colocalised with lung adenocarcinoma risk and revealed novel susceptibility loci, including MPHOSPH6, PRPF6, and POLI. The polygenic risk score for LTL was associated with a specific gene expression profile (PC2) in lung adenocarcinoma tumours. The aspect of PC2 associated with longer LTL was also associated with being female, never smokers, and earlier tumour stages. PC2 was strongly associated with cell proliferation score and genomic features related to genome stability, including copy number changes and telomerase activity.

CONCLUSIONS: This study identified an association between longer genetically predicted LTL and lung cancer and sheds light on the potential molecular mechanisms related to LTL in lung adenocarcinomas.

FUNDING: Institut National du Cancer (GeniLuc2017-1-TABAC-03-CIRC-1-TABAC17-022), INTEGRAL/NIH (5U19CA203654-03), CRUK (C18281/A29019), and Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR-10-INBS-09).

RevDate: 2023-04-20

Zheng B, J Fu (2023)

Telomere dysfunction in some pediatric congenital and growth-related diseases.

Frontiers in pediatrics, 11:1133102.

Telomere wear and dysfunction may lead to aging-related diseases. Moreover, increasing evidence show that the occurrence, development, and prognosis of some pediatric diseases are also related to telomere dysfunction. In this review, we systematically analyzed the relationship between telomere biology and some pediatric congenital and growth-related diseases and proposed new theoretical basis and therapeutic targets for the treatment of these diseases.

RevDate: 2023-04-19

Saradadevi GP, Fultz D, Ramgopal MK, et al (2023)

Structural variation among assembled genomes facilitates development of rapid and low-cost NOR-linked markers and NOR-telomere junction mapping in Arabidopsis.

Plant cell reports [Epub ahead of print].

Genome-wide structural variants we identified and new NOR-linked markers we developed would be useful for future genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and for new gene/trait mapping purposes. Bioinformatic alignment of the assembled genomes of Col-0 and Sha ecotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana revealed ~ 13,000 genome-wide structural variants involving simple insertions or deletions and repeat contractions or expansions. Using some of these structural variants, we developed new, rapid, and low-cost PCR-based molecular markers that are genetically linked to the nucleolus organizer regions (NORs). A. thaliana has two NORs, one each on chromosome 2 (NOR2) and chromosome 4 (NOR4). Both NORs are ~ 4 Mb each, and hundreds of 45S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes are tandemly arrayed at these loci. Using previously characterized recombinant inbred lines (RILs) derived from Sha x Col-0 crosses, we validated the utility of the newly developed NOR-linked markers in genetically mapping rRNA genes and the associated telomeres to either NOR2 or NOR4. Lastly, we sequenced Sha genome using Oxford Nanopore Technology (ONT) and used the data to obtain sequences of NOR-telomere junctions, and with the help of RILs, we mapped them as new genetic markers to their respective NORs (NOR2-TEL2N and NOR4-TEL4N). The structural variants obtained from this study would serve as valuable data for genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and to rapidly design more genome-wide genetic (molecular) markers for new gene/trait mapping purposes.

RevDate: 2023-04-18

Mender I, Siteni S, Barron S, et al (2023)

Activating an Adaptive Immune Response with a Telomerase-mediated Telomere Targeting Therapeutic in Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

Molecular cancer therapeutics pii:725882 [Epub ahead of print].

A select group of hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) patients benefit from surgical, radiological, and systemic therapies that include a combination of anti-angiogenic and immune-checkpoint inhibitors. However, since HCC is generally asymptomatic in its early stages, this not only leads to late diagnosis, but also to therapy resistance. The nucleoside analogue 6-thio-dG (THIO) is a first-in-class telomerase-mediated telomere-targeting anticancer agent. In telomerase expressing cancer cells, THIO is converted into the corresponding 5'-triphosphate, which is efficiently incorporated into telomeres by telomerase, activating telomere damage responses and apoptotic pathways. Here, we show how THIO is effective in controlling tumor growth and, when combined with immune checkpoint inhibitors, is even more effective in a T-cell dependent manner. We also show telomere stress induced by THIO increases both innate sensing and adaptive anti-tumor immunity in HCC. Importantly, the extracellular HMGB1 (high-mobility group box 1) protein acts as a prototypical endogenous DAMP (Damage Associated Molecular Pattern) in eliciting adaptive immunity by THIO. These results provide a strong rationale for combining telomere-targeted therapy with immunotherapy.

