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26 Jan 2022 at 01:36
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Bibliography on: Telomeres


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 26 Jan 2022 at 01:36 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.

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Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2022-01-20

De Loma J, Krais AM, Lindh CH, et al (2022)

Arsenic exposure and biomarkers for oxidative stress and telomere length in indigenous populations in Bolivia.

Ecotoxicology and environmental safety, 231:113194 pii:S0147-6513(22)00034-3 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Women living in the Bolivian Andes are environmentally exposed to arsenic, yet there is scarce information about arsenic-related effects in this region. Several biomarkers for telomere length and oxidative stress (mitochondrial DNA copy number, mtDNAcn; 8-Oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine, 8-oxo-dG; and 4-hydroxy nonenal mercapturic acid, 4-HNE-MA) have been previously linked to arsenic, and some of which are prospective biomarkers for cancer risk.

OBJECTIVE AND HYPOTHESIS: To evaluate associations between arsenic exposure and telomere length, mtDNAcn, 8-oxo-dG, and 4-HNE-MA in Bolivians. Arsenic exposure was hypothesized to be positively associated with all four toxicity biomarkers, particularly in individuals with a less efficient arsenic metabolism.

METHODS: The study encompassed 193 indigenous women. Arsenic exposure was assessed in urine as the sum of inorganic arsenic metabolite concentrations (U-As) measured by HPLC-HG-ICP-MS, and in whole blood as total arsenic (B-As) measured by ICP-MS. Efficiency of arsenic metabolism was evaluated by a polymorphism (rs3740393) in the main arsenic methylating gene AS3MT measured by TaqMan allelic discrimination, and by the relative fractions of urinary inorganic arsenic metabolites. Telomere length and mtDNAcn were determined in peripheral blood leukocytes by quantitative PCR, and urinary 8-oxo-dG and 4-HNE-MA by LC-MS/MS.

RESULTS: U-As and B-As were associated with longer telomeres and higher mtDNAcn, particularly in women with a less efficient arsenic metabolism. Urinary 8-oxo-dG and 4-HNE-MA were positively associated with U-As, but only 4-HNE-MA was associated with B-As. Arsenic metabolism efficiency did not have a clear effect on the concentrations of either of these biomarkers.

CONCLUSION: Bolivian women showed indications of arsenic toxicity, measured by four different biomarkers. Telomere length, mtDNAcn, and 4-HNE-MA were positively associated with both U-As and B-As. The association of arsenic exposure with telomere length and mtDNAcn was only present in Bolivian women with a less efficient metabolism. These findings call for additional efforts to evaluate and reduce arsenic exposure in Bolivia.

RevDate: 2022-01-20

Durham T, Guo J, Cowell W, et al (2022)

Prenatal PM2.5 Exposure in Relation to Maternal and Newborn Telomere Length at Delivery.

Toxics, 10(1): pii:toxics10010013.

Particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 μm or less (PM2.5) is a ubiquitous air pollutant that is increasingly threatening the health of adults and children worldwide. One health impact of elevated PM2.5 exposure is alterations in telomere length (TL)-protective caps on chromosome ends that shorten with each cell division. Few analyses involve prenatal PM2.5 exposure, and paired maternal and cord TL measurements. Here, we analyzed the association between average and trimester-specific prenatal PM2.5 exposure, and maternal and newborn relative leukocyte TL measured at birth among 193 mothers and their newborns enrolled in a New-York-City-based birth cohort. Results indicated an overall negative relationship between prenatal PM2.5 and maternal TL at delivery, with a significant association observed in the second trimester (β = -0.039, 95% CI: -0.074, -0.003). PM2.5 exposure in trimester two was also inversely related to cord TL; however, this result did not reach statistical significance (β = -0.037, 95% CI: -0.114, 0.039), and no clear pattern emerged between PM2.5 and cord TL across the different exposure periods. Our analysis contributes to a limited body of research on ambient air pollution and human telomeres, and emphasizes the need for continued investigation into how PM2.5 exposure during pregnancy influences maternal and newborn health.

RevDate: 2022-01-20

Stout-Oswald SA, Glynn LM, Bisoffi M, et al (2022)

Prenatal exposure to maternal psychological distress and telomere length in childhood.

Developmental psychobiology, 64(1):e22238.

Telomere length (TL) is a biological marker of cellular aging, and shorter TL in adulthood is associated with increased morbidity and mortality risk. It is likely that these differences in TL are established long before adulthood, and there is growing evidence that TL can reflect prenatal experiences. Although maternal prenatal distress predicts newborn TL, it is unknown whether the relation between prenatal exposure to maternal distress and child TL persists through childhood. The purpose of the current longitudinal, prospective study is to examine the relation between prenatal exposure to maternal distress (perceived stress, depressive symptoms, pregnancy-related anxiety) and TL in childhood. Participants included 102 children (54 girls) and their mothers. Mothers' distress was assessed five times during pregnancy, at 12 weeks postpartum, and at the time of child telomere measurement between 6 and 16 years of age. Maternal distress during pregnancy predicted shorter offspring TL in childhood, even after accounting for postnatal exposure to maternal distress and other covariates. These findings indicate that maternal mental health predicts offspring TL biology later in childhood than previously observed. This study bolsters claims that telomere biology is subject to fetal programming and highlights the importance of supporting maternal mental health during pregnancy.

RevDate: 2022-01-20

Ribas-Maynou J, Mateo-Otero Y, Sanchez-Quijada M, et al (2022)

Telomere Length in Pig Sperm Is Related to In Vitro Embryo Development Outcomes.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 12(2): pii:ani12020204.

Telomere length has attracted much interest as a topic of study in human reproduction; furthermore, the link between sperm telomere length and fertility outcomes has been investigated in other species. This biomarker, however, has not been much explored in other animals, such as pigs, and whether it is related to sperm quality and fertility outcomes remains unknown. The present work aimed to determine the absolute value of telomere length in pig sperm, as well as its relationship to sperm quality parameters and embryo development. Telomere length was determined through quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization (qFISH) in 23 pig sperm samples and data were correlated to quality parameters (motility, morphology, and viability) and in vitro fertilization outcomes. We found that the mean telomere length in pig sperm was 22.1 ± 3.6 kb, which is longer than that previously described in humans. Whilst telomere length was not observed to be correlated to sperm quality variables (p > 0.05), a significant correlation between telomere length and the percentage of morulae 6 days after in vitro fertilization was observed (rs = 0.559; 95% C.I. = (-0.007 to 0.854); p = 0.047). Interestingly, this correlation was not found when percentages of early blastocysts/blastocysts (rs = 0.410; 95% C.I. = (-0.200 to 0.791); p = 0.164) and of hatching/hatched blastocysts (rs = 0.356; 95% C.I. = (- 0.260 to 0.766); p = 0.233) were considered. Through the separation of the samples into two groups by the median value, statistically significant differences between samples with shorter telomeres than the median and samples with longer telomeres than the median were found regarding development to morula (11.5 ± 3.6 vs. 21.8 ± 6.9, respectively) and to early blastocyst/blastocysts (7.6 ± 1.4 vs. 17.9 ± 12.2, respectively) (p < 0.05). In the light of these results, sperm telomere length may be a useful biomarker for embryo development in pigs, as sperm with longer telomeres lead to higher rates of morulae and blastocysts.

RevDate: 2022-01-19

Rodríguez-Centeno J, Esteban-Cantos A, Montejano R, et al (2022)

Effects of tenofovir on telomeres, telomerase and T cell maturational subset distribution in long-term aviraemic HIV-infected adults.

The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy pii:6511741 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate whether the negative impact of tenofovir on telomere length (TL) is due to immune reconstitution interference or inhibition of telomerase.

METHODS: One hundred and twenty-eight long-term aviraemic HIV adults treated with tenofovir-containing (n = 79) or tenofovir-sparing regimens (n = 49) were recruited to compare the following: TL in whole blood, PBMCs, CD4+ T cells and CD8+ T cells by quantitative PCR (qPCR); telomerase activity in PBMCs, CD4+ cells and CD8+ T cells using the TRAPeze RT Telomerase Detection Kit; and T cell maturational subset distribution by flow cytometry.

RESULTS: In an adjusted analysis, participants treated with tenofovir for at least 4 years had shorter TL in CD8+ T cells (P = 0.04) and lower telomerase activity in CD4+ (P = 0.012) and CD8+ T cells (P = 0.023). Tenofovir treatment was also associated with lower proportions of recent thymic emigrant (RTE) CD4+ cells (P = 0.031) and PD1 marker expression (P = 0.013).

CONCLUSIONS: In long-term aviraemic HIV adults, the inhibition of telomerase by tenofovir could explain telomere shortening in CD8+ T cells. There is no telomere shortening in the CD4+ compartment and the decrease in telomerase activity could be explained both by the inhibition by tenofovir and by the lower proportion of RTE CD4+cells.

RevDate: 2022-01-19

Rosas Bringas FR, Stinus S, de Zoeten P, et al (2022)

Rif2 protects Rap1-depleted telomeres from MRX-mediated degradation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

eLife, 11: pii:74090 [Epub ahead of print].

Rap1 is the main protein that binds double-stranded telomeric DNA in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Examination of the telomere functions of Rap1 is complicated by the fact that it also acts as a transcriptional regulator of hundreds of genes and is encoded by an essential gene. In this study, we disrupt Rap1 telomere association by expressing a mutant telomerase RNA subunit (tlc1-tm) that introduces mutant telomeric repeats. tlc1-tm cells grow similar to wild-type cells, although depletion of Rap1 at telomeres causes defects in telomere length regulation and telomere capping. Rif2 is a protein normally recruited to telomeres by Rap1, but we show that Rif2 can still associate with Rap1-depleted tlc1-tm telomeres, and that this association is required to inhibit telomere degradation by the MRX complex. Rif2 and the Ku complex work in parallel to prevent tlc1-tm telomere degradation; tlc1-tm cells lacking Rif2 and the Ku complex are inviable. The partially redundant mechanisms may explain the rapid evolution of telomere components in budding yeast species.

RevDate: 2022-01-19

Yadav S, PK Maurya (2022)

Correlation between telomere length and biomarkers of oxidative stress in human aging.

Rejuvenation research [Epub ahead of print].

The telomere length (TL) has increasingly been used as a biomarker of human aging because it has been shown to predict the chances of survival and longevity. Oxidative stress is presumed to be a major cause of telomere shortening but the importance of oxidative stress as a determinant of telomere shortening remains less clear and has recently been questioned. We analyzed 105 healthy subjects of both sexes between the ages of 20-77 years. The TL, and, biomarkers of oxidative stress were estimated as per standard protocols. A significant (p<0.001) age-dependent decline in TL was observed. TL was positively correlated with the ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP value) (r=0.8811) and reduced glutathione (GSH) (r=0.8209) while negatively correlated with malondialdehyde (MDA) (r=-0.7191). Our findings supported the idea of a possible correlation between the TL and biomarkers of oxidative stress in aging. The study has remarkable scope in medical science as the findings on correlation of TL with biomarkers of oxidative stress in aging are novel and they will help in further research against oxidative stress.

RevDate: 2022-01-18

Schneider CV, Schneider KM, Teumer A, et al (2022)

Association of Telomere Length With Risk of Disease and Mortality.

JAMA internal medicine pii:2788295 [Epub ahead of print].

Importance: Telomeres protect DNA from damage. Because they shorten with each mitotic cycle, leukocyte telomere length (LTL) serves as a mitotic clock. Reduced LTL has been associated with multiple human disorders.

Objective: To determine the association between LTL and overall as well as disease-specific mortality and morbidity.

This multicenter, community-based cohort study conducted from March 2006 to December 2010 included longitudinal follow-up (mean [SD], 12 [2] years) for 472 432 English participants from the United Kingdom Biobank (UK Biobank) and analyzed morbidity and mortality. The data were analyzed in 2021.

Main Outcomes and Measures: Hazard ratios (HRs) and odds ratios for mortality and morbidity associated with a standard deviation change in LTL, adjusted for age, sex, body mass index (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared), and ethnicity.

Results: This study included a total of 472 432 English participants, of whom 54% were women (mean age, 57 years). Reduced LTL was associated with increased overall (HR, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.07-1.09), cardiovascular (HR, 1.09; 95% CI, 1.06-1.12), respiratory (HR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.34-1.45), digestive (HR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.19-1.33), musculoskeletal (HR, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.35-1.92), and COVID-19 (HR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.07-1.23) mortality, but not cancer-related mortality. A total of 214 disorders were significantly overrepresented and 37 underrepresented in participants with shorter LTL. Respiratory (11%), digestive/liver-related (14%), circulatory (18%), and musculoskeletal conditions (6%), together with infections (5%), accounted for most positive associations, whereas (benign) neoplasms and endocrinologic/metabolic disorders were the most underrepresented entities. Malignant tumors, esophageal cancer, and lymphoid and myeloid leukemia were significantly more common in participants with shorter LTL, whereas brain cancer and melanoma were less prevalent. While smoking and alcohol consumption were associated with shorter LTL, additional adjustment for both factors, as well as cognitive function/major comorbid conditions, did not significantly alter the results.

Conclusions and Relevance: This cohort study found that shorter LTL was associated with a small risk increase of overall mortality, but a higher risk of mortality was associated with specific organs and diseases.

RevDate: 2022-01-17

Cuadrado Á, Figueroa RI, Sixto M, et al (2022)

First record of the spatial organization of the nucleosome-less chromatin of dinoflagellates: The nonrandom distribution of microsatellites and bipolar arrangement of telomeres in the nucleus of Gambierdiscus australes (Dinophyceae).

Journal of phycology [Epub ahead of print].

Dinoflagellates are a large group of protists whose exceptionally large genome is organized in permanently condensed nucleosome-less chromosomes. In this study, we examined the potential role of repetitive DNAs in both the structure of dinoflagellate chromosomes and the architecture of the dinoflagellate nucleus. Non-denaturing fluorescent in situ hybridization (ND-FSH) was used to determine the abundance and physical distribution of telomeric DNA and 16 microsatellites (1- to 4-bp repeats) in the nucleus of Gambierdiscus australes. The results showed an incresed relative abundance of the different microsatellite motifs with increasing GC content. Two ND-FISH probes, (A)20 and (AAT)5 , did not yield signals whereas the remainder revealed a dispersed but nonrandom distribution of the microsatellites, mostly in clusters. The bean-shaped interphase nucleus of G. australes contained a region with a high density of trinucleotides. This nuclear compartment was located between the nucleolar organizer region (NOR), located on the concave side of the nucleus, and the convex side. Telomeric DNA was grouped in multiple foci and distributed in two polarized compartments: one associated with the NOR and the other peripherally located along the convex side of the nucleus. Changes in the position of the telomeres during cell division evidenced their dynamic distribution and thus that of the chromosomes during dinomitosis. These insights into the spatial organization of microsatellites and telomeres and thus into the nuclear architecture of G. australes will open up new lines of research into the structure and function of the nucleosome-less chromatin of dinoflagellates.

RevDate: 2022-01-16

Yang K, Prescott J, Hazra A, et al (2022)

Pre-diagnostic telomere length and colorectal cancer risk.

Cancer epidemiology, 77:102100 pii:S1877-7821(22)00005-4 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Progressive telomere shortening may be related to genomic instability and carcinogenesis. Prospective evidence relating telomere length (TL) with colorectal cancer (CRC) risk has been limited and inconsistent.

METHODS: We examined the association between pre-diagnostic peripheral blood leukocyte TL and CRC risk in two matched case-control studies nested within the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS). Relative leukocyte TL was measured using qPCR among 356 incident CRC cases and 801 controls (NHS: 186/465, HPFS: 170/336).

RESULTS: We did not find a significant association between pre-diagnostic TL and CRC risk [in all participants, multivariable-adjusted odds ratio (OR) (95% CI) for TL Quartile 1 (shortest) vs. Quartile 4 (longest) = 1.36 (0.85, 2.17), P-trend = 0.27; OR (95% CI) per 1 SD decrease in TL = 1.12 (0.92, 1.36)].

CONCLUSIONS: Our prospective analysis did not support a significant association between pre-diagnostic leukocyte TL and CRC risk.

RevDate: 2022-01-15

Vetter VM, Kalies CH, Sommerer Y, et al (2022)

Relationship between five Epigenetic Clocks, Telomere Length and Functional Capacity assessed in Older Adults: Cross-sectional and Longitudinal Analyses.

The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences pii:6473288 [Epub ahead of print].

DNA methylation age acceleration (DNAmAA, derived from an epigenetic clock) and relative leukocyte telomere length (rLTL) are widely accepted biomarkers of aging. Nevertheless, it is still unclear which aspects of aging they represent best. Here we evaluated longitudinal associations between baseline rLTL and DNAmAA (estimated with 7-CpG clock) and functional assessments covering different domains of aging. Additionally, we made use of cross-sectional data on these assessments and examined their association with DNAmAA estimated by five different DNAm age measures. Two-wave longitudinal data was available for 1,083 participants of the Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II) who were re-examined on average 7.4 years after baseline as part of the GendAge study. Functional outcomes were assessed with Fried's frailty score, Tinetti mobility test, falls in the past 12 months (yes/no), Finger-floor distance, Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), Activities of Daily Living (ADL), Instrumented ADL (IADL) and Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA). Overall, we found no evidence for an association between the molecular biomarkers measured at baseline, rLTL and DNAmAA (7-CpG clock), and functional assessments assessed at follow-up. Similarly, a cross-sectional analyses of follow-up data did also not show evidence for associations of the various DNAmAA measures (7-CpG clock, Horvath's clock, Hannum's clock PhenoAge, and GrimAge) with functional assessments. In conclusion, neither rLTL nor 7-CpG DNAmAA were able to predict impairment in the analyzed assessments over a ~7-year time-course. Similarly, DNAmAA estimated from five epigenetic clocks was not a good cross-sectional marker of health deterioration either.

RevDate: 2022-01-13

Amin V, Fletcher JM, Sun Z, et al (2022)

Higher educational attainment is associated with longer telomeres in midlife: Evidence from sibling comparisons in the UK Biobank.

