Sample records for add telomeric repeats

  1. Swi1Timeless Prevents Repeat Instability at Fission Yeast Telomeres (United States)

    Gadaleta, Mariana C.; Das, Mukund M.; Tanizawa, Hideki; Chang, Ya-Ting; Noma, Ken-ichi; Nakamura, Toru M.; Noguchi, Eishi


    Genomic instability associated with DNA replication stress is linked to cancer and genetic pathologies in humans. If not properly regulated, replication stress, such as fork stalling and collapse, can be induced at natural replication impediments present throughout the genome. The fork protection complex (FPC) is thought to play a critical role in stabilizing stalled replication forks at several known replication barriers including eukaryotic rDNA genes and the fission yeast mating-type locus. However, little is known about the role of the FPC at other natural impediments including telomeres. Telomeres are considered to be difficult to replicate due to the presence of repetitive GT-rich sequences and telomere-binding proteins. However, the regulatory mechanism that ensures telomere replication is not fully understood. Here, we report the role of the fission yeast Swi1Timeless, a subunit of the FPC, in telomere replication. Loss of Swi1 causes telomere shortening in a telomerase-independent manner. Our epistasis analyses suggest that heterochromatin and telomere-binding proteins are not major impediments for telomere replication in the absence of Swi1. Instead, repetitive DNA sequences impair telomere integrity in swi1Δ mutant cells, leading to the loss of repeat DNA. In the absence of Swi1, telomere shortening is accompanied with an increased recruitment of Rad52 recombinase and more frequent amplification of telomere/subtelomeres, reminiscent of tumor cells that utilize the alternative lengthening of telomeres pathway (ALT) to maintain telomeres. These results suggest that Swi1 ensures telomere replication by suppressing recombination and repeat instability at telomeres. Our studies may also be relevant in understanding the potential role of Swi1Timeless in regulation of telomere stability in cancer cells. PMID:26990647

  2. Telomeric repeat-containing RNA TERRA: a noncoding RNA connecting telomere biology to genome integrity. (United States)

    Cusanelli, Emilio; Chartrand, Pascal


    Telomeres are dynamic nucleoprotein structures that protect the ends of chromosomes from degradation and activation of DNA damage response. For this reason, telomeres are essential to genome integrity. Chromosome ends are enriched in heterochromatic marks and proper organization of telomeric chromatin is important to telomere stability. Despite their heterochromatic state, telomeres are transcribed giving rise to long noncoding RNAs (lncRNA) called TERRA (telomeric repeat-containing RNA). TERRA molecules play critical roles in telomere biology, including regulation of telomerase activity and heterochromatin formation at chromosome ends. Emerging evidence indicate that TERRA transcripts form DNA-RNA hybrids at chromosome ends which can promote homologous recombination among telomeres, delaying cellular senescence and sustaining genome instability. Intriguingly, TERRA RNA-telomeric DNA hybrids are involved in telomere length homeostasis of telomerase-negative cancer cells. Furthermore, TERRA transcripts play a role in the DNA damage response (DDR) triggered by dysfunctional telomeres. We discuss here recent developments on TERRA's role in telomere biology and genome integrity, and its implication in cancer.

  3. HOT1 is a mammalian direct telomere repeat-binding protein contributing to telomerase recruitment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kappei, D.; Butter, F.; Benda, C.; Scheibe, M.; Draskovic, Irena; Stevense, M.; Novo, C.L.; Basquin, C.; Araki, M.; Araki, K.; Krastev, D.B.; Kittler, R.; Jessberger, R.; Londono-Vallejo, J.A.; Mann, M.; Buchholz, F.


    Telomeres are repetitive DNA structures that, together with the shelterin and the CST complex, protect the ends of chromosomes. Telomere shortening is mitigated in stem and cancer cells through the de novo addition of telomeric repeats by telomerase. Telomere elongation requires the delivery of the

  4. Telomeric Repeat Containing RNA (TERRA): Aging and Cancer. (United States)

    Sinha, Sonam; Shukla, Samriddhi; Khan, Sajid; Farhan, Mohammad; Kamal, Mohammad Amjad; Meeran, Syed Musthapa


    Telomeric repeat containing RNAs (TERRA) are small RNA molecules synthesized from telomeric regions which were previously considered as silent genomic domains. In normal cells, these RNAs are transcribed in a direction from subtelomeric region towards the chromosome ends, but in case of cancer cells, their expression remains limited or absent. Telomerase is a rate limiting enzyme for cellular senescence, cancer and aging. Most of the studies deal with the manipulation of telomerase enzyme in cancer and aging either by synthetic oligonucleotide or by natural phytochemicals. Here, we collected evidences and discussed intensely about the bio-molecular structure of TERRA, naturally occurring ligands of telomerase, and their genetic and epigenetic regulations in aging associated diseases. Due to their capability to act as naturally occurring ligands of telomerase, these RNAs can overcome the limitations possessed by synthetic oligonucleotides, which are aimed against telomerase. Drugs specifically targeting TERRA molecules could modulate telomerase-mediated telomere lengthening. Thus, targeting TERRA-mediated regulation of telomerase would be a promising therapeutic strategy against cancer and age-associated diseases.

  5. Telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA) and telomerase are components of telomeres during mammalian gametogenesis. (United States)

    Reig-Viader, Rita; Vila-Cejudo, Marta; Vitelli, Valerio; Buscà, Rafael; Sabaté, Montserrat; Giulotto, Elena; Caldés, Montserrat Garcia; Ruiz-Herrera, Aurora


    Telomeres are ribonucleoprotein structures at the end of chromosomes composed of telomeric DNA, specific-binding proteins, and noncoding RNA (TERRA). Despite their importance in preventing chromosome instability, little is known about the cross talk between these three elements during the formation of the germ line. Here, we provide evidence that both TERRA and the telomerase enzymatic subunit (TERT) are components of telomeres in mammalian germ cells. We found that TERRA colocalizes with telomeres during mammalian meiosis and that its expression progressively increases during spermatogenesis until the beginning of spermiogenesis. While both TERRA levels and distribution would be regulated in a gender-specific manner, telomere-TERT colocalization appears to be regulated based on species-specific characteristics of the telomeric structure. Moreover, we found that TERT localization at telomeres is maintained throughout spermatogenesis as a structural component without affecting telomere elongation. Our results represent the first evidence of colocalization between telomerase and telomeres during mammalian gametogenesis.

  6. Spectroscopic investigation on the telomeric DNA base sequence repeat

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    Telomeres are protein-DNA complexes at the terminals of linear chromosomes, which protect chromosomal integrity and maintain cellular replicative capacity.From single-cell organisms to advanced animals and plants,structures and functions of telomeres are both very conservative. In cells of human and vertebral animals, telomeric DNA base sequences all are (TTAGGG)n. In the present work, we have obtained absorption and fluorescence spectra measured from seven synthesized oligonucleotides to simulate the telomeric DNA system and calculated their relative fluorescence quantum yields on which not only telomeric DNA characteristics are predicted but also possibly the shortened telomeric sequences during cell division are imrelative fluorescence quantum yield and remarkable excitation energy innerconversion, which tallies with the telomeric sequence of (TTAGGG)n. This result shows that telomeric DNA has a strong non-radiative or innerconvertible capability.``

  7. Telomere and ribosomal DNA repeats are chromosomal targets of the bloom syndrome DNA helicase

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    Paric Enesa


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bloom syndrome is one of the most cancer-predisposing disorders and is characterized by genomic instability and a high frequency of sister chromatid exchange. The disorder is caused by loss of function of a 3' to 5' RecQ DNA helicase, BLM. The exact role of BLM in maintaining genomic integrity is not known but the helicase has been found to associate with several DNA repair complexes and some DNA replication foci. Results Chromatin immunoprecipitation of BLM complexes recovered telomere and ribosomal DNA repeats. The N-terminus of BLM, required for NB localization, is the same as the telomere association domain of BLM. The C-terminus is required for ribosomal DNA localization. BLM localizes primarily to the non-transcribed spacer region of the ribosomal DNA repeat where replication forks initiate. Bloom syndrome cells expressing the deletion alleles lacking the ribosomal DNA and telomere association domains have altered cell cycle populations with increased S or G2/M cells relative to normal. Conclusion These results identify telomere and ribosomal DNA repeated sequence elements as chromosomal targets for the BLM DNA helicase during the S/G2 phase of the cell cycle. BLM is localized in nuclear bodies when it associates with telomeric repeats in both telomerase positive and negative cells. The BLM DNA helicase participates in genomic stability at ribosomal DNA repeats and telomeres.

  8. Quantitative interaction screen of telomeric repeat-containing RNA reveals novel TERRA regulators. (United States)

    Scheibe, Marion; Arnoult, Nausica; Kappei, Dennis; Buchholz, Frank; Decottignies, Anabelle; Butter, Falk; Mann, Matthias


    Telomeres are actively transcribed into telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA), which has been implicated in the regulation of telomere length and heterochromatin formation. Here, we applied quantitative mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics to obtain a high-confidence interactome of TERRA. Using SILAC-labeled nuclear cell lysates in an RNA pull-down experiment and two different salt conditions, we distinguished 115 proteins binding specifically to TERRA out of a large set of background binders. While TERRA binders identified in two previous studies showed little overlap, using quantitative mass spectrometry we obtained many candidates reported in these two studies. To test whether novel candidates found here are involved in TERRA regulation, we performed an esiRNA-based interference analysis for 15 of them. Knockdown of 10 genes encoding candidate proteins significantly affected total cellular levels of TERRA, and RNAi of five candidates perturbed TERRA recruitment to telomeres. Notably, depletion of SRRT/ARS2, involved in miRNA processing, up-regulated both total and telomere-bound TERRA. Conversely, knockdown of MORF4L2, a component of the NuA4 histone acetyltransferase complex, reduced TERRA levels both globally and for telomere-bound TERRA. We thus identified new proteins involved in the homeostasis and telomeric abundance of TERRA, extending our knowledge of TERRA regulation.

  9. Creation of a novel telomere-cutting endonuclease based on the EN domain of telomere-specific non-long terminal repeat retrotransposon, TRAS1

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    Yoshitake Kazutoshi


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The ends of chromosomes, termed telomeres consist of repetitive DNA. The telomeric sequences shorten with cell division and, when telomeres are critically abbreviated, cells stop proliferating. However, in cancer cells, by the expression of telomerase which elongates telomeres, the cells can continue proliferating. Many approaches for telomere shortening have been pursued in the past, but to our knowledge, cutting telomeres in vivo has not so far been demonstrated. In addition, there is lack of information on the cellular effects of telomere shortening in human cells. Results Here, we created novel chimeric endonucleases to cut telomeres by fusing the endonuclease domain (TRAS1EN of the silkworm's telomere specific non-long terminal repeat retrotransposon TRAS1 to the human telomere-binding protein, TRF1. An in vitro assay demonstrated that the TRAS1EN-TRF1 chimeric endonucleases (T-EN and EN-T cut the human (TTAGGGn repeats specifically. The concentration of TRAS1EN-TRF1 chimeric endonucleases necessary for the cleavage of (TTAGGGn repeats was about 40-fold lower than that of TRAS1EN alone. When TRAS1EN-TRF1 endonucleases were introduced into human U2OS cancer cells using adenovirus vectors, the enzymes localized at telomeres of nuclei, cleaved and shortened the telomeric DNA by double-strand breaks. When human U2OS and HFL-1 fibroblast cells were infected with EN-T recombinant adenovirus, their cellular proliferation was suppressed for about 2 weeks after infection. In contrast, the TRAS1EN mutant (H258A chimeric endonuclease fused with TRF1 (ENmut-T did not show the suppression effect. The EN-T recombinant adenovirus induced telomere shortening in U2OS cells, activated the p53-dependent pathway and caused the senescence associated cellular responses, while the ENmut-T construct did not show such effects. Conclusions A novel TRAS1EN-TRF1 chimeric endonuclease (EN-T cuts the human telomeric repeats (TTAGGGn specifically in

  10. The human TTAGGG repeat factors 1 and 2 bind to a subset of interstitial telomeric sequences and satellite repeats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Thomas Simonet; Elena Giulotto; Frederique Magdinier; Béatrice Horard; Pascal Barbry; Rainer Waldmann; Eric Gison; Laure-Emmanuelle Zaragosi; Claude Philippe; Kevin Lebrigand; Clémentine Schouteden; Adeline Augereau; Serge Bauwens; Jing Ye; Marco Santagostino


    The study of the proteins that bind to telomeric DNA in mammals has provided a deep understanding of the mech anisms involved in chromosome-end protection. However, very little is known on the binding of these proteins to nontelomeric DNA sequences. The TTAGGG DNA repeat proteins 1 and 2 (TRF1 and TRF2) bind to mammalian telomeres as part of the shelterin complex and are essential for maintaining chromosome end stability. In this study, we combined chromatin immunoprecipitation with high-throughput sequencing to map at high sensitivity and resolution the human chromosomal sites to which TRF1 and TRF2 bind. While most of the identified sequences correspond to telomeric regions, we showed that these two proteins also bind to extratelomeric sites. The vast majority of these extratelomeric sites contains interstitial telomeric sequences (or ITSs). However, we also identified non-iTS sites, which correspond to centromeric and pericentromeric satellite DNA. Interestingly, the TRF-binding sites are often located in the proximity of genes or within introns. We propose that TRF1 and TRF2 couple the functional state of telomeres to the long-range organization of chromosomes and gene regulation networks by binding to extratelomeric sequences.

  11. The protein network surrounding the human telomere repeat binding factors TRF1, TRF2, and POT1.

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    Richard J Giannone

    Full Text Available Telomere integrity (including telomere length and capping is critical in overall genomic stability. Telomere repeat binding factors and their associated proteins play vital roles in telomere length regulation and end protection. In this study, we explore the protein network surrounding telomere repeat binding factors, TRF1, TRF2, and POT1 using dual-tag affinity purification in combination with multidimensional protein identification technology liquid chromatography--tandem mass spectrometry (MudPIT LC-MS/MS. After control subtraction and data filtering, we found that TRF2 and POT1 co-purified all six members of the telomere protein complex, while TRF1 identified five of six components at frequencies that lend evidence towards the currently accepted telomere architecture. Many of the known TRF1 or TRF2 interacting proteins were also identified. Moreover, putative associating partners identified for each of the three core components fell into functional categories such as DNA damage repair, ubiquitination, chromosome cohesion, chromatin modification/remodeling, DNA replication, cell cycle and transcription regulation, nucleotide metabolism, RNA processing, and nuclear transport. These putative protein-protein associations may participate in different biological processes at telomeres or, intriguingly, outside telomeres.

  12. The protein network surrounding the human telomere repeat binding factors TRF1, TRF2, and POT1

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    Giannone, Richard J [ORNL; McDonald, W Hayes [ORNL; Hurst, Gregory {Greg} B [ORNL; Shen, Rong-Fong [National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health; Wang, Yisong [ORNL; Liu, Yie [National Institute on Aging, Baltimore


    Telomere integrity (including telomere length and capping) is critical in overall genomic stability. Telomere repeat binding factors and their associated proteins play vital roles in telomere length regulation and end protection. In this study, we explore the protein network surrounding telomere repeat binding factors, TRF1, TRF2, and POT1 using dual-tag affinity purification in combination with multidimensional protein identification technology liquid chromatography - tandem mass spectrometry (MudPIT LC-MS/MS). After control subtraction and data filtering, we found that TRF2 and POT1 co-purified all six members of the telomere protein complex, while TRF1 identified five of six components at frequencies that lend evidence towards the currently accepted telomere architecture. Many of the known TRF1 or TRF2 interacting proteins were also identified. Moreover, putative associating partners identified for each of the three core components fell into functional categories such as DNA damage repair, ubiquitination, chromosome cohesion, chromatin modification/remodeling, DNA replication, cell cycle and transcription regulation, nucleotide metabolism, RNA processing, and nuclear transport. These putative protein-protein associations may participate in different biological processes at telomeres or, intriguingly, outside telomeres.

  13. Telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA) constitutes a nucleoprotein component of extracellular inflammatory exosomes. (United States)

    Wang, Zhuo; Deng, Zhong; Dahmane, Nadia; Tsai, Kevin; Wang, Pu; Williams, Dewight R; Kossenkov, Andrew V; Showe, Louise C; Zhang, Rugang; Huang, Qihong; Conejo-Garcia, José R; Lieberman, Paul M


    Telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA) has been identified as a telomere-associated regulator of chromosome end protection. Here, we report that TERRA can also be found in extracellular fractions that stimulate innate immune signaling. We identified extracellular forms of TERRA in mouse tumor and embryonic brain tissue, as well as in human tissue culture cell lines using RNA in situ hybridization. RNA-seq analyses revealed TERRA to be among the most highly represented transcripts in extracellular fractions derived from both normal and cancer patient blood plasma. Cell-free TERRA (cfTERRA) could be isolated from the exosome fractions derived from human lymphoblastoid cell line (LCL) culture media. cfTERRA is a shorter form (∼200 nt) of cellular TERRA and copurifies with CD63- and CD83-positive exosome vesicles that could be visualized by cyro-electron microscopy. These fractions were also enriched for histone proteins that physically associate with TERRA in extracellular ChIP assays. Incubation of cfTERRA-containing exosomes with peripheral blood mononuclear cells stimulated transcription of several inflammatory cytokine genes, including TNFα, IL6, and C-X-C chemokine 10 (CXCL10) Exosomes engineered with elevated TERRA or liposomes with synthetic TERRA further stimulated inflammatory cytokines, suggesting that exosome-associated TERRA augments innate immune signaling. These findings imply a previously unidentified extrinsic function for TERRA and a mechanism of communication between telomeres and innate immune signals in tissue and tumor microenvironments.

  14. Visualization and quantitative analysis of extrachromosomal telomere-repeat DNA in individual human cells by Halo-FISH. (United States)

    Komosa, Martin; Root, Heather; Meyn, M Stephen


    Current methods for characterizing extrachromosomal nuclear DNA in mammalian cells do not permit single-cell analysis, are often semi-quantitative and frequently biased toward the detection of circular species. To overcome these limitations, we developed Halo-FISH to visualize and quantitatively analyze extrachromosomal DNA in single cells. We demonstrate Halo-FISH by using it to analyze extrachromosomal telomere-repeat (ECTR) in human cells that use the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) pathway(s) to maintain telomere lengths. We find that GM847 and VA13 ALT cells average ∼80 detectable G/C-strand ECTR DNA molecules/nucleus, while U2OS ALT cells average ∼18 molecules/nucleus. In comparison, human primary and telomerase-positive cells contain 300), range widely in length (200 kb) and are composed of primarily G- or C-strand telomere-repeat DNA. Halo-FISH enables, for the first time, the simultaneous analysis of ECTR DNA and chromosomal telomeres in a single cell. We find that ECTR DNA comprises ∼15% of telomere-repeat DNA in GM847 and VA13 cells, but FISH can facilitate the study of a wide variety of extrachromosomal DNA in mammalian cells.

  15. Relative Telomere Repeat Mass in Buccal and Leukocyte-Derived DNA (United States)

    Finnicum, Casey T.; Dolan, Conor V.; Willemsen, Gonneke; Weber, Zachary M.; Petersen, Jason L.; Beck, Jeffrey J.; Codd, Veryan; Boomsma, Dorret I.; Davies, Gareth E.; Ehli, Erik A.


    Telomere length has garnered interest due to the potential role it may play as a biomarker for the cellular aging process. Telomere measurements obtained from blood-derived DNA are often used in epidemiological studies. However, the invasive nature of blood draws severely limits sample collection, particularly with children. Buccal cells are commonly sampled for DNA isolation and thus may present a non-invasive alternative for telomere measurement. Buccal and leukocyte derived DNA obtained from samples collected at the same time period were analyzed for telomere repeat mass (TRM). TRM was measured in buccal-derived DNA samples from individuals for whom previous TRM data from blood samples existed. TRM measurement was performed by qPCR and was normalized to the single copy 36B4 gene relative to a reference DNA sample (K562). Correlations between TRM from blood and buccal DNA were obtained and also between the same blood DNA samples measured in separate laboratories. Using the classical twin design, TRM heritability was estimated (N = 1892, MZ = 1044, DZ = 775). Buccal samples measured for TRM showed a significant correlation with the blood-1 (R = 0.39, p < 0.01) and blood-2 (R = 0.36, p < 0.01) samples. Sex and age effects were observed within the buccal samples as is the norm within blood-derived DNA. The buccal, blood-1, and blood-2 measurements generated heritability estimates of 23.3%, 47.6% and 22.2%, respectively. Buccal derived DNA provides a valid source for the determination of TRM, paving the way for non-invasive projects, such as longitudinal studies in children. PMID:28125671

  16. No Interstitial Telomeres on Autosomes but Remarkable Amplification of Telomeric Repeats on the W Sex Chromosome in the Sand Lizard (Lacerta agilis). (United States)

    Matsubara, Kazumi; Uno, Yoshinobu; Srikulnath, Kornsorn; Matsuda, Yoichi; Miller, Emily; Olsson, Mats


    Telomeres are repeat (TTAGGG) n sequences that form terminal ends of chromosomes and have several functions, such as protecting the coding DNA from erosion at mitosis. Due to chromosomal rearrangements through evolutionary history (e.g., inversions and fusions), telomeric sequences are also found between the centromere and the terminal ends (i.e., at interstitial telomeric sites, ITSs). ITS telomere sequences have been implicated in heritable disease caused by genomic instability of ITS polymorphic variants, both with respect to copy number and sequence. In the sand lizard (Lacerta agilis), we have shown that telomere length is predictive of lifetime fitness in females but not males. To assess whether this sex specific fitness effect could be traced to ITSs differences, we mapped (TTAGGG) n sequences using fluorescence in situ hybridization in fibroblast cells cultured from 4 specimens of known sex. No ITSs could be found on autosomes in either sex. However, females have heterogametic sex chromosomes in sand lizards (ZW, 2n = 38) and the female W chromosome showed degeneration and remarkable (TTAGGG) n amplification, which was absent in the Z chromosomes. This work warrants further research on sex chromosome content, in particular of the degenerate W chromosome, and links to female fitness in sand lizards.

  17. Telomerase activity and telomere length in Daphnia. (United States)

    Schumpert, Charles; Nelson, Jacob; Kim, Eunsuk; Dudycha, Jeffry L; Patel, Rekha C


    Telomeres, comprised of short repetitive sequences, are essential for genome stability and have been studied in relation to cellular senescence and aging. Telomerase, the enzyme that adds telomeric repeats to chromosome ends, is essential for maintaining the overall telomere length. A lack of telomerase activity in mammalian somatic cells results in progressive shortening of telomeres with each cellular replication event. Mammals exhibit high rates of cell proliferation during embryonic and juvenile stages but very little somatic cell proliferation occurs during adult and senescent stages. The telomere hypothesis of cellular aging states that telomeres serve as an internal mitotic clock and telomere length erosion leads to cellular senescence and eventual cell death. In this report, we have examined telomerase activity, processivity, and telomere length in Daphnia, an organism that grows continuously throughout its life. Similar to insects, Daphnia telomeric repeat sequence was determined to be TTAGG and telomerase products with five-nucleotide periodicity were generated in the telomerase activity assay. We investigated telomerase function and telomere lengths in two closely related ecotypes of Daphnia with divergent lifespans, short-lived D. pulex and long-lived D. pulicaria. Our results indicate that there is no age-dependent decline in telomere length, telomerase activity, or processivity in short-lived D. pulex. On the contrary, a significant age dependent decline in telomere length, telomerase activity and processivity is observed during life span in long-lived D. pulicaria. While providing the first report on characterization of Daphnia telomeres and telomerase activity, our results also indicate that mechanisms other than telomere shortening may be responsible for the strikingly short life span of D. pulex.

  18. Stem cell expansion during carcinogenesis in stem cell-depleted conditional telomeric repeat factor 2 null mutant mice. (United States)

    Bojovic, B; Ho, H-Y; Wu, J; Crowe, D L


    To examine the role of telomeric repeat-binding factor 2 (TRF2) in epithelial tumorigenesis, we characterized conditional loss of TRF2 expression in the basal layer of mouse epidermis. These mice exhibit some characteristics of dyskeratosis congenita, a human stem cell depletion syndrome caused by telomere dysfunction. The epidermis in conditional TRF2 null mice exhibited DNA damage response and apoptosis, which correlated with stem cell depletion. The stem cell population in conditional TRF2 null epidermis exhibited shorter telomeres than those in control mice. Squamous cell carcinomas induced in conditional TRF2 null mice developed with increased latency and slower growth due to reduced numbers of proliferating cells as the result of increased apoptosis. TRF2 null epidermal stem cells were found in both primary and metastatic tumors. Despite the low-grade phenotype of the conditional TRF2 null primary tumors, the number of metastatic lesions was similar to control cancers. Basal cells from TRF2 null tumors demonstrated extreme telomere shortening and dramatically increased numbers of telomeric signals by fluorescence in situ hybridization due to increased genomic instability and aneuploidy in these cancers. DNA damage response signals were detected at telomeres in TRF2 null tumor cells from these mice. The increased genomic instability in these tumors correlated with eightfold expansion of the transformed stem cell population compared with that in control cancers. We concluded that genomic instability resulting from loss of TRF2 expression provides biological advantages to the cancer stem cell population.

  19. Detection of telomerase activity by combination of telomeric repeat amplification protocol and electrochemiluminescence assay

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiao Ming Zhou; Li Jia


    A highly sensitive telomerase detection method that combines telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) and magnetic beads based electrochemiluminescence (ECL) assay has been developed. Briefly, telomerase recognizes biotinylated telomerase synthesis primer (B-TS) and synthesizes extension products, which then serve as the templates for PCR amplification using B-TS as the forward primer and Iris-(2'2'-bipyridyl) ruthenium (TBR) labeled ACX (TBR-ACX) as the reversed primer. The amplified product is captured on streptavidin-coated paramagnetic beads and detected by ECL. Telomerase positive HeLa cells were used to validate the feasibility of the method. The experimental results showed down to 10 cancer cells can be detected easily. The method is a useful tool for telomerase activity analysis due to its sensitivity, rapidity, safety, high throughput, and low cost. It can be used for screening a large amount of clinical samples.

  20. Cytogenetic analysis of Populus trichocarpa--ribosomal DNA, telomere repeat sequence, and marker-selected BACs. (United States)

    Islam-Faridi, M N; Nelson, C D; DiFazio, S P; Gunter, L E; Tuskan, G A


    The 18S-28S rDNA and 5S rDNA loci in Populus trichocarpa were localized using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). Two 18S-28S rDNA sites and one 5S rDNA site were identified and located at the ends of 3 different chromosomes. FISH signals from the Arabidopsis-type telomere repeat sequence were observed at the distal ends of each chromosome. Six BAC clones selected from 2 linkage groups based on genome sequence assembly (LG-I and LG-VI) were localized on 2 chromosomes, as expected. BACs from LG-I hybridized to the longest chromosome in the complement. All BAC positions were found to be concordant with sequence assembly positions. BAC-FISH will be useful for delineating each of the Populus trichocarpa chromosomes and improving the sequence assembly of this model angiosperm tree species.

  1. Cytogenetic Analysis of Populus trichocarpa - Ribosomal DNA, Telomere Repeat Sequence, and Marker-selected BACs

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    Tuskan, Gerald A [ORNL; Gunter, Lee E [ORNL; DiFazio, Stephen P [West Virginia University


    The 18S-28S rDNA and 5S rDNA loci in Populus trichocarpa were localized using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). Two 18S-28S rDNA sites and one 5S rDNA site were identified and located at the ends of 3 different chromosomes. FISH signals from the Arabidopsis -type telomere repeat sequence were observed at the distal ends of each chromosome. Six BAC clones selected from 2 linkage groups based on genome sequence assembly (LG-I and LG-VI) were localized on 2 chromosomes, as expected. BACs from LG-I hybridized to the longest chromosome in the complement. All BAC positions were found to be concordant with sequence assembly positions. BAC-FISH will be useful for delineating each of the Populus trichocarpa chromosomes and improving the sequence assembly of this model angiosperm tree species.

  2. Telomere shortening unrelated to smoking, body weight, physical activity, and alcohol intake: 4,576 general population individuals with repeat measurements 10 years apart.

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    Maren Weischer


    Full Text Available Cross-sectional studies have associated short telomere length with smoking, body weight, physical activity, and possibly alcohol intake; however, whether these associations are due to confounding is unknown. We tested these hypotheses in 4,576 individuals from the general population cross-sectionally, and with repeat measurement of relative telomere length 10 years apart. We also tested whether change in telomere length is associated with mortality and morbidity in the general population. Relative telomere length was measured with quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Cross-sectionally at the first examination, short telomere length was associated with increased age (P for trend across quartiles = 3 × 10(-77, current smoking (P = 8 × 10(-3, increased body mass index (P = 7 × 10(-14, physical inactivity (P = 4 × 10(-17, but not with increased alcohol intake (P = 0.10. At the second examination 10 years later, 56% of participants had lost and 44% gained telomere length with a mean loss of 193 basepairs. Change in leukocyte telomere length during 10 years was associated inversely with baseline telomere length (P<1 × 10(-300 and age at baseline (P = 1 × 10(-27, but not with baseline or 10-year inter-observational tobacco consumption, body weight, physical activity, or alcohol intake. Prospectively during a further 10 years follow-up after the second examination, quartiles of telomere length change did not associate with risk of all-cause mortality, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes mellitus, ischemic cerebrovascular disease, or ischemic heart disease. In conclusion, smoking, increased body weight, and physical inactivity were associated with short telomere length cross-sectionally, but not with telomere length change during 10 years observation, and alcohol intake was associated with neither. Also, change in telomere length did not associate prospectively with mortality or morbidity in the general population.

  3. Ribosomal DNA clusters and telomeric (TTAGG)n repeats in blue butterflies (Lepidoptera, Lycaenidae) with low and high chromosome numbers (United States)

    Vershinina, Alisa O.; Anokhin, Boris A.; Lukhtanov, Vladimir A.


    Abstract Ribosomal DNA clusters and telomeric repeats are important parts of eukaryotic genome. However, little is known about their organization and localization in karyotypes of organisms with holocentric chromosomes. Here we present first cytogenetic study of these molecular structures in seven blue butterflies of the genus Polyommatus Latreille, 1804 with low and high chromosome numbers (from n=10 to n=ca.108) using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with 18S rDNA and (TTAGG)n telomeric probes. FISH with the 18S rDNA probe showed the presence of two different variants of the location of major rDNA clusters in Polyommatus species: with one or two rDNA-carrying chromosomes in haploid karyotype. We discuss evolutionary trends and possible mechanisms of changes in the number of ribosomal clusters. We also demonstrate that Polyommatus species have the classical insect (TTAGG)n telomere organization. This chromosome end protection mechanism probably originated de novo in small chromosomes that evolved via fragmentations. PMID:26140159

  4. Telomeres and human health

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bojesen, S E


    Telomeres are the tips of chromosomes and consist of proteins and hexanucleotide tandem repeats of DNA. The DNA repeats are shortened at each mitotic division of normal cells, and the telomere length chronicles how many divisions the cell has undergone. Thus, telomere length is a marker...... of fundamental biological pathways. It has been possible to measure telomere length for more than 20 years, and it has been established that telomere length is associated with age, sex and lifestyle factors. Here, the current knowledge of telomere length as a biomarker of disease susceptibility and mortality...... will be reviewed. In addition, technical difficulties and the reasons why measurement of telomeres has still not been introduced into routine clinical practice will be discussed. Findings from recent studies conducted in many thousands of individuals indicate that telomere length is not-or at best only marginally...

  5. The Telomeric Repeats of Human Herpesvirus 6A (HHV-6A) Are Required for Efficient Virus Integration. (United States)

    Wallaschek, Nina; Sanyal, Anirban; Pirzer, Fabian; Gravel, Annie; Mori, Yasuko; Flamand, Louis; Kaufer, Benedikt B


    Human herpesvirus 6A (HHV-6A) and 6B (HHV-6B) are ubiquitous betaherpesviruses that infects humans within the first years of life and establishes latency in various cell types. Both viruses can integrate their genomes into telomeres of host chromosomes in latently infected cells. The molecular mechanism of viral integration remains elusive. Intriguingly, HHV-6A, HHV-6B and several other herpesviruses harbor arrays of telomeric repeats (TMR) identical to human telomere sequences at the ends of their genomes. The HHV-6A and HHV-6B genomes harbor two TMR arrays, the perfect TMR (pTMR) and the imperfect TMR (impTMR). To determine if the TMR are involved in virus integration, we deleted both pTMR and impTMR in the HHV-6A genome. Upon reconstitution, the TMR mutant virus replicated comparable to wild type (wt) virus, indicating that the TMR are not essential for HHV-6A replication. To assess the integration properties of the recombinant viruses, we established an in vitro integration system that allows assessment of integration efficiency and genome maintenance in latently infected cells. Integration of HHV-6A was severely impaired in the absence of the TMR and the virus genome was lost rapidly, suggesting that integration is crucial for the maintenance of the virus genome. Individual deletion of the pTMR and impTMR revealed that the pTMR play the major role in HHV-6A integration, whereas the impTMR only make a minor contribution, allowing us to establish a model for HHV-6A integration. Taken together, our data shows that the HHV-6A TMR are dispensable for virus replication, but are crucial for integration and maintenance of the virus genome in latently infected cells.

  6. Novel Luminex Assay for Telomere Repeat Mass Does Not Show Well Position Effects Like qPCR.

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    Muhammad G Kibriya

    Full Text Available Telomere length is a potential biomarker of aging and risk for age-related diseases. For measurement of relative telomere repeat mass (TRM, qPCR is typically used primarily due to its low cost and low DNA input. But the position of the sample on a plate often impacts the qPCR-based TRM measurement. Recently we developed a novel, probe-based Luminex assay for TRM that requires ~50ng DNA and involves no DNA amplification. Here we report, for the first time, a comparison among TRM measurements obtained from (a two singleplex qPCR assays (using two different primer sets, (b a multiplex qPCR assay, and (c our novel Luminex assay. Our comparison is focused on characterizing the effects of sample positioning on TRM measurement. For qPCR, DNA samples from two individuals (K and F were placed in 48 wells of a 96-well plate. For each singleplex qPCR assay, we used two plates (one for Telomere and one for Reference gene. For the multiplex qPCR and the Luminex assay, the telomere and the reference genes were assayed from the same well. The coefficient of variation (CV of the TRM for Luminex (7.2 to 8.4% was consistently lower than singleplex qPCR (11.4 to 14.9% and multiplex qPCR (19.7 to 24.3%. In all three qPCR assays the DNA samples in the left- and right-most columns showed significantly lower TRM than the samples towards the center, which was not the case for the Luminex assay (p = 0.83. For singleplex qPCR, 30.5% of the variation in TL was explained by column-to-column variation and 0.82 to 27.9% was explained by sample-to-sample variation. In contrast, only 5.8% of the variation in TRM for the Luminex assay was explained by column-to column variation and 50.4% was explained by sample-to-sample variation. Our novel Luminex assay for TRM had good precision and did not show the well position effects of the sample that were seen in all three of the qPCR assays that were tested.

  7. Genetic and epigenetic trends in telomere research: a novel way in immunoepigenetics. (United States)

    Melicher, Dora; Buzas, Edit I; Falus, Andras


    Telomeres are protective heterochromatic structures that cap the end of linear chromosomes and play a key role in preserving genomic stability. Telomere length represents a balance between processes that shorten telomeres during cell divisions with incomplete DNA replication and the ones that lengthen telomeres by the action of telomerase, an RNA-protein complex with reverse transcriptase activity which adds telomeric repeats to DNA molecule ends. Telomerase activity and telomere length have a crucial role in cellular ageing and in the pathobiology of several human diseases attracting intense research. The last few decades have witnessed remarkable advances in our understanding about telomeres, telomere-associated proteins, and the biogenesis and regulation of the telomerase holoenzyme complex, as well as about telomerase activation and the telomere-independent functions of telomerase. Emerging data have revealed that telomere length can be modified by genetic and epigenetic factors, sex hormones, reactive oxygen species and inflammatory reactions. It has become clear that, in order to find out more about the factors influencing the rate of telomere attrition in vivo, it is crucial to explore both genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. Since the telomere/telomerase assembly is under the control of multiple epigenetic influences, the unique design of twin studies could help disentangle genetic and environmental factors in the functioning of the telomere/telomerase system. It is surprising that the literature on twin studies investigating this topic is rather scarce. This review aims to provide an overview of some important immune response- and epigenetics-related aspects of the telomere/telomerase system demanding more research, while presenting the available twin data published in connection with telomere research so far. By emphasising what we know and what we still do not know in these areas, another purpose of this review is to urge more twin studies in telomere

  8. A base-modified PNA-graphene oxide platform as a turn-on fluorescence sensor for the detection of human telomeric repeats (United States)

    Sabale, Pramod M.; George, Jerrin Thomas; Srivatsan, Seergazhi G.


    Given the biological and therapeutic significance of telomeres and other G-quadruplex forming sequences in human genome, it is highly desirable to develop simple methods to study these structures, which can also be implemented in screening formats for the discovery of G-quadruplex binders. The majority of telomere detection methods developed so far are laborious and use elaborate assay and instrumental setups, and hence, are not amenable to discovery platforms. Here, we describe the development of a simple homogeneous fluorescence turn-on method, which uses a unique combination of an environment-sensitive fluorescent nucleobase analogue, the superior base pairing property of PNA, and DNA-binding and fluorescence quenching properties of graphene oxide, to detect human telomeric DNA repeats of varying lengths. Our results demonstrate that this method, which does not involve a rigorous assay setup, would provide new opportunities to study G-quadruplex structures.Given the biological and therapeutic significance of telomeres and other G-quadruplex forming sequences in human genome, it is highly desirable to develop simple methods to study these structures, which can also be implemented in screening formats for the discovery of G-quadruplex binders. The majority of telomere detection methods developed so far are laborious and use elaborate assay and instrumental setups, and hence, are not amenable to discovery platforms. Here, we describe the development of a simple homogeneous fluorescence turn-on method, which uses a unique combination of an environment-sensitive fluorescent nucleobase analogue, the superior base pairing property of PNA, and DNA-binding and fluorescence quenching properties of graphene oxide, to detect human telomeric DNA repeats of varying lengths. Our results demonstrate that this method, which does not involve a rigorous assay setup, would provide new opportunities to study G-quadruplex structures. Electronic supplementary information (ESI

  9. Telomeric repeat factor 1 protein levels correlates with telomere length in colorectal cancer Los niveles proteicos del factor de repetición telomérico 1 se correlacionan con la longitud del telómero en el cáncer colorrectal

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    Cristina Valls-Bautista


    Full Text Available Background: colorectal cancer is the third cancer cause of death in Spain. It is important to investigate new tumoral markers for early diagnosis, disease monitoring and prevention strategies. Telomeres protect the chromosome from degradation by nucleases and end-to-end fusion. The progressive loss of the telomeric ends of chromosomes is an important mechanism in the timing of human cellular aging. Telomeric Repeat Factor 1 (TRF1 is a protein that binds at telomere ends. Purpose: to measure the concentrations of TRF1 and the relationships among telomere length, telomerase activity, and TRF1 levels in tumor and normal colorectal mucosa. Method: from normal and tumoral samples of 83 patients who underwent surgery for colorectal cancer we analyzed TRF1 protein concentration by Western Blot, telomerase activity, by the fluorescent-telomeric repeat amplification protocol assay and telomere length by Southern Blot. Results: high levels of TRF1 were observed in 68.7% of tumor samples, while the majority of normal samples (59% showed negative or weak TRF1 concentrations. Among the tumor samples, telomere length was significantly associated with TRF1 protein levels (p = 0.023. Conclusions: a relationship was found between telomere length and TRF1 abundance protein in tumor samples, which means that TRF1 is an important factor in the tumor progression and maybe a diagnostic factor.

  10. Population mixture model for nonlinear telomere dynamics (United States)

    Itzkovitz, Shalev; Shlush, Liran I.; Gluck, Dan; Skorecki, Karl


    Telomeres are DNA repeats protecting chromosomal ends which shorten with each cell division, eventually leading to cessation of cell growth. We present a population mixture model that predicts an exponential decrease in telomere length with time. We analytically solve the dynamics of the telomere length distribution. The model provides an excellent fit to available telomere data and accounts for the previously unexplained observation of telomere elongation following stress and bone marrow transplantation, thereby providing insight into the nature of the telomere clock.

  11. Telomeres and human health. (United States)

    Bojesen, S E


    Telomeres are the tips of chromosomes and consist of proteins and hexanucleotide tandem repeats of DNA. The DNA repeats are shortened at each mitotic division of normal cells, and the telomere length chronicles how many divisions the cell has undergone. Thus, telomere length is a marker of fundamental biological pathways. It has been possible to measure telomere length for more than 20 years, and it has been established that telomere length is associated with age, sex and lifestyle factors. Here, the current knowledge of telomere length as a biomarker of disease susceptibility and mortality will be reviewed. In addition, technical difficulties and the reasons why measurement of telomeres has still not been introduced into routine clinical practice will be discussed. Findings from recent studies conducted in many thousands of individuals indicate that telomere length is not-or at best only marginally-independently associated with risk of common disorders such as cardiovascular, pulmonary and neoplastic diseases. However, in sufficiently powered studies, short telomeres are repeatedly and independently found to be associated with increased risk of early death in the general population or in subsets of individuals. This indicates that measurement of telomeres could be a valuable prognostic biomarker in many clinical settings. However, whether short telomeres are a causal factor for or simply a marker of increased risk of early death must be determined. Finally, how Mendelian randomization studies could clarify this issue, and which clinical studies might be carried out to refine this very promising biomarker for routine clinical use will be considered.

  12. Telomere attrition due to infection.

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    Petteri Ilmonen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Telomeres--the terminal caps of chromosomes--become shorter as individuals age, and there is much interest in determining what causes telomere attrition since this process may play a role in biological aging. The leading hypothesis is that telomere attrition is due to inflammation, exposure to infectious agents, and other types of oxidative stress, which damage telomeres and impair their repair mechanisms. Several lines of evidence support this hypothesis, including observational findings that people exposed to infectious diseases have shorter telomeres. Experimental tests are still needed, however, to distinguish whether infectious diseases actually cause telomere attrition or whether telomere attrition increases susceptibility to infection. Experiments are also needed to determine whether telomere erosion reduces longevity. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We experimentally tested whether repeated exposure to an infectious agent, Salmonella enterica, causes telomere attrition in wild-derived house mice (Mus musculus musculus. We repeatedly infected mice with a genetically diverse cocktail of five different S. enterica strains over seven months, and compared changes in telomere length with sham-infected sibling controls. We measured changes in telomere length of white blood cells (WBC after five infections using a real-time PCR method. Our results show that repeated Salmonella infections cause telomere attrition in WBCs, and particularly for males, which appeared less disease resistant than females. Interestingly, we also found that individuals having long WBC telomeres at early age were relatively disease resistant during later life. Finally, we found evidence that more rapid telomere attrition increases mortality risk, although this trend was not significant. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results indicate that infectious diseases can cause telomere attrition, and support the idea that telomere length could provide a molecular

  13. The controversial telomeres of lily plants. (United States)

    de la Herrán, R; Cuñado, N; Navajas-Pérez, R; Santos, J L; Ruiz Rejón, C; Garrido-Ramos, M A; Ruiz Rejón, M


    The molecular structure of the exceptional telomeres of six plant species belonging to the order Asparagales and two species of the order Liliales was analyzed using Southern blot and fluorescence in situ hybridization. Three different situations were found, namely: i) In the two Liliales species, Tulipa australis (Liliaceae) and Merendera montana (Colchicaceae), the chromosome ends display hybridization signals with oligonucleotides resembling telomere repeats of both plants (TTTAGGG)n and vertebrates (TTAGGG)n. ii) Asparagales species such as Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae), Muscari comosum (Hyacinthaceae), Narcissus jonquilla (Amaryllidaceae) and Allium sativum (Alliaceae) lack both the plant telomere repeats and the vertebrate telomere repeats. iii) Two other Asparagales species, Aloe vera (Asphodelaceae) and an Iris hybrid (Iridaceae), display positive hybridization with the vertebrate telomere repeats but not with the plant telomere repeats. Southern blot hybridization revealed concurring results. On this basis, the composition of the telomere structure in this plant group is discussed.