RevDate: 2023-04-17

Ertunc O, Smearman E, Zheng Q, et al (2023)

Chromogenic detection of telomere lengths in situ aids the identification of precancerous lesions in the prostate.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.04.04.535575.

Telomeres are terminal chromosomal elements that are essential for the maintenance of genomic integrity. The measurement of telomere content provides useful diagnostic and prognostic information, and fluorescent methods have been developed for this purpose. However, fluorescent-based tissue assays are cumbersome for investigators to undertake, both in research and clinical settings. Here, a robust chromogenic in situ hybridization (CISH) approach was developed to visualize and quantify telomere content at single cell resolution in human prostate tissues, both frozen and formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE). This new assay ("Telo-CISH") produces permanently stained slides that are viewable with a standard light microscope, thus avoiding the need for specialized equipment and storage. The assay is compatible with standard immunohistochemistry, thereby allowing simultaneous assessment of histomorphology, identification of specific cell types, and assessment of telomere status. In addition, Telo-CISH eliminates the problem of autofluorescent interference that frequently occurs with fluorescent-based methods. Using this new assay, we demonstrate successful application of Telo-CISH to help identify precancerous lesions in the prostate by the presence of markedly short telomeres specifically in the luminal epithelial cells. In summary, with fewer restrictions on the types of tissues that can be tested, and increased histologic information provided, the advantages presented by this novel chromogenic assay should extend the applicability of tissue-based telomere length assessment in research and clinical settings.

RevDate: 2023-04-17

Francis M, Lindrose A, O'Connell S, et al (2023)

The interaction of socioeconomic stress and race on telomere length in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

SSM - population health, 22:101380.

RATIONALE: Proposed mechanisms relating early life exposures to poor health suggest that biologic indicators of risk are observable in childhood. Telomere length (TL) is a biomarker of aging, psychosocial stress, and a range of environmental exposures. In adults, exposure to early life adversity, including low socioeconomic status (SES), is predictive of shorter TL. However, results in pediatric populations have been mixed. Defining the true relation between TL and SES in childhood is expected to enhance the understanding of the biological pathways through which socioeconomic factors influence health across the life span.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this meta-analysis was to systematically review and quantitatively assess the published literature to better understand how SES, race, and TL are related in pediatric populations.

METHODS: Studies in the United States in any pediatric population with any measure of SES were included and identified through the following electronic databases: PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, Medline, Socindex, CINAHL, and Psychinfo. Analysis utilized a multi-level random-effects meta-analysis accounting for multiple effect sizes within a study.

RESULTS: Thirty-two studies were included with a total of 78 effect sizes that were categorized into income-based, education-based, and composite indicators. Only three studies directly tested the relation between SES and TL as the primary study aim. In the full model, there was a significant relation between SES and TL (r = 0.0220 p = 0.0286). Analysis by type of SES categorization identified a significant moderating effect of income on TL (r = 0.0480, 95% CI: 0.0155 to 0.0802, p = 0.0045) but no significant effect for education or composite SES.

CONCLUSIONS: There is an overall association between SES and TL that is predominately due to the association with income-based SES measures implicating income disparities as a key target for efforts to address health inequity across the life span. Identification of associations between family income and biological changes in children that predict life-span health risk provides key data to support public health policies addressing economic inequality in families and presents a unique opportunity to assess the effect of prevention efforts at the biologic level.

RevDate: 2023-04-15

Lai KY, Webster C, Kumari S, et al (2023)

The associations of socioeconomic status with incident dementia and Alzheimer's disease are modified by leucocyte telomere length: a population-based cohort study.

Scientific reports, 13(1):6163.

