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Bibliography on: Telomeres

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 20 Jun 2024 at 02:03 Created: 


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

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2024-06-19
CmpDate: 2024-06-19

Wang YM, Kaj-Carbaidwala B, Lane A, et al (2024)

Liver disease and transplantation in telomere biology disorders: An international multicenter cohort.

Hepatology communications, 8(7): pii:02009842-202407010-00006.

BACKGROUND: Patients with telomere biology disorders (TBD) develop hepatic disease, including hepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatopulmonary syndrome. No specific treatment exists for TBD-related liver disease, and the role of liver transplantation (LT) remains controversial. Our study objectives were to describe the clinical characteristics, management, and outcomes in patients with TBD-related liver disease, and their LT outcomes.

METHODS: Data from 83 patients with TBD-associated liver disease were obtained from 17 participating centers in the Clinical Care Consortium of Telomere-Associated Ailments and by self-report for our retrospective, multicenter, international cohort study.

RESULTS: Group A ("Advanced") included 40 patients with advanced liver disease. Of these, 20 underwent LT (Group AT). Group M ("Mild") included 43 patients not warranting LT evaluation, none of whom were felt to be medically unfit for liver transplantation. Supplemental oxygen requirement, pulmonary arteriovenous malformation, hepatopulmonary syndrome, and higher bilirubin and international normalized ratio values were associated with Group A. Other demographics, clinical manifestations, and laboratory findings were similar between groups. Six group A patients were declined for LT; 3 died on the waitlist. Median follow-up post-LT was 2.9 years (range 0.6-13.2 y). One-year survival post-LT was 73%. Median survival post-LT has not been reached. Group AT patients had improved survival by age compared to all nontransplant patients (log-rank test p = 0.02). Of 14 patients with pretransplant hypoxemia, 8 (57%) had improved oxygenation after transplant.

CONCLUSIONS: LT recipients with TBD do not exhibit excessive posttransplant mortality, and LT improved respiratory status in 57%. A TBD diagnosis should not exclude LT consideration.

RevDate: 2024-06-19

Cianciosi D, Forbes-Hernandez T, Armas Diaz Y, et al (2024)

Manuka honey's anti-metastatic impact on colon cancer stem-like cells: unveiling its effects on epithelial-mesenchymal transition, angiogenesis and telomere length.

Food & function [Epub ahead of print].

Colorectal cancer often leads to metastasis, with cancer stem cells (CSCs) playing a pivotal role in this process. Two closely linked mechanisms, epithelial-mesenchymal transition and angiogenesis, contribute to metastasis and recent research has also highlighted the impact of telomere replication on this harmful tumor progression. Standard chemotherapy alone can inadvertently promote drug-resistant CSCs, posing a challenge. Combining chemotherapy with other compounds, including natural ones, shows promise in enhancing effectiveness while minimizing side effects. This study investigated the anti-metastatic potential of Manuka honey, both alone and in combination with 5-fluorouracil, using a 3D model of colonospheres enriched with CSC-like cells. In summary, it was observed that the treatment reduced migration ability by downregulating the transcription factors Slug, Snail, and Twist, which are key players in epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Additionally, Manuka honey downregulated pro-angiogenic factors and shortened CSC telomeres by downregulating c-Myc - demonstrating an effective anti-metastatic potential. This study suggests new research opportunities for studying the impact of natural compounds when combined with pharmaceuticals, with the potential to enhance effectiveness and reduce side effects.

RevDate: 2024-06-19

Mori JO, Platz EA, Lu J, et al (2024)

Longer prostate stromal cell telomere length is associated with increased risk of death from other cancers.

Frontiers in medicine, 11:1390769.

BACKGROUND: Telomeres are located at chromosomal termini and function to maintain genomic integrity. Telomere dysfunction is a well-recognized contributor to aging and age-related diseases, such as prostate cancer. Since telomere length is highly heritable, we postulate that stromal cell telomere length in the tissue of a particular solid organ may generally reflect constitutive stromal cell telomere length in other solid organs throughout the body. Even with telomere loss occurring with each round of cell replication, in general, telomere length in prostate stromal cells in mid-life would still be correlated with the telomere length in stromal cells in other organs. Thus, we hypothesize that prostate stromal cell telomere length and/or telomere length variability is a potential indicator of the likelihood of developing future solid cancers, beyond prostate cancer, and especially lethal cancer.

METHODS: To explore this hypothesis, we conducted a cohort study analysis of 1,175 men who were surgically treated for prostate cancer and were followed for death, including from causes other than their prostate cancer.

RESULTS: In this cohort study with a median follow-up of 19 years, we observed that longer prostate stromal cell telomere length measured in tissue microarray spots containing prostate cancer was associated with an increased risk of death from other solid cancers. Variability in telomere length among these prostate stromal cells was possibly positively associated with risk of death from other solid cancers.

CONCLUSION: Studying the link between stromal cell telomere length and cancer mortality may be important for guiding the development of cancer interception and prevention strategies.

RevDate: 2024-06-19
CmpDate: 2024-06-19

Lohberger B, Barna S, Glänzer D, et al (2024)

DNA-PKcs Inhibition Sensitizes Human Chondrosarcoma Cells to Carbon Ion Irradiation via Cell Cycle Arrest and Telomere Capping Disruption.

International journal of molecular sciences, 25(11):.

In order to overcome the resistance to radiotherapy in human chondrosarcoma cells, the prevention from efficient DNA repair with a combined treatment with the DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) inhibitor AZD7648 was explored for carbon ion (C-ion) as well as reference photon (X-ray) irradiation (IR) using gene expression analysis, flow cytometry, protein phosphorylation, and telomere length shortening. Proliferation markers and cell cycle distribution changed significantly after combined treatment, revealing a prominent G2/M arrest. The expression of the G2/M checkpoint genes cyclin B, CDK1, and WEE1 was significantly reduced by IR alone and the combined treatment. While IR alone showed no effects, additional AZD7648 treatment resulted in a dose-dependent reduction in AKT phosphorylation and an increase in Chk2 phosphorylation. Twenty-four hours after IR, the key genes of DNA repair mechanisms were reduced by the combined treatment, which led to impaired DNA repair and increased radiosensitivity. A time-dependent shortening of telomere length was observed in both cell lines after combined treatment with AZD7648 and 8 Gy X-ray/C-ion IR. Our data suggest that the inhibition of DNA-PKcs may increase sensitivity to X-rays and C-ion IR by impairing its functional role in DNA repair mechanisms and telomere end protection.

RevDate: 2024-06-19
CmpDate: 2024-06-19

Deb S, Berei J, Miliavski E, et al (2024)

The Effects of Smoking on Telomere Length, Induction of Oncogenic Stress, and Chronic Inflammatory Responses Leading to Aging.

Cells, 13(11):.

Telomeres, potential biomarkers of aging, are known to shorten with continued cigarette smoke exposure. In order to further investigate this process and its impact on cellular stress and inflammation, we used an in vitro model with cigarette smoke extract (CSE) and observed the downregulation of telomere stabilizing TRF2 and POT1 genes after CSE treatment. hTERT is a subunit of telomerase and a well-known oncogenic marker, which is overexpressed in over 85% of cancers and may contribute to lung cancer development in smokers. We also observed an increase in hTERT and ISG15 expression levels after CSE treatment, as well as increased protein levels revealed by immunohistochemical staining in smokers' lung tissue samples compared to non-smokers. The effects of ISG15 overexpression were further studied by quantifying IFN-γ, an inflammatory protein induced by ISG15, which showed greater upregulation in smokers compared to non-smokers. Similar changes in gene expression patterns for TRF2, POT1, hTERT, and ISG15 were observed in blood and buccal swab samples from smokers compared to non-smokers. The results from this study provide insight into the mechanisms behind smoking causing telomere shortening and how this may contribute to the induction of inflammation and/or tumorigenesis, which may lead to comorbidities in smokers.

RevDate: 2024-06-18
CmpDate: 2024-06-18

Schmidt TT, Tyer C, Rughani P, et al (2024)

High resolution long-read telomere sequencing reveals dynamic mechanisms in aging and cancer.

Nature communications, 15(1):5149.

Telomeres are the protective nucleoprotein structures at the end of linear eukaryotic chromosomes. Telomeres' repetitive nature and length have traditionally challenged the precise assessment of the composition and length of individual human telomeres. Here, we present Telo-seq to resolve bulk, chromosome arm-specific and allele-specific human telomere lengths using Oxford Nanopore Technologies' native long-read sequencing. Telo-seq resolves telomere shortening in five population doubling increments and reveals intrasample, chromosome arm-specific, allele-specific telomere length heterogeneity. Telo-seq can reliably discriminate between telomerase- and ALT-positive cancer cell lines. Thus, Telo-seq is a tool to study telomere biology during development, aging, and cancer at unprecedented resolution.

RevDate: 2024-06-18
CmpDate: 2024-06-18

Sanchez SE, Gu Y, Wang Y, et al (2024)

Digital telomere measurement by long-read sequencing distinguishes healthy aging from disease.

Nature communications, 15(1):5148.

Telomere length is an important biomarker of organismal aging and cellular replicative potential, but existing measurement methods are limited in resolution and accuracy. Here, we deploy digital telomere measurement (DTM) by nanopore sequencing to understand how distributions of human telomere length change with age and disease. We measure telomere attrition and de novo elongation with up to 30 bp resolution in genetically defined populations of human cells, in blood cells from healthy donors and in blood cells from patients with genetic defects in telomere maintenance. We find that human aging is accompanied by a progressive loss of long telomeres and an accumulation of shorter telomeres. In patients with defects in telomere maintenance, the accumulation of short telomeres is more pronounced and correlates with phenotypic severity. We apply machine learning to train a binary classification model that distinguishes healthy individuals from those with telomere biology disorders. This sequencing and bioinformatic pipeline will advance our understanding of telomere maintenance mechanisms and the use of telomere length as a clinical biomarker of aging and disease.

RevDate: 2024-06-17

Chung HG, Yang PS, Cho S, et al (2024)

The associations of leukocyte telomere length and intermediary cardiovascular phenotype with adverse cardiovascular outcomes in the white population.

Scientific reports, 14(1):13975.

The evidence about the associations of leukocyte telomere length (LTL) and intermediary cardiovascular phenotypes with adverse cardiovascular outcomes is inconclusive. This study assessed these relationships with cardiovascular imaging, electrocardiography, and the risks of sudden cardiac death (SCD), coronary events, and heart failure (HF) admission. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of UK Biobank participants enrolled between 2006 and 2010. LTL was measured using quantitative polymerase chain reactions. Electronic health records were used to determine the incidence of SCD, coronary events, and HF admission. Cardiovascular measurements were made using cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging and machine learning. The associations of LTL with SCD, coronary events, and HF admission and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, electrocardiogram parameters of 33,043 and 19,554 participants were evaluated by multivariate regression. The median (interquartile range) follow-up period was 11.9 (11.2-12.6) years. Data was analyzed from January to May 2023. Among the 403,382 white participants without coronary artery disease or HF, 181,637 (45.0%) were male with a mean age of 57.1 years old. LTL was independently negatively associated with a risk of SCD (LTL third quartile vs first quartile: hazard ratio [HR]: 0.81, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.72-0.92), coronary events (LTL third quartile vs first quartile: HR: 0.88, 95% CI: 0.84-0.92), and HF admission (LTL fourth quartile vs first quartile: HR: 0.84, 95% CI: 0.74-0.95). LTL was also independently positively associated with cardiac remodeling, specifically left ventricular mass index, left-ventricular-end systolic and diastolic volumes, mean left ventricular myocardial wall thickness, left ventricular stroke volume, and with electrocardiogram changes along the negative degree of T-axis. Cross-sectional study results showed that LTL was positively associated with heart size and cardiac function in middle age, but electrocardiography results did not show these associations, which could explain the negative association between LTL and risk of SCD, coronary events, and HF admission in UK Biobank participants.

RevDate: 2024-06-17
CmpDate: 2024-06-17

Alcock LJ, Sudhakar HK, Young R, et al (2024)

Fluorescence polarization assay for screening FANCM-RMI inhibitors to target the alternative lengthening of telomeres.

Methods in enzymology, 698:361-378.

Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) is a mechanism used by 10-15% of all cancers to achieve replicative immortality, bypassing the DNA damage checkpoint associated with short telomeres that leads to cellular senescence or apoptosis. ALT does not occur in non-cancerous cells, presenting a potential therapeutic window for cancers where this mechanism is active. Disrupting the FANCM-RMI interaction has emerged as a promising therapeutic strategy that induces synthetic ALT lethality in genetic studies on cancer cell lines. There are currently no chemical inhibitors reported in the literature, in part due to the lack of reliable biophysical or biochemical assays to screen for FANCM-RMI disruption. Here we describe the development of a robust competitive fluorescence polarization (FP) assay that quantifies target binding at the FANCM-RMI interface. The assay employs a labeled peptide tracer TMR-RaMM2 derived from the native MM2 binding motif, which binds to recombinant RMI1-RMI2 and can be displaced by competitive inhibitors. We report the methods for recombinant production of RMI1-RMI2, design and evaluation of the tracer TMR-RaMM2, along with unlabeled peptide inhibitor controls to enable ALT-targeted drug discovery.

RevDate: 2024-06-17

Khayat F, Alshmery M, Pal M, et al (2024)

Binding of the TRF2 iDDR motif to RAD50 highlights a convergent evolutionary strategy to inactivate MRN at telomeres.

Nucleic acids research pii:7694286 [Epub ahead of print].

Telomeres protect chromosome ends from unscheduled DNA repair, including from the MRN (MRE11, RAD50, NBS1) complex, which processes double-stranded DNA breaks (DSBs) via activation of the ATM kinase, promotes DNA end-tethering aiding the non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathway, and initiates DSB resection through the MRE11 nuclease. A protein motif (MIN, for MRN inhibitor) inhibits MRN at budding yeast telomeres by binding to RAD50 and evolved at least twice, in unrelated telomeric proteins Rif2 and Taz1. We identify the iDDR motif of human shelterin protein TRF2 as a third example of convergent evolution for this telomeric mechanism for binding MRN, despite the iDDR lacking sequence homology to the MIN motif. CtIP is required for activation of MRE11 nuclease action, and we provide evidence for binding of a short C-terminal region of CtIP to a RAD50 interface that partly overlaps with the iDDR binding site, indicating that the interaction is mutually exclusive. In addition, we show that the iDDR impairs the DNA binding activity of RAD50. These results highlight direct inhibition of MRN action as a crucial role of telomeric proteins across organisms and point to multiple mechanisms enforced by the iDDR to disable the many activities of the MRN complex.

RevDate: 2024-06-17

Skåra KH, Lee Y, Jugessur A, et al (2024)

Telomere length in relation to fecundability and use of assisted reproductive technologies: the Norwegian Mother, Father, and Child Cohort Study.

Research square

In women, shorter telomeres have been reported to be associated with conditions such as endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome, whereas other studies have reported the opposite. In men, studies mostly report associations between shorter telomeres and sperm quality. To our knowledge, no studies have thus far investigated the associations between TL and fecundability or the use of ART. This study is based on the Norwegian Mother, Father, and Child Cohort (MoBa) Study and uses data from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway (MBRN). We included women (24,645 with genotype data and 1,054 with TL measurements) and men (18,339 with genotype data and 965 with TL measurements) participating between 1998 and 2008. We investigated the associations between leukocyte TL and fecundability, infertility, and the use of ART. We also repeated the analyses using instrumental variables for TL, including genetic risk scores for TL and genetically predicted TL. Approximately 11% of couples had experienced infertility and 4% had used ART. TL was not associated with fecundability among women (fecundability ratio [FR], 0.98; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.92-1.04) or men (FR, 0.99; CI, 0.93-1.06), nor with infertility among women (odds ratio [OR], 1.03; CI, 0.85-1.24) or men (OR, 1.05; CI, 0.87-1.28). We observed an increased likelihood of using ART with increasing TL among men (OR, 1.22; CI, 1.03-1.46), but not among women (OR, 1.10; CI, 0.92-1.31). No significant associations were observed using the instrumental variables. Our results indicate that TL is a poor biomarker of fecundability, infertility and use of ART in MoBa. Additional studies are required to replicate the association observed between TL and ART in men.

RevDate: 2024-06-17

Castro A, Lardone MC, Giraudo F, et al (2024)

Differential Effect of 2 Hormonal Contraceptives on the Relative Telomere Length of Youth With Type 1 Diabetes.

Journal of the Endocrine Society, 8(7):bvae091.

CONTEXT: Adolescents and young women (AYA) with type 1 diabetes (T1D) may require hormonal contraception for an extended period. However, it is unclear what effect hormonal contraception has on telomere length, a marker of the risk for complications.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relative telomere length (RTL) in AYA with T1D (AYA-T1D) and healthy young women (AYA-C) after 18 months of combined oral contraception use (COC) with ethinyl estradiol/desogestrel, or a subdermal etonogestrel implant (IM).

METHODS: A nonrandomized prospective study was performed in which 39 AYA-T1D and 40 AYA-C chose the COC or the IM. RTL was measured by monochrome multiplex-quantitative PCR in DNA from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). The impact of contraceptives and clinical variables on RTL was assessed using lineal regression analysis.

RESULTS: Longer RTL compared to baseline was observed in AYA-T1D (P < .05) and AYA-C (P  < .01) after using the IM. However, the total of AYA and the AYA-C group treated with COC decreased RTL after 18 months of treatment compared to baseline (P < .05). The type of contraceptive used was determinant for the changes in RTL compared to baseline in all subjects and controls (P ≤ .006). For AYA-T1D, HbA1c levels were not associated with RTL, but the high-sensitivity C-reactive protein was negatively related with the changes in RTL at 18 months compared to baseline (standardized R[2] : 0.230, P  = .003).

CONCLUSION: IM was associated with longer RTL in AYA-T1D and AYA-C. In contrast, a shortening of telomere length in PBMC was observed after using COC.

RevDate: 2024-06-17

Song Y, Zhang Y, Wang X, et al (2024)

Telomere-to-telomere reference genome for Panax ginseng highlights the evolution of saponin biosynthesis.

Horticulture research, 11(6):uhae107.