  14. Telomere dysfunction and chromosome instability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Murnane, John P., E-mail: [Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California San Francisco, 2340 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94143-1331 (United States)


    The ends of chromosomes are composed of a short repeat sequence and associated proteins that together form a cap, called a telomere, that keeps the ends from appearing as double-strand breaks (DSBs) and prevents chromosome fusion. The loss of telomeric repeat sequences or deficiencies in telomeric proteins can result in chromosome fusion and lead to chromosome instability. The similarity between chromosome rearrangements resulting from telomere loss and those found in cancer cells implicates telomere loss as an important mechanism for the chromosome instability contributing to human cancer. Telomere loss in cancer cells can occur through gradual shortening due to insufficient telomerase, the protein that maintains telomeres. However, cancer cells often have a high rate of spontaneous telomere loss despite the expression of telomerase, which has been proposed to result from a combination of oncogene-mediated replication stress and a deficiency in DSB repair in telomeric regions. Chromosome fusion in mammalian cells primarily involves nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ), which is the major form of DSB repair. Chromosome fusion initiates chromosome instability involving breakage-fusion-bridge (B/F/B) cycles, in which dicentric chromosomes form bridges and break as the cell attempts to divide, repeating the process in subsequent cell cycles. Fusion between sister chromatids results in large inverted repeats on the end of the chromosome, which amplify further following additional B/F/B cycles. B/F/B cycles continue until the chromosome acquires a new telomere, most often by translocation of the end of another chromosome. The instability is not confined to a chromosome that loses its telomere, because the instability is transferred to the chromosome donating a translocation. Moreover, the amplified regions are unstable and form extrachromosomal DNA that can reintegrate at new locations. Knowledge concerning the factors promoting telomere loss and its consequences is

  15. Diminished telomeric 3' overhangs are associated with telomere dysfunction in Hoyeraal-Hreidarsson syndrome.

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    Noa Lamm

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Eukaryotic chromosomes end with telomeres, which in most organisms are composed of tandem DNA repeats associated with telomeric proteins. These DNA repeats are synthesized by the enzyme telomerase, whose activity in most human tissues is tightly regulated, leading to gradual telomere shortening with cell divisions. Shortening beyond a critical length causes telomere uncapping, manifested by the activation of a DNA damage response (DDR and consequently cell cycle arrest. Thus, telomere length limits the number of cell divisions and provides a tumor-suppressing mechanism. However, not only telomere shortening, but also damaged telomere structure, can cause telomere uncapping. Dyskeratosis Congenita (DC and its severe form Hoyeraal-Hreidarsson Syndrome (HHS are genetic disorders mainly characterized by telomerase deficiency, accelerated telomere shortening, impaired cell proliferation, bone marrow failure, and immunodeficiency. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We studied the telomere phenotypes in a family affected with HHS, in which the genes implicated in other cases of DC and HHS have been excluded, and telomerase expression and activity appears to be normal. Telomeres in blood leukocytes derived from the patients were severely short, but in primary fibroblasts they were normal in length. Nevertheless, a significant fraction of telomeres in these fibroblasts activated DDR, an indication of their uncapped state. In addition, the telomeric 3' overhangs are diminished in blood cells and fibroblasts derived from the patients, consistent with a defect in telomere structure common to both cell types. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Altogether, these results suggest that the primary defect in these patients lies in the telomere structure, rather than length. We postulate that this defect hinders the access of telomerase to telomeres, thus causing accelerated telomere shortening in blood cells that rely on telomerase to replenish their telomeres

  16. Human telomeric proteins occupy selective interstitial sites

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Dong Yang; Yuanyan Xiong; Hyyeung Kim; Quanyuan He; Yumei Li; Rui Chen; Zhou Songyang


    Human telomeres are bound and protected by protein complexes assembled around the six core telomeric proteins RAP1, TRF1, TRF2, TIN2, TPP1, and POT1. The function of these proteins on telomeres has been studied extensively. Recently, increasing evidence has suggested possible roles for these proteins outside of telomeres. However, the non-canonical (extra-telomeric) function of human telomeric proteins remains poorly understood. To this end, we systematically investigated the binding sites of telomeric proteins along human chromosomes, by performing wholegenome chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) for RAP1 and TRF2. ChIP sequencing (ChIP-seq) revealed that RAP1 and TRF2 could be found on a small number of interstitial sites, including regions that are proximal to genes. Some of these binding sites contain short telomere repeats, suggesting that telomeric proteins could directly bind to interstitial sites. Interestingly, only a small fraction of the available interstitial telomere repeat-containing regions were occupied by RAP1 and TRF2. Ectopically expressed TRF2 was able to occupy additional interstitial telomere repeat sites, suggesting that protein concentration may dictate the selective targeting of telomeric proteins to interstitial sites. Reducing RAP1 and TRF2 expression by RNA interference led to altered transcription of RAP1- and TRF2-targeted genes. Our results indicate that human telomeric proteins could occupy a limited number of interstitial sites and regulate gene transcription.

  17. Effect of rubidium and cesium ions on the dimeric quaduplex formed by the Oxytricha nova telomeric repeat oligonucleotide d(GGGGTTTTGGGG). (United States)

    Marincola, Flaminia Cesare; Virno, Ada; Randazzo, Antonio; Lai, Adolfo


    The DNA sequence d(GGGGTTTTGGGG) consists of 1.5 units of the repeat in telomeres of Oxytricha nova. It has been shown by NMR and x-ray crystallographic analysis that it is capable to form a dimeric quadruplex structure and that a variety of cations, namely K(+), Na(+), and NH(4)(+), are able to interact with this complex with different affinity, leading to complexes characterized by different local conformations. Thus, in order to improve the knowledge of this kind of molecule, and in particular to provide further insight into the role of monovalent cations in the G-quadruplex folding and conformation, we have investigated by (1)H-NMR the effect of the addition of Rb(+) and Cs(+) to the quadruplex formed by the oligonucleotide d(GGGGTTTTGGGG).

  18. Prognostic significance of telomeric repeat length alterations in pathological stage I-IIIA non-small cell lung cancer. (United States)

    Hirashima, T; Komiya, T; Nitta, T; Takada, Y; Kobayashi, M; Masuda, N; Matui, K; Takada, M; Kikui, M; Yasumitu, T; Ohno, A; Nakagawa, K; Fukuoka, M; Kawase, I


    This study was performed to evaluate the prognostic significance of alteration in telomere length in pathological stage (p-stage) I-IIIA non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Paired cancer and normal lung tissues were obtained from 72 patients with histologically confirmed p-stage I-IIIA NSCLC. Terminal restriction fragment (TRF) length, which indicates telomere length, was measured by Southern blot analysis. Tumor telomerase activity was also assayed by non-radioactive PCR-ELISA in 55 patients. TRF length (mean +/- SD) in normal tissue was 6.2 +/- 1.1 Kb. Therefore, upper and lower limits of normal range in TRF length was set at 8.4 (mean + 2SD) Kb and 4.0 (mean-2SD) Kb, respectively. A tumor showing TRF length over normal range was defined as positive for the alteration. In 72 patients, 25 (34.7%) with alteration in TRF length had significantly shorter survival durations than those of the others. Telomerase activity did not correlate with survival duration. In multivariate analysis, alteration in TRF length (P = 0.0033) was second to p-stage (P = 0.0004) in importance among the various parameters.

  19. Male and female meiosis in the mountain scorpion Zabius fuscus (Scorpiones, Buthidae): heterochromatin, rDNA and TTAGG telomeric repeats. (United States)

    Adilardi, Renzo Sebastián; Ojanguren-Affilastro, Andrés Alejandro; Mattoni, Camilo Iván; Mola, Liliana María


    All cytogenetically studied scorpions present male achiasmatic meiosis and lack heteromorphic sex chromosomes. In contrast, information about female meiosis in scorpions is scarce due to the difficulty of finding meiotic cells. The genus Zabius includes three described species and no chromosome studies have been performed on it until now. We analyzed the constitutive heterochromatin distribution, NORs and telomeric sequences in mitosis and meiosis of males and females of different populations of Zabius fuscus. All specimens presented 2n = 18 holokinetic chromosomes that gradually decreased in size. Male meiosis presented nine bivalents and a polymorphism for one reciprocal translocation in one population. Telomeric signals were detected at every terminal region, confirming also the presence of a (TTAGG) n motif in Buthidae. Constitutive heterochromatin was found in three chromosome pairs at a terminal region; moreover, NORs were embedded in the heterochromatic region of the largest pair. Chromosome size and landmarks allowed us to propose the chromosomes involved in the rearrangement. In four females, cells at different prophase I stages were analyzed. We describe a diffuse stage and the presence of ring-shaped bivalents. We discuss the possible origin of these bivalents in the framework of chiasmatic or achiasmatic female meiosis. These results contribute to increase the scarce evidence of female meiosis in scorpions and raise new questions about its mechanism.

  20. Role of TERRA in the regulation of telomere length. (United States)

    Wang, Caiqin; Zhao, Li; Lu, Shiming


    Telomere dysfunction is closely associated with human diseases such as cancer and ageing. Inappropriate changes in telomere length and/or structure result in telomere dysfunction. Telomeres have been considered to be transcriptionally silent, but it was recently demonstrated that mammalian telomeres are transcribed into telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA). TERRA, a long non-coding RNA, participates in the regulation of telomere length, telomerase activity and heterochromatinization. The correct regulation of telomere length may be crucial to telomeric homeostasis and functions. Here, we summarize recent advances in our understanding of the crucial role of TERRA in the maintenance of telomere length, with focus on the variety of mechanisms by which TERRA is involved in the regulation of telomere length. This review aims to enable further understanding of how TERRA-targeted drugs can target telomere-related diseases.

  1. ATM Kinase Is Required for Telomere Elongation in Mouse and Human Cells

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    Stella Suyong Lee


    Full Text Available Short telomeres induce a DNA damage response, senescence, and apoptosis, thus maintaining telomere length equilibrium is essential for cell viability. Telomerase addition of telomere repeats is tightly regulated in cells. To probe pathways that regulate telomere addition, we developed the ADDIT assay to measure new telomere addition at a single telomere in vivo. Sequence analysis showed telomerase-specific addition of repeats onto a new telomere occurred in just 48 hr. Using the ADDIT assay, we found that ATM is required for addition of new repeats onto telomeres in mouse cells. Evaluation of bulk telomeres, in both human and mouse cells, showed that blocking ATM inhibited telomere elongation. Finally, the activation of ATM through the inhibition of PARP1 resulted in increased telomere elongation, supporting the central role of the ATM pathway in regulating telomere addition. Understanding this role of ATM may yield new areas for possible therapeutic intervention in telomere-mediated disease.

  2. Telomere and Telomerase Therapeutics in Cancer

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    Yucheng Xu


    Full Text Available Telomerase is a reverse transcriptase capable of utilizing an integrated RNA component as a template to add protective tandem telomeric single strand DNA repeats, TTAGGG, to the ends of chromosomes. Telomere dysfunction and telomerase reactivation are observed in approximately 90% of human cancers; hence, telomerase activation plays a unique role as a nearly universal step on the path to malignancy. In the past two decades, multiple telomerase targeting therapeutic strategies have been pursued, including direct telomerase inhibition, telomerase interference, hTERT or hTERC promoter driven therapy, telomere-based approaches, and telomerase vaccines. Many of these strategies have entered clinical development, and some have now advanced to phase III clinical trials. In the coming years, one or more of these new telomerase-targeting drugs may be expected to enter the pharmacopeia of standard care. Here, we briefly review the molecular functions of telomerase in cancer and provide an update about the preclinical and clinical development of telomerase targeting therapeutics.

  3. Telomere functions grounding on TERRA firma. (United States)

    Azzalin, Claus M; Lingner, Joachim


    Long noncoding telomeric repeat-containing RNAs - TERRAs - are transcribed in a regulated manner from telomeres throughout eukaryotes. TERRA molecules consist of chromosome end-specific subtelomeric sequences and telomeric repeats at their 3' ends. Recent work suggests that TERRA sustains several important functions at chromosome ends. TERRA can regulate telomere length through modulation of exonuclease 1 and telomerase, it may promote recruitment of chromatin modifiers to damaged telomeres and thereby enable DNA end-processing, and it may promote telomere protein composition changes during cell cycle progression. Furthermore, telomere transcription regulates chromosome-end mobility within the nucleus. We review how TERRA, by regulated expression and by providing a molecular scaffold for various protein enzymes, can support a large variety of vital functions.

  4. Telomere elongation chooses TERRA ALTernatives. (United States)

    Arora, Rajika; Azzalin, Claus M


    Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) mechanisms allow telomerase-negative immortal cells to buffer replicative telomere shortening. ALT is naturally active in a number of human cancers and might be selected upon telomerase inactivation. ALT is thought to operate through homologous recombination (HR) occurring between telomeric repeats from independent chromosome ends. Indeed, suppression of a number of HR factors impairs ALT cell proliferation. Yet, how HR is initiated at ALT telomeres remains elusive. Mounting evidence suggests that the long noncoding telomeric RNA TERRA renders ALT telomeres recombinogenic by forming RNA:DNA hybrids with the telomeric C-rich strand. TERRA and telomeric hybrids act in concert with a number of other factors, including the RNA endoribonuclease RNaseH1 and the single stranded DNA binding protein RPA. The functional interaction network built upon these different players seems indispensable for ALT telomere maintenance, and digging into the molecular details of this previously unappreciated network might open the way to novel avenues for cancer treatments.

  5. Interactions between meso-tetrakis(4-(N-methylpyridiumyl))porphyrin TMPyP4 and DNA G-quadruplex of telomeric repeated sequence TTAGGG

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    The binding properties between meso-tetrakis(4-(N-methylpyridiumyl))porphyrin (TMPyP4) and the parallel DNA G-quadruplex (G4) of telomeric repeated sequence 5′-TTAGGG-3′ have been characterized by means of circular dichroism,steady-state absorption,steady-state fluorescence and picosecond time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopies. The binding constant and the saturated binding number were determined as 1.29×106 (mol/L)-1 and 3,respectively,according to steady-state absorption spec-troscopy. Based on the findings by the use of time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopic technique,it is deduced that TMPyP4 binds to a DNA G-quadruplex with both the thread-intercalating and end-stacking modes and at the saturated binding state,one TMPyP4 molecule intercalates into the intervals of G-tetrads while the other two stack to the ends of the DNA G-quadruplex.

  6. TERRA and the state of the telomere. (United States)

    Rippe, Karsten; Luke, Brian


    Long noncoding telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA) has been implicated in telomere maintenance in a telomerase-dependent and a telomerase-independent manner during replicative senescence and cancer. TERRA's proposed activities are diverse, thus making it difficult to pinpoint the critical roles that TERRA may have. We propose that TERRA orchestrates different activities at chromosome ends in a manner that depends on the state of the telomere.

  7. Telomere Length and Mortality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kimura, Masayuki; Hjelmborg, Jacob V B; Gardner, Jeffrey P


    Leukocyte telomere length, representing the mean length of all telomeres in leukocytes, is ostensibly a bioindicator of human aging. The authors hypothesized that shorter telomeres might forecast imminent mortality in elderly people better than leukocyte telomere length. They performed mortality...

  8. Deletion of the major peroxiredoxin Tsa1 alters telomere length homeostasis



    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are proposed to play a major role in telomere length alterations during aging. The mechanisms by which ROS disrupt telomeres remain unclear. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, telomere DNA consists of TG(1-3) repeats, which are maintained primarily by telomerase. Telomere length maintenance can be modulated by the expression level of telomerase subunits and telomerase activity. Additionally, telomerase-mediated telomere repeat addition is negatively modulated by the le...

  9. Human cells lacking coilin and Cajal bodies are proficient in telomerase assembly, trafficking and telomere maintenance. (United States)

    Chen, Yanlian; Deng, Zhiqiang; Jiang, Shuai; Hu, Qian; Liu, Haiying; Songyang, Zhou; Ma, Wenbin; Chen, Shi; Zhao, Yong


    The RNA component of human telomerase (hTR) localizes to Cajal bodies, and it has been proposed that Cajal bodies play a role in the assembly of telomerase holoenzyme and telomerase trafficking. Here, the role of Cajal bodies was examined in Human cells deficient of coilin (i.e. coilin-knockout (KO) cells), in which no Cajal bodies are detected. In coilin-KO cells, a normal level of telomerase activity is detected and interactions between core factors of holoenzyme are preserved, indicating that telomerase assembly occurs in the absence of Cajal bodies. Moreover, dispersed hTR aggregates and forms foci specifically during S and G2 phase in coilin-KO cells. Colocalization of these hTR foci with telomeres implies proper telomerase trafficking, independent of Cajal bodies. Therefore, telomerase adds similar numbers of TTAGGG repeats to telomeres in coilin-KO and controls cells. Overexpression of TPP1-OB-fold blocks cell cycle-dependent formation of hTR foci and inhibits telomere extension. These findings suggest that telomerase assembly, trafficking and extension occur with normal efficiency in Cajal bodies deficient human cells. Thus, Cajal bodies, as such, are not essential in these processes, although it remains possible that non-coilin components of Cajal bodies and/or telomere binding proteins (e.g. TPP1) do play roles in telomerase biogenesis and telomere homeostasis.

  10. The role of telomeres an telomerase during zebrafish heart regeneration


    Bednarek, Dorota


    Tesis doctoral inédita leída en la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Facultad de Medicina, Departamento de Bioquímica. Fecha de lectura: 23-11-2015 Telomeres are specialized nucleoprotein structures that protect the ends of chromosomes from DNA repair and degradation activities. The maintenance of telomeres is essential for chromosome stability. Without new synthesis, telomeres (TTAGGG repeats) undergo progressive shortening with each cell division. Telomere shortening can lead to the appear...

  11. LINE-1 induces hTERT and ensures telomere maintenance in tumour cell lines. (United States)

    Aschacher, T; Wolf, B; Enzmann, F; Kienzl, P; Messner, B; Sampl, S; Svoboda, M; Mechtcheriakova, D; Holzmann, K; Bergmann, M


    A hallmark of cancer cells is an activated telomere maintenance mechanism, which allows prolonged survival of the malignant cells. In more than 80% of tumours, telomeres are elongated by the enzyme telomerase, which adds de novo telomere repeats to the ends of chromosomes. Cancer cells are also characterized by expression of active LINE-1 elements (L1s, long interspersed nuclear elements-1). L1 elements are abundant retrotransposons in the eukaryotic genome that are primarily known for facilitating aberrant recombination. Using L1-knockdown (KD), we show for the first time that L1 is critical for telomere maintenance in telomerase-positive tumour cells. The reduced length of telomeres in the L1-KD-treated cells correlated with an increased rate of telomere dysfunction foci, a reduced expression of shelterin proteins and an increased rate of anaphase bridges. The decreased telomere length was associated with a decreased telomerase activity and decreased telomerase mRNA level; the latter was increased upon L1 overexpression. L1-KD also led to a decrease in mRNA and protein expression of cMyc and KLF-4, two main transcription factors of telomerase and altered mRNA levels of other stem-cell-associated proteins such as CD44 and hMyb, as well as a corresponding reduced growth of spheroids. The KD of KLF-4 or cMyc decreased the level of L1-ORF1 mRNA, suggesting a specific reciprocal regulation with L1. Thus, our findings contribute to the understanding of L1 as a pathogenicity factor in cancer cells. As L1 is only expressed in pathophysiological conditions, L1 now appears to be target in the rational treatment of telomerase-positive cancer.

  12. Karyotypes, male meiosis and comparative FISH mapping of 18S ribosomal DNA and telomeric (TTAGGn repeat in eight species of true bugs (Hemiptera, Heteroptera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Snejana Grozeva


    Full Text Available Eight species belonging to five true bug families were analyzed using DAPI/CMA3-staining and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH with telomeric (TTAGGn and 18S rDNA probes. Standard chromosomal complements are reported for the first time for Deraeocoris rutilus (Herrich-Schäffer, 1838 (2n=30+2m+XY and D. ruber (Linnaeus, 1758 (2n=30+2m+XY from the family Miridae. Using FISH, the location of a 18S rDNA cluster was detected in these species and in five more species: Megaloceroea recticornis (Geoffroy, 1785 (2n=30+XY from the Miridae; Oxycarenus lavaterae (Fabricius, 1787 (2n=14+2m+XY from the Lygaeidae s.l.; Pyrrhocoris apterus (Linnaeus, 1758 (2n=22+X from the Pyrrhocoridae; Eurydema oleracea (Linnaeus, 1758 (2n=12+XY and Graphosoma lineatum (Linnaeus, 1758 (2n=12+XY from the Pentatomidae. The species were found to differ with respect to location of a 18S rRNA gene cluster which resides on autosomes in O. lavaterae and P. apterus, whereas it locates on sex chromosomes in other five species. The 18S rDNA location provides the first physical landmark of the genomes of the species studied. The insect consensus telomeric pentanucleotide (TTAGGn was demonstrated to be absent in all the species studied in this respect, D. rutilus, M. recticornis, Cimex lectularius Linnaeus, 1758 (Cimicidae, E. oleracea, and G. lineatum, supporting the hypothesis that this motif was lost in early evolution of the Heteroptera and secondarily replaced with another motif (yet unknown or the alternative telomerase-independent mechanisms of telomere maintenance. Dot-blot hybridization analysis of the genomic DNA from C. lectularius, Nabis sp. and O. lavaterae with (TTAGGn and six other telomeric probes likewise provided a negative result.

  13. Mechanisms of telomere loss and their consequences for chromosome instability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keiko eMuraki


    Full Text Available The ends of chromosomes in mammals, called telomeres, are composed of a 6 base pair repeat sequence, TTAGGG, which is added on by the enzyme telomerase. In combination with a protein complex called shelterin, these telomeric repeat sequences form a cap that protects the ends of chromosomes. Due to insufficient telomerase expression, telomeres shorten gradually with each cell division in human somatic cells, which limits the number of times they can divide. The extensive cell division involved in cancer cell progression therefore requires that cancer cells must acquire the ability to maintain telomeres, either through expression of telomerase, or through an alternative mechanism involving recombination. It is commonly thought that the source of many chromosome rearrangements in cancer cells is a result of the extensive telomere shortening that occurs prior to the expression of telomerase. However, despite the expression of telomerase, tumor cells can continue to show chromosome instability due to telomere loss. Dysfunctional telomeres in cancer cells can result from oncogene-induced replication stress, which results in double-strand breaks (DSBs at fragile sites, including telomeres. DSBs near telomeres are especially prone to chromosome rearrangements, because telomeric regions are deficient in DSB repair. The deficiency in DSB repair near telomeres is also an important mechanism for ionizing radiation-induced replicative senescence in normal human cells. In addition, DSBs near telomeres can result in chromosome instability in mouse embryonic stem cells, suggesting that telomere loss can contribute to heritable chromosome rearrangements. Consistent with this possibility, telomeric regions in humans are highly heterogeneous, and chromosome rearrangements near telomeres are commonly involved in human genetic disease. Understanding the mechanisms of telomere loss will therefore provide important insights into both human cancer and genetic disease.

  14. Telomere length correlations among somatic tissues in adult zebra finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie Reichert

    Full Text Available Telomeres are repetitive non coding DNA sequences located at the end of eukaryotic chromosomes, which maintain the integrity of the genome by hiding the chromosome ends from being recognised as double stranded breaks. Telomeres are emerging as biomarkers for ageing and survival, and are susceptible to reflect different individual life history trajectories. In particular, the telomere length with which one starts in life has been shown to be linked with individual life-long survival, suggesting that telomere dynamics can be a proxy for individual fitness and thereby be implicated in evolutionary trade-offs. As a consequence, an increasing number of studies were conducted on telomeres in the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology, in which telomere length was almost exclusively measured from blood samples. However, not only do the number of repeats of the telomeric sequences vary among species, but also within species with great inter-individual telomere lengths variability with age, tissues, and chromosomes. This raises the issue of the exact biological meaning of telomere measurement in blood cells and stimulated the study of the correlation of telomere lengths among tissues over age. By measuring telomere length in adult zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata in different somatic tissues displaying variable cell turnovers (bone marrow, brain, spleen, pectoral muscle, heart, liver and in red blood cells, we checked that the measure of telomere length in red blood cells is related to telomere lengths in the other tissues. Here we show significant relationships between the telomere lengths of red blood cells and several somatic tissues at adulthood. As red blood cells are easily accessible and suitable for the longitudinal monitoring of the individual rate of telomere loss, our study confirms that telomere length measured in red blood cells could serve as a surrogate for telomere length in the whole avian organism.

  15. Aloe spp.--plants with vertebrate-like telomeric sequences. (United States)

    Weiss, Hanna; Scherthan, Harry


    Chromosome termini of most eukaryotes end in tracks of short tandemly repeated GC-rich sequences, the composition of which varies among different groups of organisms. Plant species predominantly contain (TTTAGGG)n repeats at their telomeres. However, a few plant species, including members of Alliaceae and Aloe spp. (Asphodelaceae) were found to lack such Arabidopsis-type (T3AG3)n telomeric repeats. Recently, it has been proposed that the lack of T3AG3 telomeric repeat sequences extends to all species forming the Asparagales clade. Here, we analysed the composition of Aloe telomeres by single-primer PCR and fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) with directly labelled Arabidopsis-type (TTTAGGG)28-43 DNA probe, and with vertebrate-type (TTAGGG)33-50 DNA and a (C3TA2)3 peptide nucleic acid (PNA) probe. It was found that Nicotiana tabacum contained Arabidopsis-type telomeric repeats, while Aloe telomeres lacked the corresponding FISH signals. Surprisingly, FISH with the highly specific vertebrate-type (C3TA2)3 PNA probe resulted in strong T2AG3-specific FISH signals at the ends of chromosomes of both Aloe and Nicotiana tabacum, suggesting the presence of T2AG3 telomeric repeats in these species. FISH with a long (TTAGGG)33-50 DNA probe also highlighted Aloe chromosome ends, while this probe failed to reveal FISH signals on tobacco chromosomes. These results indicate the presence of vertebrate-like telomeric sequences at the telomeres of Aloe spp. chromosomes. However, single-primer PCR with (TAG3)5 primers failed to amplify such sequences in Aloe, which could indicate a low copy number of T2AG3 repeats at the chromosome ends and/or their co-orientation and interspersion with other repeat types. Our results suggest that telomeres of plant species, which were thought to lack GC-rich repeats, may in fact contain variant repeat types.

  16. Telomere recombination and alternative telomere lengthening mechanisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Draskovic, I.; Londono Vallejo, A.


    Telomeres are nucleoprotein structures at the ends of linear chromosomes that protect them from being recognized as DNA double stranded breaks. Telomeres shorten with every cell division and in the absence of the checkpoint mechanisms critical telomere shortening leads to chromosome end fusions and

  17. Characterization of oxidative guanine damage and repair in mammalian telomeres.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhilong Wang


    Full Text Available 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine (8-oxoG and 2,6-diamino-4-hydroxy-5-formamidopyrimidine (FapyG are among the most common oxidative DNA lesions and are substrates for 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase (OGG1-initiated DNA base excision repair (BER. Mammalian telomeres consist of triple guanine repeats and are subject to oxidative guanine damage. Here, we investigated the impact of oxidative guanine damage and its repair by OGG1 on telomere integrity in mice. The mouse cells were analyzed for telomere integrity by telomere quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization (telomere-FISH, by chromosome orientation-FISH (CO-FISH, and by indirect immunofluorescence in combination with telomere-FISH and for oxidative base lesions by Fpg-incision/Southern blot assay. In comparison to the wild type, telomere lengthening was observed in Ogg1 null (Ogg1(-/- mouse tissues and primary embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs cultivated in hypoxia condition (3% oxygen, whereas telomere shortening was detected in Ogg1(-/- mouse hematopoietic cells and primary MEFs cultivated in normoxia condition (20% oxygen or in the presence of an oxidant. In addition, telomere length abnormalities were accompanied by altered telomere sister chromatid exchanges, increased telomere single- and double-strand breaks, and preferential telomere lagging- or G-strand losses in Ogg1(-/- mouse cells. Oxidative guanine lesions were increased in telomeres in Ogg1(-/- mice with aging and primary MEFs cultivated in 20% oxygen. Furthermore, oxidative guanine lesions persisted at high level in Ogg1(-/- MEFs after acute exposure to hydrogen peroxide, while they rapidly returned to basal level in wild-type MEFs. These findings indicate that oxidative guanine damage can arise in telomeres where it affects length homeostasis, recombination, DNA replication, and DNA breakage repair. Our studies demonstrate that BER pathway is required in repairing oxidative guanine damage in telomeres and maintaining telomere integrity

  18. TERRA promotes telomerase-mediated telomere elongation in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. (United States)

    Moravec, Martin; Wischnewski, Harry; Bah, Amadou; Hu, Yan; Liu, Na; Lafranchi, Lorenzo; King, Megan C; Azzalin, Claus M


    Telomerase-mediated telomere elongation provides cell populations with the ability to proliferate indefinitely. Telomerase is capable of recognizing and extending the shortest telomeres in cells; nevertheless, how this mechanism is executed remains unclear. Here, we show that, in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, shortened telomeres are highly transcribed into the evolutionarily conserved long noncoding RNA TERRA A fraction of TERRA produced upon telomere shortening is polyadenylated and largely devoid of telomeric repeats, and furthermore, telomerase physically interacts with this polyadenylated TERRA in vivo We also show that experimentally enhanced transcription of a manipulated telomere promotes its association with telomerase and concomitant elongation. Our data represent the first direct evidence that TERRA stimulates telomerase recruitment and activity at chromosome ends in an organism with human-like telomeres.

  19. Allium telomeres unmasked: the unusual telomeric sequence (CTCGGTTATGGG)n is synthesized by telomerase. (United States)

    Fajkus, Petr; Peška, Vratislav; Sitová, Zdeňka; Fulnečková, Jana; Dvořáčková, Martina; Gogela, Roman; Sýkorová, Eva; Hapala, Jan; Fajkus, Jiří


    Phylogenetic divergence in Asparagales plants is associated with switches in telomere sequences. The last switch occurred with divergence of the genus Allium (Amaryllidaceae) from the other Allioideae (formerly Alliaceae) genera, resulting in uncharacterized telomeres maintained by an unknown mechanism. To characterize the unknown Allium telomeres, we applied a combination of bioinformatic processing of transcriptomic and genomic data with standard approaches in telomere biology such as BAL31 sensitivity tests, terminal restriction fragment analysis, the telomere repeat amplification protocol (TRAP), and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Using these methods, we characterize the unusual telomeric sequence (CTCGGTTATGGG)n present in Allium species, demonstrate its synthesis by telomerase, and characterize the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) subunit of Allium cepa. Our findings open up the possibility of studying the molecular details of the evolutionary genetic change in Allium telomeres and its possible role in speciation. Experimental studies addressing the implications of this change in terms of the interplay of telomere components may now be designed to shed more light on telomere functions and evolution in general.

  20. DNA sequence analysis of newly formed telomeres in yeast. (United States)

    Wang, S S; Pluta, A F; Zakian, V A


    A plasmid can be maintained in linear form in baker's yeast if it bears telomeric sequences at each end. Linear plasmids bearing cloned telomeric C4A4 repeats at one end (test end) and a natural DNA terminus with approximately 300 bps of C4A2 repeats at the other or control end were introduced by transformation into yeast. Test-end termini of 28 to 112 bps supported telomere formation. During telomere formation, C4A2 repeats were often transferred to test-end termini. To determine in greater detail the fate of test-end sequences on these plasmids after propagation in yeast, test-end telomeres were subcloned into E. coli and sequenced. DNA sequencing established a number of points about the molecular events involved in telomere formation in yeast. The results suggest that there are at least two mechanisms for telomere formation in yeast. One is mediated by a recombination event that requires neither a long stretch of homology nor the RAD52 gene product. The other mechanism is by addition of C1-3A repeats to the termini of linear DNA molecules. The telomeric sequence required to support C1-3A addition need not be at the very end of a molecule for telomere formation.

  1. Telomerers rolle i cancer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bendix, Laila; Kølvraa, Steen


    Telomeres are a double-edged sword when it comes to cancer. On one hand, telomeres limit the cells' ability to divide and thereby restrict the uninhibited growth seen in cancer. On the other hand, short telomeres can initiate the chromosome instability that characterizes cancer. Diseases...... with the combination of short telomeres and high cancer risk are seen, but until now the use of telomeres as predictors of cancer has, in general, been unsuccessful. Telomeres and telomerase play an important role in further cancer development. Researchers are trying to exploit this in the development of new cancer...

  2. Telomerer og telomerase

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bendix, Laila; Kølvraa, Steen


    In 2009 the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to EH Blackburn, CW Greider and JW Szostak for their work on "How chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase". Telomeres are specialized DNA structures localized at the end of linear chromosomes. Telomeres are known...... as the biological clock of the cell, since they shorten with each cell division. Telomerase can elongate telomeres. Telomeres protect chromosome ends against being recognized as double stranded DNA breaks, and are thought to be a guard against cancer. It has furthermore been suggested that telomeres may play a role...

  3. Fewer adults add salt at the table after initiation of a national salt campaign in the UK: a repeated cross-sectional analysis. (United States)

    Sutherland, Jennifer; Edwards, Phil; Shankar, Bhavani; Dangour, Alan D


    In 2003, the UK Food Standards Agency and the Department of Health began attempts to reduce national salt intakes via reformulation of processed foods and a consumer awareness campaign on the negative impacts of salt on health. The present study uses large nationally representative samples of households in England to assess whether discretionary salt use was affected by the national salt reduction campaign. Large cross-sectional datasets from the Health Survey for England were used to analyse trends in adults adding salt at the table between 1997 and 2007. Since 1997, there has been a steady decline in salt use at the table. Ordinal logistic regression analysis controlling for age, sex, total household income, region, ethnicity and background trends revealed that the reduction in salt use was significantly greater after the campaign (OR 0·58; 95% CI 0·54, 0·63). Women (OR 0·71; 95% CI 0·68, 0·74), non-white ethnic groups (OR 0·69; 95% CI 0·62, 0·77), high-income households (OR 0·75; 95% CI 0·69, 0·82), middle-income households (OR 0·79; 95% CI 0·75, 0·84) and households in central (OR 0·90; 95% CI 0·84, 0·98) or the south of England (OR 0·82; 95% CI 0·77, 0·88) were less likely to add salt at the table. The results extend previous evidence of a beneficial response to the salt campaign by demonstrating the effect on salt use at the table. Future programmatic and research efforts may benefit from targeting specific population groups and improving the evidence base for evaluating the impact of the campaign.

  4. Resolution of telomere associations by TRF1 cleavage in mouse embryonic stem cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lisaingo, Kathleen; Uringa, Evert-Jan; Lansdorp, Peter M.


    Telomere associations have been observed during key cellular processes such as mitosis, meiosis, and carcinogenesis and must be resolved before cell division to prevent genome instability. Here we establish that telomeric repeat-binding factor 1 (TRF1), a core component of the telomere protein compl

  5. Telomerase and telomeres : From basic biology to cancer treatment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Helder, MN; Wisman, GBA; van der Zee, AGJ


    The limited capacity to divide is one of the major differences between normal somatic cells and cancerous cells. This finite life span' of somatic cells is closely linked to loss of telomeric DNA at telomeres, the 'chromosome caps' consisting of repeated (TTAGGG) sequences. In more than 85% of advan

  6. Gender and telomere length

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gardner, Michael; Bann, David; Wiley, Laura;


    It is widely believed that females have longer telomeres than males, although results from studies have been contradictory.......It is widely believed that females have longer telomeres than males, although results from studies have been contradictory....

  7. Activity of telomerase and telomeric length in Apis mellifera. (United States)

    Korandová, Michala; Frydrychová, Radmila Čapková


    Telomerase is an enzyme that adds repeats of DNA sequences to the ends of chromosomes, thereby preventing their shortening. Telomerase activity is associated with proliferative status of cells, organismal development, and aging. We report an analysis of telomerase activity and telomere length in the honeybee, Apis mellifera. Telomerase activity was found to be regulated in a development and caste-specific manner. During the development of somatic tissues of larval drones and workers, telomerase activity declined to 10 % of its level in embryos and remained low during pupal and adult stages but was upregulated in testes of late pupae, where it reached 70 % of the embryo level. Upregulation of telomerase activity was observed in the ovaries of late pupal queens, reaching 160 % of the level in embryos. Compared to workers and drones, queens displayed higher levels of telomerase activity. In the third larval instar of queens, telomerase activity reached the embryo level, and an enormous increase was observed in adult brains of queens, showing a 70-fold increase compared to a brain of an adult worker. Southern hybridization of terminal TTAGG fragments revealed a high variability of telomeric length between different individuals, although the same pattern of hybridization signals was observed in different tissues of each individual.

  8. Telomere length variations in aging and age-related diseases. (United States)

    Rizvi, Saliha; Raza, Syed Tasleem; Mahdi, Farzana


    Telomeres are gene sequences present at chromosomal ends and are responsible for maintaining genome integrity. Telomere length is maximum at birth and decreases progressively with advancing age and thus is considered as a biomarker of chronological aging. This age associated decrease in the length of telomere is linked to various ageing associated diseases like diabetes, hypertension, Alzheimer's disease, cancer etc. and their associated complications. Telomere length is a result of combined effect of oxidative stress, inflammation and repeated cell replication on it, and thus forming an association between telomere length and chronological aging and related diseases. Thus, decrease in telomere length was found to be important in determining both, the variations in longevity and age-related diseases in an individual. Ongoing and progressive research in the field of telomere length dynamics has proved that aging and age-related diseases apart from having a synergistic effect on telomere length were also found to effect telomere length independently also. Here a short description about telomere length variations and its association with human aging and age-related diseases is reviewed.

  9. Chromatin features of plant telomeric sequences at terminal versus internal positions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva eMajerová


    Full Text Available Epigenetic mechanisms are involved in regulation of crucial cellular processes in eukaryotic organisms. Data on the epigenetic features of plant telomeres and their epigenetic regulation were published mostly for Arabidopsis thaliana, in which the presence of interstitial telomeric repeats (ITRs may interfere with genuine telomeres in most analyses. Here, we studied the epigenetic landscape and transcription of telomeres and ITRs in Nicotiana tabacum with long telomeres and no detectable ITRs, and in Ballantinia antipoda with large blocks of pericentromeric ITRs and relatively short telomeres. Chromatin of genuine telomeres displayed heterochromatic as well as euchromatic marks, while ITRs were just heterochromatic. Methylated cytosines were present at telomeres and ITRs, but showed a bias with more methylation towards distal telomere positions and different blocks of B. antipoda ITRs methylated to different levels. Telomeric transcripts TERRA (G-rich and ARRET (C-rich were identified in both plants and their levels varied among tissues with a maximum in blossoms. Plants with substantially different proportions of internally and terminally located telomeric repeats are instrumental in clarifying the chromatin status of telomeric repeats at distinct chromosome locations.

  10. Telomeres and human reproduction. (United States)

    Kalmbach, Keri Horan; Fontes Antunes, Danielle Mota; Dracxler, Roberta Caetano; Knier, Taylor Warner; Seth-Smith, Michelle Louise; Wang, Fang; Liu, Lin; Keefe, David Lawrence


    Telomeres mediate biologic aging in organisms as diverse as plants, yeast, and mammals. We propose a telomere theory of reproductive aging that posits telomere shortening in the female germ line as the primary driver of reproductive aging in women. Experimental shortening of telomeres in mice, which normally do not exhibit appreciable oocyte aging, and which have exceptionally long telomeres, recapitulates the aging phenotype of human oocytes. Telomere shortening in mice reduces synapsis and chiasmata, increases embryo fragmentation, cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, spindle dysmorphologies, and chromosome abnormalities. Telomeres are shorter in the oocytes from women undergoing in vitro fertilization, who then produce fragmented, aneuploid embryos that fail to implant. In contrast, the testes are replete with spermatogonia that can rejuvenate telomere reserves throughout the life of the man by expressing telomerase. Differences in telomere dynamics across the life span of men and women may have evolved because of the difference in the inherent risks of aging on reproduction between men and women. Additionally, growing evidence links altered telomere biology to endometriosis and gynecologic cancers, thus future studies should examine the role of telomeres in pathologies of the reproductive tract.

  11. A different approach to telomere analysis with ddPRINS in chronic lymphocytic leukemia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Palanduz, Sukru; Serakinci, Nedime; Cefle, Kivanc;


    Telomeric sequences, located at the very end of the chromosomes, compensate for the chromosomal shortening as it happens after each round of cell division. Telomeric sequences influence the progress of cellular senescence and cancer progression. It has been reported that telomeres are shortened...... in acute leukemias where the cell turnover is high. B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a particularly interesting haematological malignancy in regard to telomere dynamics because most of the malignant cells in CLL are mitotically inactive. In this study, we analysed the telomere length...... in patients with B-cell CLL in a comparison with the control group by using ddPRINS technique. Twenty patients with CLL and four healthy donors as a control group were included. We found short telomeres and no detectable telomeric repeats at the sites of chromosome fusion. We hypothesise that the telomeric...

  12. Identification and characterization of a putative telomere end-binding protein from Tetrahymena thermophila.



    Telomeric DNA of Tetrahymena thermophila consists of a long stretch of (TTGGGG)n double-stranded repeats with a single-stranded (TTGGGG)2 3' overhang at the end of the chromosome. We have identified and characterized a protein that specifically binds to a synthetic telomeric substrate consisting of duplex DNA and the 3' telomeric repeat overhang. This protein is called TEP (telomere end-binding protein). A change from G to A in the third position of the TTGGGG overhang repeat converts the sub...

  13. Telomere analysis of platyhelminths and acanthocephalans by FISH and Southern hybridization. (United States)

    Bombarová, Marta; Vítková, Magda; Spakulová, Marta; Koubková, Bozena


    We examined the composition of telomeres in chromosomes of parasitic worms, representatives of the flatworm groups Monogenea and Cestoda (Platyhelminthes), and thorny-headed worms (Syndermata: Acanthocephala) by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with different telomeric repeat probes. Our results show that the (TTAGGG)n sequence, supposed to be the ancestral telomeric repeat motif of Metazoa, is conserved in Monogenea (Paradiplozoon homoion) and Cestoda (Caryophyllaeus laticeps, Caryophyllaeides fennica, and Nippotaenia mogurndae) but not in Acanthocephala (Pomphorhynchus laevis and Pomphorhynchus tereticollis). In the Pomphorhynchus species, no hybridization signals were obtained with the "nematode" (TTAGGC)n, "arthropod" (TTAGG)n, and bdelloid (TGTGGG)n telomeric probes using FISH with their chromosomes and Southern hybridization with P. laevis DNA. Therefore, we suggest that parasitic Acanthocephala have evolved yet unknown telomeric repeat motifs or different mechanisms of telomere maintenance.

  14. Finding a human telomere DNA-RNA hybrid G-quadruplex formed by human telomeric 6-mer RNA and 16-mer DNA using click chemistry: a protective structure for telomere end. (United States)

    Xu, Yan; Suzuki, Yuta; Ishizuka, Takumi; Xiao, Chao-Da; Liu, Xiao; Hayashi, Tetsuya; Komiyama, Makoto


    Telomeric repeat-containing RNA is a non-coding RNA molecule newly found in mammalian cells. The telomere RNA has been found to localize to the telomere DNA, but how the newly discovered RNA molecule interacts with telomere DNA is less known. In this study, using the click chemistry we successfully found that a 6-mer human telomere RNA and 16-mer human telomere DNA sequence can form a DNA-RNA hybrid type G-quadruplex structure. Detection of the click-reaction products directly probes DNA-RNA G-quadruplex structures in a complicated solution, whereas traditional methods such as NMR and crystallography may not be suitable. Importantly, we found that formation of DNA-RNA G-quadruplex induced an exonuclease resistance for telomere DNA, indicating that such structures might be important for protecting telomeric DNA from enzyme digestion to avoid telomere DNA shortening. These results provide the direct evidence for formation of DNA-RNA hybrid G-quadruplex structure by human telomere DNA and RNA sequence, suggesting DNA-RNA hybrid G-quadruplex structure associated between telomere DNA and RNA may respond to chromosome end protection and/or present a valuable target for drug design.

  15. Sde2: A novel nuclear protein essential for telomeric silencing and genomic stability in Schizosaccharomyces pombe

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sugioka-Sugiyama, Rie [Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8577 (Japan); Initiative for the Promotion of Young Scientists' Independent Research, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8577 (Japan); Sugiyama, Tomoyasu, E-mail: [Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8577 (Japan); Initiative for the Promotion of Young Scientists' Independent Research, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8577 (Japan); Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology (PRESTO), Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Kawaguchi, Saitama 332-0012 (Japan)


    Research highlights: {yields} Sde2 is essential for telomere silencing. {yields} Sde2 is involved in the maintenance of genomic stability. {yields} Sde2 promotes the recruitment of SHREC, a histone deacetylase complex, to telomeres. -- Abstract: Telomeres, specialized domains assembled at the ends of linear chromosomes, are essential for genomic stability in eukaryotes. The formation and maintenance of telomeres are governed by numerous factors such as telomeric repeats, telomere-binding proteins, heterochromatin proteins, and telomerase. Here, we report Sde2, a novel nuclear protein essential for telomeric silencing and genomic stability in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. A deficiency in sde2 results in the derepression of the ura4{sup +} gene inserted near telomeric repeats, and the noncoding transcripts from telomeric regions accumulate in sde2{Delta} cells. The loss of Sde2 function compromises transcriptional silencing at telomeres, and this silencing defect is accompanied by increased levels of acetylated histone H3K14 and RNA polymerase II occupancy at telomeres as well as reduced recruitment of the SNF2 ATPase/histone deacetylase-containing complex SHREC to telomeres. Deletion of sde2 also leads to a higher frequency of mitotic minichromosome loss, and sde2{Delta} cells often form asci that contain spores in abnormal numbers, shapes, or both. In addition, sde2{Delta} cells are highly sensitive to several stresses, including high/low temperatures, bleomycin, which induces DNA damage, and thiabendazole, a microtubule-destabilizing agent. Furthermore, Sde2 genetically interacts with the telomere regulators Taz1, Pof3, and Ccq1. These findings demonstrate that Sde2 cooperates with other telomere regulators to maintain functional telomeres, thereby preventing genomic instability.

