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Bibliography on: Telomeres

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Robert J. Robbins is a biologist, an educator, a science administrator, a publisher, an information technologist, and an IT leader and manager who specializes in advancing biomedical knowledge and supporting education through the application of information technology. More About:  RJR | OUR TEAM | OUR SERVICES | THIS WEBSITE

RJR: Recommended Bibliography 14 Nov 2022 at 02:06 Created: 

Telomeres

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

Created with PubMed® Query: telomere[title] OR telomeres[title] NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

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RevDate: 2022-11-09

Geiller HEB, Harvey A, Jones RE, et al (2022)

ATRX modulates the escape from a telomere crisis.

PLoS genetics, 18(11):e1010485 pii:PGENETICS-D-22-00603 [Epub ahead of print].

Telomerase activity is the principal telomere maintenance mechanism in human cancers, however 15% of cancers utilise a recombination-based mechanism referred to as alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) that leads to long and heterogenous telomere length distributions. Loss-of-function mutations in the Alpha Thalassemia/Mental Retardation Syndrome X-Linked (ATRX) gene are frequently found in ALT cancers. Here, we demonstrate that the loss of ATRX, coupled with telomere dysfunction during crisis, is sufficient to initiate activation of the ALT pathway and that it confers replicative immortality in human fibroblasts. Additionally, loss of ATRX combined with a telomere-driven crisis in HCT116 epithelial cancer cells led to the initiation of an ALT-like pathway. In these cells, a rapid and precise telomeric elongation and the induction of C-circles was observed; however, this process was transient and the telomeres ultimately continued to erode such that the cells either died or the escape from crisis was associated with telomerase activation. In both of these instances, telomere sequencing revealed that all alleles, irrespective of whether they were elongated, were enriched in variant repeat types, that appeared to be cell-line specific. Thus, our data show that the loss of ATRX combined with telomere dysfunction during crisis induces the ALT pathway in fibroblasts and enables a transient activation of ALT in epithelial cells.

RevDate: 2022-11-09

Bloom SI, Tucker JR, Lim J, et al (2022)

Aging results in DNA damage and telomere dysfunction that is greater in endothelial versus vascular smooth muscle cells and is exacerbated in atheroprone regions.

GeroScience [Epub ahead of print].

Aging increases the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease which is associated with arterial senescence; however, the mechanisms responsible for the development of cellular senescence in endothelial cells (ECs) and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) remain elusive. Here, we study the effect of aging on arterial DNA damage and telomere dysfunction. Aging resulted in greater DNA damage in ECs than VSMCs. Further, telomere dysfunction-associated DNA damage foci (TAF: DNA damage signaling at telomeres) were elevated with aging in ECs but not VMSCs. Telomere length was modestly reduced in ECs with aging and not sufficient to induce telomere dysfunction. DNA damage and telomere dysfunction were greatest in atheroprone regions (aortic minor arch) versus non-atheroprone regions (thoracic aorta). Collectively, these data demonstrate that aging results in DNA damage and telomere dysfunction that is greater in ECs than VSMCs and elevated in atheroprone aortic regions.

RevDate: 2022-11-08

Bussa RM, Mora-Plazas M, Marín C, et al (2022)

Vitamin D status and leukocyte telomere length in middle childhood.

European journal of clinical nutrition [Epub ahead of print].

Short telomere length is associated with chronic diseases and decreased lifespan. Vitamin D and its binding protein (DBP) may maintain telomeres through anti-inflammatory actions, yet the role of vitamin D on telomere length is uncertain, especially in children. We assessed the cross-sectional associations of plasma 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) and DBP with leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in a group of 447 children ages 5-12 years from the Bogotá School Children Cohort. We compared the distribution of age-standardized LTL (z-score) between 25(OH)D categories and between DBP quartiles overall and by sex. Overall, 25(OH)D was not significantly associated with LTL. Nonetheless, among boys, 25(OH)D < 50 nmol/L was related to an adjusted 0.36 shorter LTL z-score (95% CI: -0.71, -0.01; P = 0.046) compared with 25(OH)D ≥ 75 nmol/L. There was no association among girls. DBP was not significantly related to LTL. Intervention studies are warranted to determine whether increasing vitamin D status enhances telomere length.

RevDate: 2022-11-08

Glousker G, J Lingner (2022)

TFIIH moonlighting at telomeres.

Genes & development, 36(17-18):951-953.

Although telomeres are essential for chromosome stability, they represent fragile structures in our genome. Telomere shortening occurs during aging in cells lacking telomerase due to the end replication problem. In addition, recent work uncovered that the bulk of telomeric DNA poses severe hurdles for the semiconservative DNA replication machinery, requiring the assistance of an increasing number of specialized factors that prevent accidental telomere loss or damage events. In this issue of Genes & Development, Yang and colleagues (pp. 956-969) discover that TFIIH, a basic component of the PolII transcription initiation and nucleotide excision repair machinery, facilitates telomere replication. TFIIH is recruited to telomeres by the shelterin component TRF1, taking on at telomeres a moonlighting function.

RevDate: 2022-11-08

Wu S, Wu Y, Chen J, et al (2022)

Lifelong docosahexaenoic acid intervention ameliorates aging in the telomere-DNA-mitochondria axis in telomerase-deficient mice.

The Journal of nutritional biochemistry pii:S0955-2863(22)00270-4 [Epub ahead of print].

The health benefits of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in multiple age-related diseases are associated with telomere length. Telomerase is intimately related to inflammation and oxidative stress, but whether the underlying function of n-3 PUFAs on telomere maintenance is based on telomerase activation or related mechanisms remains unclear. Herein, we utilized late-generation (G4) telomerase-deficient (Terc-/-) mice to perform a lifelong docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) intervention to determine the potential of DHA in telomere maintenance and health promotion. Unfortunately, DHA failed to prolong mouse longevity in either intrinsic or premature aging. However, intriguingly, lifelong dietary DHA intervention slowed aging of phenotypes and profoundly attenuated telomere attrition in blood leukocytes and multiple tissues, consistent with decreased β-galactosidase activity and other senescence hallmarks with no observed sex differences. Notably, DHA intervention alleviated telomere attrition-induced γ-H2AX accumulation dependent on poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1) recruitment, and further regulated mitochondrial dysfunction critically involved in the DNA damage response. Together with the improvement of mitochondria function, the blocked reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation and suppression of the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB)/nucleotide-binding domain-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3)/caspase-1 pathways partially indicated anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of DHA. These data revealed a regulatory paradigm involving DHA in the telomere-DNA-mitochondria feedback loop mediated by DNA damage response and inflammation in alleviating senescence, which may hold potential as a translatable intervention in telomere-related diseases during aging.

RevDate: 2022-11-08

Rodríguez-Fernández B, Vilor-Tejedor N, Arenaza-Urquijo EM, et al (2022)

Genetically predicted telomere length and Alzheimer's disease endophenotypes: a Mendelian randomization study.

Alzheimer's research & therapy, 14(1):167.

Telomere length (TL) is associated with biological aging, consequently influencing the risk of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). We aimed to evaluate the potential causal role of TL in AD endophenotypes (i.e., cognitive performance, N = 2233; brain age and AD-related signatures, N = 1134; and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers (CSF) of AD and neurodegeneration, N = 304) through a Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis. Our analysis was conducted in the context of the ALFA (ALzheimer and FAmilies) study, a population of cognitively healthy individuals at risk of AD. A total of 20 single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with TL were used to determine the effect of TL on AD endophenotypes. Analyses were adjusted by age, sex, and years of education. Stratified analyses by APOE-ɛ4 status and polygenic risk score of AD were conducted. MR analysis revealed significant associations between genetically predicted longer TL and lower levels of CSF Aβ and higher levels of CSF NfL only in APOE-ɛ4 non-carriers. Moreover, inheriting longer TL was associated with greater cortical thickness in age and AD-related brain signatures and lower levels of CSF p-tau among individuals at a high genetic predisposition to AD. Further observational analyses are warranted to better understand these associations.

RevDate: 2022-11-07

Coutelier H, Ilioaia O, Le Peillet J, et al (2022)

The Polo kinase Cdc5 is regulated at multiple levels in the adaptation response to telomere dysfunction.

Genetics pii:6808627 [Epub ahead of print].

Telomere dysfunction activates the DNA damage checkpoint to induce a cell cycle arrest. After an extended period of time, however, cells can bypass the arrest and undergo cell division despite the persistence of the initial damage, a process called adaptation to DNA damage. The Polo kinase Cdc5 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is essential for adaptation and for many other cell cycle processes. How the regulation of Cdc5 in response to telomere dysfunction relates to adaptation is not clear. Here, we report that Cdc5 protein level decreases after telomere dysfunction in a Mec1-, Rad53- and Ndd1-dependent manner. This regulation of Cdc5 is important to maintain long-term cell cycle arrest but not for the initial checkpoint arrest. We find that both Cdc5 and the adaptation-deficient mutant protein Cdc5-ad are heavily phosphorylated and several phosphorylation sites modulate adaptation efficiency. The PP2A phosphatases are involved in Cdc5-ad phosphorylation status and contribute to adaptation mechanisms. We finally propose that Cdc5 orchestrates multiple cell cycle pathways to promote adaptation.

RevDate: 2022-11-07

Fan G, Song L, Liu Q, et al (2022)

Association of maternal folic acid supplementation during pregnancy with newborn telomere length.

Reproductive toxicology (Elmsford, N.Y.), 114:52-56 pii:S0890-6238(22)00156-3 [Epub ahead of print].

This study aimed to explore the associations between maternal folic acid (FA) supplementation during different trimesters of pregnancy and newborn telomere length (TL). Data were collected from a birth cohort study of 746 mother-newborn pairs conducted from November 2013 to March 2015 in Wuhan, China. After adjustment for potential confounders, maternal FA supplementation after the first trimester and throughout pregnancy were associated with longer newborn TL [β = 0.29, 95 % confidence interval (CI): 0.20, 0.38 and β = 0.24, 95 % CI: 0.16, 0.32, respectively]. No significant association was found between maternal FA supplementation in the first trimester and newborn TL. In conclusion, a possible association between maternal FA supplementation during pregnancy with longer newborn TL was suggested in the present study. This study provides insight into the benefit of newborn TL by maternal FA supplementation during pregnancy.

RevDate: 2022-11-07

Li Y, L Ma (2022)

Relationship between telomere length and the prognosis of breast cancer based on estrogen receptor status: A Mendelian randomization study.

Frontiers in oncology, 12:1024772.

Objective: To identify the relationship between telomere length and the prognosis of breast cancer with different status of estrogen receptor (ER).

Methods: We collected single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with telomere length and breast cancer prognosis from the MRCIEU GWAS database and the dataset of a large meta-analysis conducted by the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC), respectively. The relationship was identified using inverse-variance weighted (IVW), MR-Egger, weighted median, penalized weighted median, and maximum likelihood methods. IVW, MR-Egger, and MR-PRESSO methods were used to perform sensitivity analysis to assess the accuracy of the results.

Results: Telomere length was negatively associated with the prognosis of total breast cancer (odds ratio [OR]=1.84, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.08-3.14, IVW method), especially with ER- breast cancer (OR=1.89, 95% CI=1.11-3.22, IVW method). No similar relationship was found between telomere length and the prognosis of ER+ breast cancer (OR=0.99, 95% CI=0.62-1.58, IVW method). The findings from other methods were consistent with the results shown by the IVW method. The Mendelian randomization assumptions did not appear to be violated. Sensitivity analysis indicated that the result was robust, and no bias was observed in the study.

Conclusion: Telomere length is associated with the prognosis of total breast cancer, especially with ER- breast cancer. There is no significant correlation between telomere length and the prognosis of ER+ breast cancer. These findings add to the evidence that long telomere could predict a poor prognosis of ER- breast cancer.

RevDate: 2022-11-05

Lansdorp PM (2022)

Telomeres, Telomerase and Cancer.

Archives of medical research pii:S0188-4409(22)00125-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Telomeres and telomerase play a crucial role in human aging and cancer. Three "drivers" of human aging can be identified. The developmental program encoded in DNA is the primary determinant of lifespan. Faithful execution of the developmental program requires stability of the (epi-)genome which is challenged throughout life by damage to DNA as well as epigenetic 'scars' from error-free DNA repair and stochastic errors made during the establishment and maintenance of the "epigenome". Over time (epi-)mutations accumulate, compromising cellular function and causing (pre-)malignant alterations. Damage to the genome and epigenome can be considered the second "driver" of aging. A third driver of the aging process, important to suppress tumors in long-lived animals, is caused by progressive loss of telomeric DNA. Telomere erosion protects against cancer early in life but limits cell renewal late in life, in agreement with the Antagonistic Pleiotropy theory on the evolutionary origin of aging. Malignant tumors arise when mutations and/or epimutations in cells (clock 2) corrupt the developmental program (clock 1) as well as tumor suppression by telomere erosion (clock 3). In cancer cells clock 3 is typically inactivated by loss of p53 as well as increased expression of telomerase. Taken together, aging in humans can be described by the ticking of three clocks: the clock that directs development, the accumulation of (epi-)mutations over time and the telomere clock that limits the number of cell divisions in normal stem and immune cells.

RevDate: 2022-11-04

Decottignies A (2022)

TERRA and RAD51AP1 at the R&D-loop department of ALT telomeres.

Molecular cell, 82(21):3963-3965.

In this issue of Molecular Cell, Kaminski et al. and Yadav et al. demonstrate that RAD51AP1 and TERRA non-coding RNA positively regulate the alternative mechanism of telomere maintenance by promoting D-loop formation and chromatin-directed mechanisms to suppress transcription-collision events during ALT telomere synthesis.

RevDate: 2022-11-04

Vaurs M, Audry J, Runge KW, et al (2022)

A proto-telomere is elongated by telomerase in a shelterin-dependent manner in quiescent fission yeast cells.

Nucleic acids research pii:6795888 [Epub ahead of print].

Telomere elongation is coupled with genome replication, raising the question of the repair of short telomeres in post-mitotic cells. We investigated the fate of a telomere-repeat capped end that mimics a single short telomere in quiescent fission yeast cells. We show that telomerase is able to elongate this single short telomere during quiescence despite the binding of Ku to the proto-telomere. While Taz1 and Rap1 repress telomerase in vegetative cells, both shelterin proteins are required for efficient telomere extension in quiescent cells, underscoring a distinct mode of telomerase control. We further show that Rad3ATR and Tel1ATM are redundantly required for telomere elongation in quiescence through the phosphorylation of Ccq1 and that Rif1 and its associated-PP1 phosphatases negatively regulate telomerase activity by opposing Ccq1 phosphorylation. The distinct mode of telomerase regulation in quiescent fission yeast cells may be relevant to that in human stem and progenitor cells.

RevDate: 2022-11-04

Wu Y, Zhang Y, J Jiao (2022)

The relationship between n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and telomere: A review on proposed nutritional treatment against metabolic syndrome and potential signaling pathways.

Critical reviews in food science and nutrition [Epub ahead of print].

Metabolic syndrome (MetS), a cluster of metabolic abnormalities composed of central obesity, elevated blood pressure, glucose disturbances, hypercholesterolemia and dyslipidaemia, has increasingly become a public health problem in the 21st century worldwide. The dysfunction of telomeres, the repetitive DNA with highly conserved sequences (5'-TTAGGG-3'), is remarkably correlated with organismal aging, even suggesting a causal relationship with metabolic disorders. The health benefits of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in multiple disorders are associated with telomere length in evidence, which have recently drawn wide attention. However, functional targets and pathways for the associations of n-3 PUFAs and telomere with MetS remain scare. Few studies have summarized the role of n-3 PUFAs in DNA damage repair pathways, anti-inflammatory pathways, and redox balance, linking with telomere biology, and other potential telomere-related signaling pathways. This review aims to (i) elucidate how n-3 PUFAs ameliorate telomere attrition in the context of anti-oxidation and anti-inflammation; (ii) unravel the role of n-3 PUFAs in modulating telomere-related neuron dysfunction and regulating the neuro-endocrine-immunological network in MetS; (iii) epidemiologically implicate the associations of metabolic disorders and n-3 PUFAs with telomere length; and (iv) suggest promising biochemical approaches and advancing methodologies to overcome the inter-variation problem helpful for future research.

RevDate: 2022-11-04

Monaghan P, Olsson M, Richardson DS, et al (2022)

Integrating telomere biology into the ecology and evolution of natural populations: progress and prospects.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2022-11-03

Ridout KK, Syed SA, Kao HT, et al (2022)

Relationships Between Telomere Length, Plasma Glucagon-like Peptide 1, and Insulin in Early-Life Stress-Exposed Nonhuman Primates.

Biological psychiatry global open science, 2(1):54-60 pii:S2667-1743(21)00083-5.

Background: Early-life stress is associated with alterations in telomere length, a marker of accumulated stress and aging, and a risk factor for psychiatric disorders. Nonhuman primate maternal variable foraging demand (VFD) is a validated early-life stress model, resulting in anxiety- and depressive-like symptoms in offspring. Previous studies reported increased plasma glucagon-like peptide 1 (pGLP-1) along with insulin resistance in this model. We investigated whether VFD rearing related to adult telomere length and to these neuroendocrine markers.

Methods: Adult leukocyte telomere length was measured in VFD-reared (12 males, 13 females) and non-VFD-reared (9 males, 26 females) bonnet macaques. Associations between adult telomere length and adolescent fasting pGLP-1 or insulin resistance in VFD-reared versus non-VFD-reared groups were examined using regression modeling, controlling for sex, weight, and age.

Results: VFD subjects had relatively longer telomeres than non-VFD subjects (p = .017), and females relatively longer than males (p = .0004). Telomere length was positively associated with pGLP-1 (p = .0009) and with reduced insulin sensitivity (p < .0001) in both sexes, but not as a function of rearing group.