Socio-economic status (SES) and biological aging are risk factors for dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, however, it is less clear if the associations with SES vary sufficiently across different biological age strata. We used data from 331,066 UK Biobank participants aged 38-73 with mean follow-up of 12 years to examine if associations between SES (assessed by educational attainment, employment status and household income) and dementia and Alzheimer's disease are modified by biological age (assessed by leucocyte telomere length: LTL). Diagnosis of events was ascertained through hospital admissions data. Cox regressions were used to estimate hazard ratios [HRs]. A consistent dose-response relationship was found, with participants in low SES and shorter LTL strata (double-exposed group) reporting 3.28 (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.57-4.20) and 3.44 (95% CI 2.35-5.04) times higher risks of incident dementia and Alzheimer's disease respectively, compared to those of high SES and longer LTL (least-exposed group). Of interest is a synergistic interaction between SES and LTL to increase risk of dementia (RERI 0.57, 95% CI 0.07-1.06) and Alzheimer's disease (RERI 0.79, 95% CI 0.02-1.56). Our findings that SES and biological age (LTL) are synergistic risk factors of dementia and Alzheimer's disease may suggest the need to target interventions among vulnerable sub-groups.

RevDate: 2023-04-15

Savoca V, Rivosecchi J, Gaiatto A, et al (2023)

TERRA stability is regulated by RALY and polyadenylation in a telomere-specific manner.

Cell reports, 42(4):112406 pii:S2211-1247(23)00417-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA) is a long non-coding RNA transcribed from telomeres that plays key roles in telomere maintenance. A fraction of TERRA is polyadenylated, and the presence of the poly(A) tail influences TERRA localization and stability. However, the mechanisms of TERRA biogenesis remain mostly elusive. Here, we show that the stability of TERRA transcripts is regulated by the RNA-binding protein associated with lethal yellow mutation (RALY). RALY depletion results in lower TERRA levels, impaired localization of TERRA at telomeres, and ultimately telomere damage. Importantly, we show that TERRA polyadenylation is telomere specific and that RALY preferentially stabilizes non-polyadenylated TERRA transcripts. Finally, we report that TERRA interacts with the poly(A)-binding protein nuclear 1 (PABPN1). Altogether, our results indicate that TERRA stability is regulated by the interplay between RALY and PABPN1, defined by the TERRA polyadenylation state. Our findings also suggest that different telomeres may trigger distinct TERRA-mediated responses.

RevDate: 2023-04-14

Rai R, Biju K, Sun W, et al (2023)

Homology directed telomere clustering, ultrabright telomere formation and nuclear envelope rupture in cells lacking TRF2[B] and RAP1.

Nature communications, 14(1):2144.

Double-strand breaks (DSBs) due to genotoxic stress represent potential threats to genome stability. Dysfunctional telomeres are recognized as DSBs and are repaired by distinct DNA repair mechanisms. RAP1 and TRF2 are telomere binding proteins essential to protect telomeres from engaging in homology directed repair (HDR), but how this occurs remains unclear. In this study, we examined how the basic domain of TRF2 (TRF2[B]) and RAP1 cooperate to repress HDR at telomeres. Telomeres lacking TRF2[B] and RAP1 cluster into structures termed ultrabright telomeres (UTs). HDR factors localize to UTs, and UT formation is abolished by RNaseH1, DDX21 and ADAR1p110, suggesting that they contain DNA-RNA hybrids. Interaction between the BRCT domain of RAP1 and KU70/KU80 is also required to repress UT formation. Expressing TRF2[∆B] in Rap1[-/-] cells resulted in aberrant lamin A localization in the nuclear envelope and dramatically increased UT formation. Expressing lamin A phosphomimetic mutants induced nuclear envelope rupturing and aberrant HDR-mediated UT formation. Our results highlight the importance of shelterin and proteins in the nuclear envelope in repressing aberrant telomere-telomere recombination to maintain telomere homeostasis.

RevDate: 2023-04-13

Sohn EJ, Goralsky JA, Shay JW, et al (2023)

The Molecular Mechanisms and Therapeutic Prospects of Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT).

Cancers, 15(7): pii:cancers15071945.