  16. Human telomeres are hypersensitive to UV-induced DNA Damage and refractory to repair.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick J Rochette


    Full Text Available Telomeric repeats preserve genome integrity by stabilizing chromosomes, a function that appears to be important for both cancer and aging. In view of this critical role in genomic integrity, the telomere's own integrity should be of paramount importance to the cell. Ultraviolet light (UV, the preeminent risk factor in skin cancer development, induces mainly cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPD which are both mutagenic and lethal. The human telomeric repeat unit (5'TTAGGG/CCCTAA3' is nearly optimal for acquiring UV-induced CPD, which form at dipyrimidine sites. We developed a ChIP-based technique, immunoprecipitation of DNA damage (IPoD, to simultaneously study DNA damage and repair in the telomere and in the coding regions of p53, 28S rDNA, and mitochondrial DNA. We find that human telomeres in vivo are 7-fold hypersensitive to UV-induced DNA damage. In double-stranded oligonucleotides, this hypersensitivity is a property of both telomeric and non-telomeric repeats; in a series of telomeric repeat oligonucleotides, a phase change conferring UV-sensitivity occurs above 4 repeats. Furthermore, CPD removal in the telomere is almost absent, matching the rate in mitochondria known to lack nucleotide excision repair. Cells containing persistent high levels of telomeric CPDs nevertheless proliferate, and chronic UV irradiation of cells does not accelerate telomere shortening. Telomeres are therefore unique in at least three respects: their biophysical UV sensitivity, their prevention of excision repair, and their tolerance of unrepaired lesions. Utilizing a lesion-tolerance strategy rather than repair would prevent double-strand breaks at closely-opposed excision repair sites on opposite strands of a damage-hypersensitive repeat.

  17. Selaginella moellendoffii telomeres: conserved and unique features in an ancient land plant lineage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugene V Shakirov


    Full Text Available Telomeres, the essential terminal regions of linear eukaryotic chromosomes, consist of G-rich DNA repeats bound by a plethora of associated proteins. While the general pathways of telomere maintenance are evolutionarily conserved, individual telomere complex components show remarkable variation between eukaryotic lineages and even within closely related species. The recent genome sequencing of the lycophyte Selaginella moellendoffii and the availability of an ever-increasing number of flowering plant genomes provides a unique opportunity to evaluate the molecular and functional evolution of telomere components from the early evolving non-seed plants to the more developmentally advanced angiosperms. Here we analyzed telomere sequence in S. moellendorffii and found it to consist of TTTAGGG repeats, typical of most plants. Telomere tracts in S. moellendorffii range from 1-5.5 kb, closely resembling Arabidopsis thaliana. We identified several S. moellendorffii genes encoding sequence homologues of proteins involved in telomere maintenance in other organisms, including CST complex components and the telomere-binding proteins POT1 and TRFL. Notable sequence similarities and differences were uncovered among the telomere-related genes in some of the plant lineages. Taken together, the data indicate that comparative analysis of the telomere complex in early diverging land plants such as S. moellendorffii and green algae will yield important insights into the evolution of telomeres and their protein constituents.

  18. Computel: computation of mean telomere length from whole-genome next-generation sequencing data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lilit Nersisyan

    Full Text Available Telomeres are the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, consisting of consecutive short repeats that protect chromosome ends from degradation. Telomeres shorten with each cell division, leading to replicative cell senescence. Deregulation of telomere length homeostasis is associated with the development of various age-related diseases and cancers. A number of experimental techniques exist for telomere length measurement; however, until recently, the absence of tools for extracting telomere lengths from high-throughput sequencing data has significantly obscured the association of telomere length with molecular processes in normal and diseased conditions. We have developed Computel, a program in R for computing mean telomere length from whole-genome next-generation sequencing data. Computel is open source, and is freely available at It utilizes a short-read alignment-based approach and integrates various popular tools for sequencing data analysis. We validated it with synthetic and experimental data, and compared its performance with the previously available software. The results have shown that Computel outperforms existing software in accuracy, independence of results from sequencing conditions, stability against inherent sequencing errors, and better ability to distinguish pure telomeric sequences from interstitial telomeric repeats. By providing a highly reliable methodology for determining telomere lengths from whole-genome sequencing data, Computel should help to elucidate the role of telomeres in cellular health and disease.

  19. Computel: computation of mean telomere length from whole-genome next-generation sequencing data. (United States)

    Nersisyan, Lilit; Arakelyan, Arsen


    Telomeres are the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, consisting of consecutive short repeats that protect chromosome ends from degradation. Telomeres shorten with each cell division, leading to replicative cell senescence. Deregulation of telomere length homeostasis is associated with the development of various age-related diseases and cancers. A number of experimental techniques exist for telomere length measurement; however, until recently, the absence of tools for extracting telomere lengths from high-throughput sequencing data has significantly obscured the association of telomere length with molecular processes in normal and diseased conditions. We have developed Computel, a program in R for computing mean telomere length from whole-genome next-generation sequencing data. Computel is open source, and is freely available at It utilizes a short-read alignment-based approach and integrates various popular tools for sequencing data analysis. We validated it with synthetic and experimental data, and compared its performance with the previously available software. The results have shown that Computel outperforms existing software in accuracy, independence of results from sequencing conditions, stability against inherent sequencing errors, and better ability to distinguish pure telomeric sequences from interstitial telomeric repeats. By providing a highly reliable methodology for determining telomere lengths from whole-genome sequencing data, Computel should help to elucidate the role of telomeres in cellular health and disease.

  20. A high rate of telomeric sister chromatid exchange occurs in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia B-cells. (United States)

    Medves, Sandrine; Auchter, Morgan; Chambeau, Laetitia; Gazzo, Sophie; Poncet, Delphine; Grangier, Blandine; Verney, Aurélie; Moussay, Etienne; Ammerlaan, Wim; Brisou, Gabriel; Morjani, Hamid; Géli, Vincent; Palissot, Valérie; Berchem, Guy; Salles, Gilles; Wenner, Thomas


    Cancer cells protect their telomere ends from erosion through reactivation of telomerase or by using the Alternative Lengthening of Telomere (ALT) mechanism that depends on homologous recombination. Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) B cells are characterized by almost no telomerase activity, shelterin deregulation and telomere fusions. To characterize telomeric maintenance mechanisms in B-CLL patients, we measured their telomere length, telomerase expression and the main hallmarks of the ALT activity i.e. C-circle concentration, an extra-chromosomal telomere repeat (ECTR), and the level of telomeric sister chromatid exchange (T-SCE) rate. Patients showed relative homogenous telomere length although almost no TERT transcript and nearly no C-circle were evidenced. Nevertheless, compared with normal B cells, B-CLL cells showed an increase in T-SCE rate that was correlated with a strong down-regulation of the topoisomerase III alpha (TOP3A) expression, involved in the dissolution of Holliday Junctions (HJ), together with an increased expression of SLX1A, SLX4, MUS81 and GEN1, involved in the resolution of HJ. Altogether, our results suggest that the telomere maintenance mechanism of B-CLL cells do not preferentially use telomerase or ALT. Rather, the rupture of the dissolvasome/resolvasome balance may increase telomere shuffling that could homogenize telomere length, slowing telomere erosion in this disease.

  1. Dysfunctional telomeres in human BRCA2 mutated breast tumors and cell lines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bodvarsdottir, Sigridur K., E-mail: [Cancer Research Laboratory, BioMedical Centre, Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland, Vatnsmyrarvegi 16, 101 Reykjavik (Iceland); Steinarsdottir, Margret [Chromosome Laboratory, Department of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, Landspitali University Hospital, Reykjavik (Iceland); Bjarnason, Hordur; Eyfjord, Jorunn E. [Cancer Research Laboratory, BioMedical Centre, Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland, Vatnsmyrarvegi 16, 101 Reykjavik (Iceland)


    In the present study the possible involvement of telomeres in chromosomal instability of breast tumors and cell lines from BRCA2 mutation carriers was examined. Breast tumors from BRCA2 mutation carriers showed significantly higher frequency of chromosome end-to-end fusions (CEFs) than tumors from non-carriers despite normal telomere DNA content. Frequent CEFs were also found in four different BRCA2 heterozygous breast epithelial cell lines, occasionally with telomere signal at the fusion point, indicating telomere capping defects. Extrachromosomal telomeric repeat (ECTR) DNA was frequently found scattered around metaphase chromosomes and interstitial telomere sequences (ITSs) were also common. Telomere sister chromatid exchanges (T-SCEs), characteristic of cells using alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT), were frequently detected in all heterozygous BRCA2 cell lines as well as the two ALT positive cell lines tested. Even though T-SCE frequency was similar in BRCA2 heterozygous and ALT positive cell lines they differed in single telomere signal loss and ITSs. Chromatid type alterations were more prominent in the BRCA2 heterozygous cell lines that may have propensity for telomere based chromosome healing. Telomere dysfunction-induced foci (TIFs) formation, identified by co-localization of telomeres and {gamma}-H2AX, supported telomere associated DNA damage response in BRCA2 heterozygous cell lines. TIFs were found in interphase nuclei, at chromosome ends, ITSs and ECTR DNA. In conclusion, our results suggest that BRCA2 has an important role in telomere stabilization by repressing CEFs through telomere capping and the prevention of telomere loss by replication stabilization.

  2. Telomeres and Viruses: Common Themes of Genome Maintenance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhong eDeng


    Full Text Available Genome maintenance mechanisms actively suppress genetic instability associated with cancer and aging. Some viruses provoke genetic instability by subverting the host’s control of genome maintenance. Viruses have their own specialized strategies for genome maintenance, which can mimic and modify host cell processes. Here, we review some of the common features of genome maintenance utilized by viruses and host chromosomes, with a particular focus on terminal repeat elements. The terminal repeats of cellular chromosomes, better known as telomeres, have well-established roles in cellular chromosome stability. Cellular telomeres are themselves maintained by viral-like mechanisms, including self-propagation by reverse transcription, recombination, and retro-transposition. Viral terminal repeat elements, like cellular telomeres, are essential for viral genome stability and propagation. We review the structure and function of viral repeat elements and discuss how they may share telomere-like structures and genome protection functions. We consider how viral infections modulate telomere regulatory factors for viral repurposing and can alter normal host telomere structure and chromosome stability. Understanding the common strategies of viral and cellular genome maintenance may provide new insights into viral-host interactions and the mechanisms driving genetic instability in cancer.

  3. A quantitative telomeric chromatin isolation protocol identifies different telomeric states (United States)

    Grolimund, Larissa; Aeby, Eric; Hamelin, Romain; Armand, Florence; Chiappe, Diego; Moniatte, Marc; Lingner, Joachim


    Telomere composition changes during tumourigenesis, aging and in telomere syndromes in a poorly defined manner. Here we develop a quantitative telomeric chromatin isolation protocol (QTIP) for human cells, in which chromatin is cross-linked, immunopurified and analysed by mass spectrometry. QTIP involves stable isotope labelling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) to compare and identify quantitative differences in telomere protein composition of cells from various states. With QTIP, we specifically enrich telomeric DNA and all shelterin components. We validate the method characterizing changes at dysfunctional telomeres, and identify and validate known, as well as novel telomere-associated polypeptides including all THO subunits, SMCHD1 and LRIF1. We apply QTIP to long and short telomeres and detect increased density of SMCHD1 and LRIF1 and increased association of the shelterins TRF1, TIN2, TPP1 and POT1 with long telomeres. Our results validate QTIP to study telomeric states during normal development and in disease.

  4. Telomere attrition and restoration in the normal teleost Oryzias latipes are linked to growth rate and telomerase activity at each life stage. (United States)

    Hatakeyama, Hitoshi; Yamazaki, Hiromi; Nakamura, Ken-Ichi; Izumiyama-Shimomura, Naotaka; Aida, Junko; Suzuki, Hiroetsu; Tsuchida, Shuichi; Matsuura, Masaaki; Takubo, Kaiyo; Ishikawa, Naoshi


    Telomere shortening occurs when cells divide, both in vitro and in vivo. On the other hand, telomerase is able to maintain telomere length in cells by adding TTAGGG repeats to the ends of telomeres. However, the interrelationships existing among telomere length, telomerase activity and growth in vertebrates remain to be clarified. In the present study we measured telomere length (terminal restriction fragment length), telomerase activity and body growth of Oryzias latipes from the embryo stage until senescence. During the rapid growth stage (age 0-7 months), telomeres shortened in parallel with decreasing telomerase activity. Then, during adolescence (age 7 months - 1 year), telomeres lengthened quickly as growth slowed and telomerase activity increased. In the adult stage (age 1-4 years) characterized by little growth, telomerase activity decreased gradually and telomeres shortened. Our data indicate that telomere attrition and restoration are linked to growth and telomerase activity, and suggest that critical loss of telomere homeostasis is associated with mortality in this animal.

  5. Telomere length and depression

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wium-Andersen, Marie Kim; Ørsted, David Dynnes; Rode, Line


    BACKGROUND: Depression has been cross-sectionally associated with short telomeres as a measure of biological age. However, the direction and nature of the association is currently unclear. AIMS: We examined whether short telomere length is associated with depression cross-sectionally as well...... as prospectively and genetically. METHOD: Telomere length and three polymorphisms, TERT, TERC and OBFC1, were measured in 67 306 individuals aged 20-100 years from the Danish general population and associated with register-based attendance at hospital for depression and purchase of antidepressant medication....... RESULTS: Attendance at hospital for depression was associated with short telomere length cross-sectionally, but not prospectively. Further, purchase of antidepressant medication was not associated with short telomere length cross-sectionally or prospectively. Mean follow-up was 7.6 years (range 0...

  6. Aloe L.--a second plant family without (TTTAGGG)n telomeres. (United States)

    Adams, S P; Leitch, I J; Bennett, M D; Leitch, A R


    The physical ends of chromosomes are protected and stabilised by telomeres. The sequence of telomeric DNA normally consists of a simple repeating unit that is conserved in many organisms. Most plants examined have been shown to possess Arabidopsis-type telomeres consisting of many repeat copies of the sequence 5'-TTTAGGG-3'. Using fluorescent in situ hybridisation, slot blotting and the asymmetric polymerase chain reaction we demonstrate an absence of Arabidopsis-type telomeres in the genus Aloe (family Asphodelaceae). The only other plant genera so far reported without such telomeres are Allium, Nothoscordum, and Tulbaghia (family Alliaceae). As these genera and Aloe are petaloid monocots in the Asparagales, it is suggested that an absence of Arabidopsis-type telomeres may be characteristic of this related group of plants.

  7. P53与端粒重复序列结合蛋白质1的体外相互作用%The molecular interaction between P53 and telomeric repeat binding protein 1 in vitro

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李玲; 张波; 邹万忠; 郑杰


    目的:通过分析端粒主要结合蛋白中端粒重复序列结合蛋白质1(Telomeric repeat binding protein 1,TRBP1)与P53的体外结合,探讨P53通过端粒途径调节细胞增殖、衰老和凋亡的分子机制.方法:谷胱甘肽S转移酶(glutathione S-transferase,GST)和人P53-GST融合蛋白经大肠杆菌表达、谷胱甘肽-SepharoseTM4B纯化后,和人乳腺癌细胞MCF-7细胞蛋白进行体外结合反应(pull down),Western blot检测反应物中P53和TRBP1的结合.融合蛋白中人P53包括野生型(1~393)、C端缺失体P53 N5(2~293)、N端缺失体P53 2C(95~393)、175单个氨基酸突变体P53 R175H(R→H).结果:聚丙烯酰胺凝胶电泳和考马斯亮蓝R250染色显示,纯化的GST和4种P53-GST蛋白纯度在90%以上,且分子量与预计的完全一致.TRBP1的Western blot显示,野生型P53和P53-R175H均能沉淀MCF-7中的TRBP1,且结合力相似,而单独的GST则无沉淀TRBP1的作用.与野生型P53和P53 R175H相比,P53 2C与TRBP1的结合力明显增加,P53 N5与TRBP1的结合力明显减弱.结论:P53和TRBP1可以直接体外结合,P53的C端(293~393)是与TRBP1结合的结构域.P53和TRBP1结构域依赖性的结合可能与端粒动态变化所诱导的细胞活动有关.

  8. The methylating agent streptozotocin induces persistent telomere dysfunction in mammalian cells. (United States)

    Paviolo, Natalia S; Santiñaque, Federico F; Castrogiovanni, Daniel C; Folle, Gustavo A; Bolzán, Alejandro D


    We analyzed chromosomal aberrations involving telomeres in the progeny of mammalian cells exposed to the methylating agent and antineoplastic/diabetogenic drug streptozotocin (STZ), to test whether it induces long-term telomere instability (by chromosome end loss and/or telomere dysfunction). Rat cells (ADIPO-P2 cell line, derived from Sprague-Dawley rat adipose cells) were treated with a single concentration of STZ (2mM). Chromosomal aberrations were analyzed 18h, 10 days, and 15 days after treatment, using PNA-FISH with a pan-telomeric probe [Cy3-(CCCTAA)3] to detect (TTAGGG)n repeats. Cytogenetic analysis revealed a higher frequency of chromosomal aberrations in STZ-exposed cultures vs. untreated cultures at each time point analyzed. The yield of induced aberrations was very similar at each time point. Induction of aberrations not involving telomere dysfunction was only observed 18h and 15 days after treatment, whereas induction of telomere dysfunction-related aberrations by STZ (mainly in the form of telomere FISH signal loss and duplications, most of them chromatid-type aberrations) was observed at each time point. Our results show that STZ induces persistent telomere instability in mammalian cells, cytogenetically manifested as telomere dysfunction-related chromosomal aberrations. Neither telomere length nor telomerase activity is related to the telomere dysfunction.

  9. Brh2 and Rad51 promote telomere maintenance in Ustilago maydis, a new model system of DNA repair proteins at telomeres. (United States)

    Yu, Eun Young; Kojic, Milorad; Holloman, William K; Lue, Neal F


    Recent studies implicate a number of DNA repair proteins in mammalian telomere maintenance. However, because several key repair proteins in mammals are missing from the well-studied budding and fission yeast, their roles at telomeres cannot be modeled in standard fungi. In this report, we explored the dimorphic fungus Ustilago maydis as an alternative model for telomere research. This fungus, which belongs to the phylum Basidiomycota, has a telomere repeat unit that is identical to the mammalian repeat, as well as a constellation of DNA repair proteins that more closely mimic the mammalian collection. We showed that the two core components of homology-directed repair (HDR) in U. maydis, namely Brh2 and Rad51, both promote telomere maintenance in telomerase positive cells, just like in mammals. In addition, we found that Brh2 is localized to telomeres in vivo, suggesting that it acts directly at chromosome ends. We surveyed a series of mutants with DNA repair defects, and found many of them to have short telomeres. Our results indicate that factors involved in DNA repair are probably also needed for optimal telomere maintenance in U. maydis, and that this fungus is a useful alternative model system for telomere research.

  10. Telomerers rolle ved aldersbetingede sygdomme

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bendix, Laila; Kølvraa, Steen


    Telomeres are specialized DNA structures, protecting the ends of linear chromosomes. The association between telomeres and cellular aging is well-established, and it has been shown that there is a negative correlation between telomere length and chronological age for many types of human tissue....... On the other hand, the association between telomere length and mortality is poor. Nevertheless, it has been suggested that telomeres may play a role in the development of many aging-related diseases. This has led to attempts to develop telomere-elongating treatment....

  11. Solving the Telomere Replication Problem (United States)

    Maestroni, Laetitia; Matmati, Samah; Coulon, Stéphane


    Telomeres are complex nucleoprotein structures that protect the extremities of linear chromosomes. Telomere replication is a major challenge because many obstacles to the progression of the replication fork are concentrated at the ends of the chromosomes. This is known as the telomere replication problem. In this article, different and new aspects of telomere replication, that can threaten the integrity of telomeres, will be reviewed. In particular, we will focus on the functions of shelterin and the replisome for the preservation of telomere integrity. PMID:28146113

  12. Telomeric noncoding RNA TERRA is induced by telomere shortening to nucleate telomerase molecules at short telomeres. (United States)

    Cusanelli, Emilio; Romero, Carmina Angelica Perez; Chartrand, Pascal


    Elongation of a short telomere depends on the action of multiple telomerase molecules, which are visible as telomerase RNA foci or clusters associated with telomeres in yeast and mammalian cells. How several telomerase molecules act on a single short telomere is unknown. Herein, we report that the telomeric noncoding RNA TERRA is involved in the nucleation of telomerase molecules into clusters prior to their recruitment at a short telomere. We find that telomere shortening induces TERRA expression, leading to the accumulation of TERRA molecules into a nuclear focus. Simultaneous time-lapse imaging of telomerase RNA and TERRA reveals spontaneous events of telomerase nucleation on TERRA foci in early S phase, generating TERRA-telomerase clusters. This cluster is subsequently recruited to the short telomere from which TERRA transcripts originate during S phase. We propose that telomere shortening induces noncoding RNA expression to coordinate the recruitment and activity of telomerase molecules at short telomeres.

  13. Telomerase efficiently elongates highly transcribing telomeres in human cancer cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin O Farnung

    Full Text Available RNA polymerase II transcribes the physical ends of linear eukaryotic chromosomes into a variety of long non-coding RNA molecules including telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA. Since TERRA discovery, advances have been made in the characterization of TERRA biogenesis and regulation; on the contrary its associated functions remain elusive. Most of the biological roles so far proposed for TERRA are indeed based on in vitro experiments carried out using short TERRA-like RNA oligonucleotides. In particular, it has been suggested that TERRA inhibits telomerase activity. We have exploited two alternative cellular systems to test whether TERRA and/or telomere transcription influence telomerase-mediated telomere elongation in human cancer cells. In cells lacking the two DNA methyltransferases DNMT1 and DNMT3b, TERRA transcription and steady-state levels are greatly increased while telomerase is able to elongate telomeres normally. Similarly, telomerase can efficiently elongate transgenic inducible telomeres whose transcription has been experimentally augmented. Our data challenge the current hypothesis that TERRA functions as a general inhibitor of telomerase and suggest that telomere length homeostasis is maintained independently of TERRA and telomere transcription.

  14. AKTIP/Ft1, a New Shelterin-Interacting Factor Required for Telomere Maintenance.

    KAUST Repository

    Burla, Romina


    Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes that protect the ends of linear chromosomes from incomplete replication, degradation and detection as DNA breaks. Mammalian telomeres are protected by shelterin, a multiprotein complex that binds the TTAGGG telomeric repeats and recruits a series of additional factors that are essential for telomere function. Although many shelterin-associated proteins have been so far identified, the inventory of shelterin-interacting factors required for telomere maintenance is still largely incomplete. Here, we characterize AKTIP/Ft1 (human AKTIP and mouse Ft1 are orthologous), a novel mammalian shelterin-bound factor identified on the basis of its homology with the Drosophila telomere protein Pendolino. AKTIP/Ft1 shares homology with the E2 variant ubiquitin-conjugating (UEV) enzymes and has been previously implicated in the control of apoptosis and in vesicle trafficking. RNAi-mediated depletion of AKTIP results in formation of telomere dysfunction foci (TIFs). Consistent with these results, AKTIP interacts with telomeric DNA and binds the shelterin components TRF1 and TRF2 both in vivo and in vitro. Analysis of AKTIP- depleted human primary fibroblasts showed that they are defective in PCNA recruiting and arrest in the S phase due to the activation of the intra S checkpoint. Accordingly, AKTIP physically interacts with PCNA and the RPA70 DNA replication factor. Ft1-depleted p53-/- MEFs did not arrest in the S phase but displayed significant increases in multiple telomeric signals (MTS) and sister telomere associations (STAs), two hallmarks of defective telomere replication. In addition, we found an epistatic relation for MST formation between Ft1 and TRF1, which has been previously shown to be required for replication fork progression through telomeric DNA. Ch-IP experiments further suggested that in AKTIP-depleted cells undergoing the S phase, TRF1 is less tightly bound to telomeric DNA than in controls. Thus, our results collectively

  15. Super-resolution optical microscopy study of telomere structure (United States)

    Phipps, Mary Lisa; Goodwin, Peter M.; Martinez, Jennifer S.; Goodwin, Edwin H.


    Chromosome ends are shielded from exonucleolytic attack and inappropriate end-joining by terminal structures called telomeres; these structures are potential targets for anticancer drugs. Telomeres are composed of a simple DNA sequence (5‧-TTAGGG-3‧ in humans) repeated more than a thousand times, a short 3‧ single-stranded overhang, and numerous proteins. Electron microscopy has shown that the 3‧ overhang pairs with the complementary strand at an internal site creating a small displacement loop and a large double-stranded "t-loop." Our goal is to determine whether all telomeres adopt the t-loop configuration, or whether there are two or more distinct configurations. Progress in optimizing super-resolution (SR) microscopy for this ongoing investigation is reported here. Results suggest that under certain conditions sample preparation procedures may disrupt chromatin by causing loss of nucleosomes. This finding may limit the use of SR microscopy in telomere studies.

  16. Human telomeric sequence forms a hybrid-type intramolecular G-quadruplex structure with mixed parallel/antiparallel strands in potassium solution


    Ambrus, Attila; Chen, Ding; Dai, Jixun; Bialis, Tiffanie; Jones, Roger A.; Yang, Danzhou


    Human telomeric DNA consists of tandem repeats of the sequence d(TTAGGG). The formation and stabilization of DNA G-quadruplexes in the human telomeric sequence have been shown to inhibit the activity of telomerase, thus the telomeric DNA G-quadruplex has been considered as an attractive target for cancer therapeutic intervention. However, knowledge of the intact human telomeric G-quadruplex structure(s) formed under physiological conditions is a prerequisite for structure-based rational drug ...

  17. Mathematical model of alternative mechanism of telomere length maintenance (United States)

    Kollár, Richard; Bod'ová, Katarína; Nosek, Jozef; Tomáška, L'ubomír


    Biopolymer length regulation is a complex process that involves a large number of biological, chemical, and physical subprocesses acting simultaneously across multiple spatial and temporal scales. An illustrative example important for genomic stability is the length regulation of telomeres—nucleoprotein structures at the ends of linear chromosomes consisting of tandemly repeated DNA sequences and a specialized set of proteins. Maintenance of telomeres is often facilitated by the enzyme telomerase but, particularly in telomerase-free systems, the maintenance of chromosomal termini depends on alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) mechanisms mediated by recombination. Various linear and circular DNA structures were identified to participate in ALT, however, dynamics of the whole process is still poorly understood. We propose a chemical kinetics model of ALT with kinetic rates systematically derived from the biophysics of DNA diffusion and looping. The reaction system is reduced to a coagulation-fragmentation system by quasi-steady-state approximation. The detailed treatment of kinetic rates yields explicit formulas for expected size distributions of telomeres that demonstrate the key role played by the J factor, a quantitative measure of bending of polymers. The results are in agreement with experimental data and point out interesting phenomena: an appearance of very long telomeric circles if the total telomere density exceeds a critical value (excess mass) and a nonlinear response of the telomere size distributions to the amount of telomeric DNA in the system. The results can be of general importance for understanding dynamics of telomeres in telomerase-independent systems as this mode of telomere maintenance is similar to the situation in tumor cells lacking telomerase activity. Furthermore, due to its universality, the model may also serve as a prototype of an interaction between linear and circular DNA structures in various settings.

  18. Telomere dynamics in a long-lived bird, the barnacle goose

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pauliny Angela


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Theories of ageing predict a trade-off between metabolism, reproduction, and maintenance. Species with low investment in early reproduction are thus expected to be able to evolve more efficient maintenance and repair mechanisms, allowing for a longer potential life span (intrinsic longevity. The erosion of telomeres, the protective caps at the ends of linear chromosomes, plays an important role in cellular and organismal senescence, signalling the onset of age-related disease due to accumulation of unrepaired somatic damage. Using extensive longitudinal data from a long-term study of a natural population of barnacle geese Branta leucopsis, we investigated individual rates of telomere length changes over two years in 34 birds between 0 and 22 years of age, covering almost 80% of the species’ lifespan. Results We show that telomeres in this long-lived bird are very well maintained, as theoretically expected, with an average loss rate of only 5 base pairs per year among adults. We thus found no significant relationship between change in telomere length and age. However, telomeres tended to shorten at a faster pace in juveniles compared to adults. For the first time, we demonstrate a faster telomere attrition rate in females compared to males. We found no correlation between telomere loss rate and adult survival or change in body mass. Conclusions Our results add further support for a link between longevity and telomere maintenance, and highlight the complexities of telomere dynamics in natural populations.

  19. Molecular cytogenetics studies in Reichardia tingetana: Physical mapping of heterochromatin, telomere repeats, and 5S and 45S rDNA by 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole and fluorescence in situ hybridization

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Magdy Hussein ABD EL-TWAB


    Molecular cytogenetics studies of A-T-rich regions,telomeres,and 5S and 45S rDNA sites on the chromosomes of Reichardia tingetana Roth (2n =16; diploid) were done using 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH).The species were collected from three geographically isolated populations at Borg El Arab (salt marsh habitat),and Rashed and Shosha (sandy clay habitats) in Egypt.The three populations showed the chromosome number of all plants are diploid except for two tetraploid samples from Shosha.Plants from both Rashed and Shosha showed similarity in the distribution of six DAPI bands on six chromosomes,whereas those of Borg El Arab showed a distribution of 16 bands on 14 chromosomes.The FISH signals of the telomeres,and 5S and 45S rDNA,were at the telomeres of all chromosomes,two interstitial,and four terminal,respectively.The combination of DAPI and FISH showed colocalization of the DAPI bands with two 5S and two 45S rDNA loci.The increased number of DAPI bands in the cytotypes from the salt marsh habitat could indicate natural genetic adaptation through increasing the heterochromatin of A-T-rich regions.

  20. The crosstalk of telomere dysfunction and inflammation through cell-free TERRA containing exosomes. (United States)

    Wang, Zhuo; Lieberman, Paul M


    Telomeric repeats-containing RNA (TERRA) are telomere-derived non-coding RNAs that contribute to telomere function in protecting chromosome ends. We recently identified a cell-free form of TERRA (cfTERRA) enriched in extracellular exosomes. These cfTERRA-containing exosomes stimulate inflammatory cytokines when incubated with immune responsive cells. Here, we report that cfTERRA levels were increased in exosomes during telomere dysfunction induced by the expression of the dominant negative TRF2. The exosomes from these damaged cells also enriched with DNA damage marker γH2AX and fragmented telomere repeat DNA. Purified cfTERRA stimulated inflammatory cytokines, but the intact membrane-associated nucleoprotein complexes produced a more robust cytokine activation. Therefore, we propose cfTERRA-containing exosomes transport a telomere-associated molecular pattern (TAMP) and telomere-specific alarmin from dysfunctional telomeres to the extracellular environment to elicit an inflammatory response. Since cfTERRA can be readily detected in human serum it may provide a useful biomarker for the detection of telomere dysfunction in the early stage of cancers and aging-associated inflammatory disease.

  1. Interstitial telomeric sites and Robertsonian translocations in species of Ipheion and Nothoscordum (Amaryllidaceae). (United States)

    Souza, Gustavo; Vanzela, Andre L L; Crosa, Orfeo; Guerra, Marcelo


    The genera Nothoscordum and Ipheion (Allioideae, Amaryllidaceae) are cytologically characterized by a dysploid series with variable numbers of metacentric and acrocentric chromosomes typical of karyotypes rearranged by Robertsonian translocations (RT). Since they have large chromosomes, low diploid numbers, and possess two telomeric motifs [the vertebrate-type (TTAGGG) n and the Arabidopsis-type (TTTAGGG) n ] they are suitable for investigating the occurrence and possible role of interstitial telomeric sites (ITS) associated with RT. We analyzed the distributions of telomeric sites in 12 species of Nothoscordum and Ipheion and found that both telomeric probes colocalized in all chromosome termini. Cloning and sequencing PCR products obtained using both telomeric primers simultaneously revealed long stretches of (TTAGGG) n and (TTTAGGG) n sequences together with degenerated telomeric sequences. Most acrocentric chromosomes have a 45S rDNA site at the terminal region of the short arms adjacent to the most distal telomeric sites. Telomeric signals were found at all chromosome ends, but ITS were also detected in a few proximal and subterminal regions in some Nothoscordum species. Although RT are common in this group of plants, our findings suggest that proximal positioning of telomeric motifs are not necessarily related to that kind of rearrangement. Rather, transposition of telomeric sequences followed by amplification, could better explain the presence of (TTAGGG) n and (TTTAGGG) n repeats at those sites. Furthermore, a few small interstitial sites found in some Nothoscordum species indicate that dispersion of these sequences was not restricted to the proximal region.

  2. Stn1 is critical for telomere maintenance and long-term viability of somatic human cells. (United States)

    Boccardi, Virginia; Razdan, Neetu; Kaplunov, Jessica; Mundra, Jyoti J; Kimura, Masayuki; Aviv, Abraham; Herbig, Utz


    Disruption of telomere maintenance pathways leads to accelerated entry into cellular senescence, a stable proliferative arrest that promotes aging-associated disorders in some mammals. The budding yeast CST complex, comprising Cdc13, Stn1, and Ctc1, is critical for telomere replication, length regulation, and end protection. Although mammalian homologues of CST have been identified recently, their role and function for telomere maintenance in normal somatic human cells are still incompletely understood. Here, we characterize the function of human Stn1 in cultured human fibroblasts and demonstrate its critical role in telomere replication, length regulation, and function. In the absence of high telomerase activity, shRNA-mediated knockdown of hStn1 resulted in aberrant and fragile telomeric structures, stochastic telomere attrition, increased telomere erosion rates, telomere dysfunction, and consequently accelerated entry into cellular senescence. Oxidative stress augmented the defects caused by Stn1 knockdown leading to almost immediate cessation of cell proliferation. In contrast, overexpression of hTERT suppressed some of the defects caused by hStn1 knockdown suggesting that telomerase can partially compensate for hStn1 loss. Our findings reveal a critical role for human Stn1 in telomere length maintenance and function, supporting the model that efficient replication of telomeric repeats is critical for long-term viability of normal somatic mammalian cells.

  3. Telomere shortening in diaphragm and tibialis anterior muscles of aged mdx mice. (United States)

    Lund, Troy C; Grange, Robert W; Lowe, Dawn A


    The progression of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is, in part, due to satellite cell senescence driven by high replicative pressure as these muscle stem cells repeatedly divide and fuse to damaged muscle fibers. We hypothesize that telomere shortening in satellite cells underlies their senescence. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated the diaphragm and a leg muscle from dystrophic mice of various ages for telomere dynamics. We found 30% telomere shortening in tibialis anterior muscles from 600-day-old mdx mice relative to age-matched wildtype mice. We also found a more severe shortening of telomere length in diaphragm muscles of old mdx mice. In those muscles, telomeres were shortened by approximately 15% and 40% in 100- and 600-day-old mdx mice, respectively. These findings indicate that satellite cells undergo telomere erosion, which may contribute to the inability of these cells to perpetually repair DMD muscle.

  4. Primary Studies on Cotton Telomere

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    The Arabidopsis-type telomere sequence was amplified and cloned using the primers designed from the fragment which contained the telomere sequence in an Arabidopsis BAC.In situ hybridizations with cotton metaphase chromosomes,using the telomere as probe,it indicated that the signals

  5. Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Leukocyte Telomere Length: An Analysis of NHANES 1999-2002. (United States)

    Scinicariello, Franco; Buser, Melanie C


    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) induce the expression of the proto-oncogene c-myc which has a role in cellular growth and proliferation programs. The c-myc up-regulates the telomerase reverse transcriptase which adds the telomeres repeating sequences to the chromosomal ends to compensate for the progressive loss of telomeric sequence. We performed multivariate linear regression to analyze the association of PCBs, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, and 1,2,3,4,6,7,8-heptachlorodibenzofuran with leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in the adult population (n = 2413) of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2002. LTL was natural log-transformed and the results were re-transformed and presented as percent differences. Individuals in the 3rd and 4th quartiles of the sum of PCBs were associated with 8.33% (95% CI: 4.08-13.88) and 11.63% (95% CI: 6.18-17.35) longer LTLs, respectively, compared with the lowest quartile, with evidence of a dose-response relationship (p-trend < 0.01). The association of the sum PCBs with longer LTL was found in both sexes. Additionally, 1,2,3,4,6,7,8-heptachlorodibenzofuran and 1,2,3,6,7,8-hexachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin were associated with longer LTL. The age independent association between longer LTL and environmental exposures to PCBs, 1,2,3,4,6,7,8-heptachlorodibenzofuran and 1,2,3,6,7,8-hexachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin may support a role as tumor promoter of these compounds. Further studies to evaluate the effect of these compounds on LTL are needed to more fully understand the implications of our finding.

  6. Organization and evolution of Drosophila terminin: similarities and differences between Drosophila and human telomeres

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    Grazia Daniela Raffa


    Full Text Available Drosophila lacks telomerase and fly telomeres are elongated by occasional transposition of three specialized retroelements. Drosophila telomeres do not terminate with GC-rich repeats and are assembled independently of the sequence of chromosome ends. Recent work has shown that Drosophila telomeres are capped by the terminin complex, which includes the fast-evolving proteins HOAP, HipHop, Moi and Ver. These proteins are not conserves outside Drosophilidae and localize and function exclusively at telomeres, protecting them from fusion events. Other proteins required to prevent end-to-end fusion in flies include HP1, Eff/UbcD1, ATM, the components of the Mre11-Rad50-Nbs (MRN complex, and the Woc transcription factor. These proteins do not share the terminin properties; they are evolutionarily conserved non-fast-evolving proteins that do not accumulate only telomeres and do not serve telomere-specific functions. We propose that following telomerase loss, Drosophila rapidly evolved terminin to bind chromosome ends in a sequence-independent manner. This hypothesis suggests that terminin is the functional analog of the shelterin complex that protects human telomeres. The non-terminin proteins are instead likely to correspond to ancestral telomere-associated proteins that did not evolve as rapidly as terminin because of the functional constraints imposed by their involvement in diverse cellular processes. Thus, it appears that the main difference between Drosophila and human telomeres is in the protective complexes that specifically associate with the DNA termini. We believe that Drosophila telomeres offer excellent opportunities for investigations on human telomere biology. The identification of additional Drosophila genes encoding non-terminin proteins involved in telomere protection might lead to the discovery of novel components of human telomeres.

  7. Break-induced telomere synthesis underlies alternative telomere maintenance. (United States)

    Dilley, Robert L; Verma, Priyanka; Cho, Nam Woo; Winters, Harrison D; Wondisford, Anne R; Greenberg, Roger A


    Homology-directed DNA repair is essential for genome maintenance through templated DNA synthesis. Alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) necessitates homology-directed DNA repair to maintain telomeres in about 10-15% of human cancers. How DNA damage induces assembly and execution of a DNA replication complex (break-induced replisome) at telomeres or elsewhere in the mammalian genome is poorly understood. Here we define break-induced telomere synthesis and demonstrate that it utilizes a specialized replisome, which underlies ALT telomere maintenance. DNA double-strand breaks enact nascent telomere synthesis by long-tract unidirectional replication. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) loading by replication factor C (RFC) acts as the initial sensor of telomere damage to establish predominance of DNA polymerase δ (Pol δ) through its POLD3 subunit. Break-induced telomere synthesis requires the RFC-PCNA-Pol δ axis, but is independent of other canonical replisome components, ATM and ATR, or the homologous recombination protein Rad51. Thus, the inception of telomere damage recognition by the break-induced replisome orchestrates homology-directed telomere maintenance.

  8. Telomeric overhang length determines structural dynamics and accessibility to telomerase and ALT associated proteins (United States)

    Hwang, Helen; Kreig, Alex; Calvert, Jacob; Lormand, Justin; Kwon, Yongho; Daley, James M.; Sung, Patrick; Opresko, Patricia L.; Myong, Sua


    The G-rich single stranded DNA at the 3′ end of human telomeres can self-fold into G-quaduplex (GQ). However, telomere lengthening by telomerase or the recombination-based alternative lengthening of telomere (ALT) mechanism requires protein loading on the overhang. Using single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy we discovered that lengthening the telomeric overhang also increased the rate of dynamic exchanges between structural conformations. Overhangs with five to seven TTAGGG repeats, compared to four repeats, showed much greater dynamics and accessibility to telomerase binding and activity, and loading of the ALT-associated proteins RAD51, WRN and BLM. Although the eight repeats are highly dynamic, they can fold into two GQs, which limited protein accessibility. In contrast, the telomere-specific protein, POT1 is unique in that it binds independently of repeat number. Our results suggest that the telomeric overhang length and dynamics may contribute to the regulation of telomere extension via telomerase action and the ALT mechanism. PMID:24836024

  9. Donor Telomere Length SAA (United States)

    A new NCI study has found that, among patients with severe aplastic anemia who received a hematopoietic cell transplant from an unrelated donor, those whose donor white blood cells had longer telomeres had higher survival rates five-years after transplant

  10. Replication timing of human telomeres is chromosome arm-specific, influenced by subtelomeric structures and connected to nuclear localization.

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    Nausica Arnoult


    Full Text Available The mechanisms governing telomere replication in humans are still poorly understood. To fill this gap, we investigated the timing of replication of single telomeres in human cells. Using in situ hybridization techniques, we have found that specific telomeres have preferential time windows for replication during the S-phase and that these intervals do not depend upon telomere length and are largely conserved between homologous chromosomes and between individuals, even in the presence of large subtelomeric segmental polymorphisms. Importantly, we show that one copy of the 3.3 kb macrosatellite repeat D4Z4, present in the subtelomeric region of the late replicating 4q35 telomere, is sufficient to confer both a more peripheral localization and a later-replicating property to a de novo formed telomere. Also, the presence of beta-satellite repeats next to a newly created telomere is sufficient to delay its replication timing. Remarkably, several native, non-D4Z4-associated, late-replicating telomeres show a preferential localization toward the nuclear periphery, while several early-replicating telomeres are associated with the inner nuclear volume. We propose that, in humans, chromosome arm-specific subtelomeric sequences may influence both the spatial distribution of telomeres in the nucleus and their replication timing.

  11. Telomere maintenance in liquid crystalline chromosomes of dinoflagellates. (United States)

    Fojtová, Miloslava; Wong, Joseph T Y; Dvorácková, Martina; Yan, Kosmo T H; Sýkorová, Eva; Fajkus, Jirí


    The organisation of dinoflagellate chromosomes is exceptional among eukaryotes. Their genomes are the largest in the Eukarya domain, chromosomes lack histones and may exist in liquid crystalline state. Therefore, the study of the structural and functional properties of dinoflagellate chromosomes is of high interest. In this work, we have analysed the telomeres and telomerase in two Dinoflagellata species, Karenia papilionacea and Crypthecodinium cohnii. Active telomerase, synthesising exclusively Arabidopsis-type telomere sequences, was detected in cell extracts. The terminal position of TTTAGGG repeats was determined by in situ hybridisation and BAL31 digestion methods and provides evidence for the linear characteristic of dinoflagellate chromosomes. The length of telomeric tracts, 25-80 kb, is the largest among unicellular eukaryotic organisms to date. Both the presence of long arrays of perfect telomeric repeats at the ends of dinoflagellate chromosomes and the existence of active telomerase as the primary tool for their high-fidelity maintenance demonstrate the general importance of these structures throughout eukaryotes. We conclude that whilst chromosomes of dinoflagellates are unique in many aspects of their structure and composition, their telomere maintenance follows the most common scenario.

  12. Solution structure of telomere binding domain of AtTRB2 derived from Arabidopsis thaliana

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    Yun, Ji-Hye [Department of Biochemistry, College of Life Science and Biotechnology, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-749 (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Won Kyung [Department of Systems Biology, College of Life Science and Biotechnology, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-749 (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Heeyoun [Department of Biochemistry, College of Life Science and Biotechnology, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-749 (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Eunhee; Cheong, Chaejoon [Magnetic Resonance Team, Korea Basic Science Institute (KBSI), Ochang, Chungbuk 363-883 (Korea, Republic of); Cho, Myeon Haeng [Department of Systems Biology, College of Life Science and Biotechnology, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-749 (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Weontae, E-mail: [Department of Biochemistry, College of Life Science and Biotechnology, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-749 (Korea, Republic of)


    Highlights: • We have determined solution structure of Myb domain of AtTRB2. • The Myb domain of AtTRB2 is located in the N-terminal region. • The Myb domain of AtTRB2 binds to plant telomeric DNA without fourth helix. • Helix 2 and 3 of the Myb domain of AtTRB2 are involved in DNA recognition. • AtTRB2 is a novel protein distinguished from other known plant TBP. - Abstract: Telomere homeostasis is regulated by telomere-associated proteins, and the Myb domain is well conserved for telomere binding. AtTRB2 is a member of the SMH (Single-Myb-Histone)-like family in Arabidopsis thaliana, having an N-terminal Myb domain, which is responsible for DNA binding. The Myb domain of AtTRB2 contains three α-helices and loops for DNA binding, which is unusual given that other plant telomere-binding proteins have an additional fourth helix that is essential for DNA binding. To understand the structural role for telomeric DNA binding of AtTRB2, we determined the solution structure of the Myb domain of AtTRB2 (AtTRB2{sub 1–64}) using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. In addition, the inter-molecular interaction between AtTRB2{sub 1–64} and telomeric DNA has been characterized by the electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and NMR titration analyses for both plant (TTTAGGG)n and human (TTAGGG)n telomere sequences. Data revealed that Trp28, Arg29, and Val47 residues located in Helix 2 and Helix 3 are crucial for DNA binding, which are well conserved among other plant telomere binding proteins. We concluded that although AtTRB2 is devoid of the additional fourth helix in the Myb-extension domain, it is able to bind to plant telomeric repeat sequences as well as human telomeric repeat sequences.