Conclusions: Unexpectedly, VFD was associated with longer adult telomere length. Insulin resistance may lead to higher pGLP-1 levels in adolescence, which could protect telomere length in VFD offspring as adults. Associations between adult telomere length and adolescent insulin resistance and high pGLP-1 may reflect an adaptive, compensatory response after early-life stress exposure.

RevDate: 2022-11-01

Beranek M, Borsky P, Fiala Z, et al (2022)

Telomere length, oxidative and epigenetic changes in blood DNA of patients with exacerbated psoriasis vulgaris.

Anais brasileiros de dermatologia pii:S0365-0596(22)00233-1 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The pathogenesis of psoriasis vulgaris involves changes in DNA molecules, genomic instability, telomere attrition, and epigenetic alterations among them. These changes are also considered important mechanisms of aging in cells and tissues.

OBJECTIVE: This study dealt with oxidation damage, telomere length and methylation status in DNA originating from peripheral blood of 41 psoriatic patients and 30 healthy controls.

METHODS: Oxidative damage of serum DNA/RNA was determined immunochemically. Real-time PCR was used for the analysis of the telomere length. ELISA technique determined levels of 5-methylcytosine in blood cells' DNA.

RESULTS: Oxidative damage of serum DNA/RNA was higher in patients than in controls (median, 3758 vs. 2286pg/mL, p<0.001). A higher length of telomeres per chromosome was found in patients whole-cell DNA than in controls (3.57 vs. 3.04 kilobases, p=0.011). A negative correlation of the length of telomeres with an age of the control subjects was revealed (Spearman's rho=-0.420, p=0.028). Insignificantly different levels of 5-methylcytosine in patients and controls were observed (33.20 vs. 23.35%, p=0.234). No influences of sex, smoking, BMI, PASI score, and metabolic syndrome on the methylation status were found.

STUDY LIMITATIONS: i) A relatively small number of the participants, particularly for reliable subgroup analyses, ii) the Caucasian origin of the participants possibly influencing the results of the parameters determined, and iii) Telomerase activity was not directly measured in serum or blood cells.

CONCLUSION: The study demonstrated increased levels of oxidized DNA/RNA molecules in the serum of patients with exacerbated psoriasis vulgaris. The results were minimally influenced by sex, the presence of metabolic syndrome, or cigarette smoking. In the psoriatic blood cells' DNA, the authors observed longer telomeres compared to healthy controls, particularly in females. Insignificantly higher global DNA methylation in psoriasis cases compared to the controls indicated marginal clinical importance of this epigenetic test performed in the blood cells' DNA.

RevDate: 2022-11-01

Ramírez-Sanabria M, Martínez-Magaña J, Nicolini-Sánchez H, et al (2022)

[Association between telomere length and cognitive impairment in older adults].

Revista espanola de geriatria y gerontologia pii:S0211-139X(22)00111-1 [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: Cognitive impairment is a transition stage between normal aging and dementia, the prevalence of last one increases with age; the damage of the functions and physical integrity, places the older adult in a greater susceptibility to get sick. Telomere length is a hallmark of aging to characterize this phenotype, as well as a biomarker that reflects the underlying state of the cell. In this work, the relative length of telomeres in older adults with cognitive impairment was correlated.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Observational-analytical study, in samples of adult patients older than 65 years with and without cognitive impairment, in whom the relative length of telomeres was measured.

RESULTS: Ninety samples of older adults were included in the study and in the association analysis according to multivariate logistic models, cognitive impairment showed almost five times more risk for telomere shortening in relation to the presence of the diagnosis of cognitive impairment (Odds ratio 4.88, p=0.027).

CONCLUSIONS: When correlating the relative length of telomeres in older adults diagnosed with cognitive impairment, this association was confirmed for shorter.

RevDate: 2022-11-01

De Ruyter T, Martens DS, Bijnens EM, et al (2022)

Residential green space and waist circumference affect telomere shortening in childhood: the longitudinal ChiBS study.

The Lancet. Planetary health, 6 Suppl 1:S4.

BACKGROUND: Telomere shortening, recognised as one of the most well known biomarkers of biological ageing, is susceptible to various environmental and lifestyle factors, encompassed in the exposome. Research shows that telomere length is substantially determined early in life and that exposures in childhood can have important consequences in setting telomere length later in life and thus the lifespan of an individual. We explored the associations between 17 exposures and longitudinal telomere change in a child population.

METHODS: Children up to the age of 9 years, from Aalter, Belgium, were enrolled in 2008 and 2010 and followed-up for 5 or 7 years (up to 2015). Relative telomere length was measured at baseline (2008 or 2010) and at follow-up, in 2015, through quantitative real-time PCR. Exposures and lifestyle factors comprised: body-mass index, waist circumference, dietary habits (ie, sugar-rich and fat-rich food intake and vegetables and fruit intake), psychosocial stress (ie, negative events, emotions, and behaviour), sleep duration, physical activity, and residential environmental quality (long-term black carbon and particulate matter exposure and residential green space). Green space was estimated from high-resolution land cover data within several buffers (50-3000 m) around the child's residence. Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses were done by means of linear regression models, adjusting for length of follow-up, age, sex, and socioeconomic status. Effect size was expressed as β, the standardised regression coefficient of the linear regression, and was calculated by multiplying the unstandardised regression coefficient by the standard deviation of the predictor variable and dividing by the standard deviation of the outcome variable. Written informed consent was obtained from all parents. Children aged 12 years and older also provided written informed consent. Children younger than 12 years gave verbal consent.

FINDINGS: 150 children (77 [51%] boys and 73 [49%] girls) aged 2·8-10·3 years (median 5·9 years [IQR 4·9-7·1]) at baseline were included in the longitudinal analysis, which showed that higher residential green space at baseline was associated with inferior telomere shortening (β=0·261; p=0·0018), whereas a higher baseline waist circumference was associated with more telomere attrition (β=-0·287; p=0·0015). These predictors were confirmed via lasso variable selection and correction for multiple testing. In addition, children with more unhealthy exposures had significantly more telomere shortening over the follow-up period than did children with less unhealthy baseline exposures (β=-0·200; p=0·017).

INTERPRETATION: Residential green space and waist circumference were identified as predictors of telomere shortening in childhood. These results further showcase the benefits of a healthy lifestyle from an early age and the importance of a green environment in promoting molecular longevity from childhood onwards.

FUNDING: Research Foundation Flanders (Brussels, Belgium; project number G073315N).

RevDate: 2022-10-31

de Mendonça Filho EJ, Frechette A, Pokhvisneva I, et al (2022)

Examining attachment, cortisol secretion, and cognitive neurodevelopment in preschoolers and its predictive value for telomere length at age seven.

Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience, 16:954977.

Background: Secure attachment reflects caregiver-child relationship in which the caregiver is responsive when support and comforting are needed by the child. This pattern of bond has an important buffering role in the response to stress by the reduction of the negative experience and its associated physiological response. Disruption of the physiological stress system is thought to be a central mechanism by which early care impacts children. Early life stress causes cellular and molecular changes in brain regions associated with cognitive functions that are fundamental for early learning.

Methods: The association between attachment, cortisol response before and after the Strange Situation Experiment, and neurodevelopment was examined in a sample of 107 preschoolers at age three. Also, the predictive effect of cortisol reactivity and attachment on telomere length at age seven was investigated in a followed-up sample of 77 children.

Results: Children with insecure attachment had higher cortisol secretion and poorer neurodevelopmental skills at age three. A significant cortisol change was observed across the experiment with non-significant interaction with attachment. The attachment and neurodevelopment association was not mediated by cortisol secretion. Preschoolers' attachment and cortisol did not associate nor interacted to predict telomere length at age seven.

Conclusion: These findings add evidence to the detrimental effects of insecure attachment as an aggravator of the physiological response to stress and poorer neurodevelopment during the preschool period. Although attachment and cortisol were not predictive of telomere length, intervention policies that promote secure attachment are more likely to positively echo on several health domains.

RevDate: 2022-10-31

Carvalho VS, Gomes WR, RT Calado (2022)

Recent advances in understanding telomere diseases.

Faculty reviews, 11:31.

Germline genetic defects impairing telomere length maintenance may result in severe medical conditions in humans, from aplastic anemia and myeloid neoplasms to interstitial lung disease and liver cirrhosis, from childhood (dyskeratosis congenita) to old age (pulmonary fibrosis). The molecular mechanisms underlying these clinically distinct disorders are pathologically excessive telomere erosion, limiting cell proliferation and differentiation, tissue regeneration, and increasing genomic instability. Recent findings also indicate that telomere shortening imbalances stem cell fate and is associated with an abnormal inflammatory response and the senescent-associated secretory phenotype. Bone marrow failure is the most common phenotype in patients with telomere diseases. Pulmonary fibrosis is a typical phenotype in older patients, and disease progression appears faster than in pulmonary fibrosis not associated with telomeropathies. Liver cirrhosis may present in isolation or in combination with other phenotypes. Diagnosis is based on clinical suspicion and may be confirmed by telomere length measurement and genetic testing. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) techniques have improved genetic testing; today, at least 16 genes have been implicated in telomeropathies. NGS also allows tracking of clonal hematopoiesis and malignant transformation. Patients with telomere diseases are at high risk of developing cancers, including myeloid neoplasms and head and neck cancer. However, treatment options are still limited. Transplant modalities (bone marrow, lung, and liver) may be definitive to the respective organ involvement but limited by donor availability, comorbidities, and impact on other affected organs. In clinical trials, androgens elongate telomeres of peripheral blood leukocytes and improve hematopoiesis. Further understanding of how telomere erosion impairs organ function and how somatic mutations evolve in the hematopoietic tissue may help develop new strategies to treat and prevent telomere diseases.

RevDate: 2022-10-31

Dobson FS, Schull Q, F Criscuolo (2022)

Two aspects of longevity are associated with rates of loss of telomeres in birds.

Ecology and evolution, 12(10):e9364 pii:ECE39364.

Telomeres, the terminal repetitive DNA sequences at the ends of linear chromosomes, have strong associations with longevity in some major taxa. Longevity has been linked to rate of decline in telomere length in birds and mammals, and absolute telomere length seems to be associated with body mass in mammals. Using a phylogenetic comparative method and 30 species of birds, we examined longevity (reflected by maximum lifespan), absolute telomere length, the rate of change in telomere length (TROC), and body mass (often strongly associated with longevity) to ascertain their degree of association. We divided lifespan into two life-history components, one reflected by body size (measured as body mass) and a component that was statistically independent of body mass. While both lifespan and body mass were strongly associated with a family tree of the species (viz., the phylogeny of the species), telomere measures were not. Telomere length was not significantly associated with longevity or body mass or our measure of mass-independent lifespan. TROC, however, was strongly associated with mass-independent lifespan, but only to a much lesser degree at best with body mass-predicted lifespan. Our results supported an association of TROC and longevity, in particular longevity that was independent of body size and part of the pace-of-life syndrome of life histories.

RevDate: 2022-10-29

Castro-Diehl C, Smith JA, Zhao W, et al (2022)

Prediction of telomere length and telomere attrition using a genetic risk score: The multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis (MESA).

Frontiers in aging, 3:1021051.

Background: Short telomere length (TL) and telomere attrition (TA) have been associated with age-related diseases. Objective: We assessed whether a genetic risk score for short TL (GRS-TL) combining seven TL-associated genetic variants identified in a European-ancestry genome-wide association study (GWAS) was associated with TL and TA over 10 years. Methods: Relative TL (T/S ratio) was measured by the quantitative polymerase chain reaction method for a sample of white, African American, and Hispanic participants, who attended Exam 1 and/or 5 of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Our final sample included 1,227 participants for the TL analysis and 1,138 for the TA analysis. Participants were 45-84 years at Exam 1. We used a linear mixed effects model and adjusted for age, sex, and population structure. Models were stratified by race/ethnicity. Results: In the TL analysis, higher GRS-TL significantly predicted shorter TL (estimates = -0.18 [S.E. = 0.08], p = 0.02 for white; -0.18 [0.07], p < 0.01 for African American; and -0.13 [0.05], p = 0.02 for Hispanic) in fully adjusted models. In the TA analysis, no association between GRS-TL and TA over 10 years was found. Conclusion: Although GRS-TL was developed in European-ancestry populations, it was significantly associated with TL (but not TA) in all three race/ethnic groups examined.

RevDate: 2022-10-27

Katz R, Gay EL, Kuipers AL, et al (2022)

Association of leukocyte telomere length with perceived physical fatigability.

Experimental gerontology pii:S0531-5565(22)00297-2 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is a potential genomic marker of biological aging, but its relationship to fatigability, a prognostic indicator of phenotypic aging (e.g., functional decline) is unknown. We hypothesized shorter LTL would predict greater perceived physical fatigability, but that this association would be attenuated by adjusting for chronological age.

METHODS: Two generations of participants (N = 1997; 309 probands, 1688 offspring) were from the Long Life Family Study (age = 73.7 ± 10.4, range 60-108, 54.4 % women), a longitudinal cohort study of aging. LTL was assayed at baseline. Perceived physical fatigability was measured 8.0 ± 1.1 years later using the validated, self-administered 10-item Pittsburgh Fatigability Scale (PFS, 0-50, higher scores = greater fatigability). Generalized estimating equations were generated to model the relationship between LTL and PFS physical scores.

RESULTS: Prevalence of greater physical fatigability (PFS scores≥15) was 41.9 %. Using generalized estimating equations, a one kilobase pair shorter LTL was associated with higher PFS Physical scores (β = 1.8, p < .0001), adjusted for family structure, field center, follow-up time, sex, and follow-up body mass index, physical activity, and chronic health conditions. When age was included as a covariate, the relationship was fully attenuated (β = 0.1, p = .78).

CONCLUSION: LTL may provide an alternative method for estimating an individual's lifetime exposure to chronic stressors, but does not appear to provide additional information not captured by chronological age. Further research is needed to characterize the interaction between age, LTL, and fatigability, and develop a method of identifying individuals at risk for deleterious aging.

RevDate: 2022-10-27

Cancello R, Rey F, Carelli S, et al (2022)

Telomere Length and Mitochondrial DNA Copy Number Variations in Patients with Obesity: Effect of Diet-Induced Weight Loss-A Pilot Study.

Nutrients, 14(20): pii:nu14204293.

BACKGROUND: Telomere length (TL) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number shifts are linked to metabolic abnormalities, and possible modifications by diet-induced weight loss are poorly explored. We investigated the variations before (T0) and after a 1-year (T12) lifestyle intervention (diet + physical activity) in a group of outpatients with obesity.

METHODS: Patients aged 25-70 years with BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 were enrolled. Clinical and biochemical assessments (including a blood sample for TL, mtDNA copy number and total antioxidant capacity, and TAC determinations) were performed at T0 and T12.

RESULTS: The change in TL and the mtDNA copy number was heterogeneous and not significantly different at T12. Patients were then divided by baseline TL values into lower than median TL (L-TL) and higher than median TL (H-TL) groups. The two groups did not differ at baseline for anthropometric, clinical, and laboratory characteristics. At T12, the L-TL group when compared to H-TL showed TL elongation (respectively, +0.57 ± 1.23 vs. -2.15 ± 1.13 kbp, p = 0.04), higher mtDNA copy number (+111.5 ± 478.5 vs. -2314.8 ± 724.2, respectively, p < 0.001), greater weight loss (-8.1 ± 2.7 vs. -6.1 ± 4.6 Kg, respectively, p = 0.03), fat mass reduction (-1.42 ± 1.3 vs. -1.22 ± 1.5%, respectively, p = 0.04), and increased fat-free mass (+57.8 ± 6.5 vs. +54.9 ± 5.3%, respectively, p = 0.04) and TAC levels (+58.5 ± 18.6 vs. +36.4 ± 24.1 µM/L, respectively, p = 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS: TL and the mtDNA copy number significantly increased in patients with obesity and with lower baseline TL values after a 1-year lifestyle intervention. Larger longitudinal studies are needed to confirm the results of this pilot study.

RevDate: 2022-10-27

Xu F, Li X, Ren H, et al (2022)

The First Telomere-to-Telomere Chromosome-Level Genome Assembly of Stagonospora tainanensis Causing Sugarcane Leaf Blight.

Journal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland), 8(10): pii:jof8101088.

The sexual morph Leptosphaeria taiwanensis Yen and Chi and its asexual morph Stagonospora tainanensis W. H. Hsieh is an important necrotrophic fungal phytopathogen, which causes sugarcane leaf blight, resulting in loss of cane tonnage and sucrose in susceptible sugarcane varieties. Decoding the genome and understanding of the basis of virulence is vitally important for devising effective disease control strategies. Here, we present a 38.25-Mb high-quality genome assembly of S. tainanensis strain StFZ01, denovo assembled with 10.19 Gb Nanopore sequencing long reads (~267×) and 3.82 Gb Illumina short reads (~100×). The genome assembly consists of 12 contigs with N50 of 2.86 Mb of which 5 belong to the telomere to telomere (T2T) chromosome. It contains 13.20% repeat sequences, 12,543 proteins, and 12,206 protein-coding genes with the BUSCO completeness 99.18% at fungi (n = 758) and 99.87% at ascomycota (n = 1706), indicating the high accuracy and completeness of our gene annotations. The virulence analysis in silico revealed the presence of 2379 PHIs, 599 CAZys, 248 membrane transport proteins, 191 cytochrome P450 enzymes, 609 putative secreted proteins, and 333 effectors in the StFZ01 genome. The genomic resources presented here will not only be helpful for development of specific molecular marker and diagnosis technique, population genetics, molecular taxonomy, and disease managements, it can also provide a significant precise genomic reference for investigating the ascomycetous genome, the necrotrophic lifestyle, and pathogenicity in the future.