As detailed by the end replication problem, the linear ends of a cell's chromosomes, known as telomeres, shorten with each successive round of replication until a cell enters into a state of growth arrest referred to as senescence. To maintain their immortal proliferation capacity, cancer cells must employ a telomere maintenance mechanism, such as telomerase activation or the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres pathway (ALT). With only 10-15% of cancers utilizing the ALT mechanism, progress towards understanding its molecular components and associated hallmarks has only recently been made. This review analyzes the advances towards understanding the ALT pathway by: (1) detailing the mechanisms associated with engaging the ALT pathway as well as (2) identifying potential therapeutic targets of ALT that may lead to novel cancer therapeutic treatments. Collectively, these studies indicate that the ALT molecular mechanisms involve at least two distinct pathways induced by replication stress and damage at telomeres. We suggest exploiting tumor dependency on ALT is a promising field of study because it suggests new approaches to ALT-specific therapies for cancers with poorer prognosis. While substantial progress has been made in the ALT research field, additional progress will be required to realize these advances into clinical practices to treat ALT cancers and improve patient prognoses.

RevDate: 2023-04-12

Kuan XY, Fauzi NSA, Ng KY, et al (2023)

Exploring the Causal Relationship Between Telomere Biology and Alzheimer's Disease.

Molecular neurobiology [Epub ahead of print].

Telomeres, also known as the "protective caps" of our chromosomes, shorten with each cell cycle due to the end replication problem. This process, termed telomere attrition, is associated with many age-related disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Despite the numerous studies conducted in this field, the role of telomere attrition in the onset of the disease remains unclear. To investigate the causal relationship between short telomeres and AD, this review aims to highlight the primary factors that regulate telomere length and maintain its integrity, with an additional outlook on the role of oxidative stress, which is commonly associated with aging and molecular damage. Although some findings thus far might be contradictory, telomere attrition likely plays a crucial role in the progression of AD due to its close association with oxidative stress. The currently available treatments for AD are only symptomatic without affecting the progression of the disease. The components of telomere biology discussed in this paper have previously been studied as an alternative treatment option for several diseases and have exhibited promising in vitro and in vivo results. Hence, this should provide a basis for future research to develop a potential therapeutic strategy for AD. (Created with

RevDate: 2023-04-12

Sosa Ponce ML, Remedios MH, Moradi-Fard S, et al (2023)

SIR telomere silencing depends on nuclear envelope lipids and modulates sensitivity to a lysolipid.

The Journal of cell biology, 222(7):.

The nuclear envelope (NE) is important in maintaining genome organization. The role of lipids in communication between the NE and telomere regulation was investigated, including how changes in lipid composition impact gene expression and overall nuclear architecture. Yeast was treated with the non-metabolizable lysophosphatidylcholine analog edelfosine, known to accumulate at the perinuclear ER. Edelfosine induced NE deformation and disrupted telomere clustering but not anchoring. Additionally, the association of Sir4 at telomeres decreased. RNA-seq analysis showed altered expression of Sir-dependent genes located at sub-telomeric (0-10 kb) regions, consistent with Sir4 dispersion. Transcriptomic analysis revealed that two lipid metabolic circuits were activated in response to edelfosine, one mediated by the membrane sensing transcription factors, Spt23/Mga2, and the other by a transcriptional repressor, Opi1. Activation of these transcriptional programs resulted in higher levels of unsaturated fatty acids and the formation of nuclear lipid droplets. Interestingly, cells lacking Sir proteins displayed resistance to unsaturated-fatty acids and edelfosine, and this phenotype was connected to Rap1.

RevDate: 2023-04-11

Baird A, Gomes M, Souza CA, et al (2023)

Short Telomere Syndrome presenting with pulmonary fibrosis, liver cirrhosis and hepatopulmonary syndrome: a case report.

BMC pulmonary medicine, 23(1):114.

BACKGROUND: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is thought to result from aberrant post-injury activation of epithelial cells leading to fibroblast proliferation and activation. A number of genetic aetiologies have been implicated in this disease process, including, among others, the short telomere syndromes. Short telomere syndromes follow an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance resulting in shortened telomere length, which consequently leads to accelerated cell death. Organs with rapid cell turnover are most affected.