  13. Leukocyte telomere length in major depression: correlations with chronicity, inflammation and oxidative stress--preliminary findings.

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    Owen M Wolkowitz

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Depression is associated with an unusually high rate of aging-related illnesses and early mortality. One aspect of "accelerated aging" in depression may be shortened leukocyte telomeres. When telomeres critically shorten, as often occurs with repeated mitoses or in response to oxidation and inflammation, cells may die. Indeed, leukocyte telomere shortening predicts early mortality and medical illnesses in non-depressed populations. We sought to determine if leukocyte telomeres are shortened in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD, whether this is a function of lifetime depression exposure and whether this is related to putative mediators, oxidation and inflammation. METHODOLOGY: Leukocyte telomere length was compared between 18 unmedicated MDD subjects and 17 controls and was correlated with lifetime depression chronicity and peripheral markers of oxidation (F2-isoprostane/Vitamin C ratio and inflammation (IL-6. Analyses were controlled for age and sex. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The depressed group, as a whole, did not differ from the controls in telomere length. However, telomere length was significantly inversely correlated with lifetime depression exposure, even after controlling for age (p<0.05. Average telomere length in the depressed subjects who were above the median of lifetime depression exposure (≥9.2 years' cumulative duration was 281 base pairs shorter than that in controls (p<0.05, corresponding to approximately seven years of "accelerated cell aging." Telomere length was inversely correlated with oxidative stress in the depressed subjects (p<0.01 and in the controls (p<0.05 and with inflammation in the depressed subjects (p<0.05. CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary data indicate that accelerated aging at the level of leukocyte telomeres is proportional to lifetime exposure to MDD. This might be related to cumulative exposure to oxidative stress and inflammation in MDD. This suggest that telomere shortening does not antedate depression

  14. The association between leukocyte telomere length and cigarette smoking, dietary and physical variables, and risk of prostate cancer. (United States)

    Mirabello, Lisa; Huang, Wen-Yi; Wong, Jason Y Y; Chatterjee, Nilanjan; Reding, Douglas; Crawford, E David; De Vivo, Immaculata; Hayes, Richard B; Savage, Sharon A


    Telomeres consist of nucleotide repeats and a protein complex at chromosome ends that are essential to maintaining chromosomal integrity. Several studies have suggested that subjects with shorter telomeres are at increased risk of bladder and lung cancer. In comparison to normal tissues, telomeres are shorter in high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia and prostate cancer. We examined prostate cancer risk associated with relative telomere length as determined by quantitative PCR on prediagnostic buffy coat DNA isolated from 612 advanced prostate cancer cases and 1049 age-matched, cancer-free controls from the PLCO Cancer Screening Trial. Telomere length was analyzed as both a continuous and a categorical variable with adjustment for potential confounders. Statistically significant inverse correlations between telomere length, age and smoking status were observed in cases and controls. Telomere length was not associated with prostate cancer risk (at the median, OR = 0.85, 95% CI: 0.67, 1.08); associations were similar when telomere length was evaluated as a continuous variable or by quartiles. The relationships between telomere length and inflammation-related factors, diet, exercise, body mass index, and other lifestyle variables were explored since many of these have previously been associated with shorter telomeres. Healthy lifestyle factors (i.e., lower BMI, more exercise, tobacco abstinence, diets high in fruit and vegetables) tended to be associated with greater telomere length. This study found no statistically significant association between leukocyte telomere length and advanced prostate cancer risk. However, correlations of telomere length with healthy lifestyles were noted, suggesting the role of these factors in telomere biology maintenance and potentially impacting overall health status.

  15. p53 binds human telomeric G-quadruplex in vitro. (United States)

    Adámik, Matej; Kejnovská, Iva; Bažantová, Pavla; Petr, Marek; Renčiuk, Daniel; Vorlíčková, Michaela; Brázdová, Marie


    The tumor suppressor protein p53 is a key factor in genome stability and one of the most studied of DNA binding proteins. This is the first study on the interaction of wild-type p53 with guanine quadruplexes formed by the human telomere sequence. Using electromobility shift assay and ELISA, we show that p53 binding to telomeric G-quadruplexes increases with the number of telomeric repeats. Further, p53 strongly favors G-quadruplexes folded in potassium over those formed in sodium, thus indicating the telomeric G-quadruplex conformational selectivity of p53. The presence of the quadruplex-stabilizing ligand, N-methyl mesoporphyrin IX (NMM), increases p53 recognition of G-quadruplexes in potassium. Using deletion mutants and selective p53 core domain oxidation, both p53 DNA binding domains are shown to be crucial for telomeric G-quadruplex recognition.

  16. Predictors of telomere content in dragon lizards (United States)

    Ballen, Cissy; Healey, Mo; Wilson, Mark; Tobler, Michael; Olsson, Mats


    Telomeres shorten as a consequence of DNA replication, in particular in cells with low production of telomerase and perhaps in response to physiological stress from exposure to reactive oxygen species, such as superoxide. This process of telomere attrition is countered by innate antioxidation, such as via the production of superoxide dismutase. We studied the inheritance of telomere length in the Australian painted dragon lizard ( Ctenophorus pictus) and the extent to which telomere length covaries with mass-corrected maternal reproductive investment, which reflects the level of circulating yolk precursor and antioxidant, vitellogenin. Our predictors of offspring telomere length explained 72 % of telomere variation (including interstitial telomeres if such are present). Maternal telomere length and reproductive investment were positively influencing offspring telomere length in our analyses, whereas flow cytometry-estimated superoxide level was negatively impacting offspring telomere length. We suggest that the effects of superoxide on hatchling telomere shortening may be partly balanced by transgenerational effects of vitellogenin antioxidation.

  17. Alternative lengthening of telomeres: remodeling the telomere architecture. (United States)

    Conomos, Dimitri; Pickett, Hilda A; Reddel, Roger R


    To escape from the normal limits on proliferative potential, cancer cells must employ a means to counteract the gradual telomere attrition that accompanies semi-conservative DNA replication. While the majority of human cancers do this by up-regulating telomerase enzyme activity, most of the remainder use a homologous recombination-mediated mechanism of telomere elongation known as alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT). Many molecular details of the ALT pathway are unknown, and even less is known regarding the mechanisms by which this pathway is activated. Here, we review current findings about telomere structure in ALT cells, including DNA sequence, shelterin content, and heterochromatic state. We speculate that remodeling of the telomere architecture may contribute to the emergence and maintenance of the ALT phenotype.

  18. Schizosaccharomyces pombe protection of telomeres 1 utilizes alternate binding modes to accommodate different telomeric sequences. (United States)

    Altschuler, Sarah E; Dickey, Thayne H; Wuttke, Deborah S


    The ends of eukaryotic chromosomes consist of long tracts of repetitive GT-rich DNA with variable sequence homogeneity between and within organisms. Telomeres terminate in a conserved 3'-ssDNA overhang that, regardless of sequence variability, is specifically and tightly bound by proteins of the telomere-end protection family. The high affinity ssDNA-binding activity of S. pombe Pot1 protein (SpPot1) is conferred by a DNA-binding domain consisting of two subdomains, Pot1pN and Pot1pC. Previous work has shown that Pot1pN binds a single repeat of the core telomere sequence (GGTTAC) with exquisite specificity, while Pot1pC binds an extended sequence of nine nucleotides (GGTTACGGT) with modest specificity requirements. We find that full-length SpPot1 binds the composite 15mer, (GGTTAC)(2)GGT, and a shorter two-repeat 12mer, (GGTTAC)(2), with equally high affinity (<3 pM), but with substantially different kinetic and thermodynamic properties. The binding mode of the SpPot1/15mer complex is more stable than that of the 12mer complex, with a 2-fold longer half-life and increased tolerance to nucleotide and amino acid substitutions. Our data suggest that SpPot1 protection of heterogeneous telomeres is mediated through 5'-sequence recognition and the use of alternate binding modes to maintain high affinity interaction with the G-strand, while simultaneously discriminating against the complementary strand.

  19. Characterisation of an unusual telomere motif (TTTTTTAGGG)n in the plant Cestrum elegans (Solanaceae), a species with a large genome. (United States)

    Peška, Vratislav; Fajkus, Petr; Fojtová, Miloslava; Dvořáčková, Martina; Hapala, Jan; Dvořáček, Vojtěch; Polanská, Pavla; Leitch, Andrew R; Sýkorová, Eva; Fajkus, Jiří


    The characterization of unusual telomere sequence sheds light on patterns of telomere evolution, maintenance and function. Plant species from the closely related genera Cestrum, Vestia and Sessea (family Solanaceae) lack known plant telomeric sequences. Here we characterize the telomere of Cestrum elegans, work that was a challenge because of its large genome size and few chromosomes (1C 9.76 pg; n = 8). We developed an approach that combines BAL31 digestion, which digests DNA from the ends and chromosome breaks, with next-generation sequencing (NGS), to generate data analysed in RepeatExplorer, designed for de novo repeats identification and quantification. We identify an unique repeat motif (TTTTTTAGGG)n in C. elegans, occurring in ca. 30 400 copies per haploid genome, averaging ca. 1900 copies per telomere, and synthesized by telomerase. We demonstrate that the motif is synthesized by telomerase. The occurrence of an unusual eukaryote (TTTTTTAGGG)n telomeric motif in C. elegans represents a switch in motif from the 'typical' angiosperm telomere (TTTAGGG)n . That switch may have happened with the divergence of Cestrum, Sessea and Vestia. The shift in motif when it arose would have had profound effects on telomere activity. Thus our finding provides a unique handle to study how telomerase and telomeres responded to genetic change, studies that will shed more light on telomere function.

  20. BAL31-NGS approach for identification of telomeres de novo in large genomes. (United States)

    Peška, Vratislav; Sitová, Zdeňka; Fajkus, Petr; Fajkus, Jiří


    This article describes a novel method to identify as yet undiscovered telomere sequences, which combines next generation sequencing (NGS) with BAL31 digestion of high molecular weight DNA. The method was applied to two groups of plants: i) dicots, genus Cestrum, and ii) monocots, Allium species (e.g. A. ursinum and A. cepa). Both groups consist of species with large genomes (tens of Gb) and a low number of chromosomes (2n=14-16), full of repeat elements. Both genera lack typical telomeric repeats and multiple studies have attempted to characterize alternative telomeric sequences. However, despite interesting hypotheses and suggestions of alternative candidate telomeres (retrotransposons, rDNA, satellite repeats) these studies have not resolved the question. In a novel approach based on the two most general features of eukaryotic telomeres, their repetitive character and sensitivity to BAL31 nuclease digestion, we have taken advantage of the capacity and current affordability of NGS in combination with the robustness of classical BAL31 nuclease digestion of chromosomal termini. While representative samples of most repeat elements were ensured by low-coverage (less than 5%) genomic shot-gun NGS, candidate telomeres were identified as under-represented sequences in BAL31-treated samples.

  1. Telomere attrition and diabetes mellitus. (United States)

    Tamura, Yoshiaki; Takubo, Kaiyo; Aida, Junko; Araki, Atsushi; Ito, Hideki


    Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) is a disease characterized by dysfunction of various organs. Recent studies have shown a close relationship between DM and telomere attrition in leukocytes. In patients with DM or impaired glucose tolerance, excessive oxidative stress induces damage to telomeres and shortens their length. Furthermore, it is suggested that telomere length is a good surrogate marker for mortality and diabetic complications in DM patients. We recently found that telomere length in pancreatic β-cells is also shortened in DM patients, potentially leading to an impaired capacity for proliferation and insulin secretion, and accelerated cell death. In contrast, leukocyte telomere length has also been reported in patients with obesity or insulin resistance, both of which are frequently associated with type 2 DM. In an animal model, it has been shown that telomere attrition in adipose tissue induces insulin resistance. Taken together, the available data suggest that hyperglycemia, oxidative stress, and telomere attrition in pancreatic β-cells and adipocytes create a vicious cycle that underlies the pathophysiology of type 2 DM. Inhibition of telomere attrition in various organs, including pancreatic β-cells, could be a new approach for preventing the progression of DM and its complications.

  2. A Broad Phylogenetic Survey Unveils the Diversity and Evolution of Telomeres in Eukaryotes (United States)

    Fulnečková, Jana; Ševčíková, Tereza; Fajkus, Jiří; Lukešová, Alena; Lukeš, Martin; Vlček, Čestmír; Lang, B. Franz; Kim, Eunsoo; Eliáš, Marek; Sýkorová, Eva


    Telomeres, ubiquitous and essential structures of eukaryotic chromosomes, are known to come in a variety of forms, but knowledge about their actual diversity and evolution across the whole phylogenetic breadth of the eukaryotic life remains fragmentary. To fill this gap, we employed a complex experimental approach to probe telomeric minisatellites in various phylogenetically diverse groups of algae. Our most remarkable results include the following findings: 1) algae of the streptophyte class Klebsormidiophyceae possess the Chlamydomonas-type telomeric repeat (TTTTAGGG) or, in at least one species, a novel TTTTAGG repeat, indicating an evolutionary transition from the Arabidopsis-type repeat (TTTAGGG) ancestral for Chloroplastida; 2) the Arabidopsis-type repeat is also present in telomeres of Xanthophyceae, in contrast to the presence of the human-type repeat (TTAGGG) in other ochrophytes studied, and of the photosynthetic alveolate Chromera velia, consistent with its phylogenetic position close to apicomplexans and dinoflagellates; 3) glaucophytes and haptophytes exhibit the human-type repeat in their telomeres; and 4) ulvophytes and rhodophytes have unusual telomere structures recalcitrant to standard analysis. To obtain additional details on the distribution of different telomere types in eukaryotes, we performed in silico analyses of genomic data from major eukaryotic lineages, utilizing also genome assemblies from our on-going genome projects for representatives of three hitherto unsampled lineages (jakobids, malawimonads, and goniomonads). These analyses confirm the human-type repeat as the most common and possibly ancestral in eukaryotes, but alternative motifs replaced it along the phylogeny of diverse eukaryotic lineages, some of them several times independently. PMID:23395982

  3. Caspase-Dependent Apoptosis Induced by Telomere Cleavage and TRF2 Loss

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    Asha S. Multani


    Full Text Available Chromosomal abnormalities involving telomeric associations (TAs often precede replicative senescence and abnormal chromosome configurations. We report here that telomere cleavage following exposure to proapoptotic agents is an early event in apoptosis. Exposure of human and murine cancer cells to a variety of pro-apoptotic stimuli (staurosporine, thapsigargin, anti-Fas antibody, cancer chemotherapeutic agents resulted in telomere cleavage and aggregation, finally their extrusion from the nuclei. Telomere loss was associated with arrest of cells in G2/M phase and preceded DNA fragmentation. Telomere erosion and subsequent large-scale chromatin cleavage were inhibited by overexpression of the anti -apoptotic protein, bcl-2, two peptide caspase inhibitors (BACMK and zVADfmk, indicating that both events are regulated by caspase activation. The results demonstrate that telomere cleavage is an early chromatin alteration detected in various cancer cell lines leading to drug-induced apoptosis, suggest that this event contributes to mitotic catastrophe and induction of cell death. Results also suggest that the decrease of telomeric-repeat binding factor 2 (TRF2 may be the earliest event in the ara-C-induced telomere shortening, induction of endoreduplication and chromosomal fragmentation leading to cell death.

  4. Rad59-facilitated acquisition of Y' elements by short telomeres delays the onset of senescence.

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    Dmitri Churikov


    Full Text Available Telomerase-negative yeasts survive via one of the two Rad52-dependent recombination pathways, which have distinct genetic requirements. Although the telomere pattern of type I and type II survivors is well characterized, the mechanistic details of short telomere rearrangement into highly evolved pattern observed in survivors are still missing. Here, we analyze immediate events taking place at the abruptly shortened VII-L and native telomeres. We show that short telomeres engage in pairing with internal Rap1-bound TG1-3-like tracts present between subtelomeric X and Y' elements, which is followed by BIR-mediated non-reciprocal translocation of Y' element and terminal TG1-3 repeats from the donor end onto the shortened telomere. We found that choice of the Y' donor was not random, since both engineered telomere VII-L and native VI-R acquired Y' elements from partially overlapping sets of specific chromosome ends. Although short telomere repair was associated with transient delay in cell divisions, Y' translocation on native telomeres did not require Mec1-dependent checkpoint. Furthermore, the homeologous pairing between the terminal TG1-3 repeats at VII-L and internal repeats on other chromosome ends was largely independent of Rad51, but instead it was facilitated by Rad59 that stimulates Rad52 strand annealing activity. Therefore, Y' translocation events taking place during presenescence are genetically separable from Rad51-dependent Y' amplification process that occurs later during type I survivor formation. We show that Rad59-facilitated Y' translocations on X-only telomeres delay the onset of senescence while preparing ground for type I survivor formation.

  5. FISH analysis of the telomere sequences of bulldog ants (Myrmecia: formicidae). (United States)

    Meyne, J; Hirai, H; Imai, H T


    Chromosomes from several species of ants from the genus Myrmecia were hybridized with deoxyoligomer probes of either (T2AG2)7, the putative insect telomere repeat sequence, or (T2AG3)7, the vertebrate telomere repeat sequence. While both sequences hybridized over a range of stringency conditions, (T2AG2)n was clearly the predominant sequence at the termini of the Myrmecia chromosomes. No interstitial sites of either sequence were detected. The genus Myrmecia has a wide range of karyotypes, with chromosome numbers ranging from 2n=2-84. It has been hypothesized that the ancestral karyotype was 2n=4 and karyotype evolution proceeded with an increase in chromosome number. In the absence of detectable interstitial sites of telomere sequence, it is interesting to speculate on the origin of the new telomeres as the chromosome numbers increased.

  6. Association between telomere length and CYP19 TTTA repetition polymorphism in healthy and breast cancer-diagnosed women (United States)

    Murillo-Ortiz, Blanca; Martínez-Garza, Sandra; Suárez García, David; Castillo Valenzuela, Rosa del Carmen; García Regalado, Juan Francisco; Cano Velázquez, Gerardo


    Introduction Several studies have reported an increase in breast cancer (BC) risk when patients are carriers of the CYP19 TTA polymorphism with ≥10 repeats; moreover, it has been reported that telomere length is associated with a higher susceptibility of developing cancer. Objective The objective of this study was to understand the relationship between CYP19 TTTA repetition polymorphism and telomere length and its effects on serum estradiol, estrone and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Materials and methods A total of 180 postmenopausal healthy and 70 BC-diagnosed women were included. Telomere length was determined through real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and aromatase polymorphism was analyzed through DNA; both samples were obtained from circulating leukocytes. Serum estrone, estradiol and FSH were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results Patients with a BC diagnosis showed >10 repetitions more frequently, compared with that of healthy women (50% vs 23%, χ2 = 11.44, p = 0.0007). A significant difference in telomere length between healthy and BC women was observed (5,042.7 vs 2,256.7 pb, Z = 4.88, p 10 repeats. Moreover, telomere length showed an inverse relationship with the number of repeats of the aromatase polymorphism in healthy women (R2 = 0.04, r = −0.24); in contrast, BC patients did not display this relationship. In addition, telomere length presented an inverse relationship with serum levels of estradiol and estrone in BC patients (p = 0.02). Conclusion Telomere length is shorter in BC patients than in healthy patients. The CYP19 TTTA repeat polymorphism is associated with serum levels of estradiol and estrone in both healthy women and BC patients, being higher in those with polymorphism carriers >10 repeats. Telomere length has an inverse correlation with the number of repeats of the aromatase polymorphism in healthy women but not in BC women. Estradiol and estrone levels in BC women have an inverse relationship

  7. Primary Studies on Cotton Telomere

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LING Jian; PENG Ren-hai; WANG Kun-bo; WANG Chun-ying; SONG Guo-li; LIU Fang; LI Shao-hui; ZHANG Xiang-di; WANG Yu-hong


    @@ The Arabidopsis -type telomere sequence was amplified and cloned using the primers designed from the fragment which contained the telomere sequence in an Arabidopsis BAC.In situ hybridizations with cotton metaphase chromosomes,using the telomere as probe,it indicated that the signals were located at all chromosome ends of 7 diploid and 2 tetraploid cotton species.To identify the signals of FISH,the genome DNA of Xinhai 7,digested by Bal31 kinetics,was used in this study.

  8. The association between global DNA methylation and telomere length in a longitudinal study of boilermakers. (United States)

    Wong, Jason Y Y; De Vivo, Immaculata; Lin, Xihong; Grashow, Rachel; Cavallari, Jennifer; Christiani, David C


    The objectives of this study were to determine if global DNA methylation, as reflected in LINE-1 and Alu elements, is associated with telomere length and whether it modifies the rate of telomeric change. A repeated-measures longitudinal study was performed with a panel of 87 boilermaker subjects. The follow-up period was 29 months. LINE-1 and Alu methylation was determined using pyrosequencing. Leukocyte relative telomere length was assessed via real-time qPCR. Linear-mixed models were used to estimate the association between DNA methylation and telomere length. A structural equation model (SEM) was used to explore the hypothesized relationship between DNA methylation, proxies of particulate matter exposure, and telomere length at baseline. There appeared to be a positive association between both LINE-1 and Alu methylation levels, and telomere length. For every incremental increase in LINE-1 methylation, there was a statistically significant 1.0 × 10(-1) (95% CI: 4.6 × 10(-2), 1.5 × 10(-1), P telomere length, controlling for age at baseline, current and past smoking status, work history, BMI (log kg/m(2) ) and leukocyte differentials. Furthermore, for every incremental increase in Alu methylation, there was a statistically significant 6.2 × 10(-2) (95% CI: 1.0 × 10(-2), 1.1 × 10(-1), P = 0.02) unit increase in relative telomere length. The interaction between LINE-1 methylation and follow-up time was statistically significant with an estimate -9.8 × 10(-3) (95% CI: -1.8 × 10(-2), -1.9 × 10(-3), P = 0.02); suggesting that the rate of telomeric change was modified by the degree of LINE-1 methylation. No statistically significant association was found between the cumulative PM exposure construct, with global DNA methylation and telomere length at baseline.

  9. Short telomere length and breast cancer risk: a study in sister sets. (United States)

    Shen, Jing; Terry, Mary Beth; Gurvich, Irina; Liao, Yuyan; Senie, Ruby T; Santella, Regina M


    Telomeres consist of a tandem repeats of the sequence TTAGGG at the ends of chromosomes and play a key role in the maintenance of chromosomal stability. Previous studies indicated that short telomeres are associated with increased risk for human bladder, head and neck, lung, and renal cell cancer. We investigated the association between white blood cell telomere length and breast cancer risk among 268 family sets (287 breast cancer cases and 350 sister controls). Telomere length was assessed by quantitative PCR. The mean telomere length was shorter in cases (mean, 0.70; range, 0.03-1.95) than in unaffected control sisters (mean, 0.74; range, 0.03-2.29), but no significant difference was observed (P = 0.11). When subjects were categorized according to the median telomere length in controls (0.70), affected sisters had shorter telomeres compared with unaffected sisters after adjusting for age at blood donation and smoking status [odds ratio (OR), 1.3; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.9-1.8], but the association was not statistically significant. The association by quartile of telomere length (Q4 shortest versus Q1 longest) also supported an increase in risk from shorter telomere length, although the association was not statistically significant (OR, 1.6; 95% CI, 0.9-2.7). This association was more pronounced among premenopausal women (OR, 2.1; 95% CI, 0.8-5.5) than postmenopausal women (OR, 1.3; 95% CI, 0.5-3.6 for Q4 versus Q1). If these associations are replicated in larger studies, they provide modest epidemiologic evidence that shortened telomere length may be associated with breast cancer risk.

  10. Telomere longitudinal shortening as a biomarker for dementia status of adults with Down syndrome. (United States)

    Jenkins, Edmund C; Ye, Lingling; Krinsky-McHale, Sharon J; Zigman, Warren B; Schupf, Nicole; Silverman, Wayne P


    Previous studies have suggested that Alzheimer's disease (AD) causes an accelerated shortening of telomeres, the ends of chromosomes consisting of highly conserved TTAGGG repeats that, because of unidirectional 5'-3' DNA synthesis, lose end point material with each cell division. Our own previous work suggested that telomere length of T-lymphocytes might be a remarkably accurate biomarker for "mild cognitive impairment" in adults with Down syndrome (MCI-DS), a population at dramatically high risk for AD. To verify that the progression of cognitive and functional losses due to AD produced this observed telomere shortening, we have now examined sequential changes in telomere length in five individuals with Down syndrome (3F, 2M) as they transitioned from preclinical AD to MCI-DS (N = 4) or dementia (N = 1). As in our previous studies, we used PNA (peptide nucleic acid) probes for telomeres and the chromosome 2 centromere (as an "internal standard" expected to be unaffected by aging or dementia status), with samples from the same individuals now collected prior to and following development of MCI-DS or dementia. Consistent shortening of telomere length was observed over time. Further comparisons with our previous cross-sectional findings indicated that telomere lengths prior to clinical decline were similar to those of other adults with Down syndrome (DS) who have not experienced clinical decline while telomere lengths following transition to MCI-DS or dementia in the current study were comparable to those of other adults with DS who have developed MCI-DS or dementia. Taken together, findings indicate that telomere length has significant promise as a biomarker of clinical progression of AD for adults with DS, and further longitudinal studies of a larger sample of individuals with DS are clearly warranted to validate these findings and determine if and how factors affecting AD risk also influence these measures of telomere length.

  11. AT-rich sequences containing Arabidopsis-type telomere sequence and their chromosomal distribution in Pinus densiflora. (United States)

    Shibata, Fukashi; Matsusaki, Yukari; Hizume, Masahiro


    Japanese red pine Pinus densiflora has 2 n=24 chromosomes and after FISH-detection of Arabidopsis-type (A-type) telomere sequences, many telomere signals were observed on these chromosomes at interstitial and proximal regions in addition to the chromosome ends. These interstitial and proximal signal sites were observed as DAPI-positive bands, suggesting that the interstitial and proximal telomere signal sites are composed of AT-rich highly repetitive sequences. Four DNA clones (PAL810, PAL1114, PAL1539, PAL1742) localized at the interstitial telomere signals were selected from AluI-digested genomic DNA library using colony blot hybridization probed with A-type telomere sequences and characterized using FISH and Southern blot hybridization. The AT-contents of these selected four clones were 60.8-76.3%, and repeat units of the telomere sequence and degenerated telomere sequences were found in their nucleotide sequences. Except for two sites of PAL1114, FISH signals of the four clones co-localized with interstitial and proximal A-type telomere sequence signals. FISH signals a showed similar distribution pattern, but the patterns of signal intensity were different among the four clones. PAL810, PAL1539 and PAL 1742 showed similar FISH signal patterns, and the differences were only with respect to the signal intensity of some signal sites. PAL1114 had unique signals that appeared on chromosomes 7 and 10. Based on results of the Southern blot hybridization these four sequences are not arranged tandemly. Our results suggest that the interstitial A-type telomere sequence signal sites were composed of a mixture of several AT-rich repetitive sequences and that these repetitive sequences contained A-type telomere sequences or degenerated A-type telomere sequence repeats.

  12. Inheritance of telomere length in a bird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thorsten Horn

    Full Text Available Telomere dynamics are intensively studied in human ageing research and epidemiology, with many correlations reported between telomere length and age-related diseases, cancer and death. While telomere length is influenced by environmental factors there is also good evidence for a strong heritable component. In human, the mode of telomere length inheritance appears to be paternal and telomere length differs between sexes, with females having longer telomeres than males. Genetic factors, e.g. sex chromosomal inactivation, and non-genetic factors, e.g. antioxidant properties of oestrogen, have been suggested as possible explanations for these sex-specific telomere inheritance and telomere length differences. To test the influence of sex chromosomes on telomere length, we investigated inheritance and sex-specificity of telomere length in a bird species, the kakapo (Strigops habroptilus, in which females are the heterogametic sex (ZW and males are the homogametic (ZZ sex. We found that, contrary to findings in humans, telomere length was maternally inherited and also longer in males. These results argue against an effect of sex hormones on telomere length and suggest that factors associated with heterogamy may play a role in telomere inheritance and sex-specific differences in telomere length.

  13. ERCC1/XPF protects short telomeres from homologous recombination in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Baptiste Vannier


    Full Text Available Many repair and recombination proteins play essential roles in telomere function and chromosome stability, notwithstanding the role of telomeres in "hiding" chromosome ends from DNA repair and recombination. Among these are XPF and ERCC1, which form a structure-specific endonuclease known for its essential role in nucleotide excision repair and is the subject of considerable interest in studies of recombination. In contrast to observations in mammalian cells, we observe no enhancement of chromosomal instability in Arabidopsis plants mutated for either XPF (AtRAD1 or ERCC1 (AtERCC1 orthologs, which develop normally and show wild-type telomere length. However, in the absence of telomerase, mutation of either of these two genes induces a significantly earlier onset of chromosomal instability. This early appearance of telomere instability is not due to a general acceleration of telomeric repeat loss, but is associated with the presence of dicentric chromosome bridges and cytologically visible extrachromosomal DNA fragments in mitotic anaphase. Such extrachromosomal fragments are not observed in later-generation single-telomerase mutant plants presenting similar frequencies of anaphase bridges. Extensive FISH analyses show that these DNAs are broken chromosomes and correspond to two specific chromosome arms. Analysis of the Arabidopsis genome sequence identified two extensive blocks of degenerate telomeric repeats, which lie at the bases of these two arms. Our data thus indicate a protective role of ERCC1/XPF against 3' G-strand overhang invasion of interstitial telomeric repeats. The fact that the Atercc1 (and Atrad1 mutants dramatically potentiate levels of chromosome instability in Attert mutants, and the absence of such events in the presence of telomerase, have important implications for models of the roles of recombination at telomeres and is a striking illustration of the impact of genome structure on the outcomes of equivalent recombination

  14. Telomeric Heterochromatin in Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosaura Hernandez-Rivas


    Full Text Available Until very recently, little was known about the chromatin structure of the telomeres and subtelomeric regions in Plasmodium falciparum. In yeast and Drosophila melanogaster, chromatin structure has long been known to be an important aspect in the regulation and functioning of these regions. Telomeres and subtelomeric regions are enriched in epigenetic marks that are specific to heterochromatin, such as methylation of lysine 9 of histone H3 and lysine 20 of histone H4. In P. falciparum, histone modifications and the presence of both the heterochromatin “writing” (PfSir2, PKMT and “reading” (PfHP1 machinery at telomeric and subtelomeric regions indicate that these regions are likely to have heterochromatic structure that is epigenetically regulated. This structure may be important for telomere functions such as the silencing of the var gene family implicated in the cytoadherence and antigenic variation of these parasites.

  15. The Relationship Between Spontaneous Telomere Loss and Chromosome Instability in a Human Tumor Cell Line

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bijan Fouladi


    Full Text Available Chromosome instability plays an important role in cancer by promoting the alterations in the genome required for tumor cell progression. The loss of telomeres that protect the ends of chromosomes and prevent chromosome fusion has been proposed as one mechanism for chromosome instability in cancer cells, however, there is little direct evidence to support this hypothesis. To investigate the relationship between spontaneous telomere loss and chromosome instability in human cancer cells, clones of the EJ-30 tumor cell line were isolated in which a herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (HSV-tk gene was integrated immediately adjacent to a telomere. Selection for HSV-tkdeficient cells with ganciclovir demonstrated a high rate of loss of the end these "marked" chromosomes (10-4 events/cell per generation. DNA sequence and cytogenetic analysis suggests that the loss of function of the HSV-tk gene most often involves telomere loss, sister chromatid fusion, and prolonged periods of chromosome instability. In some HSV-tk-deficient cells, telomeric repeat sequences were added on to the end of the truncated HSV-tk gene at a new location, whereas in others, no telomere was detected on the end of the marked chromosome. These results suggest that spontaneous telomere loss is a mechanism for chromosome instability in human cancer cells.

  16. miR-155 drives telomere fragility in human breast cancer by targeting TRF1. (United States)

    Dinami, Roberto; Ercolani, Cristiana; Petti, Eleonora; Piazza, Silvano; Ciani, Yari; Sestito, Rosanna; Sacconi, Andrea; Biagioni, Francesca; le Sage, Carlos; Agami, Reuven; Benetti, Roberta; Mottolese, Marcella; Schneider, Claudio; Blandino, Giovanni; Schoeftner, Stefan


    Telomeres consist of DNA tandem repeats that recruit the multiprotein complex shelterin to build a chromatin structure that protects chromosome ends. Although cancer formation is linked to alterations in telomere homeostasis, there is little understanding of how shelterin function is limited in cancer cells. Using a small-scale screening approach, we identified miR-155 as a key regulator in breast cancer cell expression of the shelterin component TERF1 (TRF1). miR-155 targeted a conserved sequence motif in the 3'UTR of TRF1, resulting in its translational repression. miR-155 was upregulated commonly in breast cancer specimens, as associated with reduced TRF1 protein expression, metastasis-free survival, and relapse-free survival in estrogen receptor-positive cases. Modulating miR-155 expression in cells altered TRF1 levels and TRF1 abundance at telomeres. Compromising TRF1 expression by elevating miR-155 increased telomere fragility and altered the structure of metaphase chromosomes. In contrast, reducing miR-155 levels improved telomere function and genomic stability. These results implied that miR-155 upregulation antagonizes telomere integrity in breast cancer cells, increasing genomic instability linked to poor clinical outcome in estrogen receptor-positive disease. Our work argued that miRNA-dependent regulation of shelterin function has a clinically significant impact on telomere function, suggesting the existence of "telo-miRNAs" that have an impact on cancer and aging.

  17. Metastases suppressor NME2 associates with telomere ends and telomerase and reduces telomerase activity within cells. (United States)

    Kar, Anirban; Saha, Dhurjhoti; Purohit, Gunjan; Singh, Ankita; Kumar, Parveen; Yadav, Vinod Kumar; Kumar, Pankaj; Thakur, Ram Krishna; Chowdhury, Shantanu


    Analysis of chromatin-immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq) usually disregards sequence reads that do not map within binding positions (peaks). Using an unbiased approach, we analysed all reads, both that mapped and ones that were not included as part of peaks. ChIP-seq experiments were performed in human lung adenocarcinoma and fibrosarcoma cells for the metastasis suppressor non-metastatic 2 (NME2). Surprisingly, we identified sequence reads that uniquely represented human telomere ends in both cases. In vivo presence of NME2 at telomere ends was validated using independent methods and as further evidence we found intranuclear association of NME2 and the telomere repeat binding factor 2. Most remarkably, results demonstrate that NME2 associates with telomerase and reduces telomerase activity in vitro and in vivo, and sustained NME2 expression resulted in reduced telomere length in aggressive human cancer cells. Anti-metastatic function of NME2 has been demonstrated in human cancers, however, mechanisms are poorly understood. Together, findings reported here suggest a novel role for NME2 as a telomere binding protein that can alter telomerase function and telomere length. This presents an opportunity to investigate telomere-related interactions in metastasis suppression.

  18. Switch telomerase to ALT mechanism by inducing telomeric DNA damages and dysfunction of ATRX and DAXX (United States)

    Hu, Yang; Shi, Guang; Zhang, Laichen; Li, Feng; Jiang, Yuanling; Jiang, Shuai; Ma, Wenbin; Zhao, Yong; Songyang, Zhou; Huang, Junjiu


    Activation of telomerase or alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) is necessary for tumours to escape from dysfunctional telomere-mediated senescence. Anti-telomerase drugs might be effective in suppressing tumour growth in approximately 85–90% of telomerase-positive cancer cells. However, there are still chances for these cells to bypass drug treatment after switching to the ALT mechanism to maintain their telomere integrity. But the mechanism underlying this switch is unknown. In this study, we used telomerase-positive cancer cells (HTC75) to discover the mechanism of the telomerase-ALT switch by inducing telomere-specific DNA damage, alpha-thalassemia X-linked syndrome protein (ATRX) knockdown and deletion of death associated protein (DAXX). Surprisingly, two important ALT hallmarks in the ALT-like HTC75 cells were observed after treatments: ALT-associated promyelocytic leukaemia bodies (APBs) and extrachromosomal circular DNA of telomeric repeats. Moreover, knocking out hTERT by utilizing the CRISPR/Cas9 technique led to telomere elongation in a telomerase-independent manner in ALT-like HTC75 cells. In summary, this is the first report to show that inducing telomeric DNA damage, disrupting the ATRX/DAXX complex and inhibiting telomerase activity in telomerase-positive cancer cells lead to the ALT switch. PMID:27578458

  19. Telomere profiles and tumor-associated macrophages with different immune signatures affect prognosis in glioblastoma. (United States)

    Hung, Noelyn A; Eiholzer, Ramona A; Kirs, Stenar; Zhou, Jean; Ward-Hartstonge, Kirsten; Wiles, Anna K; Frampton, Chris M; Taha, Ahmad; Royds, Janice A; Slatter, Tania L


    Telomere maintenance is a hallmark of cancer and likely to be targeted in future treatments. In glioblastoma established methods of identifying telomerase and alternative lengthening of telomeres leave a significant proportion of tumors with no defined telomere maintenance mechanism. This study investigated the composition of these tumors using RNA-Seq. Glioblastomas with an indeterminate telomere maintenance mechanism had an increased immune signature compared with alternative lengthening of telomeres and telomerase-positive tumors. Immunohistochemistry for CD163 confirmed that the majority (80%) of tumors with an indeterminate telomere maintenance mechanism had a high presence of tumor-associated macrophages. The RNA-Seq and immunostaining data separated tumors with no defined telomere maintenance mechanism into three subgroups: alternative lengthening of telomeres like tumors with a high presence of tumor-associated macrophages and telomerase like tumors with a high presence of tumor-associated macrophages. The third subgroup had no increase in tumor-associated macrophages and may represent a distinct category. The presence of tumor-associated macrophages conferred a worse prognosis with reduced patient survival times (alternative lengthening of telomeres with and without macrophages P=0.0004, and telomerase with and without macrophages P=0.013). The immune signatures obtained from RNA-Seq were significantly different between telomere maintenance mechanisms. Alternative lengthening of telomeres like tumors with macrophages had increased expression of interferon-induced proteins with tetratricopeptide repeats (IFIT1-3). Telomerase-positive tumors with macrophages had increased expression of macrophage receptor with collagenous structure (MARCO), CXCL12 and sushi-repeat containing protein x-linked 2 (SRPX2). Telomerase-positive tumors with macrophages were also associated with a reduced frequency of total/near total resections (44% vs >76% for all other subtypes

  20. Methylphenidate, Add, and Classroom Performance



    The degree to which methylphenidate (MPH) normalized the classroom behavior and academic functioning of 31 children with attention deficit disorder (ADD) was evaluated at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA.

  1. Telomeres and Telomerase in the Radiation Response: implications for instability, reprogramming, and carcinogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brock James Sishc


    Full Text Available Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes comprised of tandem arrays of repetitive DNA sequence that serve to protect chromosomal termini from inappropriate degradation, as well as to prevent these natural DNA ends from being recognized as broken DNA (double-strand breaks; DSBs and triggering of inappropriate DNA damage responses. Preservation of telomere length requires telomerase, the specialized reverse transcriptase capable of maintaining telomere length via template-mediated addition of telomeric repeats onto the ends of newly synthesized chromosomes. Loss of either end-capping function or telomere length maintenance has been associated with genomic instability or senescence in a variety of settings; therefore telomeres and telomerase have well-established connections to cancer and aging. It has long been recognized that oxidative stress promotes shortening of telomeres, and that telomerase activity is a radiation-inducible function. However, the effects of ionizing radiation (IR exposure on telomeres per se are much less well understood and appreciated. To gain a deeper understanding of the roles telomeres and telomerase play in the response of human cells to ionizing radiations of different qualities, we tracked changes in telomeric end-capping function, telomere length, and telomerase activity in panels of mammary epithelial and hematopoietic cell lines exposed to low linear energy transfer (LET gamma(γ-rays or high LET high charge, high energy (HZE particles, delivered either acutely or at low dose rates (LDR. In addition to demonstrating that dysfunctional telomeres contribute to IR-induced mutation frequencies and genome instability, we reveal non-canonical roles for telomerase, in that telomerase activity was required for IR-induced enrichment of mammary epithelial putative stem/progenitor cell populations, a finding also suggestive of cellular reprogramming. Taken together, the results reported here establish the critical importance of

  2. A human telomerase holoenzyme protein required for Cajal body localization and telomere synthesis. (United States)

    Venteicher, Andrew S; Abreu, Eladio B; Meng, Zhaojing; McCann, Kelly E; Terns, Rebecca M; Veenstra, Timothy D; Terns, Michael P; Artandi, Steven E


    Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex that synthesizes telomere repeats in tissue progenitor cells and cancer cells. Active human telomerase consists of at least three principal subunits, including the telomerase reverse transcriptase, the telomerase RNA (TERC), and dyskerin. Here, we identify a holoenzyme subunit, TCAB1 (telomerase Cajal body protein 1), that is notably enriched in Cajal bodies, nuclear sites of RNP processing that are important for telomerase function. TCAB1 associates with active telomerase enzyme, established telomerase components, and small Cajal body RNAs that are involved in modifying splicing RNAs. Depletion of TCAB1 by using RNA interference prevents TERC from associating with Cajal bodies, disrupts telomerase-telomere association, and abrogates telomere synthesis by telomerase. Thus, TCAB1 controls telomerase trafficking and is required for telomere synthesis in human cancer cells.

  3. Base J glucosyltransferase does not regulate the sequence specificity of J synthesis in trypanosomatid telomeric DNA. (United States)

    Bullard, Whitney; Cliffe, Laura; Wang, Pengcheng; Wang, Yinsheng; Sabatini, Robert


    Telomeric DNA of trypanosomatids possesses a modified thymine base, called base J, that is synthesized in a two-step process; the base is hydroxylated by a thymidine hydroxylase forming hydroxymethyluracil (hmU) and a glucose moiety is then attached by the J-associated glucosyltransferase (JGT). To examine the importance of JGT in modifiying specific thymine in DNA, we used a Leishmania episome system to demonstrate that the telomeric repeat (GGGTTA) stimulates J synthesis in vivo while mutant telomeric sequences (GGGTTT, GGGATT, and GGGAAA) do not. Utilizing an in vitro GT assay we find that JGT can glycosylate hmU within any sequence with no significant change in Km or kcat, even mutant telomeric sequences that are unable to be J-modified in vivo. The data suggests that JGT possesses no DNA sequence specificity in vitro, lending support to the hypothesis that the specificity of base J synthesis is not at the level of the JGT reaction.

  4. Does telomere elongation lead to a longer lifespan if cancer is considered? (United States)

    Masa, Michael; Cebrat, Stanisław; Stauffer, Dietrich


    As cell proliferation is limited due to the loss of telomere repeats in DNA of normal somatic cells during division, telomere attrition can possibly play an important role in determining the maximum life span of organisms as well as contribute to the process of biological ageing. With computer simulations of cell culture development in organisms, which consist of tissues of normal somatic cells with finite growth, we obtain an increase of life span and life expectancy for longer telomeric DNA in the zygote. By additionally considering a two-mutation model for carcinogenesis and indefinite proliferation by the activation of telomerase, we demonstrate that the risk of dying due to cancer can outweigh the positive effect of longer telomeres on the longevity.

  5. Cloning and Analysis of Telomere-associated Sequences of Ginkgo biloba L.

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Liu Di; Lu Hai; Ji Fei-teng; Li Feng-lan; Guo Hui-hong


    Total genomic DNA was extracted from leaves of Ginkgo biloba L. by the method of hot CTAB. After determining quantification of DNA sample by microclorimetric spectrophotography, Arabidopsis-type telomere primer and Sau3A I cassette primer were used to isolate telomere-associated sequences from G. biloba L. by the method of cassette-ligation-mediated polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Using this method, two telomere-associated sequences, TAS 1 and TAS2, were isolated. The authors preformed Southern hybridization ofEcoR I -treated G. biloba genomic DNA with each clone. The hybridization pattern showed that the clones obtained were derived from G. biloba genomic DNA. There are the Arabidopsis-type TTTAGGG tandem repeats in telomeres of G.biloba.