SSM - population health, 17:101018 pii:S2352-8273(21)00293-7.

Prior studies have established that higher educational attainment is associated with a longer telomere length (TL), a marker of cellular aging. However, it is unclear whether extant associations are causal, since they are likely confounded by unobserved genetic, early-life and family background factors that are correlated with education and TL. We leverage sibling differences in TL, education and measured genetics (polygenic scores for educational attainment and TL) to estimate associations between educational attainment and TL in midlife for European ancestry individuals in the UK Biobank, while controlling for unobserved confounders shared by siblings. After controlling for genetics and shared background between siblings, we find suggestive evidence that high school graduates have longer telomeres than high school dropouts, but we find no differences in TL between high school dropouts and college graduates.

RevDate: 2022-01-13

Stephens Z, Ferrer A, Boardman L, et al (2022)

Telogator: a method for reporting chromosome-specific telomere lengths from long reads.

Bioinformatics (Oxford, England) pii:6505201 [Epub ahead of print].

MOTIVATION: Telomeres are the repetitive sequences found at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes and are often thought of as a "biological clock," with their average length shortening during division in most cells. In addition to their association with senescence, abnormal telomere lengths are well known to be associated with multiple cancers, short telomere syndromes, and as risk factors for a broad range of diseases. While a majority of methods for measuring telomere length will report average lengths across all chromosomes, it is known that aberrations in specific chromosome arms are biomarkers for certain diseases. Due to their repetitive nature, characterizing telomeres at this resolution is prohibitive for short read sequencing approaches, and is challenging still even with longer reads.

RESULTS: We present Telogator: a method for reporting chromosome-specific telomere length from long read sequencing data. We demonstrate Telogator's sensitivity in detecting chromosome-specific telomere length in simulated data across a range of read lengths and error rates. Telogator is then applied to 10 germline samples, yielding a high correlation with short read methods in reporting average telomere length. Additionally, we investigate common subtelomere rearrangements and identify the minimum read length required to anchor telomere/subtelomere boundaries in samples with these haplotypes.

AVAILABILITY: Telogator is written in Python3 and is available at github.com/zstephens/telogator.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

RevDate: 2022-01-12

Westbrook A, Zhang R, Shi M, et al (2022)

Association Between Baseline Buccal Telomere Length and Progression of Kidney Function: The Health and Retirement Study.

The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences pii:6501335 [Epub ahead of print].

We aimed to evaluate associations of baseline telomere length with overall and annual change in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and trajectory of kidney function during an 8-year follow-up. A total of 3,964 participants of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) were included. We identified three trajectory groups of kidney function: consistently normal (n=1,163 or 29.3%), normal to impaired (n=2,306 or 58.2%), and consistently impaired groups (n=495 or 12.5%). After controlling for age, sex, race, education, smoking, drinking, diabetes, heart disease, blood pressure, body mass index, total cholesterol, and hemoglobin A1c, participants with longer telomere length were 20% less likely (odds ratio [OR]=0.80, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.69-0.93, P=0.003) to have a normal to impaired kidney function trajectory than a consistently normal function trajectory. Telomere length was not associated with changing rate of eGFR over 8 years (P=0.45). Participants with longer telomere length were more likely to have consistently normal kidney function.

RevDate: 2022-01-12

Hansen E, Skotnes T, Bustnes JO, et al (2022)

Telomere length in relation to persistent organic pollutant exposure in white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) nestlings from Sweden sampled in 1995-2013.

Environmental research pii:S0013-9351(22)00039-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Telomeres are used as biomarkers of vertebrate health because of the link between their length, lifespan, and survival. Exposure to environmental stressors appears to alter telomere dynamics, but little is known about telomere length and persistent organic pollutant (POP) exposure in wildlife. The white-tailed eagle (WTE; Haliaeetus albicilla) is an avian top predator that accumulates high levels of POPs and may subsequently suffer adverse health effects. Here we study the Baltic WTE population that is well documented to have been exposed to large contaminant burdens, thereby making it a promising candidate species for analyzing pollutant-mediated effects on telomeres. We investigated telomere lengths in WTE nestlings (n = 168) over 19 years and examined legacy POP concentrations (organochlorines and polybrominated diphenyl ethers) in whole blood and serum as potential drivers of differences in telomere length. Although we detected significant year-to-year variations in telomere lengths among the WTE nestlings, telomere lengths did not correlate with any of the investigated POP concentrations of several classes. Given that telomere lengths did not associate with POP contamination in the Baltic WTE nestlings, we propose that other environmental and biological factors, which likely fluctuate on a year-to-year basis, could be more important drivers of telomere lengths in this population.

RevDate: 2022-01-11

Barragán R, Ortega-Azorín C, Sorlí JV, et al (2021)

Effect of Physical Activity, Smoking, and Sleep on Telomere Length: A Systematic Review of Observational and Intervention Studies.

Journal of clinical medicine, 11(1): pii:jcm11010076.

Aging is a risk factor for several pathologies, restricting one's health span, and promoting chronic diseases (e.g., cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases), as well as cancer. Telomeres are regions of repetitive DNA located at chromosomal ends. Telomere length has been inversely associated with chronological age and has been considered, for a long time, a good biomarker of aging. Several lifestyle factors have been linked with telomere shortening or maintenance. However, the consistency of results is hampered by some methodological issues, including study design, sample size, measurement approaches, and population characteristics, among others. Therefore, we aimed to systematically review the current literature on the effects of three relevant lifestyle factors on telomere length in human adults: physical activity, smoking, and sleep. We conducted a qualitative systematic review of observational and intervention studies using the Preferred Reporting Item for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. The systematic literature search covered articles published in MEDLINE and EMBASE databases (from 2010 to 2020). A total of 1400 studies were identified; 83 were included after quality control. Although fewer sedentary activities, optimal sleep habits, and non- or ex-smoker status have been associated with less telomere shortening, several methodological issues were detected, including the need for more targeted interventions and standardized protocols to better understand how physical activity and sleep can impact telomere length and aging. We discuss the main findings and current limitations to gain more insights into the influence of these lifestyle factors on the healthy aging process.

RevDate: 2022-01-11

Haupt S, Niedrist T, Sourij H, et al (2022)

The Impact of Exercise on Telomere Length, DNA Methylation and Metabolic Footprints.

Cells, 11(1): pii:cells11010153.

Aging as a major risk factor influences the probability of developing cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, amongst others. The underlying mechanisms of disease are still not fully understood, but research suggests that delaying the aging process could ameliorate these pathologies. A key biological process in aging is cellular senescence which is associated with several stressors such as telomere shortening or enhanced DNA methylation. Telomere length as well as DNA methylation levels can be used as biological age predictors which are able to detect excessive acceleration or deceleration of aging. Analytical methods examining aging are often not suitable, expensive, time-consuming or require a high level of technical expertise. Therefore, research focusses on combining analytical methods which have the potential to simultaneously analyse epigenetic, genomic as well as metabolic changes.

RevDate: 2022-01-11

Ruiz A, Flores-Gonzalez J, Buendia-Roldan I, et al (2021)

Telomere Shortening and Its Association with Cell Dysfunction in Lung Diseases.

International journal of molecular sciences, 23(1): pii:ijms23010425.

Telomeres are localized at the end of chromosomes to provide genome stability; however, the telomere length tends to be shortened with each cell division inducing a progressive telomere shortening (TS). In addition to age, other factors, such as exposure to pollutants, diet, stress, and disruptions in the shelterin protein complex or genes associated with telomerase induce TS. This phenomenon favors cellular senescence and genotoxic stress, which increases the risk of the development and progression of lung diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, SARS-CoV-2 infection, and lung cancer. In an infectious environment, immune cells that exhibit TS are associated with severe lymphopenia and death, whereas in a noninfectious context, naïve T cells that exhibit TS are related to cancer progression and enhanced inflammatory processes. In this review, we discuss how TS modifies the function of the immune system cells, making them inefficient in maintaining homeostasis in the lung. Finally, we discuss the advances in drug and gene therapy for lung diseases where TS could be used as a target for future treatments.

RevDate: 2022-01-10

Claude E, de Lhoneux G, Pierreux CE, et al (2021)

Detection of alternative lengthening of telomeres mechanism on tumor sections.

Molecular biomedicine, 2(1):32.

The vast majority of adult cancer cells achieve cellular immortality by activating a telomere maintenance mechanism (TMM). While this is mostly achieved by the de-silencing of hTERT telomerase gene expression, an alternative homologous recombination-based and telomerase-independent mechanism, known as ALT (Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres), is frequently activated in a subset of tumors, including paediatric cancers. Being absent from normal cells, the ALT mechanism offers interesting perspectives for new targeted cancer therapies. To date, however, the development of better translationally applicable tools for ALT detection in tumor sections is still needed. Here, using a newly derived ALT-positive cancer cell mouse xenograft model, we extensively examined how the previously known ALT markers could be used as reliable tools for ALT diagnosis in tumor sections. We found that, together with the detection of ultra-bright telomeric signals (UBS), an ALT hallmark, native telomeric FISH, that detects single-stranded C-rich telomeric DNA, provides a very sensitive and robust tool for ALT diagnosis in tissues. We applied these assays to paediatric tumor samples and readily identified three ALT-positive tumors for which the TMM was confirmed by the gold-standard C-circle amplification assay. Although the latter offers a robust assay for ALT detection in the context of research laboratories, it is more difficult to set up in histopathological laboratories and could therefore be conveniently replaced by the combination of UBS detection and native telomeric FISH.

RevDate: 2022-01-09

Pauleck S, Gigic B, Cawthon RM, et al (2022)

Association of circulating leukocyte telomere length with survival in patients with colorectal cancer.

Journal of geriatric oncology pii:S1879-4068(21)00272-1 [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: Telomere shortening, as seen with aging, can cause chromosomal instability and promote cancer progression. We investigated the association between circulating telomere length and overall and disease-free survival in a sub-cohort of patients with colorectal cancer.

METHODS: Baseline genomic DNA from blood leukocytes was extracted from N = 92 newly diagnosed stage I-IV patients with colorectal cancer enrolled at the ColoCare Study site in Heidelberg, Germany. Detailed information on clinicodemographic (including age) and lifestyle risk factors, and clinical outcomes (including recurrence and survival) was collected. Telomere length was measured in DNA using multiplex quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Kaplan Meier survival curves were generated comparing shorter to longer telomere lengths with log-rank testing.

RESULTS: The mean T/S ratio for study patients was 0.5 (range: 0.3-0.9). Shorter telomeres were associated with older age at baseline. Patients with shorter telomeres experienced a worse overall and disease-free survival, although this association did not reach statistical significance. Kaplan-Meier survival curves for those with circulating telomere length below vs. above the median showed poorer overall (log-rank p = 0.31) and disease-free survival (long-rank p = 0.23).

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that individuals with shorter telomeres, as seen with aging, may experience a worse overall and disease-free survival after colorectal cancer diagnosis. Larger sample sizes with longer follow-up are needed to further evaluate telomere length as a prognostic biomarker in colorectal cancer progression.

RevDate: 2022-01-08

Pepke ML, Kvalnes T, Rønning B, et al (2022)

Artificial size selection experiment reveals telomere length dynamics and fitness consequences in a wild passerine.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Telomere dynamics could underlie life-history trade-offs among growth, size, and longevity, but our ability to quantify such processes in natural, unmanipulated populations is limited. We investigated how 4 years of artificial selection for either larger or smaller tarsus length, a proxy for body size, affected early-life telomere length (TL) and several components of fitness in two insular populations of wild house sparrows over a study period of 11 years. The artificial selection was expected to shift the populations away from their optimal body size and increase the phenotypic variance in body size. Artificial selection for larger individuals caused TL to decrease, but there was little evidence that TL increased when selecting for smaller individuals. There was a negative correlation between nestling TL and tarsus length under both selection regimes. Males had longer telomeres than females and there was a negative effect of harsh weather on TL. We then investigated whether changes in TL might underpin fitness effects due to the deviation from the optimal body size. Mortality analyses indicated disruptive selection on TL because both short and long early-life telomeres tended to be associated with the lowest mortality rates. In addition, there was a tendency for a negative association between TL and annual reproductive success, but only in the population where body size was increased experimentally. Our results suggest that natural selection for optimal body size in the wild may be associated with changes in TL during growth, which is known to be linked to longevity in some bird species.

RevDate: 2022-01-07

Guo L, Chen Y, Li H, et al (2022)

Telomere length is maternally inherited and associated with lipid metabolism in Chinese population.

Aging, 14(undefined): pii:203810 [Epub ahead of print].

Telomere is a unique DNA-protein complex which covers the ends of chromosomes to avoid end fusion and maintain the stability and integrity of chromosomes. Telomere length (TL) shortening has been linked to aging and various age-related diseases in humans. Here we recruited a total of 1031 Chinese individuals aged between 12 and 111 years, including 108 families with parents and their offspring. DNA was extracted from peripheral white blood cells and TL was measured by quantitative PCR (qPCR). We explored the associations of TL with age, gender and clinical variables, and tested the parental effects on TL variation. First, we found that TL was shortened with age, however, TL was better maintained in females than males. Second, there was a robust association of TL between mother and offspring, but not between father and their offspring. In addition, TL was inversely associated with visceral fat index in females, and positively associated with apolipoprotein A levels. Knockdown of the key genes for lipid metabolism (PNPLA2 and CPT1) shortened the TL in HepG2 cells. These findings indicate that TL is maternally inherited, and impairment of lipid metabolism may contribute to the TL shortening in the Chinese population.

RevDate: 2022-01-07

Alzoubi H, Minasi S, Gianno F, et al (2022)

Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) and Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase Promoter Methylation in Recurrent Adult and Primary Pediatric Pituitary Neuroendocrine Tumors.

Endocrine pathology [Epub ahead of print].

Neoplastic cells acquire the ability to proliferate endlessly by maintaining telomeres via telomerase, or alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT). The role of telomere maintenance in pituitary neuroendocrine tumors (PitNETs) has yet to be thoroughly investigated. We analyzed surgical samples of 24 adult recurrent PitNETs (including onset and relapses for 14 of them) and 12 pediatric primary PitNETs. The presence of ALT was assessed using telomere-specific fluorescence in situ hybridization, methylation of telomerase reverse transcriptase promoter (TERTp) by methylation-specific PCR, and ATRX expression by immunohistochemistry. Among the adult recurrent PitNETs, we identified 3/24 (12.5%) ALT-positive cases. ALT was present from the onset and maintained in subsequent relapses, suggesting that this mechanism occurs early in tumorigenesis and is stable during progression. ATRX loss was only seen in one ALT-positive case. Noteworthy, ALT was observed in 3 out of 5 aggressive PitNETs, including two aggressive corticotroph tumors, eventually leading to patient's death. ALT-negative tumors (87.5%) were classified according to their low (29.2%), medium (50%), and high (8.3%) telomere fluorescence intensity, with no significant differences emerging in their molecular, clinical, or pathological characteristics. TERTp methylation was found in 6/24 cases (25%), with a total concordance in methylation status between onset and recurrences, suggesting that this mechanism remains stable throughout disease progression. TERTp methylation did not influence telomere length. In the pediatric cohort of PitNETs, TERTp methylation was also observed in 4/12 cases (33.3%), but no case of ALT activation was observed. In conclusion, ALT is triggered at onset and maintained during tumor progression in a subset of adult PitNETs, suggesting that it could be used for clinical purposes, as a potential predictor of aggressive behavior.

RevDate: 2022-01-06

Song S, Ma D, Xu L, et al (2022)

Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound-generated singlet oxygen induces telomere damage leading to glioma stem cell awakening from quiescence.

iScience, 25(1):103558 pii:S2589-0042(21)01528-5.

Cancer stem cells, quiescent and drug resistant, have become a therapeutic target. Unlike high-intensity focused ultrasound directly killing tumor, low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS), a new noninvasive physical device, promotes pluripotent stem cell differentiation and is primarily applied in tissue engineering but rarely in oncotherapy. We explored the effect and mechanism of LIPUS on glioma stem cell (GSC) expulsion from quiescence. Here, we observed that LIPUS led to attenuated expression of GSC biomarkers, promoted GSC escape from G0 quiescence, and significantly weakened the Wnt and Hh pathways. Of note, LIPUS transferred sonomechanical energy into cytochrome c and B5 proteins, which converted oxygen molecules into singlet oxygen, triggering telomere crisis. The in vivo and in vitro results confirmed that LIPUS enhanced the GSC sensitivity to temozolomide. These results demonstrated that LIPUS "waked up" GSCs to improve their sensitivity to chemotherapy, and importantly, we confirmed the direct targeted proteins of LIPUS in GSCs.

RevDate: 2022-01-06

Montiel Ishino FA, McNab P, Villalobos K, et al (2021)

Hispanic/Latino Acculturation Profiles and Telomere Length: Latent Class Analysis on a Nationally Representative Sample.

Frontiers in public health, 9:640226.

Background: Acculturation profiles and their impact on telomere length among foreign-born Hispanics/Latinos living in the United States (US) are relatively unknown. The limited research available has linked acculturation with shortened telomere length. Objectives: To identify acculturation profiles among a US representative sample of Hispanics/Latinos and to then examine telomere length differences between profiles. Methods: We conducted a latent class analysis among a non-institutionalized US-representative sample of Hispanics/Latinos using the 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (N = 2,292). The latent variable of acculturation was assessed by length of time in the US and language used as a child, read and spoken, usually spoken at home, used to think, and used with friends (i.e., Spanish and/or English). Telomere length assessed from leukocytes was used as the distal continuous outcome. Results: We identified five profiles: (1) low acculturated [33.2% of sample]; (2) partially integrated [18.6% of sample]; (3) integrated [19.4% of sample]; (4) partially assimilated [15.1% of sample]; and (5) assimilated [13.7% of sample]. Acculturation profiles revealed nuanced differences in conditional probabilities with language use despite the length of time spent in the US. While telomere length did vary, there were no significant differences between profiles. Conclusion: Profiles identified revealed that possible life-course and generational effects may be at play in the partially assimilated and assimilated profiles. Our findings expand public health research using complex survey data to identify and assess the dynamic relationship of acculturation profiles and health biomarkers, while being among the first to examine this context using a person-centered approach.