Ginseng (Panax ginseng) is a representative of Chinese traditional medicine, also used worldwide, while the triterpene saponin ginsenoside is the most important effective compound within it. Ginseng is an allotetraploid, with complex genetic background, making the study of its metabolic evolution challenging. In this study, we assembled a telomere-to-telomere ginseng reference genome, constructed of 3.45 Gb with 24 chromosomes and 77 266 protein-coding genes. Additionally, the reference genome was divided into two subgenomes, designated as subgenome A and B. Subgenome A contains a larger number of genes, whereas subgenome B has a general expression advantage, suggesting that ginseng subgenomes experienced asymmetric gene loss with biased gene expression. The two subgenomes separated approximately 6.07 million years ago, and subgenome B shows the closest relation to Panax vietnamensis var. fuscidiscus. Comparative genomics revealed an expansion of gene families associated with ginsenoside biosynthesis in both ginseng subgenomes. Furthermore, both tandem duplications and proximal duplications play crucial roles in ginsenoside biosynthesis. We also screened functional genes identified in previous research and found that some of these genes located in colinear regions between subgenomes have divergence functions, revealing an unbalanced evolution in both subgenomes and the saponin biosynthesis pathway in ginseng. Our work provides important resources for future genetic studies and breeding programs of ginseng, as well as the biosynthesis of ginsenosides.

RevDate: 2024-06-17

Zhang J, Wen J, Dai Z, et al (2024)

Causal association and shared genetics between telomere length and COVID-19 outcomes: New evidence from the latest large-scale summary statistics.

Computational and structural biotechnology journal, 23:2429-2441.

BACKGROUND: Observational studies suggested that leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is shortened in COVID-19 patients. However, the genetic association and causality remained unknown.

METHODS: Based on the genome-wide association of LTL (N = 472,174) and COVID-19 phenotypes (N = 1086,211-2597,856), LDSC and SUPERGNOVA were used to estimate the genetic correlation. Cross-trait GWAS meta-analysis, colocalization, fine-mapping analysis, and transcriptome-wide association study were conducted to explore the shared genetic etiology. Mendelian randomization (MR) was utilized to infer the causality. Upstream and downstream two-step MR was performed to investigate the potential mediating effects.

RESULTS: LDSC identified a significant genetic association between LTL and all COVID-19 phenotypes (rG < 0, p < 0.05). Six significant regions were observed for LTL and COVID-19 susceptibility and hospitalization, respectively. Colocalization analysis found rs144204502, rs34517439, and rs56255908 were shared causal variants between LTL and COVID-19 phenotypes. Numerous biological pathways associated with LTL and COVID-19 outcomes were identified, mainly involved in -immune-related pathways. MR showed that longer LTL was significantly associated with a lower risk of COVID-19 severity (OR [95% CI] = 0.81 [0.71-0.92], p = 1.24 ×10[-3]) and suggestively associated with lower risks of COVID-19 susceptibility (OR [95% CI] = 0.96 [0.92-1.00], p = 3.44 ×10[-2]) and COVID-19 hospitalization (OR [95% CI] = 0.89 [0.80-0.98], p = 1.89 ×10[-2]). LTL partially mediated the effects of BMI, smoking, and education on COVID-19 outcomes. Furthermore, six proteins partially mediated the causality of LTL on COVID-19 outcomes, including BNDF, QPCT, FAS, MPO, SFTPB, and APOF.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggested that shorter LTL was genetically associated with a higher risk of COVID-19 phenotypes, with shared genetic etiology and potential causality.

RevDate: 2024-06-17

Wei C, Gao L, Xiao R, et al (2024)

Complete telomere-to-telomere assemblies of two sorghum genomes to guide biological discovery.

iMeta, 3(2):e193.

The assembly of two sorghum T2T genomes corrected the assembly errors in the current reference, uncovered centromere variation, boosted functional genomics research, and accelerated sorghum improvement.

RevDate: 2024-06-16

Li X, Li M, Cheng J, et al (2024)

Association of healthy and unhealthy plant-based diets with telomere length.

Clinical nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland), 43(8):1694-1701 pii:S0261-5614(24)00196-1 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Previous studies have shown that plant-rich dietary patterns, such as the Mediterranean diet, are associated with longer telomeres. However, no association has been found between vegetarian diet and telomere length. We hypothesized that the quality of plant-based diets plays an important role in telomere length.

METHODS: Data were obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2002. Diet was assessed using a 24-h recall method. Plant-based diet quality was assessed using the overall plant-based diet index (PDI), healthy PDI (hPDI), and unhealthy PDI (uPDI). Telomere length was measured using quantitative PCR. Linear and ordinal logistic regression models were used to assess the association of PDIs with log-transformed telomere length and ordinal quintiles of telomere length in descending order, respectively.

RESULTS: In both regression models, the overall PDI was not associated with telomere length. The hPDI was associated with longer telomere length [percentage change = 2.34%, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.42%, 4.31%, Ptrend = 0.016; odds ratio (OR) = 0.81, 95% CI: 0.69, 0.95, Ptrend = 0.013]. However, uPDI was associated with shorter telomere length (percentage change = -3.17%, 95% CI: -5.65%, -0.62%, Ptrend = 0.017; OR = 1.25, 95% CI:1.03, 1.53, Ptrend = 0.014) and this inverse association was stronger in the non-Hispanic white population (Pinteraction = 0.001 in both regression models).

CONCLUSIONS: A plant-based dietary pattern rich in healthy plant foods is associated with longer telomeres. However, plant-based dietary patterns rich in unhealthy plant-based foods are associated with shorter telomere lengths, especially in non-Hispanic white populations.

RevDate: 2024-06-14
CmpDate: 2024-06-14

Fu Y, Lou H, Chen Q, et al (2024)

Objective assessment of the association between telomere length, a biomarker of aging, and health screening indicators: A cross-sectional study.

Medicine, 103(24):e38533.

Physical examination data are used to indicate individual health status and organ health, and understanding which physical examination data are indicative of physiological aging is critical for health management and early intervention. There is a lack of research on physical examination data and telomere length. Therefore, the present study analyzed the association between blood telomere length and physical examination indices in healthy people of different ages to investigate the role and association of various organs/systems with physiological aging in the human body. The present study was a cross-sectional study. Sixteen physical examination indicators of different tissue and organ health status were selected and analyzed for trends in relation to actual age and telomere length (TL). The study included 632 individuals with a total of 11,766 data for 16 physical examination indicators. Age was linearly correlated with 11 indicators. Interestingly, telomere length was strongly correlated only with the renal indicators eGFR (P < .001), CYS-C (P < .001), and SCR (P < .001). The study established that renal aging or injury is a risk factor for Physical aging of the human body. Early identification and management are essential to healthcare.

RevDate: 2024-06-14
CmpDate: 2024-06-14

Gillooly JF, ES Khazan (2024)

Telomeres and the Rate of Living: Linking Biological Clocks of Senescence.

Ecological and evolutionary physiology, 97(3):157-163.

AbstractTwo prominent theories of aging, one based on telomere dynamics and the other on mass-specific energy flux, propose biological time clocks of senescence. The relationship between these two theories, and the biological clocks proposed by each, remains unclear. Here, we examine the relationships between telomere shortening rate, mass-specific metabolic rate, and lifespan among vertebrates (mammals, birds, fishes). Results show that telomere shortening rate increases linearly with mass-specific metabolic rate and decreases nonlinearly with increasing body mass in the same way as mass-specific metabolic rate. Results also show that both telomere shortening rate and mass-specific metabolic rate are similarly related to lifespan and that both strongly predict differences in lifespan, although the slopes of the relationships are less than linear. On average, then, telomeres shorten a fixed amount per unit of mass-specific energy flux. So the mitotic clock of telomere shortening and the energetics-based clock described by metabolic rate can be viewed as alternative measures of the same biological clock. These two processes may be linked, we speculate, through the process of cell division.

RevDate: 2024-06-13
CmpDate: 2024-06-13

Wang Q, Xi L, Yang N, et al (2024)

Association of leukocyte telomere length with risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in middle-aged and older individuals without cardiovascular disease: a prospective cohort study of NHANES 1999-2002.

Aging clinical and experimental research, 36(1):131.

BACKGROUND: Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) shorting was significantly associated with mortality. This study aimed to investigate the potential association between LTL and all-cause mortality as well as cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality in middle-aged or older individuals without a history of CVD.

METHODS: A total of 4174 participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted between 1999 and 2002 were included in this analysis. Cox proportional hazards regression models were utilized to estimate the association between LTL and mortality outcomes. Restricted cubic spline (RCS) curves were employed to evaluate the potential non-linear association.

RESULTS: Over a median follow-up period of 217 months, the weighted rates of all-cause mortality and CVD mortality were 28.58% and 8.32% respectively. Participants in the highest LTL group exhibited a significantly decreased risk of both all-cause mortality (HR: 0.65, 95% CI: 0.54-0.78, P < 0.001) and CVD mortality (HR: 0.64, 95% CI: 0.45-0.93, P < 0.001) compared to those in the lowest group. Kaplan-Meier survival curves further supported a significant association between shorter telomere length and increased risks of both all-cause and CVD mortality (log-rank test P < 0.001). RCS curves demonstrated a linear dose-response relationship between LTL and all-cause mortality as well as CVD mortality. Subgroup and sensitivity analyses confirmed the robustness of the results.

CONCLUSION: Shorter leukocyte telomere length could serve as a potential biomarker for risk stratification of all-cause and CVD mortality among middle-aged and older individuals without a history of CVD.

RevDate: 2024-06-12

Du B, Liu B, Fang YK, et al (2024)

Shugan Tongluo Qiangjing recipe protects against varicocele of EVC rats through modulating sperm DNA damage, telomere expression and oxidative stress.

Tissue & cell, 89:102414 pii:S0040-8166(24)00115-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Varicocele (VC) refers to expansion and tortuosity of spreading venous plexus in spermatic cord due to poor blood flow. This study aimed to investigate effects of Shugan Tongluo Qiangjing recipe (SGTL) on sperm DNA damage and oxidative stress in experimental VC (EVC) rats. EVC model was established by partial ligation of left renal vein. Spermatic vein diameter, testicular weight, sperm DNA fragmentation index (DFI) were evaluated. Telomere reverse transcriptase (TERT) expression, telomere gene transcription, and testicular tissue morphology were determined·H2O2, catalase, SOD, T-AOC were measured with colorimetry. SGTL significantly decreased spermatic vein diameter (P=0.000) and increased testicular weight (P=0.013) of rats compared those of EVC rats. SGTL maintained testicular tissue morphology in EVC rats. SGTL markedly reduced sperm DFI value in sperm of rats compared to EVC rats (P=0.000). SGTL significantly enhanced TERT expression and telomere gene transcription (P=0.028) in testis of rats compared to EVC rats. SGTL reduced H2O2 levels (P=0.001) and promoted CAT activity (P=0.016), SOD activity (P=0.049), and T-AOC activity (P=0.047) of rats, compared to EVC rats. In conclusion, SGTL could reduce pathogenic process of EVC by reducing sperm DNA damage and regulating telomere length in EVC rats, which may be related to oxidative stress regulation.

RevDate: 2024-06-12
CmpDate: 2024-06-12

Bettin N, Querido E, Gialdini I, et al (2024)

TERRA transcripts localize at long telomeres to regulate telomerase access to chromosome ends.

Science advances, 10(24):eadk4387.

The function of TERRA in the regulation of telomerase in human cells is still debated. While TERRA interacts with telomerase, how it regulates telomerase function remains unknown. Here, we show that TERRA colocalizes with the telomerase RNA subunit hTR in the nucleoplasm and at telomeres during different phases of the cell cycle. We report that TERRA transcripts relocate away from chromosome ends during telomere lengthening, leading to a reduced number of telomeric TERRA-hTR molecules and consequent increase in "TERRA-free" telomerase molecules at telomeres. Using live-cell imaging and super-resolution microscopy, we show that upon transcription, TERRA relocates from its telomere of origin to long chromosome ends. Furthermore, TERRA depletion by antisense oligonucleotides promoted hTR localization to telomeres, leading to increased residence time and extended half-life of hTR molecules at telomeres. Overall, our findings indicate that telomeric TERRA transcripts inhibit telomere elongation by telomerase acting in trans, impairing telomerase access to telomeres that are different from their chromosome end of origin.

RevDate: 2024-06-12
CmpDate: 2024-06-12

Yang S, Wang X, Li Y, et al (2024)

The association between telomere length and blood lipids: a bidirectional two-sample Mendelian randomization study.

Frontiers in endocrinology, 15:1338698.

BACKGROUND: Observational studies suggest an association between telomere length (TL) and blood lipid (BL) levels. Nevertheless, the causal connections between these two traits remain unclear. We aimed to elucidate whether genetically predicted TL is associated with BL levels via Mendelian randomization (MR) and vice versa.

METHODS: We obtained genetic instruments associated with TL, triglycerides (TG), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), apolipoprotein A-1 (ApoA-1) and apolipoprotein B (ApoB) from large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWASs). The causal relationships between TL and BL were investigated via bidirectional MR, multivariable MR and mediation analysis methods. The inverse variance weighted (IVW) method was employed as the principal methodology, complemented by several other estimators to enhance the robustness of the analysis.

RESULTS: In the forward MR analyses, we identified significant positive correlation between genetically predicted TL and the levels of TG (β=0.04, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.01 to 0.06, p = 0.003). In the reverse MR analysis, TG (β=0.02, 95% CI: 0.01 to 0.03, p = 0.004), LDL-C (β=0.03, 95% CI: 0.01 to 0.04, p = 0.001) and ApoB (β=0.03, 95% CI: 0.01 to 0.04, p = 9.71×10[-5]) were significantly positively associated with TL, although this relationship was not observed in the multivariate MR analysis. The mediation analysis via two-step MR showed no significant mediation effects acting through obesity-related phenotypes in analysis of TL with TG, while the effect of LDL-C on TL was partially mediated by body mass index (BMI) in the reverse direction, with mediated proportion of 12.83% (95% CI: 0.62% to 25.04%).

CONCLUSIONS: Our study indicated that longer TL were associated with higher TG levels, while conversely, higher TG, LDL-C, and ApoB levels predicted longer TL, with BMI partially mediating these effects. Our findings present valuable insights into the development of preventive strategies and interventions that specifically target TL-related aging and age-related diseases.

RevDate: 2024-06-10

Asim Javed M, Mukhopadhyay S, Normandeau E, et al (2024)

Telomere-to-telomere genome assembly of the clubroot pathogen Plasmodiophora brassicae.

Genome biology and evolution pii:7690700 [Epub ahead of print].

Plasmodiophora brassicae (Woronin, 1877), a biotrophic, obligate parasite, is the causal agent of clubroot disease in brassicas. The clubroot pathogen has been reported in more than 80 countries worldwide, causing economic losses of hundreds of millions every year. Despite its widespread impact, very little is known about the molecular strategies it employs to induce the characteristic clubs in the roots of susceptible hosts during infection, nor about the mechanisms it uses to overcome genetic resistance. Here, we provide the first telomere-to-telomere complete genome of Plasmodiophora brassicae. We generated ∼ 27 Gb of Illumina, Oxford Nanopore, and PacBio HiFi data from resting spores of strain Pb3A and produced a 25.3 Mb assembly comprising 20 chromosomes, with an N50 of 1.37 Mb. The BUSCO score, the highest reported for any member of the group Rhizaria (Eukaryota: 88.2%), highlights the limitations within the Eukaryota database for members of this lineage. Using available transcriptomic data and protein evidence, we annotated the Pb3A genome, identifying 10,521 protein-coding gene models. This high-quality, complete genome of Plasmodiophora brassicae will serve as a crucial resource for the plant pathology community to advance the much-needed understanding of the evolution of the clubroot pathogen.

RevDate: 2024-06-10

Vieira RA, Nunes DP, Lima DB, et al (2024)

Association between telomere length and anorexia of ageing: a cross-sectional study conducted with community-dwelling older people.

Journal of human nutrition and dietetics : the official journal of the British Dietetic Association [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: To verify whether shorter telomere length is associated with anorexia of ageing in community-dwelling older people.

METHODS: Conducted as a cross-sectional investigation, the study enrolled 448 participants residing in an urban area of a municipality in Brazil. Relative telomere length in blood samples was measured using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), whereas the presence of anorexia of ageing was determined using the Simplified Appetite Nutritional Questionnaire. Data analysis employed multiple logistic regression.

RESULTS: Among the 448 older individuals surveyed, 70.69% were female, and the predominant age bracket ranged from 60 to 69 years (45.08%). Approximately 25% exhibited the shortest telomeric length, with a corresponding anorexia of ageing prevalence of 41.16%. Older individuals with diminished telomere lengths displayed an increased likelihood of experiencing anorexia of ageing (odds ratio [OR] = 1.92; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.12-3.29), independent of factors such as gender, age group, depressive symptoms, pain and performance in basic daily life activities.

CONCLUSIONS: The observed association between anorexia of ageing and a telomeric biomarker underscores the imperative to meticulously evaluate the nutritional dimensions of older people, with a view to implementing interventions that may enhance their overall health status.

RevDate: 2024-06-08

Colominas-Ciuró R, Gray FE, Arikan K, et al (2024)

Effects of persistent organic pollutants on telomere dynamics are sex and age-specific in a wild long-lived bird.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(24)03932-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Chemical pollution is a major man-made environmental threat to ecosystems and natural animal populations. Of concern are persistent organic pollutants (POPs), which can persist in the environment for many years. While bioaccumulating throughout the lives of wild animals, POPs can affect their health, reproduction, and survival. However, measuring long-term effects of POPs in wild populations is challenging, and therefore appropriate biomarkers are required in wildlife ecotoxicology. One potential target is telomere length, since telomere preservation has been associated to survival and longevity, and stressors as chemical pollution can disrupt its maintenance. Here, we investigated the effects of different classes of POPs on relative telomere length (RTL) and its rate of change (TROC) in wild long-lived Alpine swifts (Tachymarptis melba). As both RTL and TROC are often reported to differ between sexes and with chronological age, we tested for sex- and age-specific (pre-senescent vs. senescent, ≥ 9 age of years, individuals) effects of POPs. Our results showed that senescent females presented longer RTL and elongated telomeres over time compared to pre-senescent females and males. These sex- and age-related differences in RTL and TROC were influenced by POPs, but differently depending on whether they were organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) or industrial polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). OCPs (particularly drins) were negatively associated with RTL, with the strongest negative effects being found in senescent females. Conversely, PCBs led to slower rates of telomere shortening, especially in females. Our study indicates diametrically opposed effects of OCPs on RTL and PCBs on TROC, and these effects were more pronounced in females and senescent individuals. The mechanisms behind these effects (e.g., increased oxidative stress by OCPs; upregulation of telomerase activity by PCBs) remain unknown. Our results highlight the importance in wildlife ecotoxicology to account for sex- and age-related effects when investigating the health effects of pollutants on biomarkers such as telomeres.

RevDate: 2024-06-07
CmpDate: 2024-06-07

Sánchez-Ortí JV, Correa-Ghisays P, Balanzá-Martínez V, et al (2024)

Systemic inflammation, oxidative damage and neurocognition predict telomere length in a transdiagnostic sample stratified by global DNA methylation levels.