RevDate: 2022-10-27

Dlouha D, Vymetalova J, Novakova S, et al (2022)

Posttransplant Complications and Genetic Loci Involved in Telomere Maintenance in Heart Transplant Patients.

Genes, 13(10): pii:genes13101855.

Reaching critically short telomeres induces cellular senescence and ultimately cell death. Cellular senescence contributes to the loss of tissue function. We aimed to determine the association between variants within genes involved in telomere length maintenance, posttransplant events, and aortic telomere length in heart transplant patients. DNA was isolated from paired aortic samples of 383 heart recipients (age 50.7 ± 11.9 years) and corresponding donors (age 38.7 ± 12.0 years). Variants within the TERC (rs12696304), TERF2IP (rs3784929 and rs8053257), and OBCF1 (rs4387287) genes were genotyped, and telomere length was measured using qPCR. We identified similar frequencies of genotypes in heart donors and recipients. Antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) was more common (p < 0.05) in carriers of at least one G allele within the TERF2IP locus (rs3784929). Chronic graft dysfunction (CGD) was associated with the TERC (rs12696304) GG donor genotype (p = 0.05). The genetic risk score did not determine posttransplant complication risk prediction. No associations between the analyzed polymorphisms and telomere length were detected in either donor or recipient DNA. In conclusion, possible associations between donor TERF2IP (rs3784929) and AMR and between TERC (rs12696304) and CGD were found. SNPs within the examined genes were not associated with telomere length in transplanted patients.

RevDate: 2022-10-27

M'Kacher R, Miguet M, Maillard PY, et al (2022)

A Central Role of Telomere Dysfunction in the Formation of a Unique Translocation within the Sub-Telomere Region Resulting in Duplication and Partial Trisomy.

Genes, 13(10): pii:genes13101762.

Telomeres play a major role in maintaining genome stability and integrity. Putative involvement of telomere dysfunction in the formation of various types of chromosomal aberrations is an area of active research. Here, we report a case of a six-month-old boy with a chromosomal gain encompassing the 11q22.3q25 region identified by SNP array analysis. The size of the duplication is 26.7 Mb and contains 170 genes (OMIM). The duplication results in partial trisomy of the region in question with clinical consequences, including bilateral renal dysplasia, delayed development, and a heart defect. Moreover, the karyotype determined by R-banding and chromosome painting as well as by hybridization with specific sub-telomere probes revealed the presence of an unbalanced t(9;11)(p24;q22.3) translocation with a unique breakpoint involving the sub-telomere region of the short arm of chromosome 9. The karyotypes of the parents were normal. Telomere integrity in circulating lymphocytes from the child and from his parents was assessed using an automated high-throughput method based on fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with telomere- and centromere-specific PNA probes followed by M-FISH multicolor karyotyping. Very short telomeres, as well as an increased frequency of telomere loss and formation of telomere doublets, were detected in the child's cells. Interestingly, similar telomere profiles were found in the circulating lymphocytes of the father. Moreover, an assessment of clonal telomere aberrations identified chromosomes 9 and 11 with particularly high frequencies of such aberrations. These findings strongly suggest that telomere dysfunction plays a central role in the formation of this specific unbalanced chromosome rearrangement via chromosome end-to-end fusion and breakage-fusion-bridge cycles.

RevDate: 2022-10-27

Dorador AP, Dalikova M, Cerbin S, et al (2022)

Paramutation-like Epigenetic Conversion by piRNA at the Telomere of Drosophila virilis.

Biology, 11(10): pii:biology11101480.

First discovered in maize, paramutation is a phenomenon in which one allele can trigger an epigenetic conversion of an alternate allele. This conversion causes a genetically heterozygous individual to transmit alleles that are functionally the same, in apparent violation of Mendelian segregation. Studies over the past several decades have revealed a strong connection between mechanisms of genome defense against transposable elements by small RNA and the phenomenon of paramutation. For example, a system of paramutation in Drosophila melanogaster has been shown to be mediated by piRNAs, whose primary function is to silence transposable elements in the germline. In this paper, we characterize a second system of piRNA-mediated paramutation-like behavior at the telomere of Drosophila virilis. In Drosophila, telomeres are maintained by arrays of retrotransposons that are regulated by piRNAs. As a result, the telomere and sub-telomeric regions of the chromosome have unique regulatory and chromatin properties. Previous studies have shown that maternally deposited piRNAs derived from a sub-telomeric piRNA cluster can silence the sub-telomeric center divider gene of Drosophila virilis in trans. In this paper, we show that this silencing can also be maintained in the absence of the original silencing allele in a subsequent generation. The precise mechanism of this paramutation-like behavior may be explained by either the production of retrotransposon piRNAs that differ across strains or structural differences in the telomere. Altogether, these results show that the capacity for piRNAs to mediate paramutation in&nbsp;trans may depend on the local chromatin environment and proximity to the uniquely structured telomere regulated by piRNAs. This system promises to provide significant insights into the mechanisms of paramutation.

RevDate: 2022-10-27

Rangel-Pozzo A, Wechsler J, Groult J, et al (2022)

Telomere-Associated Changes in Nuclear Architecture of Cancer-Associated Macrophage-like Cells in Liquid Biopsies from Melanoma Patients.

Biomedicines, 10(10): pii:biomedicines10102391.

During phagocytosis, tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) can incorporate genetic material from tumor cells. The incorporation of extra genetic material may be responsible for advanced malignant behavior observed in some TAMs, making TAMs potentially important players in cancer progression. More recently, similar cells were described in the blood as cancer-associated macrophage-like cells (CAMLs). CAMLs may be equivalent to TAMs cells in the blood, and they express macrophage markers. However, their origin is still unclear. In a previous study, we showed for the first time the distinct telomere 3D structure of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in melanoma and other cancers. In the present pilot study, we investigated, comparatively, the 3D telomere structure of CAMLs, CTCs and leucocytes from nine melanoma patients with metastatic cutaneous melanoma stage IV. CTC capture was performed by size-based filtration followed by cytological and immunocytological evaluation. Three-dimensional Quantitative Fluorescent in situ Hybridization was performed to measure differences in five 3D telomere parameters. Telomere parameters, such as number, length, telomere aggregates, nuclear volume, and a/c ratio, were compared among different cellular types (CTCs, CAMLs, and normal leucocytes). Three telomere parameters were significantly different between CAMLs and leucocytes. The combination of two telomere parameters (telomere length against the number of telomeres) resulted in the identification of two CAMLs subpopulations with different levels of genomic instability. Those populations were classified as profile 1 and 2. Profile 2, characterized by a high number of short telomeres, was observed in four of the nine melanoma patients. To our knowledge, this is the first pilot study to investigate 3D telomere parameters as hallmarks of nuclear architecture in CAMLs' population in comparison to leucocytes from the same patient. Further studies involving a larger patient sample size are necessary to validate these findings and explore their potential prognostic value.

RevDate: 2022-10-27

Lupatov AY, KN Yarygin (2022)

Telomeres and Telomerase in the Control of Stem Cells.

Biomedicines, 10(10): pii:biomedicines10102335.

Stem cells serve as a source of cellular material in embryogenesis and postnatal growth and regeneration. This requires significant proliferative potential ensured by sufficient telomere length. Telomere attrition in the stem cells and their niche cells can result in the exhaustion of the regenerative potential of high-turnover organs, causing or contributing to the onset of age-related diseases. In this review, stem cells are examined in the context of the current telomere-centric theory of cell aging, which assumes that telomere shortening depends not just on the number of cell doublings (mitotic clock) but also on the influence of various internal and external factors. The influence of the telomerase and telomere length on the functional activity of different stem cell types, as well as on their aging and prospects of use in cell therapy applications, is discussed.

RevDate: 2022-10-26

Iannarelli NJ, Wade TJ, Dempster KS, et al (2022)

No Mediation Effect of Telomere Length or Mitochondrial DNA Copy Number on the Association Between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Central Arterial Stiffness.

Journal of the American Heart Association [Epub ahead of print].

Background Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have been linked to increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Previous reports have suggested that accelerated biological aging-indexed by telomere length (TL) and mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNAcn)-may contribute to associations between ACEs and cardiovascular health outcomes. Here, we examine the potential mediating effects of TL and mtDNAcn on the association between ACEs and central arterial stiffness-an intermediate cardiovascular health outcome-as a novel pathway linking ACEs to CVD risk among young adults. Methods and Results One hundred and eighty-five (n=102 women; mean age, 22.5±1.5 years) individuals provided information on ACEs. TL (kb per diploid cell) and mtDNAcn (copies per diploid cell) were quantified using quantitative polymerase chain reaction techniques. Central arterial stiffness was measured as carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV; m/s). Multiple linear regression analyses were used to examine the associations between ACEs, TL, mtDNAcn, and cfPWV. ACEs were positively associated with cfPWV (β=0.147, P=0.035). TL (β=-0.170, P=0.011) and mtDNAcn (β=-0.159, P=0.019) were inversely associated with cfPWV. Neither TL (β=-0.027, P=0.726) nor mtDNAcn (β=0.038, P=0.620) was associated with ACEs. Neither marker mediated the association between ACEs and cfPWV. Conclusions An increasing number of ACEs were associated with a faster cfPWV and thus, a greater degree of central arterial stiffness. ACEs were not associated with either TL or mtDNAcn, suggesting that these markers do not represent a mediating pathway linking ACEs to central arterial stiffness.

RevDate: 2022-10-25

Li X, Liu H, Wan H, et al (2022)

Sex-specific associations between legacy and novel per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and telomere length in newborns in Wuhan, China: Mixture and single pollutant associations.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(22)06776-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Telomere length (TL) at birth predicts later life TL and is related to health. Prenatal exposure to environmental pollutants might affect TL, but the associations between intrauterine per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) exposure and neonatal TL remained inconclusive. This study aimed to explore the single pollutant and mixture associations between legacy and novel PFASs and TL in newborns. In 908 mother-newborn pairs from Wuhan, China, thirteen PFASs were measured in cord serum, and TL was determined in cord leukocytes. Weighted quantile sum (WQS) regression and generalized linear model (GLM) were utilized to analyze the associations between PFASs mixture and single PFASs and TL in newborns. Furthermore, stratified and interaction analyses were performed to evaluate if there were sex-specific associations. The concentrations of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and 6:2 chlorinated polyfluorinated ether sulfonate (6:2 Cl-PFESA) ranked the highest (geometric mean, 4.12, 1.61, and 0.77 ng/mL, respectively) among the 13 measured PFASs. The PFASs mixture was associated with -5.19 % change (95% CI, -9.44, -0.73) of neonatal TL for per doubling cord serum concentration, and 8:2 Cl-PFESA contributed most (32.59 %) to the mixture association based on WQS regression. In stratified analyses by neonatal sex, PFOS (-4.73 % change, 95% CI, -8.40, -0.93) and 8:2 Cl-PFESA (-4.52 % change, 95% CI, -8.20, -0.70) were negatively associated with neonatal TL in male newborns, but no significant association appeared in females. In summary, intrauterine exposure to PFASs in mixture was associated with shorter neonatal TL, and the negative associations of 8:2 Cl-PFESA and PFOS were observed only in boys. Future risk assessments are needed to pay more attention to the health effects of novel PFASs.

RevDate: 2022-10-25

Kertes DA, Leri J, Duan K, et al (2022)

Demographic and health predictors of telomere length during adolescence.

Developmental psychobiology, 64(7):e22311.

Telomere length (TL) is proposed to play a mechanistic role in how the exposome affects health outcomes. Little is known about TL during adolescence, a developmental period during which precursors of adult-onset health problems often emerge. We examined health and demographic sources of variation in TL in 899 youth aged 11-17. Demographic and health information included age, sex, race, household income, caregiver age and marital status, youth tobacco exposure, body mass index, pubertal status, health problems, medication use, and season of data collection. Genomic DNA was extracted from saliva, and T/S ratios were computed following qPCR. Age, race, season of data collection, and household income were associated with the telomere to single copy (T/S) ratio. We found that T/S ratios were larger at younger ages, among Black youth, for saliva collected during autumn and winter, and among households with higher income. Analyses stratified by race revealed that the association between age and T/S ratio was present for Black youth, that season of collection was present across races, but that family demographic associations with T/S ratio varied by race. The results provide information for future telomere research and highlight adolescence as a potentially important developmental phase for racial disparities in telomere shortening and health.

RevDate: 2022-10-24

Mishra R, Haldar S, Biondi S, et al (2022)

TGF-β controls stromal telomere length through epigenetic modifications.

3 Biotech, 12(11):290.

Telomere length is primarily controlled by the enzyme telomerase, but being chromatin structures, telomeres undergo epigenetic regulation for their maintenance and function. Altered telomere length among cancer cells combined with shorter telomere length in cancer-associated stromal cells, strongly implicated with progression to prostate cancer metastasis and cancer death and providing a novel target for therapeutics. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling pathways are well-recognized for their role in stromal-epithelial interactions responsible for prostate androgen responsiveness, promoting tumorigenesis. However, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. We sought to establish a role for TGF-β in the regulation of telomere length in mouse and human prostate fibroblast. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based telomere length measuring methods are widely used due to their repeatability and reproducibility. Using real-time RT-PCR-based telomere length measuring method, we identified that TGF-beta regulates telomere length via increased expression of histone methyltransferase, Suv39h1, which in turn affected histone methylation levels at the telomeric ends. Moreover, treatment of DAPT and non-steroidal antiandrogen bicalutamide demonstrated that notch and androgen signaling co-operated with TGF-ß in regulating stromal telomere length. Telomere variation in tumor cells and non-tumor cells within the tumor microenvironment greatly facilitates the clinical assessment of prostate cancer; therefore, understanding stromal telomere length regulation mechanism will hold significant prospects for cancer treatment, diagnosis, and prognosis.

Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s13205-022-03346-5.

RevDate: 2022-10-21

Tang P, He W, Shao Y, et al (2022)

Associations between prenatal multiple plasma metal exposure and newborn telomere length: Effect modification by maternal age and infant sex.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) pii:S0269-7491(22)01665-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Exposure to metals during pregnancy may affect maternal and infant health. However, studies on the combined effects of metals on the telomere length (TL) of newborns are limited. A prospective cohort study was conducted among 1313 mother-newborn pairs in the Guangxi Zhuang Birth Cohort. The concentrations of metals in maternal plasma in the first trimester were measured using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. We explored the associations between nine plasma metals and newborn TL using generalized linear models (GLMs), principal component analysis (PCA), quantile g-computation (qgcomp), and Bayesian kernel machine regression (BKMR). The GLMs revealed The GLMs revealed the inverse association between plasma arsenic (percent change, -5.56%; 95% CI: -7.69%, -3.38%) and barium concentrations (-9.84%; 95% CI: -13.81%, -5.68%) and newborn TL. Lead levels were related to significant decreases in newborn TL only in females. The PCA revealed a negative association between the PC3 and newborn TL (-4.52%; 95% CI: -6.34%, -2.68%). In the BKMR, the joint effect of metals was negatively associated with newborn TL. Qgcomp indicated that each one-tertile increase in metal mixture levels was associated with shorter newborn TL (-9.39%; 95% CI: -14.32%, -4.18%). The single and joint effects of multiple metals were more pronounced among pregnant women carrying female fetuses and among pregnant women <28 years of age. The finding suggests that prenatal exposure to arsenic, barium, antimony, and lead and mixed metals may shorten newborn TLs. The relationship between metal exposures and newborn TL may exhibit heterogeneities according to infant sex and maternal age.

RevDate: 2022-10-21

Wang C, Alfano R, Reimann B, et al (2022)

Genetic regulation of newborn telomere length is mediated and modified by DNA methylation.

Frontiers in genetics, 13:934277 pii:934277.

Telomere length at birth determines later life telomere length and potentially predicts ageing-related diseases. However, the genetic and epigenetic settings of telomere length in newborns have not been analyzed. In addition, no study yet has reported how the interplay between genetic variants and genome-wide cytosine methylation explains the variation in early-life telomere length. In this study based on 281 mother-newborn pairs from the ENVIRONAGE birth cohort, telomere length and whole-genome DNA methylation were assessed in cord blood and 26 candidate single nucleotide polymorphism related to ageing or telomere length were genotyped. We identified three genetic variants associated with cord blood telomere length and 57 cis methylation quantitative trait loci (cis-mQTLs) of which 22 mQTLs confirmed previous findings and 35 were newly identified. Five SNPs were found to have significant indirect effects on cord blood telomere length via the mediating CpGs. The association between rs911874 (SOD2) and newborn telomere length was modified by nearby DNA methylation indicated by a significant statistical interaction. Our results suggest that DNA methylation in cis might have a mediation or modification effect on the genetic difference in newborn telomere length. This novel approach warrants future follow-up studies that are needed to further confirm and extend these findings.

RevDate: 2022-10-20

Asghar M, Odeh A, Fattahi AJ, et al (2022)

Mitochondrial biogenesis, telomere length and cellular senescence in Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia.

Scientific reports, 12(1):17578.

Progressive age is the single major risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases. Cellular aging markers during Parkinson's disease (PD) have been implicated in previous studies, however the majority of studies have investigated the association of individual cellular aging hallmarks with PD but not jointly. Here, we have studied the association of PD with three aging hallmarks (telomere attrition, mitochondrial dysfunction, and cellular senescence) in blood and the brain tissue. Our results show that PD patients had 20% lower mitochondrial DNA copies but 26% longer telomeres in blood compared to controls. Moreover, telomere length in blood was positively correlated with medication (Levodopa Equivalent Daily Dose, LEDD) and disease duration. Similar results were found in brain tissue, where patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD) and Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) showed (46-95%) depleted mtDNA copies, but (7-9%) longer telomeres compared to controls. In addition, patients had lower mitochondrial biogenesis (PGC-1α and PGC-1β) and higher load of a cellular senescence marker in postmortem prefrontal cortex tissue, with DLB showing the highest effect among the patient groups. Our results suggest that mitochondrial dysfunction (copy number and biogenesis) in blood might be a valuable marker to assess the risk of PD. However, further studies with larger sample size are needed to evaluate these findings.