RevDate: 2022-01-04

Al-Muraikhy S, Sellami M, Domling AS, et al (2021)

Metabolic Signature of Leukocyte Telomere Length in Elite Male Soccer Players.

Frontiers in molecular biosciences, 8:727144.

Introduction: Biological aging is associated with changes in the metabolic pathways. Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is a predictive marker of biological aging; however, the underlying metabolic pathways remain largely unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the metabolic alterations and identify the metabolic predictors of LTL in elite male soccer players. Methods: Levels of 837 blood metabolites and LTL were measured in 126 young elite male soccer players who tested negative for doping abuse at anti-doping laboratory in Italy. Multivariate analysis using orthogonal partial least squares (OPLS), univariate linear models and enrichment analyses were conducted to identify metabolites and metabolic pathways associated with LTL. Generalized linear model followed by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis were conducted to identify top metabolites predictive of LTL. Results: Sixty-seven metabolites and seven metabolic pathways showed significant associations with LTL. Among enriched pathways, lysophospholipids, benzoate metabolites, and glycine/serine/threonine metabolites were elevated with longer LTL. Conversely, monoacylglycerols, sphingolipid metabolites, long chain fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids were enriched with shorter telomeres. ROC analysis revealed eight metabolites that best predict LTL, including glutamine, N-acetylglutamine, xanthine, beta-sitosterol, N2-acetyllysine, stearoyl-arachidonoyl-glycerol (18:0/20:4), N-acetylserine and 3-7-dimethylurate with AUC of 0.75 (0.64-0.87, p < 0.0001). Conclusion: This study characterized the metabolic activity in relation to telomere length in elite soccer players. Investigating the functional relevance of these associations could provide a better understanding of exercise physiology and pathophysiology of elite athletes.

RevDate: 2022-01-04

Akash C, Prabhu M, Maldar A, et al (2021)

Association of Telomere Length and Serum Vitamin D Levels with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and its Related Complications: A Possible Future Perspective.

Genome integrity, 12:2.

Evidence show that shortened telomere length (TL) and low Vitamin D levels can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and its associated complications. T2DM has been considered as an age-related disease, it may be associated with TL. The study aimed to evaluate the association of TL and Vitamin D levels with complications of T2DM and the impact of Vitamin D on TL in patients with T2DM. This 1-year cross-sectional study was conducted at a tertiary care hospital on 90 patients. Height, weight, body mass index, waist-hip ratio was calculated. Fasting blood sugars, postprandial blood sugar, and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) were analyzed. Absolute TL was obtained from quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Vitamin D estimation was done by chemiluminescent immunoassay. Descriptive analysis of the data was done using R i386 3.6.3. The study found a positive correlation between TL and Vitamin D levels (r = 0.64; P < 0.0001). The interaction with high HbA1c levels and lower levels of Vitamin D led to the shortening of TL (P = 0.0001). The median of TL and mean of Vitamin D levels were significantly less in the diabetic group (P < 0.0001). Vitamin D levels positively affected the TL and its levels had an inverse relation with the HbA1c levels. This association had a significant effect on the shortening of TL. Vitamin D also had a significant association with other diabetic complications that instigated the shortening of TL. Therefore, assessing the role of Vitamin D levels on the shortening of TL can prove to be crucial biomarkers in managing optimal glycemic levels in T2DM patients.

RevDate: 2021-12-29

Belyi DO, Ilyenko I, Nastina O, et al (2021)


Problemy radiatsiinoi medytsyny ta radiobiolohii, 26:319-338.

The objective was to analyze the relative telomere length (RTL) of peripheral blood lymphocytes depending onmyocardium structural and functional state in emergency workers (EW) of the Chornobyl accident who suffered fromcoronary arteries stenotic atherosclerosis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: There were examined 60 male EW who operated at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant at1986 and 25 male non-irradiated persons (control group - CG) with coronary heart disease (CHD). Everyone EW andCG patients were almost healthy before the accident. During the period 2016-2021, they underwent a comprehen-sive clinical and laboratory examination, echodopplercardiographic examination and determination of RTL by fluo-rescent hybridization in situ using laser flow cytometry.

RESULTS: EW almost did not differ from CG according to its clinical characteristics, the presence of risk factors,indices of systolic and diastolic heart functions, as well as RTL. The analysis of variance showed that RTL was influ-enced by the fact of irradiation in combination with obesity (p = 0.020). At normal body weight, RTL average valuein CG was significantly higher than in EW (p = 0.023). According to the results of hierarchical cluster analysis of twovariables as RTL and end-diastolic volume normalized by body surface area (EDV/BSA), EW and CG patients togeth-er were divided into two subgroups. The first subgroup (1st cluster) differed from the second (2nd cluster) by signi-ficantly larger average values of left ventricle (LV) EDV and end-systolic volume (ESV) as well as EDV/BSA andESV/BSA, LV myocardial mass (MM) and MM/BSA, reduced ejection fraction (EF). In patients of the 1st cluster telom-eres were significantly shorter than in the 2nd one (10,3 ± 1.7 vs. 14.3 ± 2.0 at p = 0.000). The increase of myocar-dial mass and LV wall thickness caused the development of its hypertrophy. The number of people with hypertrophyLV was significantly higher among patients of the 1st cluster (91.6 vs. 67.2 %, p < 0.001) due to eccentric hypertro-phy LV. Accordingly, concentric hypertrophy LV was more common among patients in the 2nd cluster (24.6 vs. 4.2 %at p < 0.01). Patients of the 1st cluster was characterized by a more severe course of heart failure.

CONCLUSIONS: In patients who suffered from CHD with stenotic atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries and wereexposed to radiation 30-35 years earlier, having normal body weight, there was a reduction in telomere. Hierarchicalcluster analysis proved to be a good tool that allows by the value of RTL and EDV/BSA to separate the group ofpatients with the most severe clinical course of CHD and LV systolic dysfunction among patients with the samepathology.

RevDate: 2021-12-29

Poláková E, Albanaz ATS, Zakharova A, et al (2021)

Ku80 is involved in telomere maintenance but dispensable for genomic stability in Leishmania mexicana.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 15(12):e0010041 pii:PNTD-D-21-01049.

BACKGROUND: Telomeres are indispensable for genome stability maintenance. They are maintained by the telomere-associated protein complex, which include Ku proteins and a telomerase among others. Here, we investigated a role of Ku80 in Leishmania mexicana. Leishmania is a genus of parasitic protists of the family Trypanosomatidae causing a vector-born disease called leishmaniasis.

We used the previously established CRISPR/Cas9 system to mediate ablation of Ku80- and Ku70-encoding genes in L. mexicana. Complete knock-outs of both genes were confirmed by Southern blotting, whole-genome Illumina sequencing, and RT-qPCR. Resulting telomeric phenotypes were subsequently investigated using Southern blotting detection of terminal restriction fragments. The genome integrity in the Ku80- deficient cells was further investigated by whole-genome sequencing. Our work revealed that telomeres in the ΔKu80 L. mexicana are elongated compared to those of the wild type. This is a surprising finding considering that in another model trypanosomatid, Trypanosoma brucei, they are shortened upon ablation of the same gene. A telomere elongation phenotype has been documented in other species and associated with a presence of telomerase-independent alternative telomere lengthening pathway. Our results also showed that Ku80 appears to be not involved in genome stability maintenance in L. mexicana.

CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Ablation of the Ku proteins in L. mexicana triggers telomere elongation, but does not have an adverse impact on genome integrity.

RevDate: 2021-12-29

Wolf SE, KA Rosvall (2021)

A multi-tissue view on telomere dynamics and postnatal growth.

Journal of experimental zoology. Part A, Ecological and integrative physiology [Epub ahead of print].

Trade-offs between growth and self-maintenance are common in nature, such that early-life effects on growth can generate lasting consequences on survival and longevity. Telomeres-putative biomarkers of self-maintenance-may link early growth with these later phenotypic effects, but evidence for growth-telomere trade-offs is mixed. Null or even positive relationships between growth and telomeres may be driven by heterogeneity in resource availability or invariable allocation towards telomere maintenance within a population. We used nestling tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) to assess the directionality and timing of relationships between growth and telomere length in several tissues. We focused on two important phases of growth: first, the peak of postnatal growth occurring around 6 days old when nestlings grow by ~33% in a single day, and subsequently, the later phase of growth occurring as body mass plateaus near adult size at 12 days old. We quantified telomere attrition in blood during postnatal growth, as well as telomere length in the blood, brain, adrenals, and liver at 12 days old. Growth was unrelated to telomere length in the liver and telomere dynamics in blood. However, brain telomere length was positively correlated with peak growth, and adrenal telomere length was positively related to later growth, particularly for chicks that had experienced a temporary stressor. These observations suggest that variation in resource availability may mask trade-offs, generating positive correlations between growth and telomere length at the population level. They also provide insights into complex relationships between growth and self-maintenance that can be revealed by looking in multiple tissues.

RevDate: 2021-12-28

Hakeem S, Mendonça N, Aspray T, et al (2021)

The Association between 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentration and Telomere Length in the Very-Old: The Newcastle 85+ Study.

Nutrients, 13(12): pii:nu13124341.

(1) Introduction: vitamin D may maintain the telomere length, either directly or via the inflammation effect and/or modulating the rate of cell proliferation. Whilst results from cross-sectional studies investigating the association between 25(OH)D concentration and telomere length have been mixed, there is a dearth of data from prospective studies which have assessed these associations. This study aimed to examine the association between 25(OH)D concentration in plasma and telomere length in blood cells in very-old adults (≥85 years old) at baseline, 18 months and 36 months by controlling for related lifestyle factors. (2) Methodology: our prospective cohort study comprised 775 participants from the Newcastle 85+ Study who had 25(OH)D measurements at baseline. Plasma 25(OH)D was stratified as <25 nmol/L (low), 25-50 nmol/L (moderate) and >50 nmol/L (high). Peripheral blood mononuclear cell telomere length was measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction at baseline, 18 and 36 months from baseline. (3) Results: a positive significant association was found between 25(OH)D concentration and telomere length amongst very-old participants at baseline (95% CI = 12.0-110.3, B = 61.2 ± 5.0, p = 0.015). This association was negative at 18 months (95% CI = -59.9--7.5, B = -33.7 ± 13.3, p = 0.012) but was non-significant at 36 months. (4) Conclusion: Circulating 25(OH)D concentration shows inconsistent relationships with telomere length over time in very-old (85+ year old) adults.

RevDate: 2021-12-27

Liu Q, Zhou D, Duan H, et al (2021)

Association of dietary inflammatory index and leukocyte telomere length with mild cognitive impairment in Chinese older adults.

Nutritional neuroscience [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: There are minimal data on the relationship between DII and MCI in an elderly Chinese population and no research has assessed the potential effect of LTL.

OBJECTIVE: We investigated the association between DII and MCI while taking into account the potential effect of LTL.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study included 3,386 participants aged ≥ 60 years of age from the Tianjin Elderly Nutrition and Cognition Cohort study. DII score was constructed based on a validated self-administered food frequency questionnaire was calculated based on the method developed by Shivappa et al. LTL was measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to analyze the association between DII, LTL and MCI. Moreover, mediation analysis was employed to test the mediation effect of LTL on the total effect of DII on MCI.

RESULTS: Compared with the participants in the lowest tertiles of LTL and DII score, the odds ratios (ORs) of MCI in the highest tertiles were 0.386(95% CI: 0.281-0.529) and 1.650 (95% CI: 1.232-2.209), respectively. The significant association between DII score and MCI persisted after further adjusting for LTL (OR: 1.595; 95% CI: 1.189-2.140). The link between DII score and MCI was mediated partially by LTL (βindirect effect= -0.008, P<0.05).

CONCLUSION: High DII score was positively associated with MCI prevalence in an elderly Chinese population and the link between DII scores and MCI seemed to be mediated partially by LTL.

RevDate: 2021-12-27

Darvishi FZ, M Saadat (2021)

Morphine may have a role in telomere shortening.

Psychiatric genetics pii:00041444-900000000-99478 [Epub ahead of print].

Morphine/heroin may increase oxidative stress in drug-dependent persons. The imbalance between oxidative stress and antioxidant defense mechanisms can accelerate the shortening of telomere length. This article reports two sets of data; comparison of relative telomere length between heroin-dependent patients and healthy control group, as well as, investigation of the effect of morphine on the relative telomere length of human SH-SY5Y cells treated by morphine. Study participants were composed of 163 heroin-dependent patients and 166 unrelated healthy controls. SH-SY5Y cells were treated with (5 μM) morphine hydrochloride and incubated for 40 and 60 days. The relative telomere length was calculated as the T/S (telomere/single-copy gene) ratio using 36B4 as a reference for each sample, using quantitative real-time PCR. The mean (± SE) value of relative telomere length was 4.81 ± 0.21 and 6.38 ± 0.23 in leukocytes of heroin-dependent and control groups, respectively. The telomere length was significantly decreased in heroin-dependent participants (t = 4.97; df = 327; P < 0.0001). The relative telomere length in cells treated with morphine for 60 days was 4.50 ± 0.14 and in untreated cells was 5.75 ± 0.08. The difference was highly significant (t = 7.68; df = 4; P = 0.002). Our present findings indicate that morphine and dependency on heroin are significantly associated with shorter telomeres. The present findings may help to explain some of the adverse effects of drug dependency on health such as accelerating biologic processes related to aging.

RevDate: 2021-12-24

Lim YS, Nguyen MTN, Pham TX, et al (2021)

Hepatitis C Virus Nonstructural 5A Protein Interacts with Telomere Length Regulation Protein: Implications for Telomere Shortening in Patients Infected with HCV.

Molecules and cells pii:molcells.2021.0167 [Epub ahead of print].

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of chronic liver disease and is highly dependent on cellular proteins for viral propagation. Using protein microarray analysis, we identified 90 cellular proteins as HCV nonstructural 5A (NS5A) interacting partners, and selected telomere length regulation protein (TEN1) for further study. TEN1 forms a heterotrimeric complex with CTC and STN1, which is essential for telomere protection and maintenance. Telomere length decreases in patients with active HCV, chronic liver disease, and hepatocellular carcinoma. However, the molecular mechanism of telomere length shortening in HCV-associated disease is largely unknown. In the present study, protein interactions between NS5A and TEN1 were confirmed by immunoprecipitation assays. Silencing of TEN1 reduced both viral RNA and protein expression levels of HCV, while ectopic expression of the siRNA-resistant TEN1 recovered the viral protein level, suggesting that TEN1 was specifically required for HCV propagation. Importantly, we found that TEN1 is re-localized from the nucleus to the cytoplasm in HCV-infected cells. These data suggest that HCV exploits TEN1 to promote viral propagation and that telomere protection is compromised in HCV-infected cells. Overall, our findings provide mechanistic insight into the telomere shortening in HCV-infected cells.

RevDate: 2021-12-24

Fan HC, Chang FW, Tsai JD, et al (2021)

Telomeres and Cancer.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 11(12): pii:life11121405.

Telomeres cap the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes and are indispensable chromatin structures for genome protection and replication. Telomere length maintenance has been attributed to several functional modulators, including telomerase, the shelterin complex, and the CST complex, synergizing with DNA replication, repair, and the RNA metabolism pathway components. As dysfunctional telomere maintenance and telomerase activation are associated with several human diseases, including cancer, the molecular mechanisms behind telomere length regulation and protection need particular emphasis. Cancer cells exhibit telomerase activation, enabling replicative immortality. Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) activation is involved in cancer development through diverse activities other than mediating telomere elongation. This review describes the telomere functions, the role of functional modulators, the implications in cancer development, and the future therapeutic opportunities.

RevDate: 2021-12-24

Wai KM, Kaori S, Itoh K, et al (2021)

Telomere Length and Arterial Stiffness Reflected by Brachial-Ankle Pulse Wave Velocity: A Population-Based Cross-Sectional Study.

Journal of personalized medicine, 11(12): pii:jpm11121278.

Telomere (TL) is a biomarker of biological aging, and its shortening is associated with major risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVD). This study aimed to identify whether TL is associated with arterial stiffness as reflected by brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV). This population-based cross-sectional study involved 1065 individuals in the Iwaki area, Japan. Total TL length and TL G-tail length were measured by hybridization protection assay. The baPWV was measured on the right and left sides using a non-invasive vascular screening device. The associations between TL and baPWV were assessed by multivariate linear regression. Compared with the shortest total TL tertile, the longest total TL group showed a significant decrease in baPWV (lowest vs. highest tertile: adjusted beta: -41.24, 95% confidence interval (CI): -76.81, -5.68). The mean baPWV decreased with a longer TL (TL G-tail length: p trend < 0.001, total TL: p trend < 0.001). TL G-tail and total TL lengths were inversely associated with baPWV, implicating TL shortening in the development of CVD. This study provides evidence of the factors influencing CVD risks at a very early stage when individuals can still take necessary precautions before CVD gives rise to a symptomatic health outcome.

RevDate: 2021-12-24

Roy Choudhury S, Ashby C, Zhan F, et al (2021)

Epigenetic Deregulation of Telomere-Related Genes in Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma Patients.

Cancers, 13(24): pii:cancers13246348.