Scientific reports, 14(1):13159.

Epigenetic mechanisms contribute to the maintenance of both type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and psychiatric disorders. Emerging evidence suggests that molecular pathways and neurocognitive performance regulate epigenetic dynamics in these disorders. The current combined and transdiagnostic study investigated whether inflammatory, oxidative stress, adhesion molecule, neurocognitive and functional performance are significant predictors of telomere dynamics in a sample stratified by global DNA methylation levels. Peripheral blood inflammation, oxidative stress and adhesion molecule biomarkers and neurocognitive function were assessed twice over a 1-year period in 80 individuals, including 16 with schizophrenia (SZ), 16 with bipolar disorder (BD), 16 with major depressive disorder (MDD), 15 with T2DM, and 17 healthy controls (HCs). Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) was measured by qRT-PCR using deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) extracted from peripheral blood samples. A posteriori, individuals were classified based on their global methylation score (GMS) at baseline into two groups: the below-average methylation (BM) and above-average methylation (AM) groups. Hierarchical and k-means clustering methods, mixed one-way analysis of variance and linear regression analyses were performed. Overall, the BM group showed a significantly higher leukocyte telomere length (LTL) than the AM group at both time points (p = 0.02; η[2]p = 0.06). Moreover, the BM group had significantly lower levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) (p = 0.03; η[2]p = 0.06) and C-reactive protein (CRP) (p = 0.03; η[2]p = 0.06) than the AM group at the 1-year follow-up. Across all participants, the regression models showed that oxidative stress (reactive oxygen species [ROS]) (p = 0.04) and global cognitive score [GCS] (p = 0.02) were significantly negatively associated with LTL, whereas inflammatory (TNF-α) (p = 0.04), adhesion molecule biomarkers (inter cellular adhesion molecule [ICAM]) (p = 0.009), and intelligence quotient [IQ] (p = 0.03) were significantly positively associated with LTL. Moreover, the model predictive power was increased when tested in both groups separately, explaining 15.8% and 28.1% of the LTL variance at the 1-year follow-up for the AM and BM groups, respectively. Heterogeneous DNA methylation in individuals with T2DM and severe mental disorders seems to support the hypothesis that epigenetic dysregulation occurs in a transdiagnostic manner. Our results may help to elucidate the interplay between epigenetics, molecular processes and neurocognitive function in these disorders. DNA methylation and LTL are potential therapeutic targets for transdiagnostic interventions to decrease the risk of comorbidities.

RevDate: 2024-06-07

Murphy WJ, AJ Harris (2024)

Toward telomere-to-telomere cat genomes for precision medicine and conservation biology.

Genome research pii:gr.278546.123 [Epub ahead of print].

Genomic data from species of the cat family Felidae promise to stimulate veterinary and human medical advances, and clarify the coherence of genome organization. We describe how interspecies hybrids have been instrumental in the genetic analysis of cats, from the first genetic maps to propelling cat genomes toward the T2T standard set by the human genome project. Genotype-to-phenotype mapping in cat models has revealed dozens of health-related genetic variants, the molecular basis for mammalian pigmentation and patterning, and species-specific adaptations. Improved genomic surveillance of natural and captive populations across the cat family tree will increase our understanding of the genetic architecture of traits, population dynamics, and guide a future of genome-enabled biodiversity conservation.

RevDate: 2024-06-07

Shi HZ, Wang MW, Huang YS, et al (2024)

A telomere-related gene risk model for predicting prognosis and treatment response in acute myeloid leukemia.

Heliyon, 10(11):e31705 pii:S2405-8440(24)07736-3.

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a prevalent hematological malignancy among adults. Recent studies suggest that the length of telomeres could significantly affect both the risk of developing AML and the overall survival (OS). Despite the limited focus on the prognostic value of telomere-related genes (TRGs) in AML, our study aims at addressing this gap by compiling a list of TRGs from TelNet, as well as collecting clinical information and TRGs expression data through the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. The GSE37642 dataset, sourced from GEO and based on the GPL96 platform, was divided into training and validation sets at a 6:4 ratio. Additionally, the GSE71014 dataset (based on the GPL10558 platform), GSE12417 dataset (based on the GPL96 and GPL570 platforms), and another portion of the GSE37642 dataset (based on the GPL570 platform) were designated as external testing sets. Univariate Cox regression analysis identified 96 TRGs significantly associated with OS. Subsequent Lasso-Cox stepwise regression analysis pinpointed eight TRGs (MCPH1, SLC25A6, STK19, PSAT1, KCTD15, DNMT3B, PSMD5, and TAF2) exhibiting robust predictive potential for patient survival. Both univariate and multivariate survival analyses unveiled TRG risk scores and age as independent prognostic variables. To refine the accuracy of survival prognosis, we developed both a nomogram integrating clinical parameters and a predictive risk score model based on TRGs. In subsequent investigations, associations were emphasized not solely regarding the TRG risk score and immune infiltration patterns but also concerning the response to immune-checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) therapy. In summary, the establishment of a telomere-associated genetic risk model offers a valuable tool for prognosticating AML outcomes, thereby facilitating informed treatment decisions.

RevDate: 2024-06-06

Yeo D, Zars Fisher EL, Khosla S, et al (2024)

Hdac3-deficiency increases senescence-associated distention of satellite DNA and telomere-associated foci in osteoprogenitor cells.

Journal of bone and mineral research : the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research pii:7689112 [Epub ahead of print].

Histone deacetylase 3 (Hdac3) is an epigenetic regulator of gene expression and interacts with skeletal transcription factors such as Runx2. We previously reported that conditional deletion of Hdac3 in Osterix-Cre recombinase-expressing osteoprogenitor cells (Hdac3 CKOOsx) caused osteopenia and increased marrow adiposity, both hallmarks of skeletal aging. We also showed that Runx2+ cells within osteogenic cultures of Hdac3-depleted bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) contain lipid droplets (LDs). Cellular senescence, a non-proliferative metabolically active state, is associated with increased marrow adiposity, bone loss and aging. In this study, we sought to determine if Hdac3 depleted Runx2+ pre-osteoblasts from young mice exhibit chromatin changes associated with early cellular senescence and how these events correlate with the appearance of LDs. We first confirmed that BMSCs from Hdac3 CKOOsx mice have more Runx2 + LD+ cells compared to controls under osteogenic conditions. We then measured senescence-associated distention of satellite DNA (SADS) and telomere-associated foci (TAFs) in Hdac3 CKOOsx and control BMSCs. In situ, Runx2+ cells contained more SADs per nuclei in Hdac3 CKOOsx femora than in controls. Runx2+ BMSCs from Hdac3 CKOOsx mice also contained more SADS and TAFs per nuclei than Runx2+ cells from age-matched control mice in vitro. SADs and TAFs were present at similar levels in Runx2 + LD+ cells and Runx2 + LD- cells from Hdac3 CKOOsx mice. Hdac inhibitors also increased the number of SADS in Runx2 + LD+ and Runx2 + LD- wildtype BMSCs. Senolytics reduced viable cell numbers in Hdac3 CKOOsx BMSC cultures. These data demonstrate that depletion of Hdac3 in osteochondral progenitor cells triggers LD formation and early events in cellular senescence in Runx2+ BMSCs through mutually exclusive mechanisms.

RevDate: 2024-06-05

Cai SW, Takai H, Zaug AJ, et al (2024)

POT1 recruits and regulates CST-Polα/primase at human telomeres.

Cell pii:S0092-8674(24)00493-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Telomere maintenance requires the extension of the G-rich telomeric repeat strand by telomerase and the fill-in synthesis of the C-rich strand by Polα/primase. At telomeres, Polα/primase is bound to Ctc1/Stn1/Ten1 (CST), a single-stranded DNA-binding complex. Like mutations in telomerase, mutations affecting CST-Polα/primase result in pathological telomere shortening and cause a telomere biology disorder, Coats plus (CP). We determined cryogenic electron microscopy structures of human CST bound to the shelterin heterodimer POT1/TPP1 that reveal how CST is recruited to telomeres by POT1. Our findings suggest that POT1 hinge phosphorylation is required for CST recruitment, and the complex is formed through conserved interactions involving several residues mutated in CP. Our structural and biochemical data suggest that phosphorylated POT1 holds CST-Polα/primase in an inactive, autoinhibited state until telomerase has extended the telomere ends. We propose that dephosphorylation of POT1 releases CST-Polα/primase into an active state that completes telomere replication through fill-in synthesis.

RevDate: 2024-06-05
CmpDate: 2024-06-05

Bai M, Jiang S, Chu S, et al (2024)

The telomere-to-telomere (T2T) genome of Peucedanum praeruptorum Dunn provides insights into the genome evolution and coumarin biosynthesis.

GigaScience, 13:.

BACKGROUND: Traditional Chinese medicine has used Peucedanum praeruptorum Dunn (Apiaceae) for a long time. Various coumarins, including the significant constituents praeruptorin (A-E), are the active constituents in the dried roots of P. praeruptorum. Previous transcriptomic and metabolomic studies have attempted to elucidate the distribution and biosynthetic network of these medicinal-valuable compounds. However, the lack of a high-quality reference genome impedes an in-depth understanding of genetic traits and thus the development of better breeding strategies.

RESULTS: A telomere-to-telomere (T2T) genome was assembled for P. praeruptorum by combining PacBio HiFi, ONT ultra-long, and Hi-C data. The final genome assembly was approximately 1.798 Gb, assigned to 11 chromosomes with genome completeness >98%. Comparative genomic analysis suggested that P. praeruptorum experienced 2 whole-genome duplication events. By the transcriptomic and metabolomic analysis of the coumarin metabolic pathway, we presented coumarins' spatial and temporal distribution and the expression patterns of critical genes for its biosynthesis. Notably, the COSY and cytochrome P450 genes showed tandem duplications on several chromosomes, which may be responsible for the high accumulation of coumarins.

CONCLUSIONS: A T2T genome for P. praeruptorum was obtained, providing molecular insights into the chromosomal distribution of the coumarin biosynthetic genes. This high-quality genome is an essential resource for designing engineering strategies for improving the production of these valuable compounds.

RevDate: 2024-06-05

Graham MK, Xu B, Davis C, et al (2024)

The TERT promoter is polycomb-repressed in neuroblastoma cells with long telomeres.

Cancer research communications pii:745502 [Epub ahead of print].

Acquiring a telomere maintenance mechanism is a hallmark of high-risk neuroblastoma and commonly occurs by expressing telomerase (TERT). Telomerase-negative neuroblastoma has long telomeres and utilize the telomerase-independent alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) mechanism. Conversely, no discernable telomere maintenance mechanism is detected in a fraction of neuroblastoma with long telomeres. Here, we show, unlike most cancers, DNA of the TERT promoter is broadly hypomethylated in neuroblastoma. In telomerase-positive neuroblastoma cells, the hypomethylated DNA promoter is approximately 1.5-kb. The TERT locus shows active chromatin marks with low enrichment for the repressive mark, H3K27me3. MYCN, a commonly amplified oncogene in neuroblstoma, binds to the promoter and induces TERT expression. Strikingly, in neuroblastoma with long telomeres, the hypomethylated region spans the entire TERT locus, including multiple nearby genes with enrichment for the repressive H3K27me3 chromatin mark. Furthermore, subtelomeric regions showed enrichment of repressive chromatin marks in neuroblastomas with long telomeres relative to those with short telomeres. These repressive marks were even more evident at the genic loci, suggesting a telomere position effect. Inhibiting H3K27 methylation by three different EZH2 inhibitors induced the expression of TERT in cell lines with long telomeres and H3K27me3 marks in the promoter region. EZH2 inhibition facilitated MYCN binding to the TERT promoter in neuroblastoma cells with long telomeres. Taken together, these data suggest that epigenetic regulation of TERT expression differs in neuroblastoma depending on the telomere maintenance status, and H3K27 methylation is important in repressing TERT expression in neuroblastoma with long telomeres.

RevDate: 2024-06-05

Sun P, Gu KJ, Zheng G, et al (2024)

Genetic variations associated with telomere length predict the risk of recurrence of non-oropharyngeal head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

Molecular carcinogenesis [Epub ahead of print].

Genetic factors underlying lymphocyte telomere length (LTL) may provide insights into genomic stability and integrity, with direct links to susceptibility to cancer recurrence. Polymorphisms in telomere-associated genes are strongly associated with LTL and cancer risk, while few large studies have explored the associations between LTL-related polymorphisms and recurrence risk of non-oropharyngeal head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (non-OPHNSCC). Totally 1403 non-OPHNSCC patients were recruited and genotyped for 16 LTL-related polymorphisms identified by genome-wide association studies. Univariate and multivariate analyzes were performed to evaluate associations between the polymorphisms and non-OPHNSCC recurrence risk. Patients carrying rs755017 GA/GG, rs2487999 TC/TT, rs2736108 TC/TT, or rs6772228 AT/AA genotypes exhibited shorter DFS than those with the rs755017 AA, rs2487999 CC, rs2736108 CC, or s6772228 TT genotypes, respectively (all log-rank p < 0.05). Multivariable analysis confirmed an increased risk of recurrence for patients carrying rs755017 GA/GG, rs2487999 TC/TT, rs2736108 TC/TT, or rs6772228 AT/AA genotypes (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR]: 1.66, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.32-2.07; aHR: 1.77, 95% CI: 1.41-2.23; aHR: 1.56, 95% CI: 1.22-1.99; aHR: 1.52, 95% CI: 1.20-1.93, respectively). Further stratified analysis revealed stronger associations between these genotypes and recurrence risk in ever-smokers and patients undergoing chemoradiotherapy. The similar but particularly pronounced results were observed for the combined risk genotypes of the four significant polymorphisms. This is the first large study on non-OPHNSCC patients showing that LTL-related polymorphisms may modify risk of non-OPHNSCC recurrence individually and jointly, particularly when analyzed in the context of smoking status and personized treatment. Larger studies are needed to validate these results.

RevDate: 2024-06-05

Liu WS, Wu BS, Yang L, et al (2024)

Whole exome sequencing analyses reveal novel genes in telomere length and their biomedical implications.

GeroScience [Epub ahead of print].

Telomere length is a putative biomarker of aging and is associated with multiple age-related diseases. There are limited data on the landscape of rare genetic variations in telomere length. Here, we systematically characterize the rare variant associations with leukocyte telomere length (LTL) through exome-wide association study (ExWAS) among 390,231 individuals in the UK Biobank. We identified 18 robust rare-variant genes for LTL, most of which estimated effects on LTL were significant (> 0.2 standard deviation per allele). The biological functions of the rare-variant genes were associated with telomere maintenance and capping and several genes were specifically expressed in the testis. Three novel genes (ASXL1, CFAP58, and TET2) associated with LTL were identified. Phenotypic association analyses indicated significant associations of ASXL1 and TET2 with cancers, age-related diseases, blood assays, and cardiovascular traits. Survival analyses suggested that carriers of ASXL1 or TET2 variants were at increased risk for cancers; diseases of the circulatory, respiratory, and genitourinary systems; and all-cause and cause-specific deaths. The CFAP58 carriers were at elevated risk of deaths due to cancers. Collectively, the present whole exome sequencing study provides novel insights into the genetic landscape of LTL, identifying novel genes associated with LTL and their implications on human health and facilitating a better understanding of aging, thus pinpointing the genetic relevance of LTL with clonal hematopoiesis, biomedical traits, and health-related outcomes.

RevDate: 2024-06-03

Wu X, Hu C, Wu T, et al (2024)

Mendelian randomization evidence based on European ancestry for the causal effects of leukocyte telomere length on prostate cancer.

Human genomics, 18(1):56.

BACKGROUND: Several lines of evidence suggest that leukocyte telomere length (LTL) can affect the development of prostate cancer (PC).

METHODS: Here, we employed single nucleoside polymorphisms (SNPs) as instrumental variables (IVs) for LTL (n = 472,174) and conducted Mendelian randomization analysis to estimate their causal impact on PCs (79,148 patients/61,106 controls and 6311 patients/88,902 controls).

RESULTS: Every 1-s.d extension of LTL increased the risk of PCs by 34%. Additionally, the analysis of candidate mediators between LTL and PCs via two-step Mendelian randomization revealed that among the 23 candidates, Alzheimer's disease, liver iron content, sex hormone binding global levels, naive CD4-CD8-T cell% T cell, and circulating leptin levels played substantial mediating roles. There is no robust evidence to support the reverse causal relationship between LTL and the selected mediators of PCs. Adjusting for the former four mediators, rather than adjusting for circulating leptin levels, decreased the impact of LTL on PCs.

CONCLUSION: This study provides potential intervention measures for preventing LTL-induced PCs.

RevDate: 2024-06-03
CmpDate: 2024-06-03

Nageshan RK, Ortega R, Krogan N, et al (2024)

Fate of telomere entanglements is dictated by the timing of anaphase midregion nuclear envelope breakdown.

Nature communications, 15(1):4707.

Persisting replication intermediates can confer mitotic catastrophe. Loss of the fission yeast telomere protein Taz1 (ortholog of mammalian TRF1/TRF2) causes telomeric replication fork (RF) stalling and consequently, telomere entanglements that stretch between segregating mitotic chromosomes. At ≤20 °C, these entanglements fail to resolve, resulting in lethality. Rif1, a conserved DNA replication/repair protein, hinders the resolution of telomere entanglements without affecting their formation. At mitosis, local nuclear envelope (NE) breakdown occurs in the cell's midregion. Here we demonstrate that entanglement resolution occurs in the cytoplasm following this NE breakdown. However, in response to taz1Δ telomeric entanglements, Rif1 delays midregion NE breakdown at ≤20 °C, in turn disfavoring entanglement resolution. Moreover, Rif1 overexpression in an otherwise wild-type setting causes cold-specific NE defects and lethality, which are rescued by membrane fluidization. Hence, NE properties confer the cold-specificity of taz1Δ lethality, which stems from postponement of NE breakdown. We propose that such postponement promotes clearance of simple stalled RFs, but resolution of complex entanglements (involving strand invasion between nonsister telomeres) requires rapid exposure to the cytoplasm.

RevDate: 2024-06-03

Koyuncu H, Kara N, Ş Dabak (2024)

Investigation of the possible effects of night shift on telomere length and mtDNA copy number in nurses.

Nucleosides, nucleotides & nucleic acids [Epub ahead of print].