RevDate: 2022-10-20

Yadav T, Zhang JM, Ouyang J, et al (2022)

TERRA and RAD51AP1 promote alternative lengthening of telomeres through an R- to D-loop switch.

Molecular cell pii:S1097-2765(22)00936-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT), a telomerase-independent process maintaining telomeres, is mediated by break-induced replication (BIR). RAD52 promotes ALT by facilitating D-loop formation, but ALT also occurs through a RAD52-independent BIR pathway. Here, we show that the telomere non-coding RNA TERRA forms dynamic telomeric R-loops and contributes to ALT activity in RAD52 knockout cells. TERRA forms R-loops in vitro and at telomeres in a RAD51AP1-dependent manner. The formation of R-loops by TERRA increases G-quadruplexes (G4s) at telomeres. G4 stabilization enhances ALT even when TERRA is depleted, suggesting that G4s act downstream of R-loops to promote BIR. In vitro, the telomeric R-loops assembled by TERRA and RAD51AP1 generate G4s, which persist after R-loop resolution and allow formation of telomeric D-loops without RAD52. Thus, the dynamic telomeric R-loops formed by TERRA and RAD51AP1 enable the RAD52-independent ALT pathway, and G4s orchestrate an R- to D-loop switch at telomeres to stimulate BIR.

RevDate: 2022-10-21
CmpDate: 2022-10-21

Lai TP, Verhulst S, Dagnall CL, et al (2022)

Decoupling blood telomere length from age in recipients of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant in the BMT-CTN 1202.

Frontiers in immunology, 13:966301.

The age of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) donors and their hematopoietic cell telomere length (TL) might affect recipients' outcomes. Our goals were to examine the possible effect of these donors' factors on the recipients' hematopoietic cell TL and quantify hematopoietic cell TL shortening in the critical first three-month post-HCT. We measured hematopoietic cell TL parameters in 75 recipient-donor pairs, from the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network (protocol#1202), by Southern blotting (SB), the Telomeres Shortest Length Assay (TeSLA), and quantitative PCR (qPCR). Recipients' hematopoietic cell TL parameters post-HCT correlated with donors' age (p<0.001 for all methods), but not recipients' own age, and with donors' pre-HCT hematopoietic cell TL (p<0.0001 for all). Multivariate analyses showed that donors' hematopoietic cell TL pre-HCT, independent of donors' age, explained most of the variability in recipients' hematopoietic cell TL post-HCT (81% for SB, 56% for TeSLA, and 65% for qPCR; p>0.0001 for all). SB and TeSLA detected hematopoietic cell TL shortening in all recipients post-HCT (mean=0.52kb and 0.47kb, respectively; >15-fold the annual TL shortening in adults; p<0.00001 for both), but qPCR detected shortening only in 57.5% of recipients. TeSLA detected a buildup of post-HCT of telomeres <3 kb in 96% of recipients (p<0.0001). In conclusion, HCT decouples hematopoietic cell TL in the recipients from their own age to reflect the donors' age. The potential donors' age effect on outcomes of HCT might be partially mediated by short hematopoietic cell TL in older donors. qPCR-based TL measurement is suboptimal for detecting telomere shortening post-HCT.

RevDate: 2022-10-19
CmpDate: 2022-10-19

Sung MK, Koh E, Kang Y, et al (2022)

Three months-longitudinal changes in relative telomere length, blood chemistries, and self-report questionnaires in meditation practitioners compared to novice individuals during midlife.

Medicine, 101(41):e30930.

Aging accelerates during midlife. Researches have shown the health benefits of mind-body intervention (MBI). However, whether MBI is involved with aging process has not been well understood. In this study, we approach to examine the relations of MBI with this process by investigating an aging marker of the peripheral blood, blood chemistry, and self-report questionnaires. A quasi-experimental design was applied. Experienced MBI practitioners participated in a 3-month intensive meditation training, while the age, gender-matched MBI-naïve controls led a normal daily life. Measurements were taken at before and after the 3 months for relative telomere length (RTL), blood chemistry, and self-report questionnaires including items about sleep quality, somatic symptoms, depression, anxiety, stress, emotional intelligence (EI), and self-regulation. For RTL, the repeated measures analysis of variance showed a significant group*time interaction (P = .013) with a significant post hoc result (P = .030) within the control group: RTL was significantly reduced in the control while it was maintained in the meditation group. In repeated measures analysis of variance for blood chemistries, there were significant group differences between the groups in glucose and total protein. In the post hoc comparison analysis, at post measurements, the meditation group exhibited significantly lower values than the control group in both glucose and total protein. There were significant group-wise differences in the correlations of RTL with triglyceride (TG), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase and glutamic pyruvic transaminase. Any of self-report results did not show significant changes in group*time interaction. However, there were group differences with significant (P < .05) or a tendency (.05 < P < .1) level. There were significant improvements in depression, stress and EI as well as tendencies of improvement in sleep quality and anxiety, in the meditation group compared to the control group. Our results suggest that meditation practice may have a potential to modify aging process in molecular cellular level combined with changes in psychological dimension.

RevDate: 2022-10-19
CmpDate: 2022-10-19

Squassina A, Meloni A, Congiu D, et al (2022)

Analysis on in vitro effect of lithium on telomere length in lymphoblastoid cell lines from bipolar disorder patients with different clinical response to long-term lithium treatment.

Human genomics, 16(1):45.

BACKGROUND: It has been suggested that bipolar disorder (BD) is associated with clinical and biological features of accelerated aging. In our previous studies, we showed that long-term lithium treatment was correlated with longer leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in BD patients. A recent study explored the role of TL in BD using patients-derived lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs), showing that baseline TL was shorter in BD compared to controls and that lithium in vitro increased TL but only in BD. Here, we used the same cell system (LCLs) to explore if a 7-day treatment protocol with lithium chloride (LiCl) 1 mM was able to highlight differences in TL between BD patients clinically responders (Li-R; n = 15) or non-responders (Li-NR; n = 15) to lithium, and if BD differed from non-psychiatric controls (HC; n = 15).

RESULTS: There was no difference in TL between BD patients and HC. Moreover, LiCl did not influence TL in the overall sample, and there was no difference between diagnostic or clinical response groups. Likewise, LiCl did not affect TL in neural precursor cells from healthy donors.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that a 7-day lithium treatment protocol and the use of LCLs might not represent a suitable approach to deepen our understanding on the role of altered telomere dynamics in BD as previously suggested by studies in vivo.

RevDate: 2022-10-17

Hassani MA, Murid J, J Yan (2022)

Regulator of telomere elongation helicase 1 gene and its association with malignancy.

Cancer reports (Hoboken, N.J.) [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: With the progression of next-generation sequencing technologies, researchers have identified numerous variants of the regulator of telomere elongation helicase 1 (RTEL1) gene that are associated with a broad spectrum of phenotypic manifestations, including malignancies. At the molecular level, RTEL1 is involved in the regulation of the repair, replication, and transcription of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and the maintenance of telomere length. RTEL1 can act both as a promotor and inhibitor of tumorigenesis. Here, we review the potential mechanisms implicated in the malignant transformation of tissues under conditions of RTEL1 deficiency or its aberrant overexpression.

RECENT FINDINGS: A major hemostatic challenge during RTEL1 dysfunction could arise from its unbalanced activity for unwinding guanine-rich quadruplex DNA (G4-DNA) structures. In contrast, RTEL1 deficiency leads to alterations in telomeric and genome-wide DNA maintenance mechanisms, ribonucleoprotein metabolism, and the creation of an inflammatory and immune-deficient microenvironment, all promoting malignancy. Additionally, we hypothesize that functionally similar molecules could act to compensate for the deteriorated functions of RTEL1, thereby facilitating the survival of malignant cells. On the contrary, RTEL1 over-expression was directed toward G4-unwinding, by promoting replication fork progression and maintaining intact telomeres, may facilitate malignant transformation and proliferation of various pre-malignant cellular compartments.

CONCLUSIONS: Therefore, restoring the equilibrium of RTEL1 functions could serve as a therapeutic approach for preventing and treating malignancies.

RevDate: 2022-10-19

Albosale AH, EV Mashkina (2021)

Association of Relative Telomere Length and Risk of High Human Papillomavirus Load in Cervical Epithelial Cells.

Balkan journal of medical genetics : BJMG, 24(2):65-70.

Importunate high-risk HPV (HR-HPV) infection is the most common trigger for the cervical carcinogenesis process. In this respect, the presence of cancer can be imputed to telomere lengthening or shortening. This paper explores the possible correlation between relative telomere length and viral load in two groups of women, namely: those with high-risk HPV infection and those who do not have this infection. Thus, samples comprising of 50 women in each group were evaluated for this research. The Amplisens HPV HCR screen-titre-FRT PCR kite was employed for quantitative analysis. Relative telomere length was quantified by real-time PCR. In each of the two HPV load groups, there was no correlation between age and telomere length. Telomere shortening was found in the cervical cell samples of women with high HPV loads, compared with women in the control group. Telomere shortening is associated with elevated HPV loads.

RevDate: 2022-10-20
CmpDate: 2022-10-18

Ye M, Wang Y, Y Zhan (2022)

Genetic association of leukocyte telomere length with Graves' disease in Biobank Japan: A two-sample Mendelian randomization study.

Frontiers in immunology, 13:998102.

Background: Telomere length (TL) has been recognized to be fundamental to the risk of autoimmune disorders. However, the role of leukocyte TL in Graves' disease has not yet been fully elucidated. In the study, we exploited the two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) design to evaluate the causal effect of leukocyte TL on the risk of Graves' disease.

Methods: Genome-wide association study (GWAS) data of leukocyte TL from the Singapore Chinese Health Study (SCHS) cohort and Graves' disease from Biobank Japan (BBJ, 2176 cases and 210,277 controls) were analyzed. Nine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were selected as instrumental variables (IVs) for TL. We used the inverse variance weighted (IVW) approach as the main estimator and MR-Egger regression, weighted median, simple mode, and weighed mode methods as complementary estimators. Horizontal pleiotropy was assessed using the intercept from MR-Egger.

Results: The analysis demonstrated that genetically predicted longer leukocyte TL was causally associated with a lower risk of Graves' disease using the IVW method (odds ratio [OR]: 1.64, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.23-2.17, P=2.27e-04, and other complementary MR approaches achieved similar results. The intercept from the MR-Egger analysis provided no noticeable evidence of horizontal pleiotropy (β=0.02, P=0.641). MR-PRESSO method reported no outliers (P=0.266).

Conclusions: Our results provided evidence to support a genetic predisposition to shorter leukocyte TL with an increased risk of Graves' disease. Further studies are warranted to explore the mechanism underlying the association.

RevDate: 2022-10-19
CmpDate: 2022-10-17

Valera-Gran D, Prieto-Botella D, Hurtado-Pomares M, et al (2022)

The Impact of Foods, Nutrients, or Dietary Patterns on Telomere Length in Childhood and Adolescence: A Systematic Review.

Nutrients, 14(19):.

Environmental factors such as diet can affect telomere length (TL) dynamics. However, the role that children's and adolescents' diets play in maintaining TL is not well understood. Thus, we conducted a systematic review to examine the association between the intake of nutrients, foods, food groups, and/or dietary patterns and TL in childhood and adolescence. Following the PRISMA guidelines, we searched MEDLINE via PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane databases and additional registers and methods. The five selected studies were cross-sectional and conducted in children and adolescents aged 2 to 18 years. The main results suggest that a higher consumption of fish, nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables, green leafy and cruciferous vegetables, olives, legumes, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and an antioxidant-rich diet might positively affect TL. On the contrary, a higher intake of dairy products, simple sugar, sugar-sweetened beverages, cereals, especially white bread, and a diet high in glycaemic load were factors associated with TL shortening. To our knowledge, this is the first systematic review examining the impact of dietary intake factors on TL in childhood and adolescence. Although limited, these results are consistent with previous studies in different adult populations. Further research is needed to ascertain potential nutritional determinants of TL in childhood and adolescence.

RevDate: 2022-10-19

Zia S, Khan N, Tehreem K, et al (2022)

Transcriptomic Analysis of Conserved Telomere Maintenance Component 1 (CTC1) and Its Association with Leukemia.

Journal of clinical medicine, 11(19):.

Telomere length (TEL) regulation is important for genome stability and is governed by the coordinated role of shelterin proteins, telomerase (TERT), and CST (CTC1/OBFC1/TEN1) complex. Previous studies have shown the association of telomerase expression with the risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). However, no data are available for CST association with the ALL. The current pilot study was designed to evaluate the CST expression levels in ALL. In total, 350 subjects were recruited, including 250 ALL cases and 100 controls. The subjects were stratified by age and categorized into pediatrics (1-18 years) and adults (19-54 years). TEL and expression patterns of CTC1, OBFC1, and TERT genes were determined by qPCR. The univariable logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the association of gene expression with ALL, and the results were adjusted for age and sex in multivariable analyses. Pediatric and adult cases did not reflect any change in telomere lengths relative to controls. However, expression of CTC1, OBFC1, and TERT genes were induced among ALL cases. Multivariable logistic regression analyses showed association of CTC1 with ALL in pediatric [β estimate (standard error (SE)= -0.013 (0.007), p = 0.049, and adults [0.053 (0.023), p = 0.025]. The association of CTC1 remained significant when taken together with OBFC1 and TERT in a multivariable model. Furthermore, CTC1 showed significant association with B-cell ALL [-0.057(0.017), p = 0.002) and T-cell ALL [-0.050 (0.018), p = 0.008] in pediatric group while no such association was noted in adults. Together, our findings demonstrated that telomere modulating genes, particularly CTC1, are strongly associated with ALL. Therefore, CTC1 can potentially be used as a risk biomarker for the identification of ALL in both pediatrics and adults.

RevDate: 2022-10-17
CmpDate: 2022-10-17

Chen XY, Lo CKM, Chan KL, et al (2022)

Association between Childhood Exposure to Family Violence and Telomere Length: A Meta-Analysis.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(19):.

The aims of this meta-analysis were to examine the association between childhood exposure to family violence and telomere length and the moderating variables that influence this association. Relevant works published on or before 1st September 2022 were identified through a search in five major databases in English and 19 articles (N = 18,977) finally met the inclusion criteria. A meta-analysis was conducted to compute the pooled effect size (correlation; r), and moderator analyses were performed using a random effects meta-analytic model. The studies yielded a significant inverse association between childhood exposure to family violence and telomere length, with a small effect size (r = -0.038, 95% CI [-0.070, -0.005], p = 0.025). Furthermore, the strength of this association was stronger in studies examining the co-occurrence of multiple types of violence than in those examining just one type (Q = 8.143, p = 0.004). These findings suggested that victims' telomere length may be negatively influenced by childhood exposure to family violence and that such impairment appears to be stronger for those who are exposed to multiple types of violence. Future studies are necessary to examine the moderating and mediating factors underlying the association between childhood exposure to family violence and telomere length.

RevDate: 2022-10-17
CmpDate: 2022-10-17

Shokr H, Lush V, Dias IH, et al (2022)

The Use of Retinal Microvascular Function and Telomere Length in Age and Blood Pressure Prediction in Individuals with Low Cardiovascular Risk.

Cells, 11(19):.

Ageing represents a major risk factor for many pathologies that limit human lifespan, including cardiovascular diseases. Biological ageing is a good biomarker to assess early individual risk for CVD. However, finding good measurements of biological ageing is an ongoing quest. This study aims to assess the use retinal microvascular function, separate or in combination with telomere length, as a predictor for age and systemic blood pressure in individuals with low cardiovascular risk. In all, 123 healthy participants with low cardiovascular risk were recruited and divided into three groups: group 1 (less than 30 years old), group 2 (31-50 years old) and group 3 (over 50 years old). Relative telomere length (RTL), parameters of retinal microvascular function, CVD circulatory markers and blood pressure (BP) were measured in all individuals. Symbolic regression- analysis was used to infer chronological age and systemic BP measurements using either RTL or a combination of RTL and parameters for retinal microvascular function. RTL decreased significantly with age (p = 0.010). There were also age-related differences between the study groups in retinal arterial time to maximum dilation (p = 0.005), maximum constriction (p = 0.007) and maximum constriction percentage (p = 0.010). In the youngest participants, the error between predicted versus actual values for the chronological age were smallest in the case of using both retinal vascular functions only (p = 0.039) or the combination of this parameter with RTL (p = 0.0045). Systolic BP was better predicted by RTL also only in younger individuals (p = 0.043). The assessment of retinal arterial vascular function is a better predictor than RTL for non-modifiable variables such as age, and only in younger individuals. In the same age group, RTL is better than microvascular function when inferring modifiable risk factors for CVDs. In older individuals, the accumulation of physiological and structural biological changes makes such predictions unreliable.

RevDate: 2022-10-13

Yang Z, Sharma K, T de Lange (2022)

TRF1 uses a noncanonical function of TFIIH to promote telomere replication.

Genes & development pii:gad.349975.122 [Epub ahead of print].

Telomeric DNA challenges the replisome and requires TRF1 for efficient duplication. TRF1 recruits the BLM helicase, but BLM loss does not explain the extensive telomere fragility, ATR signaling, and sister telomere associations (STAs) induced by TRF1 deletion. Here, we document that Helix2 of the TRFH domain and Helix1 of the Myb domain of TRF1 are required for efficient telomere replication. Mutation of both helices generated a TRF1 separation-of-function mutant (TRF1-E83K/LW-TI) that induced severe telomere replication defects but no ATR signaling or STAs. We identified the transcription and nucleotide excision repair (NER) factor TFIIH as a critical effector of TRF1. Loss of TFIIH subunits, but no other NER factors, caused the same telomere replication phenotypes as the TRF1-E83K/LW-TI mutant independent of the effects on TRF1 expression. TFIIH subunits coimmunoprecipitated with wild-type TRF1 but not with TRF1-E83K/LW-TI. These results establish that the major mechanism by which TRF1 ensures telomere replication involves a noncanonical function of TFIIH.