  6. Interaction of hnRNP A1 with telomere DNA G-quadruplex structures studied at the single molecule level

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krüger, Asger Christian; Raarup, Merete Krog; Nielsen, Morten Muhlig;


    G-rich telomeric DNA sequences can form G-quadruplex structures. The heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1 (hnRNP A1) and a shortened derivative (UP1) are active in telomere length regulation, and it has been reported that UP1 can unwind G-quadruplex structures. Here, we investigate...... the interaction of hnRNP A1 with G-quadruplex DNA structures containing the human telomere repeat (TTAGGG) by gel retardation assays, ensemble fluorescence energy transfer (FRET) spectroscopy, and single molecule FRET microscopy. Our biochemical experiments show that hnRNP A1 binds well to the G......-quadruplex telomeric DNA. Ensemble and single molecule FRET measurements provide further insight into molecular conformation: the telomeric DNA overhang is found to be in a folded state in the absence of hnRNP A1 and to remain predominantly in a compact state when complexed with hnRNP A1. This finding is in contrast...

  7. Nutrients, foods, dietary patterns and telomere length: Update of epidemiological studies and randomized trials. (United States)

    Freitas-Simoes, Tania-Marisa; Ros, Emilio; Sala-Vila, Aleix


    Identifying simple strategies to prevent or delay age-associated pathologies is a major public health concern. Attrition of telomeres, chromatin structures that help maintain genome stability, leads to cell death or senescence. Thus telomere length is a reliable hallmark of biological aging and the risk of developing age-related chronic diseases through common oxidation and inflammation mechanisms. Variability in telomere shortening that is independent of chronological age suggests that it is a modifiable factor, which may be explained in part by lifestyle variables such as smoking, adiposity, physical exercise, and diet. Here we summarize data from published studies focused on nutrition (nutrients, foods, and dietary patterns) and telomere length. Research on the topic is incipient and most data comes from epidemiologic studies, often cross-sectional in design. Consistent with well-known evidence of benefit or harm for chronic age-related diseases, dietary antioxidants and consumption of antioxidant-rich, plant-derived foods help maintain telomere length. In contrast, total and saturated fat intake and consumption of refined flour cereals, meat and meat products, and sugar-sweetened beverages relate to shorter telomeres. Data on alcohol and dairy products is controversial. There is evidence that adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with longer telomeres. Randomized clinical trials are limited to seafood-derived long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, with promising results. To fill the many gaps in our knowledge of the aging process and confirm nutrition as a useful tool to counteract biological aging more research is warranted, particularly observational studies using repeated measurements of telomere length and randomized trials of foods and dietary patterns with sequential telomere analyses.

  8. The telomeric protein TRF2 is critical for the protection of A549 cells from both telomere erosion and DNA double-strand breaks driven by salvicine. (United States)

    Zhang, Yong-Wei; Zhang, Zhi-Xiang; Miao, Ze-Hong; Ding, Jian


    Telomere repeat binding factor 2 (TRF2) has been increasingly recognized to be involved in DNA damage response and telomere maintenance. Our previous report found that salvicine (SAL), a novel topoisomerase II poison, elicited DNA double-strand breaks and telomere erosion in separate experimental systems. However, it remains to be clarified whether they share a common response to these two events and in particular whether TRF2 is involved in this process. In this study, we found that SAL concurrently induced DNA double-strand breaks, telomeric DNA damage, and telomere erosion in lung carcinoma A549 cells. It was unexpected to find that SAL led to disruption of TRF2, independently of either its transcription or proteasome-mediated degradation. By overexpressing the full-length trf2 gene and transfecting TRF2 small interfering RNAs, we showed that TRF2 protein protected both telomeric and genomic DNA from the SAL-elicited events. It is noteworthy that although both the Ataxia-telangiectasia-mutated (ATM) and the ATM- and Rad3-related (ATR) kinases responded to the SAL-induced DNA damages, only ATR was essential for the telomere erosion. The study also showed that the activated ATR augmented the SAL-triggered TRF2 disruption, whereas TRF2 reduction in turn enhanced ATR function. All of these findings suggest the emerging significance of TRF2 protecting both telomeric DNA and genomic DNA on the one hand and reveal the mutual modulation between ATR and TRF2 in sensing DNA damage signaling during cancer development on the other hand.

  9. Chromatin organization and remodeling of interstitial telomeric sites during meiosis in the Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus). (United States)

    de la Fuente, Roberto; Manterola, Marcia; Viera, Alberto; Parra, María Teresa; Alsheimer, Manfred; Rufas, Julio S; Page, Jesús


    Telomeric DNA repeats are key features of chromosomes that allow the maintenance of integrity and stability in the telomeres. However, interstitial telomere sites (ITSs) can also be found along the chromosomes, especially near the centromere, where they may appear following chromosomal rearrangements like Robertsonian translocations. There is no defined role for ITSs, but they are linked to DNA damage-prone sites. We were interested in studying the structural organization of ITSs during meiosis, a kind of cell division in which programmed DNA damage events and noticeable chromatin reorganizations occur. Here we describe the presence of highly amplified ITSs in the pericentromeric region of Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus) chromosomes. During meiosis, ITSs show a different chromatin conformation than DNA repeats at telomeres, appearing more extended and accumulating heterochromatin markers. Interestingly, ITSs also recruit the telomeric proteins RAP1 and TRF1, but in a stage-dependent manner, appearing mainly at late prophase I stages. We did not find a specific accumulation of DNA repair factors to the ITSs, such as γH2AX or RAD51 at these stages, but we could detect the presence of MLH1, a marker for reciprocal recombination. However, contrary to previous reports, we did not find a specific accumulation of crossovers at ITSs. Intriguingly, some centromeric regions of metacentric chromosomes may bind the nuclear envelope through the association to SUN1 protein, a feature usually performed by telomeres. Therefore, ITSs present a particular and dynamic chromatin configuration in meiosis, which could be involved in maintaining their genetic stability, but they additionally retain some features of distal telomeres, provided by their capability to associate to telomere-binding proteins.

  10. Persistent telomere cohesion triggers a prolonged anaphase. (United States)

    Kim, Mi Kyung; Smith, Susan


    Telomeres use distinct mechanisms (not used by arms or centromeres) to mediate cohesion between sister chromatids. However, the motivation for a specialized mechanism at telomeres is not well understood. Here we show, using fluorescence in situ hybridization and live-cell imaging, that persistent sister chromatid cohesion at telomeres triggers a prolonged anaphase in normal human cells and cancer cells. Excess cohesion at telomeres can be induced by inhibition of tankyrase 1, a poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase that is required for resolution of telomere cohesion, or by overexpression of proteins required to establish telomere cohesion, the shelterin subunit TIN2 and the cohesin subunit SA1. Regardless of the method of induction, excess cohesion at telomeres in mitosis prevents a robust and efficient anaphase. SA1- or TIN2-induced excess cohesion and anaphase delay can be rescued by overexpression of tankyrase 1. Moreover, we show that primary fibroblasts, which accumulate excess telomere cohesion at mitosis naturally during replicative aging, undergo a similar delay in anaphase progression that can also be rescued by overexpression of tankyrase 1. Our study demonstrates that there are opposing forces that regulate telomere cohesion. The observation that cells respond to unresolved telomere cohesion by delaying (but not completely disrupting) anaphase progression suggests a mechanism for tolerating excess cohesion and maintaining telomere integrity. This attempt to deal with telomere damage may be ultimately futile for aging fibroblasts but useful for cancer cells.

  11. Telomere Length in Aged Mayak PA Nuclear Workers Chronically Exposed to Internal Alpha and External Gamma Radiation. (United States)

    Scherthan, Harry; Sotnik, Natalia; Peper, Michel; Schrock, Gerrit; Azizova, Tamara; Abend, Michael


    Telomeres consist of GC-rich DNA repeats and the "shelterin" protein complex that together protect chromosome ends from fusion and degradation. Telomeres shorten with age due to incomplete end replication and upon exposure to environmental and intrinsic stressors. Exposure to ionizing radiation is known to modulate telomere length. However, the response of telomere length in humans chronically exposed to radiation is poorly understood. Here, we studied relative telomere length (RTL) by IQ-FISH to leukocyte nuclei in a group of 100 workers from the plutonium production facility at the Mayak Production Association (PA) who were chronically exposed to alpha-emitting ((239)Pu) radiation and/or gamma (photon) radiation, and 51 local residents serving as controls, with a similar mean age of about 80 years. We applied generalized linear statistical models adjusted for age at biosampling and the second exposure type on a linear scale and observed an age-dependent telomere length reduction. In those individuals with the lowest exposure, a significant reduction of about 20% RTL was observed, both for external gamma radiation (≤1 Gy) and internal alpha radiation (≤0.05-0.1 Gy to the red bone marrow). In highly exposed individuals (>0.1 Gy alpha, 1-1.5 Gy gamma), the RTL was similar to control. Stratification by gender revealed a significant (∼30%) telomere reduction in low-dose-exposed males, which was absent in females. While the gender differences in RTL may reflect different working conditions, lifestyle and/or telomere biology, absence of a dose response in the highly exposed individuals may reflect selection against cells with short telomeres or induction of telomere-protective effects. Our observations suggest that chronic systemic exposure to radiation leads to variable dose-dependent effects on telomere length.

  12. Telomere Length Assessment for Prediction of Organ Transplantation Outcome. Future or Failure: A Review of the Literature (United States)

    Kłoda, Karolina; Domański, Leszek; Mierzecki, Artur


    Telomeres are located at each end of eukaryotic chromosomes. Their functional role is genomic stability maintenance. The protective role of telomeres depends on various factors, including number of nucleotides repeats, telomere-binding proteins, and telomerase activity. Organ transplantation is the preferred replacement therapy in the case of chronic kidney disease and the only possibility of sustaining recipients’ life in the case of advanced liver failure. While the prevalence of acute rejection is constantly decreasing, prevention of transplanted organ long-term function loss is still challenging. It has been demonstrated that post-transplant stressors accelerate aging of the allografts manifested through telomere shortening. The aim of this paper was to evaluate the importance of telomere length assessment for prediction of organ transplantation outcome. Literature review included the 10 most important studies regarding linkage between allograft function and telomere erosion, including 2 of our own reports. Telomere length assessment is useful to predict organ transplantation outcome. The importance of telomere length as a prediction marker depends on the analyzed material. To obtain reliable results, both graft cells (donor material) and lymphocytes (recipient material) should be examined. In the case of kidney transplantation, assessment of telomere length in the early post-transplant period allows prediction of the long-term function of the transplanted organ. To increase the accuracy of transplantation outcome prediction, telomere length assessment should be combined with evaluation of other aging biomarkers, like CDKN2A (p16). Large-scale clinical studies regarding telomere length measurement, including genome wide association analysis introducing relevant genetic factors, are needed for the future. PMID:28076340

  13. Telomere loss, not average telomere length, confers radiosensitivity to TK6-irradiated cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berardinelli, F.; Nieri, D.; Sgura, A.; Tanzarella, C. [Dip. Di Biologia, Università “Roma Tre”, Rome (Italy); INFN – “Roma Tre”, Rome (Italy); Antoccia, A., E-mail: [Dip. Di Biologia, Università “Roma Tre”, Rome (Italy); INFN – “Roma Tre”, Rome (Italy)


    Highlights: ► Ionizing radiation induced telomere lengthening in TK6 clones from a single cell. ► Telomerase is not involved in the telomere lengthening observed. ► TK6 cells display very heterogeneous values in telomere length and telomere loss. ► A selective process account for telomere lengthening in irradiated cells. ► Telomere loss, not mean telomere length, is predictive of radiosensitivity. - Abstract: Many and varied are the proposed mechanisms that lead to resistance to ionizing radiation treatment. Among them, an inverse relationship between telomere length and radioresistance has been recently advanced. Investigating such a relationship in TK6 lymphoblasts, we found that clones originating from cells survived to 4 Gy of X-rays showed a significantly higher telomere length when compared with clones grown from untreated cells. The lengthening observed was not attributable to a radiation-induced increase in telomerase activity, as demonstrated by TRAP assay performed in the dose range of 1–10 Gy. Given the evidence that TK6 whole population was characterized by heterogeneity in cellular mean telomere length and telomere loss, we tested the hypothesis that a process of selection may favour cells with longer telomeres (more radioresistant cells) following exposure to irradiation. In order to do this 15 independent TK6 clones were selected and characterized for telomere length and loss on the basis of q-FISH and flow-FISH analysis. Among the screened clones four characterized by long telomeres and four characterized by short telomeres were tested for their radiosensitivity by means of clonogenic assay. The results obtained showed that, in our experimental conditions (cellular model, radiation doses) no significant correlation was observed between radiosensitivity and mean telomere lengths, whereas a positive correlation was observed with respect to telomere loss. Overall, these results indicate that telomere loss and not mean telomere length plays

  14. Need telomere maintenance? Call 911. (United States)

    Francia, Sofia; Weiss, Robert S; d'Adda di Fagagna, Fabrizio


    "Natura non facit saltum" (nature makes no leap) the Latins used to say, meaning that nature does not like discontinuities. Cells make no exception and indeed any discontinuity in the DNA double helix is promptly detected, triggering an alteration of cell proliferation and an attempt to repair. Yet, linear chromosomes bear DNA ends that are compatible with normal cell proliferation and they escape, under normal conditions, any repair. How telomeres, the chromosomes tips, achieve that is not fully understood. We recently observed that the Rad9/Hus1/Rad1 (911) complex, previously known for its functions in DNA metabolism and DNA damage responses, is constitutively associated with telomeres and plays an important role in their maintenance. Here, we summarize the available data and discuss the potential mechanisms of 911 action at telomeres.

  15. Telomere and telomerase in oncology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    Shortening of the telomeric DNA at the chromosome ends is presumed to limit the lifespan of human cells and elicit a signal for the onset of cellular senescence. To continually proliferate across the senescent checkpoint, cells must restore and preserve telomere length. This can be achieved by telomerase, which has the reverse transcriptase activity. Telomerase activity is negative in human normal somatic cells but can be detected in most tumor cells. The enzyme is proposed to be an essential factor in cell immortalization and cancer progression. In this review we discuss the structure and function of telomere and telomerase and thefr roles in cell immortalization and oncogenesis. Simultaneously the experimental studies of telomerase assays for cancer detection and diagnosis are reviewed. Finally, we discuss the potential use of inhibitors of telomerase in anti-cancer therapy.

  16. Peroxiredoxin 1 Protects Telomeres from Oxidative Damage and Preserves Telomeric DNA for Extension by Telomerase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Aeby


    Full Text Available Oxidative damage of telomeres can promote cancer, cardiac failure, and muscular dystrophy. Specific mechanisms protecting telomeres from oxidative damage have not been described. We analyzed telomeric chromatin composition during the cell cycle and show that the antioxidant enzyme peroxiredoxin 1 (PRDX1 is enriched at telomeres during S phase. Deletion of the PRDX1 gene leads to damage of telomeric DNA upon oxidative stress, revealing a protective function of PRDX1 against oxidative damage at telomeres. We also show that the oxidized nucleotide 8-oxo-2′deoxyguanosine-5′-triphosphate (8oxodGTP causes premature chain termination when incorporated by telomerase and that some DNA substrates terminating in 8oxoG prevent extension by telomerase. Thus, PRDX1 safeguards telomeres from oxygen radicals to counteract telomere damage and preserve telomeric DNA for elongation by telomerase.

  17. Sphingolipids regulate telomere clustering by affecting the transcription of genes involved in telomere homeostasis. (United States)

    Ikeda, Atsuko; Muneoka, Tetsuya; Murakami, Suguru; Hirota, Ayaka; Yabuki, Yukari; Karashima, Takefumi; Nakazono, Kota; Tsuruno, Masahiro; Pichler, Harald; Shirahige, Katsuhiko; Kodama, Yukiko; Shimamoto, Toshi; Mizuta, Keiko; Funato, Kouichi


    In eukaryotic organisms, including mammals, nematodes and yeasts, the ends of chromosomes, telomeres are clustered at the nuclear periphery. Telomere clustering is assumed to be functionally important because proper organization of chromosomes is necessary for proper genome function and stability. However, the mechanisms and physiological roles of telomere clustering remain poorly understood. In this study, we demonstrate a role for sphingolipids in telomere clustering in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Because abnormal sphingolipid metabolism causes downregulation of expression levels of genes involved in telomere organization, sphingolipids appear to control telomere clustering at the transcriptional level. In addition, the data presented here provide evidence that telomere clustering is required to protect chromosome ends from DNA-damage checkpoint signaling. As sphingolipids are found in all eukaryotes, we speculate that sphingolipid-based regulation of telomere clustering and the protective role of telomere clusters in maintaining genome stability might be conserved in eukaryotes.

  18. Stress and telomere biology: a lifespan perspective. (United States)

    Shalev, Idan; Entringer, Sonja; Wadhwa, Pathik D; Wolkowitz, Owen M; Puterman, Eli; Lin, Jue; Epel, Elissa S


    In the past decade, the growing field of telomere science has opened exciting new avenues for understanding the cellular and molecular substrates of stress and stress-related aging processes over the lifespan. Shorter telomere length is associated with advancing chronological age and also increased disease morbidity and mortality. Emerging studies suggest that stress accelerates the erosion of telomeres from very early in life and possibly even influences the initial (newborn) setting of telomere length. In this review, we highlight recent empirical evidence linking stress and mental illnesses at various times across the lifespan with telomere erosion. We first present findings in the developmental programming of telomere biology linking prenatal stress to newborn and adult telomere length. We then present findings linking exposure to childhood trauma and to certain mental disorders with telomere shortening. Last, we review studies that characterize the relationship between related health-risk behaviors with telomere shortening over the lifespan, and how this process may further buffer the negative effects of stress on telomeres. A better understanding of the mechanisms that govern and regulate telomere biology throughout the lifespan may inform our understanding of etiology and the long-term consequences of stress and mental illnesses on aging processes in diverse populations and settings.

  19. Environmental stresses disrupt telomere length homeostasis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gal Hagit Romano

    Full Text Available Telomeres protect the chromosome ends from degradation and play crucial roles in cellular aging and disease. Recent studies have additionally found a correlation between psychological stress, telomere length, and health outcome in humans. However, studies have not yet explored the causal relationship between stress and telomere length, or the molecular mechanisms underlying that relationship. Using yeast as a model organism, we show that stresses may have very different outcomes: alcohol and acetic acid elongate telomeres, whereas caffeine and high temperatures shorten telomeres. Additional treatments, such as oxidative stress, show no effect. By combining genome-wide expression measurements with a systematic genetic screen, we identify the Rap1/Rif1 pathway as the central mediator of the telomeric response to environmental signals. These results demonstrate that telomere length can be manipulated, and that a carefully regulated homeostasis may become markedly deregulated in opposing directions in response to different environmental cues.

  20. [Length and structure of telomeric DNA in three species of Baikal gastropods (Caenogastropoda: Hydrobioidea: Benedictiidae)]. (United States)

    Koroleva, A G; Evtushenko, E V; Maximova, N V; Vershinin, A V; Sintnikova, T Y; Kirilchik, S V


    The structure of telomeric repeat (TTAGGG)n was determined and the length of telomeric DNA (tDNA) was measured in three species of gastropods from the family Benedictiidae that are endemic to Lake Baikal. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) confirmed the localization of a telomeric repeat at the chromosome ends. The sizes of tDNA in "giant" eurybathic, psammo-pelobiontic species Benedictia fragilis and shallow water litho-psammobiontic species B. baicalensis with medium shell sizes were similar (16 ± 2.9 and 15 ± 2.1 kb, respectively), but they had a greater length than that of the shallow water spongio-litobiontic species Kobeltocochlea martensiana with small shells (10.5 ± 1.5 kb). We discuss tendencies in age-related changes in tDNA length in snails and a possible mechanism for maintaining tDNA size in ontogeny.

  1. Analysis and location of a rice BAC clone containing telomeric DNA sequences

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    翟文学; 陈浩; 颜辉煌; 严长杰; 王国梁; 朱立煌


    BAC2, a rice BAC clone containing (TTTAGGG)n homologous sequences, was analyzed by Southern hybridization and DNA sequencing of its subclones. It was disclosed that there were many tandem repeated satellite DNA sequences, called TA352, as well as simple tandem repeats consisting of TTTAGGG or its variant within the BAC2 insert. A 0. 8 kb (TTTAGGG) n-containing fragment in BAC2 was mapped in the telomere regions of at least 5 pairs of rice chromosomes by using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). By RFLP analysis of low copy sequences the BAC2 clone was localized in one terminal region of chromosome 6. All the results strongly suggest that the telomeric DNA sequences of rice are TTTAGGG or its variant, and the linked satellite DNA TA352 sequences belong to telomere-associated sequences.

  2. Telomere length is inherited with resetting of the telomere set-point. (United States)

    Chiang, Y Jeffrey; Calado, Rodrigo T; Hathcock, Karen S; Lansdorp, Peter M; Young, Neal S; Hodes, Richard J


    We have studied models of telomerase haploinsufficiency in humans and mice to analyze regulation of telomere length and the significance of "set points" in inheritance of telomere length. In three families with clinical syndromes associated with short telomeres resulting from haploinsufficient mutations in TERT, the gene encoding telomerase reverse transcriptase, we asked whether restoration of normal genotypes in offspring of affected individuals would elongate inherited short telomeres. Telomeres were shorter than normal in some but not all genotypically normal offspring of telomerase-mutant parents or grandparents. Analysis of these findings was complicated by heterogeneity of telomere length among individuals, as well as by the admixing of telomeres inherited from affected parents with those inherited from unaffected ("wild-type" TERT) parents. To understand further the inheritance of telomere length, we established a shortened-telomere mouse model. When Tert(+/-) heterozygous mice were successively cross-bred through 17 generations, telomere length shortened progressively. The late-generation Tert(+/-) mice were intercrossed to produce genotypically wild-type Tert(+/+) mice, for which telomere length was characterized. Strikingly, telomere length in these Tert(+/+) mice was not longer than that of their Tert(+/-) parents. Moreover, when successive crosses were carried out among these short-telomere Tert(+/+) offspring mice, telomere length was stable, with no elongation up to six generations. This breeding strategy therefore has established a mouse strain, B6.ST (short telomeres), with C57BL/6 genotype and stable short telomeres. These findings suggest that the set point of telomere lengths of offspring is determined by the telomere lengths of their parents in the presence of normal expression of telomerase.

  3. Super-telomeres in transformed human fibroblasts. (United States)

    Chiodi, Ilaria; Belgiovine, Cristina; Zongaro, Samantha; Ricotti, Roberta; Horard, Beatrice; Lossani, Andrea; Focher, Federico; Gilson, Eric; Giulotto, Elena; Mondello, Chiara


    Telomere length maintenance is critical for organisms' long-term survival and cancer cell proliferation. Telomeres are kept within species-specific length ranges by the interplay between telomerase activity and telomeric chromatin organization. In this paper, we exploited telomerase immortalized human fibroblasts (cen3tel) that gradually underwent neoplastic transformation during culture propagation to study telomere composition and length regulation during the transformation process. Just after telomerase catalytic subunit (hTERT) expression, cen3tel telomeres shortened despite the presence of telomerase activity. At a later stage and concomitantly with transformation, cells started elongating telomeres, which reached a mean length greater than 100kb in about 900 population doublings. Super-telomeres were stable and compatible with cell growth and tumorigenesis. Telomere extension was associated with increasing levels of telomerase activity that were linked to the deregulation of endogenous telomerase RNA (hTERC) and exogenous telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) expression. Notably, the increase in hTERC levels paralleled the increase in telomerase activity, suggesting that this subunit plays a role in regulating enzyme activity. Telomeres ranging in length between 10 and more than 100kb were maintained in an extendible state although TRF1 and TRF2 binding increased with telomere length. Super-telomeres neither influenced subtelomeric region global methylation nor the expression of the subtelomeric gene FRG1, attesting the lack of a clear-cut relationship between telomere length, subtelomeric DNA methylation and expression in human cells. The cellular levels of the telomeric proteins hTERT, TRF1, TRF2 and Hsp90 rose with transformation and were independent of telomere length, pointing to a role of these proteins in tumorigenesis.

  4. Characterization and rescue of telomeric abnormalities in ICF syndrome type I fibroblasts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiran eYehezkel


    Full Text Available Mutations in the human DNA methyltransferase 3B (DNMT3B gene lead to ICF (immunodeficiency, centromeric region instability, facial anomalies syndrome type I. We have previously described a telomere-related phenotype in cells from these patients, involving severe hypomethylation of subtelomeric regions, abnormally short telomeres and high levels of telomeric-repeat-containing RNA (TERRA. Here we demonstrate that ICF-patient fibroblasts carry abnormally short telomeres at a low population doubling and enter senescence prematurely. Accordingly, we attempted to rescue the senescence phenotype by ectopic expression of human telomerase, which led to elongated telomeres with hypomethylated subtelomeres. The senescence phenotype was overcome under these conditions, thus dissociating subtelomeric-DNA hypomethylation per se from the senescence phenotype. In addition, we examined whether the subtelomeric methylation could be restored by expression of a normal copy of full length DNMT3B1 in ICF fibroblasts. Ectopic expression of DNMT3B1 failed to rescue the abnormal hypomethylation at subtelomeres. However, partial rescue of subtelomeric-hypomethylation was achieved by co-expression of DNMT3B1 together with DNA methyltransferase 3-like (DNMT3L, encoding a protein that functions as a stimulator of DNMT3A and DNMT3B. DNMT3B1 and DNMT3L are predominantly expressed during early embryonic development, suggesting that de novo subtelomeric DNA methylation during crucial stages of human embryonic development may be necessary for setting and maintaining normal telomere length.

  5. Inula Viscosa Extracts Induces Telomere Shortening and Apoptosis in Cancer Cells and Overcome Drug Resistance. (United States)

    Merghoub, Nawal; El Btaouri, Hassan; Benbacer, Laila; Gmouh, Saïd; Trentesaux, Chantal; Brassart, Bertrand; Terryn, Christine; Attaleb, Mohammed; Madoulet, Claudie; Benjouad, Abdelaziz; Amzazi, Saaïd; El Mzibri, Mohammed; Morjani, Hamid


    Telomerase is activated in human papillomavirus (HPV) positive cervical cancer and targeting telomeres offers a novel anticancer therapeutic strategy. In this study, the telomere targeting properties, the cytotoxic as well as the pro-apoptotic effects of hexane (IV-HE) and dichloromethane (IV-DF) fractions from Inula viscosa L. extracts were investigated on human cervical HeLa and SiHa cancer cells. Our data demonstrate that IV-HE and IV-DF extracts were able to inhibit cell growth in HeLa and SiHa cells in a dose-dependent manner and studied resistant cell lines exhibited a resistance factor less than 2 when treated with the extracts. IV-HE and IV-DF extracts were able to inhibit telomerase activity and to induce telomere shortening as shown by telomeric repeat amplification protocol and TTAGGG telomere length assay, respectively. The sensitivity of fibroblasts to the extracts was increased when telomerase was expressed. Finally, IV-HE and IV-DF were able to induce apoptosis as evidenced by an increase in annexin-V labeling and caspase-3 activity. This study provides the first evidence that the IV-HE and IV-DF extracts from Inula viscosa L. target telomeres induce apoptosis and overcome drug resistance in tumor cells. Future studies will focus on the identification of the molecules involved in the anticancer activity.

  6. Telomeric attrition with age and temperature in Eastern mosquitofish ( Gambusia holbrooki) (United States)

    Rollings, Nicky; Miller, Emily; Olsson, Mats


    Telomeric attrition has repeatedly been found to correlate with the ageing of organisms; however, recent research is increasingly showing that the determinants of attrition dynamics are not well understood. This study examined the relative telomere lengths in Eastern mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki, kept at different temperatures and at different ages. Newly born fry were randomly selected for one of four treatment groups: 20, 30, 20-30, and 30-20 °C, where the third and fourth treatment groups were gradually changed from their starting temperature to their final temperature between days 10 and 14. Telomere length was measured, and it was found that length decreased with age and that fish exposed to the 20 °C treatment had significantly shorter telomeres than those that received the 30-20 °C treatment. Telomeric attrition with age agrees with results previously found in studies of telomeres; however, the variation in attrition with temperature was not simply predictable and may be the synergistic effects of temperature and some other factor.

  7. Regulation of homologous recombination at telomeres in budding yeast

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eckert-Boulet, Nadine; Lisby, Michael


    Homologous recombination is suppressed at normal length telomere sequences. In contrast, telomere recombination is allowed when telomeres erode in the absence of telomerase activity or as a consequence of nucleolytic degradation or incomplete replication. Here, we review the mechanisms...... that contribute to regulating mitotic homologous recombination at telomeres and the role of these mechanisms in signalling short telomeres in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae....

  8. Progressive Rearrangement of Telomeric Sequences Added to Both the ITR Ends of the Yeast Linear pGKL Plasmid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gunge Norio


    Full Text Available Relocation into the nucleus of the yeast cytoplasmic linear plasmids was studied using a monitor plasmid pCLU1. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the nuclearly-relocated pCLU1 replicated in a linear form (termed pTLU-type plasmid which carried the host telomeric repeats TG1-3 of 300-350 bp at both ends. The telomere sequences mainly consisted of a major motif TGTGTGGGTGTGG which was complementary to part of the RNA template of yeast telomerase and were directly added to the very end of the pCLU1-terminal element ITR (inverted terminal repeat, suggesting that the ITR end played a role as a substrate of telomerase. The telomere sequences varied among isolated pTLU-type plasmids, but the TG1-3 organization was symmetrically identical on both ends of any one plasmid. During cell growth under non-selective condition, the telomeric repeat sequences were progressively rearranged on one side, but not on the opposite side of pTLU plasmid ends. This indicates that the mode of telomeric DNA replication or repair differed between both ends. Clonal analysis showed that the intense rearrangement of telomeric DNA was closely associated with extreme instability of pTLU plasmids.

  9. Behaviour of telomere and telomerase during aging and regeneration in zebrafish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monique Anchelin

    Full Text Available Telomere length and telomerase activity are important factors in the pathobiology of human diseases. Age-related diseases and premature aging syndromes are characterized by short telomeres, which can compromise cell viability, whereas tumour cells can prevent telomere loss by aberrantly upregulating telomerase. The zebrafish (Danio rerio offers multiple experimental manipulation advantages over other vertebrate models and, therefore, it has been recently considered as a potential model for aging, cancer, and regeneration studies. However, it has only partially been exploited to shed light on these fundamental biological processes. The aim of this study was, therefore, to investigate telomere length and telomerase expression and activity in different strains of zebrafish obtained from different stock centres to determine whether they undergo any changes during aging and regeneration. We found that although both telomerase expression and telomere length increased from embryo to adulthood stages, they drastically declined in aged fish despite telomerase activity was detected in different tissues of old fish. In addition, we observed a weaker upregulation of telomerase expression in regenerating fins of old fish, which well correlates with their impaired regeneration capacity. Strikingly, telomeres were elongated or maintained during the fin regeneration process at all ages and after repeated amputations, likely to support high cell proliferation rates. We conclude that the expression of telomerase and telomere length are closely related during the entire life cycle of the fish and that these two parameters can be used as biomarkers of aging in zebrafish. Our results also reveal a direct relationship between the expression of telomerase, telomere length and the efficiency of tissue regeneration.

  10. Feline chronic kidney disease is associated with shortened telomeres and increased cellular senescence. (United States)

    Quimby, Jessica M; Maranon, David G; Battaglia, Christine L R; McLeland, Shannon M; Brock, William T; Bailey, Susan M


    Telomeres are protective structures at the ends of chromosomes that have important implications for aging. To address the question of whether telomeres contribute to feline chronic kidney disease (CKD), we evaluated kidney, liver, and skin samples from 12 cats with naturally occurring CKD, 12 young normal cats, and 6 old normal cats. Telomere length was assessed using standard telomere fluorescent in situ hybridization (TEL-FISH) combined with immunohistochemistry (TELI-FISH) to identify proximal (PTEC) and distal tubular epithelial cells (DTEC), whereas senescence-associated β-galactosidase (SABG) staining was used to evaluate senescence. Results revealed statistically significant decreases in the average telomere fluorescence intensity (TFI) of PTEC in CKD cats compared with young and geriatric normal cats, and in the DTEC of CKD cats compared with young normal cats. When histograms of individual TFI were compared, statistically significant decreases in the PTEC and DTEC of CKD cats were observed compared with young and geriatric normal cats. Concomitantly, a statistically significant increase in SABG staining was seen in CKD kidney samples compared with young normal cats. CKD cats tended to have increased SABG staining in the kidney compared with normal geriatric cats, but this did not reach statistical significance. No significant telomere shortening in liver or skin from any group was observed. Real-time quantitative telomeric repeat amplification protocol assessment of renal telomerase activity revealed comparable low levels of telomerase activity in all groups. Our results suggest that shortened telomeres and increased senescence in the kidneys of CKD cats may represent novel targets for interventional therapy.

  11. Nucleolar organization, ribosomal DNA array stability, and acrocentric chromosome integrity are linked to telomere function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaitlin M Stimpson

    Full Text Available The short arms of the ten acrocentric human chromosomes share several repetitive DNAs, including ribosomal RNA genes (rDNA. The rDNA arrays correspond to nucleolar organizing regions that coalesce each cell cycle to form the nucleolus. Telomere disruption by expressing a mutant version of telomere binding protein TRF2 (dnTRF2 causes non-random acrocentric fusions, as well as large-scale nucleolar defects. The mechanisms responsible for acrocentric chromosome sensitivity to dysfunctional telomeres are unclear. In this study, we show that TRF2 normally associates with the nucleolus and rDNA. However, when telomeres are crippled by dnTRF2 or RNAi knockdown of TRF2, gross nucleolar and chromosomal changes occur. We used the controllable dnTRF2 system to precisely dissect the timing and progression of nucleolar and chromosomal instability induced by telomere dysfunction, demonstrating that nucleolar changes precede the DNA damage and morphological changes that occur at acrocentric short arms. The rDNA repeat arrays on the short arms decondense, and are coated by RNA polymerase I transcription binding factor UBF, physically linking acrocentrics to one another as they become fusogenic. These results highlight the importance of telomere function in nucleolar stability and structural integrity of acrocentric chromosomes, particularly the rDNA arrays. Telomeric stress is widely accepted to cause DNA damage at chromosome ends, but our findings suggest that it also disrupts chromosome structure beyond the telomere region, specifically within the rDNA arrays located on acrocentric chromosomes. These results have relevance for Robertsonian translocation formation in humans and mechanisms by which acrocentric-acrocentric fusions are promoted by DNA damage and repair.

  12. Telomere length in Chernobyl accident recovery workers in the late period after the disaster. (United States)

    Reste, Jelena; Zvigule, Gunda; Zvagule, Tija; Kurjane, Natalja; Eglite, Maija; Gabruseva, Natalija; Berzina, Dace; Plonis, Juris; Miklasevics, Edvins


    The outcome of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant (CNPP) accident was that a huge number of people were exposed to ionizing radiation. Previous studies of CNPP clean-up workers from Latvia revealed a high occurrence of age-associated degenerative diseases and cancer in young adults, as well as a high mortality as a result of cardiovascular disorders at age 45-54 years. DNA tandem repeats that cap chromosome ends, known as telomeres, are sensitive to oxidative damage and exposure to ionizing radiation. Telomeres are important in aging processes and carcinogenesis. The aim of this study was to investigate the long-term effect of protracted ionizing radiation exposure on telomere length in CNPP clean-up workers. Relative telomere length (RTL) was measured in peripheral blood leukocytes of 595 CNPP clean-up workers and 236 gender- and age-matched controls using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (q-PCR). Close attention was paid to participation year and tasks performed during the worker's stay in Chernobyl, health status, and RTL differences between subgroups. Telomere shortening was not found in CNPP clean-up workers; on the contrary, their RTL was slightly greater than in controls (P = 0.001). Longer telomeres were found in people who worked during 1986, in those undertaking 'dirty' tasks (digging and deactivation), and in people with cancer. Shorter telomeres appeared frequently in those with cataract, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, or coronary heart disease. We conclude that the longer telomeres revealed in people more heavily exposed to ionizing radiation probably indicate activation of telomerase as a chromosome healing mechanism following damage, and reflect defects in telomerase regulation that could potentiate carcinogenesis.

  13. Telomere dynamics in dyskeratosis congenita: the long and the short of iPS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Suneet Agarwal; George Q Daley


    Seminal experiments by Hayflick in the 1960s demonstrated that normal human diploid cells have a finite replicative life span in culture [1].The Hayflick "limit" is explained at least in part by the decay in telomeres, repeat sequences that cap the ends of chromosomes [2].

  14. PfAP2Tel, harbouring a non-canonical DNA-binding AP2 domain, binds to Plasmodium falciparum telomeres. (United States)

    Sierra-Miranda, Miguel; Vembar, Shruthi S; Delgadillo, Dulce María; Ávila-López, P A; Vargas, Miguel; Hernandez-Rivas, Rosaura


    The telomeres of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum are essential not only for chromosome end maintenance during blood stage development in humans but also to generate genetic diversity by facilitating homologous recombination of subtelomeric, multigene virulence families such as var and rifin. However, other than the telomerase PfTERT, proteins that act at P. falciparum telomeres are poorly characterized. To isolate components that bind to telomeres, we performed oligonucleotide pulldowns and electromobility shift assays with a telomeric DNA probe and identified a non-canonical member of the ApiAP2 family of transcription factors, PfAP2Tel (encoded by PF3D7_0622900), as a component of the P. falciparum telomere-binding protein complex. PfAP2Tel is expressed throughout the intra-erythrocytic life cycle and localizes to the nuclear periphery, co-localizing with telomeric clusters. Furthermore, EMSAs using the recombinant protein demonstrated direct binding of PfAP2Tel to telomeric repeats in vitro, while genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by next generation sequencing (ChIP-seq) corroborated the high specificity of this protein to telomeric ends of all 14 chromosomes in vivo. Taken together, our data describe a novel function for ApiAP2 proteins at chromosome ends and open new avenues to study the molecular machinery that regulates telomere function in P. falciparum.

  15. Differential Telomere Processing by Borrelia Telomere Resolvases In Vitro but Not In Vivo▿


    Tourand, Yvonne; Bankhead, Troy; Wilson, Sandra L.; Putteet-Driver, Adrienne D.; Barbour, Alan G.; Byram, Rebecca; Rosa, Patricia A.; Chaconas, George


    Causative agents of Lyme disease and relapsing fever, including Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia hermsii, respectively, are unusual among bacteria in that they possess a segmented genome with linear DNA molecules terminated by hairpin ends, known as telomeres. During replication, these telomeres are processed by the essential telomere resolvase, ResT, in a unique biochemical reaction known as telomere resolution. In this study, we report the identification of the B. hermsii resT gene through...

  16. Do Telomeres Adapt to Physiological Stress? Exploring the Effect of Exercise on Telomere Length and Telomere-Related Proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew T. Ludlow


    Full Text Available Aging is associated with a tissue degeneration phenotype marked by a loss of tissue regenerative capacity. Regenerative capacity is dictated by environmental and genetic factors that govern the balance between damage and repair. The age-associated changes in the ability of tissues to replace lost or damaged cells is partly the cause of many age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and sarcopenia. A well-established marker of the aging process is the length of the protective cap at the ends of chromosomes, called telomeres. Telomeres shorten with each cell division and with increasing chronological age and short telomeres have been associated with a range of age-related diseases. Several studies have shown that chronic exposure to exercise (i.e., exercise training is associated with telomere length maintenance; however, recent evidence points out several controversial issues concerning tissue-specific telomere length responses. The goals of the review are to familiarize the reader with the current telomere dogma, review the literature exploring the interactions of exercise with telomere phenotypes, discuss the mechanistic research relating telomere dynamics to exercise stimuli, and finally propose future directions for work related to telomeres and physiological stress.

  17. How homologous recombination maintains telomere integrity. (United States)

    Tacconi, Eliana M C; Tarsounas, Madalena


    Telomeres protect the ends of linear chromosomes against loss of genetic information and inappropriate processing as damaged DNA and are therefore crucial to the maintenance of chromosome integrity. In addition to providing a pathway for genome-wide DNA repair, homologous recombination (HR) plays a key role in telomere replication and capping. Consistent with this, the genomic instability characteristic of HR-deficient cells and tumours is driven in part by telomere dysfunction. Here, we discuss the mechanisms by which HR modulates the response to intrinsic cellular challenges that arise during telomere replication, as well as its impact on the assembly of telomere protective structures. How normal and tumour cells differ in their ability to maintain telomeres is deeply relevant to the search for treatments that would selectively eliminate cells whose capacity for HR-mediated repair has been compromised.

  18. The association of telomere length and genetic variation in telomere biology genes. (United States)

    Mirabello, Lisa; Yu, Kai; Kraft, Peter; De Vivo, Immaculata; Hunter, David J; Prescott, Jennifer; Wong, Jason Y Y; Chatterjee, Nilanjan; Hayes, Richard B; Savage, Sharon A


    Telomeres cap chromosome ends and are critical for genomic stability. Many telomere-associated proteins are important for telomere length maintenance. Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes encoding telomere-associated proteins (RTEL1 and TERT-CLPTM1) as markers of cancer risk. We conducted an association study of telomere length and 743 SNPs in 43 telomere biology genes. Telomere length in peripheral blood DNA was determined by Q-PCR in 3,646 participants from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial and Nurses' Health Study. We investigated associations by SNP, gene, and pathway (functional group). We found no associations between telomere length and SNPs in TERT-CLPTM1L or RTEL1. Telomere length was not significantly associated with specific functional groups. Thirteen SNPs from four genes (MEN1, MRE11A, RECQL5, and TNKS) were significantly associated with telomere length. The strongest findings were in MEN1 (gene-based P=0.006), menin, which associates with the telomerase promoter and may negatively regulate telomerase. This large association study did not find strong associations with telomere length. The combination of limited diversity and evolutionary conservation suggest that these genes may be under selective pressure. More work is needed to explore the role of genetic variants in telomere length regulation.

  19. Telomere behavior in a hybrid yeast

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ona C Martin; Christopher G De Sevo; Benjamin Z Guo; Douglas E Koshland; Maiterya J Dunham; Yixian Zheng


    @@ Dear Editor, Telomeres and the protein/RNA complexes involved in maintaining them are rapidly evolving systems across eukaryotes.Using two Saccharomyces species, among S.cerevisiae and S.bayanus, we provide evidence that the telomere systems of these two closely related yeasts have evolved significantly apart and that the gene in one spe-cies cannot maintain the set-point of telomere length of the other soecies in the hybrid.

  20. Widespread telomere instability in prostatic lesions. (United States)

    Tu, LiRen; Huda, Nazmul; Grimes, Brenda R; Slee, Roger B; Bates, Alison M; Cheng, Liang; Gilley, David


    A critical function of the telomere is to disguise chromosome ends from cellular recognition as double strand breaks, thereby preventing aberrant chromosome fusion events. Such chromosome end-to-end fusions are known to initiate genomic instability via breakage-fusion-bridge cycles. Telomere dysfunction and other forms of genomic assault likely result in misregulation of genes involved in growth control, cell death, and senescence pathways, lowering the threshold to malignancy and likely drive disease progression. Shortened telomeres and anaphase bridges have been reported in a wide variety of early precursor and malignant cancer lesions including those of the prostate. These findings are being extended using methods for the analysis of telomere fusions (decisive genetic markers for telomere dysfunction) specifically within human tissue DNA. Here we report that benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN), and prostate cancer (PCa) prostate lesions all contain similarly high frequencies of telomere fusions and anaphase bridges. Tumor-adjacent, histologically normal prostate tissue generally did not contain telomere fusions or anaphase bridges as compared to matched PCa tissues. However, we found relatively high levels of telomerase activity in this histologically normal tumor-adjacent tissue that was reduced but closely correlated with telomerase levels in corresponding PCa samples. Thus, we present evidence of high levels of telomere dysfunction in BPH, an established early precursor (PIN) and prostate cancer lesions but not generally in tumor adjacent normal tissue. Our results suggest that telomere dysfunction may be a common gateway event leading to genomic instability in prostate tumorigenesis. .

  1. Dual recognition of the human telomeric G-quadruplex by a neomycin-anthraquinone conjugate. (United States)

    Ranjan, Nihar; Davis, Erik; Xue, Liang; Arya, Dev P


    The authors report the recognition of a G-quadruplex formed by four repeat human telomeric DNA with aminosugar intercalator conjugates. The recognition of the G-quadruplex through dual binding mode ligands significantly increased the affinity of ligands for the G-quadruplex. One such example is a neomycin-anthraquinone conjugate (2) which exhibited nanomolar affinity for the quadruplex, and the affinity of (2) is nearly 1000 fold higher for the human telomeric G-quadruplex DNA than its constituent units, neomycin and anthraquinone.