In this study, we aimed to investigate the impacts of altered circadian rhythm on telomere length and mtDNA copy number (mtDNA-CN) in nurses working night shifts. In our study, 52 healthy nurses working in shifts at Ondokuz Mayıs University Hospital and 45 healthy control subjects working during the day were included. qRT-PCR technique was used for the determination of telomere length and mtDNA-CN. It was observed that the shift-work group had poor sleep quality (p = 0.004), feeling tired (p < 0.01) and stressed (p = 0.02) more than control group working during the day. Nurses working in shifts were found to have 1.18 times longer telomeres with respect to the control group working during the day (p = 0.005). When compared among shift workers, poor sleep quality and insufficient sleep duration shortened telomeres (r = 0.32; p = 0.02). There was no statistically significantdisparity regarding mtDNA-CN among the nurses working in shifts and the control group working during the day (p = 0.07). Insufficient sleep was associated with decreased mtDNA-CN when shift-working nurses were compared according to sleep quality (p = 0.006). Furthermore, mtDNA-CN of nurses with poor sleep quality was correlated with lower mtDNA-CN in comparison to nurses with good sleep quality (r = 0.284; p = 0.04). The mtDNA-CN of the nurses was positively associated with the sleep duration the night sleep before the night shift (r = 0.32; p = 0.02). Inadequate sleep duration and quality were observed to cause a reduction in mtDNA-CN of nurses. In conclusion, it has been observed that poor sleep quality and duration are related to shortened telomere length and decreased mtDNA-CN in night shift nurses.

RevDate: 2024-06-02

Zheng J, Chen J, Li H, et al (2024)

Predicting prostate adenocarcinoma patients' survival and immune signature: a novel risk model based on telomere-related genes.

Discover oncology, 15(1):203.

Alterations in telomeres constitute some of the earliest occurrences in the tumourigenesis of prostate adenocarcinoma (PRAD) and persist throughout the progression of the tumour. While the activity of telomerase and the length of telomeres have been demonstrated to correlate with the prognosis of PRAD, the prognostic potential of telomere-related genes (TRGs) in this disease remains unexplored. Utilising mRNA expression data from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), we devised a risk model and a nomogram to predict the survival outcomes of patients with PRAD. Subsequently, our investigations extended to the relationship between the risk model and immune cell infiltration, sensitivity to chemotherapeutic drugs, and specific signalling pathways. The risk model we developed is predicated on seven key TRGs, and immunohistochemistry results revealed significant differential expression of three TRGs in tumours and paracancerous tissues. Based on the risk scores, PRAD patients were stratified into high-risk and low-risk cohorts. The Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) and Kaplan-Meier survival analyses corroborated the exceptional predictive performance of our novel risk model. Multivariate Cox regression analysis indicated that the risk score was an independent risk factor associated with Overall Survival (OS) and was significantly associated with T and N stages of PRAD patients. Notably, the high-risk group exhibited a greater response to chemotherapy and immunosuppression compared to the low-risk group, offering potential guidance for treatment strategies for high-risk patients. In conclusion, our new risk model, based on TRGs, serves as a reliable prognostic indicator for PRAD. The model holds significant value in guiding the selection of immunotherapy and chemotherapy in the clinical management of PRAD patients.

RevDate: 2024-06-01
CmpDate: 2024-06-01

Hinchie AM, Sanford SL, Loughridge KE, et al (2024)

A persistent variant telomere sequence in a human pedigree.

Nature communications, 15(1):4681.

The telomere sequence, TTAGGG, is conserved across all vertebrates and plays an essential role in suppressing the DNA damage response by binding a set of proteins termed shelterin. Changes in the telomere sequence impair shelterin binding, initiate a DNA damage response, and are toxic to cells. Here we identify a family with a variant in the telomere template sequence of telomerase, the enzyme responsible for telomere elongation, that led to a non-canonical telomere sequence. The variant is inherited across at least one generation and one family member reports no significant medical concerns despite ~9% of their telomeres converting to the novel sequence. The variant template disrupts telomerase repeat addition processivity and decreased the binding of the telomere-binding protein POT1. Despite these disruptions, the sequence is readily incorporated into cellular chromosomes. Incorporation of a variant sequence prevents POT1-mediated inhibition of telomerase suggesting that incorporation of a variant sequence may influence telomere addition. These findings demonstrate that telomeres can tolerate substantial degeneracy while remaining functional and provide insights as to how incorporation of a non-canonical telomere sequence might alter telomere length dynamics.

RevDate: 2024-05-30
CmpDate: 2024-05-30

Agabekian IA, Abdulkina LR, Lushnenko AY, et al (2024)

Arabidopsis AN3 and OLIGOCELLULA genes link telomere maintenance mechanisms with cell division and expansion control.

Plant molecular biology, 114(3):65.

Telomeres are conserved chromosomal structures necessary for continued cell division and proliferation. In addition to the classical telomerase pathway, multiple other genes including those involved in ribosome metabolism and chromatin modification contribute to telomere length maintenance. We previously reported that Arabidopsis thaliana ribosome biogenesis genes OLI2/NOP2A, OLI5/RPL5A and OLI7/RPL5B have critical roles in telomere length regulation. These three OLIGOCELLULA genes were also shown to function in cell proliferation and expansion control and to genetically interact with the transcriptional co-activator ANGUSTIFOLIA3 (AN3). Here we show that AN3-deficient plants progressively lose telomeric DNA in early homozygous mutant generations, but ultimately establish a new shorter telomere length setpoint by the fifth mutant generation with a telomere length similar to oli2/nop2a -deficient plants. Analysis of double an3 oli2 mutants indicates that the two genes are epistatic for telomere length control. Telomere shortening in an3 and oli mutants is not caused by telomerase inhibition; wild type levels of telomerase activity are detected in all analyzed mutants in vitro. Late generations of an3 and oli mutants are prone to stem cell damage in the root apical meristem, implying that genes regulating telomere length may have conserved functional roles in stem cell maintenance mechanisms. Multiple instances of anaphase fusions in late generations of oli5 and oli7 mutants were observed, highlighting an unexpected effect of ribosome biogenesis factors on chromosome integrity. Overall, our data implicate AN3 transcription coactivator and OLIGOCELLULA proteins in the establishment of telomere length set point in plants and further suggest that multiple regulators with pleiotropic functions can connect telomere biology with cell proliferation and cell expansion pathways.

RevDate: 2024-05-30
CmpDate: 2024-05-30

Zhang Z, Zhang X, Tian Y, et al (2024)

Complete telomere-to-telomere genomes uncover virulence evolution conferred by chromosome fusion in oomycete plant pathogens.

Nature communications, 15(1):4624.

Variations in chromosome number are occasionally observed among oomycetes, a group that includes many plant pathogens, but the emergence of such variations and their effects on genome and virulence evolution remain ambiguous. We generated complete telomere-to-telomere genome assemblies for Phytophthora sojae, Globisporangium ultimum, Pythium oligandrum, and G. spinosum. Reconstructing the karyotype of the most recent common ancestor in Peronosporales revealed that frequent chromosome fusion and fission drove changes in chromosome number. Centromeres enriched with Copia-like transposons may contribute to chromosome fusion and fission events. Chromosome fusion facilitated the emergence of pathogenicity genes and their adaptive evolution. Effectors tended to duplicate in the sub-telomere regions of fused chromosomes, which exhibited evolutionary features distinct to the non-fused chromosomes. By integrating ancestral genomic dynamics and structural predictions, we have identified secreted Ankyrin repeat-containing proteins (ANKs) as a novel class of effectors in P. sojae. Phylogenetic analysis and experiments further revealed that ANK is a specifically expanded effector family in oomycetes. These results revealed chromosome dynamics in oomycete plant pathogens, and provided novel insights into karyotype and effector evolution.

RevDate: 2024-05-29
CmpDate: 2024-05-29

McCollum SE, Canter O, Fasanello VJ, et al (2024)

Birds of a feather age together: telomere dynamics and social behavior predict life span in female Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica).

Frontiers in endocrinology, 15:1363468.

Social support is vital for mental and physical health and is linked to lower rates of disease and early mortality. Conversely, anti-social behavior can increase mortality risks, both for the initiator and target of the behavior. Chronic stress, which also can increase mortality, may serve as an important link between social behavior and healthy lifespan. There is a growing body of literature in both humans, and model organisms, that chronic social stress can result in more rapid telomere shortening, a measure of biological aging. Here we examine the role of anti-social behavior and social support on physiological markers of stress and aging in the social Japanese quail, Coturnix Japonica. Birds were maintained in groups for their entire lifespan, and longitudinal measures of antisocial behavior (aggressive agonistic behavior), social support (affiliative behavior), baseline corticosterone, change in telomere length, and lifespan were measured. We found quail in affiliative relationships both committed less and were the targets of less aggression compared to birds who were not in these relationships. In addition, birds displaying affiliative behavior had longer telomeres, and longer lifespans. Our work suggests a novel pathway by which social support may buffer against damage at the cellular level resulting in telomere protection and subsequent longer lifespans.

RevDate: 2024-05-28

Salinas-Rodriguez A, Manrique-Espinoza B, Rivera-Almaraz A, et al (2024)

Telomere Length is Associated with the Prevalence, Persistence, and Incidence of Sarcopenia.

Archives of medical research, 55(4):103007 pii:S0188-4409(24)00060-2 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Telomere length (TL) shortening has been identified as a marker of aging and associated with adverse health outcomes, but evidence of its association with sarcopenia is inconclusive.

AIMS: Estimate the cross-sectional and prospective associations between TL and sarcopenia.

METHODS: We used data from Waves 3 and 4 (2017, 2021) of the Study on Global Aging and Adult Health in Mexico (SAGE-Mexico). The cross-sectional sample consisted of 1,738 adults aged 50 and older, and the longitudinal sample consisted of 1,437. Relative TL was determined by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) on DNA extracted from saliva samples and quantified as the telomere/single-copy gene (T/S) ratio. Sarcopenia was defined according to the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP2).

RESULTS: The mean salivary TL was 1.50 T/S units (95% CI: 1.49-1.52). The baseline prevalence of sarcopenia was 13.3% (95% CI: 9.8-16.8%). The incidence and persistence of sarcopenia were 6.8% (95% CI: 5.0-9.5%) and 7.0% (95% CI: 5.1-9.6%), respectively. The results showed that a one standard deviation decrease in TL was cross-sectionally associated with higher odds of sarcopenia (OR = 1.31; 95% CI: 1.03-1.67) and prospectively with a higher incidence (RRR = 1.55; 95% CI: 1.06-2.25) and persistence (RRR = 1.50; 95% CI: 1.01-2.24) of sarcopenia.

CONCLUSIONS: Older adults with shorter TL had higher rates of incident and persistent sarcopenia. Implementation of interventions to delay the decline of TL in older adults is warranted. Further translational studies are needed to elucidate the effects of exercise or diet on DNA repair in the telomeric region and their associations with sarcopenia.

RevDate: 2024-05-27
CmpDate: 2024-05-27

Sadler DE, Watts PC, S Uusi-Heikkilä (2024)

Directional selection, not the direction of selection, affects telomere length and copy number at ribosomal RNA loci.

Scientific reports, 14(1):12162.

Many fisheries exert directional selection on traits such as body size and growth rate. Whether directional selection impacts regions of the genome associated with traits related to growth is unknown. To address this issue, we characterised copy number variation in three regions of the genome associated with cell division, (1) telomeric DNA, (2) loci transcribed as ribosomal RNA (rDNA), and (3) mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), in three selection lines of zebrafish reared at three temperatures (22 °C, 28 °C, and 34 °C). Selection lines differed in (1) the direction of selection (two lines experienced directional selection for large or small body size) and (2) whether they experienced any directional selection itself. Lines that had experienced directional selection were smaller, had lower growth rate, shorter telomeres, and lower rDNA copy number than the line that experiencing no directional selection. Neither telomere length nor rDNA copy number were affected by temperature. In contrast, mtDNA content increased at elevated temperature but did not differ among selection lines. Though directional selection impacts rDNA and telomere length, direction of such selection did not matter, whereas mtDNA acts as a stress marker for temperature. Future work should examine the consequences of these genomic changes in natural fish stocks.

RevDate: 2024-05-27

Bolzán AD (2024)


Mutation research. Reviews in mutation research pii:S1383-5742(24)00020-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Given that telomeres play a fundamental role in maintaining genomic stability, the study of the chromosomal aberrations involving telomeric sequences is a topic of considerable research interest. In recent years, the scoring of these types of aberrations has been used in vertebrate cells, particularly human cells, to evaluate the effects of genotoxic agents on telomeres and the involvement of telomeric sequences on chromosomal aberrations. Currently, chromosomal aberrations involving telomeric sequences are evaluated in peripheral blood lymphocytes or immortalized cell lines, using telomere or telomere plus centromere fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with Peptide Nucleic Acid (PNA) probes (PNA-FISH). The telomere PNA probe is more efficient in the detection of telomeric sequences than conventional FISH with a telomere DNA probe. In addition, the intensity of the telomeric PNA-FISH probe signal is directly correlated with the number of telomeric repeats. Therefore, use of this type of probe can identify chromosomal aberrations involving telomeres as well as determine the telomere length of the sample. There are several mistakes and inconsistencies in the literature regarding the identification of telomere aberrations, which prevent accurate scoring and data comparison between different publications concerning these types of aberrations. The aim of this review is to clarify these issues, and provide proper terminology and criteria for the identification, scoring, and analysis of telomere aberrations.

RevDate: 2024-05-25
CmpDate: 2024-05-25

Feng Z, Wang Y, Fu Z, et al (2024)

Exploring the Causal Effects of Mineral Metabolism Disorders on Telomere and Mitochondrial DNA: A Bidirectional Two-Sample Mendelian Randomization Analysis.

Nutrients, 16(10): pii:nu16101417.

The aim of this study was to assess the causal relationships between mineral metabolism disorders, representative of trace elements, and key aging biomarkers: telomere length (TL) and mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNA-CN). Utilizing bidirectional Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis in combination with the two-stage least squares (2SLS) method, we explored the causal relationships between mineral metabolism disorders and these aging indicators. Sensitivity analysis can be used to determine the reliability and robustness of the research results. The results confirmed that a positive causal relationship was observed between mineral metabolism disorders and TL (p < 0.05), while the causal relationship with mtDNA-CN was not significant (p > 0.05). Focusing on subgroup analyses of specific minerals, our findings indicated a distinct positive causal relationship between iron metabolism disorders and both TL and mtDNA-CN (p < 0.05). In contrast, disorders in magnesium and phosphorus metabolism did not exhibit significant causal effects on either aging biomarker (p > 0.05). Moreover, reverse MR analysis did not reveal any significant causal effects of TL and mtDNA-CN on mineral metabolism disorders (p > 0.05). The combination of 2SLS with MR analysis further reinforced the positive causal relationship between iron levels and both TL and mtDNA-CN (p < 0.05). Notably, the sensitivity analysis did not indicate significant pleiotropy or heterogeneity within these causal relationships (p > 0.05). These findings highlight the pivotal role of iron metabolism in cellular aging, particularly in regulating TL and sustaining mtDNA-CN, offering new insights into how mineral metabolism disorders influence aging biomarkers. Our research underscores the importance of trace element balance, especially regarding iron intake, in combating the aging process. This provides a potential strategy for slowing aging through the adjustment of trace element intake, laying the groundwork for future research into the relationship between trace elements and healthy aging.

RevDate: 2024-05-25
CmpDate: 2024-05-25

Yang NY, Hsieh AYY, Chen Z, et al (2024)

Chronic and Latent Viral Infections and Leukocyte Telomere Length across the Lifespan of Female and Male Individuals Living with or without HIV.

Viruses, 16(5): pii:v16050755.

BACKGROUND: Chronic/latent viral infections may accelerate immunological aging, particularly among people living with HIV (PLWH). We characterized chronic/latent virus infections across their lifespan and investigated their associations with leukocyte telomere length (LTL).

METHODS: Participants enrolled in the CARMA cohort study were randomly selected to include n = 15 for each decade of age between 0 and >60 y, for each sex, and each HIV status. Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8), herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), and HSV-2 infection were determined serologically; HIV, hepatitis C (HCV), and hepatitis B (HBV) were self-reported. LTLs were measured using monochrome multiplex qPCR. Associations between the number of viruses, LTL, and sociodemographic factors were assessed using ordinal logistic and linear regression modeling.

RESULTS: The study included 187 PLWH (105 female/82 male) and 190 HIV-negative participants (105 female/84 male), ranging in age from 0.7 to 76.1 years. Living with HIV, being older, and being female were associated with harbouring a greater number of chronic/latent non-HIV viruses. Having more infections was in turn bivariately associated with a shorter LTL. In multivariable analyses, older age, living with HIV, and the female sex remained independently associated with having more infections, while having 3-4 viruses (vs. 0-2) was associated with a shorter LTL.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that persistent viral infections are more prevalent in PLWH and females, and that these may contribute to immunological aging. Whether this is associated with comorbidities later in life remains an important question.

RevDate: 2024-05-25
CmpDate: 2024-05-25

Tariq JA, Mandokhail K, Sajjad N, et al (2024)

Effects of Age and Biological Age-Determining Factors on Telomere Length in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Patients.

Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania), 60(5): pii:medicina60050698.

Background and Objectives: Telomere length (TL) undergoes attrition over time, indicating the process of aging, and is linked to a higher risk of diabetes mellitus type 2 (DM-2). This molecular epidemiological study investigated the correlation between leukocyte TL variations and determinants of molecular aging in 121 Pakistani DM-2 patients. Materials and Methods: The ratio of telomere repeats to the SCG copy number was calculated to estimate the TL in each sample through qPCR assays. Results: In this study, smaller mean TLs were observed in 48.8% of males (6.35 ± 0.82 kb), 3.3% of underweight patients (5.77 ± 1.14 kb), 61.2% of patients on regular medication (6.50 ± 0.79 kb), 9.1% with very high stress levels (5.94 ± 0.99 kb), 31.4% of smokers (5.83 ± 0.73 kb), 40.5% of patients with low physical activity (6.47 ± 0.69 kb), 47.9% of hypertensive patients (5.93 ± 0.64 kb), 10.7% of patients with DM-2 for more than 15 years, and 3.3% of patients with a delayed onset of DM-2 (6.00 ± 0.93 kb). Conclusion: This research indicated a significant negative correlation (R[2] = 0.143) between TL and the age of DM-2 patients. This study demonstrated that the correlation of telomere length with age in DM-2 patients was also influenced by various age-determining factors, including hypertension and smoking habits, with significant strong (R[2] = 0.526) and moderate (R[2] = 0.299) correlations, respectively; sex, obesity, the stress level and age at the onset of diabetes with significant weak correlations (R[2] = 0.043, 0.041, 0.037, and 0.065, respectively), and no significant correlations of medication routine, rate of physical activity, and the durations of DM-2 with age-adjusted telomere length. These results challenge TL as the sole marker of aging, thus highlighting the need for further research to understand underlying factors and mitigate the effect of aging or premature aging on diabetic patients.