RevDate: 2022-10-12

Sheikh-Wu SF, Liang Z, CA Downs (2022)

The Relationship Between Telomeres, Cognition, Mood, and Physical Function: A Systematic Review.

Biological research for nursing [Epub ahead of print].

Background and Purpose: Cognitive, affective, and physical symptoms and alterations in their function are seen across chronic illnesses. Data suggest that environmental, psychological, and physiological factors contribute to symptom experience, potentially through loss of telomeres (telomere attrition), structures at the ends of chromosomes. Telomere length is affected by many factors including environmental (e.g., exercise, diet, smoking) and physiological (e.g., response to stress), as well as from oxidative damage and inflammation that occurs in many disease processes. Moreover, telomere attrition is associated with chronic disease (cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease) and predicts higher morbidity and mortality rates. However, findings are inconsistent among telomere roles and relationships with health outcomes. This article aims to synthesize the current state-of-the-science of telomeres and their relationship with cognitive, affective, and physical function and symptoms. Method: A comprehensive literature search was performed in two databases: CINAHL and PUBMED. A total of 33 articles published between 2000 and 2022 were included in the final analysis. Results: Telomere attrition is associated with various changes in cognitive, affective, and physical function and symptoms. However, findings are inconsistent. Interventional studies (e.g., meditation and exercise) may affect telomere attrition, potentially impacting health outcomes. Conclusion: Nursing research and practice are at the forefront of furthering the understanding of telomeres and their relationships with cognitive, affective, and physical function and symptoms. Future interventions targeting modifiable risk factors may be developed to improve health outcomes across populations.

RevDate: 2022-10-15
CmpDate: 2022-10-13

Sanchez M, Kannengiesser C, Hoang S, et al (2022)

Leukocyte telomere length, allelic variations in related genes and risk of coronary heart disease in people with long-standing type 1 diabetes.

Cardiovascular diabetology, 21(1):206.

BACKGROUND: Type 1 diabetes is associated with accelerated vascular aging and advanced atherosclerosis resulting in increased rates of cardiovascular disease and premature death. We evaluated associations between Leukocyte telomere length (LTL), allelic variations (SNPs) in LTL-related genes and the incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) in adults with long-standing type 1 diabetes.

METHODS: We assessed associations of LTL, measured at baseline by RT-PCR, and of SNPs in 11 LTL-related genes with the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD: myocardial infarction or coronary revascularization) and all-cause death during follow-up in two multicenter French-Belgian prospective cohorts of people with long-standing type 1 diabetes.

RESULTS: In logistic and Cox analyses, the lowest tertile of LTL distribution (short telomeres) at baseline was associated with the prevalence of myocardial infarction at baseline and with increased risk of CHD (Hazard ratio 3.14 (1.39-7.70), p = 0.005, for shorter vs longer tertile of LTL) and all-cause death (Hazard ratio 1.63 (95% CI 1.04-2.55), p = 0.03, for shorter vs combined intermediate and longer tertiles of LTL) during follow-up. Allelic variations in six genes related to telomere biology (TERC, NAF1, TERT, TNKS, MEN1 and BICD1) were also associated with the incidence of CHD during follow-up. The associations were independent of sex, age, duration of diabetes, and a range of relevant confounding factors at baseline.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that short LTL is an independent risk factor for CHD in people with type 1 diabetes.

RevDate: 2022-10-17

Hatse S, Serena M, Vulsteke C, et al (2022)

Impact of baseline telomere length on survival and chemotherapy related toxicity in breast cancer patients receiving (neo)adjuvant anthracycline containing chemotherapy.

Translational oncology, 26:101551 pii:S1936-5233(22)00210-8 [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: The aim of this study is to assess baseline mean leukocyte telomere length (TL) as a potential predictive factor for chemotherapy toxicity and a prognostic marker for long-term outcome in early breast cancer (BC) patients.

METHODS: 445 BC patients were selected, diagnosed between 2007 and 2010 with early BC and treated with (neo)adjuvant fluorouracil, epirubicin and cyclophosphamide (FEC) or with FEC and Docetaxel (FEC-D). RT-qPCR was performed on germline DNA samples collected at diagnosis before any treatment, to measure mean leukocyte TL. Uni- and multivariable logistic regression or Cox proportional hazard regression analyses were carried out to assess correlation between baseline TL and toxicity parameters (derived from the medical chart) or longer-term outcome.

RESULTS: Baseline TL correlated with age as expected (p = 0.005), but not with febrile neutropenia (n = 97), left ventricular ejection fraction >10% decrease (n = 17) nor other toxicity endpoints measured (all p > 0.05). TL was neither associated with overall survival, breast cancer specific survival or distant disease-free survival (all p > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Baseline TL is not associated with chemotherapy-related toxicity nor long-term outcome in BC patients.

RevDate: 2022-10-11

Vaquero-Sedas MI, MA Vega-Palas (2022)

Epigenetic nature of Arabidopsis thaliana telomeres.

Plant physiology pii:6758259 [Epub ahead of print].

The epigenetic features of defined chromosomal domains condition their biochemical and functional properties. Therefore, there is considerable interest in studying the epigenetic marks present at relevant chromosomal loci. Telomeric regions, which include telomeres and subtelomeres, have been traditionally considered heterochromatic. However, whereas the heterochromatic nature of subtelomeres has been widely accepted, the epigenetic status of telomeres remains controversial. Here, we studied the epigenetic features of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) telomeres by analyzing multiple genome-wide ChIP-seq experiments. Our analyses revealed that Arabidopsis telomeres are not significantly enriched either in euchromatic marks like H3K4me2, H3K9ac and H3K27me3 or in heterochromatic marks such as H3K27me1 and H3K9me2. Thus, telomeric regions in Arabidopsis have a bimodal chromatin organization with telomeres lacking significant levels of canonical euchromatic and heterochromatic marks followed by heterochromatic subtelomeres. Since heterochromatin is known to influence telomere function, the heterochromatic modifications present at Arabidopsis subtelomeres could play a relevant role in telomere biology.

RevDate: 2022-10-10

Baser E, Inandiklioglu N, Aydogan Kırmızı D, et al (2022)

Placental and Umbilical Cord Blood Oxidative Stress Level and Telomere Homeostasis in Early Onset Severe Preeclampsia.

Zeitschrift fur Geburtshilfe und Neonatologie [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: Although the etiopathogenesis of preeclampsia (PE) is unknown, evidence suggests that it may be associated with increased oxidative stress. Studies have shown that oxidative stress can affect DNA fragments called telomeres. However, the interactions of PE, oxidative stress, and telomere length are not clearly known. This study aims to evaluate the oxidative/anti-oxidative stress balance in the placenta and umbilical cord and examine the effect of oxidative stress on telomeres.

MATERIALS-METHOD: Cord blood and placental samples were collected from 27 pregnant women with severe PE (280/7-336/7 gestational weeks) and 53 healthy pregnant women. Telomere length (TL) was measured by real-time PCR in the cord blood and placenta tissue. Total antioxidant status (TAS) and total oxidant status (TOS) levels were measured in the cord blood and placenta tissue using a colorimetric method.

RESULTS: No significant differences were found between groups regarding age, BMI, gravida, parity, and newborn gender (p>0.05). Cord blood and placental TL of PE patients were significantly shorter than the control group, while cord blood and placental TAS and TOS levels were higher (p<0.05). The results of a multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the level of placental TOS in PE patients (OR=1.212, 95% CI=1.068-1.375) was an independent risk factor affecting PE.

CONCLUSION: This study found that oxidative stress is an independent risk factor in the development of PE and shortens TL in both placental and umbilical cord blood. Future research on telomere homeostasis may offer a new perspective for the treatment of PE.

RevDate: 2022-10-10

Liang Z, Saugar EE, Alamian A, et al (2022)

Changes in Telomere Length and Indicators of Oxidative Stress in Critically Ill Mechanically Ventilated Adults - A Pilot Study.

Biological research for nursing [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Telomeres are structures at the end of chromosomes that shorten with each cell division. The purpose of this pilot project is to report changes in telomere length (T/S ratio), indicators of oxidative stress (serum protein carbonyl, vitamin C, GSH:GSSG, and total antioxidant capacity) from Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admission to ICU discharge, and to explore their association with ICU-related morbidities among critically ill mechanically ventilated adults.

METHODS: Blood was collected from mechanically ventilated patients (n = 25) at enrollment and within 48 hours of ICU discharge. Telomere length from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was determined using RTqPCR. ELISAs were used to measure indicators of oxidative stress. Descriptive analysis, paired t-tests, and Pearson's correlations were performed.

RESULTS: Mean age was 62.0 ± 12.3 years, 28.6% were male, and 76.2% were White with disease severity using APACHE III (74.6 ± 24.6) and SOFA (7.6 ± 3.2). Mean T/S ratios shortened (ICU: 0.712, post-ICU: 0.683, p < 0.001, n = 19) and serum protein carbonyl increased (ICU: 7437 nmol/mg ± 3328, post-ICU: 10,254 nmol/mg ± 3962, p < 0.005) as did the oxidative stress index (protein carbonyl/GSH:GSSG, ICU: 1049.972 ± 420.923, post-ICU: 1348.971 ± 417.175, p = 0.0104). T/S ratio was positively associated with APACHE III scores (ICU: r = 0.474, post-ICU: r = 0.628, p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Pilot findings suggest that critical illness significantly correlates with telomere attrition, perhaps due to increased oxidative stress. Future larger and longitudinal studies investigating mechanisms of telomere attrition and associations with clinical outcomes are needed to identify potential modifiable factors for subsequent intervention to improve outcomes for critically ill patients.

RevDate: 2022-10-10

Hope SF, Angelier F, Ribout C, et al (2022)

Warmer incubation temperatures and later lay-orders lead to shorter telomere lengths in wood duck (Aix sponsa) ducklings.

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

The environment that animals experience during development shapes phenotypic expression. In birds, two important aspects of the early-developmental environment are lay-order sequence and incubation. Later-laid eggs tend to produce weaker offspring, sometimes with compensatory mechanisms to accelerate their growth rate to catch-up to their siblings. Further, small decreases in incubation temperature slow down embryonic growth rates and lead to wide-ranging negative effects on many posthatch traits. Recently, telomeres, noncoding DNA sequences at the end of chromosomes, have been recognized as a potential proxy for fitness because longer telomeres are positively related to lifespan and individual quality in many animals, including birds. Although telomeres appear to be mechanistically linked to growth rate, little is known about how incubation temperature and lay-order may influence telomere length. We incubated wood duck (Aix sponsa) eggs at two ecologically-relevant temperatures (34.9°C and 36.2°C) and measured telomere length at hatch and 1 week after. We found that ducklings incubated at the lower temperature had longer telomeres than those incubated at the higher temperature both at hatch and 1 week later. Further, we found that later-laid eggs produced ducklings with shorter telomeres than those laid early in the lay-sequence, although lay-order was not related to embryonic developmental rate. This study contributes to our broader understanding of how parental effects can affect telomere length early in life. More work is needed to determine if these effects on telomere length persist until adulthood, and if they are associated with effects on fitness in this precocial species.

RevDate: 2022-10-11

Bürgin D, Clemens V, Varghese N, et al (2022)

Adverse and traumatic exposures, posttraumatic stress disorder, telomere length, and hair cortisol - Exploring associations in a high-risk sample of young adult residential care leavers.

Brain, behavior, & immunity - health, 26:100524.

Background: Childhood adversities (CAs), potentially traumatic exposures (PTEs), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are known to increase the risk for poor health outcomes, including diseases of aging and early mortality. Telomere length (TL) and hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) are biomarkers known to be associated with CA and PTEs, and PTSD, but there is considerable heterogeneity in findings.

Objectives: This study aims to investigate the association of CAs, PTEs, and PTSD with TL and HCC in a high-risk sample of young adults who were previously placed in youth residential care institutions throughout Switzerland.

Method: Our sample includes 130 participants (30.8% women, M Age = 26.5 ± 3.7 years) with previous youth residential care placements (MPlacements= 3.9). CAs and PTEs, as well as PTSD, were assessed with self-reported questionnaires and semi-structured clinical interviews. Immune cell TL was measured with quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) in whole blood. Hair samples were collected for HCC measurement and assayed with high-sensitivity ELISA. Multivariate regression models were fitted to describe the associations between CAs, PTEs, and PTSD with TL and HCC, adjusting for covariates.

Results: In our high-risk sample, a higher burden of CAs, PTEs, Criterion A trauma, and PTSD was associated with longer TL. PTEs, Criterion A trauma, and PTSD were associated with lower HCC, however no significant associations between CAs and HCC were found. The magnitude of these effects varied depending on the dimensional or categorical nature of the stress-phenotype and the specific measure used.

Conclusions: Our findings are in contrast with many, but not all, previous studies of associations between adversity and both TL and HCC. For instance, our findings are in line with other studies that find a state of hypocortisolism in PTSD. Better measurement of adversities and trauma, multisystem biomarker approaches, and more research in larger high-risk samples at the upper end of the adversity-continuum is warranted.

RevDate: 2022-10-14
CmpDate: 2022-10-14

Xu L, Qiu Z, YS Cong (2022)

Comparison of Telomere Length between Buccal Cells and Blood Cells.

Bulletin of experimental biology and medicine, 173(5):677-679.

Telomere length (TL) in blood cells is commonly used as a proxy for TL in other tissue types. The source of DNA of adequate quality and quantity is important for TL analysis. Compared to blood cells, buccal cells easy for genomic DNA preparation would facilitate the rapid and reliable TL analysis. However, the feasibility of buccal cells for TL analysis remains yet unestablished. We characterized TL of buccal cells and blood cells collected from 52 individuals using buccal cell swabs and fingertip sticks. Relative TL (RTL) determined by quantitative PCR showed that there is a strong correlation between buccal RTL and blood RTL (r=0.877, p<0.001), suggesting that buccal cells are adequate sources of DNA for TL analysis. The validity of sampling using buccal cell swabs provides simple operation and good reproducibility for TL analysis, that overcomes the discomfort and risk of infection caused by blood sampling.

RevDate: 2022-10-20

Olsson M, Bererhi B, Miller E, et al (2022)

Inbreeding effects on telomeres in hatchling sand lizards (Lacerta agilis): An optimal family affair?.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Telomeres are nucleotide-protein caps, predominantly at the ends of Metazoan linear chromosomes, showing complex dynamics with regard to their lengthening and shortening through life. Their complexity has entertained the idea that net telomere length and attrition could be valuable biomarkers of phenotypic and genetic quality of their bearer. Intuitively, those individuals could be more heterozygous and, hence, less inbred. However, some inbred taxa have longer, not shorter, telomeres. To understand the role of inbreeding in this complex scenario we need large samples across a range of genotypes with known maternity and paternity in telomere-screened organisms under natural conditions. We assessed the effects of parental and hatchling inbreeding on telomere length in >1300 offspring from >500 sires and dams in a population of sand lizards (Lacerta agilis). Maternal and paternal ID and their interactions predict hatchling telomere length at substantial effect sizes (R2 > .50). Deviation from mean maternal heterozygosity statistically predicts shorter offspring telomeres but this only when sibship is controlled for by paternal ID, and then is still limited (R2 = .06). Raw maternal heterozygosity scores, ignoring absolute deviation from the mean, explained 0.07% of the variance in hatchling telomere length. In conclusion, inbreeding is not a driver of telomere dynamics in the sand lizard (Lacerta agilis) study system.

RevDate: 2022-10-11
CmpDate: 2022-10-11

Miki A, Matsuda Y, Aida J, et al (2022)

Telomere Attrition in Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasms of the Pancreas Associated With Carcinogenesis and Aging.

Pancreas, 51(6):678-683.

OBJECTIVES: It is challenging to preoperatively distinguish malignant and benign forms of intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs) of the pancreas. The aims of this study were to investigate whether telomere length is associated with pathological grade of IPMNs and age and to clarify the utility of telomere length as a marker to identify malignant IPMNs.

METHODS: Pancreas tissue was obtained from 28 patients after resection. We measured the telomere lengths of tumor cells in IPMNs and normal duct cells by quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization. The association of normalized telomere-centromere ratio (NTCR) to pathological grade of IPMNs and age were determined.

RESULTS: The NTCR showed a gradual decrease with increasing pathological grade of IPMNs. The NTCR in intermediate- and high-grade dysplasia and adenocarcinoma lesions was significantly shorter than in normal pancreatic ducts (P < 0.05). In multivariate analysis, telomere length was most associated with carcinogenesis. When the cutoff value of NTCR was set to 0.74, the sensitivity for detection of high-grade dysplasia and adenocarcinoma was 82.8%, with a specificity of 87.5%.

CONCLUSIONS: Telomere shortening occurs with carcinogenesis and aging. A significant reduction of telomere length in IPMNs may be useful for surgical decision making.

RevDate: 2022-10-19

Madsen T, Klaassen M, Raven N, et al (2022)

Transmissible cancer and longitudinal telomere dynamics in Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii).