CASE PRESENTATION: We describe a case of a 53-year-old man with a chief complaint of cough and dyspnea on exertion. His presentation was otherwise significant for features of accelerated aging, including a history of osteoporosis and early greying, and a family history of pulmonary fibrosis in his father. Pulmonary function testing revealed a restrictive pattern with severely reduced diffusion capacity and high resolution CT of the chest showed diffuse lung disease with mild fibrosis, in pattern suggesting an alternative diagnosis to IPF. Biopsy of the lung was in keeping with chronic fibrosing interstitial pneumonia. Imaging of the abdomen showed splenomegaly, hepatic cirrhosis and portal hypertension. Transthoracic contrast echocardiogram showed intrapulmonary shunting consistent with hepatopulmonary syndrome. Given the constellation of early aging, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, cryptogenic cirrhosis and a family history of pulmonary fibrosis in this patient, the Short Telomere Syndrome was suspected. Peripheral blood was sent for Flow-cytometry FISH, which demonstrated granulocyte telomere length below the 10[th] percentile for the patient's age, consistent with a diagnosis of Short Telomere Syndrome in this clinical context. Targeted genetic testing of mutations known to be associated with short telomere was negative though it was acknowledged that the full spectrum of disease-causing mutations remains unknown. Given the extensive fibrosis on biopsy and his progressive hypoxemia he was treated with mycophenolate and prednisone. Ultimately, he developed progressive respiratory failure and underwent double lung and concurrent liver transplant 18 months after the initial diagnosis was made.

CONCLUSIONS: Short Telomere Syndrome is a rare cause of end stage organ disease and testing lacks sensitivity making diagnosis challenging. Organ transplant is still the mainstay of treatment. Nevertheless, disease identification is important because of implications for family member screening and the possibility of future treatment options.

RevDate: 2023-04-10

Schratz KE, Flasch DA, Atik CC, et al (2023)

T cell immune deficiency rather than chromosome instability predisposes patients with short telomere syndromes to squamous cancers.

Cancer cell, 41(4):807-817.e6.

Patients with short telomere syndromes (STS) are predisposed to developing cancer, believed to stem from chromosome instability in neoplastic cells. We tested this hypothesis in a large cohort assembled over the last 20 years. We found patients with STS are only predisposed to squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, anus, or skin, a spectrum reminiscent of cancers seen in patients with immunodeficiency. Whole-genome sequencing showed no increase in chromosome instability, such as translocations or chromothripsis. Moreover, STS-associated cancers acquired telomere maintenance mechanisms, including telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) promoter mutations. A detailed study of the immune status of patients with STS revealed a striking T cell immunodeficiency at the time of cancer diagnosis. A similar immunodeficiency that impaired tumor surveillance was documented in mice with short telomeres. We conclude that STS patients' predisposition to solid cancers is due to T cell exhaustion rather than autonomous defects in the neoplastic cells themselves.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Support

In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.

ESP Rationale

Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.

ESP Goal

In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Usage

Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.

ESP Content

When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.

ESP Help

Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.

ESP Plans

With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.

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Good Beginner's Books

Although multicellular eukaryotes (MCEs) are the most visible component of the biosphere, they represent a highly derived and constrained evolutionary subset of the biosphere, unrepresentative of the vast, mostly unseen, microbial world of prokaryotic life that comprises at least half of the planet's biomass and most of its genetic diversity. The existence of telomeres is one component of the specialized biology of eukaryotes. R. Robbins

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
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Papers in Classical Genetics

The ESP began as an effort to share a handful of key papers from the early days of classical genetics. Now the collection has grown to include hundreds of papers, in full-text format.

Digital Books

Along with papers on classical genetics, ESP offers a collection of full-text digital books, including many works by Darwin (and even a collection of poetry — Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg).


ESP now offers a much improved and expanded collection of timelines, designed to give the user choice over subject matter and dates.


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

Bibliographies on several topics of potential interest to the ESP community are now being automatically maintained and generated on the ESP site.

ESP Picks from Around the Web (updated 07 JUL 2018 )