RevDate: 2024-05-24
CmpDate: 2024-05-24

Keener R, Chhetri SB, Connelly CJ, et al (2024)

Validation of human telomere length multi-ancestry meta-analysis association signals identifies POP5 and KBTBD6 as human telomere length regulation genes.

Nature communications, 15(1):4417.

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have become well-powered to detect loci associated with telomere length. However, no prior work has validated genes nominated by GWAS to examine their role in telomere length regulation. We conducted a multi-ancestry meta-analysis of 211,369 individuals and identified five novel association signals. Enrichment analyses of chromatin state and cell-type heritability suggested that blood/immune cells are the most relevant cell type to examine telomere length association signals. We validated specific GWAS associations by overexpressing KBTBD6 or POP5 and demonstrated that both lengthened telomeres. CRISPR/Cas9 deletion of the predicted causal regions in K562 blood cells reduced expression of these genes, demonstrating that these loci are related to transcriptional regulation of KBTBD6 and POP5. Our results demonstrate the utility of telomere length GWAS in the identification of telomere length regulation mechanisms and validate KBTBD6 and POP5 as genes affecting telomere length regulation.

RevDate: 2024-05-23

Bao L, Zhou Y, Shu J, et al (2024)

Impact of telomere length and mitochondrial DNA copy number variants on survival of newborn cloned calves.

Theriogenology, 225:1-8 pii:S0093-691X(24)00193-6 [Epub ahead of print].

An established technology to create cloned animals is through the use of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), in which reprogramming the somatic cell nucleus to a totipotent state by enucleated oocyte cytoplasm is a necessary process, including telomere length reprogramming. The limitation of this technology; however, is that the live birth rate of offspring produced through SCNT is significantly lower than that of IVF. Whether and how telomere length play a role in the development of cloned animals is not well understood. Only a few studies have evaluated this association in cloned mice, and fewer still in cloned cows. In this study, we investigated the difference in telomere length as well as the abundance of some selected molecules between newborn deceased cloned calves and normal cows of different ages either produced by SCNT or via natural conception, in order to evaluate the association between telomere length and abnormal development of cloned cows. The absolute telomere length and relative mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number were determined by real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR), telomere related gene abundance by reverse-transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR), and senescence-associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-gal) expression by SA-β-gal staining. The results demonstrate that the newborn deceased SCNT calves had significantly shortened telomere lengths compared to newborn naturally conceived calves and newborn normal SCNT calves. Significantly lower mtDNA copy number, and significantly lower relative abundance of LMNB1 and TERT, higher relative abundance of CDKN1A, and aberrant SA-β-gal expression were observed in the newborn deceased SCNT calves, consistent with the change in telomere length. These results demonstrate that abnormal telomere shortening, lower mtDNA copy number and abnormal abundance of related genes were specific to newborn deceased SCNT calves, suggesting that abnormally short telomere length may be associated with abnormal development in the cloned calves.

RevDate: 2024-05-22
CmpDate: 2024-05-22

Dhawan V, Malhotra N, Singh N, et al (2024)

Yoga and its effect on sperm genomic integrity, gene expression, telomere length and perceived quality of life in early pregnancy loss.

Scientific reports, 14(1):11711.

Achieving successful pregnancy outcomes is a delicate interplay between the maternal and the fetal counterparts. Paternal factors play a critical role in health and disease of offspring. Early pregnancy loss (EPL) is a psychologically devastating condition affecting the quality of life (QOL). Thus, it needs to be managed by a mind body integrated approach like yoga.The prospective single arm exploratory studyincluded male partners of couples experiencing recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL, n = 30), and recurrent implantation failure (RIF, n = 30) and semen samples wereassessed at the beginning and completion of yoga (6 weeks) (WHO 2010).A significant increase in the sperm concentration, motility, decrease in seminal ROS, DFI and increase in relative sperm telomere length was found at the end of yoga. The relative expression of genes critical for early embryonic developmentnormalized towards the levels of controls. WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire scores to assess QOL also showed improvement.Integration of regular practice yoga into our lifestyle may help in improving seminal redox status, genomic integrity, telomere length, normalizing gene expression and QOL, highlighting the need to use an integrated, holistic approach in management of such cases. This is pertinent for decreasing the transmission of mutation and epimutation load to the developing embryo, improving pregnancy outcomes and decreasing genetic and epigenetic disease burden in the next generation.

RevDate: 2024-05-22
CmpDate: 2024-05-22

Jeremian R, Lytvyn Y, Fotovati R, et al (2024)

Signatures of epigenetic, biological and mitotic age acceleration and telomere shortening are associated with arsenic-induced skin lesions.

Archives of dermatological research, 316(5):195.

Chronic arsenic exposure is a global health hazard significantly associated with the development of deleterious cutaneous changes and increased keratinocyte cancer risk. Although arsenic exposure is associated with broad-scale cellular and molecular changes, gaps exist in understanding how these changes impact the skin and facilitate malignant transformation. Recently developed epigenetic "clocks" can accurately predict chronological, biological and mitotic age, as well as telomere length, on the basis of tissue DNA methylation state. Deviations of predicted from expected age (epigenetic age dysregulation) have been associated with numerous complex diseases, increased all-cause mortality and higher cancer risk. We investigated the ability of these algorithms to detect molecular changes associated with chronic arsenic exposure in the context of associated skin lesions. To accomplish this, we utilized a multi-algorithmic approach incorporating seven "clocks" (Horvath, Skin&Blood, PhenoAge, PCPhenoAge, GrimAge, DNAmTL and epiTOC2) to analyze peripheral blood of pediatric and adult cohorts of arsenic-exposed (n = 84) and arsenic-naïve (n = 33) individuals, among whom n = 18 were affected by skin lesions. Arsenic-exposed adults with skin lesions exhibited accelerated epigenetic (Skin&Blood: + 7.0 years [95% CI 3.7; 10.2], q = 6.8 × 10[-4]), biological (PhenoAge: + 5.8 years [95% CI 0.7; 11.0], q = 7.4 × 10[-2], p = 2.8 × 10[-2]) and mitotic age (epiTOC2: + 19.7 annual cell divisions [95% CI 1.8; 37.7], q = 7.4 × 10[-2], p = 3.2 × 10[-2]) compared to healthy arsenic-naïve individuals; and accelerated epigenetic age (Skin&Blood: + 2.8 years [95% CI 0.2; 5.3], q = 2.4 × 10[-1], p = 3.4 × 10[-2]) compared to lesion-free arsenic-exposed individuals. Moreover, lesion-free exposed adults exhibited accelerated Skin&Blood age (+ 4.2 [95% CI 1.3; 7.1], q = 3.8 × 10[-2]) compared to their arsenic-naïve counterparts. Compared to the pediatric group, arsenic-exposed adults exhibited accelerated epigenetic (+ 3.1 to 4.4 years (95% CI 1.2; 6.4], q = 2.4 × 10[-4]-3.1 × 10[-3]), biological (+ 7.4 to 7.8 years [95% CI 3.0; 12.1] q = 1.6 × 10[-3]-2.8 × 10[-3]) and mitotic age (+ 50.0 annual cell divisions [95% CI 15.6; 84.5], q = 7.8 × 10[-3]), as well as shortened telomere length (- 0.23 kilobases [95% CI - 0.13; - 0.33], q = 2.4 × 10[-4]), across all seven algorithms. We demonstrate that lifetime arsenic exposure and presence of arsenic-associated skin lesions are associated with accelerated epigenetic, biological and mitotic age, and shortened telomere length, reflecting altered immune signaling and genomic regulation. Our findings highlight the usefulness of DNA methylation-based algorithms in identifying deleterious molecular changes associated with chronic exposure to the heavy metal, serving as potential prognosticators of arsenic-induced cutaneous malignancy.

RevDate: 2024-05-22
CmpDate: 2024-05-22

Carlund O, Thörn E, Osterman P, et al (2024)

Semimethylation is a feature of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and subgroups with poor prognosis are characterized by global hypomethylation and short telomere length.

Clinical epigenetics, 16(1):68.

BACKGROUND: Large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL) is the most common lymphoma and is known to be a biologically heterogeneous disease regarding genetic, phenotypic, and clinical features. Although the prognosis is good, one-third has a primary refractory or relapsing disease which underscores the importance of developing predictive biological markers capable of identifying high- and low-risk patients. DNA methylation (DNAm) and telomere maintenance alterations are hallmarks of cancer and aging. Both these alterations may contribute to the heterogeneity of the disease, and potentially influence the prognosis of LBCL.

RESULTS: We studied the DNAm profiles (Infinium MethylationEPIC BeadChip) and relative telomere lengths (RTL) with qPCR of 93 LBCL cases: Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma not otherwise specified (DLBCL, n = 66), High-grade B-cell lymphoma (n = 7), Primary CNS lymphoma (n = 8), and transformation of indolent B-cell lymphoma (n = 12). There was a substantial methylation heterogeneity in DLBCL and other LBCL entities compared to normal cells and other B-cell neoplasms. LBCL cases had a particularly aberrant semimethylated pattern (0.15 ≤ β ≤ 0.8) with large intertumor variation and overall low hypermethylation (β > 0.8). DNAm patterns could not be used to distinguish between germinal center B-cell-like (GC) and non-GC DLBCL cases. In cases treated with R-CHOP-like regimens, a high percentage of global hypomethylation (β < 0.15) was in multivariable analysis associated with worse disease-specific survival (DSS) (HR 6.920, 95% CI 1.499-31.943) and progression-free survival (PFS) (HR 4.923, 95% CI 1.286-18.849) in DLBCL and with worse DSS (HR 5.147, 95% CI 1.239-21.388) in LBCL. These cases with a high percentage of global hypomethylation also had a higher degree of CpG island methylation, including islands in promoter-associated regions, than the cases with less hypomethylation. Additionally, telomere length was heterogenous in LBCL, with a subset of the DLBCL-GC cases accounting for the longest RTL. Short RTL was independently associated with worse DSS (HR 6.011, 95% CI 1.319-27.397) and PFS (HR 4.689, 95% CI 1.102-19.963) in LBCL treated with R-CHOP-like regimens.

CONCLUSION: We hypothesize that subclones with high global hypomethylation and hypermethylated CpG islands could have advantages in tumor progression, e.g. by inactivating tumor suppressor genes or promoting treatment resistance. Our findings suggest that cases with high global hypomethylation and thus poor prognosis could be candidates for alternative treatment regimens including hypomethylating drugs.

RevDate: 2024-05-21

Brown LM, Elbon MC, Bharadwaj A, et al (2024)

Does effective population size govern evolutionary differences in telomere length?.

Genome biology and evolution pii:7678868 [Epub ahead of print].

Lengths of telomeres vary by an order of magnitude across mammalian species. Similarly, age- and sex-standardized telomere lengths differ by up to 1 kb (14%) across human populations. How to explain these differences? Telomeres play a central role in senescence and aging, and genes that affect telomere length are likely under weak selection (i.e., telomere length is a trait that is subject to nearly neutral evolution). Importantly, natural selection is more effective in large populations than small populations. Here, we propose that observed differences in telomere length across species and populations are largely due to differences in effective population sizes. In this perspective, we present preliminary evolutionary genetic evidence supporting this hypothesis and highlight the need for more data.

RevDate: 2024-05-20
CmpDate: 2024-05-20

Chen W, Wang X, Sun J, et al (2024)

Two telomere-to-telomere gapless genomes reveal insights into Capsicum evolution and capsaicinoid biosynthesis.

Nature communications, 15(1):4295.

Chili pepper (Capsicum) is known for its unique fruit pungency due to the presence of capsaicinoids. The evolutionary history of capsaicinoid biosynthesis and the mechanism of their tissue specificity remain obscure due to the lack of high-quality Capsicum genomes. Here, we report two telomere-to-telomere (T2T) gap-free genomes of C. annuum and its wild nonpungent relative C. rhomboideum to investigate the evolution of fruit pungency in chili peppers. We precisely delineate Capsicum centromeres, which lack high-copy tandem repeats but are extensively invaded by CRM retrotransposons. Through phylogenomic analyses, we estimate the evolutionary timing of capsaicinoid biosynthesis. We reveal disrupted coding and regulatory regions of key biosynthesis genes in nonpungent species. We also find conserved placenta-specific accessible chromatin regions, which likely allow for tissue-specific biosynthetic gene coregulation and capsaicinoid accumulation. These T2T genomic resources will accelerate chili pepper genetic improvement and help to understand Capsicum genome evolution.

RevDate: 2024-05-19

Hakobyan M, Binder H, A Arakelyan (2024)

Pan-cancer analysis of telomere maintenance mechanisms.

The Journal of biological chemistry pii:S0021-9258(24)01893-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Telomeres, protective caps at chromosome ends, maintain genomic stability and control cell lifespan. Dysregulated telomere maintenance mechanisms (TMM) are cancer hallmarks, enabling unchecked cell proliferation. We conducted a pan-cancer evaluation of TMM using RNA sequencing data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) for 33 different cancer types and analyzed the activities of telomerase-dependent (TEL) and alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) TMM pathways in detail. To further characterize the TMM profiles, we categorized the tumors based on their ALT and TEL TMM pathway activities into five major phenotypes: ALT [high] TEL [low], ALT [low] TEL [low], ALT [middle] TEL [middle], ALT [high] TEL [high], and ALT [low] TEL [high]. These phenotypes refer to variations in telomere maintenance strategies, shedding light on the heterogeneous nature of telomere regulation in cancer. Moreover, we investigated the clinical implications of TMM phenotypes by examining their associations with clinical characteristics and patient outcomes. Specific TMM profiles were linked to specific survival patterns, emphasizing the potential of TMM profiling as a prognostic indicator and aiding in personalized cancer treatment strategies. Gene ontology analysis of the TMM phenotypes unveiled enriched biological processes associated with cell cycle regulation (both TEL and ALT), DNA replication (TEL), and chromosome dynamics (ALT) showing that telomere maintenance is tightly intertwined with cellular processes governing proliferation and genomic stability. Overall, our study provides an overview of the complexity of transcriptional regulation of telomere maintenance mechanisms in cancer.

RevDate: 2024-05-17
CmpDate: 2024-05-17

Moix S, Sadler MC, Kutalik Z, et al (2024)

Breaking down causes, consequences, and mediating effects of telomere length variation on human health.

Genome biology, 25(1):125.

BACKGROUND: Telomeres form repeated DNA sequences at the ends of chromosomes, which shorten with each cell division. Yet, factors modulating telomere attrition and the health consequences thereof are not fully understood. To address this, we leveraged data from 326,363 unrelated UK Biobank participants of European ancestry.

RESULTS: Using linear regression and bidirectional univariable and multivariable Mendelian randomization (MR), we elucidate the relationships between leukocyte telomere length (LTL) and 142 complex traits, including diseases, biomarkers, and lifestyle factors. We confirm that telomeres shorten with age and show a stronger decline in males than in females, with these factors contributing to the majority of the 5.4% of LTL variance explained by the phenome. MR reveals 23 traits modulating LTL. Smoking cessation and high educational attainment associate with longer LTL, while weekly alcohol intake, body mass index, urate levels, and female reproductive events, such as childbirth, associate with shorter LTL. We also identify 24 traits affected by LTL, with risk for cardiovascular, pulmonary, and some autoimmune diseases being increased by short LTL, while longer LTL increased risk for other autoimmune conditions and cancers. Through multivariable MR, we show that LTL may partially mediate the impact of educational attainment, body mass index, and female age at childbirth on proxied lifespan.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study sheds light on the modulators, consequences, and the mediatory role of telomeres, portraying an intricate relationship between LTL, diseases, lifestyle, and socio-economic factors.

RevDate: 2024-05-17

Pańczyszyn A, Boniewska-Bernacka E, Włodarczyk K, et al (2024)

Telomeres and telomerase in endometrial cancer and hyperplasia.

Archives of medical science : AMS, 20(2):682-685.

INTRODUCTION: The study aimed to measure telomeres length (TL) and telomerase expression in normal endometrium and endometrial hyperplasia and cancer.

METHODS: Total RNA and DNA were isolated from endometrium samples of 117 patients. The RT-PCR method was used to determine telomerase expression and relative telomere length.

RESULTS: The control group had the longest telomeres in comparison to the hyperplasia and endometrial cancer groups. Only in the endometrial cancer group was telomerase expressed and positively correlated with telomere length.

CONCLUSIONS: Telomere extension in endometrial cancer is mediated by telomerase, but telomere length may not be an indicator of endometrioid cancer development.

RevDate: 2024-05-16
CmpDate: 2024-05-16

Grula CC, Rinehart JD, Anacleto A, et al (2024)

Telomere length is longer following diapause in two solitary bee species.

Scientific reports, 14(1):11208.

The mechanisms that underlie senescence are not well understood in insects. Telomeres are conserved repetitive sequences at chromosome ends that protect DNA during replication. In many vertebrates, telomeres shorten during cell division and in response to stress and are often used as a cellular marker of senescence. However, little is known about telomere dynamics across the lifespan in invertebrates. We measured telomere length in larvae, prepupae, pupae, and adults of two species of solitary bees, Osmia lignaria and Megachile rotundata. Contrary to our predictions, telomere length was longer in later developmental stages in both O. lignaria and M. rotundata. Longer telomeres occurred after emergence from diapause, which is a physiological state with increased tolerance to stress. In O. lignaria, telomeres were longer in adults when they emerged following diapause. In M. rotundata, telomeres were longer in the pupal stage and subsequent adult stage, which occurs after prepupal diapause. In both species, telomere length did not change during the 8 months of diapause. Telomere length did not differ by mass similarly across species or sex. We also did not see a difference in telomere length after adult O. lignaria were exposed to a nutritional stress, nor did length change during their adult lifespan. Taken together, these results suggest that telomere dynamics in solitary bees differ from what is commonly reported in vertebrates and suggest that insect diapause may influence telomere dynamics.

RevDate: 2024-05-16

Stephens Z, JP Kocher (2024)

Characterization of telomere variant repeats using long reads enables allele-specific telomere length estimation.

BMC bioinformatics, 25(1):194.

Telomeres are regions of repetitive DNA at the ends of linear chromosomes which protect chromosome ends from degradation. Telomere lengths have been extensively studied in the context of aging and disease, though most studies use average telomere lengths which are of limited utility. We present a method for identifying all 92 telomere alleles from long read sequencing data. Individual telomeres are identified using variant repeats proximal to telomere regions, which are unique across alleles. This high-throughput and high-resolution characterization of telomeres could be foundational to future studies investigating the roles of specific telomeres in aging and disease.