High-risk Multiple Myeloma (MM) patients were found to maintain telomere length (TL), below the margin of short critical length, consistent with proactive overexpression of telomerase. Previously, DNA methylation has been shown as a determinant of telomere-related gene (TRG) expression and TL to assess risk in different types of cancer. We mapped genome-wide DNA methylation in a cohort of newly diagnosed MM (NDMM; n = 53) patients of major molecular subgroups, compared to age-matched healthy donors (n = 4). Differential methylation and expression at TRG-loci were analyzed in combination with overlapping chromatin marks and underlying DNA-sequences. We observed a strong correlation (R2 ≥ 0.5) between DNA methylation and expression amongst selective TRGs, such that demethylation at the promoters of DDX1 and TERF1 were associated to their oncogenic upregulation, while demethylation at the bodies of two key tumor suppressors ZNF208 and RAP1A led to downregulation of the genes. We demonstrated that TRG expression may be controlled by DNA methylation alone or in cooperation with chromatin modifications or CCCTC-binding factor at the regulatory regions. Additionally, we showed that hypomethylated DMRs of TRGs in NDMM are stabilized with G-quadruplex forming sequences, suggesting a crucial role of these epigenetically vulnerable loci in MM pathogenesis. We have identified a panel of five TRGs, which are epigenetically deregulated in NDMM patients and may serve as early detection biomarkers or therapeutic targets in the disease.

RevDate: 2021-12-24

Hassler E, Almer G, Reishofer G, et al (2021)

Sex-Specific Association of Serum Anti-Oxidative Capacity and Leukocyte Telomere Length.

Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(12): pii:antiox10121908.

Telomeres are a crucial factor in the preservation of genomic integrity, and an elevated risk for diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular events is related to shortened telomeres. However, telomere deterioration could be caused by factors such as chronic oxidative stress and inflammation, which are promoted by an imbalance among reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidants. In this cross-sectional study, we investigated the relationship between telomeres and oxidative stress. The serum leucocyte telomer length (LTL), serum total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and the total serum lipid panel of 180 healthy athletic volunteers (90 males, 90 females) were measured Additionally, a questionnaire about sports behaviour and the type of training was completed. We observed a positive significant relation between serum LTL and TAC in the male group (cc = 3.4/p = 0.001) but not in females. There was no statistically significant correlation between age and physical activity and LTL in both groups. This is the first cross sectional study demonstrating an association between total serum TAC and LTL in healthy males, but interestingly, not in the females. Nevertheless, these results should be interpreted as preliminary, and further studies in independent cohorts are needed to investigate the sex-specific effects of oxidative stress on telomere length and telomerase activity.

RevDate: 2021-12-23

Quimby J, Erickson A, Mcleland S, et al (2021)

Renal Senescence, Telomere Shortening and Nitrosative Stress in Feline Chronic Kidney Disease.

Veterinary sciences, 8(12): pii:vetsci8120314.

Kidney tissues from cats with naturally occurring chronic kidney disease (CKD) and adult and senior cats without CKD were assessed to determine whether telomere shortening and nitrosative stress are associated with senescence in feline CKD. The histopathologic assessment of percent global glomerulosclerosis, inflammatory infiltrate, and fibrosis was performed. Senescence and nitrosative stress were evaluated utilizing p16 and iNOS immunohistochemistry, respectively. Renal telomere length was evaluated using telomere fluorescent in situ hybridization combined with immunohistochemistry. CKD cats were found to have significantly increased p16 staining in both the renal cortex and corticomedullary junction compared to adult and senior cats. Senior cats had significantly increased p16 staining in the corticomedullary junction compared to adult cats. p16 staining in both the renal cortex and corticomedullary junction were found to be significantly correlated with percent global glomerulosclerosis, cortical inflammatory infiltrate, and fibrosis scores. p16 staining also correlated with age in non-CKD cats. Average telomere length was significantly decreased in CKD cats compared to adult and senior cats. CKD cats had significantly increased iNOS staining compared to adult cats. Our results demonstrate increased renal senescence, telomere shortening, and nitrosative stress in feline CKD, identifying these patients as potential candidates for senolytic therapy with translational potential.

RevDate: 2021-12-23

Libertini G, Shubernetskaya O, Corbi G, et al (2021)

Is Evidence Supporting the Subtelomere-Telomere Theory of Aging?.

Biochemistry. Biokhimiia, 86(12):1526-1539.

The telomere theory tries to explain cellular mechanisms of aging as mainly caused by telomere shortening at each duplication. The subtelomere-telomere theory overcomes various shortcomings of telomere theory by highlighting the essential role of subtelomeric DNA in aging mechanisms. The present work illustrates and deepens the correspondence between assumptions and implications of subtelomere-telomere theory and experimental results. In particular, it is investigated the evidence regarding the relationships between aging and (i) epigenetic modifications; (ii) oxidation and inflammation; (iii) telomere protection; (iv) telomeric heterochromatin hood; (v) gradual cell senescence; (vi) cell senescence; and (vii) organism decline with telomere shortening. The evidence appears broadly in accordance or at least compatible with the description and implications of the subtelomere-telomere theory. In short, phenomena of cellular aging, by which the senescence of the whole organism is determined in various ways, appear substantially dependent on epigenetic modifications regulated by the subtelomere-telomere-telomeric hood-telomerase system. These phenomena appear to be not random, inevitable, and irreversible but rather induced and regulated by genetically determined mechanisms, and modifiable and reversible by appropriate methods. All this supports the thesis that aging is a genetically programmed and regulated phenoptotic phenomenon and is against the opposite thesis of aging as caused by random and inevitable degenerative factors.

RevDate: 2021-12-22

Sui JD, Tang Z, Chen BPC, et al (2021)

Protein phosphatase 2A-dependent mitotic hnRNPA1 dephosphorylation and TERRA formation facilitate telomere capping.

Molecular cancer research : MCR pii:1541-7786.MCR-21-0581 [Epub ahead of print].

The heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1(hnRNPA1), telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA), and protection of telomeres 1 (POT1) have been reported to orchestrate to displace replication protein A (RPA) from telomeric overhangs, ensuring orderly telomere replication and capping. Our previous studies further demonstrated that DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs)-dependent hnRNPA1 phosphorylation plays a crucial role in the promotion of hnRNPA1 binding to telomeric overhangs and RPA displacement during G2/M phases. However, it is unclear that how the subsequent exchange between hnRNPA1 and POT1 is orchestrated. Here we report that the protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) depends on its scaffold subunit, which is called PPP2R1A, to interact with and dephosphorylate hnRNPA1 in the late M phase. Furthermore, PP2A-mediated hnRNPA1 dephosphorylation and TERRA accumulation act in concert to promote the hnRNPA1-to-POT1 switch on telomeric single-stranded DNA. Consequently, defective PPP2R1A results in ATR-mediated DNA damage response at telomeres as well as induction of fragile telomeres. Combined inhibition of ATR and PP2A induces entry into a catastrophic mitosis and leads to synthetic lethality of tumor cells. In addition, PPP2R1A levels correlate with clinical stages and prognosis of multiple types of cancers. Taken together, our results indicate that PP2A is critical for telomere maintenance. Implications:This study demonstrates that the PP2A-dependent hnRNPA1 dephosphorylation and TERRA accumulation facilitates the formation of the protective capping structure of newly replicated telomeres, thus exerting essential oncogenic role in tumorigenesis.

RevDate: 2021-12-22

Alder JK, Sutton RM, Iasella CJ, et al (2021)

Lung transplantation for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis enriches for individuals with telomere-mediated disease.

The Journal of heart and lung transplantation : the official publication of the International Society for Heart Transplantation pii:S1053-2498(21)02584-5 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is the most common indication for lung transplantation in North America and variants in telomere-maintenance genes are the most common identifiable cause of IPF. We reasoned that younger IPF patients are more likely to undergo lung transplantation and we hypothesized that lung transplant recipients would be enriched for individuals with telomere-mediated disease due to the earlier onset and more severe disease in these patients.

METHODS: Individuals with IPF who underwent lung transplantation or were evaluated in an interstitial lung disease specialty clinic who did not undergo lung transplantation were examined. Genetic evaluation was completed via whole genome sequencing (WGS) of 426 individuals and targeted sequencing for 5 individuals. Rare variants in genes previously associated with IPF were classified using the American College of Medical Genetics guidelines. Telomere length from WGS data was measured using TelSeq software. Patient characteristics were collected via medical record review.

RESULTS: Of 431 individuals, 149 underwent lung transplantation for IPF. The median age of diagnosis of transplanted vs non-transplanted individuals was significantly younger (60 years vs 70 years, respectively, p<0.0001). IPF lung transplant recipients (IPF-LTRs) were twice as likely to have telomere-related rare variants compared to non-transplanted individuals (24% vs 12%, respectively, p=0.0013). IPF-LTRs had shorter telomeres than non-transplanted IPF patients (p=0.0028) and >85% had telomeres below the age-adjusted mean. Post-transplant survival and CLAD were similar amongst IPF-LTRs with rare variants in telomere-maintenance genes compared to those without, as well as in those with short telomeres versus longer telomeres.

CONCLUSIONS: There is an enrichment for telomere-maintenance gene variants and short telomeres among IPF-LTRs. However, transplant outcomes of survival and CLAD do not differ by gene variants or telomere length within IPF-LTRs. Our findings support individual with telomere-mediated disease should not be excluded from lung transplantation and focusing research efforts on therapies directed toward individuals with short-telomere mediated disease.

RevDate: 2021-12-20

Abramson DH, Cruz-Abrams R, JH Francis (2021)

Coats Disease and Premature Telomere Shortening.

Journal of pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2021-12-20

Xie Y, Lou D, D Zhang (2021)

Melatonin Alleviates Age-Associated Endothelial Injury of Atherosclerosis via Regulating Telomere Function.

Journal of inflammation research, 14:6799-6812 pii:329020.

Background: Atherosclerosis is an aging-related disease, partly attributed to telomerase dysfunction. This study aims to investigate whether telomere dysfunction-related vascular aging is involved in the protection mechanism of melatonin (MLT) in atherosclerosis.

Methods: Young and aged ApoE-/- mice were used to establish atherosclerotic mice model. H&E staining and immunofluorescence assay were performed to detect endothelial cell injury and apoptosis. Inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress-related factors were determined using corresponding commercial assay kits. Telomerase activity was detected by TRAP assay, and SA-β-gal staining was conducted to evaluate cellular senescence. HUVECs were treated with H2O2 for 1 h to induce senescence. Western blot was performed to measure protein expression.

Results: An obvious vascular endothelial injury, reflected by excessive production of inflammatory cytokines, elevated ROS, MDA and SOD levels, and more apoptotic endothelial cells, was found in atherosclerotic mice, especially in aged mice, which were then greatly suppressed by MLT. In addition, telomere dysfunction and senescence occurred in atherosclerosis, especially in aged mice, while MLT significantly alleviated the conditions. CYP1A1, one of the targeted genes of MLT, was verified to be upregulated in atherosclerotic mice but downregulated by MLT. Furthermore, H2O2 induced a senescence model in HUVECs, which was accompanied with a remarkably increased cell viability loss and apoptosis rate, and a downregulated telomerase activity of HUVECs, and this phenomenon was strengthened by RHPS4, an inhibitor of telomerase activity. However, MLT could partly abolish these changes in H2O2- and RHPS4-treated HUVECs, demonstrating that MLT alleviated vascular endothelial injury by regulating senescence and telomerase activity.

Conclusions: Collectively, this study provided evidence for the protective role of MLT in atherosclerosis through regulating telomere dysfunction-related vascular aging.

RevDate: 2021-12-20

Herrera-Moreno JF, Estrada-Gutierrez G, Wu H, et al (2021)

Prenatal lead exposure, telomere length in cord blood, and DNA methylation age in the PROGRESS prenatal cohort.

Environmental research, 205:112577 pii:S0013-9351(21)01878-8 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Lead is a ubiquitous pollutant with deleterious effects on human health and remains a major current public health concern in developing countries. This heavy metal may interfere with nucleic acids via oxidative stress or epigenetic changes that affect biological markers of aging, e.g., telomere length and DNA methylation (DNAm). Telomere shortening associates with biological age in newborns, and DNA methylation at specific CpG sites can be used to calculate "epigenetic clocks".

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the associations of prenatal lead exposures with telomere length and DNA-methylation-based predictors of age in cord blood.

DESIGN: The study included 507 mother-child pairs from the Programming Research in Obesity, Growth, Environment and Social Stressors (PROGRESS) study, a birth cohort in Mexico City. Maternal blood (second trimester, third trimester and at delivery) and bone lead levels (one month postpartum) were measured using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry and X-ray fluorescence, respectively. Cord blood leukocyte telomere length was measured using quantitative PCR and apparent age by DNA methylation biomarkers, i.e., Horvath's DNA methylation age and the Knight's predictor of gestational age.

RESULTS: Average maternal age was 28.5 ± 5.5 years, and 51.5% reported low socioeconomic status. Children's mean telomere length was 1.2 ± 1.3 relative units, and mean DNA methylation ages using the Horvath's and Knight's clocks were -2.6 ± 0.1 years and 37.9 ± 1.4 weeks (mean ± SD), respectively. No significant associations were found between maternal blood and bone lead concentrations with telomere length and DNAm age in newborns.

CONCLUSION: We found no associations of prenatal lead exposure with telomere length and DNA methylation age biomarkers.

RevDate: 2021-12-20

Rahimi Mehdi Abad F, Khalili P, Jalali F, et al (2021)

Maternal opioid use is reflected on leukocyte telomere length of male newborns.

PloS one, 16(12):e0261013 pii:PONE-D-21-24864.

Opioid use accelerates normal aging in adults that raises a question on whether it may trans-generationally affect aging and aging biomarkers in the offspring of users as well? In the present research, we investigated the relative telomere length in umbilical cord blood of newborns born to opioid consuming mothers compared to normal controls. Telomere length shortening is a known biomarker of aging and aging related diseases. Its measure at birth or early in life is considered as a predictor of individual health in adulthood. Here, we performed a case-control study to investigate whether maternal opioid use affects newborns relative telomere length (RTL). 57 mother-newborn dyads were included in this study, 30 neonates with opioid using mothers (OM), and 27 with not-opioid using mothers (NOM)). RTL was measured in leukocyte cells genomic DNA using real-time PCR. The correlation of maternal opioid use with neonates telomer length was assessed using logistic regression analysis. The results displayed a significant association between odds ratio of long RTL and maternal opioid use when sensitivity analysis was performed by neonate sex; where the data indicates significantly increased odds ratio of long leukocyte RTL in association with maternal opioid use in male neonates only. Further work is necessary to assess this association in larger samples and test the potential underlying mechanisms for this observation.

RevDate: 2021-12-17

Lu Y, Liu X, Zhao Z, et al (2021)

Telomere length in peripheral leukocytes is a sensitive marker for assessing genetic damage among workers exposed to isopropanol, lead and noise: the case of an electronics manufacturer.

Genes and environment : the official journal of the Japanese Environmental Mutagen Society, 43(1):57.

BACKGROUND: Workers in electronics manufacturers may be exposed to various occupational hazards such as isopropanol, lead, and noise. Telomeres are special segments of cap-like DNA protein complex at end of liner chromosomes in eukaryotic cells. Telomere length is a potential marker of genetic damage. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of occupational hazards on the relative telomere length (rTL) of peripheral blood cells of workers in an electronics manufacturer, and to explore whether relative telomere length could be a biomarker for assessing genetic damage in the electronics manufacturing industry.

METHODS: We investigated a large-scale electronics manufacturer in the Pearl River Delta Region. We ultimately collected 699 qualified workers (248 with isopropanol exposure, 182 with lead exposure, 157 with noise exposure, and 112 controls). During physical examination of the workers, we gave them questionnaires to understand their health statuses and living habits. We also collected peripheral blood samples from these workers to test exposure levels and rTL in the leucocytes.

RESULTS: The concentrations of air isopropanol in all monitored workshops was 25.3 mg/m3 and air lead smoke was 0.020 mg/m3. The maximum equivalent continuous A sound level noise exposure position was 82.2dB (A). All were lower than those in the Occupational Exposure Limits in Workplaces in China. Urinary acetone in the isopropanol exposed group was 1.04 (0, 1.50) mg/L, and cumulative urinary acetone was 1.48 (0, 5.09) mg-years/L. Blood lead levels (BLLs) were 28.57 (22.77, 37.06) µg/dL, and cumulative blood lead levels (CBLLs) were 92.75 (55.47, 165.13) µg-years/dL. rTL was different between occupational exposed workers and controls: rTL was 0.140 units (95 % CI: 0.022, 0.259) shorter in lead exposed workers and 0.467 units (95 % CI: 0.276-0.658) shorter in noise exposed workers compared to the controls. There is no statistical difference in rTL between isopropanol exposure workers and the controls. In order to elucidate the relationship between rTL and occupational hazards exposure, we divided the isopropanol exposure workers into three groups (0, ~1.43 mg/L, and >1.43 mg/L). None of the rTL difference was statistically significant among exposed workers at different uroacetone levels (P>0.05). The groups with ≥100 µg/dL blood lead had shorter rTL than the group with blood lead below 100 µg/dL (F=4.422, P=0.013). We incorporated age, gender, birthplace, race, education level, smoking, and alcohol consumption into the linear regression equation. Only blood lead concentration (X) was entered into the regression equation, yielding a multivariate linear regression equation of Y=0.397-0.124X (F=8.091, P=0.005). Workers with different hearing loss also had statistically significant differences in rTL (F=5.731, P=0.004). rTL was a protective factor for the occurrence of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). The longer the rTL, the lower the risk of NIHL [OR=0.64 (0.42, 0.98)].

CONCLUSIONS: rTL was shorter in lead exposed workers and noise exposed workers, and it was a protective factor for the occurrence of the noise-induced hearing loss. Thus, rTL of peripheral blood may be a sensitive marker of genetic damage among workers in environments with lead and noise exposure.

RevDate: 2021-12-16

Niu KM, Bao T, Gao L, et al (2021)

The Impacts of Short-Term NMN Supplementation on Serum Metabolism, Fecal Microbiota, and Telomere Length in Pre-Aging Phase.

Frontiers in nutrition, 8:756243.