  2. Lack of association of colonic epithelium telomere length and oxidative DNA damage in Type 2 diabetes under good metabolic control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kennedy Hugh


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Telomeres are DNA repeat sequences necessary for DNA replication which shorten at cell division at a rate directly related to levels of oxidative stress. Critical telomere shortening predisposes to cell senescence and to epithelial malignancies. Type 2 diabetes is characterised by increased oxidative DNA damage, telomere attrition, and an increased risk of colonic malignancy. We hypothesised that the colonic mucosa in Type 2 diabetes would be characterised by increased DNA damage and telomere shortening. Methods We examined telomere length (by flow fluorescent in situ hybridization and oxidative DNA damage (flow cytometry of 8 – oxoguanosine in the colonic mucosal cells of subjects with type 2 diabetes (n = 10; mean age 62.2 years, mean HbA1c 6.9% and 22 matched control subjects. No colonic pathology was apparent in these subjects at routine gastrointestinal investigations. Results Mean colonic epithelial telomere length in the diabetes group was not significantly different from controls (10.6 [3.6] vs. 12.1 [3.4] Molecular Equivalent of Soluble Fluorochrome Units [MESF]; P = 0.5. Levels of oxidative DNA damage were similar in both T2DM and control groups (2.6 [0.6] vs. 2.5 [0.6] Mean Fluorescent Intensity [MFI]; P = 0.7. There was no significant relationship between oxidative DNA damage and telomere length in either group (both p > 0.1. Conclusion Colonic epithelium in Type 2 diabetes does not differ significantly from control colonic epithelium in oxidative DNA damage or telomere length. There is no evidence in this study for increased oxidative DNA damage or significant telomere attrition in colonic mucosa as a carcinogenic mechanism.

  3. Age-related sex differences in body condition and telomere dynamics of red-sided garter snakes. (United States)

    Rollings, Nicky; Uhrig, Emily J; Krohmer, Randolph W; Waye, Heather L; Mason, Robert T; Olsson, Mats; Whittington, Camilla M; Friesen, Christopher R


    Life-history strategies vary dramatically between the sexes, which may drive divergence in sex-specific senescence and mortality rates. Telomeres are tandem nucleotide repeats that protect the ends of chromosomes from erosion during cell division. Telomeres have been implicated in senescence and mortality because they tend to shorten with stress, growth and age. We investigated age-specific telomere length in female and male red-sided garter snakes, Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis We hypothesized that age-specific telomere length would differ between males and females given their divergent reproductive strategies. Male garter snakes emerge from hibernation with high levels of corticosterone, which facilitates energy mobilization to fuel mate-searching, courtship and mating behaviours during a two to four week aphagous breeding period at the den site. Conversely, females remain at the dens for only about 4 days and seem to invest more energy in growth and cellular maintenance, as they usually reproduce biennially. As male investment in reproduction involves a yearly bout of physiologically stressful activities, while females prioritize self-maintenance, we predicted male snakes would experience more age-specific telomere loss than females. We investigated this prediction using skeletochronology to determine the ages of individuals and qPCR to determine telomere length in a cross-sectional study. For both sexes, telomere length was positively related to body condition. Telomere length decreased with age in male garter snakes, but remained stable in female snakes. There was no correlation between telomere length and growth in either sex, suggesting that our results are a consequence of divergent selection on life histories of males and females. Different selection on the sexes may be the physiological consequence of the sexual dimorphism and mating system dynamics displayed by this species.

  4. Genetic variation in telomere maintenance genes, telomere length, and lung cancer susceptibility. (United States)

    Hosgood, H Dean; Cawthon, Richard; He, Xingzhou; Chanock, Stephen; Lan, Qing


    Telomeres are responsible for the protection of the chromosome ends and shortened telomere length has been associated with risk of multiple cancers. Genetic variation in telomere-related genes may alter cancer risk associated with telomere length. Using lung cancer cases (n=120) and population-based controls (n=110) from Xuanwei, China, we analyzed telomere length separately and in conjunction with single nucleotide polymorphisms in the telomere maintenance genes POT1, TERT, and TERF2, which we have previously reported were associated with risk of lung cancer in this study. POT1 rs10244817, TERT rs2075786, and TERF2 rs251796 were significantly associated with lung cancer (p(trend)telomere length was not significantly associated with risk of lung cancer (OR=1.58; 95% CI=0.79-3.18) when compared to the longest tertile of telomere length. When stratified by genotype, there was a suggestion of a dose-response relationship between tertiles of telomere length and risk of lung cancer among the POT1 rs10244817 common variant carriers (OR (95% CI)=1.33 (0.47-3.75), 3.30 (1.14-9.56), respectively) but not among variant genotype carriers (p(interaction)=0.05). Our findings provide evidence that telomere length and genetic variation in telomere maintenance genes may be associated with risk of lung cancer susceptibility and warrant replication in larger studies.

  5. Telomere and telomerase in the initial stage of immortalization of esophageal epithelial cell

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhong-Ying Shen; Li-Yan Xu; En-Min Li; Wei-Jia Cai; Min-Hua Chen; Jian Shen; Yi Zeng


    AIM: To search for the biomarker of cellular immortalization,the telomere length, telomerase activity and its subunits incultured epithelial cells of human fetal esophagus in theprocess of immortalization.METHODS: The transgenic cell line of human fetalesophageal epithelium (SHEE) was established with E6 E7genes of bt man papillomavirus (HPV) type 18 in ourlaboratory. Morphological phenotype of cultured SHEE cellsfrom the 6th to 30th passages, was examined by phasecontrast microscopy, the telomere length was assayed bySouthern blot method, and the activity of telomerase wasanalyzed by telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP).Expressions of subunits of telomerase, hTR and hTERT,were assessed by RT-PCR. DNA content in cell cycle wasdetected by flow cytometry. The cell apoptosis wasexamined by electron microscopy (EM) and TUNEL label.RESULTS: SHEE cells from the 6 th to 10 th passagesshowed cellular proliferation with a good differentiation.From the 12 th to the 16 th passages, many senescent andapoptotic cells appeared, and the telomere length sharplyshortened from 23 kb to 17 kb without expression of hTERTand telornerase activity. At the 20 th passage, SHEE cellsovercame the senescence and apoptosis and restored theirproliferative activity with expression of telomerase andhTERT at low levels, but the telomere length shortenedcontinuously to the lowest of 3 kb. After the 30 th passagecells proliferation was restored by increment of cells at S andG2M phase in the cell cycle end telomerase activity expressedat high levels and with maintenance of telomere length.CONCLUSION: At the early stage of SHEE cells, telomeresare shortened without expression of telomerase and hTERTcausing cellular senescence and cell death. From the 20 thto the 30 th passages, the activation of telomerase andmaintenance of telomere length show a progressive processfor immortalization of esophageal epithelial cells. Theexpression of telomerase may constitute a biomarker fordetection of

  6. Mre11 and Blm-Dependent Formation of ALT-Like Telomeres in Ku-Deficient Ustilago maydis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eun Young Yu


    Full Text Available A subset of human cancer cells uses a specialized, aberrant recombination pathway known as ALT to maintain telomeres, which in these cells are characterized by complex aberrations including length heterogeneity, high levels of unpaired C-strand, and accumulation of extra-chromosomal telomere repeats (ECTR. These phenotypes have not been recapitulated in any standard budding or fission yeast mutant. We found that eliminating Ku70 or Ku80 in the yeast-like fungus Ustilago maydis results initially in all the characteristic telomere aberrations of ALT cancer cells, including C-circles, a highly specific marker of ALT. Subsequently the ku mutants experience permanent G2 cell cycle arrest, accompanied by loss of telomere repeats from chromosome ends and even more drastic accumulation of very short ECTRs (vsECTRs. The deletion of atr1 or chk1 rescued the lethality of the ku mutant, and "trapped" the telomere aberrations in the early ALT-like stage. Telomere abnormalities are telomerase-independent, but dramatically suppressed by deletion of mre11 or blm, suggesting major roles for these factors in the induction of the ALT pathway. In contrast, removal of other DNA damage response and repair factors such as Rad51 has disparate effects on the ALT phenotypes, suggesting that these factors process ALT intermediates or products. Notably, the antagonism of Ku and Mre11 in the induction of ALT is reminiscent of their roles in DSB resection, in which Blm is also known to play a key role. We suggest that an aberrant resection reaction may constitute an early trigger for ALT telomeres, and that the outcomes of ALT are distinct from DSB because of the unique telomere nucleoprotein structure.

  7. Mre11 and Blm-Dependent Formation of ALT-Like Telomeres in Ku-Deficient Ustilago maydis. (United States)

    Yu, Eun Young; Pérez-Martín, José; Holloman, William K; Lue, Neal F


    A subset of human cancer cells uses a specialized, aberrant recombination pathway known as ALT to maintain telomeres, which in these cells are characterized by complex aberrations including length heterogeneity, high levels of unpaired C-strand, and accumulation of extra-chromosomal telomere repeats (ECTR). These phenotypes have not been recapitulated in any standard budding or fission yeast mutant. We found that eliminating Ku70 or Ku80 in the yeast-like fungus Ustilago maydis results initially in all the characteristic telomere aberrations of ALT cancer cells, including C-circles, a highly specific marker of ALT. Subsequently the ku mutants experience permanent G2 cell cycle arrest, accompanied by loss of telomere repeats from chromosome ends and even more drastic accumulation of very short ECTRs (vsECTRs). The deletion of atr1 or chk1 rescued the lethality of the ku mutant, and "trapped" the telomere aberrations in the early ALT-like stage. Telomere abnormalities are telomerase-independent, but dramatically suppressed by deletion of mre11 or blm, suggesting major roles for these factors in the induction of the ALT pathway. In contrast, removal of other DNA damage response and repair factors such as Rad51 has disparate effects on the ALT phenotypes, suggesting that these factors process ALT intermediates or products. Notably, the antagonism of Ku and Mre11 in the induction of ALT is reminiscent of their roles in DSB resection, in which Blm is also known to play a key role. We suggest that an aberrant resection reaction may constitute an early trigger for ALT telomeres, and that the outcomes of ALT are distinct from DSB because of the unique telomere nucleoprotein structure.

  8. Single-cell telomere-length quantification couples telomere length to meristem activity and stem cell development in Arabidopsis. (United States)

    González-García, Mary-Paz; Pavelescu, Irina; Canela, Andrés; Sevillano, Xavier; Leehy, Katherine A; Nelson, Andrew D L; Ibañes, Marta; Shippen, Dorothy E; Blasco, Maria A; Caño-Delgado, Ana I


    Telomeres are specialized nucleoprotein caps that protect chromosome ends assuring cell division. Single-cell telomere quantification in animals established a critical role for telomerase in stem cells, yet, in plants, telomere-length quantification has been reported only at the organ level. Here, a quantitative analysis of telomere length of single cells in Arabidopsis root apex uncovered a heterogeneous telomere-length distribution of different cell lineages showing the longest telomeres at the stem cells. The defects in meristem and stem cell renewal observed in tert mutants demonstrate that telomere lengthening by TERT sets a replicative limit in the root meristem. Conversely, the long telomeres of the columella cells and the premature stem cell differentiation plt1,2 mutants suggest that differentiation can prevent telomere erosion. Overall, our results indicate that telomere dynamics are coupled to meristem activity and continuous growth, disclosing a critical association between telomere length, stem cell function, and the extended lifespan of plants.

  9. Telomere-independent functions of telomerase in nuclei, cytoplasm, and mitochondria. (United States)

    Chiodi, Ilaria; Mondello, Chiara


    Telomerase canonical activity at telomeres prevents telomere shortening, allowing chromosome stability and cellular proliferation. To perform this task, the catalytic subunit (telomerase reverse transcriptase, TERT) of the enzyme works as a reverse transcriptase together with the telomerase RNA component (TERC), adding telomeric repeats to DNA molecule ends. Growing evidence indicates that, besides the telomeric-DNA synthesis activity, TERT has additional functions in tumor development and is involved in many different biological processes, among which cellular proliferation, gene expression regulation, and mitochondrial functionality. TERT has been shown to act independently of TERC in the Wnt-β-catenin signaling pathway, regulating the expression of Wnt target genes, which play a role in development and tumorigenesis. Moreover, TERT RNA-dependent RNA polymerase activity has been found, leading to the genesis of double-stranded RNAs that act as precursor of silencing RNAs. In mitochondria, a TERT TERC-independent reverse transcriptase activity has been described that could play a role in the protection of mitochondrial integrity. In this review, we will discuss some of the extra-telomeric functions of telomerase.

  10. Telomere shortening exposes functions for the mouse Werner and Bloom syndrome genes. (United States)

    Du, Xiaobing; Shen, Johnny; Kugan, Nishan; Furth, Emma E; Lombard, David B; Cheung, Catherine; Pak, Sally; Luo, Guangbin; Pignolo, Robert J; DePinho, Ronald A; Guarente, Leonard; Johnson, F Brad


    The Werner and Bloom syndromes are caused by loss-of-function mutations in WRN and BLM, respectively, which encode the RecQ family DNA helicases WRN and BLM, respectively. Persons with Werner syndrome displays premature aging of the skin, vasculature, reproductive system, and bone, and those with Bloom syndrome display more limited features of aging, including premature menopause; both syndromes involve genome instability and increased cancer. The proteins participate in recombinational repair of stalled replication forks or DNA breaks, but the precise functions of the proteins that prevent rapid aging are unknown. Accumulating evidence points to telomeres as targets of WRN and BLM, but the importance in vivo of the proteins in telomere biology has not been tested. We show that Wrn and Blm mutations each accentuate pathology in later-generation mice lacking the telomerase RNA template Terc, including acceleration of phenotypes characteristic of latest-generation Terc mutants. Furthermore, pathology not observed in Terc mutants but similar to that observed in Werner syndrome and Bloom syndrome, such as bone loss, was observed. The pathology was accompanied by enhanced telomere dysfunction, including end-to-end chromosome fusions and greater loss of telomere repeat DNA compared with Terc mutants. These findings indicate that telomere dysfunction may contribute to the pathogenesis of Werner syndrome and Bloom syndrome.

  11. Genomic instability in newborn with short telomeres.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Moreno-Palomo

    Full Text Available Telomere length is considered to be a risk factor in adults due to its proved association with cancer incidence and mortality. Since newborn present a wide interindividual variation in mean telomere length, it is relevant to demonstrate if these differences in length can act also as an early risk indicator. To answer this question, we have measured the mean telomere length of 74 samples of cord blood from newborns and studied its association with the basal genetic damage, measured as the frequency of binucleated cells carrying micronuclei. In addition, we have challenged the cells of a subgroup of individuals (N = 35 against mitomycin-C (MMC to establish their sensitivity to induced genomic instability. Results indicate that newborn with shorter telomeres present significantly higher levels of genetic damage when compared to those with longer telomeres. In addition, the cellular response to MMC was also significantly higher among those samples from subjects with shorter telomeres. Independently of the causal mechanisms involved, our results show for the first time that telomere length at delivery influence both the basal and induced genetic damage of the individual.Individuals born with shorter telomeres may be at increased risk, especially for those biological processes triggered by genomic instability as is the case of cancer and other age-related diseases.

  12. The heritability of leucocyte telomere length dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hjelmborg, Jacob B; Dalgård, Christine; Möller, Sören;


    BACKGROUND: Leucocyte telomere length (LTL) is a complex trait associated with ageing and longevity. LTL dynamics are defined by LTL and its age-dependent attrition. Strong, but indirect evidence suggests that LTL at birth and its attrition during childhood largely explains interindividual LTL...... childhood are crucial for understanding the role of telomere genetics in human ageing and longevity....

  13. Problem-Solving Test: Telomere Replication (United States)

    Szeberenyi, Jozsef


    The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2009 was awarded to Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider, and Jack W. Szostak for the discovery of "how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase." The discovery has important implications in the processes of cellular aging and carcinogenesis. Telomeres are satellite DNA…

  14. Leukocyte telomere dynamics in the elderly

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Steenstrup, Troels; Hjelmborg, Jacob V B; Mortensen, Laust H;


    Limited data suggest that leukocytes of the elderly display ultra-short telomeres. It was reported that in some elderly persons leukocyte telomere length (LTL) shows age-dependent elongation. Using cross-sectional and longitudinal models, we characterized LTL dynamics in participants...

  15. Twin correlations of telomere length metrics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hjelmborg, Jacob B; Dalgård, Christine; Möller, Sören;


    BACKGROUND: Leucocyte telomere length (LTL) is a complex trait associated with ageing and longevity. LTL dynamics are defined by LTL and its age-dependent attrition. Strong, but indirect evidence suggests that LTL at birth and its attrition during childhood largely explains interindividual LTL...... childhood are crucial for understanding the role of telomere genetics in human ageing and longevity....

  16. Human telomeres that carry an integrated copy of human herpesvirus 6 are often short and unstable, facilitating release of the viral genome from the chromosome. (United States)

    Huang, Yan; Hidalgo-Bravo, Alberto; Zhang, Enjie; Cotton, Victoria E; Mendez-Bermudez, Aaron; Wig, Gunjan; Medina-Calzada, Zahara; Neumann, Rita; Jeffreys, Alec J; Winney, Bruce; Wilson, James F; Clark, Duncan A; Dyer, Martin J; Royle, Nicola J


    Linear chromosomes are stabilized by telomeres, but the presence of short dysfunctional telomeres triggers cellular senescence in human somatic tissues, thus contributing to ageing. Approximately 1% of the population inherits a chromosomally integrated copy of human herpesvirus 6 (CI-HHV-6), but the consequences of integration for the virus and for the telomere with the insertion are unknown. Here we show that the telomere on the distal end of the integrated virus is frequently the shortest measured in somatic cells but not the germline. The telomere carrying the CI-HHV-6 is also prone to truncations that result in the formation of a short telomere at a novel location within the viral genome. We detected extra-chromosomal circular HHV-6 molecules, some surprisingly comprising the entire viral genome with a single fully reconstituted direct repeat region (DR) with both terminal cleavage and packaging elements (PAC1 and PAC2). Truncated CI-HHV-6 and extra-chromosomal circular molecules are likely reciprocal products that arise through excision of a telomere-loop (t-loop) formed within the CI-HHV-6 genome. In summary, we show that the CI-HHV-6 genome disrupts stability of the associated telomere and this facilitates the release of viral sequences as circular molecules, some of which have the potential to become fully functioning viruses.

  17. Telomere Chromatin Condensation Assay (TCCA): a novel approach to study structural telomere integrity. (United States)

    Gonzalez-Vasconcellos, Iria; Alonso-Rodríguez, Silvia; López-Baltar, Isidoro; Fernández, José Luis


    Telomeres, the DNA-protein complexes located at the end of linear eukaryotic chromosomes are essential for genome stability. Improper higher-order chromatin organization at the chromosome ends can give rise to telomeric recombination and genomic instability. We report the development of an assay to quantify differences in the condensation of telomeric chromatin, thereby offering new opportunities to study telomere biology and stability. We have combined a DNA nuclease digestion with a quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay of telomeric DNA, which we term the Telomere Chromatin Condensation Assay (TCCA). By quantifying the relative quantities of telomeric DNA that are progressively digested with the exonuclease Bal 31 the method can discriminate between different levels of telomeric chromatin condensation. The structural chromatin packaging at telomeres shielded against exonuclease digestion delivered an estimate, which we term Chromatin Protection Factor (CPF) that ranged from 1.7 to 2.3 fold greater than that present in unpacked DNA. The CPF was significantly decreased when cell cultures were incubated with the DNA hypomethylating agent 5-azacytidine, demonstrating the ability of the TCCA assay to discriminate between packaging levels of telomeric DNA.

  18. Differential telomere processing by Borrelia telomere resolvases in vitro but not in vivo. (United States)

    Tourand, Yvonne; Bankhead, Troy; Wilson, Sandra L; Putteet-Driver, Adrienne D; Barbour, Alan G; Byram, Rebecca; Rosa, Patricia A; Chaconas, George


    Causative agents of Lyme disease and relapsing fever, including Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia hermsii, respectively, are unusual among bacteria in that they possess a segmented genome with linear DNA molecules terminated by hairpin ends, known as telomeres. During replication, these telomeres are processed by the essential telomere resolvase, ResT, in a unique biochemical reaction known as telomere resolution. In this study, we report the identification of the B. hermsii resT gene through cross-species hybridization. Sequence comparison of the B. hermsii protein with the B. burgdorferi orthologue revealed 67% identity, including all the regions currently known to be crucial for telomere resolution. In vitro studies, however, indicated that B. hermsii ResT was unable to process a replicated B. burgdorferi type 2 telomere substrate. In contrast, in vivo cross-species complementation in which the native resT gene of B. burgdorferi was replaced with B. hermsii resT had no discernible effect, even though B. burgdorferi strain B31 carries at least two type 2 telomere ends. The B. burgdorferi ResT protein was also able to process two telomere spacing mutants in vivo that were unresolvable in vitro. The unexpected differential telomere processing in vivo versus in vitro by the two telomere resolvases suggests the presence of one or more accessory factors in vivo that are normally involved in the reaction. Our current results are also expected to facilitate further studies into ResT structure and function, including possible interaction with other Borrelia proteins.

  19. An increase in telomere sister chromatid exchange in murine embryonic stem cells possessing critically shortened telomeres

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Yisong [ORNL; Giannone, Richard J [ORNL; Wu, Jun [ORNL; Gomez, Marla V [ORNL; Liu, Yie [ORNL


    Telomerase deficiency leads to a progressive loss of telomeric DNA that eventually triggers cell apoptosis in human primary cells during prolonged growth in culture. Rare survivors can maintain telomere length through either activation of telomerase or recombination-based telomere lengthening, and thus proliferate indefinitely. We have explored the possibility that telomeres may be maintained through telomere sister chromatid exchange (T-SCE) in murine telomere reverse transcriptase-deficient (mTert -/-) splenocytes and ES cells. Because telomerase deficiency leads to gradual loss of telomeric DNA in mTert -/- splenocytes and ES cells and eventually to chromosomes with telomere signal-free ends (SFEs), we examined these cell types for evidence of sister chromatid exchange at telomeres, and observed an increase in T-SCEs only in a subset of mTert -/- splenocytes or ES cells that possessed multiple SFEs. Furthermore, T-SCEs were more often detected in ES cells than in splenocytes that harbored a similar frequency of SFEs. In mTert heterozygous (mTert +/-) ES cells or splenocytes, which are known to exhibit a decrease in average telomere length but no SFEs, no increase in T-SCE was observed. In addition to T-SCE, other genomic rearrangements (i.e., SCE) were also significantly increased in mTert -/- ES cells possessing critically short telomeres, but not in splenocytes. Our results suggest that animals and cell culture differ in their ability to carry out genomic rearrangements as a means of maintaining telomere integrity when telomeres become critically shortened.

  20. Molecular basis of telomere dysfunction in human genetic diseases. (United States)

    Sarek, Grzegorz; Marzec, Paulina; Margalef, Pol; Boulton, Simon J


    Mutations in genes encoding proteins required for telomere structure, replication, repair and length maintenance are associated with several debilitating human genetic disorders. These complex telomere biology disorders (TBDs) give rise to critically short telomeres that affect the homeostasis of multiple organs. Furthermore, genome instability is often a hallmark of telomere syndromes, which are associated with increased cancer risk. Here, we summarize the molecular causes and cellular consequences of disease-causing mutations associated with telomere dysfunction.

  1. Identification of TERRA locus unveils a telomere protection role through association to nearly all chromosomes. (United States)

    López de Silanes, Isabel; Graña, Osvaldo; De Bonis, Maria Luigia; Dominguez, Orlando; Pisano, David G; Blasco, Maria A


    Telomeric RNAs (TERRAs) are UUAGGG repeat-containing RNAs that are transcribed from the subtelomere towards the telomere. The precise genomic origin of TERRA has remained elusive. Using a whole-genome RNA-sequencing approach, we identify novel mouse transcripts arising mainly from the subtelomere of chromosome 18, and to a lesser extend chromosome 9, that resemble TERRA in several key aspects. Those transcripts contain UUAGGG-repeats and are heterogeneous in size, fluctuate in abundance in a TERRA-like manner during the cell cycle, are bound by TERRA RNA-binding proteins and are regulated in a manner similar to TERRA in response to stress and the induction of pluripotency. These transcripts are also found to associate with nearly all chromosome ends and downregulation of the transcripts that originate from chromosome 18 causes a reduction in TERRA abundance. Interestingly, downregulation of either chromosome 18 transcripts or TERRA results in increased number of telomere dysfunction-induced foci, suggesting a protective role at telomeres.

  2. DNA damage response inhibition at dysfunctional telomeres by modulation of telomeric DNA damage response RNAs. (United States)

    Rossiello, Francesca; Aguado, Julio; Sepe, Sara; Iannelli, Fabio; Nguyen, Quan; Pitchiaya, Sethuramasundaram; Carninci, Piero; d'Adda di Fagagna, Fabrizio


    The DNA damage response (DDR) is a set of cellular events that follows the generation of DNA damage. Recently, site-specific small non-coding RNAs, also termed DNA damage response RNAs (DDRNAs), have been shown to play a role in DDR signalling and DNA repair. Dysfunctional telomeres activate DDR in ageing, cancer and an increasing number of identified pathological conditions. Here we show that, in mammals, telomere dysfunction induces the transcription of telomeric DDRNAs (tDDRNAs) and their longer precursors from both DNA strands. DDR activation and maintenance at telomeres depend on the biogenesis and functions of tDDRNAs. Their functional inhibition by sequence-specific antisense oligonucleotides allows the unprecedented telomere-specific DDR inactivation in cultured cells and in vivo in mouse tissues. In summary, these results demonstrate that tDDRNAs are induced at dysfunctional telomeres and are necessary for DDR activation and they validate the viability of locus-specific DDR inhibition by targeting DDRNAs.

  3. Epigenetics and Triplet-Repeat Neurological Diseases


    Nageshwaran, Sathiji; Festenstein, Richard


    The term “junk DNA” has been reconsidered following the delineation of the functional significance of repetitive DNA regions. Typically associated with centromeres and telomeres, DNA repeats are found in nearly all organisms throughout their genomes. Repetitive regions are frequently heterochromatinized resulting in silencing of intrinsic and nearby genes. However, this is not a uniform rule, with several genes known to require such an environment to permit transcription. Repetitive regions f...

  4. Epigenetics and triplet repeat neurological diseases


    Sathiji eNageshwaran; Richard eFestenstein


    The term ‘junk DNA’ has been reconsidered following the delineation of the functional significance of repetitive DNA regions. Typically associated with centromeres and telomeres, DNA repeats are found in nearly all organisms throughout their genomes. Repetitive regions are frequently heterchromatinised resulting in silencing of intrinsic and nearby genes. However, this is not a uniform rule, with several genes known to require such an environment to permit transcription. Repetitive regions fr...

  5. Telomere profiling: toward glioblastoma personalized medicine. (United States)

    Ferrandon, Sylvain; Saultier, Paul; Carras, Julien; Battiston-Montagne, Priscillia; Alphonse, Gersende; Beuve, Michael; Malleval, Céline; Honnorat, Jérôme; Slatter, Tania; Hung, Noelyn; Royds, Janice; Rodriguez-Lafrasse, Claire; Poncet, Delphine


    Despite a standard of care combining surgery, radiotherapy (RT), and temozolomide chemotherapy, the average overall survival (OS) of glioblastoma patients is only 15 months, and even far lower when the patient cannot benefit from this combination. Therefore, there is a strong need for new treatments, such as new irradiation techniques. Against this background, carbon ion hadrontherapy, a new kind of irradiation, leads to a greater biological response of the tumor, while minimizing adverse effects on healthy tissues in comparison with RT. As carbon ion hadrontherapy is restricted to RT-resistant patients, photon irradiation resistance biomarkers are needed. Long telomeres and high telomerase activity have been widely associated with photon radioresistance in other cancers. Moreover, telomere protection, telomere function, and telomere length (TL) also depend on the shelterin protein complex (TRF1, TRF2, TPP1, POT1, TIN2, and hRAP1). We thus decided to evaluate an enlarged telomeric status (TL, telomerase catalytic subunit, and the shelterin component expression level) as a potential radioresistance biomarker in vitro using cellular models and ex vivo using patient tumor biopsies. In addition, nothing was known about the role of telomeres in carbon ion response. We thus evaluated telomeric status after both types of irradiation. We report here a significant correlation between TL and the basal POT1 expression level and photon radioresistance, in vitro, and a significant increase in the OS of patients with long telomeres or a high POT1 level, in vivo. POT1 expression was predictive of patient response irrespective of the TL. Strikingly, these correlations were lost, in vitro, when considering carbon irradiation. We thus propose (1) a model of the implications of telomeric damage in the cell response to both types of irradiation and (2) assessment of the POT1 expression level and TL using patient tumor biopsies to identify radioresistant patients who could benefit from

  6. Increased expression of telomere-regulating genes in endurance athletes with long leukocyte telomeres. (United States)

    Denham, Joshua; O'Brien, Brendan J; Prestes, Priscilla R; Brown, Nicholas J; Charchar, Fadi J


    Leukocyte telomeres shorten with age, and excessive shortening is associated with age-related cardiometabolic diseases. Exercise training may prevent disease through telomere length maintenance although the optimal amount of exercise that attenuates telomere attrition is unknown. Furthermore, the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible for the enhanced telomere maintenance observed in endurance athletes is poorly understood. We quantified the leukocyte telomere length and analyzed the expression of telomere-regulating genes in endurance athletes and healthy controls (both n = 61), using quantitative PCR. We found endurance athletes have significantly longer (7.1%, 208-416 nt) leukocyte telomeres and upregulated TERT (2.0-fold) and TPP1 (1.3-fold) mRNA expression compared with controls in age-adjusted analysis. The telomere length and telomere-regulating gene expression differences were no longer statistically significant after adjustment for resting heart rate and relative V̇O(2 max) (all P > 0.05). Resting heart rate emerged as an independent predictor of leukocyte telomere length and TERT and TPP1 mRNA expression in stepwise regression models. To gauge whether volume of exercise was associated with leukocyte telomere length, we divided subjects into running and cycling tertiles (distance covered per week) and found individuals in the middle and highest tertiles had longer telomeres than individuals in the lowest tertile. These data emphasize the importance of cardiorespiratory fitness and exercise training in the prevention of biological aging. They also support the concept that moderate amounts of exercise training protects against biological aging, while higher amounts may not elicit additional benefits.

  7. High-throughput identification of telomere-binding ligands based on the fluorescence regulation of DNA-copper nanoparticles. (United States)

    Yang, Luzhu; Wang, Yanjun; Li, Baoxin; Jin, Yan


    Formation of the G-quadruplex in the human telomeric DNA is an effective way to inhibit telomerase activity. Therefore, screening ligands of G-quadruplex has potential applications in the treatment of cancer by inhibit telomerase activity. Although several techniques have been explored for screening of telomeric G-quadruplexes ligands, high-throughput screening method for fast screening telomere-binding ligands from the large compound library is still urgently needed. Herein, a label-free fluorescence strategy has been proposed for high-throughput screening telomere-binding ligands by using DNA-copper nanoparticles (DNA-CuNPs) as a signal probe. In the absence of ligands, human telomeric DNA (GDNA) hybridized with its complementary DNA (cDNA) to form double stranded DNA (dsDNA) which can act as an efficient template for the formation of DNA-CuNPs, leading to the high fluorescence of DNA-CuNPs. In the presence of ligands, GDNA folded into G-quadruplex. Single-strdanded cDNA does not support the formation of DNA-CuNP, resulting in low fluorescence of DNA-CuNPs. Therefore, telomere-binding ligands can be high-throughput screened by monitoring the change in the fluorescence of DNA-CuNPs. Thirteen traditional chinese medicines were screened. Circular dichroism (CD) measurements demonstrated that the selected ligands could induce single-stranded telomeric DNA to form G-quadruplex. The telomere repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) assay demonstrated that the selected ligands can effectively inhibit telomerase activity. Therefore, it offers a cost-effective, label-free and reliable high-throughput way to identify G-quadruplex ligands, which holds great potential in discovering telomerase-targeted anticancer drugs.

  8. The telomere lengthening conundrum - artifact or biology?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Steenstrup, Troels; Hjelmborg, Jacob V B; Kark, Jeremy D;


    Recent longitudinal studies of age-dependent leukocyte telomere length (LTL) attrition have reported that variable proportions of individuals experience LTL lengthening. Often, LTL lengthening has been taken at face value, and authors have speculated about the biological causation of this finding....... Based on empirical data and theoretical considerations, we show that regardless of the method used to measure telomere length (Southern blot or quantitative polymerase chain reaction-based methods), measurement error of telomere length and duration of follow-up explain almost entirely the absence of age...

  9. MAJIN Links Telomeric DNA to the Nuclear Membrane by Exchanging Telomere Cap. (United States)

    Shibuya, Hiroki; Hernández-Hernández, Abrahan; Morimoto, Akihiro; Negishi, Lumi; Höög, Christer; Watanabe, Yoshinori


    In meiosis, telomeres attach to the inner nuclear membrane (INM) and drive the chromosome movement required for homolog pairing and recombination. Here, we address the question of how telomeres are structurally adapted for the meiotic task. We identify a multi-subunit meiotic telomere-complex, TERB1/2-MAJIN, which takes over telomeric DNA from the shelterin complex in mouse germ cells. TERB1/2-MAJIN initially assembles on the INM sequestered by its putative transmembrane subunit MAJIN. In early meiosis, telomere attachment is achieved by the formation of a chimeric complex of TERB1/2-MAJIN and shelterin. The chimeric complex matures during prophase into DNA-bound TERB1/2-MAJIN by releasing shelterin, forming a direct link between telomeric DNA and the INM. These hierarchical processes, termed "telomere cap exchange," are regulated by CDK-dependent phosphorylation and the DNA-binding activity of MAJIN. Further, we uncover a positive feedback between telomere attachment and chromosome movement, revealing a comprehensive regulatory network underlying meiosis-specific telomere function in mammals.

  10. Acute exercise leads to regulation of telomere-associated genes and microRNA expression in immune cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Warrick L Chilton

    Full Text Available Telomeres are specialized nucleoprotein structures that protect chromosomal ends from degradation. These structures progressively shorten during cellular division and can signal replicative senescence below a critical length. Telomere length is predominantly maintained by the enzyme telomerase. Significant decreases in telomere length and telomerase activity are associated with a host of chronic diseases; conversely their maintenance underpins the optimal function of the adaptive immune system. Habitual physical activity is associated with longer leukocyte telomere length; however, the precise mechanisms are unclear. Potential hypotheses include regulation of telomeric gene transcription and/or microRNAs (miRNAs. We investigated the acute exercise-induced response of telomeric genes and miRNAs in twenty-two healthy males (mean age = 24.1±1.55 years. Participants undertook 30 minutes of treadmill running at 80% of peak oxygen uptake. Blood samples were taken before exercise, immediately post-exercise and 60 minutes post-exercise. Total RNA from white blood cells was submitted to miRNA arrays and telomere extension mRNA array. Results were individually validated in white blood cells and sorted T cell lymphocyte subsets using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR. Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT mRNA (P = 0.001 and sirtuin-6 (SIRT6 (P<0.05 mRNA expression were upregulated in white blood cells after exercise. Fifty-six miRNAs were also differentially regulated post-exercise (FDR <0.05. In silico analysis identified four miRNAs (miR-186, miR-181, miR-15a and miR-96 that potentially targeted telomeric gene mRNA. The four miRNAs exhibited significant upregulation 60 minutes post-exercise (P<0.001. Telomeric repeat binding factor 2, interacting protein (TERF2IP was identified as a potential binding target for miR-186 and miR-96 and demonstrated concomitant downregulation (P<0.01 at the corresponding time point. Intense cardiorespiratory

  11. Maternal telomere length inheritance in the king penguin. (United States)

    Reichert, S; Rojas, E R; Zahn, S; Robin, J-P; Criscuolo, F; Massemin, S


    Telomeres are emerging as a biomarker for ageing and survival, and are likely important in shaping life-history trade-offs. In particular, telomere length with which one starts in life has been linked to lifelong survival, suggesting that early telomere dynamics are somehow related to life-history trajectories. This result highlights the importance of determining the extent to which telomere length is inherited, as a crucial factor determining early life telomere length. Given the scarcity of species for which telomere length inheritance has been studied, it is pressing to assess the generality of telomere length inheritance patterns. Further, information on how this pattern changes over the course of growth in individuals living under natural conditions should provide some insight on the extent to which environmental constraints also shape telomere dynamics. To fill this gap partly, we followed telomere inheritance in a population of king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus). We tested for paternal and maternal influence on chick initial telomere length (10 days old after hatching), and how these relationships changed with chick age (at 70, 200 and 300 days old). Based on a correlative approach, offspring telomere length was positively associated with maternal telomere length early in life (at 10 days old). However, this relationship was not significant at older ages. These data suggest that telomere length in birds is maternally inherited. Nonetheless, the influence of environmental conditions during growth remained an important factor shaping telomere length, as the maternal link disappeared with chicks' age.

  12. Telomere length and the risk of lung cancer. (United States)

    Jang, Jin Sung; Choi, Yi Young; Lee, Won Kee; Choi, Jin Eun; Cha, Sung Ick; Kim, Yeon Jae; Kim, Chang Ho; Kam, Sin; Jung, Tae Hoon; Park, Jae Yong


    Telomeres play a key role in the maintenance of chromosome integrity and stability. There is growing evidence that short telomeres induce chromosome instability and thereby promote the development of cancer. We investigated the association of telomere length and the risk of lung cancer. Relative telomere length in peripheral blood lymphocytes was measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction in 243 lung cancer patients and 243 healthy controls that were frequency-matched for age, sex and smoking status. Telomere length was significantly shorter in lung cancer patients than in controls (mean +/- standard deviation: 1.59 +/- 0.75 versus 2.16 +/- 1.10, P telomere length, the risk of lung cancer was found to increase as telomere length shortened (P(trend) telomere length was used as the cutoff between long and short telomeres, individuals with short telomeres were at a significantly higher risk of lung cancer than those with long telomeres (adjusted odds ratio = 3.15, 95% confidence interval = 2.12-4.67, P telomere length on the risk of lung cancer was more pronounced in patients with small cell carcinoma than in those with squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma (P = 0.001, test for homogeneity). These findings suggest that shortening of the telomeres may be a risk factor for lung cancer, and therefore, the presence of shortened telomeres may be used as a marker for susceptibility to lung cancer.

  13. Short Telomere Length and Ischemic Heart Disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Scheller Madrid, Alexander; Rode, Line; Nordestgaard, Børge Grønne


    BACKGROUND: Short telomeres are associated with aging and have been associated with a high risk of ischemic heart disease in observational studies; however, the latter association could be due to residual confounding and/or reverse causation. We wanted to test the hypothesis that short telomeres...... are associated with high risk of ischemic heart disease using a Mendelian randomization approach free of reverse causation and of most confounding. METHODS: We genotyped 3 genetic variants in OBFC1 (oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide binding fold containing 1), TERT (telomerase reverse transcriptase), and TERC...... logistic and instrumental variable analysis for genetic estimates. RESULTS: Observationally, a 200-bp-shorter telomere length was associated with a multivariable adjusted hazard ratio for ischemic heart disease of 1.02 (95% CI, 1.01-1.03). Per allele, telomeres were shorter by 67 bp (73-60). In meta...

  14. Variants in TERT influencing telomere length are associated with paranoid schizophrenia risk. (United States)

    Rao, Shuquan; Ye, Ning; Hu, Huiling; Shen, Yan; Xu, Qi


    Schizophrenia is one of the most severe psychiatric disorders, with a high heritability of up to 80%. Several studies have reported telomere dysfunction in schizophrenia, and common variants in the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) gene. TERT is a key component of the telomerase complex that maintains telomere length by addition of telomere repeats to telomere ends, and has repeatedly shown association with mean lymphocyte telomere length (LTL). Thus, we hypothesized that TERT may be a novel susceptibility gene for schizophrenia. Using a Taqman protocol, we genotyped eight tag SNPs from the TERT locus in 1,072 patients with paranoid schizophrenia and 1,284 control subjects from a Chinese Han population. We also measured mean LTL in 98 cases and 109 controls using a quantitative PCR-based technique. Chi-square tests showed that two SNPs, rs2075786 (P = 0.0009, OR = 0.76, 95%CI = 0.65-0.90) and rs4975605 (P = 0.0026, OR = 0.73, 95%CI = 0.60-0.90), were associated with a protective effect, while rs10069690 was associated with risk of paranoid schizophrenia (P = 0.0044, OR = 1.23, 95%CI = 1.07-1.42). Additionally, the rs2736118-rs2075786 haplotype showed significant association with paranoid schizophrenia (P = 0.0013). Moreover, mean LTL correlated with rs2075786 genotypes was significantly shorter in the patient group than the control group. The present results suggest that the TERT gene may be a novel candidate involved in the development of paranoid schizophrenia.

  15. Reduced fetal telomere length in gestational diabetes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian Xu

    Full Text Available Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM is an important complication of pregnancy that poses significant threats to women and their offspring. Telomere length shortens as cellular damage increases and is associated with metabolic diseases. Telomere length in fetal leucocytes was determined in 82 infants of women with GDM (N = 82 and 65 normal pregnant women (N = 65. Women with preeclampsia (N = 45 and gestational hypertension (N = 23 were also studied. In the GDM group, telomere length was significantly shorter than normal pregnancy (P = 0.028, but there were no significant differences in fetal telomere length between preeclampsia and normal pregnancy (P = 0.841 and between gestational hypertension and normal pregnancy (P = 0.561. Regression analysis revealed that fetal telomere length was significantly associated with intrauterine exposure to GDM (P = 0.027 after adjustment for maternal age, gestational age at delivery, birth weight and fetal gender. Shortened telomere length may increase the risk of metabolic diseases in adulthood of GDM offspring.

  16. Measuring telomere length and telomere dynamics in evolutionary biology and ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nussey, Daniel H.; Baird, Duncan; Barrett, Emma; Boner, Winnie; Fairlie, Jennifer; Gemmell, Neil; Hartmann, Nils; Horn, Thorsten; Haussmann, Mark; Olsson, Mats; Turbill, Chris; Verhulst, Simon; Zahn, Sandrine; Monaghan, Pat


    Telomeres play a fundamental role in the protection of chromosomal DNA and in the regulation of cellular senescence. Recent work in human epidemiology and evolutionary ecology suggests adult telomere length (TL) may reflect past physiological stress and predict subsequent morbidity and mortality, in

  17. Functional diversification of yeast telomere associated protein, Rif1, in higher eukaryotes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sreesankar Easwaran


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes at the end of linear eukaryotic chromosomes which maintain the genome integrity by regulating telomere length, preventing recombination and end to end fusion events. Multiple proteins associate with telomeres and function in concert to carry out these functions. Rap1 interacting factor 1 (Rif1, was identified as a protein involved in telomere length regulation in yeast. Rif1 is conserved upto mammals but its function has diversified from telomere length regulation to maintenance of genome integrity. Results We have carried out detailed bioinformatic analyses and identified Rif1 homologues in 92 organisms from yeast to human. We identified Rif1 homologues in Drosophila melanogaster, even though fly telomeres are maintained by a telomerase independent pathway. Our analysis shows that Drosophila Rif1 (dRif1 sequence is phylogenetically closer to the one of vertebrates than yeast and has identified a few Rif1 specific motifs conserved through evolution. This includes a Rif1 family specific conserved region within the HEAT repeat domain and a motif involved in protein phosphatase1 docking. We show that dRif1 is nuclear localized with a prominent heterochromatin association and unlike human Rif1, it does not respond to DNA damage by localizing to damaged sites. To test the evolutionary conservation of dRif1 function, we expressed the dRif1 protein in yeast and HeLa cells. In yeast, dRif1 did not perturb yeast Rif1 (yRif1 functions; and in HeLa cells it did not colocalize with DNA damage foci. Conclusions Telomeres are maintained by retrotransposons in all Drosophila species and consequently, telomerase and many of the telomere associated protein homologues are absent, including Rap1, which is the binding partner of Rif1. We found that a homologue of yRif1 protein is present in fly and dRif1 has evolutionarily conserved motifs. Functional studies show that dRif1 responds differently to DNA

  18. [Association study of telomere length with idiopathic male infertility]. (United States)

    Shuyuan, Liu; Changjun, Zhang; Haiying, Peng; Xiaoqin, Huang; Hao, Sun; Keqin, Lin; Kai, Huang; Jiayou, Chu; Zhaoqing, Yang


    Telomeres are evolutionary conserved, multifunctional DNA-protein complexes located at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. Telomeres maintain chromosome stability and genome integrity and also play an important role in meiosis which aid in synapsis, homologous recombination, and segregation. Sperm telomere has been reported to play an important role in fertilization and embryo development. Nowadays, the association between telomere and reproduction is one of the major areas of interest, however whether sperm telomere associated with male infertility is not clear. In this study, in order to find out the association between Chinese idiopathic infertility and sperm telomere length, we analyzed the difference of sperm telomere length between idiopathic infertile men and normal fertile men, as well as the correlations between sperm telomere length and human semen characteristics. We analyzed 126 Chinese idiopathic infertile men and 138 normal fertile men for sperm telomere length by using quantitative PCR. We found that the relative sperm mean telomere length of infertile men was significantly shorter than that of fertile men (2.894 ± 0.115 vs. 4.016 ± 0.603, P=5.097 x 10⁻⁵). Both sperm count and semen progressive motility are related with telomere length. Our results suggest that sperm telomere length is associated with idiopathic male infertility of China and we proposed the possibility that shorter telomeres in sperm chromosome will reduce spermatogenesis and sperm functions, which finally affected the fertility of male.