RevDate: 2024-05-16

Giri P, Thakor F, M Dwivedi (2024)

Implication of regulatory T cells' telomere shortening in pathogenesis of generalized vitiligo.

Human immunology pii:S0198-8859(24)00072-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Generalized vitiligo(GV) is a skin depigmenting condition due to loss of melanocytes. Regulatory T cells(Tregs), responsible for peripheral tolerance, show altered numbers and functions in GV patients, likely influenced by the aging process. Therefore, the present study was focused on measuring the relative telomere length of Tregs in 96 GV patients and 90 controls by qPCR, along with correlation of relative telomere length with in vitro Treg suppressive capacity. Interestingly, we found significantly decreased relative telomere length in Tregs of GV patients as compared to controls(p = 0.0001). Additionally, age based-analysis suggested significant decrease in relative telomere length in elderly GV patients(>40 years) in comparison to young GV patients(0-20 years; p = 0.0027). Furthermore, age of onset analysis suggested for reduced relative telomere length in early onset GV patients (0-20 years) in comparison to late onset GV patients(>40 years; p = 0.0036). The correlation analysis suggested positive correlation for relative telomere length with in vitro Tregs suppressive capacity(r = 0.68 & r = 0.45; p < 0.0001). Additionally, the in vitro Tregs suppressive capacity was significantly reduced in elderly GV patients(p = 0.003) and early onset GV patients(p = 0.0074). Overall, our study for the first time demonstrated that, the Tregs ageing due to telomere shortening may be responsible for altered Treg functions and number.

RevDate: 2024-05-15

Kumar S, Rajkumar SV, Jevremovic D, et al (2024)

Three-dimensional telomere profiling predicts risk of progression in smoldering multiple myeloma.

American journal of hematology [Epub ahead of print].

Smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM) is a precursor stage that precedes multiple myeloma (MM). SMM is heterogenous with nearly 40% of patients progressing to MM in the first 5 years. The high rate of progression of SMM patients highlights the need for early intervention, which underscores the importance of identifying SMM patients with the highest risk of progression. Several risk stratification models showed utility in identifying high-risk SMM patients; however, these systems showed limited sensitivity. To date, identifying high-risk SMM patients remains an important clinical need. In this study, we present the 3-dimensional telomere profiling as a structural biomarker capable of stratifying SMM patients as a function of genomic instability. Quantifying telomere dysfunction using the TeloView technology showed utility in risk stratification of cancer patients, particularly hematological malignancies. In this study, we analyzed 168 SMM patients. We report an AUC in ROC analysis of 0.8 using a subset of the patients as a training dataset. We then conducted a blind validation on a different cohort and demonstrated a positive predictive value of 85% and negative predictive value of 73%, with sensitivity and specificity of 83% and 76%, respectively. We examined the correlation between the TeloView prediction and the 20-2-20 scoring system, and cytogenetic abnormalities. We report a correlation of 53% with the 20-2-20 scores and over 60% correlation with cytogenetic abnormalities. The result of this study presents the telomere profiling as an effective biomarker able to stratify SMM patients to their respective risk groups with high sensitivity and specificity.

RevDate: 2024-05-15

Nanda A, Logan A, RL Tennyson (2024)

The influence of perceived stress and motivation on telomere length among NCAA swimmers.

American journal of human biology : the official journal of the Human Biology Council [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: Telomere length (TL) shortening is associated with increased cellular senescence and functional decline with age. Regular physical activity is posited to safeguard against TL shortening, but there is disagreement on how concurrent psychosocial stress may influence this relationship. The current analysis explored whether psychosocial stress is associated with TL differences in highly physically active individuals.

METHODS: TL was measured from capillary dried blood spots collected from Division-I (D-1) and Division-III (D-3) National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) swimmers (N = 28) and non-athlete students from the same schools (N = 15). All participants completed Cohen's Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and student-athletes completed an additional questionnaire to assess psychosocial factors associated with their lifestyle; The Student Athletes' Motivation towards Sports and Academics Questionnaire (SAMSAQ). Semi-structured interviews further contextualized how student-athletes internalize their stress.

RESULTS: There was no significant difference in TL or PSS scores between swimmers and controls. D-1 swimmers reported significantly higher career and student-athlete motivation scores compared to D-3, but non-significantly higher PSS and similar academic motivation scores. Themes from interviews with collegiate swimmers included COVID-19 stress, fear of injury, pressure from academics, expectations to perform, and financial pressures.

CONCLUSIONS: These themes may have contributed to higher PSS scores in D-1 swimmers compared to D-3 but did not appear to impact their TL. Given differences in perceived stress, sources of stress, and SAMSAQ scores, further analyses with larger sample sizes are needed to better understand how these factors influence human biology and health while engaged in intense physical activity.

RevDate: 2024-05-14
CmpDate: 2024-05-14

Siametis A, Stratigi K, Giamaki D, et al (2024)

Transcription stress at telomeres leads to cytosolic DNA release and paracrine senescence.

Nature communications, 15(1):4061.

Transcription stress has been linked to DNA damage -driven aging, yet the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that Tcea1[-/-] cells, which harbor a TFIIS defect in transcription elongation, exhibit RNAPII stalling at oxidative DNA damage sites, impaired transcription, accumulation of R-loops, telomere uncapping, chromatin bridges, and genome instability, ultimately resulting in cellular senescence. We found that R-loops at telomeres causally contribute to the release of telomeric DNA fragments in the cytoplasm of Tcea1[-/-] cells and primary cells derived from naturally aged animals triggering a viral-like immune response. TFIIS-defective cells release extracellular vesicles laden with telomeric DNA fragments that target neighboring cells, which consequently undergo cellular senescence. Thus, transcription stress elicits paracrine signals leading to cellular senescence, promoting aging.

RevDate: 2024-05-14
CmpDate: 2024-05-14

Tannemann N, Erbel R, Nöthen MM, et al (2024)

Genetic polymorphisms affecting telomere length and their association with cardiovascular disease in the Heinz-Nixdorf-Recall study.

PloS one, 19(5):e0303357 pii:PONE-D-23-33247.

Short telomeres are associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD). We aimed to investigate, if genetically determined telomere-length effects CVD-risk in the Heinz-Nixdorf-Recall study (HNRS) population. We selected 14 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with telomere-length (p<10-8) from the literature and after exclusion 9 SNPs were included in the analyses. Additionally, a genetic risk score (GRS) using these 9 SNPs was calculated. Incident CVD was defined as fatal and non-fatal myocardial infarction, stroke, and coronary death. We included 3874 HNRS participants with available genetic data and had no known history of CVD at baseline. Cox proportional-hazards regression was used to test the association between the SNPs/GRS and incident CVD-risk adjusting for common CVD risk-factors. The analyses were further stratified by CVD risk-factors. During follow-up (12.1±4.31 years), 466 participants experienced CVD-events. No association between SNPs/GRS and CVD was observed in the adjusted analyses. However, the GRS, rs10936599, rs2487999 and rs8105767 increase the CVD-risk in current smoker. Few SNPs (rs10936599, rs2487999, and rs7675998) showed an increased CVD-risk, whereas rs10936599, rs677228 and rs4387287 a decreased CVD-risk, in further strata. The results of our study suggest different effects of SNPs/GRS on CVD-risk depending on the CVD risk-factor strata, highlighting the importance of stratified analyses in CVD risk-factors.

RevDate: 2024-05-14

Su Y, Yang X, Wang Y, et al (2024)

Phased Telomere-to-Telomere Reference Genome and Pangenome Reveal an Expansion of Resistance Genes during Apple Domestication.

Plant physiology pii:7672929 [Epub ahead of print].

The cultivated apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) is a cross-pollinated perennial fruit tree of great economic importance. Previous versions of apple reference genomes were unphased, fragmented, and lacked comprehensive insights into the highly heterozygous genome, which impeded genetic studies and breeding programs in apple. In this study, we assembled a haplotype-resolved telomere-to-telomere reference genome for the diploid apple cultivar Golden Delicious. Subsequently, we constructed a pangenome based on twelve assemblies from wild and cultivated apples to investigate different types of resistance gene analogs (RGAs). Our results revealed the dynamics of the gene gain and loss events during apple domestication. Compared with cultivated species, more gene families in wild species were significantly enriched in oxidative phosphorylation, pentose metabolic process, responses to salt, and abscisic acid biosynthesis process. Interestingly, our analyses demonstrated a higher prevalence of RGAs in cultivated apples than their wild relatives, partially attributed to segmental and tandem duplication events in certain RGAs classes. Other types of structural variations, mainly deletions and insertions, have affected the presence and absence of TIR-NB-ARC-LRR (TNL), NB-ARC-LRR (NL), and CC-NB-ARC-LRR (CNL) genes. Additionally, hybridization/introgression from wild species has also contributed to the expansion of resistance genes in domesticated apples. Our haplotype-resolved T2T genome and pangenome provide important resources for genetic studies of apples, emphasizing the need to study the evolutionary mechanisms of resistance genes in apple breeding programs.

RevDate: 2024-05-13
CmpDate: 2024-05-13

Rasouli S, Dakic A, Wang QE, et al (2024)

Noncanonical functions of telomerase and telomeres in viruses-associated cancer.

Journal of medical virology, 96(5):e29665.

The cause of cancer is attributed to the uncontrolled growth and proliferation of cells resulting from genetic changes and alterations in cell behavior, a phenomenon known as epigenetics. Telomeres, protective caps on the ends of chromosomes, regulate both cellular aging and cancer formation. In most cancers, telomerase is upregulated, with the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) enzyme and telomerase RNA component (TERC) RNA element contributing to the maintenance of telomere length. Additionally, it is noteworthy that two viruses, human papillomavirus (HPV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), utilize telomerase for their replication or persistence in infected cells. Also, TERT and TERC may play major roles in cancer not related to telomere biology. They are involved in the regulation of gene expression, signal transduction pathways, cellular metabolism, or even immune response modulation. Furthermore, the crosstalk between TERT, TERC, RNA-binding proteins, and microRNAs contributes to a greater extent to cancer biology. To understand the multifaceted roles played by TERT and TERC in cancer and viral life cycles, and then to develop effective therapeutic strategies against these diseases, are fundamental for this goal. By investigating deeply, the complicated mechanisms and relationships between TERT and TERC, scientists will open the doors to new therapies. In its analysis, the review emphasizes the significance of gaining insight into the multifaceted roles that TERT and TERC play in cancer pathogenesis, as well as their involvement in the viral life cycle for designing effective anticancer therapy approaches.

RevDate: 2024-05-12

Li C, Zhang Y, Zhang K, et al (2024)

Association Between Ultra-Processed Foods Consumption and Leucocyte Telomere Length: A cross-sectional study of UK Biobank.

The Journal of nutrition pii:S0022-3166(24)00273-6 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: This study investigates the association between consumption of ultra-processed foods and leucocyte telomere length.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study utilized data from the UK Biobank, including a total of 64,690 participants. LTL was measured using Q-PCR with natural logarithmic conversion and Z-score normalization. Dietary data were collected through a 24-hour recall questionnaire from 2009 to 2010. UPFs were identified using the Nova food classification as either a continuous or a categorical variable respectively. Multiple linear regression models were employed to analyze the association between UPF consumption and LTL.

RESULTS: The included participants had an average age of 56.26 years, of whom 55.2% were female. After adjusting for demographic and health-related variables, LTL exhibited a decrease of 0.005 (95% CI:-0.007,-0.002) with one UPF serving increase. Compared to participants consuming ≤3.5 servings/day, those consuming 3.5 to <6 servings showed a shortening of LTL by 0.025 (95% CI: -0.046, -0.003). Participants consuming 6 to ≤8 servings/day and >8 servings/day had LTL shortening of 0.032 (95% CI: -0.054, -0.011) and 0.037 (95% CI: -0.060, -0.014), respectively (P for trend=0.002). Subgroup analyses by UPF subclasses revealed that the consumption of ready-to-eat/heated food (β=-0.010, 95% CI:-0.016,-0.004), beans and potatoes (β=-0.027, 95% CI:-0.043,-0.012), animal-based products (β=-0.012, 95% CI:-0.020,-0.005), artificial sugar (β=-0.014, 95% CI:-0.025,-0.003), and beverages (β=-0.005, 95% CI:-0.009,-0.001) showed negative associations with LTL. Conversely, breakfast cereals (β=0.022, 95% CI:0.006,0.038) and vegetarian alternatives (β=0.056, 95% CI:0.026,0.085) showed positive correlations with LTL.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study found that a higher consumption of total UPF was associated with a shorter LTL. However, some UPFs may be associated with longer LTL, depending on their nutritional composition.

RevDate: 2024-05-11

Duseikaite M, Gedvilaite G, Mikuzis P, et al (2024)

Investigating the Relationship between Telomere-Related Gene Variants and Leukocyte Telomere Length in Optic Neuritis Patients.

Journal of clinical medicine, 13(9): pii:jcm13092694.

Optic neuritis (ON) is a condition marked by optic nerve inflammation due to various potential triggers. Research indicates a link between telomeres and inflammation, as studies demonstrate that inflammation can lead to increased telomere shortening. Aim: We aimed to determine the associations of telomere-related telomeric repeat binding factor 1 (TERF1) rs1545827, rs10107605, and telomeric repeat binding factor 2 (TERF2) rs251796 polymorphisms and relative leukocyte telomere length (LTL) with the occurrence of ON. Methods: In this research, a total of 73 individuals diagnosed with optic neuritis (ON) were studied and the control group included 170 individuals without any health issues. The DNA samples were obtained from peripheral blood leukocytes, which were purified using the DNA salting-out technique. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assessed single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and relative leukocyte telomere lengths (LTL). The data obtained were processed and analyzed using the "IBM SPSS Statistics 29.0" program. Results: Our study revealed the following results: in the male group, TERF2 rs251796 (AA, AG, and TT) statistically significantly differed between the long and short telomere group, with frequencies of 65.7%, 22.9%, and 2.0% in long telomeres, compared to 35.1%, 56.8%, and 8.1% in the short telomere group (p = 0.013). The TERF2 rs251796 CT genotype, compared to CC, under the codominant genetic model, was associated with 4.7-fold decreased odds of telomere shortening (p = 0.005). Meanwhile, CT+TT genotypes, compared to CC under the dominant genetic model, were associated with 3.5-fold decreased odds of telomere shortening (p = 0.011). Also, the CT genotype, compared to CC+TT, under the overdominant genetic model, was associated with 4.4-fold decreased odds of telomere shortening (p = 0.004). Conclusions: The current evidence may suggest a protective role of TERF2 rs251796 in the occurrence of ON in men.

RevDate: 2024-05-10

Cheng H, Asri M, Lucas J, et al (2024)

Scalable telomere-to-telomere assembly for diploid and polyploid genomes with double graph.

Nature methods [Epub ahead of print].

Despite advances in long-read sequencing technologies, constructing a near telomere-to-telomere assembly is still computationally demanding. Here we present hifiasm (UL), an efficient de novo assembly algorithm combining multiple sequencing technologies to scale up population-wide near telomere-to-telomere assemblies. Applied to 22 human and two plant genomes, our algorithm produces better diploid assemblies at a cost of an order of magnitude lower than existing methods, and it also works with polyploid genomes.

RevDate: 2024-05-10

Lozano M, McEachan RRC, Wright J, et al (2024)

Early life exposure to mercury and relationships with telomere length and mitochondrial DNA content in European children.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(24)03161-9 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Telomere length (TL) and mitochondrial function expressed as mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNAcn) are biomarkers of aging and oxidative stress and inflammation, respectively. Methylmercury (MeHg), a common pollutant in fish, induces oxidative stress. We hypothesized that elevated oxidative stress from exposure to MeHg decreases mtDNAcn and shortens TL.

METHODS: Study participants are 6-11-year-old children from the HELIX multi-center birth cohort study, comprising six European countries. Prenatal and postnatal total mercury (THg) concentrations were measured in blood samples, TL and mtDNAcn were determined in child DNA. Covariates and confounders were obtained by questionnaires. Robust regression models were run, considering sociodemographic and lifestyle covariates, as well as fish consumption. Sex, ethnicity, and fish consumption interaction models were also run.

RESULTS: We found longer TL with higher pre- and postnatal THg blood concentrations, even at low-level THg exposure according to the RfD proposed by the US EPA. The prenatal association showed a significant linear relationship with a 3.46 % increase in TL for each unit increased THg. The postnatal association followed an inverted U-shaped marginal non-linear relationship with 1.38 % an increase in TL for each unit increased THg until reaching a cut-point at 0.96 μg/L blood THg, from which TL attrition was observed. Higher pre- and postnatal blood THg concentrations were consistently related to longer TL among cohorts and no modification effect of fish consumption nor children's sex was observed. No association between THg exposure and mtDNAcn was found.

DISCUSSION: We found evidence that THg is associated with TL but the associations seem to be time- and concentration-dependent. Further studies are needed to clarify the mechanism behind the telomere changes of THg and related health effects.

RevDate: 2024-05-08

Ogłuszka M, Chen CY, Poławska E, et al (2024)

Elevated tissue status of omega-3 fatty acids protects against age-related telomere attrition in fat-1 transgenic mice.

Clinical nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland), 43(6):1488-1494 pii:S0261-5614(24)00147-X [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is a biomarker of aging that may be influenced by dietary factors. Omega-3 fatty acids (n-3 FA) have been suggested to affect LTL. However, research on this effect has been inconclusive. The aim of the study was to test the hypothesis about the positive effect of n-3 FA on LTL.

METHODS: Fat-1 transgenic mice, which can convert omega-6 fatty acids (n-6 FA) to n-3 FA and have elevated levels of endogenous n-3 FA in their tissues, were used to study the effects of n-3 FA on LTL at different ages. Blood samples from 10-month-old wild-type (WT) mice (n = 10) and fat-1 mice (n = 10) and 3-month-old WT mice (n = 5) and fat-1 mice (n = 5) were used to measure relative and absolute LTL. The levels of proteins critical for telomere maintenance were examined by Western blot analysis.

RESULTS: Fat-1 transgenic mice had longer leukocyte telomeres than their WT siblings, suggesting a slower rate of age-related telomere shortening in fat-1 mice. In animals aged 10 months, the LTL was significantly longer in fat-1 than in WT mice (mean ± SEM; relative LTL: WT = 1.00 ± 0.09 vs. fat-1: 1.25 ± 0.05, P = 0.031; absolute LTL: WT = 64.41 ± 6.50 vs. fat-1: 78.53 ± 3.86, P = 0.048). The difference in LTL observed in three-month-old mice was insignificant, however the mean LTL was still longer in fat-1 mice than in the WT mice. Fat-1 mice also had abundant levels of two shelterin proteins: TRF1 (27%, P = 0.028) and TRF2 (47%, P = 0.040) (telomeric repeat binding factor 1 and 2) compared to WT animals.