Aging is a natural process with concomitant changes in the gut microbiota and associate metabolomes. Beta-nicotinamide mononucleotide, an important NAD+ intermediate, has drawn increasing attention to retard the aging process. We probed the changes in the fecal microbiota and metabolomes of pre-aging male mice (C57BL/6, age: 16 months) following the oral short-term administration of nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN). Considering the telomere length as a molecular gauge for aging, we measured this in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of pre-aging mice and human volunteers (age: 45-60 years old). Notably, the NMN administration did not influence the body weight and feed intake significantly during the 40 days in pre-aging mice. Metabolomics suggested 266 upregulated and 58 downregulated serum metabolites. We identified 34 potential biomarkers linked with the nicotinamide, purine, and proline metabolism pathways. Nicotinamide mononucleotide significantly reduced the fecal bacterial diversity (p < 0.05) with the increased abundance of Helicobacter, Mucispirillum, and Faecalibacterium, and lowered Akkermansia abundance associated with nicotinamide metabolism. We propose that this reshaped microbiota considerably lowered the predicated functions of aging with improved immune and cofactors/vitamin metabolism. Most notably, the telomere length of PBMC was significantly elongated in the NMN-administered mice and humans. Taken together, these findings suggest that oral NMN supplementation in the pre-aging stage might be an effective strategy to retard aging. We recommend further studies to unravel the underlying molecular mechanisms and comprehensive clinical trials to validate the effects of NMN on aging.

RevDate: 2021-12-15

Liu R, Kasowitz SD, Homolka D, et al (2021)

YTHDC2 is essential for pachytene progression and prevents aberrant microtubule-driven telomere clustering in male meiosis.

Cell reports, 37(11):110110.

Mechanisms driving the prolonged meiotic prophase I in mammals are poorly understood. RNA helicase YTHDC2 is critical for mitosis to meiosis transition. However, YTHDC2 is highly expressed in pachytene cells. Here we identify an essential role for YTHDC2 in meiotic progression. Specifically, YTHDC2 deficiency causes microtubule-dependent telomere clustering and apoptosis at the pachytene stage of prophase I. Depletion of YTHDC2 results in a massively dysregulated transcriptome in pachytene cells, with a tendency toward upregulation of genes normally expressed in mitotic germ cells and downregulation of meiotic transcripts. Dysregulation does not correlate with m6A status, and YTHDC2-bound mRNAs are enriched in genes upregulated in mutant germ cells, revealing that YTHDC2 primarily targets mRNAs for degradation. Furthermore, altered transcripts in mutant pachytene cells encode microtubule network proteins. Our results demonstrate that YTHDC2 regulates the pachytene stage by perpetuating a meiotic transcriptome and preventing microtubule network changes that could lead to telomere clustering.

RevDate: 2021-12-15

Schoepf IC, Thorball CW, Ledergerber B, et al (2021)

Telomere Length Declines In Persons Living With HIV Before Antiretroviral Therapy Start But Not After Viral Suppression: A Longitudinal Study Over >17 Years.

The Journal of infectious diseases pii:6463311 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: In people living with HIV (PWH), long-term telomere length (TL) change without/with suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART) and the contribution of genetic background to TL are incompletely understood.

METHODS: We measured TL change in peripheral blood mononuclear cells by quantitative PCR in 107 Swiss HIV Cohort Study participants with longitudinal samples available both before and during suppressive ART. We applied mixed effects multi-level regression to obtain uni-/multivariable estimates for longitudinal TL dynamics including age, sex, and CD4:CD8 ratio. We assessed the effect of individual antiretrovirals and of an individual TL-polygenic risk score (TL-PRS; based on 239 single nucleotide polymorphisms) on TL in 798 additional participants from our previous longitudinal studies.

RESULTS: During untreated HIV infection (median observation, 7.7 [interquartile range, IQR, 4.7-11] years), TL declined significantly (median -2.12%/year; IQR, -3.48% to -0.76%/year; p=0.002). During suppressive ART (median observation, 9.8 [IQR, 7.1-11.1] years), there was no evidence of TL decline or increase (median +0.54%/year; IQR, -0.55% to +1.63%/year; p=0.329). TL-PRS contributed to TL change (global p=0.019) but particular antiretrovirals did not (all p>0.15).

DISCUSSION: In PWH, TL is associated with an individual polygenic risk score. TL declined significantly during untreated chronic HIV infection but no TL change occurred during suppressive ART.

RevDate: 2021-12-15

Xia K, Zhang L, Zhang G, et al (2021)

Leukocyte telomere length and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a Mendelian randomization study.

Orphanet journal of rare diseases, 16(1):508.

BACKGROUND: Observational studies have suggested that telomere length is associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, whether this association is causal remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to explore the causal relationship between leukocyte telomere length (LTL) and ALS by a two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) approach. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for LTL were identified through high-quality genome-wide association studies (GWASs). The ALS GWAS summary data (20,806 cases; 59,804 controls) with largest sample size to date was obtained. We adopted the inverse variance weighted (IVW) method to examine the effect of LTL on ALS and used the weighted median method, simple median method, MR Egger method and MR-PRESSO method to perform sensitivity analyses.

RESULTS: We found that genetically determined increased LTL was inversely associated with the risk of ALS (odds ratio (OR) = 0.846, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.744-0.962, P = 0.011), which was mainly driven by rs940209 in the OBFC1 gene, suggesting a potential effect of OBFC1 on ALS. The results were further confirmed by sensitivity analysis with the MR Egger method (OR = 0.647, 95% CI = 0.447-0.936, P = 0.050). Analyses by the weighted median method (OR = 0.893, P = 0.201) and simple median method (OR = 0.935, P = 0.535) also showed a similar trend. The MR Egger analysis did not suggest directional pleiotropy, with an intercept of 0.025 (P = 0.168). Neither the influence of instrumental outliers nor heterogeneity was found.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that genetically predicted increased LTL has a causal relationship with a lower risk of ALS. Protecting against telomere loss may be of great importance in the prevention and treatment of ALS.

RevDate: 2021-12-13

Engin AB, MD Coleman (2021)

Telomere attrition may be a more realistic toxicity test for both low and high dose exposure.

RevDate: 2021-12-13

Casas-Recasens S, Mendoza N, López-Giraldo A, et al (2021)

Telomere Length but Not Mitochondrial DNA Copy Number Is Altered in Both Young and Old COPD.

Frontiers in medicine, 8:761767.

Accelerated ageing is implicated in the pathogenesis of respiratory diseases as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but recent evidence indicates that the COPD can have roots early in life. Here we hypothesise that the accelerated ageing markers might have a role in the pathobiology of young COPD. The objective of this study was to compare two hallmarks of ageing, telomere length (TL), and mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNA-CN, as a surrogate marker of mitochondrial dysfunction) in young (≤ 50 years) and old (>50 years) smokers, with and without COPD. Both, TL and mtDNA-CN were measured in whole blood DNA by quantitative PCR [qPCR] in: (1) young ever smokers with (n = 81) or without (n = 166) COPD; and (2) old ever smokers with (n = 159) or without (n = 29) COPD. A multivariable linear regression was used to assess the association of TL and mtDNA-CN with lung function. We observed that in the entire study population, TL and mtDNA-CN decreased with age, and the former but not the latter related to FEV1/FVC (%), FEV1 (% ref.), and DLCO (% ref.). The short telomeres were found both in the young and old patients with severe COPD (FEV1 <50% ref.). In addition, we found that TL and mtDNA-CN were significantly correlated, but their relationship was positive in younger while negative in the older patients with COPD, suggesting a mitochondrial dysfunction. We conclude that TL, but not mtDNA-CN, is associated with the lung function impairment. Both young and old patients with severe COPD have evidence of accelerated ageing (shorter TL) but differ in the direction of the correlation between TL and mtDNA-CN in relation to age.

RevDate: 2021-12-13

Nozaki T, Chang F, Weiner B, et al (2021)

High Temporal Resolution 3D Live-Cell Imaging of Budding Yeast Meiosis Defines Discontinuous Actin/Telomere-Mediated Chromosome Motion, Correlated Nuclear Envelope Deformation and Actin Filament Dynamics.

Frontiers in cell and developmental biology, 9:687132.

Chromosome movement is prominent at mid-meiotic prophase and is proposed to enhance the efficiency and/or stringency of homolog pairing and/or to help prevent or resolve topological entanglements. Here, we combine fluorescent repressor operator system (FROS) labeling with three-dimensional (3D) live-cell imaging at high spatio-temporal resolution to define the detailed kinetics of mid-meiotic prophase motion for a single telomere-proximal locus in budding yeast. Telomere motions can be grouped into three general categories: (i) pauses, in which the telomere "jiggles in place"; (ii) rapid, straight/curvilinear motion which reflects Myo2/actin-mediated transport of the monitored telomere; and (iii) slower directional motions, most of which likely reflect indirectly promoted motion of the monitored telomere in coordination with actin-mediated motion of an unmarked telomere. These and other findings highlight the importance of dynamic assembly/disassembly of telomere/LINC/actin ensembles and also suggest important roles for nuclear envelope deformations promoted by actin-mediated telomere/LINC movement. The presented low-SNR (signal-to-noise ratio) imaging methodology provides opportunities for future exploration of homolog pairing and related phenomena.

RevDate: 2021-12-13

Al-Thuwaini TM (2021)

Association of antidiabetic therapy with shortened telomere length in middle-aged Type 2 diabetic patients.

Journal of diabetes and metabolic disorders, 20(2):1161-1168 pii:835.

Introduction: A wide range of antidiabetic therapies have been developed to manage diabetes and limit its lifespan but each of them have adverse long-term drug reactions. This study was performed for the investigation of the possible association of antidiabetic therapy with shortened telomere length in middle-aged Type 2 diabetic patients.

Materials and methods: The subjects in this case-control study included 100 non-diabetic patients and 300 patients with Type 2 diabetes with ages in the range of 30-50 years. The treated patients were further subdivided into diabetic patients using Doanil, those using insulin and those using both the therapies. The mean telomere length was determined using the southern-blotting technique. A logistic regression analysis was performed to predict the relationship between antidiabetic therapy and shortened telomere length.

Results: The results revealed a significant increase (P < 0.01) in the fasting blood glucose and lipid profile in non-treatment diabetic patients compared to diabetic patients with treatment, and also in diabetic patients with insulin therapy, compared to diabetic patients with Doanil or both therapies. The results showed that non-treatment diabetic patients had shorter telomere length, compared to the diabetic patients with treatment, and patients treated with insulin therapy had shorter telomere length, compared to the diabetic patients with Doanil or both therapies. The logistic regression analysis confirmed that insulin therapy was closely related to diabetic risk factors and shortened telomere length.

Conclusions: The results revealed that Doanil therapy was more effective in managing diabetic risk and limiting the shortening telomere length than insulin therapy.

RevDate: 2021-12-13

Rungnirundorn T, Krusong K, Kalayasiri R, et al (2021)

Leukocyte telomere length is not shortened in methamphetamine dependence or methamphetamine-induced psychosis but is increased following traumatic events.

The world journal of biological psychiatry : the official journal of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: This study aims to examine the effects of methamphetamine (MA) use and dependence and MA withdrawal symptoms on the telomere length and whether shortening of the latter is associated with MA-induced psychosis (MIP).

METHODS: This study included 185 MA-abuse, 118 MA-dependent, and 67 MIP patients, diagnosed using DSM-IV criteria. The Semi-structured Assessment for Drug Dependence and Alcoholism (SSADDA) questionnaire was employed to collect MA-related data. MIP was confirmed using the Methamphetamine Experience Questionnaire (MEQ). The leukocyte telomere length was measured using real-time polymerase chain reaction measuring the Telomere/Single gene ratio (T/S ratio). Data were analyzed using multivariate statistical analyses.

RESULTS: There were no significant associations between the T/S ratio and severity of MA-use, MIP, and MA withdrawal symptoms. MIP was significantly predicted by alcohol dependence, antisocial personality disorder, and MA-use severity. There were significantly positive associations between the T/S ratio and previous traumatic and life-threatening events. The T/S ratio was not affected by alcohol and nicotine dependence. Alcohol and nicotine dependence, antisocial personality disorder, and severity of MA use increased risk of MA withdrawal symptoms.

CONCLUSION: MIP and MA-use severity are not associated with leukocyte telomere length, but previous traumatic and life-threatening events are associated with increased telomere length.

RevDate: 2021-12-13

Zhang A, Fan L, Sun T, et al (2021)

The association of leukocyte telomere length and intermediate coronary lesions - a retrospective study.

Annals of palliative medicine pii:apm-21-2295 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Intermediate coronary lesions (40-70% stenosis) present a higher risk for future cardiovascular events for instability of plaques. Shortened telomere is an indicator of cellular senescence, which is associated with age-related diseases. However, the relationship between telomere length and severity of intermediate coronary lesions remains largely unknown.

METHODS: A total of 121 lesions of 121 patients with intermediate coronary disease that underwent intravascular optical coherence tomography were enrolled. These patients were retrospectively divided into two groups according to whether accept percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) treatment: non-PCI group and PCI group.

RESULTS: Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in patients of PCI group were significantly shorter (12.54±2.70 vs. 15.32±3.72 kb, P<0.001) than non-PCI group. The PCI group had longer lipid length (17.17±9.94 vs. 12.21±10.15 mm, P=0.01) and greater lipid index (4,286.82±3,012.54 vs. 2,444.87±2,677.59 °*mm, P<0.001). There was a significant difference in the prevalence of thin-cap fibroatheroma (36.6% vs. 16.0%, P=0.013), macrophages (56.3% vs. 38.0%, P=0.047), plaque rupture (23.9% vs. 6.0%, P=0.009), cholesterol crystal (49.3% vs. 30.0%, P=0.034), dissection (23.9% vs. 4.0%, P=0.003) between PCI and non-PCI group. Logistic regression revealed that LTL was independently associated with PCI after adjusting for confounding factors (OR 0.952, CI: 0.930-0.974, per 1unit increase, P<0.001). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis revealed a LTL area under the ROC curve (AUC) of 0.714 (95% CI: 0.619-0.808, P<0.001) in the study population. Furthermore, LTL was inversely correlated with lipid length (r =-0.190, P=0.037), lipid arc (r =-0.301, P=0.001), lipid index (r =-0.182, P=0.046), and positive correlation with FCT (r =0.213, P=0.034).

CONCLUSIONS: LTL was independently associated with possibility of receiving PCI in intermediate coronary lesion patients and LTL is also significantly related to plaque instability features that evaluated by optical coherence tomography. LTL may be as an indicator to assess the necessity of PCI in intermediate coronary lesion patients.

RevDate: 2021-12-13

Womersley JS, Xulu KR, Sommer J, et al (2021)

Associations between telomere length and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder and appetitive aggression in trauma-exposed men.

Neuroscience letters, 769:136388 pii:S0304-3940(21)00767-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Exposure to community violence is common in South Africa and negatively impacts on biopsychosocial health. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterised by symptoms of intrusion, avoidance, hypervigilance and negative alterations in cognition and mood, and can develop consequent to trauma exposure. Individuals who repeatedly experience and witness violence may also come to view it as appealing and rewarding. This appetitive aggression (AA) increases the likelihood of perpetrating violence. Telomeres are repetitive nucleotide sequences that protect the ends of chromosomes. Telomere length (TL) attrition is a stress-sensitive marker of biological aging that has been associated with a range of psychiatric disorders. This study investigated the cross-sectional relationship between TL and symptoms of PTSD and AA in South African men residing in areas with high community violence. PTSD and AA symptom severity was assessed in 290 men using the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptom Scale - Interview (PSS-I) and Appetitive Aggression Scale (AAS), respectively. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction was performed on DNA extracted from saliva and used to calculate relative TL (rTL). Regression models were used to assess the relationships between rTL and PSS-I and AAS scores. Network analyses using EBIC glasso methods were performed using rTL and items from each of the AAS and PSS-I measures. Both PSS-I (p = 0.023) and AAS (p = 0.016) scores were positively associated with rTL. Network analyses indicated that rTL was weakly related to two PSS-I and five AAS items but performed poorly on indicators of centrality and was not strongly associated with measure items either directly or indirectly. The positive association between rTL and measures of AA and PTSD may be due to the induction of protective homeostatic mechanisms, which reduce TL attrition, following early life trauma exposure.

RevDate: 2021-12-10

Kardeh S, Saber A, Mazloomrezaei M, et al (2021)

Telomere targeting is insufficient to ameliorate multifaceted hallmarks of aging in cultured keratinocytes.

RevDate: 2021-12-10

Lee KH, Kim DY, W Kim (2021)

Regulation of Gene Expression by Telomere Position Effect.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(23): pii:ijms222312807.

Many diseases that involve malignant tumors in the elderly affect the quality of human life; therefore, the relationship between aging and pathogenesis in geriatric diseases must be under-stood to develop appropriate treatments for these diseases. Recent reports have shown that epigenetic regulation caused by changes in the local chromatin structure plays an essential role in aging. This review provides an overview of the roles of telomere shortening on genomic structural changes during an age-dependent shift in gene expression. Telomere shortening is one of the most prominent events that is involved in cellular aging and it affects global gene expression through genome rearrangement. This review provides novel insights into the roles of telomere shortening in disease-affected cells during pathogenesis and suggests novel therapeutic approaches.

RevDate: 2021-12-09

Rangel-Pozzo A, Dettori T, Virginia Frau D, et al (2021)

Three-dimensional telomere profiles in papillary thyroid cancer variants: a pilot study.

Bosnian journal of basic medical sciences [Epub ahead of print].

Besides the two main histologic types of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), the classical PTC (CL-PTC) and the follicular variant PTC (FV-PTC), several other variants are described. The encapsulated FV-PTC variant was recently reclassified as noninvasive follicular thyroid neoplasm with papillary-like nuclear features (NIFTP) due to its similarities to benign lesions. Specific molecular signatures, however, are still unavailable. It is well known that improper DNA repair of dysfunctional telomeres may cause telomere-related genome instability. The mechanisms involved in the damaged telomere repair processing may lead to detrimental outcomes, altering the three-dimensional (3D) nuclear telomere and genome organization in cancer cells. This pilot study aimed to evaluate whether a specific 3D nuclear telomere architecture might characterize NIFTP, potentially distinguishing it from other PTC histologic variants. Our findings demonstrate that 3D telomere profiles of CL-PTC and FV-PTC were different from NIFTP and that NIFTP more closely resembles follicular thyroid adenoma (FTA). NIFTP has longer telomeres than CL-PTC and FV-PTC samples, and the telomere length of NIFTP overlaps with that of the FTA histotype. In contrast, there was no association between BRAF expression and telomere length in all tested samples. These preliminary findings reinforce the view that NIFTP is closer to non-malignant thyroid nodules and confirm that PTC features short telomeres.