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

A plethora of intrinsic and environmental factors have been shown to influence the length of telomeres, the protector of chromosome ends. Despite the growing interest in infection-telomere interactions, there is very limited knowledge on how transmissible cancers influence telomere maintenance. An emblematic example of transmissible cancer occurs in the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), whose populations have been dramatically reduced by infectious cancer cells. To investigate associations between telomere dynamics and the transmissible cancer, we used longitudinal data from a Tasmanian devil population that has been exposed to the disease for over 15 years. We detected substantial temporal variation in individual telomere length (TL), and a positive significant association between TL and age, as well as a marginally significant trend for devils with devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) having longer telomeres. A proportional hazard analysis yielded no significant effect of TL on the development of DFTD. Like previous studies, we show the complexity that TL dynamics may exhibit across the lifetime of organisms. Our work highlights the importance of long-term longitudinal sampling for understanding the effects of wildlife diseases on TL.

RevDate: 2022-10-09

Tomasova K, Kroupa M, Zinkova A, et al (2022)

Monitoring of telomere dynamics in peripheral blood leukocytes in relation to colorectal cancer patients' outcomes.

Frontiers in oncology, 12:962929.

We investigated the possible associations between leukocyte telomere length, therapy outcomes, and clinicopathological features in patients with colorectal cancer. Additionally, telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) expression was evaluated. Telomere length was measured using singleplex qPCR in 478 consecutive leukocyte DNA samples from 198 patients. Blood was drawn at diagnosis prior to any therapy and then at 6-month intervals for 18 months. Following diagnosis, the telomeres gradually shortened during the course of the treatment regardless of the patient's age. The most pronounced decrease was observed 12 months after the diagnosis (p < 0.0001). Based on tumor localization, the decrease in telomere length one year after the diagnosis followed different trajectories (p = 0.03). In patients treated with adjuvant therapy, telomere length correlated with the time elapsed after completion of therapy (p = 0.03). TERT expression did not correlate with the telomere length; however, it was higher in women than men (1.35-fold, 95% CI 1.11-1.65, p = 0.003) and in smokers than non-smokers (1.27-fold, 95% CI 1.01-1.61, p = 0.04). Leukocyte telomere length declines naturally during aging, but the accelerated shortening observed in our patients was age-independent. Telomere length manifestly reflected chemotherapy impact and could be linked to therapy toxicity.

RevDate: 2022-10-11
CmpDate: 2022-10-10

Piñeiro-Hermida S, Martínez P, Bosso G, et al (2022)

Consequences of telomere dysfunction in fibroblasts, club and basal cells for lung fibrosis development.

Nature communications, 13(1):5656.

TRF1 is an essential component of the telomeric protective complex or shelterin. We previously showed that dysfunctional telomeres in alveolar type II (ATII) cells lead to interstitial lung fibrosis. Here, we study the lung pathologies upon telomere dysfunction in fibroblasts, club and basal cells. TRF1 deficiency in lung fibroblasts, club and basal cells induced telomeric damage, proliferative defects, cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. While Trf1 deletion in fibroblasts does not spontaneously lead to lung pathologies, upon bleomycin challenge exacerbates lung fibrosis. Unlike in females, Trf1 deletion in club and basal cells from male mice resulted in lung inflammation and airway remodeling. Here, we show that depletion of TRF1 in fibroblasts, Club and basal cells does not lead to interstitial lung fibrosis, underscoring ATII cells as the relevant cell type for the origin of interstitial fibrosis. Our findings contribute to a better understanding of proper telomere protection in lung tissue homeostasis.

RevDate: 2022-10-19
CmpDate: 2022-10-10

Aviv A (2022)

The bullwhip effect, T-cell telomeres, and SARS-CoV-2.

The Lancet. Healthy longevity, 3(10):e715-e721.

Both myeloid cells, which contribute to innate immunity, and lymphoid cells, which dominate adaptive immunity, partake in defending against SARS-CoV-2. In response to the virus, the otherwise slow haematopoietic production supply chain quickly unleashes its preconfigured myeloid element, which largely resists a bullwhip-like effect. By contrast, the lymphoid element risks a bullwhip-like effect when it produces T cells and B cells that are specifically designed to clear the virus. As T-cell production is telomere-length dependent and telomeres shorten with age, older adults are at higher risk of a T-cell shortfall when contracting SARS-CoV-2 than are younger adults. A poorly calibrated adaptive immune response, stemming from a bullwhip-like effect, compounded by a T-cell deficit, might thus contribute to the propensity of people with inherently short T-cell telomeres to develop severe COVID-19. The immune systems of these individuals might also generate an inadequate T-cell response to anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination.

RevDate: 2022-10-07

Wilson C, JP Murnane (2022)

High-throughput screen to identify compounds that prevent or target telomere loss in human cancer cells.

NAR cancer, 4(4):zcac029.

Chromosome instability (CIN) is an early step in carcinogenesis that promotes tumor cell progression and resistance to therapy. Using plasmids integrated adjacent to telomeres, we have previously demonstrated that the sensitivity of subtelomeric regions to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) contributes to telomere loss and CIN in cancer. A high-throughput screen was created to identify compounds that affect telomere loss due to subtelomeric DSBs introduced by I-SceI endonuclease, as detected by cells expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP). A screen of a library of 1832 biologically-active compounds identified a variety of compounds that increase or decrease the number of GFP-positive cells following activation of I-SceI. A curated screen done in triplicate at various concentrations found that inhibition of classical nonhomologous end joining (C-NHEJ) increased DSB-induced telomere loss, demonstrating that C-NHEJ is functional in subtelomeric regions. Compounds that decreased DSB-induced telomere loss included inhibitors of mTOR, p38 and tankyrase, consistent with our earlier hypothesis that the sensitivity of subtelomeric regions to DSBs is a result of inappropriate resection during repair. Although this assay was also designed to identify compounds that selectively target cells experiencing telomere loss and/or chromosome instability, no compounds of this type were identified in the current screen.

RevDate: 2022-10-19

Spano L, Etain B, Laplanche JL, et al (2022)

Telomere length and mitochondrial DNA copy number in bipolar disorder: A sibling study.

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

OBJECTIVES: An accelerated cellular ageing has been observed in bipolar disorder (BD) using biomarkers such as telomere length (TL) and mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNAcn). Several risk factors might drive premature ageing in individuals with BD, including a familial predisposition. This study compared TL and mtDNAcn between individuals with BD and their (un)-affected siblings, and explored factors that may explain proband-sibling differences.

METHODS: Sixty individuals with BD and seventy-four siblings (34 affected with BD or mood disorders and 40 unaffected) were included. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was used to measure TL and mtDNAcn from peripheral blood genomic DNA.

RESULTS: TL and mtDNAcn did not significantly differ between probands and their siblings, whatever these latter were affected or not with mood disorders. However, the correlation plots of TL or mtDNAcn in proband-sibling pairs suggested that some pairs were discordant. The within proband-sibling pairs differences for TL and mtDNAcn were not explained by differences in all tested factors.

CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that probands with BD and their siblings are concordant for TL and mtDNAcn suggesting that they may share some environmental or genetic determinants of these two biomarkers of cellular ageing.

RevDate: 2022-10-05
CmpDate: 2022-10-04

Li SC, Jia ZK, Yang JJ, et al (2022)

Telomere-related gene risk model for prognosis and drug treatment efficiency prediction in kidney cancer.

Frontiers in immunology, 13:975057.

Kidney cancer is one of the most common urological cancers worldwide, and kidney renal clear cell cancer (KIRC) is the major histologic subtype. Our previous study found that von-Hippel Lindau (VHL) gene mutation, the dominant reason for sporadic KIRC and hereditary kidney cancer-VHL syndrome, could affect VHL disease-related cancers development by inducing telomere shortening. However, the prognosis role of telomere-related genes in kidney cancer has not been well discussed. In this study, we obtained the telomere-related genes (TRGs) from TelNet. We obtained the clinical information and TRGs expression status of kidney cancer patients in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database, The International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) database, and the Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium (CPTAC) database. Totally 353 TRGs were differential between tumor and normal tissues in the TCGA-KIRC dataset. The total TCGA cohort was divided into discovery and validation TCGA cohorts and then using univariate cox regression, lasso regression, and multivariate cox regression method to conduct data analysis sequentially, ten TRGs (ISG15, RFC2, TRIM15, NEK6, PRKCQ, ATP1A1, ELOVL3, TUBB2B, PLCL1, NR1H3) risk model had been constructed finally. The kidney patients in the high TRGs risk group represented a worse outcome in the discovery TCGA cohort (p<0.001), and the result was validated by these four cohorts (validation TCGA cohort, total TCGA cohort, ICGC cohort, and CPTAC cohort). In addition, the TRGs risk score is an independent risk factor for kidney cancer in all these five cohorts. And the high TRGs risk group correlated with worse immune subtypes and higher tumor mutation burden in cancer tissues. In addition, the high TRGs risk group might benefit from receiving immune checkpoint inhibitors and targeted therapy agents. Moreover, the proteins NEK6, RF2, and ISG15 were upregulated in tumors both at the RNA and protein levels, while PLCL1 and PRKCQ were downregulated. The other five genes may display the contrary expression status at the RNA and protein levels. In conclusion, we have constructed a telomere-related genes risk model for predicting the outcomes of kidney cancer patients, and the model may be helpful in selecting treatment agents for kidney cancer patients.

RevDate: 2022-10-04

Liu Y, Huang Y, Liu C, et al (2022)

Longer Leukocyte Telomere Length Increases the Risk of Atrial Fibrillation: A Mendelian Randomization Study.

Aging and disease, 13(5):1311-1313.

RevDate: 2022-10-07
CmpDate: 2022-10-04

Guh CY, Shen HJ, Chen LW, et al (2022)

XPF activates break-induced telomere synthesis.

Nature communications, 13(1):5781.

Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) utilizes a recombination mechanism and break-induced DNA synthesis to maintain telomere length without telomerase, but it is unclear how cells initiate ALT. TERRA, telomeric repeat-containing RNA, forms RNA:DNA hybrids (R-loops) at ALT telomeres. We show that depleting TERRA using an RNA-targeting Cas9 system reduces ALT-associated PML bodies, telomere clustering, and telomere lengthening. TERRA interactome reveals that TERRA interacts with an extensive subset of DNA repair proteins in ALT cells. One of TERRA interacting proteins, the endonuclease XPF, is highly enriched at ALT telomeres and recruited by telomeric R-loops to induce DNA damage response (DDR) independent of CSB and SLX4, and thus triggers break-induced telomere synthesis and lengthening. The attraction of BRCA1 and RAD51 at telomeres requires XPF in FANCM-deficient cells that accumulate telomeric R-loops. Our results suggest that telomeric R-loops activate DDR via XPF to promote homologous recombination and telomere replication to drive ALT.

RevDate: 2022-10-21

He D, Meng P, Li C, et al (2022)

Association between telomere length and insomnia: A mendelian randomization and colocalization study.

Sleep medicine, 100:304-310 pii:S1389-9457(22)01130-3 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Previous studies have suggested a potential association between sleep and telomere length (TL), but its genetic basis remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to explore the genetic correlation and potential causal association between TL and insomnia.

METHODS: The genome-wide association study (GWAS) datasets of TL and insomnia-related traits were used, including insomnia, snoring, daytime dozing and napping. Based on the polygenic risk scores (PRS) of TL, linear regression and linkage disequilibrium score (LDSC) regression were used to preliminarily explore the association between TL and insomnia parameters in the UK Biobank cohort. Then, we investigated the causal association between TL and insomnia by mendelian randomization (MR) analysis and colocalization analysis.

RESULTS: In the UK Biobank cohort, the association between TL and insomnia was observed in the female samples (t = 2.968, P = 3.00 × 10-3). LDSC detected a genetic correlation between short TL and insomnia (Rg = -9.27 × 10-2, P = 8.00 × 10-4). We found no evidence supporting significant causal association between insomnia and TL in IVW method (b = -5.95 × 10-3, P = 0.57), with horizontal pleiotropy and heterogeneity tests indicating the validity of our MR study. Finally, rs12638862 was classified as colocalized by COLOC (PP4 = 0.99), and TERC may be involved in regulating the association between insomnia and TL.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study found no evidence for causal association between insomnia and TL in individuals of European ancestry. We detected a candidate gene associated with both insomnia and TL, providing novel clues for understanding the roles of this association.

RevDate: 2022-10-20

Hanis F, Chung ELT, Kamalludin MH, et al (2022)

Blood Profile, Hormones, and Telomere Responses: Potential Biomarkers in Horses Exhibiting Abnormal Oral Behavior.

Journal of equine veterinary science, 118:104130 pii:S0737-0806(22)00266-0 [Epub ahead of print].

The high prevalence of abnormal oral behavior (AOB) in working horses has been linked to management issues and the pathophysiology of this behavior remains unclear. Therefore, this study aims to elucidate the blood profile, hormones, and telomere length responses between low and high levels of AOB among different horse working groups. A total of 207 healthy horses from various breeds were initially selected from four working groups (leisure riding, equestrian, endurance, and patrolling) and observed for the time spent on AOB. Then, six horses each with higher and lower AOB than the population means were randomly selected from each of the working groups and categorized as high and low AOB horses, respectively. Blood samples were collected for hematology, biochemistry, cortisol, ghrelin, leptin, and relative telomere length analyzes. High AOB horses notably had higher values of glucose, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and creatine kinase (CK) compared to low AOB horses. High AOB horses also recorded higher plasma cortisol and ghrelin, but lower leptin concentrations. Among working groups, both endurance and patrolling horses presented the highest values in sodium, potassium, chloride, phosphate, ALT, and CK. While patrolling horses had the lowest levels of urea, ALP, and albumin levels, equestrian and leisure horses recorded the highest and lowest plasma cortisol and leptin concentrations, respectively. Finally, the telomere length of endurance and patrolling horses were significantly greater than leisure and equestrian horses. The present findings suggest that AOB horses had distinctive physiological characteristics that could be linked to improper diet and a demanding workload, while ghrelin and leptin hormones could be potential biomarkers for this behavior.

RevDate: 2022-10-01

Raftopoulou C, Abawi O, Sommer G, et al (2022)

Leukocyte Telomere Length in Children with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia.

The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism pii:6743051 [Epub ahead of print].

CONTEXT: Exposure to chronic stress and hypercortisolism is associated with decreased leukocyte telomere length (LTL), a marker for biological aging and cardiovascular disease. Children with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) are treated with glucocorticoids.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate LTL in children with CAH.

DESIGN: Prospective observational cohort study. Patients were followed-up at two visits (mean 4.1 ± 0.7 months apart).

SETTING: Four academic Pediatric Endocrinology Outpatient Clinics.

PATIENTS: Children aged 0-18 years with genetically confirmed CAH.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: At each visit, LTL was determined by quantitative real-time PCR. All subjects underwent detailed clinical and endocrinologic evaluation and were classified as undertreated, optimally treated or overtreated, accordingly. The influence of clinical factors on LTL was investigated using linear mixed models adjusted for age, sex, and BMI-z.

RESULTS: We studied 76 patients, of whom 31 (41%) were girls, 63 (83%) had classic CAH, 67 (88%) received hydrocortisone and 8 (11%) prednisolone. Median age at first visit was 12.0 years (IQR 6.3-15.1), and median BMI-z was 0.51 (IQR -0.12-1.43). LTL was shorter in patients with classic compared to non-classic CAH (-0.29, P = 0.012), in overtreated than in optimally treated patients (-0.07, P = 0.002), and patients receiving prednisolone compared with hydrocortisone (-0.34, P < 0.001). LTL was not associated with undertreatment or daily HC-equivalent dose (P > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: LTL is shorter in patients with classic than non-classic CAH, as well as those who are overtreated with hydrocortisone or treated with long-acting glucocorticoids. These findings may be attributed to chronic exposure to supraphysiologic glucocorticoid concentrations, and indicate that LTL may be used as a biomarker for monitoring glucocorticoid treatment.

RevDate: 2022-10-05
CmpDate: 2022-10-05

Akinnibosun OA, Maier MC, Eales J, et al (2022)

Telomere therapy for chronic kidney disease.

Epigenomics, 14(17):1039-1054.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is estimated to affect almost 10% of individuals worldwide and is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. Renal fibrosis, a central pathway in CKD progression (irrespective of etiology), is associated with shortened or dysfunctional telomeres in animal studies. Telomeres are specialized nucleoprotein structures located at the chromosome end that maintain genomic integrity. The mechanisms of associations between telomere length and CKD have not yet been fully elucidated, however, CKD patients with shorter telomere length may have decreased renal function and a higher mortality rate. A plethora of ongoing research has focused on possible therapeutic applications of telomeres with the overall goal to preserve telomere length as a therapy to treat CKD.

RevDate: 2022-10-03
CmpDate: 2022-10-03

de Oliveira FM, Jamur VR, Merfort LW, et al (2022)

Three-dimensional nuclear telomere architecture and differential expression of aurora kinase genes in chronic myeloid leukemia to measure cell transformation.

BMC cancer, 22(1):1024.

BACKGROUND: Telomere dysfunction results in aneuploidy, and ongoing chromosomal abnormalities. The three-dimensional (3D) nuclear organization of telomeres allows for a distinction between normal and tumor cells. On the other hand, aurora kinase genes (AURKA and AURKB) play an important role regulating the cell cycle. A correlation between overexpression of aurora kinase genes and clinical aggressiveness has been demonstrated in different types of neoplasias. To better understand cellular and molecular mechanisms of CML evolution, it was examined telomere dysfunction (alterations in the 3D nuclear telomere architecture), and the expression levels of AURKA and AURKB genes in two clinical distinct subgroups of CML samples, from the same patient.

METHODS: Eighteen CML patients, in total, 36 bone marrow samples (18 patients, chronic vs. accelerated/blast phase) were eligible for 3D telomeric investigations. Quantitative 3D imaging, cytologic diagnosis and cytogenetic determination of additional chromosomal abnormalities were assessed according to standard protocols.