  19. Telomere Capping Proteins are Structurally Related to RPA with an additional Telomere-Specific Domain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gelinas, A.; Paschini, M; Reyes, F; Heroux, A; Batey, R; Lundblad, V; Wuttke, D


    Telomeres must be capped to preserve chromosomal stability. The conserved Stn1 and Ten1 proteins are required for proper capping of the telomere, although the mechanistic details of how they contribute to telomere maintenance are unclear. Here, we report the crystal structures of the C-terminal domain of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Stn1 and the Schizosaccharomyces pombe Ten1 proteins. These structures reveal striking similarities to corresponding subunits in the replication protein A complex, further supporting an evolutionary link between telomere maintenance proteins and DNA repair complexes. Our structural and in vivo data of Stn1 identify a new domain that has evolved to support a telomere-specific role in chromosome maintenance. These findings endorse a model of an evolutionarily conserved mechanism of DNA maintenance that has developed as a result of increased chromosomal structural complexity.

  20. Spatially confined polymer chains: implications of chromatin fibre flexibility and peripheral anchoring on telomere telomere interaction (United States)

    Gehlen, L. R.; Rosa, A.; Klenin, K.; Langowski, J.; Gasser, S. M.; Bystricky, K.


    We simulate the extension of spatially confined chromatin fibres modelled as polymer chains and examine the effect of the flexibility of the fibre and its degree of freedom. The developed formalism was used to analyse experimental data of telomere-telomere distances in living yeast cells in the absence of confining factors as identified by the proteins Sir4 and yKu70. Our analysis indicates that intrinsic properties of the chromatin fibre, in particular its elastic properties and flexibility, can influence the juxtaposition of the telomeric ends of chromosomes. However, measurements in intact yeast cells showed that the telomeres of chromosomes 3 and 6 come even closer together than the parameters of constraint imposed on the simulations would predict. This juxtaposition was specific to telomeres on one contiguous chromosome and overrode a tendency for separation that is imposed by anchoring.

  1. Reactivation of chromosomally integrated human herpesvirus-6 by telomeric circle formation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bhupesh K Prusty

    Full Text Available More than 95% of the human population is infected with human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6 during early childhood and maintains latent HHV-6 genomes either in an extra-chromosomal form or as a chromosomally integrated HHV-6 (ciHHV-6. In addition, approximately 1% of humans are born with an inheritable form of ciHHV-6 integrated into the telomeres of chromosomes. Immunosuppression and stress conditions can reactivate latent HHV-6 replication, which is associated with clinical complications and even death. We have previously shown that Chlamydia trachomatis infection reactivates ciHHV-6 and induces the formation of extra-chromosomal viral DNA in ciHHV-6 cells. Here, we propose a model and provide experimental evidence for the mechanism of ciHHV-6 reactivation. Infection with Chlamydia induced a transient shortening of telomeric ends, which subsequently led to increased telomeric circle (t-circle formation and incomplete reconstitution of circular viral genomes containing single viral direct repeat (DR. Correspondingly, short t-circles containing parts of the HHV-6 DR were detected in cells from individuals with genetically inherited ciHHV-6. Furthermore, telomere shortening induced in the absence of Chlamydia infection also caused circularization of ciHHV-6, supporting a t-circle based mechanism for ciHHV-6 reactivation.

  2. Frailty and telomere length: cross-sectional analysis in 3537 older adults from the ESTHER cohort. (United States)

    Saum, Kai-Uwe; Dieffenbach, Aida Karina; Müezzinler, Aysel; Müller, Heiko; Holleczek, Bernd; Stegmaier, Christa; Butterbach, Katja; Schick, Matthias; Canzian, Federico; Stammer, Hermann; Boukamp, Petra; Hauer, Klaus; Brenner, Hermann


    Both telomere length and frailty were observed to be associated with aging. Whether and to what extent telomere length is related to frailty is essentially unknown. In this cross-sectional analysis of baseline data of 3537 community-dwelling adults aged 50 to 75 years of a large German cohort study, we assessed the hypothesis that shorter telomere length might be a biological marker for frailty. Using whole blood DNA we examined mean telomere repeat copy to single gene copy number (T/S ratio) using quantitative PCR. Construction of a frailty index (FI) was based on a deficit accumulation approach, which quantifies frailty as ratio of the deficits present divided by the total number of deficits considered. Mean FI was determined according to age by tertiles of T/S ratio. Furthermore, we used correlation analyses stratified for gender and age groups to examine the association of the T/S ratio with frailty. Mean FI value was similar across tertiles of the T/S ratio (0.24±0.14, 0.24±0.14 and 0.23±0.14, respectively (p=0.09)), and FI and the T/S ratio were uncorrelated in gender- and age-specific analyses. In conclusion, T/S ratio and frailty were unrelated in this large sample of older adults. T/S ratio may therefore not be a meaningful biological marker for frailty.

  3. Differential Telomere Processing by Borrelia Telomere Resolvases In Vitro but Not In Vivo▿ (United States)

    Tourand, Yvonne; Bankhead, Troy; Wilson, Sandra L.; Putteet-Driver, Adrienne D.; Barbour, Alan G.; Byram, Rebecca; Rosa, Patricia A.; Chaconas, George


    Causative agents of Lyme disease and relapsing fever, including Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia hermsii, respectively, are unusual among bacteria in that they possess a segmented genome with linear DNA molecules terminated by hairpin ends, known as telomeres. During replication, these telomeres are processed by the essential telomere resolvase, ResT, in a unique biochemical reaction known as telomere resolution. In this study, we report the identification of the B. hermsii resT gene through cross-species hybridization. Sequence comparison of the B. hermsii protein with the B. burgdorferi orthologue revealed 67% identity, including all the regions currently known to be crucial for telomere resolution. In vitro studies, however, indicated that B. hermsii ResT was unable to process a replicated B. burgdorferi type 2 telomere substrate. In contrast, in vivo cross-species complementation in which the native resT gene of B. burgdorferi was replaced with B. hermsii resT had no discernible effect, even though B. burgdorferi strain B31 carries at least two type 2 telomere ends. The B. burgdorferi ResT protein was also able to process two telomere spacing mutants in vivo that were unresolvable in vitro. The unexpected differential telomere processing in vivo versus in vitro by the two telomere resolvases suggests the presence of one or more accessory factors in vivo that are normally involved in the reaction. Our current results are also expected to facilitate further studies into ResT structure and function, including possible interaction with other Borrelia proteins. PMID:16936037

  4. Renal failure induces telomere shortening in the rat heart

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wong, L. S.; Windt, W. A.; Roks, A. J.; van Dokkum, R. P.; Schoemaker, R. G.; de Zeeuw, D.; Henning, R. H.


    Background. Renal failure aggravates pathological cardiac remodelling induced by myocardial infarction (MI). Cardiac remodelling is associated with telomere shortening, a marker for biological ageing. We investigated whether mild and severe renal failure shorten cardiac telomeres and excessively sho

  5. Palladium phosphine complexes for the telomerization of butadiene

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)


    A phosphine ligand suitable for use in telomerizing butadiene comprises two phenyl groups and a xanthene moiety.......A phosphine ligand suitable for use in telomerizing butadiene comprises two phenyl groups and a xanthene moiety....

  6. Telomere length and telomerase activity in the context of menopause. (United States)

    Pines, A


    Telomere length is a marker of cell aging, since shorter telomeres and a higher rate of telomere shortening with time are associated with poorer health status and survival. Various factors may determine telomere length and the function of the telomere maintenance system, including the hereditary load and several modifiable variables such as diet and lifestyle. Telomere length and telomerase activity were investigated extensively in a variety of diseases, such as malignancies (i.e. breast and colon cancer), cardiovascular disease and its related metabolic risk factors, cognitive, mental and psychiatric conditions, and many others. Some evidence points at an association between longer endogenous estrogen exposure (length of reproductive years of life) and greater telomere length and lower telomerase activity. However, there is probably no correlation in regard to menopause per se or the use of hormone therapy. Changing the nutrition and implementing healthy lifestyles may improve the telomere/telomerase parameters in postmenopausal women, but better understanding of this system is still needed.

  7. Telomere stability and telomerase in mesenchymal stem cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Serakinci, Nedime; Graakjaer, Jesper; Kølvrå, Steen


    Telomeres are repetitive genetic material that cap and thereby protect the ends of chromosomes. Each time a cell divides, telomeres get shorter. Telomere length is mainly maintained by telomerase. This enzyme is present in high concentrations in the embryonic stem cells and in fast growing...... embryonic cells, and declines with age. It is still unclear to what extent there is telomerase in adult stem cells, but since these are the founder cells of cells of all the tissues in the body, understanding the telomere dynamics and expression of telomerase in adult stem cells is very important....... In the present communication we focus on telomere expression and telomere length in stem cells, with a special focus on mesenchymal stem cells. We consider different mechanisms by which stem cells can maintain telomeres and also focus on the dynamics of telomere length in mesenchymal stem cells, both the overall...

  8. Mice with Pulmonary Fibrosis Driven by Telomere Dysfunction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan M. Povedano


    Full Text Available Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF is a degenerative disease of the lungs with an average survival post-diagnosis of 2–3 years. New therapeutic targets and treatments are necessary. Mutations in components of the telomere-maintenance enzyme telomerase or in proteins important for telomere protection are found in both familial and sporadic IPF cases. However, the lack of mouse models that faithfully recapitulate the human disease has hampered new advances. Here, we generate two independent mouse models that develop IPF owing to either critically short telomeres (telomerase-deficient mice or severe telomere dysfunction in the absence of telomere shortening (mice with Trf1 deletion in type II alveolar cells. We show that both mouse models develop pulmonary fibrosis through induction of telomere damage, thus providing proof of principle of the causal role of DNA damage stemming from dysfunctional telomeres in IPF development and identifying telomeres as promising targets for new treatments.

  9. Altered telomeres in tumors with ATRX and DAXX mutations. (United States)

    Heaphy, Christopher M; de Wilde, Roeland F; Jiao, Yuchen; Klein, Alison P; Edil, Barish H; Shi, Chanjuan; Bettegowda, Chetan; Rodriguez, Fausto J; Eberhart, Charles G; Hebbar, Sachidanand; Offerhaus, G Johan; McLendon, Roger; Rasheed, B Ahmed; He, Yiping; Yan, Hai; Bigner, Darell D; Oba-Shinjo, Sueli Mieko; Marie, Suely Kazue Nagahashi; Riggins, Gregory J; Kinzler, Kenneth W; Vogelstein, Bert; Hruban, Ralph H; Maitra, Anirban; Papadopoulos, Nickolas; Meeker, Alan K


    The proteins encoded by ATRX and DAXX participate in chromatin remodeling at telomeres and other genomic sites. Because inactivating mutations of these genes are common in human pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PanNETs), we examined the telomere status of these tumors. We found that 61% of PanNETs displayed abnormal telomeres that are characteristic of a telomerase-independent telomere maintenance mechanism termed ALT (alternative lengthening of telomeres). All of the PanNETs exhibiting these abnormal telomeres had ATRX or DAXX mutations or loss of nuclear ATRX or DAXX protein. ATRX mutations also correlate with abnormal telomeres in tumors of the central nervous system. These data suggest that an alternative telomere maintenance function may operate in human tumors with alterations in the ATRX or DAXX genes.

  10. Two faces of Solanaceae telomeres: a comparison between Nicotiana and Cestrum telomeres and telomere-binding proteins. (United States)

    Peska, V; Sýkorová, E; Fajkus, J


    While most Solanaceae genera (e.g.Solanum, Nicotiana) possess Arabidopsis-type telomeres of (TTTAGGG)n maintained by telomerase, the genera Cestrum, Vestia and Sessea (Cestrum group) lack these telomeres. Here we show that in the Cestrum-group the activity of telomerase has been lost. Nevertheless, proteins binding the single-stranded G-rich strand of the Arabidopsis-type and related human-type (TTAGGG)n telomeric sequences are present in nuclear extracts of both Nicotiana and Cestrum species. These proteins may have a role in telomere function or other cellular activities. In addition to characterizing DNA binding specificity and molecular weights of these proteins, we searched in both N. tabacum (tobacco) and C. parqui for the presence of POT1-like proteins, involved in telomere capping and telomerase regulation. Analysis of POT1-like proteins available on public databases and cloned by us from C. parqui, revealed the N-terminal OB folds typical for this protein family and a novel, plant-specific conserved C-terminal OB-fold domain (CTOB). We propose that CTOB is involved in protein-protein interactions.

  11. Telomere reprogramming and maintenance in porcine iPS cells. (United States)

    Ji, Guangzhen; Ruan, Weimin; Liu, Kai; Wang, Fang; Sakellariou, Despoina; Chen, Jijun; Yang, Yang; Okuka, Maja; Han, Jianyong; Liu, Zhonghua; Lai, Liangxue; Gagos, Sarantis; Xiao, Lei; Deng, Hongkui; Li, Ning; Liu, Lin


    Telomere reprogramming and silencing of exogenous genes have been demonstrated in mouse and human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells). Pigs have the potential to provide xenotransplant for humans, and to model and test human diseases. We investigated the telomere length and maintenance in porcine iPS cells generated and cultured under various conditions. Telomere lengths vary among different porcine iPS cell lines, some with telomere elongation and maintenance, and others telomere shortening. Porcine iPS cells with sufficient telomere length maintenance show the ability to differentiate in vivo by teratoma formation test. IPS cells with short or dysfunctional telomeres exhibit reduced ability to form teratomas. Moreover, insufficient telomerase and incomplete telomere reprogramming and/or maintenance link to sustained activation of exogenous genes in porcine iPS cells. In contrast, porcine iPS cells with reduced expression of exogenous genes or partial exogene silencing exhibit insufficient activation of endogenous pluripotent genes and telomerase genes, accompanied by telomere shortening with increasing passages. Moreover, telomere doublets, telomere sister chromatid exchanges and t-circles that presumably are involved in telomere lengthening by recombination also are found in porcine iPS cells. These data suggest that both telomerase-dependent and telomerase-independent mechanisms are involved in telomere reprogramming during induction and passages of porcine iPS cells, but these are insufficient, resulting in increased telomere damage and shortening, and chromosomal instability. Active exogenes might compensate for insufficient activation of endogenous genes and incomplete telomere reprogramming and maintenance of porcine iPS cells. Further understanding of telomere reprogramming and maintenance may help improve the quality of porcine iPS cells.

  12. Linking telomere loss and mitochondrial dysfunction in chronic disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gonzalez-Ebsen, Ana Carlota; Gregersen, Niels; Olsen, Rikke Kj


    , including telomeric DNA, causing telomere shortening. In fact, primary mitochondrial dysfunction (for example respiratory chain disorders) and secondary mitochondrial dysfunction (such as metabolic diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and mood disorders, among others) have been...... shown to have shorter telomeres than healthy individuals. Drawing a mechanistic connection between telomere function and mitochondria biology will provide a broader perspective for understanding the pathophysiology of diseases and their relation to the aging process, and may provide opportunities...

  13. 端粒保护蛋白在端粒形成和功能维护中的作用%The Role of Telomere-specific Proteins in Shaping and Protecting Telomeres

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    青玉凤; 吴凤霞; 周京国; 袁国华


    端粒是染色体末端的特殊结构,由端粒DNA与端粒结合蛋白构成,对稳定染色体的结构和保持基因的完整性有重要作用,其结构和功能的改变与衰老、遗传病和肿瘤等密切相关.端粒保护蛋白在端粒特殊"T"帽状结构的形成和功能的维持中发挥重要作用,通过对端粒保护蛋白高级结构及生物学功能的研究有望为肿瘤的预防和治疗提供新的方向.%Telomeres are specialized structures at the ends of chromosomes that consist of TTAGGG repeats embedded in a number of telomere associated proteins,and are essential for genomic stability.Their dysfunction has been implicated in aging,genetic diseases and cancers.Specific proteins assailed with the telomeres play a cmciM role in forming loop structures and in safeguarding telomeres.Manipulation of expressions and functions of those proteins to regulate telomere function is potentially an attractive strategy for the treatment of malignance.

  14. Cellular Consequences of Telomere Shortening in Histologically Normal Breast Tissues (United States)


    in Figure 1, telomere shortening occurs specifically in luminal epithelial cells, but not in myoepithelial cells, in histologically normal terminal...the adjacent myoepithelial cells (panel A). In contrast, some TDLUs demonstrate dim telomere signals in the luminal cells when compared to the...adjacent myoepithelial cells (panel B). Through digital image analysis, quantitative determination of the telomere FISH signals confirms this moderated

  15. Telomeres, workload and life-history in great tits

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Atema, Els


    Ageing and the effects of increased workload in great tits A new measurement to quantify variation in quality and rate of ageing between individuals is telomere length. Telomeres are a piece of DNA at the end of chromosomes, and they protect the other DNA. In many species shortening of telomere leng

  16. Single-molecule choreography between telomere proteins and G quadruplexes. (United States)

    Hopfner, Karl-Peter


    Telomeric DNA binds proteins to protect chromosome ends, but it also adopts G quadruplex (GQ) structures. Two new studies by Hwang and colleagues (in this issue of Structure) and Ray and colleagues (published elsewhere) use single molecule imaging to reveal how GQs affect the binding of different telomere associated proteins. The data suggest that GQs play important roles in regulating accessibility of telomeres.

  17. Heritability of telomere length in the Zebra Finch

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Atema, Els; Mulder, Ellis; Dugdale, Hannah L.; Briga, Michael; van Noordwijk, Arie J.; Verhulst, Simon


    Telomere length predicts survival in birds, and many stressors that presumably reduce fitness have also been linked to telomere length. The response to selection of telomere length will be largely determined by the heritability of this trait; however, little is known about the genetic component of t

  18. Chromothripsis and Kataegis Induced by Telomere Crisis. (United States)

    Maciejowski, John; Li, Yilong; Bosco, Nazario; Campbell, Peter J; de Lange, Titia


    Telomere crisis occurs during tumorigenesis when depletion of the telomere reserve leads to frequent telomere fusions. The resulting dicentric chromosomes have been proposed to drive genome instability. Here, we examine the fate of dicentric human chromosomes in telomere crisis. We observed that dicentric chromosomes invariably persisted through mitosis and developed into 50-200 μm chromatin bridges connecting the daughter cells. Before their resolution at 3-20 hr after anaphase, the chromatin bridges induced nuclear envelope rupture in interphase, accumulated the cytoplasmic 3' nuclease TREX1, and developed RPA-coated single stranded (ss) DNA. CRISPR knockouts showed that TREX1 contributed to the generation of the ssDNA and the resolution of the chromatin bridges. Post-crisis clones showed chromothripsis and kataegis, presumably resulting from DNA repair and APOBEC editing of the fragmented chromatin bridge DNA. We propose that chromothripsis in human cancer may arise through TREX1-mediated fragmentation of dicentric chromosomes formed in telomere crisis.

  19. Decreasing initial telomere length in humans intergenerationally understates age-associated telomere shortening. (United States)

    Holohan, Brody; De Meyer, Tim; Batten, Kimberly; Mangino, Massimo; Hunt, Steven C; Bekaert, Sofie; De Buyzere, Marc L; Rietzschel, Ernst R; Spector, Tim D; Wright, Woodring E; Shay, Jerry W


    Telomere length shortens with aging, and short telomeres have been linked to a wide variety of pathologies. Previous studies suggested a discrepancy in age-associated telomere shortening rate estimated by cross-sectional studies versus the rate measured in longitudinal studies, indicating a potential bias in cross-sectional estimates. Intergenerational changes in initial telomere length, such as that predicted by the previously described effect of a father's age at birth of his offspring (FAB), could explain the discrepancy in shortening rate measurements. We evaluated whether changes occur in initial telomere length over multiple generations in three large datasets and identified paternal birth year (PBY) as a variable that reconciles the difference between longitudinal and cross-sectional measurements. We also clarify the association between FAB and offspring telomere length, demonstrating that this effect is substantially larger than reported in the past. These results indicate the presence of a downward secular trend in telomere length at birth over generational time with potential public health implications.

  20. Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres-An Enhanced Chromosomal Instability in Aggressive Non-MYCN Amplified and Telomere Elongated Neuroblastomas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    G. Lundberg; D. Sehic; J.K. Lansberg; I. Ora; A. Frigyesi; V. Castel; S. Navarro; M. Piqueras; T. Martinsson; R. Noguera; D. Gisselsson


    Telomere length alterations are known to cause genomic instability and influence clinical course in several tumor types, but have been little investigated in neuroblastoma (NB), one of the most common childhood tumors. In the present study, telomere-dependent chromosomal instability and telomere len

  1. Inviting Calm Within: ADD, Neurology, and Mindfulness (United States)

    Riner, Phillip S.; Tanase, Madalina


    The fourth edition of the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" ("DSM IV") describes ADD as behaviorally observed impairments in attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Officially known as AD/HD, we use ADD here because we are dealing primarily with attention, organizational, and impulsivity issues. A more…

  2. Telomere length alterations unique to invasive lobular carcinoma. (United States)

    Heaphy, Christopher M; Asch-Kendrick, Rebecca; Argani, Pedram; Meeker, Alan K; Cimino-Mathews, Ashley


    Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes located at the extreme ends of eukaryotic chromosomes and protect chromosomal ends from degradation and recombination. Dysfunctional telomeres contribute to genomic instability, promote tumorigenesis, and, in breast cancer, have been associated with increased cancer risk and poor prognosis. Short telomere lengths have been previously associated with triple-negative and human epidermal growth factor receptor (Her2)--positive ductal carcinomas. However, these investigations have not specifically assessed invasive lobular carcinomas (ILCs), which accounts for 5% to 15% of all invasive breast cancers. Here, we evaluate telomere lengths within 48 primary ILCs with complete characterization of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and Her2 status, including 32 luminal/Her2- (ER+/PR+/Her2-), 8 luminal/Her2+ (ER+/PR+/Her2+), 3 Her2+ (ER-/PR-/Her2+), and 5 triple-negative (ER-/PR-/Her2-) carcinomas. A telomere-specific fluorescence in situ hybridization assay, which provides single-cell telomere length resolution, was used to evaluate telomere lengths and compare with standard clinicopathological markers. In contrast to breast ductal carcinoma, in which more than 85% of cases display abnormally short telomeres, approximately half (52%) of the ILCs displayed either normal or long telomeres. Short telomere length was associated with older patient age. Interestingly, 3 cases (6%) displayed a unique telomere pattern consisting of 1 or 2 bright telomere spots among the normal telomere signals within each individual cancer cell, a phenotype that has not been previously described. Additional studies are needed to further evaluate the significance of the unique bright telomere spot phenotype and the potential utility of telomere length as a prognostic marker in ILC.

  3. Tetrafluoroethylene telomerization initiated by benzoyl peroxide (United States)

    Bolshakov, A. I.; Kuzina, S. I.; Kiryukhin, D. P.


    The radical telomerization of tetrafluoroethylene initiated by benzoyl peroxide (BP) photolysis at λ ≥ 365 nm is studied in acetone, dichloromethane, carbon tetrachloride, and Freon 114B2 at 25°C. The products of synthesis are a mixture of telomers of different molar masses, segregated into soluble and insoluble fractions. To characterize the radicals initiating telomerization, crystalline BP and its solution in ethanol are subjected to low-temperature (77 K) photolysis, with the liquid system serving as a model for BP behavior in solutions of telogens. It is established that radicals are not only initiators but also participate in chain termination reactions, lowering the telomers' molar mass and thus raising the proportion of the soluble fraction. Telomerization initiated by an initiator compound versus initiation by gamma radiation are compared and discussed.

  4. Telomerase and telomere length in pulmonary fibrosis. (United States)

    Liu, Tianju; Ullenbruch, Matthew; Young Choi, Yoon; Yu, Hongfeng; Ding, Lin; Xaubet, Antoni; Pereda, Javier; Feghali-Bostwick, Carol A; Bitterman, Peter B; Henke, Craig A; Pardo, Annie; Selman, Moises; Phan, Sem H


    In addition to its expression in stem cells and many cancers, telomerase activity is transiently induced in murine bleomycin (BLM)-induced pulmonary fibrosis with increased levels of telomerase transcriptase (TERT) expression, which is essential for fibrosis. To extend these observations to human chronic fibrotic lung disease, we investigated the expression of telomerase activity in lung fibroblasts from patients with interstitial lung diseases (ILDs), including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The results showed that telomerase activity was induced in more than 66% of IPF lung fibroblast samples, in comparison with less than 29% from control samples, some of which were obtained from lung cancer resections. Less than 4% of the human IPF lung fibroblast samples exhibited shortened telomeres, whereas less than 6% of peripheral blood leukocyte samples from patients with IPF or hypersensitivity pneumonitis demonstrated shortened telomeres. Moreover, shortened telomeres in late-generation telomerase RNA component knockout mice did not exert a significant effect on BLM-induced pulmonary fibrosis. In contrast, TERT knockout mice exhibited deficient fibrosis that was independent of telomere length. Finally, TERT expression was up-regulated by a histone deacetylase inhibitor, while the induction of TERT in lung fibroblasts was associated with the binding of acetylated histone H3K9 to the TERT promoter region. These findings indicate that significant telomerase induction was evident in fibroblasts from fibrotic murine lungs and a majority of IPF lung samples, whereas telomere shortening was not a common finding in the human blood and lung fibroblast samples. Notably, the animal studies indicated that the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis was independent of telomere length.

  5. The Drosophila HOAP protein is required for telomere capping. (United States)

    Cenci, Giovanni; Siriaco, Giorgia; Raffa, Grazia D; Kellum, Rebecca; Gatti, Maurizio


    HOAP (HP1/ORC-associated protein) has recently been isolated from Drosophila melanogaster embryos as part of a cytoplasmic complex that contains heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) and the origin recognition complex subunit 2 (ORC2). Here, we show that caravaggio, a mutation in the HOAP-encoding gene, causes extensive telomere-telomere fusions in larval brain cells, indicating that HOAP is required for telomere capping. Our analyses indicate that HOAP is specifically enriched at mitotic chromosome telomeres, and strongly suggest that HP1 and HOAP form a telomere-capping complex that does not contain ORC2.

  6. Actions of human telomerase beyond telomeres

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yusheng Cong; Jerry W Shay


    Telomerase has fundamental roles in bypassing cellular aging and in cancer progression by maintaining telomere homeostasis and integrity. However, recent studies have led some investigators to suggest novel biochemical properties of telomerase in several essential cell signaling pathways without apparent involvement of its well established function in telomere maintenance. These observations may further enhance our understanding of the molecular actions of telomerase in aging and cancer. This review will provide an update on the extracurricular activities of telomerase in apoptosis, DNA repair, stem cell function, and in the regulation of gene expression.

  7. An antiapoptotic role for telomerase RNA in human immune cells independent of telomere integrity or telomerase enzymatic activity. (United States)

    Gazzaniga, Francesca S; Blackburn, Elizabeth H


    Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein complex that adds telomeric DNA to the ends of linear chromosomes. It contains two core canonical components: the essential RNA component, hTR, which provides the template for DNA synthesis, and the reverse transcriptase protein component, hTERT. Low telomerase activity in circulating peripheral blood mononuclear cells has been associated with a variety of diseases. It is unknown, however, whether telomerase, in addition to its long-term requirement for telomere maintenance, is also necessary for short-term immune cell proliferation and survival. We report that overexpression of enzymatically inactive hTR mutants protected against dexamethasone-induced apoptosis in stimulated CD4 T cells. Furthermore, hTR knockdown reproducibly induced apoptosis in the absence of any detectable telomere shortening or DNA damage response. In contrast, hTERT knockdown did not induce apoptosis. Strikingly, overexpression of hTERT protein caused apoptosis that was rescued by overexpression of enzymatically inactive hTR mutants. Hence, we propose that hTR can function as a noncoding RNA that protects from apoptosis independent of its function in telomerase enzymatic activity and long-term telomere maintenance in normal human immune cells. These results imply that genetic or environmental factors that alter hTR levels can directly affect immune cell function to influence health and disease.

  8. Determination of Arabidopsis thaliana telomere length by PCR. (United States)

    Vaquero-Sedas, María I; Vega-Palas, Miguel A


    In humans, telomere length studies have acquired great relevance because the length of telomeres has been related to natural processes like disease, aging and cancer. However, very little is known about the influence of telomere length on the biology of wild type plants. The length of plant telomeres has been usually studied by Terminal Restriction Fragment (TRF) analyses. This technique requires high amounts of tissue, including multiple cell types, which might be the reason why very little is known about the influence of telomere length on plant natural processes. In contrast, many of the human telomere length studies have focused on homogenous cell populations. Most of these studies have been performed by PCR, using telomeric degenerated primers, which allow the determination of telomere length from small amounts of human cells. Here, we have adapted the human PCR procedure to analyze the length of Arabidopsis thaliana telomeres. This PCR approach will facilitate the analysis of telomere length from low amounts of tissue. We have used it to determine that CG and non CG DNA methylation positively regulates Arabidopsis telomere length.

  9. The role of telomere dynamics in aging and cancer (United States)

    Blagoev, Krastan; Goodwin, Edwin


    Telomere length changes are far more dynamic than previously thought. In addition to a gradual loss of ˜100 base pairs per telomere in each cell division, losses as well as gains may occur within a single cell cycle. We are investigating how telomere exchange, extension, and deletion affect the proliferative potential of telomerase-negative somatic cells. Experimental techniques are being devised to detect dynamic telomere processes and quantify both the frequency and length changes of each. In parallel, a ``dynamic telomere model'' is being used that incorporates telomere dynamics to study how the telomere size distribution evolves with time. This is an essential step towards understanding the role that telomere dynamics play in the normal aging of tissues and organisms. The model casts light on relationships not otherwise easily explained by a deterministic ``mitotic clock,'' or to what extent the shortest initial telomere determines the onset of senescence. We also expect to identify biomarkers that will correlate with aging better than average telomere length and to shed light on the transition to unlimited growth found in telomerase-negative tumor cells having the ALT (alternative lengthening of telomeres) phenotype, and to evaluate strategies to suppress the growth of these tumors.

  10. Assessing Telomere Length Using Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (United States)

    Zong, Shenfei; Wang, Zhuyuan; Chen, Hui; Cui, Yiping


    Telomere length can provide valuable insight into telomeres and telomerase related diseases, including cancer. Here, we present a brand-new optical telomere length measurement protocol using surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). In this protocol, two single strand DNA are used as SERS probes. They are labeled with two different Raman molecules and can specifically hybridize with telomeres and centromere, respectively. First, genome DNA is extracted from cells. Then the telomere and centromere SERS probes are added into the genome DNA. After hybridization with genome DNA, excess SERS probes are removed by magnetic capturing nanoparticles. Finally, the genome DNA with SERS probes attached is dropped onto a SERS substrate and subjected to SERS measurement. Longer telomeres result in more attached telomere probes, thus a stronger SERS signal. Consequently, SERS signal can be used as an indicator of telomere length. Centromere is used as the inner control. By calibrating the SERS intensity of telomere probe with that of the centromere probe, SERS based telomere measurement is realized. This protocol does not require polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or electrophoresis procedures, which greatly simplifies the detection process. We anticipate that this easy-operation and cost-effective protocol is a fine alternative for the assessment of telomere length.

  11. Changes of telomere status with aging: An update. (United States)

    Ishikawa, Naoshi; Nakamura, Ken-Ichi; Izumiyama-Shimomura, Naotaka; Aida, Junko; Matsuda, Yoko; Arai, Tomio; Takubo, Kaiyo


    Accumulated data have shown that most human somatic cells or tissues show irreversible telomere shortening with age, and that there are strong associations between telomere attrition and aging-related diseases, including cancers, diabetes and cognitive disorders. Although it has been largely accepted that telomere attrition is one of the major causes of aging-related disorders, critical aspects of telomere biology remain unresolved, especially the lack of standardized methodology for quantification of telomere length. Another frustrating issue is that no potentially promising methods for safe prevention of telomere erosion, or for telomere elongation, have been devised. Here, we review several methods for quantification of telomere length currently utilized worldwide, considering their advantages and drawbacks. We also summarize the results of our recent studies of human cells and tissues, mainly using quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization and Southern blotting, including those derived from patients with progeria-prone Werner syndrome and trisomy 21, and several strains of induced pluripotent stem cells. We discuss the possible merits of using telomere shortness as an indicator, or a new marker, for diagnosis of precancerous states and aging-related disorders. In addition, we describe newly found factors that are thought to impact telomere dynamics, providing a new avenue for examining the unsolved issues related to telomere restoration and maintenance.

  12. Heritability of telomere length in a study of long-lived families

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Honig, Lawrence S; Kang, Min Suk; Cheng, Rong


    individuals. We show that LTL is shorter in older individuals, and in males, and has a high heritability (overall h(2) = 0.54). In the offspring generation, who are in middle-life, we find an ordinal relationship: persons more-closely-related to elderly probands have longer LTL than persons less......Chromosomal telomere length shortens with repeated cell divisions. Human leukocyte DNA telomere length (LTL) has been shown to shorten during aging. LTL shortening has correlated with decreased longevity, dementia, and other age-associated processes. Because LTL varies widely between individuals......-closely-related, who nonetheless have longer LTL than unrelated spouses of the offspring generation. These results support a prominent genetic underpinning of LTL. Elucidation of such genetic bases may provide avenues for intervening in the aging process....

  13. Telomere attrition in beta and alpha cells with age. (United States)

    Tamura, Yoshiaki; Izumiyama-Shimomura, Naotaka; Kimbara, Yoshiyuki; Nakamura, Ken-Ichi; Ishikawa, Naoshi; Aida, Junko; Chiba, Yuko; Matsuda, Yoko; Mori, Seijiro; Arai, Tomio; Fujiwara, Mutsunori; Poon, Steven S S; Ishizaki, Tatsuro; Araki, Atsushi; Takubo, Kaiyo; Ito, Hideki


    We have reported telomere attrition in β and α cells of the pancreas in elderly patients with type 2 diabetes, but it has not been explored how the telomere lengths of these islet cells change according to age in normal subjects. To examine the telomere lengths of β and α cells in individuals without diabetes across a wide range of ages, we conducted measurement of the telomere lengths of human pancreatic β and α cells obtained from 104 autopsied subjects without diabetes ranging in age from 0 to 100 years. As an index of telomere lengths, the normalized telomere-centromere ratio (NTCR) was determined for β (NTCRβ) and α (NTCRα) cells by quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization (Q-FISH). We found NTCRβ and NTCRα showed almost the same levels and both decreased according to age (p telomeres of β and α cells become shortened with normal aging process.

  14. Addition of Bases to the 5'-end of Human Telomeric DNA: Influences on Thermal Stability and Energetics of Unfolding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine L. Hayden


    Full Text Available Telomeric DNA has been intensely investigated for its role in chromosome protection, aging, cell death, and disease. In humans the telomeric tandem repeat (TTAGGGn is found at the ends of chromosomes and provides a novel target for the development of new drugs in the treatment of age related diseases such as cancer. These telomeric sequences show slight sequence variations from species to species; however, each contains repeats of 3 to 4 guanines allowing the G-rich strands to fold into compact and stable nuclease resistant conformations referred to as G-quadruplexes. The focus of this manuscript is to examine the effects of 5'-nucleotides flanking the human telomeric core sequence 5'-AGGG(TTAGGG 3-3' (h-Tel22. Our studies reveal that the addition of the 5'-flanking nucleotides (5'-T, and 5'-TT results in significant changes to the thermodynamic stability of the G-quadruplex structure. Our data indicate that the observed changes in stability are associated with changes in the number of bound waters resulting from the addition of 5'-flanking nucleotides to the h-Tel22 sequence as well as possible intermolecular interactions of the 5' overhang with the core structure.

  15. Genetic variants in telomere-maintenance genes and bladder cancer risk

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chengyuan Gu; Yao Zhu; Dingwei Ye


    Telomere maintenance genes play an important role in maintaining the integrity of the telomere structure that protects chromosome ends, and telomere dysfunction may lead to tumorigenesis. Genetic variation in telomere maintenance genes has been confirmed. Cumulative evidence shows that the dif erence of telomere length and stability among the indi-vidual depends on the genetic variants of telomere maintenance genes. Genetic variants in telomere maintenance genes may af ect telomere length and stability, thus the increased cancer risk. This review intends to summarize the association of genetic variants in telomere maintenance genes with bladder cancer risk.

  16. Spontaneous telomere to telomere fusions occur in unperturbed fission yeast cells


    Almeida, H.; Godinho Ferreira, M.


    Telomeres protect eukaryotic chromosomes from illegitimate end-to-end fusions. When this function fails, dicentric chromosomes are formed, triggering breakage-fusion-bridge cycles and genome instability. How efficient is this protection mechanism in normal cells is not fully understood. We created a positive selection assay aimed at capturing chromosome-end fusions in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. We placed telomere sequences with a head to head arrangement in an intron of a selectable marker co...

  17. Paternal age and telomere length in twins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hjelmborg, Jacob B; Dalgård, Christine; Mangino, Massimo


    . Based on two independent (discovery and replication) twin studies, comprising 889 twin pairs, we show an increase in the resemblance of leukocyte telomere length between dizygotic twins of older fathers, which is not seen in monozygotic twins. This phenomenon might result from a paternal age...

  18. Stressful life events and leucocyte telomere length

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Osler, Merete; Bendix, Laila; Rask, Lene;


    Exposure to psychosocial stress is associated with increased risk of a number of somatic and mental disorders with relation to immune system functioning. We aimed to explore whether stressful events in early and recent life was associated with leucocyte telomere length (TL), which is assumed...

  19. A loopy view of telomere evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Titia eDe Lange


    Full Text Available About a decade ago, I proposed that t-loops, the lariat structures adopted by many eukaryotic telomeres, could explain how the transition from circular to linear chromosomes was successfully negotiated by early eukaryotes. Here I reconsider this loopy hypothesis in the context of the idea that eukaryotes evolved through a period of genome invasion by Group II introns.


    Arsenic effects on telomere and telomerase activity. T-C. Zhang, M. T. Schmitt, J. Mo, J. L. Mumford, National Research Council and U.S Environmental Protection Agency, NHEERL, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711Arsenic is a known carcinogen and also an anticancer agent for acut...

  1. Southeast Economic Add-on 2004 (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To collect data on an angler's last trip for revealed preference models and economic valuation purposes. Typically done as an add-on to the MRIP intercept survey...

  2. Southeast Economic Add-on 2000 (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To collect data on an angler's last trip for revealed preference models and economic valuation purposes. Typically done as an add-on to the MRIP intercept survey...

  3. Southeast Economic Add-on 1997 (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To collect data on an angler's last trip for revealed preference models and economic valuation purposes. Typically done as an add-on to the MRIP intercept survey...

  4. Southeast Economic Add-on 2003 (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To collect data on an angler's last trip for revealed preference models and economic valuation purposes. Typically done as an add-on to the MRIP intercept survey and...

  5. Add Audio and Video to Your Site

    CERN Document Server

    MacDonald, Matthew


    Nothing spices up websites like cool sound effects (think ker-thunk as visitors press a button) or embedded videos. Think you need a programmer to add sizzle to your site? Think again. This hands-on guide gives you the techniques you need to add video, music, animated GIFs, and sound effects to your site. This Mini Missing Manual is excerpted from Creating a Web Site: The Missing Manual.

  6. Functional characterization of the TERRA transcriptome at damaged telomeres. (United States)

    Porro, Antonio; Feuerhahn, Sascha; Delafontaine, Julien; Riethman, Harold; Rougemont, Jacques; Lingner, Joachim


    Telomere deprotection occurs during tumorigenesis and aging upon telomere shortening or loss of the telomeric shelterin component TRF2. Deprotected telomeres undergo changes in chromatin structure and elicit a DNA damage response (DDR) that leads to cellular senescence. The telomeric long noncoding RNA TERRA has been implicated in modulating the structure and processing of deprotected telomeres. Here, we characterize the human TERRA transcriptome at normal and TRF2-depleted telomeres and demonstrate that TERRA upregulation is occurring upon depletion of TRF2 at all transcribed telomeres. TRF2 represses TERRA transcription through its homodimerization domain, which was previously shown to induce chromatin compaction and to prevent the early steps of DDR activation. We show that TERRA associates with SUV39H1 H3K9 histone methyltransferase, which promotes accumulation of H3K9me3 at damaged telomeres and end-to-end fusions. Altogether our data elucidate the TERRA landscape and defines critical roles for this RNA in the telomeric DNA damage response.

  7. Telomere maintenance and the etiology of adult glioma. (United States)

    Walsh, Kyle M; Wiencke, John K; Lachance, Daniel H; Wiemels, Joseph L; Molinaro, Annette M; Eckel-Passow, Jeanette E; Jenkins, Robert B; Wrensch, Margaret R


    A growing body of epidemiologic and tumor genomic research has identified an important role for telomere maintenance in glioma susceptibility, initiation, and prognosis. Telomere length has long been investigated in relation to cancer, but whether longer or shorter telomere length might be associated with glioma risk has remained elusive. Recent data address this question and are reviewed here. Common inherited variants near the telomerase-component genes TERC and TERT are associated both with longer telomere length and increased risk of glioma. Exome sequencing of glioma patients from families with multiple affected members has identified rare inherited mutations in POT1 (protection of telomeres protein 1) as high-penetrance glioma risk factors. These heritable POT1 mutations are also associated with increased telomere length in leukocytes. Tumor sequencing studies further indicate that acquired somatic mutations of TERT and ATRX are among the most frequent alterations found in adult gliomas. These mutations facilitate telomere lengthening, thus bypassing a critical mechanism of apoptosis. Although future research is needed, mounting evidence suggests that glioma is, at least in part, a disease of telomere dysregulation. Specifically, several inherited and acquired variants underlying gliomagenesis affect telomere pathways and are also associated with increased telomere length.

  8. Telomere homeostasis in mammalian germ cells: a review. (United States)

    Reig-Viader, Rita; Garcia-Caldés, Montserrat; Ruiz-Herrera, Aurora


    Telomeres protect against genome instability and participate in chromosomal movements during gametogenesis, especially in meiosis. Thus, maintaining telomere structure and telomeric length is essential to both cell integrity and the production of germ cells. As a result, alteration of telomere homeostasis in the germ line may result in the generation of aneuploid gametes or gametogenesis disruption, triggering fertility problems. In this work, we provide an overview on fundamental aspects of the literature regarding the organization of telomeres in mammalian germ cells, paying special attention to telomere structure and function, as well as the maintenance of telomeric length during gametogenesis. Moreover, we discuss the different roles recently described for telomerase and TERRA in maintaining telomere functionality. Finally, we review how new findings in the field of reproductive biology underscore the role of telomere homeostasis as a potential biomarker for infertility. Overall, we anticipate that the study of telomere stability and equilibrium will contribute to improve diagnoses of patients; assess the risk of infertility in the offspring; and in turn, find new treatments.

  9. Telomeres, age and reproduction in a long-lived reptile.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginie Plot

    Full Text Available A major interest has recently emerged in understanding how telomere shortening, mechanism triggering cell senescence, is linked to organism ageing and life history traits in wild species. However, the links between telomere length and key history traits such as reproductive performances have received little attention and remain unclear to date. The leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea is a long-lived species showing rapid growth at early stages of life, one of the highest reproductive outputs observed in vertebrates and a dichotomised reproductive pattern related to migrations lasting 2 or 3 years, supposedly associated with different environmental conditions. Here we tested the prediction of blood telomere shortening with age in this species and investigated the relationship between blood telomere length and reproductive performances in leatherback turtles nesting in French Guiana. We found that blood telomere length did not differ between hatchlings and adults. The absence of blood telomere shortening with age may be related to an early high telomerase activity. This telomere-restoring enzyme was formerly suggested to be involved in preventing early telomere attrition in early fast-growing and long-lived species, including squamate reptiles. We found that within one nesting cycle, adult females having performed shorter migrations prior to the considered nesting season had shorter blood telomeres and lower reproductive output. We propose that shorter blood telomeres may result from higher oxidative stress in individuals breeding more frequently (i.e., higher costs of reproduction and/or restoring more quickly their body reserves in cooler feeding areas during preceding migration (i.e., higher foraging costs. This first study on telomeres in the giant leatherback turtle suggests that blood telomere length predicts not only survival chances, but also reproductive performances. Telomeres may therefore be a promising new tool to evaluate

  10. Short telomeres in hatchling snakes: erythrocyte telomere dynamics and longevity in tropical pythons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beata Ujvari

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Telomere length (TL has been found to be associated with life span in birds and humans. However, other studies have demonstrated that TL does not affect survival among old humans. Furthermore, replicative senescence has been shown to be induced by changes in the protected status of the telomeres rather than the loss of TL. In the present study we explore whether age- and sex-specific telomere dynamics affect life span in a long-lived snake, the water python (Liasis fuscus. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Erythrocyte TL was measured using the Telo TAGGG TL Assay Kit (Roche. In contrast to other vertebrates, TL of hatchling pythons was significantly shorter than that of older snakes. However, during their first year of life hatchling TL increased substantially. While TL of older snakes decreased with age, we did not observe any correlation between TL and age in cross-sectional sampling. In older snakes, female TL was longer than that of males. When using recapture as a proxy for survival, our results do not support that longer telomeres resulted in an increased water python survival/longevity. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In fish high telomerase activity has been observed in somatic cells exhibiting high proliferation rates. Hatchling pythons show similar high somatic cell proliferation rates. Thus, the increase in TL of this group may have been caused by increased telomerase activity. In older humans female TL is longer than that of males. This has been suggested to be caused by high estrogen levels that stimulate increased telomerase activity. Thus, high estrogen levels may also have caused the longer telomeres in female pythons. The lack of correlation between TL and age among old snakes and the fact that longer telomeres did not appear to affect python survival do not support that erythrocyte telomere dynamics has a major impact on water python longevity.