RevDate: 2021-12-11

Tang Y, Mukherjee J, RO Pieper (2021)

MRE11 and UBR5 Co-Operate to Suppress RNF168-Mediated Fusion of Dysfunctional Telomeres.

Frontiers in oncology, 11:772233.

TRF2 is part of the shelterin complex that hides telomeric DNA ends and prevents the activation of the cNHEJ pathway that can lead to chromosomal fusion. TRF2, however, also actively suppresses the cNHEJ pathway by recruiting two proteins, MRE11 and UBR5. MRE11 binds BRCC3, which in turn deubiquitinates γH2AX deposited at exposed telomeric DNA ends and limits RNF168 recruitment to the telomere. UBR5, in contrast directly ubiquitinates and destroys RNF168. The loss of telomeric RNF168 in turn blocks the subsequent recruitment of 53BP1 and prevents the cNHEJ-mediated fusion of chromosomes with exposed telomeric DNA ends. Although MRE11 and UBR5 are both involved in the control of telomeric RNF168 levels and the chromosome fusion process, their relative contributions have not been directly addressed. To do so we genetically suppressed MRE11 and UBR5 alone or in combination in glioma cell lines which we previously showed contained dysfunctional telomeres that were dependent on TRF2 for suppression of telomeric fusion and monitored the effects on events associated with telomere fusion. We here show that while suppression of either MRE11 or UBR5 alone had minimal effects on RNF168 telomeric accumulation, 53BP1 recruitment, and telomeric fusion, their combined suppression led to significant increases in RNF168 and 53BP1 telomeric recruitment and telomeric fusion and eventually cell death, all of which were reversible by suppression of RNF168 itself. These results show that MRE11 and UBR5 co-operate to suppress fusion at dysfunctional telomeres.

RevDate: 2021-12-08

Barroso-González J, García-Expósito L, Galaviz P, et al (2021)

Anti-recombination function of MutSα restricts telomere extension by ALT-associated homology-directed repair.

Cell reports, 37(10):110088.

Alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) is a telomere-elongation mechanism observed in ∼15% of cancer subtypes. Current models indicate that ALT is mediated by homology-directed repair mechanisms. By disrupting MSH6 gene expression, we show that the deficiency of MutSα (MSH2/MSH6) DNA mismatch repair complex causes striking telomere hyperextension. Mechanistically, we show MutSα is specifically recruited to telomeres in ALT cells by associating with the proliferating-cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) subunit of the ALT telomere replisome. We also provide evidence that MutSα counteracts Bloom (BLM) helicase, which adopts a crucial role in stabilizing hyper-extended telomeres and maintaining the survival of MutSα-deficient ALT cancer cells. Lastly, we propose a model in which MutSα deficiency impairs heteroduplex rejection, leading to premature initiation of telomere DNA synthesis that coincides with an accumulation of telomere variant repeats (TVRs). These findings provide evidence that the MutSα DNA mismatch repair complex acts to restrain unwarranted ALT.

RevDate: 2021-12-07

Kärkkäinen T, Laaksonen T, Burgess M, et al (2021)

Population differences in the length and early-life dynamics of telomeres among European pied flycatchers.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Telomere length and shortening rate are increasingly used as biomarkers for long-term costs in ecological and evolutionary studies because of their relationships with survival and fitness. Both early-life conditions and growth, and later-life stressors can create variation in telomere shortening rate. Studies on between-population telomere length and dynamics are scarce, despite the expectation that populations exposed to varying environmental constraints would present divergent telomere length patterns. The pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) is a passerine bird breeding across Eurasia (from Spain to western Siberia) and migrating through the Iberian Peninsula to spend the non-breeding period in sub-Saharan Africa. Thus, different populations show marked differences in migration distance. We studied the large-scale variation of telomere length and early-life dynamics in the pied flycatcher by comparing six European populations across a north-south gradient (Finland, Estonia, England, and Spain) predicting negative effect of migration distance on adult telomere length, and of nestling growth on nestling telomere dynamics. There were clear population differences in telomere length, with English birds from mid-latitudes having the longest telomeres. Telomere length did not thus show consistent latitudinal variation and was not linearly linked to differences in migration distance. Early-life telomere shortening rate tended to vary between populations. Fast growth was associated with shorter telomeres in the early life, but faster nestling growth affected telomeres more negatively in northern than southern populations. While the sources of between-population differences in telomere-related biology remain to be more intensively studied, our study illustrates the need to expand telomere studies at the between-population level.

RevDate: 2021-12-07

van der Spek A, Karamujić-Čomić H, Pool R, et al (2021)

Fat metabolism is associated with telomere length in six population-based studies.

Human molecular genetics pii:6409526 [Epub ahead of print].

Telomeres are repetitive DNA sequences located at the end of chromosomes, which are associated to biological aging, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality. Lipid and fatty acid metabolism have been associated with telomere shortening. We have conducted an in-depth study investigating the association of metabolic biomarkers with telomere length (LTL). We performed an association analysis of 226 metabolic biomarkers with LTL using data from 11 775 individuals from six independent population-based cohorts (BBMRI-NL consortium). Metabolic biomarkers include lipoprotein lipids and subclasses, fatty acids, amino acids, glycolysis measures and ketone bodies. LTL was measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction or FlowFISH. Linear regression analysis was performed adjusting for age, sex, lipid-lowering medication and cohort-specific covariates (model 1) and additionally for body mass index (BMI) and smoking (model 2), followed by inverse variance-weighted meta-analyses (significance threshold pmeta = 6.5x10-4). We identified four metabolic biomarkers positively associated with LTL, including two cholesterol to lipid ratios in small VLDL (S-VLDL-C % and S-VLDL-ce %) and two omega-6 fatty acid ratios (FAw6/FA and LA/FA). After additionally adjusting for BMI and smoking, these metabolic biomarkers remained associated with LTL with similar effect estimates. In addition, cholesterol esters in very small VLDL (XS-VLDL-ce) became significantly associated with LTL (p = 3.6x10-4). We replicated the association of FAw6/FA with LTL in an independent dataset of 7845 individuals (p = 1.9x10-4). To conclude, we identified multiple metabolic biomarkers involved in lipid and fatty acid metabolism that may be involved in LTL biology. Longitudinal studies are needed to exclude reversed causation.

RevDate: 2021-12-08

Hahn MC, Werlang ICR, Rechenmacher C, et al (2021)

Telomere length in healthy newborns is not affected by adverse intrauterine environments.

Genetics and molecular biology, 44(4):e20200411 pii:S1415-47572021000600107.

Different intrauterine exposures are associated with different metabolic profiles leading to growth and development characteristics in children and also relate to health and disease patterns in adult life. The objective of this work was to evaluate the impact of four different intrauterine environments on the telomere length of newborns. This is a longitudinal observational study using a convenience sample of 222 mothers and their term newborns (>37 weeks of gestational age) from hospitals in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil), from September 2011 to January 2016. Sample was divided into four groups: pregnant women with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (DM) (n=38), smoking pregnant women (TOBACCO) (n=52), mothers with small-for-gestational age (SGA) children due to idiopathic intrauterine growth restriction (n=33), and a control group (n=99). Maternal and newborn genomic DNA were obtained from epithelial mucosal cells. Telomere length was assessed by qPCR, with the calculation of the telomere and single copy gene (T/S ratio). In this sample, there was no significant difference in telomere length between groups (p>0.05). There was also no association between childbirth weight and telomere length in children (p>0.05). For term newborns different intrauterine environments seems not to influence telomere length at birth.

RevDate: 2021-12-07

da Silva RS, de Moraes LS, da Rocha CAM, et al (2021)

Telomere length and telomerase activity of leukocytes as biomarkers of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor responses in patients with major depressive disorder.

Psychiatric genetics pii:00041444-900000000-99481 [Epub ahead of print].

We analyze the leukocyte telomere length (LTL) and telomerase activity in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) before and after treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Before treatment, there was a reduction in the LTLs and expression levels of the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) in the patients with MDD compared with controls. However, after 24 weeks of treatment with SSRIs, there was a significant increase in the LTLs and the expression levels of hTERT, with values approaching those observed in the controls. We conclude that SSRI antidepressant therapy can directly influence the increased expression levels of hTERT in patients.

RevDate: 2021-12-06

De Rosa M, Johnson SA, PL Opresko (2021)

Roles for the 8-Oxoguanine DNA Repair System in Protecting Telomeres From Oxidative Stress.

Frontiers in cell and developmental biology, 9:758402 pii:758402.

Telomeres are protective nucleoprotein structures that cap linear chromosome ends and safeguard genome stability. Progressive telomere shortening at each somatic cell division eventually leads to critically short and dysfunctional telomeres, which can contribute to either cellular senescence and aging, or tumorigenesis. Human reproductive cells, some stem cells, and most cancer cells, express the enzyme telomerase to restore telomeric DNA. Numerous studies have shown that oxidative stress caused by excess reactive oxygen species is associated with accelerated telomere shortening and dysfunction. Telomeric repeat sequences are remarkably susceptible to oxidative damage and are preferred sites for the production of the mutagenic base lesion 8-oxoguanine, which can alter telomere length homeostasis and integrity. Therefore, knowledge of the repair pathways involved in the processing of 8-oxoguanine at telomeres is important for advancing understanding of the pathogenesis of degenerative diseases and cancer associated with telomere instability. The highly conserved guanine oxidation (GO) system involves three specialized enzymes that initiate distinct pathways to specifically mitigate the adverse effects of 8-oxoguanine. Here we introduce the GO system and review the studies focused on investigating how telomeric 8-oxoguanine processing affects telomere integrity and overall genome stability. We also discuss newly developed technologies that target oxidative damage selectively to telomeres to investigate roles for the GO system in telomere stability.

RevDate: 2021-12-05

Tobler M, Gómez-Blanco D, Hegemann A, et al (2021)

Telomeres in ecology and evolution: a review and classification of hypotheses.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Research on telomeres in the fields of ecology and evolution has been rapidly expanding over the last two decades. This has resulted in the formulation of a multitude of, often name-given, hypotheses related to the associations between telomeres and life-history traits or fitness-facilitating processes (and the mechanisms underlying them). However, the differences (or similarities) between the various hypotheses, which can originate from different research fields, are often not obvious. Our aim is therefore to give an overview of the hypotheses that are of interest in ecology and evolution and to provide two frameworks that help discriminate among them. We group the hypotheses 1) based on their association with different research questions, and 2) using a hierarchical approach that builds on the assumptions they make, e.g., about causality of telomere length/shortening and/or the proposed functional consequences of telomere shortening on organism performance. Both our frameworks show that there exist parallel lines of thoughts in different research fields. Moreover, they also clearly illustrate that there are in many cases competing hypotheses within clusters, and that some of these even have contradictory assumptions and/or predictions. We also touch upon two topics in telomere research that would benefit from further conceptualization. This review should help researchers, both those familiar with and those new to the subject, to identify future avenues of research.

RevDate: 2021-12-04

Zhang K, Xu L, YS Cong (2021)

Telomere Dysfunction in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Frontiers in medicine, 8:739810.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is an age-dependent progressive and fatal lung disease of unknown etiology, which is characterized by the excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix inside the interstitial layer of the lung parenchyma that leads to abnormal scar architecture and compromised lung function capacity. Recent genetic studies have attributed the pathological genes or genetic mutations associated with familial idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and sporadic IPF to telomere-related components, suggesting that telomere dysfunction is an important determinant of this disease. In this study, we summarized recent advances in our understanding of how telomere dysfunction drives IPF genesis. We highlighted the key role of alveolar stem cell dysfunction caused by telomere shortening or telomere uncapping, which bridged the gap between telomere abnormalities and fibrotic lung pathology. We emphasized that senescence-associated secretory phenotypes, innate immune cell infiltration, and/or inflammation downstream of lung stem cell dysfunction influenced the native microenvironment and local cell signals, including increased transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) signaling in the lung, to induce pro-fibrotic conditions. In addition, the failed regeneration of new alveoli due to alveolar stem cell dysfunction might expose lung cells to elevated mechanical tension, which could activate the TGF-β signaling loop to promote the fibrotic process, especially in a periphery-to-center pattern as seen in IPF patients. Understanding the telomere-related molecular and pathophysiological mechanisms of IPF would provide new insights into IPF etiology and therapeutic strategies for this fatal disease.

RevDate: 2021-12-03

Dratwa M, Wysoczańska B, Butrym A, et al (2021)

TERT genetic variability and telomere length as factors affecting survival and risk in acute myeloid leukaemia.

Scientific reports, 11(1):23301.

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is a neoplasm of immature myeloid cells characterized by various cytogenetic alterations. The present study showed that in addition to the FLT3-ITD and NPM1 mutation status, telomere length (TL) and telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) gene polymorphisms may affect risk and overall survival (OS) in AML. TL was longer in healthy controls than in AML patients and positively correlated with age in the patients, but not in healthy subjects. TL was found to be independently affected by the presence of the FLT3-ITD mutation. As for the TERT gene polymorphism, AML patients with the TERT rs2853669 CC genotype were characterized by significantly shorter OS than patients carrying the T allele. Another observation in our study is the difference in TL and OS in patients belonging to various risk stratification groups related to the FLT3-ITD and NPM1 mutation status. Patients with adverse risk classification (mutation in FLT3-ITD and lack of mutation in NPM1) presented with the shortest telomeres and significantly worse OS. In conclusion, OS of AML patients appears to be affected by TERT gene variability and TL in addition to other well-established factors such as age, WBC count, or FLT3-ITD and NPM1 mutation status.

RevDate: 2021-12-03

Mackintosh JA, Pietsch M, Lutzky V, et al (2021)

TELO-SCOPE study: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial of danazol for short telomere related pulmonary fibrosis.

BMJ open respiratory research, 8(1):.

INTRODUCTION: Recent discoveries have identified shortened telomeres and related mutations in people with pulmonary fibrosis (PF). There is evidence to suggest that androgens, including danazol, may be effective in lengthening telomeres in peripheral blood cells. This study aims to assess the safety and efficacy of danazol in adults and children with PF associated with telomere shortening.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A multi-centre, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised trial of danazol will be conducted in subjects aged >5 years with PF associated with age-adjusted telomere length ≤10th centile measured by flow fluorescence in situ hybridisation; or in children, a diagnosis of dyskeratosis congenita. Adult participants will receive danazol 800 mg daily in two divided doses or identical placebo capsules orally for 12 months, in addition to standard of care (including pirfenidone or nintedanib). Paediatric participants will receive danazol 2 mg/kg/day orally in two divided doses or identical placebo for 6 months. If no side effects are encountered, the dose will be escalated to 4 mg/kg/day (maximum 800 mg daily) orally in two divided doses for a further 6 months. The primary outcome is change in absolute telomere length in base pairs, measured using the telomere shortest length assay (TeSLA), at 12 months in the intention to treat population.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethics approval has been granted in Australia by the Metro South Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC/2020/QMS/66385). The study will be conducted and reported according to Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Interventional Trials guidelines. Results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at international and national conferences.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBERS: NCT04638517; Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12620001363976p).

RevDate: 2021-12-02

Choi B, Messika J, Courtwright A, et al (2021)

Airway complications in lung transplant recipients with telomere-related interstitial lung disease.

Clinical transplantation [Epub ahead of print].

Patients with short telomere-related interstitial lung disease (ILD) have worse outcomes after lung transplantation. We hypothesized that post-transplant airway complications, including dehiscence and bronchial stenosis, would be more common in the short telomere ILD lung transplant population. We conducted a multi-institutional (Brigham and Women's Hospital, Groupe de Transplantation de la SPLF) retrospective cohort study of 63 recipients between 2009 and 2019 with ILD and short telomeres, compared to 4,359 recipients from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients with ILD and no known telomeropathy. In the short telomere cohort, 6 recipients (9.5%) developed dehiscence and 9 recipients (14.3%) developed stenosis, compared to 60 (1.4%) and 149 (3.4%) in the control, respectively. After adjusting for age, sex, and bilaterality, the presence of short telomeres was associated with higher odds of dehiscence (odds ratio (OR) = 8.24, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 3.34 - 20.29, p<0.001) and stenosis (OR = 4.63, 95% CI 2.21 - 9.69, p<0.001). The association between the presence of short telomeres and post-transplant dehiscence and stenosis suggest that airway complications may be a contributor to increased morbidity and mortality in patients with telomere-related ILD. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-12-02

Sepe S, Rossiello F, Cancila V, et al (2021)

DNA damage response at telomeres boosts the transcription of SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 during aging.

EMBO reports [Epub ahead of print].

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), known to be more common in the elderly, who also show more severe symptoms and are at higher risk of hospitalization and death. Here, we show that the expression of the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the SARS-CoV-2 cell receptor, increases during aging in mouse and human lungs. ACE2 expression increases upon telomere shortening or dysfunction in both cultured mammalian cells and in vivo in mice. This increase is controlled at the transcriptional level, and Ace2 promoter activity is DNA damage response (DDR)-dependent. Both pharmacological global DDR inhibition of ATM kinase activity and selective telomeric DDR inhibition by the use of antisense oligonucleotides prevent Ace2 upregulation following telomere damage in cultured cells and in mice. We propose that during aging telomere dysfunction due to telomeric shortening or damage triggers DDR activation and this causes the upregulation of ACE2, the SARS-CoV-2 cell receptor, thus contributing to make the elderly more susceptible to the infection.

RevDate: 2021-12-02

Huang YC, Lin PY, Lee Y, et al (2021)

Metabolic Syndrome Components and Leukocyte Telomere Length in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder.