RESULTS: Using TeloView software, two CML subgroups were defined based on their 3D telomeric profiles, reflecting the different stages of the disease (chronic vs. accelerated/blast phase). Statistical analyses showed significant differences between the CML subgroups (p < 0.001). We also found that AURKA and AURKB mRNA were expressed at significantly higher levels in both CML subgroups, when compared with healthy donors. Our findings suggest that the evolution of CML progresses from a low to a high level of telomere dysfunction, that is, from an early stage to a more aggressive stage, followed by disease transformation, as demonstrated by telomere, additional chromosomal abnormalities, and gene expression profile dynamics.

CONCLUSIONS: Thus, we demonstrated that 3D telomere organization, in accordance with the genomic instability observed in CML samples were able to distinguish subgroup CML patients. Classifying CML patients based on these characteristics might represent an important strategy to define better therapeutic strategies.

RevDate: 2022-09-29

Bird L (2022)

Gift of life: APC to T cell telomere transfer.

Nature reviews. Immunology [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2022-10-04

Porrazzo A, Cipressa F, De Gregorio A, et al (2022)

Author Correction: Low dose rate γ-irradiation protects fruit fly chromosomes from double strand breaks and telomere fusions by reducing the esi-RNA biogenesis factor Loquacious.

Communications biology, 5(1):1033 pii:10.1038/s42003-022-03984-8.

RevDate: 2022-10-20
CmpDate: 2022-10-20

Zhu X, Fu H, Sun J, et al (2022)

N6-methyladenosine modification on Hmbox1 is related to telomere dysfunction in DEHP-induced male reproductive injury.

Life sciences, 309:121005.

AIMS: Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), as an environmental endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC), can induce male reproductive injury. N6-methyladenosine (m6A) plays a vital role in environmental exposure-induced diseases by regulating gene expression. Therefore, we aim to investigate the role of m6A in DEHP-induced reproductive injury.

MAIN METHODS: We established an in vivo model of mice exposed to DEHP to explore the effect of DEHP on reproductive injury and m6A. To further explore the molecular mechanism of DEHP toxicity, we built a model of GC-2 cells exposed to mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP) in vitro and further silenced Mettl3 in GC-2cells. Besides, we also conducted MeRIP-qPCR and RIP assays to identify the target genes for m6A modification.

KEY FINDINGS: DEHP induced testicular injury and senescence. And telomeres shortening, reduced levels of telomere repeat-binding factor 1 (TRF1), TRF2, protection of telomeres 1 (POT1), and telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) can be observed in DEHP-treated testes. MEHP also induced GC-2 cellular senescence and telomere dysfunction. Besides, increased m6A mediated by METTL3 stabilized homeobox containing 1 (Hmbox1) in an m6A-dependent manner in MEHP-exposed GC-2 cells. Mettl3 knockdown led to lower m6A modification and reduced Hmbox1 stability, resulting in further shortening of telomere length.

SIGNIFICANCE: our work uncovered that DEHP led to male reproductive injury by telomere dysfunction and m6A modified Hmbox1 contributed to maintaining telomere homeostasis in this process, suggesting that accurate regulation of m6A modification level by drugs has potential value in the treatment of DEHP-induced male reproductive injury.

RevDate: 2022-09-30
CmpDate: 2022-09-30

Xia F, Li Q, Luo X, et al (2022)

Association between urinary metals and leukocyte telomere length involving an artificial neural network prediction: Findings based on NHANES 1999-2002.

Frontiers in public health, 10:963138.

Objective: Leukocytes telomere length (LTL) was reported to be associated with cellular aging and aging related disease. Urine metal also might accelerate the development of aging related disease. We aimed to analyze the association between LTL and urinary metals.

Methods: In this research, we screened all cycles of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) dataset, and download the eligible dataset in NHANES 1999-2002 containing demographic, disease history, eight urine metal, and LTL. The analysis in this research had three steps including baseline difference comparison, multiple linear regression (MLR) for hazardous urine metals, and artificial neural network (ANN, based on Tensorflow framework) to make LTL prediction.

Results: The MLR results showed that urinary cadmium (Cd) was negatively correlated with LTL in the USA population [third quantile: -9.36, 95% confidential interval (CI) = (-19.7, -2.32)], and in the elderly urinary molybdenum (Mo) was positively associated with LTL [third quantile: 24.37, 95%CI = (5.42, 63.55)]. An ANN model was constructed, which had 24 neurons, 0.375 exit rate in the first layer, 15 neurons with 0.53 exit rate in the second layer, and 7 neurons with 0.86 exit rate in the third layer. The squared error loss (LOSS) and mean absolute error (MAE) in the ANN model were 0.054 and 0.181, respectively, which showed a low error rate.

Conclusion: In conclusion, in adults especially the elderly, the relationships between urinary Cd and Mo might be worthy of further research. An accurate prediction model based on ANN could be further analyzed.

RevDate: 2022-10-03
CmpDate: 2022-09-30

Maximov VN, Orlov PS, Gurazeva AA, et al (2022)

[The relationship between the relative length of leukocyte telomeres and mtDNA copy number and acute coronary syndrome in a 15-year follow-up.].

Advances in gerontology = Uspekhi gerontologii, 35(3):351-360.

We studied the relationship between the leucocyte telomere length (LTL) and the copy number of mitochondrial DNA (CNmtDNA) and the development of acute coronary syndrome during 15 years of follow-up. A random population sample was examined at baseline in 2003-2005 (n=9 360, men and women 45-69 years old, Novosibirsk, the HAPIEE project) and followed-up for 15 years. In the frame of nested case-control design, we selected cases - incident myocardial infarction/acute coronary syndrome (MI/ACS) among those free from baseline CVD (n=256) and sex- and age-stratified control among those free from baseline CVD and cancer and alive by the end of follow-up (n=799). The relative LTL and CNmtDNA were assessed using quantitative real-time PCR. Results. The carriers of shorter telomeres had increased 15-year risk of MI/ACS with adjusted OR=1,87 (95% CI 1,70-2,06) per 1 LTL decile independent of other factors. Fewer CNmtDNA was associated with increased risk of MI/ACS with adjusted OR=1,19 (95% CI 1,12-1,26) per 1 CNmtDNA decile. The identified associations were confirmed in tertile analysis and in stepwise analysis with continuous variables of both biomarkers. All associations persisted after adjusting for gender, age, and traditional CVD risk factors. Conclusion. The LTL and CNmtDNA were independent predictors of the 15-year risk of MI/ACS in the middle- and elderly Siberian (Caucasoid) population cohort. These findings highlight the need for further research to elucidate the mechanisms by which LTL and mtDNA copy number may affect human health.

RevDate: 2022-09-28

Carey A, Niedernhofer L, C Camell (2022)

Telomeres are a life-extending gift.

Nature cell biology [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2022-09-28

Kahrizi MS, Patra I, Jalil AT, et al (2022)

Leukocyte telomere length and obesity in children and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Frontiers in genetics, 13:861101.

Background: Several studies have revealed the negative effects of adiposity on telomere length shortening. However, the results of the studies assessing the negative relationship between obesity and leukocyte telomere length (LTL) are not consistent. This systematic review and meta-analysis are aimed to pool the results of articles assessing the relationship between obesity and LTL among children and adolescents. Methods: To retrieve the related studies, four online databases including PubMed, Embase, ProQuest, and Scopus were searched until May 2022. Observational studies evaluating the relationship between obesity and LTL among apparently healthy children and adolescents (aged ≤18 years) were included in the study. We considered the studies that had reported a mean ± standard deviation of LTL. The random-effects model was used to assess the pooled weighted mean difference (WMD) and a 95% confidence interval (CI). Results: The search yielded seven studies from an initial 3,403 records identified. According to the results of seven articles with 4,546 participants, obesity was associated with LTL shortening among children and adolescents (WMD = -0.081; 95% CI: -0.137 to -0.026; p = 0.004; I2 = 99.9%). Also, no publication bias was observed. According to the results of subgrouping, significant results were only attributed to the studies conducted in Europe, with high quality scores, among overweight and obese adolescents, with a baseline LTL lower than 1, and performed in community-based school settings. Also, according to the subgrouping and meta-regression results, the obesity definition criteria and baseline LTL were the possible sources of between-study heterogeneity. Conclusion: We observed shorter LTL among overweight and obese children and adolescents. To obtain more reliable results, further longitudinal prospective studies with large sample sizes and more consistent and accurate definitions of obesity are required.

RevDate: 2022-09-28

Krishna M, Shetty A, Manjappa AB, et al (2022)

Comparative characterization and analysis of telomere length in stem cells derived from deciduous and permanent teeth.

Dental research journal, 19:64.

Background: Understanding the influence of age on growth kinetics and telomere length in dental stem cells is essential for the successful development of cell therapies. Hence, the present study compared the basic cellular and phenotypical characteristics of stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHEDs) and dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) of permanent teeth and their telomere lengths using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction.

Materials and Methods: The study is an in vitro original research article. Primary cultures of SHED and DPSCs (n = 6 each) were successfully established in vitro, and the parameters analyzed were the morphology, viability, proliferation rate, population doubling time (PDT), phenotypic markers expression, and the relative telomere lengths. Data were analyzed by analysis of variance and P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: SHED and DPSCs exhibited a small spindle-shaped fibroblast-like morphology with >90% viability. The proliferation assay showed that the cells had a typical growth pattern. The PDT values of SHED and DPSCs were 29.03 ± 9.71 h and 32.05 ± 9.76 h, respectively. Both cells were positive for surface markers CD29, CD44, and CD90. However, they were negative for CD45 and human leukocyte antigen DR. Although the differences in relative telomere lengths between the individual cell lines of SHED and DPSCs were observed, no significant (P > 0.05) variations were found for the mean T/S ratios of both the cells.

Conclusion: SHED and DPSCs displayed similar morphology, proliferation rates, and phenotypic features. The relative telomere lengths were slightly shorter in DPSCs than SHED, but the values were not significantly different. Thus, SHED and DPSCs can be considered as recognized sources for regenerative applications in dentistry.

RevDate: 2022-09-30

Meeser A, Bartenhagen C, Werr L, et al (2022)

Reliable assessment of telomere maintenance mechanisms in neuroblastoma.

Cell & bioscience, 12(1):160.

BACKGROUND: Telomere maintenance mechanisms (TMM) are a hallmark of high-risk neuroblastoma, and are conferred by activation of telomerase or alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT). However, detection of TMM is not yet part of the clinical routine, and consensus on TMM detection, especially on ALT assessment, remains to be achieved.

METHODS: Whole genome sequencing (WGS) data of 68 primary neuroblastoma samples were analyzed. Telomere length was calculated from WGS data or by telomere restriction fragment analysis (n = 39). ALT was assessed by C-circle assay (CCA, n = 67) and detection of ALT-associated PML nuclear bodies (APB) by combined fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunofluorescence staining (n = 68). RNA sequencing was performed (n = 64) to determine expression of TERT and telomeric long non-coding RNA (TERRA). Telomerase activity was examined by telomerase repeat amplification protocol (TRAP, n = 15).

RESULTS: Tumors were considered as telomerase-positive if they harbored a TERT rearrangement, MYCN amplification or high TERT expression (45.6%, 31/68), and ALT-positive if they were positive for APB and CCA (19.1%, 13/68). If all these markers were absent, tumors were considered TMM-negative (25.0%, 17/68). According to these criteria, the majority of samples were classified unambiguously (89.7%, 61/68). Assessment of additional ALT-associated parameters clarified the TMM status of the remaining seven cases with high likelihood: ALT-positive tumors had higher TERRA expression, longer telomeres, more telomere insertions, a characteristic pattern of telomere variant repeats, and were associated with ATRX mutations.

CONCLUSIONS: We here propose a workflow to reliably detect TMM in neuroblastoma. We show that unambiguous classification is feasible following a stepwise approach that determines both, activation of telomerase and ALT. The workflow proposed in this study can be used in clinical routine and provides a framework to systematically and reliably determine telomere maintenance mechanisms for risk stratification and treatment allocation of neuroblastoma patients.

RevDate: 2022-09-30

Revy P, Kannengiesser C, AA Bertuch (2022)

Genetics of human telomere biology disorders.

Nature reviews. Genetics [Epub ahead of print].

Telomeres are specialized nucleoprotein structures at the ends of linear chromosomes that prevent the activation of DNA damage response and repair pathways. Numerous factors localize at telomeres to regulate their length, structure and function, to avert replicative senescence or genome instability and cell death. In humans, Mendelian defects in several of these factors can result in abnormally short or dysfunctional telomeres, causing a group of rare heterogeneous premature-ageing diseases, termed telomeropathies, short-telomere syndromes or telomere biology disorders (TBDs). Here, we review the TBD-causing genes identified so far and describe their main functions associated with telomere biology. We present molecular aspects of TBDs, including genetic anticipation, phenocopy, incomplete penetrance and somatic genetic rescue, which underlie the complexity of these diseases. We also discuss the implications of phenotypic and genetic features of TBDs on fundamental aspects related to human telomere biology, ageing and cancer, as well as on diagnostic, therapeutic and clinical approaches.

RevDate: 2022-10-05
CmpDate: 2022-09-26

Wight DJ, Aimola G, Beythien G, et al (2022)

Impact of Host Telomere Length on HHV-6 Integration.

Viruses, 14(9):.

Human herpesvirus 6A and 6B are two closely related viruses that infect almost all humans. In contrast to most herpesviruses, HHV-6A/B can integrate their genomes into the telomeres during the infection process. Both viruses can also integrate in germ cells and subsequently be inherited in children. How HHV-6A/B integrate into host telomeres and the consequences of this remain a subject of active research. Here, we developed a method to measure telomere length by quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization, confocal microscopy, and computational processing. This method was validated using a panel of HeLa cells having short or long telomeres. These cell lines were infected with HHV-6A, revealing that the virus could efficiently integrate into telomeres independent of their length. Furthermore, we assessed the telomere lengths after HHV-6A integration and found that the virus-containing telomeres display a variety of lengths, suggesting that either telomere length is restored after integration or telomeres are not shortened by integration. Our results highlight new aspects of HHV-6A/B biology and the role of telomere length on virus integration.

RevDate: 2022-09-29
CmpDate: 2022-09-26

Ogłuszka M, Lipiński P, RR Starzyński (2022)

Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Telomeres-Are They the Elixir of Youth?.

Nutrients, 14(18):.

Telomeres are complexes consisting of tandem repeat DNA combined with associated proteins that play a key role in protecting the ends of chromosomes and maintaining genome stability. They are considered a biological clock, as they shorten in parallel with aging. Furthermore, short telomeres are associated with several age-related diseases. However, the variability in telomere shortening independent of chronological age suggests that it is a modifiable factor. In fact, it is regulated inter alia by genetic damage, cell division, aging, oxidative stress, and inflammation. A key question remains: how can we prevent accelerated telomere attrition and subsequent premature replicative senescence? A number of studies have explored the possible impact of omega-3 fatty acids on telomere shortening. This review summarizes published cross-sectional studies, randomized controlled trials, and rodent studies investigating the role of omega-3 fatty acids in telomere biology. It also covers a broad overview of the mechanism, currently favored in the field, that explains the impact of omega-3 fatty acids on telomeres-the food compound's ability to modulate oxidative stress and inflammation. Although the results of the studies performed to date are not consistent, the vast majority indicate a beneficial effect of omega-3 fatty acids on telomere length.

RevDate: 2022-09-30
CmpDate: 2022-09-26

Liutkeviciene R, Mikalauskaite R, Gedvilaite G, et al (2022)

Relative Leukocyte Telomere Length and Telomerase Complex Regulatory Markers Association with Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy.

Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania), 58(9):.

Background and Objectives: To evaluate the association of relative leukocyte telomere length (RLTL) and telomerase complex regulatory markers with Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON). Material and Methods: A case-control study was performed in patients with LHON (≥18 years) and healthy subjects. The diagnosis of LHON was based on a genetic blood test (next-generation sequencing with Illumina MiSeq, computer analysis: BWA2.1 Illumina BaseSpace, Alamut, and mtDNA Variant analyzer 1000 were performed) and diagnostic criteria approved by the LHON disease protocol. Statistical analysis was performed using the standard statistical software package, IBM SPSS Statistics 27. Statistically significant results were considered when p < 0.05. Results: Significantly longer RLTL was observed in LHON patients than in healthy controls (p < 0.001). RLTL was significantly longer in women and men with LOHN than in healthy women and men in the control group (p < 0.001 and p = 0.003, respectively). In the elderly group (>32 years), RLTL was statistically significantly longer in LHON patients compared with healthy subjects (p < 0.001). The GG genotype of the TERC rs12696304 polymorphism was found to be statistically significantly higher in the LHON group (p = 0.041), and the C allele in the TERC rs12696304 polymorphism was found to be statistically significantly less common in the LHON group (p < 0.001). The RLTL of LHON patients was found to be statistically significantly longer in the TERC rs12696304 polymorphism in all tested genotypes (CC, p = 0.005; CG, p = 0.008; GG, p = 0.025), TEP1 rs1760904 polymorphism in the GA genotype (p < 0.001), and TEP1 gene rs1713418 in the AA and AG genotypes (p = 0.011 and p < 0.001, respectively). Conclusions: The RLTL in LHON patients was found to be longer than in healthy subjects regardless of treatment with idebenone. The TERC rs12696304 polymorphism, of all studied polymorphisms, was the most significantly associated with changes in LHON and telomere length.

RevDate: 2022-10-06
CmpDate: 2022-09-26

Jenner LP, Peska V, Fulnečková J, et al (2022)

Telomeres and Their Neighbors.

Genes, 13(9):.