CONCLUSION: This study, for the first time in a unique animal model free of dietary confounders, has demonstrated that increased levels of n-3 FA in tissues can reduce telomere attrition. The data presented indicate the possibility of using omega-3 fatty acids to reduce accelerated telomere attrition and, consequently, counteract premature aging and reduce the risk of age-related diseases.

RevDate: 2024-05-07

Wondisford AR, Lee J, Lu R, et al (2024)

Deregulated DNA ADP-ribosylation impairs telomere replication.

Nature structural & molecular biology [Epub ahead of print].

The recognition that DNA can be ADP ribosylated provides an unexpected regulatory level of how ADP-ribosylation contributes to genome stability, epigenetics and immunity. Yet, it remains unknown whether DNA ADP-ribosylation (DNA-ADPr) promotes genome stability and how it is regulated. Here, we show that telomeres are subject to DNA-ADPr catalyzed by PARP1 and removed by TARG1. Mechanistically, we show that DNA-ADPr is coupled to lagging telomere DNA strand synthesis, forming at single-stranded DNA present at unligated Okazaki fragments and on the 3' single-stranded telomere overhang. Persistent DNA-linked ADPr, due to TARG1 deficiency, eventually leads to telomere shortening. Furthermore, using the bacterial DNA ADP-ribosyl-transferase toxin to modify DNA at telomeres directly, we demonstrate that unhydrolyzed DNA-linked ADP-ribose compromises telomere replication and telomere integrity. Thus, by identifying telomeres as chromosomal targets of PARP1 and TARG1-regulated DNA-ADPr, whose deregulation compromises telomere replication and integrity, our study highlights and establishes the critical importance of controlling DNA-ADPr turnover for sustained genome stability.

RevDate: 2024-05-06
CmpDate: 2024-05-06

Tao HY, Zhao CY, Wang Y, et al (2024)

Targeting Telomere Dynamics as an Effective Approach for the Development of Cancer Therapeutics.

International journal of nanomedicine, 19:3805-3825.

Telomere is a protective structure located at the end of chromosomes of eukaryotes, involved in maintaining the integrity and stability of the genome. Telomeres play an essential role in cancer progression; accordingly, targeting telomere dynamics emerges as an effective approach for the development of cancer therapeutics. Targeting telomere dynamics may work through multifaceted molecular mechanisms; those include the activation of anti-telomerase immune responses, shortening of telomere lengths, induction of telomere dysfunction and constitution of telomerase-responsive drug release systems. In this review, we summarize a wide variety of telomere dynamics-targeted agents in preclinical studies and clinical trials, and reveal their promising therapeutic potential in cancer therapy. As shown, telomere dynamics-active agents are effective as anti-cancer chemotherapeutics and immunotherapeutics. Notably, these agents may display efficacy against cancer stem cells, reducing cancer stem levels. Furthermore, these agents can be integrated with the capability of tumor-specific drug delivery by the constitution of related nanoparticles, antibody drug conjugates and HSA-based drugs.

RevDate: 2024-05-06

Yan M, Zhang Z, Wang L, et al (2024)

Cross-talk of Three Molecular Subtypes of Telomere Maintenance Defines Clinical Characteristics and Tumor Microenvironment in Gastric Cancer.

Journal of Cancer, 15(10):3227-3241.

Background: Telomere maintenance takes part in the regulation of gastric cancer (GC) pathogenesis and is essential for patients' clinical features. Though the correlation between a single telomere maintenance-related gene and GC has previously been published, comprehensive exploration and systematic analysis remain to be studied. Our study is aimed at determining telomere maintenance-related molecular subtypes and examining their role in GC. Methods: By analyzing the transcriptome data, we identified three telomere maintenance-associated clusters (TMCs) with heterogeneity in clinical features and tumor microenvironment (TME). Then, we screened five prognostic telomere maintenance-related genes and established corresponding TM scores. Additionally, the expression level and biological function of tubulin beta 6 class V (TUBB6) were validated in GC tissues and cells. Results: TMC1 was correlated with EMT and TGF-beta pathway and predicted low tumor mutation burden (TMB) as well as bad prognostic outcomes. TMC3 was associated with cell cycle and DNA repair. In terms of TMB and overall survival, TMC3 exhibited opposite results against TMC1. Significant heterogeneity was observed between TMCs. TUBB6 was upregulated and could promote GC proliferation, migration, and invasion. Conclusion: Altogether, combining bioinformatics and functional experiments, we identified three molecular subtypes based on telomere maintenance-associated genes in GC, which could bring new ideas and novel biomarkers to the clinic.

RevDate: 2024-05-03
CmpDate: 2024-05-03

McQuillan MA, Verhulst S, Hansen MEB, et al (2024)

Association between telomere length and Plasmodium falciparum malaria endemicity in sub-Saharan Africans.

American journal of human genetics, 111(5):927-938.

Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) varies significantly across human populations, with individuals of African ancestry having longer LTL than non-Africans. However, the genetic and environmental drivers of LTL variation in Africans remain largely unknown. We report here on the relationship between LTL, genetics, and a variety of environmental and climatic factors in ethnically diverse African adults (n = 1,818) originating from Botswana, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Cameroon. We observe significant variation in LTL among populations, finding that the San hunter-gatherers from Botswana have the longest leukocyte telomeres and that the Fulani pastoralists from Cameroon have the shortest telomeres. Genetic factors explain ∼50% of LTL variation among individuals. Moreover, we observe a significant negative association between Plasmodium falciparum malaria endemicity and LTL while adjusting for age, sex, and genetics. Within Africa, adults from populations indigenous to areas with high malaria exposure have shorter LTL than those in populations indigenous to areas with low malaria exposure. Finally, we explore to what degree the genetic architecture underlying LTL in Africa covaries with malaria exposure.

RevDate: 2024-05-02
CmpDate: 2024-05-02

Lee J, Lee J, Sohn EJ, et al (2024)

Extrachromosomal telomere DNA derived from excessive strand displacements.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 121(19):e2318438121.

Alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) is a telomere maintenance mechanism mediated by break-induced replication, evident in approximately 15% of human cancers. A characteristic feature of ALT cancers is the presence of C-circles, circular single-stranded telomeric DNAs composed of C-rich sequences. Despite the fact that extrachromosomal C-rich single-stranded DNAs (ssDNAs), including C-circles, are unique to ALT cells, their generation process remains undefined. Here, we introduce a method to detect single-stranded telomeric DNA, called 4SET (Strand-Specific Southern-blot for Single-stranded Extrachromosomal Telomeres) assay. Utilizing 4SET, we are able to capture C-rich single-stranded DNAs that are near 200 to 1500 nucleotides in size. Both linear C-rich ssDNAs and C-circles are abundant in the fractions of cytoplasm and nucleoplasm, which supports the idea that linear and circular C-rich ssDNAs are generated concurrently. We also found that C-rich ssDNAs originate during Okazaki fragment processing during lagging strand DNA synthesis. The generation of C-rich ssDNA requires CST-PP (CTC1/STN1/TEN1-PRIMASE-Polymerase alpha) complex-mediated priming of the C-strand DNA synthesis and subsequent excessive strand displacement of the C-rich strand mediated by the DNA Polymerase delta and the BLM helicase. Our work proposes a model for the generation of C-rich ssDNAs and C-circles during ALT-mediated telomere elongation.

RevDate: 2024-05-02

Fragkiadaki P, Kouvidi E, Angelaki A, et al (2024)

Evaluation of telomere length and telomerase activity on predicting in vitro fertilization treatment outcomes.

Journal of assisted reproduction and genetics [Epub ahead of print].

The current article is a literature review aiming to provide an overview of the existing knowledge on the association between telomere length and telomerase activity and in vitro fertilization. Recently, telomeres have been used as an effective biomarker to determine biological age, which may differ from chronological age due to genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors. Cellular senescence, along with other exogenous and mainly environmental factors, can enhance telomere wear, further shortening their ends and may also affect reproductive aging. IVF is a common fertility treatment caused by female reasons (age, ovulation disorders, damaged or blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis), male reasons (low sperm quantity or quality), or unexplained infertility. A growing number of studies have proposed a relationship between telomere length and telomerase activity and IVF success and have suggested their use as candidate biomarkers for IVF outcome. Nevertheless, additional studies are necessary to be conducted, in order to clarify the possible implication of telomeres in IVF and to evaluate their possible role as valuable predictors of IVF result.

RevDate: 2024-05-02
CmpDate: 2024-05-02

Wirtz L, Casanova F, Schaffrath U, et al (2024)

Development of a telomere vector-based approach to overcome limitations caused by lethal phenotypes in the study of essential genes in Magnaporthe oryzae.

Molecular plant pathology, 25(5):e13460.

Reverse genetic approaches are common tools in genomics for elucidating gene functions, involving techniques such as gene deletion followed by screening for aberrant phenotypes. If the generation of gene deletion mutants fails, the question arises whether the failure stems from technical issues or because the gene of interest (GOI) is essential, meaning that the deletion causes lethality. In this report, we introduce a novel method for assessing gene essentiality using the phytopathogenic ascomycete Magnaporthe oryzae. The method is based on the observation that telomere vectors are lost in transformants during cultivation without selection pressure. We tested the hypothesis that essential genes can be identified in deletion mutants co-transformed with a telomere vector. The M. oryzae gene MoPKC, described in literature as essential, was chosen as GOI. Using CRISPR/Cas9 technology transformants with deleted GOI were generated and backed up by a telomere vector carrying a copy of the GOI and conferring fenhexamid resistance. Transformants in which the GOI deletion in the genome was not successful lost the telomere vector on media without fenhexamid. In contrast, transformants with confirmed GOI deletion retained the telomere vector even in absence of fenhexamid selection. In the latter case, the maintenance of the telomere indicates that the GOI is essential for the surveillance of the fungi, as it would have been lost otherwise. The method presented here allows to test for essentiality of genes when no mutants can be obtained from gene deletion approaches, thereby expanding the toolbox for studying gene function in ascomycetes.

RevDate: 2024-05-01

Khattar E, E Salvati (2024)

Editorial: Novel insights connecting telomere biology to cancer development and progression.

Frontiers in oncology, 14:1405618.

RevDate: 2024-05-01

Yun L, Zhang C, Liang T, et al (2024)

Insights into the dammarane-type triterpenoid spaonin biosynthesis from the telomere-to-telomere genome of Gynostemma pentaphyllum.

Plant communications pii:S2590-3462(24)00202-5 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2024-05-01

Bao J, Zhang H, Wang F, et al (2024)

Telomere-to-telomere genome assemblies of two Chinese Baijiu-brewing sorghum landraces.

Plant communications pii:S2590-3462(24)00203-7 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2024-04-30

DeBoy EA, Nicosia AM, Liyanarachchi S, et al (2024)

Telomere-lengthening germline variants predispose to a syndromic papillary thyroid cancer subtype.

American journal of human genetics pii:S0002-9297(24)00121-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) is the most common endocrine malignancy. 10% to 15% of individuals show familial clustering with three or more affected members, but the factors underlying this risk are unknown. In a group of recently studied individuals with POT1 pathogenic variants and ultra-long telomere length, PTC was the second most common solid tumor. We tested whether variants in POT1 and four other telomere-maintenance genes associated with familial cancer underlie PTC susceptibility. Among 470 individuals, we identified pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants in three genes encoding telomere-binding proteins: POT1, TINF2, and ACD. They were found in 4.5% and 1.5% of familial and unselected cases, respectively. Individuals harboring these variants had ultra-long telomere length, and 15 of 18 (83%) developed other cancers, of which melanoma, lymphoma, and sarcoma were most common. Among individuals with PTC and melanoma, 22% carried a deleterious germline variant, suggesting that a long-telomere syndrome might be clinically recognizable. Successive generations had longer telomere length than their parents and, at times, developed more cancers at younger ages. Tumor sequencing identified a single oncogenic driver, BRAF p.Val600Glu, in 10 of 10 tumors studied, but no telomere-maintenance mechanism, including at the TERT promoter. These data identify a syndromic subset of PTCs with locus heterogeneity and telomere lengthening as a convergent mechanism. They suggest these germline variants lower the threshold to cancer by obviating the need for an acquired telomere-maintenance mechanism in addition to sustaining the longevity of oncogenic mutations.

RevDate: 2024-04-30

Walker CG, Thayer ZM, Marks EJ, et al (2024)

Association between maternal depression symptoms and child telomere length.

Journal of psychiatric research, 174:319-325 pii:S0022-3956(24)00243-7 [Epub ahead of print].

The biological mechanisms that explain how adverse early life events influence adult disease risk are poorly understood. One proposed mechanism is via the induction of accelerated biological aging, for which telomere length is considered a biomarker. We aimed to determine if maternal depression pre- and post-partum was associated with telomere length in children at 4 years of age (n = 4299). Mothers completed structured questionnaires assessing depression during pregnancy (Edinburgh Depression Scale), at 9 months (Edinburgh Depression Scale), and at 54 months postpartum (Patient Health Questionnaire 9). Regression methods were used to investigate the relationship between telomere length (DNA from saliva) and maternal depression score recorded at each stage. Significant covariates included in the final model were: maternal age at pregnancy; child sex; child ethnicity; gestational age group, and rurality group. Child telomere length was found to be longer if their mother had a higher depression score at both postpartum time points tested (9 months of age; coefficient 0.003, SE = 0.001, P = 0.01, 54 months of age; coefficient 0.003, SE = 0.002, P = 0.02). Although these findings seem paradoxical, increased telomere length may be an adaptive response to early life stressors. We propose several testable hypotheses for these results and to determine if the positive association between depression and telomere length is a developmental adaptation or an indirect consequence of environmental factors.

RevDate: 2024-04-29

Yudin NS, Igoshin AV, Romashov GA, et al (2024)

Influence of breed and environment on leukocyte telomere length in cattle.

Vavilovskii zhurnal genetiki i selektsii, 28(2):190-197.

High milk yield is associated with reduced longevity in high-producing dairy cattle breeds. Pre-term culling leads to high replacement heifer demand and economic losses for the dairy industry. Selection for this trait is limited because of low heritability and difficulties in phenotype measurement. Telomeres are elements found at the ends of chromosomes, consisting of repetitive DNA sequences, several thousand base pairs in length, coupled with nucleoprotein complexes. Eventually, in humans and most other animals, telomere length reduces with age. When telomeric DNA is truncated to a critical length, cell ageing, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis are induced. As a result, telomere length can be considered as a predictor of health risks and an individual's lifespan. The leukocyte telomere length may be used as a proxy phenotype of productive lifespan to improve cattle selection. Our objectives were to assess the effects of breed and breed group (dairy vs. beef) on the leukocyte telomere length and to estimate the effect of cold climate on this trait in Kalmyk cattle populations from the South (Rostov Oblast) and Far North (Republic of Sakha) regions of Russia. The leukocyte telomere lengths were estimated computationally from whole-genome resequencing data. We leveraged data on leukocyte telomere length, sex, and age of 239 animals from 17 cattle breeds. The breed factor had a significant effect on leukocyte telomere length across our sample. There was no difference in leukocyte telomere length between dairy and beef groups. The population factor had a significant effect on leukocyte telomere length in Kalmyk animals. In conclusion, we found that breed, but not breed group (dairy vs. beef), was significantly associated with leukocyte telomere length in cattle. Residence in colder climates was associated with longer leukocyte telomere length in Kalmyk breed cattle.

RevDate: 2024-04-28
CmpDate: 2024-04-28

Limardi PC, Panigoro SS, Siregar NC, et al (2024)

Higher peripheral blood mitochondrial DNA copy number and relative telomere length in under 48 years Indonesian breast cancer patients.

BMC research notes, 17(1):120.

OBJECTIVE: Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer incidence and mortality among Indonesian women. A comprehensive investigation is required to enhance the early detection of this disease. Mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNA-CN) and relative telomere length (RTL) have been proposed as potential biomarkers for several cancer risks, as they are linked through oxidative stress mechanisms. We conducted a case-control study to examine peripheral blood mtDNA-CN and RTL patterns in Indonesian breast cancer patients (n = 175) and healthy individuals (n = 181). The relative ratios of mtDNA-CN and RTL were determined using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR).

RESULTS: Median values of mtDNA-CN and RTL were 1.62 and 0.70 in healthy subjects and 1.79 and 0.73 in breast cancer patients, respectively. We found a positive association between peripheral blood mtDNA-CN and RTL (p < 0.001). In under 48 years old breast cancer patients, higher peripheral blood mtDNA-CN (mtDNA-CN ≥ 1.73 (median), p = 0.009) and RTL (continuous variable, p = 0.010) were observed, compared to the corresponding healthy subjects. We also found a significantly higher 'High-High' pattern of mtDNA-CN and RTL in breast cancer patients under 48 years old (p = 0.011). Our findings suggest that peripheral blood mtDNA-CN and RTL could serve as additional minimally invasive biomarkers for breast cancer risk evaluation.

RevDate: 2024-04-27

Wong JYY, Blechter B, Liu Z, et al (2024)

Genetic susceptibility to chronic diseases leads to heart failure among Europeans: the influence of leukocyte telomere length.

Human molecular genetics pii:7658731 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Genetic susceptibility to various chronic diseases has been shown to influence heart failure (HF) risk. However, the underlying biological pathways, particularly the role of leukocyte telomere length (LTL), are largely unknown. We investigated the impact of genetic susceptibility to chronic diseases and various traits on HF risk, and whether LTL mediates or modifies the pathways.

METHODS: We conducted prospective cohort analyses on 404 883 European participants from the UK Biobank, including 9989 incident HF cases. Multivariable Cox regression was used to estimate associations between HF risk and 24 polygenic risk scores (PRSs) for various diseases or traits previously generated using a Bayesian approach. We assessed multiplicative interactions between the PRSs and LTL previously measured in the UK Biobank using quantitative PCR. Causal mediation analyses were conducted to estimate the proportion of the total effect of PRSs acting indirectly through LTL, an integrative marker of biological aging.

RESULTS: We identified 9 PRSs associated with HF risk, including those for various cardiovascular diseases or traits, rheumatoid arthritis (P = 1.3E-04), and asthma (P = 1.8E-08). Additionally, longer LTL was strongly associated with decreased HF risk (P-trend = 1.7E-08). Notably, LTL strengthened the asthma-HF relationship significantly (P-interaction = 2.8E-03). However, LTL mediated only 1.13% (P < 0.001) of the total effect of the asthma PRS on HF risk.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings shed light onto the shared genetic susceptibility between HF risk, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and other traits. Longer LTL strengthened the genetic effect of asthma in the pathway to HF. These results support consideration of LTL and PRSs in HF risk prediction.