The world journal of biological psychiatry : the official journal of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVES: The relationship between metabolic syndrome (MetS) components and leukocyte telomere length (LTL) attrition in major depressive disorder (MDD) remains unclear.

METHODS: We recruited 70 MDD patients (mean age: 44.6 years, 60.0% female) and 51 age- and sex-matched controls (mean age: 41.2 years, 68.6% female) to examine the associations of MetS components and LTL. Five MetS components-waist circumference, systolic/diastolic blood pressure, serum levels of fasting glucose, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and triglycerides-were assessed. LTL was measured through quantitative polymerase chain reaction.

RESULTS: MDD had higher prevalence of MetS (34.3% vs. 17.6%, p = .042), low HDL-C (25.7% vs. 7.8%, p = .009) and shorter LTL (-.038 ± .169 vs. .033 ± .213, p = .042). Regression analysis revealed that MDD (p =.046) and age (p =.003) associated with LTL, while a significant interaction effect of group (MDD vs. controls) x HDL-C (p = .037) was observed. Post-hoc analysis showed MDD with low HDL-C had greater LTL attrition than controls without low HDL-C (p = .020). In MDD, HDL-C dysregulation negatively correlated with LTL (p =.010); but no significance after Bonferroni correction.

CONCLUSIONS: HDL-C may be involved in accelerated aging process regarding metabolic disturbance in MDD only. The relationship merits prospective investigations with larger sample size for clarification.

RevDate: 2021-12-03

Estrada N, Xicoy B, Beier F, et al (2021)

Influence of Telomere Length on the Achievement of Deep Molecular Response With Imatinib in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Patients.

HemaSphere, 5(12):e657.

Tyrosine kinase inhibitors have dramatically changed the outcome of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), and nowadays, one of the main treatment goals is the achievement of deep molecular responses (DMRs), which can eventually lead to therapy discontinuation approaches. Few biological factors at diagnosis have been associated with this level of response. Telomere length (TL) in peripheral blood cells of patients with CML has been related to disease stage, response to therapy and disease progression, but little is known about its role on DMR. In this study, we analyzed if age-adjusted TL (referred as "delta-TL") at diagnosis of chronic phase (CP)-CML might correlate with the achievement of DMR under first-line imatinib treatment. TL from 96 CP-CML patients had been retrospectively analyzed at diagnosis by monochrome multiplex quantitative PCR. We observed that patients with longer age-adjusted telomeres at diagnosis had higher probabilities to achieve DMR with imatinib than those with shortened telomeres (P = 0.035 when delta-TL was studied as a continuous variable and P = 0.047 when categorized by the median). Moreover, patients carrying long telomeres also achieved major molecular response significantly earlier (P = 0.012). This study provides proof of concept that TL has a role in CML biology and when measured at diagnosis of CP-CML could help to identify patients likely to achieve DMR to first-line imatinib treatment.

RevDate: 2021-12-01

Niewisch MR, Giri N, McReynolds LJ, et al (2021)

Disease Progression and Clinical Outcomes in Telomere Biology Disorders.

Blood pii:482848 [Epub ahead of print].

Dyskeratosis congenita related telomere biology disorders (DC/TBDs) are characterized by very short telomeres caused by germline pathogenic variants in telomere biology genes. Clinical presentations can affect all organs and inheritance patterns include autosomal dominant (AD), autosomal recessive (AR), X-linked (XLR) or de novo. This study examined the associations between mode of inheritance with phenotypes and long-term clinical outcomes. Two hundred thirty-one individuals with DC/TBDs [144 male, 86.6% known genotype, median age at diagnosis 19.4 years (0-71.6)], enrolled in the National Cancer Institute's Inherited Bone Marrow Failure Syndrome Study, underwent detailed clinical assessments and longitudinal follow-up [median follow-up 5.2 years (0-36.7)]. Patients were grouped by inheritance pattern, considering AD-nonTINF2, AR/XLR, and TINF2 variants separately. Severe bone marrow failure, severe liver disease and gastrointestinal telangiectasias were more prevalent in AR/XLR or TINF2 disease, whereas pulmonary fibrosis developed predominantly in adults with AD disease. After adjusting for age at DC/TBD diagnosis, we observed the highest cancer risk in AR/XLR individuals. At last follow-up, 42% of patients were deceased with a median overall survival of 52.8 years [95% confidence interval (CI) 45.5-57.6] and the hematopoietic cell or solid organ transplant-free median survival was 45.3 years (95% CI 37.4-52.1). Significantly better overall survival was present in AD versus AR/XLR/TINF2 disease (p<0.01), while patients with AR/XLR and TINF2 disease had similar survival probabilities. This long-term study of the clinical manifestations of DC/TBDs creates a foundation for incorporating the mode of inheritance into evidence-based clinical care guidelines, and risk stratification in patients with DC/TBDs. clinicaltrials.gov NCT00027274.

RevDate: 2021-12-01

Sheldon EL, Eastwood JR, Teunissen N, et al (2021)

Telomere dynamics in the first year of life, but not later in life, predict lifespan in a wild bird.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Telomeres are protective, nucleoprotein structures at the end of chromosomes that have been associated with lifespan across taxa. However, the extent to which these associations can be attributed to absolute length versus the rate of telomere shortening prior to sampling remains unresolved. In a longitudinal study, we examined the relationship between lifespan, telomere length and the rate of telomere shortening in wild, purple-crowned fairy-wrens (Malurus coronatus coronatus). To this end, we measured telomere length using qPCR in the blood of 59 individuals sampled as nestlings and 4-14 months thereafter, and in 141 known-age individuals sampled on average three times across adulthood. We applied within-subject centring analyses to simultaneously test for associations between lifespan and average telomere length and telomere shortening. We reveal that the rate of telomere shortening and to a lesser extent telomere length in the first year of life independently predicted lifespan, with individuals with faster shortening rates and/or shorter telomeres living less long. In contrast, in adulthood neither telomere shortening nor telomere length predicted lifespan, despite a considerably larger data set. Our results suggest that telomere length measured very early in life (during development) and longitudinal assessments of telomere shortening during the first year of life constitute more useful biomarkers of total life expectancy than either telomere length measured after development, or telomere shortening later in adulthood.

RevDate: 2021-12-04

Watson JM, Trieb J, Troestl M, et al (2021)

A hypomorphic allele of telomerase uncovers the minimal functional length of telomeres in Arabidopsis.

Genetics, 219(2):.

Despite the essential requirement of telomeric DNA for genome stability, the length of telomere tracts between species substantially differs, raising the question of the minimal length of telomeric DNA necessary for proper function. Here, we address this question using a hypomorphic allele of the telomerase catalytic subunit, TERT. We show that although this construct partially restored telomerase activity to a tert mutant, telomeres continued to shorten over several generations, ultimately stabilizing at a bimodal size distribution. Telomeres on two chromosome arms were maintained at a length of 1 kb, while the remaining telomeres were maintained at 400 bp. The longest telomeres identified in this background were also significantly longer in wild-type populations, suggesting cis-acting elements on these arms either promote telomerase processivity or recruitment. Genetically disrupting telomerase processivity in this background resulted in immediate lethality. Thus, telomeres of 400 bp are both necessary and sufficient for Arabidopsis viability. As this length is the estimated minimal length for t-loop formation, our data suggest that telomeres long enough to form a t-loop constitute the minimal functional length.

RevDate: 2021-12-06

Mahmoodpoor A, Sanaie S, Roudbari F, et al (2021)

Understanding the role of telomere attrition and epigenetic signatures in COVID-19 severity.

Gene, 811:146069 pii:S0378-1119(21)00664-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Within the past several decades, the emergence and spread of infectious diseases with pandemic potential have endangered human lives. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak represents an unprecedented threat for all health systems worldwide. The clinical spectrum of COVID-19 is highly heterogeneous, ranging from asymptomatic and mild upper respiratory tract illness to severe interstitial pneumonia with respiratory failure and even death. Highly age-dependent patterns of immune response potentially explain the higher rates of the severe forms of COVID-19 in elderly patients. However, genetic and epigenetic architecture can influence multiple biological processes during the lifespan, therefore as far as our knowledge shows, vulnerability to viral infection concerning telomere length and epigenetic signature is not a new idea. This review aims is to summarize the current understanding of the role of telomere length and epigenetic mechanisms on the severity of COVID-19. The current knowledge highlights the significant association between the shorter telomere length and the higher risk of developing severe COVID-19. Differential DNA methylation patterns and miRNA expression profiles imply that these hallmarks can play a pivotal role in COVID- 19 pathogenesis. Understanding the causes of inter-individual variations in COVID-19 outcomes could provide clues to the development of the personalized therapeutic intervention.

RevDate: 2021-11-30

Panelli DM, K Bianco (2021)

Cellular aging and telomere dynamics in pregnancy.

Current opinion in obstetrics & gynecology pii:00001703-900000000-99086 [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Telomere biology is an emerging area of scientific interest. Telomeres are deoxynucleic acid caps at the ends of chromosomes that naturally shorten over one's lifespan; because of this, short telomeres have been studied as a marker of cellular aging. Given the association between short telomeres and genetic and environmental factors, their role in pregnancy has become an intriguing area of research.

RECENT FINDINGS: This review describes recent data on telomeres in pregnancy. Specifically, we discuss the association between short maternal leukocyte telomeres and poor nutritional status, between short neonatal telomeres and greater maternal psychosocial stress, and between shorter fetal amniotic membrane telomeres and the spontaneous onset of parturition. We also review recent studies suggesting that events during pregnancy can impact telomeres in the offspring years into the future.

SUMMARY: Telomere length varies in maternal, placental, and neonatal cells, but within each of these compartments telomeres may play their own distinct role during pregnancy. Whether telomeres are reflective of the cumulative impact of stressors, or part of an as-yet unknown fetal programming mechanism is an area of interest. With future research, we may work toward a better understanding of gestational biology which could have far reaching intergenerational impacts.

RevDate: 2021-12-06

Guerrero EN, Vega S, Fu C, et al (2021)

Increased proliferation and differentiation capacity of placenta-derived mesenchymal stem cells from women of median maternal age correlates with telomere shortening.

Aging, 13(22):24542-24559.

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) experience functional decline with systemic aging, resulting in reduced proliferation, increased senescence, and lower differentiation potential. The placenta represents a valuable source of MSCs, but the possible effect of donor age on the properties of placenta-derived mesenchymal stem cells (PDMSCs) has not been thoroughly studied. Thus, the aim of this study was to underscore the effect of maternal age on the biological characteristics and stemness properties of PDMSCs. PDMSCs were isolated from 5 donor age groups (A: 18-21, B: 22-25, C: 26-30, D:31-35 and E: ≥36 years) for comparison of morphological, proliferative and differentiation properties. The pluripotency markers NANOG, OCT4, and SSEA4, as well as multipotency and differentiation markers, showed higher expression in PDMSCs from mothers aged 22-35 years, with up to a 7-fold increase in adipogenesis. Cumulative population doubling, cell growth curves, and colony-forming unit-fibroblast assays revealed higher self-renewal ability in donors 26-30 years old. An increase in the proliferative characteristics of PDMSCs correlated with increased telomere shortening, suggesting that shorter telomere lengths could be related to cellular division rather than aging. A clear understanding of the effect of maternal age on MSC regenerative potential will assist in increasing the effectiveness of future cell therapies.

RevDate: 2021-12-03

Anifandis G, Samara M, Simopoulou M, et al (2021)

Insights into the Role of Telomeres in Human Embryological Parameters. Opinions Regarding IVF.

Journal of developmental biology, 9(4):.

Telomeres promote genome integrity by protecting chromosome ends from the activation of the DNA damage response and protecting chromosomes from the loss of coding sequences due to the end replication problem. Telomere length (TL) is progressively shortened as age progresses, thus resulting in cellular senescence. Therefore, TL is in strong adverse linear correlation with aging. Mounting evidence supports the notion that telomeres and male/female infertility are in a close relationship, posing the biology of telomeres as a hot topic in the era of human-assisted reproduction. Specifically, the length of sperm telomeres is gradually increasing as men get older, while the telomere length of the oocytes seems not to follow similar patterns with that of sperm. Nonetheless, the telomere length of the embryos during the cleavage stages seems to have a paternal origin, but the telomere length can be further extended by telomerase activity during the blastocyst stage. The latter has been proposed as a new molecular biomarker with strong predictive value regarding male infertility. As far as the role of telomeres in assisted reproduction, the data is limited but the length of telomeres in both gametes seems to be affected mainly by the cause of infertility rather than the assisted reproductive therapy (ART) procedure itself. The present review aims to shed more light into the role of telomeres in human embryological parameters, including gametes and embryos and also presents opinions regarding the association between telomeres and in vitro fertilization (IVF).

RevDate: 2021-11-29

Pisanu C, Vitali E, Meloni A, et al (2021)

Investigating the Role of Leukocyte Telomere Length in Treatment-Resistant Depression and in Response to Electroconvulsive Therapy.

Journal of personalized medicine, 11(11):.

Psychiatric disorders seem to be characterized by premature cell senescence. However, controversial results have also been reported. In addition, the relationship between accelerated aging and treatment-resistance has scarcely been investigated. In the current study, we measured leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in 148 patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD, 125 with major depressive disorder, MDD, and 23 with bipolar disorder, BD) treated with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and analyzed whether LTL was associated with different response profiles. We also compared LTL between patients with TRD and 335 non-psychiatric controls. For 107 patients for which genome-wide association data were available, we evaluated whether a significant overlap among genetic variants or genes associated with LTL and with response to ECT could be observed. LTL was negatively correlated with age (Spearman's correlation coefficient = -0.25, p < 0.0001) and significantly shorter in patients with treatment-resistant MDD (Quade's F = 35.18, p < 0.0001) or BD (Quade's F = 20.84, p < 0.0001) compared to controls. Conversely, baseline LTL was not associated with response to ECT or remission. We did not detect any significant overlap between genetic variants or genes associated with LTL and response to ECT. Our results support previous findings suggesting premature cell senescence in patients with severe psychiatric disorders and suggest that LTL could not be a predictive biomarker of response to ECT.

RevDate: 2021-12-06

Assis LHC, Andrade-Silva D, Shiburah ME, et al (2021)

Cell Cycle, Telomeres, and Telomerase in Leishmania spp.: What Do We Know So Far?.

Cells, 10(11):.

Leishmaniases belong to the inglorious group of neglected tropical diseases, presenting different degrees of manifestations severity. It is caused by the transmission of more than 20 species of parasites of the Leishmania genus. Nevertheless, the disease remains on the priority list for developing new treatments, since it affects millions in a vast geographical area, especially low-income people. Molecular biology studies are pioneers in parasitic research with the aim of discovering potential targets for drug development. Among them are the telomeres, DNA-protein structures that play an important role in the long term in cell cycle/survival. Telomeres are the physical ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. Due to their multiple interactions with different proteins that confer a likewise complex dynamic, they have emerged as objects of interest in many medical studies, including studies on leishmaniases. This review aims to gather information and elucidate what we know about the phenomena behind Leishmania spp. telomere maintenance and how it impacts the parasite's cell cycle.

RevDate: 2021-11-30

Turkiewicz S, Ditmer M, Sochal M, et al (2021)

Obstructive Sleep Apnea as an Acceleration Trigger of Cellular Senescence Processes through Telomere Shortening.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(22):.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is chronic disorder which is characterized by recurrent pauses of breathing during sleep which leads to hypoxia and its two main pathological sequelae: oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. Both are also associated with cellular senescence. As OSA patients present with higher prevalence of age-related disorders, such as atrial hypertension or diabetes mellitus type 2, a relationship between OSA and accelerated aging is observable. Furthermore, it has been established that these OSA are associated with telomere shortening. This process in OSA is likely caused by increased oxidative DNA damage due to increased reactive oxygen species levels, DNA repair disruptions, hypoxia, chronic inflammation, and circadian clock disturbances. The aim of the review is to summarize study outcomes on changes in leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in OSA patients and describe possible molecular mechanisms which connect cellular senescence and the pathophysiology of OSA. The majority of OSA patients are characterized by LTL attrition due to oxidative stress, hypoxia and inflammation, which make a kind of positive feedback loop, and circadian clock disturbance.

RevDate: 2021-11-30

Tarazón E, Pérez-Carrillo L, Giménez-Escamilla I, et al (2021)

Relationships of Telomere Homeostasis with Oxidative Stress and Cardiac Dysfunction in Human Ischaemic Hearts.

Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(11):.

Although the roles of telomeres and oxidative stress in ischaemic cardiomyopathy (ICM) are known, mechanisms of telomere homeostasis and their relationship with oxidative stress are incompletely understood. We performed two RNA-seq analyses (mRNA n = 23; ncRNA n = 30) and protein validation on left ventricles of explanted hearts from ICM and control subjects. We observed dysregulation of the shelterin and cohesin complexes, which was related to an increase in the response to cellular oxidative stress. Moreover, we found alterations at mRNA level in the mechanisms of telomeric DNA repair. Specifically, increased RAD51D mRNA levels were correlated with left ventricular diameters. RAD51D protein levels were unaltered, however, and were inversely corelated with the miR-103a-3p upregulation. We also observed the overexpression of lncRNAs (TERRA and GUARDIN) involved in telomere protection in response to stress and alterations in their regulatory molecules. Expression of the TERRA transcription factor ATF7 was correlated with superoxide dismutase 1 expression and left ventricular diameters. The levels of GUARDIN and its transcription factor FOSL2 were correlated with those of catalase. Therefore, we showed specific alterations in the mechanisms of telomeric DNA repair and protection, and these alterations are related to an increase in the response mechanisms to oxidative stress and cardiac dysfunction in ICM.

RevDate: 2021-11-30

Kent T, D Clynes (2021)

Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres: Lessons to Be Learned from Telomeric DNA Double-Strand Break Repair.

Genes, 12(11):.