Telomeres are essential structures formed from satellite DNA repeats at the ends of chromosomes in most eukaryotes. Satellite DNA repeat sequences are useful markers for karyotyping, but have a more enigmatic role in the eukaryotic cell. Much work has been done to investigate the structure and arrangement of repetitive DNA elements in classical models with implications for species evolution. Still more is needed until there is a complete picture of the biological function of DNA satellite sequences, particularly when considering non-model organisms. Celebrating Gregor Mendel's anniversary by going to the roots, this review is designed to inspire and aid new research into telomeres and satellites with a particular focus on non-model organisms and accessible experimental and in silico methods that do not require specialized equipment or expensive materials. We describe how to identify telomere (and satellite) repeats giving many examples of published (and some unpublished) data from these techniques to illustrate the principles behind the experiments. We also present advice on how to perform and analyse such experiments, including details of common pitfalls. Our examples are a selection of recent developments and underexplored areas of research from the past. As a nod to Mendel's early work, we use many examples from plants and insects, especially as much recent work has expanded beyond the human and yeast models traditional in telomere research. We give a general introduction to the accepted knowledge of telomere and satellite systems and include references to specialized reviews for the interested reader.

RevDate: 2022-09-28

Konstantinidou F, Budani MC, Marconi GD, et al (2022)

The Aftermath of Long-Term Cigarette Smoking on Telomere Length and Mitochondrial DNA Copy Number in Human Cumulus Cells Prior to In Vitro Fertilization-A Pilot Study.

Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 11(9):.

Cigarette smoking among women of reproductive age is known to take a toll on systemic health and fertility potential by severely impacting ovarian tissues and cells, such as granulosa and cumulus cells (CCs). The purpose of this study was to determine the potential damage caused by tobacco smoke at a molecular level in the CCs of females who had undergone in vitro fertilization. The level of intracellular damage was determined by estimating the average telomere length (TL) and mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNA-CN), as well as the expression profile of telomere maintenance genes TERF1, TERF2, POT1 and microRNAs miR-155, miR-23a and miR-185. Western blotting analysis was performed to detect consequent protein levels of TERF1, TERF2 and POT1. Our results evidenced significantly lower relative TL and mtDNA-CN and a down-regulation pattern for all three described genes and corresponding proteins in the CCs of smokers compared with controls (p < 0.05). No significant differences were found in the miRNAs' modulation. Combined, our data add another piece to the puzzle of the complex regulatory molecular networks controlling the general effects of tobacco smoke in CCs. This pilot study extends the until now modest number of studies simultaneously investigating the mtDNA-CN and TL pathways in the human CCs of smoking women.

RevDate: 2022-09-22

Chandyo RK, Schwinger C, Kvestad I, et al (2022)

The association between household biomass fuel use and leukocyte telomere length among toddlers in Bhaktapur, Nepal.

Journal of exposure science & environmental epidemiology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Biomass fuels are still in use for cooking by many households in resource poor countries such as Nepal and is a major source of household air pollution (HAP). Chronic exposure to HAP has been shown to be associated with shorter telomere length in adults.

OBJECTIVES: To measure the association between exposure related to household biomass fuel in infancy and leukocyte telomere length (LTL) at 18-23 months of age among 497 children from Bhaktapur, Nepal.

METHODS: In a prospective cohort study design, we have collected information on household cooking fuel use and several clinical, anthropometric, demographic, and socioeconomic variables. We estimated the association between biomass fuel use and the relative LTL in multiple linear regression models.

RESULTS: Most of the families (78%) reported liquified petroleum gas (LPG) as the primary cooking fuel, and 18.7% used biomass. The mean relative (SD) LTL was 1.03 (0.19). Children living in households using biomass fuel had on average 0.09 (95% CI: 0.05 to 0.13) units shorter LTL than children in households with no biomass fuel use. The observed association was unaltered after adjusting for relevant confounders. The association between LTL and biomass use was strongest among children from households with ≤2 rooms and without separate kitchen.

SIGNIFICANCE: Exposure to biomass fuel use in early life might have consequences for longevity, and risk of chronic illnesses reflected in shortening of the telomeres. Our findings support the ongoing effort to reduce exposure to biomass fuel in low-resource settings.

IMPACT STATEMENTS: Biomass for cooking is a leading source of household air pollution in low and middle-income countries, contributing to many chronic diseases and premature deaths. Chronic exposure to biomass fuel through oxidative stress and inflammation has been associated with a shortening of the telomeres, a "biological marker" of longevity. This prospective cohort study describes the association between household biomass fuel use and leukocyte telomere length among 497 toddlers. Leukocyte telomere length was significantly shorter among children living in households with biomass fuel than in children from homes where mainly LPG was used for cooking.

CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT02272842, registered October 21, 2014, Universal Trial Number: U1111-1161-5187 (September 8, 2014).

RevDate: 2022-10-21

Verma AK, Singh P, Al-Saeed FA, et al (2022)

Unravelling the role of telomere shortening with ageing and their potential association with diabetes, cancer, and related lifestyle factors.

Tissue & cell, 79:101925 pii:S0040-8166(22)00197-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Telomeres are often considered as the 'ageing clock' that determines the lifespan at the cellular level, forming the ends of a chromosome, which shorten each time the cell divides itself to the point where they become so short the cell is unable to divide itself further. Telomere length alteration is often linked with lifestyle factors such as age, obesity, exposure to pesticides and pollution, depression, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and stress. The current review discusses the mechanism of telomere shortening in relation to ageing and lifestyle factors in general and its association with chronic diseases like diabetes which may influence the health and lifespan of an individual by increasing telomere shortening. Accelerated or excessive telomere shortening is also associated with the early onset of age-related disorders globally and, hence, reduced lifespan of individuals. Upregulated Telomerase activity and reactivation of telomeres is observed in > 70 % of cancer patients by TERT point mutations, rearrangements, DNA amplifications, and transcript fusions, making it a useful marker in diagnosis and prognosis of various cancers. The study presents a systematic review of the unregulated Telomere activity with progression of various cancer and extrapolation of suitable pathways and prognostic information correlated with mRNA levels of TERT, which are critical among thymic epithelial tumors (TETs). In most cancers, unlimited proliferation is due to the reactivation of reverse transcriptase gene TERT. All these observations are comprehensively presented in the paper and might be useful for researchers working in the field of telomere dynamics and finding the correlation of age shortening with mRNA expression profiling.

RevDate: 2022-10-19
CmpDate: 2022-10-19

Chico-Sordo L, Polonio AM, Córdova-Oriz I, et al (2022)

Telomeres and oocyte maturation rate are not reduced by COVID-19 except in severe cases.

Reproduction (Cambridge, England), 164(5):259-267 pii:REP-22-0243.

In brief: COVID-19 does not affect the telomeres or fertility outcomes in mild cases. However, in women with severe symptoms, telomeres of granulosa cells are shorter, and the oocyte maturation rate is decreased.

Abstract: The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causes COVID-19 disease and affects primarily the lungs and also other organs, causing accelerated cell aging. One of the main pathways involved in aging is telomere attrition, which ultimately leads to defective tissue regeneration and organ dysfunction. Indeed, short telomeres in aged people aggravate the COVID-19 symptoms, and COVID-19 survivors showed shorter telomeres in blood cells. The SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in testis, but the ovaries, which express the viral entry factors, have not been fully explored. Our objective was to analyze telomeres and reproductive outcomes in women who had COVID-19 and controls. In this prospective cohort study, granulosa cells (GCs) and blood were collected from 65 women. Telomere length (TL) was measured by high-throughput in situ hybridization. Mean TL of GCs and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was alike in control and mild cases. However, mean TL of GCs was lower in severe cases compared to controls (P = 0.017). Control and COVID groups had similar ovarian reserve and number of total oocytes after puncture. However, the oocyte maturation rate was lower in severe cases (P = 0.018). Interestingly, a positive correlation between the oocyte maturation rate and TL of GCs was found in the control group (P = 0.024). Our findings point to a potential impact of the coronavirus infection on telomeres and reproductive outcomes in severe cases. This might be considered upon possible new SARS-CoV threats, to favor treatments that enhance oocyte maturation in women severely affected by coronavirus undergoing ART.

RevDate: 2022-10-19
CmpDate: 2022-09-23

McKinney AM, Mathur R, Stevers NO, et al (2022)

GABP couples oncogene signaling to telomere regulation in TERT promoter mutant cancer.

Cell reports, 40(12):111344.

Telomerase activation counteracts senescence and telomere erosion caused by uncontrolled proliferation. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) amplification drives proliferation while telomerase reverse transcriptase promoter (TERTp) mutations underlie telomerase reactivation through recruitment of GA-binding protein (GABP). EGFR amplification and TERTp mutations typically co-occur in glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive primary brain tumor. To determine if these two frequent alterations driving proliferation and immortality are functionally connected, we combine analyses of copy number, mRNA, and protein data from tumor tissue with pharmacologic and genetic perturbations. We demonstrate that proliferation arrest decreases TERT expression in a GABP-dependent manner and elucidate a critical proliferation-to-immortality pathway from EGFR to TERT expression selectively from the mutant TERTp through activation of AMP-mediated kinase (AMPK) and GABP upregulation. EGFR-AMPK signaling promotes telomerase activity and maintains telomere length. These results define how the tumor cell immortality mechanism keeps pace with persistent oncogene signaling and cell cycling.

RevDate: 2022-09-21

Seo B, Yang K, Kahe K, et al (2022)

Association of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid intake with leukocyte telomere length in US males.

The American journal of clinical nutrition pii:6708365 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Omega-3 (n-3) and omega-6 (n-6) fatty acids may contribute to oxidative stress and inflammation, which are related to telomere shortening. Evidence supporting an association between intake of n-3 or n-6 fatty acids and leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in males has been limited.

OBJECTIVE: We conducted a cross-sectional study to examine the associations of total or individual n-3 or total n-6 fatty acid intake with LTL in US males.

METHODS: We included 2,494 US males with LTL measurement from 4 nested case-control studies within the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Individuals with previous histories of cancers, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases at or prior to blood collection were excluded. Blood collection was performed between 1993 and 1995, and relevant information including n-3 and n-6 intake was collected in 1994 by questionnaire. The LTL was log-transformed and Z scores of the LTL were calculated for statistical analyses by standardizing the LTL in comparison with the mean within each selected nested case-control study.

RESULTS: We found that consumption of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was positively associated with LTL. In the multivariable-adjusted model, compared to individuals who had the lowest intake of DHA (i.e., first quartile group), the percentage differences [95% confidence intervals (CIs)] of LTL were -3.7 (-13.7, 7.5), 7.0 (-4.3, 19.7), and 8.2 (-3.5, 21.3) for individuals in the second, third, and fourth quartiles of consumption, respectively (P for trend = 0.0498). We did not find significant associations between total n-3 or total n-6 fatty acid intakes and LTL. Additionally, we found that males who consumed canned tuna had longer LTL than those who did not; in the multivariable-adjusted model, the percentage difference (95% CI) of LTL was 10.5 (1.3, 20.4) (P value = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that higher intakes of DHA and canned tuna consumption are associated with longer LTL.

RevDate: 2022-09-23
CmpDate: 2022-09-23

Foley JF (2022)

Telomeres to go.

Science signaling, 15(752):eade9136.

By acquiring telomeres from antigen-presenting cells, some T cells are protected from senescence.

RevDate: 2022-09-20

Tian C, Heng D, Zhao N, et al (2022)

Short telomeres impede germ cell specification by upregulating MAPK and TGFβ signaling.

Science China. Life sciences [Epub ahead of print].

Functional telomeres protect chromosome ends and play important roles in stem cell maintenance and differentiation. Short telomeres negatively impact germ cell development and can contribute to age-associated infertility. Moreover, telomere syndrome resulting from mutations of telomerase or telomere-associated genes exhibits short telomeres and reduced fertility. It remains elusive whether and how telomere lengths affect germ cell specification. We report that functional telomere is required for the coordinated germ cell and somatic cell fate decisions. Using telomerase gene Terc deficient mice as a model, we show that short telomeres restrain germ cell specification of epiblast cells but promote differentiation towards somatic lineage. Short telomeres increase chromatin accessibility to elevate TGFβ and MAPK/ERK signaling for somatic cell differentiation. Notably, elevated Fst expression in TGFβ pathway represses the BMP4-pSmad signaling pathway, thus reducing germ cell formation. Re-elongation of telomeres by targeted knock-in of Terc restores normal chromatin accessibility to suppress TGFβ and MAPK signaling, thereby facilitating germ cell formation. Taken together, our data reveal that functional telomeres are required for germ cell specification by repressing TGFβ and MAPK signaling.

RevDate: 2022-09-20

Park HS, Son BR, J Kwon (2022)

Usefulness of Genetic Aberration and Shorter Telomere Length in Myelodysplastic Syndrome: A Pilot Study.

Laboratory medicine pii:6705954 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to evaluate the clinical usefulness of genetic aberration and shorter telomere length (TL) in individuals with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).

METHODS: A targeted sequencing panel with 49 genes and TL measurement by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction were performed for 46 subjects.

RESULTS: According to the revised International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS-R) subtypes, the mutation frequency was 33.3%, 57.9%, and 100% in the very low/low, intermediate, and very high/high risk groups, respectively. A shorter telomere was detected in 43.5%. We defined group 1 as IPSS-R-high or -very high risk, group 2 as having 1 or more genetic aberrations, group 3 as having a shorter TL, and group 4 as having a longer TL than the age-matched reference. Group 1 and group 2 showed an adverse prognosis. The TL was not strongly correlated with MDS prognosis. However, it may be related to a poor long-term prognosis.

CONCLUSION: Genetic variation and shorter TL may be helpful in reclassifying non-high-risk groups.

RevDate: 2022-10-20
CmpDate: 2022-09-22

Silva B, Arora R, CM Azzalin (2022)

The alternative lengthening of telomeres mechanism jeopardizes telomere integrity if not properly restricted.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(39):e2208669119.

A substantial number of human cancers are telomerase-negative and elongate physiologically damaged telomeres through a break-induced replication (BIR)-based mechanism known as alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT). We recently demonstrated that inhibiting the transcription of the telomeric long noncoding RNA TERRA suppresses telomere damage and ALT features, indicating that telomere transcription is a main trigger of ALT activity. Here we show that experimentally increased TERRA transcription not only increases ALT features, as expected, but also causes rapid loss of telomeric DNA through a pathway that requires the endonuclease Mus81. Our data indicate that the ALT mechanism can endanger telomere integrity if not properly controlled and point to TERRA transcription as a uniquely versatile target for therapy.

RevDate: 2022-09-24
CmpDate: 2022-09-22

Sharqawi M, Hantisteanu S, Bilgory A, et al (2022)

The Impact of Lifestyle on Sperm Function, Telomere Length, and IVF Outcomes.

American journal of men's health, 16(5):15579883221119931.

Many risk factors can potentially influence sperm quality. Telomeres confer stability on the chromosome and their dysfunction has been implicated in conditions such as cancer, aging, and lifestyle. The impact of lifestyle on sperm cell telomeres is unclear. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the impact of lifestyle behaviors on telomere length in sperm and to follow the correlation with pregnancy outcomes in patients undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). In this prospective observational study, sperm was analyzed for telomere length (TL). Men were asked to report lifestyle behaviors including occupation (physical or sedentary), smoking duration and amount, physical activity, dietary habits, and where they keep their cellular phone (bag, pants, or shirt pocket). Correlations among semen analysis, TL, men's habits, and embryo quality and pregnancy outcomes were evaluated. Among 34 patients recruited, 12 had longer TL and 13 shorter TL. Sperm motility was negatively correlated with TL (Pearson correlation = -.588, p = .002). Smoking adversely affected native sperm motility (53% motility in nonsmokers vs. 37% in smokers; p = .006). However, there was no significant impact on TL. The group with longer telomeres demonstrated significant association with healthy diet (10/12 vs. 6/13; p = .05) and a trend toward more sports activity, weekly (16/84 vs. 7/91; p = .04) compared with the shorter telomeres group. This study suggests that lifestyle, healthy diet, and sports activity are associated with long telomeres in sperm. Sperm quality is also influenced by patients' habits. The study strongly recommends maintaining a healthy lifestyle to preserve general health and fertility.

RevDate: 2022-09-20

Kazantseva AV, Davydova YD, Enikeeva RF, et al (2022)

Individual Differences in Relative Telomere Length in Mentally Healthy Subjects: The Effect of TERT Gene Polymorphism and Urban Residency.

Russian journal of genetics, 58(9):1135-1144.

The changes in the telomere length caused by the terminal underreplication in the existing literature are related to depressive disorders. However, the use of the telomere length as a biomarker of depressive states is ambiguous, which is due to the effect of various environmental factors on both the psychoemotional state and cellular aging of an organism. In order to identify the possible use of the relative telomere length (RTL) measured in peripheral blood leukocytes as a biomarker of enhanced liability to depression prior to the clinical symptoms, as well as to determine the link between telomere length, sociodemographic factors, allelic variants of the genes involved in the regulation of telomere elongation, and depression level, the association analysis of reverse transcriptase (TERT rs7726159), telomerase RNA component (TERC rs1317082), and the CST complex encoding protein (OBFC1 rs2487999) gene polymorphisms was performed with RTL and depression level in mentally healthy individuals (N = 1065) aged 18-25 years. Together with genetic variants, the examined regression models included various sociodemographic parameters as predictors. As a result of statistical analysis, we failed to observe the association between RTL and individual differences in depression level in the studied sample. Nevertheless, multiple regression analysis allowed us to construct a statistically significant model of individual variance in RTL (P = 4.3е-4; r 2 = 0.018), which included rs7726159 in the TERT gene (P = 0.020; β = 0.078) and such environmental predictors as age (P = 0.001; β = -0.027) and place of residence in childhood (urban/rural area) (P = 0.048; β = 0.063). The data obtained confirm the involvement of TERT gene variants and age in telomere length in mentally healthy individuals aged 18-25 years and indicate a negative effect of urban residency on telomere length shortening, which reflects the cellular aging of an organism.

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RJR Experience and Expertise

Researcher

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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