RevDate: 2024-04-26
CmpDate: 2024-04-26

Xia J, Xu L, Yu Y, et al (2024)

Associations between weight-adjusted-waist index and telomere length: Results from NHANES: An observational study.

Medicine, 103(17):e37905.

Previous studies have demonstrated the connection between obesity and telomere length. A recently devised metric for determining obesity, the weight-adjusted-waist index (WWI), offers a distinct advantage in predicting fat and lean mass by depicting weight-independent abdominal adiposity. This article presents the results of the inaugural study on the relationship between WWI and telomere length in adult populations. The cross-sectional investigation analyzed data from 3479 participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted from 1999 to 2000. To inspect linear and nonlinear correlations, we adopted weighted multiple logistic regression analysis and smooth curve fit, respectively. In addition, threshold effects and subgroup analyses were accomplished. In the fully adapted model, a significant adverse association of WWI with telomere length was detected [β = -0.02, 95% CI: (-0.03, -0.00), P value = 0.01]. The adverse correlation remained consistent across all subcategories. We also discovered an inverted U-shaped curve linking WWI and telomere length, with a conspicuous inflection point of 10.07 cm/√kg. For the first time, our research demonstrated strong links between WWI and telomere length. The inflection point suggests that controlling WWI within an optimum range might be essential for aging and health.

RevDate: 2024-04-25

Yan X, Yang P, Li Y, et al (2024)

New insights from bidirectional Mendelian randomization: causal relationships between telomere length and mitochondrial DNA copy number in aging biomarkers.

Aging, 16: pii:205765 [Epub ahead of print].

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number and telomere length (TL) are dynamic factors that have been linked to the aging process in organisms. However, the causal relationship between these variables remains uncertain. In this research, instrumental variables (IVs) related to mtDNA copy number and TL were obtained from publicly available genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Through bidirectional Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis, we examined the potential causal relationship between these factors. The forward analysis, with mtDNA copy number as the exposure and TL as the outcome, did not reveal a significant effect (B=-0.004, P>0.05). On the contrary, upon conducting a reverse analysis, it was found that there exists a positive causal relationship (B=0.054, P<0.05). Sensitivity analyses further confirmed the reliability of these results. The outcomes of this study indicate a one-way positive causal relationship, indicating that telomere shortening in the aging process may lead to a decrease in mtDNA copy number, providing new perspectives on their biological mechanisms.

RevDate: 2024-04-25

Inoue Y, Aoki S, Ito J, et al (2024)

Telomere length determines the mitochondrial copy number in blastocyst-stage embryos.

Mitochondrion pii:S1567-7249(24)00045-X [Epub ahead of print].

Telomere length (TL) and mitochondrial DNA copy number (mt-cn) are associated with embryonic development. Here, we investigated the correlation between TL and mt-cn in bovine embryos to determine whether TL regulates mt-cn. TL and mt-cn were closely correlated in embryos derived from six bulls. Treatment of embryos with a telomerase inhibitor (TMPyP) and siTERT shortened the TL and reduced mt-cn in blastocysts. RNA-sequencing of blastocysts developed with TMPyP revealed differentially expressed genes associated with transforming growth factor-β1 signaling and inflammation. In conclusion, TL regulates mt-cn in embryos.

RevDate: 2024-04-24
CmpDate: 2024-04-24

Tunnicliffe L, Muzambi R, Bartlett JW, et al (2024)

Infection and telomere length: a systematic review protocol.

BMJ open, 14(4):e081881 pii:bmjopen-2023-081881.

INTRODUCTION: Telomeres are a measure of cellular ageing with potential links to diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Studies have shown that some infections may be associated with telomere shortening, but whether an association exists across all types and severities of infections and in which populations is unclear. Therefore we aim to collate available evidence to enable comparison and to inform future research in this field.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will search for studies involving telomere length and infection in various databases including MEDLINE (Ovid interface), EMBASE (Ovid interface), Web of Science, Scopus, Global Health and the Cochrane Library. For grey literature, the British Library of electronic theses databases (ETHOS) will be explored. We will not limit by study type, geographical location, infection type or method of outcome measurement. Two researchers will independently carry out study selection, data extraction and risk of bias assessment using the ROB2 and ROBINS-E tools. The overall quality of the studies will be determined using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation criteria. We will also evaluate study heterogeneity with respect to study design, exposure and outcome measurement and if there is sufficient homogeneity, a meta-analysis will be conducted. Otherwise, we will provide a narrative synthesis with results grouped by exposure category and study design.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The present study does not require ethical approval. Results will be disseminated via publishing in a peer-reviewed journal and conference presentations.


RevDate: 2024-04-24

Nageshan RK, Krogan N, JP Cooper (2024)

Parallel genetic screens identify nuclear envelope homeostasis as a key determinant of telomere entanglement resolution in fission yeast.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.) pii:7657746 [Epub ahead of print].

In fission yeast lacking the telomere binding protein, Taz1, replication forks stall at telomeres, triggering deleterious downstream events. Strand invasion from one taz1Δ telomeric stalled fork to another on a separate (non-sister) chromosome leads to telomere entanglements, which are resolved in mitosis at 32°C; however, entanglement resolution fails at ≤20°C, leading to cold-specific lethality. Previously, we found that loss of the mitotic function of Rif1, a conserved DNA replication and repair factor, suppresses cold sensitivity by promoting resolution of entanglements without affecting entanglement formation. To understand the underlying pathways of mitotic entanglement resolution, we performed a series of genomewide synthetic genetic array screens to generate a comprehensive list of genetic interactors of taz1Δ and rif1Δ. We modified a previously described screening method to ensure that the queried cells were kept in log phase growth. In addition to recapitulating previously identified genetic interactions, we find that loss of genes encoding components of the nuclear pore complex (NPC) promotes telomere disentanglement and suppresses taz1Δ cold sensitivity. We attribute this to more rapid anaphase midregion nuclear envelope (NE) breakdown in the absence of these NPC components. Loss of genes involved in lipid metabolism reverses the ability of rif1+ deletion to suppress taz1Δ cold sensitivity, again pinpointing NE modulation. A rif1+ separation-of-function mutant that specifically loses Rif1's mitotic functions yields similar genetic interactions. Genes promoting membrane fluidity were enriched in a parallel taz1+ synthetic lethal screen at permissive temperature, cementing the idea that the cold specificity of taz1Δ lethality stems from altered NE homeostasis.

RevDate: 2024-04-24
CmpDate: 2024-04-24

Hu C, Zhu XT, He MH, et al (2024)

Elimination of subtelomeric repeat sequences exerts little effect on telomere essential functions in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

eLife, 12: pii:91223.

Telomeres, which are chromosomal end structures, play a crucial role in maintaining genome stability and integrity in eukaryotes. In the baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the X- and Y'-elements are subtelomeric repetitive sequences found in all 32 and 17 telomeres, respectively. While the Y'-elements serve as a backup for telomere functions in cells lacking telomerase, the function of the X-elements remains unclear. This study utilized the S. cerevisiae strain SY12, which has three chromosomes and six telomeres, to investigate the role of X-elements (as well as Y'-elements) in telomere maintenance. Deletion of Y'-elements (SY12[YΔ]), X-elements (SY12[XYΔ+Y]), or both X- and Y'-elements (SY12[XYΔ]) did not impact the length of the terminal TG1-3 tracks or telomere silencing. However, inactivation of telomerase in SY12[YΔ], SY12[XYΔ+Y], and SY12[XYΔ] cells resulted in cellular senescence and the generation of survivors. These survivors either maintained their telomeres through homologous recombination-dependent TG1-3 track elongation or underwent microhomology-mediated intra-chromosomal end-to-end joining. Our findings indicate the non-essential role of subtelomeric X- and Y'-elements in telomere regulation in both telomerase-proficient and telomerase-null cells and suggest that these elements may represent remnants of S. cerevisiae genome evolution. Furthermore, strains with fewer or no subtelomeric elements exhibit more concise telomere structures and offer potential models for future studies in telomere biology.

RevDate: 2024-04-22

Li H, R Durbin (2024)

Genome assembly in the telomere-to-telomere era.

Nature reviews. Genetics [Epub ahead of print].

Genome sequences largely determine the biology and encode the history of an organism, and de novo assembly - the process of reconstructing the genome sequence of an organism from sequencing reads - has been a central problem in bioinformatics for four decades. Until recently, genomes were typically assembled into fragments of a few megabases at best, but now technological advances in long-read sequencing enable the near-complete assembly of each chromosome - also known as telomere-to-telomere assembly - for many organisms. Here, we review recent progress on assembly algorithms and protocols, with a focus on how to derive near-telomere-to-telomere assemblies. We also discuss the additional developments that will be required to resolve remaining assembly gaps and to assemble non-diploid genomes.

RevDate: 2024-04-20

Dilixiati D, Kadier K, Laihaiti D, et al (2024)

Association between leucocyte telomere length and erectile dysfunction in US adults: a secondary study based on 2001-2002 NHANES data.

BMJ open, 14(4):e077808 pii:bmjopen-2023-077808.

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to explore the association between the leucocyte telomere length (LTL) and erectile dysfunction (ED) among a nationally representative sample of US adults.

DESIGN: Secondary population-based study.

SETTING: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) (2001-2002).

PARTICIPANTS: A total of 1694 male participants were extracted from the NHANES database for 2001-2002.

The primary focus of the study was to determine the association between the LTL and ED, using multivariate logistic regression and restricted cubic spline models for examination. The secondary outcome measures involved conducting stratified subgroup analyses to exclude interactions of different variables with the LTL.

RESULTS: Participants with ED had shorter LTLs than those without ED (p<0.05). After adjusting for confounding factors, compared with the reference lowest LTL quartile, the ORs and 95% CIs for the second, third and fourth LTL quartiles were (OR 1.51; 95% CI 1.01 to 2.26), (OR 1.79; 95% CI 1.24 to 2.58) and (OR 1.25; 95% CI 0.74 to 2.11), respectively. In addition, restricted cubic splines showed an inverted J-curve relationship between the LTL and ED. At an LTL of 1.037, the curve showed an inflection point. The ORs (95% CI) of ED on the left and right sides of the inflection point were (OR 1.99; 95% CI 0.39 to 10.20; p=0.385) and (OR 0.17; 95% CI 0.03 to 0.90; p=0.039).

CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrated an inverted J-curve relationship between the LTL and ED. When the LTL was ≥1.037, the incidence of ED decreased with increasing LTL.

RevDate: 2024-04-19

Fernández-Varas B, Manguan-García C, Rodriguez-Centeno J, et al (2024)

Clinical mutations in the TERT and TERC genes coding for telomerase components induced oxidative stress, DNA damage at telomeres and cell apoptosis besides decreased telomerase activity.

Human molecular genetics, 33(9):818-834.

Telomeres are nucleoprotein structures at the end of chromosomes that maintain their integrity. Mutations in genes coding for proteins involved in telomere protection and elongation produce diseases such as dyskeratosis congenita or idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis known as telomeropathies. These diseases are characterized by premature telomere shortening, increased DNA damage and oxidative stress. Genetic diagnosis of telomeropathy patients has identified mutations in the genes TERT and TERC coding for telomerase components but the functional consequences of many of these mutations still have to be experimentally demonstrated. The activity of twelve TERT and five TERC mutants, five of them identified in Spanish patients, has been analyzed. TERT and TERC mutants were expressed in VA-13 human cells that express low telomerase levels and the activity induced was analyzed. The production of reactive oxygen species, DNA oxidation and TRF2 association at telomeres, DNA damage response and cell apoptosis were determined. Most mutations presented decreased telomerase activity, as compared to wild-type TERT and TERC. In addition, the expression of several TERT and TERC mutants induced oxidative stress, DNA oxidation, DNA damage, decreased recruitment of the shelterin component TRF2 to telomeres and increased apoptosis. These observations might indicate that the increase in DNA damage and oxidative stress observed in cells from telomeropathy patients is dependent on their TERT or TERC mutations. Therefore, analysis of the effect of TERT and TERC mutations of unknown function on DNA damage and oxidative stress could be of great utility to determine the possible pathogenicity of these variants.

RevDate: 2024-04-18

Li B, Xiong W, Zuo W, et al (2024)

Proximal telomeric decompaction due to telomere shortening drives FOXC1-dependent myocardial senescence.

Nucleic acids research pii:7650606 [Epub ahead of print].

Telomeres, TTAGGGn DNA repeat sequences located at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, play a pivotal role in aging and are targets of DNA damage response. Although we and others have demonstrated presence of short telomeres in genetic cardiomyopathic and heart failure cardiomyocytes, little is known about the role of telomere lengths in cardiomyocyte. Here, we demonstrate that in heart failure patient cardiomyocytes, telomeres are shortened compared to healthy controls. We generated isogenic human induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) with short telomeres (sTL-CMs) and normal telomeres (nTL-CMs) as model. Compared to nTL-CMs, short telomeres result in cardiac dysfunction and expression of senescent markers. Using Hi-C and RNASeq, we observe that short telomeres induced TAD insulation decrease near telomeric ends and this correlated with a transcription upregulation in sTL-CMs. FOXC1, a key transcription factor involved in early cardiogenesis, was upregulated in sTL-CMs and its protein levels were negatively correlated with telomere lengths in heart failure patients. Overexpression of FOXC1 induced hiPSC-CM aging, mitochondrial and contractile dysfunction; knockdown of FOXC1 rescued these phenotypes. Overall, the work presented demonstrate that increased chromatin accessibility due to telomere shortening resulted in the induction of FOXC1-dependent expression network responsible for contractile dysfunction and myocardial senescence.

RevDate: 2024-04-18

Garcia-Medina JS, Sienkiewicz K, Narayanan SA, et al (2024)

Genome and clonal hematopoiesis stability contrasts with immune, cfDNA, mitochondrial, and telomere length changes during short duration spaceflight.

Precision clinical medicine, 7(1):pbae007.

BACKGROUND: The Inspiration4 (I4) mission, the first all-civilian orbital flight mission, investigated the physiological effects of short-duration spaceflight through a multi-omic approach. Despite advances, there remains much to learn about human adaptation to spaceflight's unique challenges, including microgravity, immune system perturbations, and radiation exposure.

METHODS: To provide a detailed genetics analysis of the mission, we collected dried blood spots pre-, during, and post-flight for DNA extraction. Telomere length was measured by quantitative PCR, while whole genome and cfDNA sequencing provided insight into genomic stability and immune adaptations. A robust bioinformatic pipeline was used for data analysis, including variant calling to assess mutational burden.

RESULT: Telomere elongation occurred during spaceflight and shortened after return to Earth. Cell-free DNA analysis revealed increased immune cell signatures post-flight. No significant clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP) or whole-genome instability was observed. The long-term gene expression changes across immune cells suggested cellular adaptations to the space environment persisting months post-flight.

CONCLUSION: Our findings provide valuable insights into the physiological consequences of short-duration spaceflight, with telomere dynamics and immune cell gene expression adapting to spaceflight and persisting after return to Earth. CHIP sequencing data will serve as a reference point for studying the early development of CHIP in astronauts, an understudied phenomenon as previous studies have focused on career astronauts. This study will serve as a reference point for future commercial and non-commercial spaceflight, low Earth orbit (LEO) missions, and deep-space exploration.

RevDate: 2024-04-18

Yu HJ, Byun YH, CK Park (2024)

Techniques for assessing telomere length: A methodological review.

Computational and structural biotechnology journal, 23:1489-1498.

Telomeres are located at the ends of chromosomes and have specific sequences with a distinctive structure that safeguards genes. They possess capping structures that protect chromosome ends from fusion events and ensure chromosome stability. Telomeres shorten in length during each cycle of cell division. When this length reaches a certain threshold, it can lead to genomic instability, thus being implicated in various diseases, including cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. The possibility of telomeres serving as a biomarker for aging and age-related disease is being explored, and their significance is still under study. This is because post-mitotic cells, which are mature cells that do not undergo mitosis, do not experience telomere shortening due to age. Instead, other causes, for example, exposure to oxidative stress, can directly damage the telomeres, causing genomic instability. Nonetheless, a general agreement has been established that measuring telomere length offers valuable insights and forms a crucial foundation for analyzing gene expression and epigenetic data. Numerous approaches have been developed to accurately measure telomere lengths. In this review, we summarize various methods and their advantages and limitations for assessing telomere length.

RevDate: 2024-04-17

de Punder K, Salinas-Manrique J, Dietrich DE, et al (2024)

Serum levels of the steroid hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) are associated with psychological trauma and lymphocyte telomere integrity in women suffering from depression.

Neuroimmunomodulation pii:000538893 [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: Emerging studies highlight the telomere system as an aging mechanism underlying the association between exposure to psychological trauma and the development of a wide range of physical and mental disorders, including major depressive disorder (MDD). Here, we investigated associations of circulating levels of the steroid hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) with immune cell telomere length (TL) in the context of lifetime trauma exposure and MDD.

METHODS: Lifetime traumatic events (trauma load) were assessed using the Essener Trauma Inventory (ETI) in n=22 postmenopausal female inpatients with MDD and n=22 non-depressed controls. All women completed the Beck's Depression Inventory-II to assess the severity of current depressive symptoms. DHEA concentration in serum was measured by immunoassay and TL was quantified in kilobase units using quantitative fluorescent in situ hybridization (qFISH) in total peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and in selected T cell subpopulations isolated by FACS separation.

RESULTS: Higher trauma load was significantly associated with lower DHEA concentration, which in turn was linked to more depression-related fatigue. Furthermore, DHEA concentration was positively and significantly associated with TL in memory CD4+ T cells as well as in naïve and memory CD8+ T cells, but not in naïve CD4+ T cells and total PBMC. Mediational analysis suggested that DHEA concentration is a mediator in the relationship between trauma load and memory CD8+ T cell TL.

CONCLUSION: The current findings suggest a potential role of DHEA as a biological resilience factor that may exert beneficial effects on telomere integrity, especially in conditions related to distress.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

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

ESP Support

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

ESP Rationale

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

ESP Goal

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

ESP Usage

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

ESP Content

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

ESP Help

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

ESP Plans

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

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Good Beginner's Books

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

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
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Papers in Classical Genetics

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

Digital Books

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


ESP now offers a large collection of user-selected side-by-side timelines (e.g., all science vs. all other categories, or arts and culture vs. world history), designed to provide a comparative context for appreciating world events.


Biographical information about many key scientists (e.g., Walter Sutton).

Selected Bibliographies

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

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