The study of the molecular pathways underlying cancer has given us important insights into how breaks in our DNA are repaired and the dire consequences that can occur when these processes are perturbed. Extensive research over the past 20 years has shown that the key molecular event underpinning a subset of cancers involves the deregulated repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) at telomeres, which in turn leads to telomere lengthening and the potential for replicative immortality. Here we discuss, in-depth, recent major breakthroughs in our understanding of the mechanisms underpinning this pathway known as the alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT). We explore how this gives us important insights into how DSB repair at telomeres is regulated, with relevance to the cell-cycle-dependent regulation of repair, repair of stalled replication forks and the spatial regulation of DSB repair.

RevDate: 2021-11-30

Badmus KA, Idrus Z, Meng GY, et al (2021)

Telomere Length, Apoptotic, and Inflammatory Genes: Novel Biomarkers of Gastrointestinal Tract Pathology and Meat Quality Traits in Chickens under Chronic Stress (Gallus gallus domesticus).

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(11):.

This study was designed to examine the potentials of telomere length, mitochondria, and acute phase protein genes as novel biomarkers of gastrointestinal (GI) tract pathologies and meat quality traits. Chickens were fed a diet containing corticosterone (CORT) for 4 weeks and records on body weight, telomere length, GI tract and muscle histopathological test, meat quality traits, mitochondria, and acute phase protein genes were obtained at weeks 4 and 6 of age. The body weight of CORT-fed chickens was significantly suppressed (p < 0.05). CORT significantly altered the GI tract and meat quality traits. The interaction effect of CORT and age on body weight, duodenum and ileum crypt depth, pH, and meat color was significant (p < 0.05). CORT significantly (p < 0.05) shortened buffy coat telomere length. UCP3 and COX6A1 were diversely and significantly expressed in the muscle, liver, and heart of the CORT-fed chicken. Significant expression of SAAL1 and CRP in the liver and hypothalamus of the CORT-fed chickens was observed at week 4 and 6. Therefore, telomere lengths, mitochondria, and acute phase protein genes could be used as novel biomarkers for GI tract pathologies and meat quality traits.

RevDate: 2021-11-30

Al-Daghri NM, Abdi S, Sabico S, et al (2021)

Gut-Derived Endotoxin and Telomere Length Attrition in Adults with and without Type 2 Diabetes.

Biomolecules, 11(11):.

Premature aging, as denoted by a reduced telomere length (TL), has been observed in several chronic inflammatory diseases, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). However, no study to date has addressed the potential inflammatory influence of the gut-derived Gram-negative bacterial fragments lipopolysaccharide, also referred to as endotoxin, and its influence on TL in low-grade inflammatory states such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The current study therefore investigated the influence of endotoxin and inflammatory factors on telomere length (TL) in adults with (T2DM: n = 387) and without (non-diabetic (ND) controls: n = 417) obesity and T2DM. Anthropometric characteristics were taken, and fasted blood samples were used to measure biomarkers, TL, and endotoxin. The findings from this study highlighted across all participants that circulating endotoxin (r = -0.17, p = 0.01) was inversely associated with TL, noting that endotoxin and triglycerides predicted 18% of the variance perceived in TL (p < 0.001). Further stratification of the participants according to T2DM status and sex highlighted that endotoxin significantly predicted 19% of the variance denoted in TL among male T2DM participants (p = 0.007), where TL was notably influenced. The influence on TL was not observed to be impacted by anti-T2DM medications, statins, or anti-hypertensive therapies. Taken together, these results show that TL attrition was inversely associated with circulating endotoxin levels independent of the presence of T2DM and other cardiometabolic factors, suggesting that low-grade chronic inflammation may trigger premature biological aging. The findings further highlight the clinical relevance of mitigating the levels of circulating endotoxin (e.g., manipulation of gut microbiome) not only for the prevention of chronic diseases but also to promote healthy aging.

RevDate: 2021-11-30

Sánchez-González JL, Sánchez-Rodríguez JL, Martín-Vallejo J, et al (2021)

Effects of Physical Exercise on Cognition and Telomere Length in Healthy Older Women.

Brain sciences, 11(11):.

BACKGROUND: Physical exercise is an effective measure for preventing the onset of cognitive decline and has a direct influence on the aging process. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of a 6-month physical exercise program on cognition and telomere length in adults over 65 years of age.

METHOD: Seventy-four healthy women were separated into two groups: 41 were included in the intervention group (IG) (72.70 ± 4.127 years and 8.18 ± 1.551 years of education) and 33 in the control group (CG) (71.21 ± 4.127 years and 8.42 ± 2.562). The participants included within the IG carried out three sessions of physical exercise per week for six months. Cognitive function was assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Stroop test and the Trail Making Test (TMT). Saliva samples were taken and analyzed and relative telomere length was calculated. Those conducting the analysis were blind to the group to which the participants had been assigned.

RESULTS: An improvement was observed in global cognitive function, in both attentional and executive functions, in the group of adults doing physical exercise as compared to the control group. Six months after the physical exercise program had finished, relative telomere length was found to have increased in the participants in the intervention group.

CONCLUSION: Physical exercise programs can lead to an improvement in both cognitive functions and telomere length.

RevDate: 2021-11-26

Reichard M, Giannetti K, Ferreira T, et al (2021)

Lifespan and telomere length variation across populations of wild-derived African killifish.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Telomeres and telomerase prevent the continuous erosion of chromosome-ends caused by lifelong cell division. Shortened telomeres are associated with age-related pathologies. While short telomere length is positively correlated with increased lethality at the individual level, in comparisons across species short telomeres are associated with long (and not short) lifespans. Here, we tested this contradiction between individual and evolutionary patterns in telomere length using African annual killifish. We analysed lifespan and telomere length in a set of captive strains derived from well-defined wild populations of Nothobranchius furzeri and its sister species, N. kadleci, from sites along a strong gradient of aridity which ultimately determines maximum natural lifespan. Overall, males were shorter-lived than females, and also had shorter telomeres. Male lifespan (measured in controlled laboratory conditions) was positively associated with the amount of annual rainfall in the site of strain origin. However, fish from wetter climates had shorter telomeres. In addition, individual fish which grew largest over the juvenile period possessed shorter telomeres at the onset of adulthood. This demonstrates that individual condition and environmentally-driven selection indeed modulate the relationship between telomere length and lifespan in opposite directions, validating the existence of inverse trends within a single taxon. Intra-individual heterogeneity of telomere length (capable to detect very short telomeres) was not associated with mean telomere length, suggesting that the shortest telomeres are controlled by regulatory pathways other than those that determine mean telomere length. The substantial variation in telomere length between strains from different environments identifies killifish as a powerful system in understanding the adaptive value of telomere length.

RevDate: 2021-11-26

Campitelli BE, Razzaque S, Barbero B, et al (2021)

Plasticity, pleiotropy and fitness tradeoffs in Arabidopsis genotypes with different telomere lengths.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

●Telomere length has been implicated in the organismal response to stress, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. ●Here we examine the impact of telomere length changes on Arabidopsis thaliana responses to three contrasting abiotic environments, and measure 32 fitness, development, physiology and leaf-level anatomy traits. ●We report that telomere length in wild type and short telomere mutants is resistant to abiotic stress, while elongated telomeres in ku70 mutants are more plastic. We also detect significant pleiotropic effects of telomere length on flowering time and key leaf physiology and anatomical traits. Furthermore, our data reveal a significant genotype by environment (GxE) interaction for reproductive fitness, with the benefits and costs to performance depending on the growth conditions. ●These results imply that life-history tradeoffs between flowering time and reproductive fitness are impacted by telomere length variation. We postulate that telomere length in plants is subject to natural selection imposed by different environments.

RevDate: 2021-11-26

Pepke ML, Kvalnes T, Lundregan S, et al (2021)

Genetic architecture and heritability of early-life telomere length in a wild passerine.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Early-life telomere length (TL) is associated with fitness in a range of organisms. Little is known about the genetic basis of variation in TL in wild animal populations, but to understand the evolutionary and ecological significance of TL it is important to quantify the relative importance of genetic and environmental variation in TL. In this study, we measured TL in 2746 house sparrow nestlings sampled across 20 years and used an animal model to show that there is a small heritable component of early-life TL (h2 =0.04). Variation in TL among individuals was mainly driven by environmental (annual) variance, but also brood and parental effects. Parent-offspring regressions showed a large maternal inheritance component in TL (h2 maternal =0.44), but no paternal inheritance. We did not find evidence for a negative genetic correlation underlying the observed negative phenotypic correlation between TL and structural body size. Thus, TL may evolve independently of body size and the negative phenotypic correlation is likely to be caused by non-genetic environmental effects. We further used genome-wide association analysis to identify genomic regions associated with TL variation. We identified several putative genes underlying TL variation; these have been inferred to be involved in oxidative stress, cellular growth, skeletal development, cell differentiation and tumorigenesis in other species. Together, our results show that TL has a low heritability and is a polygenic trait strongly affected by environmental conditions in a free-living bird.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Tacheva T, Zienolddiny S, Dimov D, et al (2021)

The leukocyte telomere length, single nucleotide polymorphisms near TERC gene and risk of COPD.

PeerJ, 9:e12190.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by irreversible airflow obstruction and is associated with chronic local and systemic inflammation and oxidative stress. The enhanced oxidative stress and inflammation have been reported to affect telomere length (TL). Furthermore, a number of SNPs at loci encoding the main components of the telomerase genes, TERT and TERC have been shown to correlate with TL. We aimed to explore the leukocyte TL and genotypes for single nucleotide polymorphisms, rs12696304 (C > G) and rs10936599 (C > T) near TERC in COPD cases and matched healthy controls using q-PCR technologies. Successful assessment of TL was performed for 91 patients and 88 controls. The patients had shorter TL (17919.36 ± 1203.01 bp) compared to controls (21 271.48 ± 1891.36 bp) although not significant (p = 0.137). The TL did not associate with the gender, age, spirometric indexes, smoking habits but tended to correlate negatively with BMI (Rho = - 0.215, p = 0.076) in the controls, but not in COPD patients. The genotype frequencies of the SNPs rs12696304 and rs10936599 were compared between patients and controls and the odds ratios (OR) for developing COPD were calculated. The carriers of the common homozygous (CC) genotypes of the SNPs had higher risk for COPD, compared to carriers of the variants alleles (rs12696304 CG+GG vs. CC; OR: 0.615, 95% CI [0.424-0.894], p = 0.011 and for rs10936599 CT+TT vs. CC OR = 0.668, 95% CI [0.457-0.976], p = 0.044). Analysis on the combined effects of the TERC rs12696304 (C > G) and rs10936599 (C > T) genotypes, CC/CC genotype combination was associated with higher risk for COPD (p < 0.0001) and marginally lower FEV1% pr. in patients with GOLD II (p = 0.052). There was no association between the SNP genotypes and TL. In summary, our results suggest that COPD patients may have shorter TL, and rs12696304 and rs10936599 near TERC may affect the risk of COPD independently of TL.

RevDate: 2021-11-26

Livingstone J, Shiah YJ, Yamaguchi TN, et al (2021)

The telomere length landscape of prostate cancer.

Nature communications, 12(1):6893.

Replicative immortality is a hallmark of cancer, and can be achieved through telomere lengthening and maintenance. Although the role of telomere length in cancer has been well studied, its association to genomic features is less well known. Here, we report the telomere lengths of 392 localized prostate cancer tumours and characterize their relationship to genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic features. Shorter tumour telomere lengths are associated with elevated genomic instability, including single-nucleotide variants, indels and structural variants. Genes involved in cell proliferation and signaling are correlated with tumour telomere length at all levels of the central dogma. Telomere length is also associated with multiple clinical features of a tumour. Longer telomere lengths in non-tumour samples are associated with a lower rate of biochemical relapse. In summary, we describe the multi-level integration of telomere length, genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics in localized prostate cancer.

RevDate: 2021-11-26

Thongon N, Ma F, Santoni A, et al (2021)

Hematopoiesis under telomere attrition at the single-cell resolution.

Nature communications, 12(1):6850.

The molecular mechanisms that drive hematopoietic stem cell functional decline under conditions of telomere shortening are not completely understood. In light of recent advances in single-cell technologies, we sought to redefine the transcriptional and epigenetic landscape of mouse and human hematopoietic stem cells under telomere attrition, as induced by pathogenic germline variants in telomerase complex genes. Here, we show that telomere attrition maintains hematopoietic stem cells under persistent metabolic activation and differentiation towards the megakaryocytic lineage through the cell-intrinsic upregulation of the innate immune signaling response, which directly compromises hematopoietic stem cells' self-renewal capabilities and eventually leads to their exhaustion. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that targeting members of the Ifi20x/IFI16 family of cytosolic DNA sensors using the oligodeoxynucleotide A151, which comprises four repeats of the TTAGGG motif of the telomeric DNA, overcomes interferon signaling activation in telomere-dysfunctional hematopoietic stem cells and these cells' skewed differentiation towards the megakaryocytic lineage. This study challenges the historical hypothesis that telomere attrition limits the proliferative potential of hematopoietic stem cells by inducing apoptosis, autophagy, or senescence, and suggests that targeting IFI16 signaling axis might prevent hematopoietic stem cell functional decline in conditions affecting telomere maintenance.

RevDate: 2021-12-05

Galati A, Scatolini L, Micheli E, et al (2021)

The S-adenosylmethionine analog sinefungin inhibits the trimethylguanosine synthase TGS1 to promote telomerase activity and telomere lengthening.

FEBS letters [Epub ahead of print].

Mutations in many genes that control the expression, the function, or the stability of telomerase cause telomere biology disorders (TBDs), such as dyskeratosis congenita, pulmonary fibrosis, and aplastic anemia. Mutations in a subset of the genes associated with TBDs cause reductions of the telomerase RNA moiety hTR, thus limiting telomerase activity. We have recently found that loss of the trimethylguanosine synthase TGS1 increases both hTR abundance and telomerase activity and leads to telomere elongation. Here, we show that treatment with the S-adenosylmethionine analog sinefungin inhibits TGS1 activity, increases the hTR levels, and promotes telomere lengthening in different cell types. Our results hold promise for restoring telomere length in stem and progenitor cells from TBD patients with reduced hTR levels.

RevDate: 2021-11-23

Cui M, Bai Y, Li K, et al (2021)

Taming active transposons at Drosophila telomeres: The interconnection between HipHop's roles in capping and transcriptional silencing.

PLoS genetics, 17(11):e1009925 pii:PGENETICS-D-21-00894 [Epub ahead of print].

Drosophila chromosomes are elongated by retrotransposon attachment, a process poorly understood. Here we characterized a mutation affecting the HipHop telomere-capping protein. In mutant ovaries and the embryos that they produce, telomere retrotransposons are activated and transposon RNP accumulates. Genetic results are consistent with that this hiphop mutation weakens the efficacy of HP1-mediated silencing while leaving piRNA-based mechanisms largely intact. Remarkably, mutant females display normal fecundity suggesting that telomere de-silencing is compatible with germline development. Moreover, unlike prior mutants with overactive telomeres, the hiphop stock does not over-accumulate transposons for hundreds of generations. This is likely due to the loss of HipHop's abilities both to silence transcription and to recruit transposons to telomeres in the mutant. Furthermore, embryos produced by mutant mothers experience a checkpoint activation, and a further loss of maternal HipHop leads to end-to-end fusion and embryonic arrest. Telomeric retroelements fulfill an essential function yet maintain a potentially conflicting relationship with their Drosophila host. Our study thus showcases a possible intermediate in this arm race in which the host is adapting to over-activated transposons while maintaining genome stability. Our results suggest that the collapse of such a relationship might only occur when the selfish element acquires the ability to target non-telomeric regions of the genome. HipHop is likely part of this machinery restricting the elements to the gene-poor region of telomeres. Lastly, our hiphop mutation behaves as a recessive suppressor of PEV that is mediated by centric heterochromatin, suggesting its broader effect on chromatin not limited to telomeres.

RevDate: 2021-11-24

Panasiak L, Szubert K, Polonis M, et al (2021)

Correction to: Telomere length variation does not correspond with the growth disturbances in the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).


RJR Experience and Expertise


Robbins holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in the life sciences. He served as a tenured faculty member in the Zoology and Biological Science departments at Michigan State University. He is currently exploring the intersection between genomics, microbial ecology, and biodiversity — an area that promises to transform our understanding of the biosphere.


Robbins has extensive experience in college-level education: At MSU he taught introductory biology, genetics, and population genetics. At JHU, he was an instructor for a special course on biological database design. At FHCRC, he team-taught a graduate-level course on the history of genetics. At Bellevue College he taught medical informatics.


Robbins has been involved in science administration at both the federal and the institutional levels. At NSF he was a program officer for database activities in the life sciences, at DOE he was a program officer for information infrastructure in the human genome project. At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, he served as a vice president for fifteen years.


Robbins has been involved with information technology since writing his first Fortran program as a college student. At NSF he was the first program officer for database activities in the life sciences. At JHU he held an appointment in the CS department and served as director of the informatics core for the Genome Data Base. At the FHCRC he was VP for Information Technology.


While still at Michigan State, Robbins started his first publishing venture, founding a small company that addressed the short-run publishing needs of instructors in very large undergraduate classes. For more than 20 years, Robbins has been operating The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project, a web site dedicated to the digital publishing of critical works in science, especially classical genetics.


Robbins is well-known for his speaking abilities and is often called upon to provide keynote or plenary addresses at international meetings. For example, in July, 2012, he gave a well-received keynote address at the Global Biodiversity Informatics Congress, sponsored by GBIF and held in Copenhagen. The slides from that talk can be seen HERE.


Robbins is a skilled meeting facilitator. He prefers a participatory approach, with part of the meeting involving dynamic breakout groups, created by the participants in real time: (1) individuals propose breakout groups; (2) everyone signs up for one (or more) groups; (3) the groups with the most interested parties then meet, with reports from each group presented and discussed in a subsequent plenary session.


Robbins has been engaged with photography and design since the 1960s, when he worked for a professional photography laboratory. He now prefers digital photography and tools for their precision and reproducibility. He designed his first web site more than 20 years ago and he personally designed and implemented this web site. He engages in graphic design as a hobby.

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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

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