  11. A POT1 mutation implicates defective telomere end fill-in and telomere truncations in Coats plus. (United States)

    Takai, Hiroyuki; Jenkinson, Emma; Kabir, Shaheen; Babul-Hirji, Riyana; Najm-Tehrani, Nasrin; Chitayat, David A; Crow, Yanick J; de Lange, Titia


    Coats plus (CP) can be caused by mutations in the CTC1 component of CST, which promotes polymerase α (polα)/primase-dependent fill-in throughout the genome and at telomeres. The cellular pathology relating to CP has not been established. We identified a homozygous POT1 S322L substitution (POT1(CP)) in two siblings with CP. POT1(CP)induced a proliferative arrest that could be bypassed by telomerase. POT1(CP)was expressed at normal levels, bound TPP1 and telomeres, and blocked ATR signaling. POT1(CP)was defective in regulating telomerase, leading to telomere elongation rather than the telomere shortening observed in other telomeropathies. POT1(CP)was also defective in the maintenance of the telomeric C strand, causing extended 3' overhangs and stochastic telomere truncations that could be healed by telomerase. Consistent with shortening of the telomeric C strand, metaphase chromosomes showed loss of telomeres synthesized by leading strand DNA synthesis. We propose that CP is caused by a defect in POT1/CST-dependent telomere fill-in. We further propose that deficiency in the fill-in step generates truncated telomeres that halt proliferation in cells lacking telomerase, whereas, in tissues expressing telomerase (e.g., bone marrow), the truncations are healed. The proposed etiology can explain why CP presents with features distinct from those associated with telomerase defects (e.g., dyskeratosis congenita).

  12. The principal role of Ku in telomere length maintenance is promotion of Est1 association with telomeres. (United States)

    Williams, Jaime M; Ouenzar, Faissal; Lemon, Laramie D; Chartrand, Pascal; Bertuch, Alison A


    Telomere length is tightly regulated in cells that express telomerase. The Saccharomyces cerevisiae Ku heterodimer, a DNA end-binding complex, positively regulates telomere length in a telomerase-dependent manner. Ku associates with the telomerase RNA subunit TLC1, and this association is required for TLC1 nuclear retention. Ku-TLC1 interaction also impacts the cell-cycle-regulated association of the telomerase catalytic subunit Est2 to telomeres. The promotion of TLC1 nuclear localization and Est2 recruitment have been proposed to be the principal role of Ku in telomere length maintenance, but neither model has been directly tested. Here we study the impact of forced recruitment of Est2 to telomeres on telomere length in the absence of Ku's ability to bind TLC1 or DNA ends. We show that tethering Est2 to telomeres does not promote efficient telomere elongation in the absence of Ku-TLC1 interaction or DNA end binding. Moreover, restoration of TLC1 nuclear localization, even when combined with Est2 recruitment, does not bypass the role of Ku. In contrast, forced recruitment of Est1, which has roles in telomerase recruitment and activation, to telomeres promotes efficient and progressive telomere elongation in the absence of Ku-TLC1 interaction, Ku DNA end binding, or Ku altogether. Ku associates with Est1 and Est2 in a TLC1-dependent manner and enhances Est1 recruitment to telomeres independently of Est2. Together, our results unexpectedly demonstrate that the principal role of Ku in telomere length maintenance is to promote the association of Est1 with telomeres, which may in turn allow for efficient recruitment and activation of the telomerase holoenzyme.

  13. Within the genome, long telomeres are more informative than short telomeres with respect to fitness components in a long-lived seabird

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bauch, Christina; Becker, Peter H.; Verhulst, Simon


    Telomeres, DNA-protein structures at chromosome ends, shorten with age, and telomere length has been linked to age-related diseases and survival. In vitro studies revealed that the shortest telomeres trigger cell senescence, but whether the shortest telomeres are also the best biomarker of ageing is

  14. Insights into Cdc13 Dependent Telomere Length Regulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M Mason; E Skordalakes


    Cdc13 is a single stranded telomere binding protein that specifically localizes to the telomere ends of budding yeasts and is essential for cell viability. It caps the ends of chromosomes thus preventing chromosome end-to-end fusions and exonucleolytic degradation, events that could lead to genomic instability and senescence, the hallmark of aging. Cdc13 is also involved in telomere length regulation by recruiting or preventing access of telomerase to the telomeric overhang. Recruitment of telomerase to the telomeres for G-strand extension is required for continuous cell division, while preventing its access to the telomeres through capping the chromosome ends prevents mitotic events that could lead to cell immortality, the hall mark of carcinogenesis. Cdc13 and its putative homologues human CTC1 and POT1 are therefore key to many biological processes directly associated with life extension and cancer prevention and can be viewed as an ideal target for cancer and age related therapies.

  15. Complete telomere-to-telomere de novo assembly of the Plasmodium falciparum genome through long-read (>11 kb), single molecule, real-time sequencing. (United States)

    Vembar, Shruthi Sridhar; Seetin, Matthew; Lambert, Christine; Nattestad, Maria; Schatz, Michael C; Baybayan, Primo; Scherf, Artur; Smith, Melissa Laird


    The application of next-generation sequencing to estimate genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum, the most lethal malaria parasite, has proved challenging due to the skewed AT-richness [∼80.6% (A + T)] of its genome and the lack of technology to assemble highly polymorphic subtelomeric regions that contain clonally variant, multigene virulence families (Ex: var and rifin). To address this, we performed amplification-free, single molecule, real-time sequencing of P. falciparum genomic DNA and generated reads of average length 12 kb, with 50% of the reads between 15.5 and 50 kb in length. Next, using the Hierarchical Genome Assembly Process, we assembled the P. falciparum genome de novo and successfully compiled all 14 nuclear chromosomes telomere-to-telomere. We also accurately resolved centromeres [∼90-99% (A + T)] and subtelomeric regions and identified large insertions and duplications that add extra var and rifin genes to the genome, along with smaller structural variants such as homopolymer tract expansions. Overall, we show that amplification-free, long-read sequencing combined with de novo assembly overcomes major challenges inherent to studying the P. falciparum genome. Indeed, this technology may not only identify the polymorphic and repetitive subtelomeric sequences of parasite populations from endemic areas but may also evaluate structural variation linked to virulence, drug resistance and disease transmission.

  16. Effect of G-quadruplex polymorphism on the recognition of telomeric DNA by a metal complex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caterina Musetti

    Full Text Available The physiological role(s played by G-quadruplexes renders these 'non-canonical' DNA secondary structures interesting new targets for therapeutic intervention. In particular, the search for ligands for selective recognition and stabilization of G-quadruplex arrangements has led to a number of novel targeted agents. An interesting approach is represented by the use of metal-complexes, their binding to DNA being modulated by ligand and metal ion nature, and by complex stoichiometry. In this work we characterized thermodynamically and stereochemically the interactions of a Ni(II bis-phenanthroline derivative with telomeric G-quadruplex sequences using calorimetric, chiroptical and NMR techniques. We employed three strictly related sequences based on the human telomeric repeat, namely Tel22, Tel26 and wtTel26, which assume distinct conformations in potassium containing solutions. We were able to monitor specific enthalpy/entropy changes according to the structural features of the target telomeric sequence and to dissect the binding process into distinct events. Interestingly, temperature effects turned out to be prominent both in terms of binding stoichiometry and ΔH/ΔS contributions, while the final G-quadruplex-metal complex architecture tended to merge for the examined sequences. These results underline the critical choice of experimental conditions and DNA sequence for practical use of thermodynamic data in the rational development of effective G-quadruplex binders.

  17. A distinct type of heterochromatin at the telomeric region of the Drosophila melanogaster Y chromosome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sidney H Wang

    Full Text Available Heterochromatin assembly and its associated phenotype, position effect variegation (PEV, provide an informative system to study chromatin structure and genome packaging. In the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, the Y chromosome is entirely heterochromatic in all cell types except the male germline; as such, Y chromosome dosage is a potent modifier of PEV. However, neither Y heterochromatin composition, nor its assembly, has been carefully studied. Here, we report the mapping and characterization of eight reporter lines that show male-specific PEV. In all eight cases, the reporter insertion sites lie in the telomeric transposon array (HeT-A and TART-B2 homologous repeats of the Y chromosome short arm (Ys. Investigations of the impact on the PEV phenotype of mutations in known heterochromatin proteins (i.e., modifiers of PEV show that this Ys telomeric region is a unique heterochromatin domain: it displays sensitivity to mutations in HP1a, EGG and SU(VAR3-9, but no sensitivity to Su(z2 mutations. It appears that the endo-siRNA pathway plays a major targeting role for this domain. Interestingly, an ectopic copy of 1360 is sufficient to induce a piRNA targeting mechanism to further enhance silencing of a reporter cytologically localized to the Ys telomere. These results demonstrate the diversity of heterochromatin domains, and the corresponding variation in potential targeting mechanisms.

  18. Molecular and cytogenetic analysis of the telomeric (TTAGGG)n repetitive sequences in the Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus (Teleostei: Cichlidae). (United States)

    Chew, Joyce S K; Oliveira, Claudio; Wright, Jonathan M; Dobson, Melanie J


    The majority of chromosomes in Oreochromis niloticus, as with most fish karyotyped to date, cannot be individually identified owing to their small size. As a first step in establishing a physical map for this important aquaculture species of tilapia we have analyzed the location of the vertebrate telomeric repeat sequence, (TTAGGG)n, in O. niloticus. Southern blot hybridization analysis and a Bal31 sensitivity assay confirm that the vertebrate telomeric repeat is indeed present at O. niloticus chromosomal ends with repeat tracts extending for 4-10 kb on chromosomal ends in erythrocytes. Fluorescent in situ hybridization revealed that (TTAGGG)n is found not only at telomeres, but also at two interstitial loci on chromosome 1. These data support the hypothesis that chromosome 1, which is significantly larger than all the other chromosomes in the karyotype, was produced by the fusion of three chromosomes and explain the overall reduction of chromosomal number from the ancestral teleost karyotype of 2n=48 to 2n=44 observed in tilapia.

  19. Telomere loss: mitotic clock or genetic time bomb? (United States)

    Harley, C B


    The Holy Grail of gerontologists investigating cellular senescence is the mechanism responsible for the finite proliferative capacity of somatic cells. In 1973, Olovnikov proposed that cells lose a small amount of DNA following each round of replication due to the inability of DNA polymerase to fully replicate chromosome ends (telomeres) and that eventually a critical deletion causes cell death. Recent observations showing that telomeres of human somatic cells act as a mitotic clock, shortening with age both in vitro and in vivo in a replication dependent manner, support this theory's premise. In addition, since telomeres stabilize chromosome ends against recombination, their loss could explain the increased frequency of dicentric chromosomes observed in late passage (senescent) fibroblasts and provide a checkpoint for regulated cell cycle exit. Sperm telomeres are longer than somatic telomeres and are maintained with age, suggesting that germ line cells may express telomerase, the ribonucleoprotein enzyme known to maintain telomere length in immortal unicellular eukaryotes. As predicted, telomerase activity has been found in immortal, transformed human cells and tumour cell lines, but not in normal somatic cells. Telomerase activation may be a late, obligate event in immortalization since many transformed cells and tumour tissues have critically short telomeres. Thus, telomere length and telomerase activity appear to be markers of the replicative history and proliferative potential of cells; the intriguing possibility remains that telomere loss is a genetic time bomb and hence causally involved in cell senescence and immortalization.

  20. Role of the ESCRT Complexes in Telomere Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna K. Dieckmann


    Full Text Available Eukaryotic chromosomal ends are protected by telomeres from fusion, degradation, and unwanted double-strand break repair events. Therefore, telomeres preserve genome stability and integrity. Telomere length can be maintained by telomerase, which is expressed in most human primary tumors but is not expressed in the majority of somatic cells. Thus, telomerase may be a highly relevant anticancer drug target. Genome-wide studies in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae identified a set of genes associated with telomere length maintenance (TLM genes. Among the tlm mutants with short telomeres, we found a strong enrichment for those affecting vacuolar and endosomal traffic (particularly the endosomal sorting complex required for transport [ESCRT] pathway. Here, we present our results from investigating the surprising link between telomere shortening and the ESCRT machinery. Our data show that the whole ESCRT system is required to safeguard proper telomere length maintenance. We propose a model of impaired end resection resulting in too little telomeric overhang, such that Cdc13 binding is prevented, precluding either telomerase recruitment or telomeric overhang protection.

  1. Air Pollution Stress and the Aging Phenotype: The Telomere Connection. (United States)

    Martens, Dries S; Nawrot, Tim S


    Aging is a complex physiological phenomenon. The question why some subjects grow old while remaining free from disease whereas others prematurely die remains largely unanswered. We focus here on the role of air pollution in biological aging. Hallmarks of aging can be grouped into three main categories: genomic instability, telomere attrition, and epigenetic alterations leading to altered mitochondrial function and cellular senescence. At birth, the initial telomere length of a person is largely determined by environmental factors. Telomere length shortens with each cell division and exposure to air pollution as well as low residential greens space exposure is associated with shorter telomere length. Recent studies show that the estimated effects of particulate air pollution exposure on the telomere mitochondrial axis of aging may play an important role in chronic health effects of air pollution. The exposome encompasses all exposures over an entire life. As telomeres can be considered as the cellular memories of exposure to oxidative stress and inflammation, telomere maintenance may be a proxy for assessing the "exposome". If telomeres are causally related to the aging phenotype and environmental air pollution is an important determinant of telomere length, this might provide new avenues for future preventive strategies.

  2. Telomere status in chronic lymphocytic leukemia with TP53 disruption. (United States)

    Guièze, Romain; Pages, Mélanie; Véronèse, Lauren; Combes, Patricia; Lemal, Richard; Gay-Bellile, Mathilde; Chauvet, Martine; Callanan, Mary; Kwiatkowski, Fabrice; Pereira, Bruno; Vago, Philippe; Bay, Jacques-Olivier; Tournilhac, Olivier; Tchirkov, Andreï


    In chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), telomere dysfunction is associated with poor outcomes. TP53 is involved in cellular responses to dysfunctional telomeres, and its inactivation is the strongest adverse prognostic factor for CLL. Given the biological relationship between TP53 and telomeres, and their prognostic value, it is important to improve our understanding of the impact of TP53 alterations on telomeres. We performed a comprehensive study of the deletions and mutations of the TP53 gene and telomere parameters, including hTERT and the shelterin complex, in 115 CLL patients. We found that any type of TP53 alteration was associated with very short telomeres and high hTERT expression, independently of other biological CLL features. Patients with disrupted TP53 showed telomere deletions and chromosomal end-to-end fusions in cells with complex karyotypes. TP53 disruption was characterized by downregulation of shelterin genes. Interestingly, low expression of POT1, TPP1 and TIN2 was also found in some patients with wild-type TP53 and had an adverse impact on progression-free survival after standard genotoxic therapy. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that patients with disrupted TP53 have severe telomere dysfunction and high genomic instability. Thus, the telomeric profile could be tested as a biomarker in CLL patients treated with new therapeutic agents.

  3. Telomere and telomerase stability in human diseases and cancer. (United States)

    Chiodi, Ilaria; Mondello, Chiara


    Telomeres are the nucleoprotein structures at the end of linear eukaryotic chromosomes required for genome stability. Telomerase is the specialized enzyme deputed to their elongation. Maintenance of a proper telomere structure, an accurate regulation of telomerase biogenesis and activity, as well as a correct telomere-telomerase interaction and a faithful telomeric DNA replication are all processes that a cell has to precisely control to safeguard its functionality. Here, we review key factors that play a role in the development of these processes and their relationship with human health.

  4. Uncoupling of Longevity and Telomere Length in C. elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)


    Full Text Available The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, after completing its developmental stages and a brief reproductive period, spends the remainder of its adult life as an organism consisting exclusively of post-mitotic cells. Here we show that telomere length varies considerably in clonal populations of wild-type worms, and that these length differences are conserved over at least ten generations, suggesting a length regulation mechanism in cis. This observation is strengthened by the finding that the bulk telomere length in different worm strains varies considerably. Despite the close correlation of telomere length and clonal cellular senescence in mammalian cells, nematodes with long telomeres were neither long lived, nor did worm populations with comparably short telomeres exhibit a shorter life span. Conversely, long-lived daf-2 and short-lived daf-16 mutant animals can have either long or short telomeres. Telomere length of post-mitotic cells did not change during the aging process, and the response of animals to stress was found independent of telomere length. Collectively, our data indicate that telomere length and life span can be uncoupled in a post-mitotic setting, suggesting separate pathways for replication-dependent and -independent aging.

  5. The meiosis-specific modification of mammalian telomeres. (United States)

    Shibuya, Hiroki; Watanabe, Yoshinori


    During meiosis, rapid chromosome movements within the nucleus enable homologous chromosomes to acquire physical juxtaposition. In most organisms, chromosome ends, telomeres, tethered to the transmembrane LINC-complex mediate this movement by transmitting cytoskeletal forces to the chromosomes. While the majority of molecular studies have been performed using lower eukaryotes as model systems, recent studies have identified mammalian meiotic telomere regulators, including the LINC-complex SUN1/KASH5 and the meiosis-specific telomere binding protein TERB1. This review highlights the molecular regulations of mammalian meiotic telomeres in comparison with other model systems and discusses some future perspectives.

  6. Circular permutation of a synthetic eukaryotic chromosome with the telomerator (United States)

    Mitchell, Leslie A.; Boeke, Jef D.


    Chromosome engineering is a major focus in the fields of systems biology, genetics, synthetic biology, and the functional analysis of genomes. Here, we describe the “telomerator,” a new synthetic biology device for use in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The telomerator is designed to inducibly convert circular DNA molecules into mitotically stable, linear chromosomes replete with functional telomeres in vivo. The telomerator cassette encodes convergent yeast telomere seed sequences flanking the I-SceI homing endonuclease recognition site in the center of an intron artificially transplanted into the URA3 selectable/counterselectable auxotrophic marker. We show that inducible expression of the homing endonuclease efficiently generates linear molecules, identified by using a simple plate-based screening method. To showcase its functionality and utility, we use the telomerator to circularly permute a synthetic yeast chromosome originally constructed as a circular molecule, synIXR, to generate 51 linear variants. Many of the derived linear chromosomes confer unexpected phenotypic properties. This finding indicates that the telomerator offers a new way to study the effects of gene placement on chromosomes (i.e., telomere proximity). However, that the majority of synIXR linear derivatives support viability highlights inherent tolerance of S. cerevisiae to changes in gene order and overall chromosome structure. The telomerator serves as an important tool to construct artificial linear chromosomes in yeast; the concept can be extended to other eukaryotes. PMID:25378705

  7. SMARCAL1 maintains telomere integrity during DNA replication. (United States)

    Poole, Lisa A; Zhao, Runxiang; Glick, Gloria G; Lovejoy, Courtney A; Eischen, Christine M; Cortez, David


    The SMARCAL1 (SWI/SNF related, matrix-associated, actin-dependent, regulator of chromatin, subfamily A-like 1) DNA translocase is one of several related enzymes, including ZRANB3 (zinc finger, RAN-binding domain containing 3) and HLTF (helicase-like transcription factor), that are recruited to stalled replication forks to promote repair and restart replication. These enzymes can perform similar biochemical reactions such as fork reversal; however, genetic studies indicate they must have unique cellular activities. Here, we present data showing that SMARCAL1 has an important function at telomeres, which present an endogenous source of replication stress. SMARCAL1-deficient cells accumulate telomere-associated DNA damage and have greatly elevated levels of extrachromosomal telomere DNA (C-circles). Although these telomere phenotypes are often found in tumor cells using the alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) pathway for telomere elongation, SMARCAL1 deficiency does not yield other ALT phenotypes such as elevated telomere recombination. The activity of SMARCAL1 at telomeres can be separated from its genome-maintenance activity in bulk chromosomal replication because it does not require interaction with replication protein A. Finally, this telomere-maintenance function is not shared by ZRANB3 or HLTF. Our results provide the first identification, to our knowledge, of an endogenous source of replication stress that requires SMARCAL1 for resolution and define differences between members of this class of replication fork-repair enzymes.

  8. Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Telomere and TRF1 (United States)

    Kaburagi, Masaaki; Fukuda, Masaki; Yamada, Hironao; Miyakawa, Takeshi; Morikawa, Ryota; Takasu, Masako; Kato, Takamitsu A.; Uesaka, Mitsuru

    Telomeres play a central role in determining longevity of a cell. Our study focuses on the interaction between telomeric guanines and TRF1 as a means to observe the telomeric based mechanism of the genome protection. In this research, we performed molecular dynamics simulations of a telomeric DNA and TRF1. Our results show a stable structure with a high affinity for the specific protein. Additionally, we calculated the distance between guanines and the protein in their complex state. From this comparison, we found the calculated values of distance to be very similar, and the angle of guanines in their complex states was larger than that in their single state.

  9. Telomere Q-PNA-FISH--reliable results from stochastic signals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Cukusic Kalajzic

    Full Text Available Structural and functional analysis of telomeres is very important for understanding basic biological functions such as genome stability, cell growth control, senescence and aging. Recently, serious concerns have been raised regarding the reliability of current telomere measurement methods such as Southern blot and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Since telomere length is associated with age related pathologies, including cardiovascular disease and cancer, both at the individual and population level, accurate interpretation of measured results is a necessity. The telomere Q-PNA-FISH technique has been widely used in these studies as well as in commercial analysis for the general population. A hallmark of telomere Q-PNA-FISH is the wide variation among telomere signals which has a major impact on obtained results. In the present study we introduce a specific mathematical and statistical analysis of sister telomere signals during cell culture senescence which enabled us to identify high regularity in their variations. This phenomenon explains the reproducibility of results observed in numerous telomere studies when the Q-PNA-FISH technique is used. In addition, we discuss the molecular mechanisms which probably underlie the observed telomere behavior.

  10. Cancer and aging: The importance of telomeres in genome maintenance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rodier, Francis; Kim, Sahn-ho; Nijjar, Tarlochan; Yaswen, Paul; Campisi, Judith


    Telomeres are the specialized DNA-protein structures that cap the ends of linear chromosomes, thereby protecting them from degradation and fusion by cellular DNA repair processes. In vertebrate cells, telomeres consist of several kilobase pairs of DNA having the sequence TTAGGG, a few hundred base pairs of single-stranded DNA at the 3' end of the telomeric DNA tract, and a host of proteins that organize the telomeric double and single stranded DNA into a protective structure. Functional telomeres are essential for maintaining the integrity and stability of genomes. When combined with loss of cell cycle checkpoint controls, telomere dysfunction can lead to genomic instability, a common cause and hallmark of cancer. Consequently, normal mammalian cells respond to dysfunctional telomeres by undergoing apoptosis (programmed cell death) or cellular senescence (permanent cell cycle arrest), two cellular tumor suppressor mechanisms. These tumor suppressor mechanisms are potent suppressors of cancer, but recent evidence suggests that they can antagonistically also contribute to aging phenotypes. Here, we review what is known about the structure and function of telomeres in mammalian cells, particularly human cells, and how telomere dysfunction may arise and contribute to cancer and aging phenotypes.

  11. The pif1 helicase, a negative regulator of telomerase, acts preferentially at long telomeres.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jane A Phillips


    Full Text Available Telomerase, the enzyme that maintains telomeres, preferentially lengthens short telomeres. The S. cerevisiae Pif1 DNA helicase inhibits both telomerase-mediated telomere lengthening and de novo telomere addition at double strand breaks (DSB. Here, we report that the association of the telomerase subunits Est2 and Est1 at a DSB was increased in the absence of Pif1, as it is at telomeres, suggesting that Pif1 suppresses de novo telomere addition by removing telomerase from the break. To determine how the absence of Pif1 results in telomere lengthening, we used the single telomere extension assay (STEX, which monitors lengthening of individual telomeres in a single cell cycle. In the absence of Pif1, telomerase added significantly more telomeric DNA, an average of 72 nucleotides per telomere compared to the 45 nucleotides in wild type cells, and the fraction of telomeres lengthened increased almost four-fold. Using an inducible short telomere assay, Est2 and Est1 no longer bound preferentially to a short telomere in pif1 mutant cells while binding of Yku80, a telomere structural protein, was unaffected by the status of the PIF1 locus. Two experiments demonstrate that Pif1 binding is affected by telomere length: Pif1 (but not Yku80 -associated telomeres were 70 bps longer than bulk telomeres, and in the inducible short telomere assay, Pif1 bound better to wild type length telomeres than to short telomeres. Thus, preferential lengthening of short yeast telomeres is achieved in part by targeting the negative regulator Pif1 to long telomeres.

  12. Effects of Unpredictable Variable Prenatal Stress (UVPS) on Bdnf DNA Methylation and Telomere Length in the Adult Rat Brain (United States)

    Blaze, Jennifer; Asok, A.; Moyer, E. L.; Roth, T. L.; Ronca, A. E.


    In utero exposure to stress can shape neurobiological and behavioral outcomes in offspring, producing vulnerability to psychopathology later in life. Animal models of prenatal stress likewise have demonstrated long-­-term alterations in brain function and behavioral deficits in offspring. For example, using a rodent model of unpredictable variable prenatal stress (UVPS), in which dams are exposed to unpredictable, variable stress across pregnancy, we have found increased body weight and anxiety-­-like behavior in adult male, but not female, offspring. DNA methylation (addition of methyl groups to cytosines which normally represses gene transcription) and changes in telomere length (TTAGGG repeats on the ends of chromosomes) are two molecular modifications that result from stress and could be responsible for the long-­-term effects of UVPS. Here, we measured methylation of brain-­-derived neurotrophic factor (bdnf), a gene important in development and plasticity, and telomere length in the brains of adult offspring from the UVPS model. Results indicate that prenatally stressed adult males have greater methylation in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) compared to non-­-stressed controls, while females have greater methylation in the ventral hippocampus compared to controls. Further, prenatally stressed males had shorter telomeres than controls in the mPFC. These findings demonstrate the ability of UVPS to produce epigenetic alterations and changes in telomere length across behaviorally-­-relevant brain regions, which may have linkages to the phenotypic outcomes.

  13. Offspring's Leukocyte Telomere Length, Paternal Age, and Telomere Elongation in Sperm

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kimura, Masayuki; Cherkas, Lynn F; Kato, Bernet S;


    Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is a complex genetic trait. It shortens with age and is associated with a host of aging-related disorders. Recent studies have observed that offspring of older fathers have longer LTLs. We explored the relation between paternal age and offspring's LTLs in 4 different...... cohorts. Moreover, we examined the potential cause of the paternal age on offspring's LTL by delineating telomere parameters in sperm donors. We measured LTL by Southern blots in Caucasian men and women (n=3365), aged 18-94 years, from the Offspring of the Framingham Heart Study (Framingham Offspring......), the NHLBI Family Heart Study (NHLBI-Heart), the Longitudinal Study of Aging Danish Twins (Danish Twins), and the UK Adult Twin Registry (UK Twins). Using Southern blots, Q-FISH, and flow-FISH, we also measured telomere parameters in sperm from 46 young (50 years) donors. Paternal age...

  14. ATRX represses alternative lengthening of telomeres. (United States)

    Napier, Christine E; Huschtscha, Lily I; Harvey, Adam; Bower, Kylie; Noble, Jane R; Hendrickson, Eric A; Reddel, Roger R


    The unlimited proliferation of cancer cells requires a mechanism to prevent telomere shortening. Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) is an homologous recombination-mediated mechanism of telomere elongation used in tumors, including osteosarcomas, soft tissue sarcoma subtypes, and glial brain tumors. Mutations in the ATRX/DAXX chromatin remodeling complex have been reported in tumors and cell lines that use the ALT mechanism, suggesting that ATRX may be an ALT repressor. We show here that knockout or knockdown of ATRX in mortal cells or immortal telomerase-positive cells is insufficient to activate ALT. Notably, however, in SV40-transformed mortal fibroblasts ATRX loss results in either a significant increase in the proportion of cell lines activating ALT (instead of telomerase) or in a significant decrease in the time prior to ALT activation. These data indicate that loss of ATRX function cooperates with one or more as-yet unidentified genetic or epigenetic alterations to activate ALT. Moreover, transient ATRX expression in ALT-positive/ATRX-negative cells represses ALT activity. These data provide the first direct, functional evidence that ATRX represses ALT.

  15. Offspring's leukocyte telomere length, paternal age, and telomere elongation in sperm.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masayuki Kimura


    Full Text Available Leukocyte telomere length (LTL is a complex genetic trait. It shortens with age and is associated with a host of aging-related disorders. Recent studies have observed that offspring of older fathers have longer LTLs. We explored the relation between paternal age and offspring's LTLs in 4 different cohorts. Moreover, we examined the potential cause of the paternal age on offspring's LTL by delineating telomere parameters in sperm donors. We measured LTL by Southern blots in Caucasian men and women (n=3365, aged 18-94 years, from the Offspring of the Framingham Heart Study (Framingham Offspring, the NHLBI Family Heart Study (NHLBI-Heart, the Longitudinal Study of Aging Danish Twins (Danish Twins, and the UK Adult Twin Registry (UK Twins. Using Southern blots, Q-FISH, and flow-FISH, we also measured telomere parameters in sperm from 46 young (50 years donors. Paternal age had an independent effect, expressed by a longer LTL in males of the Framingham Offspring and Danish Twins, males and females of the NHLBI-Heart, and females of UK Twins. For every additional year of paternal age, LTL in offspring increased at a magnitude ranging from half to more than twice of the annual attrition in LTL with age. Moreover, sperm telomere length analyses were compatible with the emergence in older men of a subset of sperm with elongated telomeres. Paternal age exerts a considerable effect on the offspring's LTL, a phenomenon which might relate to telomere elongation in sperm from older men. The implications of this effect deserve detailed study.

  16. Telomere length and variation in telomere biology genes in individuals with osteosarcoma. (United States)

    Mirabello, Lisa; Richards, Elliott G; Duong, Linh M; Yu, Kai; Wang, Zhaoming; Cawthon, Richard; Berndt, Sonja I; Burdett, Laurie; Chowdhury, Salma; Teshome, Kedest; Douglass, Chester; Savage, Sharon A


    Osteosarcoma, the most common primary bone tumor, occurs most frequently in adolescents. Chromosomal aneuploidy is common in osteosarcoma cells, suggesting underlying chromosomal instability. Telomeres, located at chromosome ends, are essential for genomic stability; several studies have suggested that germline telomere length (TL) is associated with cancer risk. We hypothesized that TL and/or common genetic variation in telomere biology genes may be associated with risk of osteosarcoma. We investigated TL in peripheral blood DNA and 713 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 39 telomere biology genes in 98 osteosarcoma cases and 69 orthopedic controls. For the genotyping component, we added 1363 controls from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer ScreeningTrial. Short TL was not associated with osteosarcoma risk overall (OR 1.39, P=0.67), although there was a statistically significant association in females (OR 4.35, 95% Cl 1.20-15.74, P=0.03). Genotype analyses identified seven SNPs in TERF1 significantly associated with osteosarcoma risk after Bonferroni correction by gene. These SNPs were highly linked and associated with a reduced risk of osteosarcoma (OR 0.48-0.53, P=0.0001-0.0006). We also investigated associations between TL and telomere gene SNPs in osteosarcoma cases and orthopedic controls. Several SNPs were associated with TL prior to Bonferroni correction; one SNP in NOLA2 and one in MEN1 were marginally non-significant after correction (P(adj)=0.057 and 0.066, respectively). This pilot-study suggests that females with short telomeres may be at increased risk of osteosarcoma, and that SNPs in TERF1 are inversely associated with osteosarcoma risk.

  17. Telomere length homeostasis and telomere position effect on a linear human artificial chromosome are dictated by the genetic background. (United States)

    Weuts, An; Voet, Thierry; Verbeeck, Jelle; Lambrechts, Nathalie; Wirix, Evelyne; Schoonjans, Luc; Danloy, Sophie; Marynen, Peter; Froyen, Guy


    Telomere position effect (TPE) is the influence of telomeres on subtelomeric epigenetic marks and gene expression. Previous studies suggested that TPE depends on genetic background. As these analyses were performed on different chromosomes, cell types and species, it remains unclear whether TPE represents a chromosome-rather than genetic background-specific regulation. We describe the development of a Linear Human Artificial Chromosome (L-HAC) as a new tool for telomere studies. The L-HAC was generated through the Cre-loxP-mediated addition of telomere ends to an existing circular HAC (C-HAC). As it can be transferred to genetically distinct cell lines and animal models the L-HAC enables the study of TPE in an unprecedented manner. The HAC was relocated to four telomerase-positive cell lines via microcell-mediated chromosome transfer and subsequently to mice via blastocyst injection of L-HAC(+)-ES-cells. We could show consistent genetic background-dependent adaptation of telomere length and telomere-associated de novo subtelomeric DNA methylation in mouse ES-R1 cells as well as in mice. Expression of the subtelomeric neomycin gene was inversely correlated with telomere length and subtelomeric methylation. We thus provide a new tool for functional telomere studies and provide strong evidence that telomere length, subtelomeric chromatin marks and expression of subtelomeric genes are genetic background dependent.

  18. The Genetic Basis of Natural Variation in Caenorhabditis elegans Telomere Length (United States)

    Cook, Daniel E.; Zdraljevic, Stefan; Tanny, Robyn E.; Seo, Beomseok; Riccardi, David D.; Noble, Luke M.; Rockman, Matthew V.; Alkema, Mark J.; Braendle, Christian; Kammenga, Jan E.; Wang, John; Kruglyak, Leonid; Félix, Marie-Anne; Lee, Junho; Andersen, Erik C.


    Telomeres are involved in the maintenance of chromosomes and the prevention of genome instability. Despite this central importance, significant variation in telomere length has been observed in a variety of organisms. The genetic determinants of telomere-length variation and their effects on organismal fitness are largely unexplored. Here, we describe natural variation in telomere length across the Caenorhabditis elegans species. We identify a large-effect variant that contributes to differences in telomere length. The variant alters the conserved oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide-binding fold of protection of telomeres 2 (POT-2), a homolog of a human telomere-capping shelterin complex subunit. Mutations within this domain likely reduce the ability of POT-2 to bind telomeric DNA, thereby increasing telomere length. We find that telomere-length variation does not correlate with offspring production or longevity in C. elegans wild isolates, suggesting that naturally long telomeres play a limited role in modifying fitness phenotypes in C. elegans. PMID:27449056

  19. The Genetic Basis of Natural Variation in Caenorhabditis elegans Telomere Length. (United States)

    Cook, Daniel E; Zdraljevic, Stefan; Tanny, Robyn E; Seo, Beomseok; Riccardi, David D; Noble, Luke M; Rockman, Matthew V; Alkema, Mark J; Braendle, Christian; Kammenga, Jan E; Wang, John; Kruglyak, Leonid; Félix, Marie-Anne; Lee, Junho; Andersen, Erik C


    Telomeres are involved in the maintenance of chromosomes and the prevention of genome instability. Despite this central importance, significant variation in telomere length has been observed in a variety of organisms. The genetic determinants of telomere-length variation and their effects on organismal fitness are largely unexplored. Here, we describe natural variation in telomere length across the Caenorhabditis elegans species. We identify a large-effect variant that contributes to differences in telomere length. The variant alters the conserved oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide-binding fold of protection of telomeres 2 (POT-2), a homolog of a human telomere-capping shelterin complex subunit. Mutations within this domain likely reduce the ability of POT-2 to bind telomeric DNA, thereby increasing telomere length. We find that telomere-length variation does not correlate with offspring production or longevity in C. elegans wild isolates, suggesting that naturally long telomeres play a limited role in modifying fitness phenotypes in C. elegans.

  20. Rapid telomere motions in live human cells analyzed by highly time-resolved microscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Xueying


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Telomeres cap chromosome ends and protect the genome. We studied individual telomeres in live human cancer cells. In capturing telomere motions using quantitative imaging to acquire complete high-resolution three-dimensional datasets every second for 200 seconds, telomere dynamics were systematically analyzed. Results The motility of individual telomeres within the same cancer cell nucleus was widely heterogeneous. One class of internal heterochromatic regions of chromosomes analyzed moved more uniformly and showed less motion and heterogeneity than telomeres. The single telomere analyses in cancer cells revealed that shorter telomeres showed more motion, and the more rapid telomere motions were energy dependent. Experimentally increasing bulk telomere length dampened telomere motion. In contrast, telomere uncapping, but not a DNA damaging agent, methyl methanesulfonate, significantly increased telomere motion. Conclusion New methods for seconds-scale, four-dimensional, live cell microscopic imaging and data analysis, allowing systematic tracking of individual telomeres in live cells, have defined a previously undescribed form of telomere behavior in human cells, in which the degree of telomere motion was dependent upon telomere length and functionality.

  1. Genomic instability and telomere fusion of canine osteosarcoma cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junko Maeda

    Full Text Available Canine osteosarcoma (OSA is known to present with highly variable and chaotic karyotypes, including hypodiploidy, hyperdiploidy, and increased numbers of metacentric chromosomes. The spectrum of genomic instabilities in canine OSA has significantly augmented the difficulty in clearly defining the biological and clinical significance of the observed cytogenetic abnormalities. In this study, eight canine OSA cell lines were used to investigate telomere fusions by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH using a peptide nucleotide acid probe. We characterized each cell line by classical cytogenetic studies and cellular phenotypes including telomere associated factors and then evaluated correlations from this data. All eight canine OSA cell lines displayed increased abnormal metacentric chromosomes and exhibited numerous telomere fusions and interstitial telomeric signals. Also, as evidence of unstable telomeres, colocalization of γ-H2AX and telomere signals in interphase cells was observed. Each cell line was characterized by a combination of data representing cellular doubling time, DNA content, chromosome number, metacentric chromosome frequency, telomere signal level, cellular radiosensitivity, and DNA-PKcs protein expression level. We have also studied primary cultures from 10 spontaneous canine OSAs. Based on the observation of telomere aberrations in those primary cell cultures, we are reasonably certain that our observations in cell lines are not an artifact of prolonged culture. A correlation between telomere fusions and the other characteristics analyzed in our study could not be identified. However, it is important to note that all of the canine OSA samples exhibiting telomere fusion utilized in our study were telomerase positive. Pending further research regarding telomerase negative canine OSA cell lines, our findings may suggest telomere fusions can potentially serve as a novel marker for canine OSA.

  2. Increased brood size leads to persistent eroded telomeres

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    Sophie eReichert


    Full Text Available Costs of reproduction can be divided in mandatory costs coming from physiological, metabolic and anatomical changes required to sustain reproduction itself, and in investment-dependent costs that are likely to become apparent when reproductive efforts are exceeding what organisms were prepared to sustain. Interestingly, recent data showed that entering reproduction enhanced breeders’ telomere loss, but no data explored so far the impact of reproductive investment. Telomeres protect the ends of eukaryote chromosomes. Shortened telomeres were associated with shorter lifespan, telomere erosion being then proposed to powerfully quantify life’s insults. Here, we experimentally manipulated brood size in order to modify reproductive investment of adult zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata below or beyond their (optimal starting investment and tested the consequences of our treatment on parents’ telomere dynamics. We show that an increased brood size led to a reduction in telomere lengths in both parents compared to control and to parents raising a reduced brood. This greater telomere erosion was detected in parents immediately after the reproductive event and the telomere length difference persisted up to one year later. However, we did not detect any effects of brood size manipulation on annual survival of parents kept under laboratory conditions. In addition, telomere lengths at the end of reproduction were not associated with annual survival. Altogether, although our findings highlight that fast telomere erosion can come as a cost of brood size manipulation, they provide mixed correlative support to the emerging hypothesis that telomere erosion could account for the links between high reproductive investment and longevity.

  3. Heregulin, a new regulator of telomere length in human cells. (United States)

    Menendez, Javier A; Rubio, Miguel A; Campisi, Judith; Lupu, Ruth


    The growth factor heregulin (HRG) promotes breast cancer (BC) tumorigenesis and metastasis and differentially modulates BC cell responses to DNA-damaging agents via its dual extracellular and nuclear localization. Given the central role of telomere dysfunction to drive carcinogenesis and to alter the chemotherapeutic profile of transformed cells, we hypothesized that an unanticipated nuclear function of HRG might be to regulate telomere length. Engineered overexpression of the HRGβ2 isoform in non-aggressive, HRG-negative MCF-7 BC cells resulted in a significant shortening of telomeres (up to 1.3 kb) as measured by Southern blotting of telomere terminal restriction fragments. Conversely, antisense-mediated suppression of HRGβ2 in highly aggressive, HRG-overexpressing MDA-MB-231 and Hs578T cells increased telomere length up to 3.0 kb. HRGβ2 overexpression promoted a marked upregulation of telomere-binding protein 2 (TRF2) protein expression, whereas its knockdown profoundly decreased TRF2 expression. Double staining of endogenous HRGβ2 with telomere-specific peptide nucleic acid probe/fluorescence in situ hybridization (PNA/FISH) revealed the partial localization of HRG at the chromosome ends. Moreover, a predominantly nucleoplasmic staining pattern of endogenous HRGβ2 appeared to co-localize with TRF2 and, concomitantly with RAP1, a telomere regulator that specifically interacts with TRF2. Small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of HRG decreased the expression of TRF2 and RAP1, decreased their presence at chromosome ends, and coincidentally resulted in the formation of longer telomeres. This study uncovers a new function for HRGβ2 in controlling telomere length, in part due to its ability to regulate and interact with the telomere-associated proteins TRF2 and RAP1.

  4. Genetic association study of selected candidate genes (ApoB, LPL, Leptin and telomere length in obese and hypertensive individuals

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    Saini Divyalakshmi


    Full Text Available Abstract Background A genetic study was carried out among obese and hypertensive individuals from India to assess allelic association, if any, at three candidate loci: Apolipoprotein B (ApoB minisatellite and two tetranucleotide repeat loci; LPL (Lipoprotein lipase and Leptin. Attempt has also been made to find out whether telomere length attrition is associated with hypertension and obese individuals. Methods Venous blood samples were collected from 37 normal, 35 obese and 47 hypertensive individuals. Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC and PCR amplifications were achieved using locus specific primers. Genotyping of ApoB minisatellite was performed using 4% polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE followed by silver staining, whereas LPL and Leptin loci were genotyped using ALF Express™ DNA sequencer. Telomere length was determined using a recently developed real time based quantitative PCR, where the relative telomere length was determined by calculating the relative ratio of telomere (T and single copy gene (S PCR products which is expressed as T/S ratio. Results All the three loci are highly polymorphic, display high heterozygosity and conform to Hardy-Weinberg's equilibrium expectations. ApoB minisatellite displayed 14 alleles, whereas LPL and Leptin tetranucleotide loci were having 9 and 17 alleles, respectively. Interestingly two new alleles (9 and 11 repeats were detected at ApoB locus for the first time. The alleles at Leptin locus were classified as Class I (lower alleles: 149-200 bp and Class II alleles (higher alleles: >217 bp. Higher alleles at ApoB (>39 repeats, predominant allele 9 at LPL and alleles 164 bp and 224 bp at Leptin loci have shown allelic association with hypertensive individuals. After adjusting the influence of age and gender, the analysis of co-variance (ANCOVA revealed the relative telomere length (T/S ratio in hypertensive individuals to be (1.01 ± 0.021, which was

  5. Telomeres: Linking stress and survival, ecology and evolution

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    Full Text Available Telomeres are protective structures at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. The loss of telomeres through cell division and oxidative stress is related to cellular aging, organismal growth and disease. In this way, telomeres link molecular and cellular mechanisms with organismal processes, and may explain variation in a number of important life-history traits. Here, we discuss how telomere biology relates to the study of physiological ecology and life history evolution. We emphasize current knowledge on how telomeres may relate to growth, survival and lifespan in natural populations. We finish by examining interesting new connections between telomeres and the glucocorticoid stress response. Glucocorticoids are often employed as indices of physiological condition, and there is evidence that the glucocorticoid stress response is adaptive. We suggest that one way that glucocorticoids impact organismal survival is through elevated oxidative stress and telomere loss. Future work needs to establish and explore the link between the glucocorticoid stress response and telomere shortening in natural populations. If a link is found, it provides an explanatory mechanism by which environmental perturbation impacts life history trajectories [Current Zoology 56 (6: 714–727, 2010].

  6. DNA-PKcs is critical for telomere capping

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gilley, David; Tanaka, Hiromi; Hande, M. Prakash; Kurimasa,Akihiro; Li, Gloria C.; Chen, David J.


    The DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) is critical for DNA repair via the non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) pathway. Previously, it was reported that bone marrow cells and spontaneously transformed fibroblasts from SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency) mice have defects in telomere maintenance. The genetically defective SCID mouse arose spontaneously from its parental strain CB17. One known genomic alteration in SCID mice is a truncation of the extreme carboxyl-terminus of DNA-PKcs, but other as yet unidentified alterations may also exist. We have used a defined system, the DNA-PKcs knockout mouse, to investigate specifically the role DNA-PKcs specifically plays in telomere maintenance. We report that primary mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and primary cultured kidney cells from 6-8 month old DNA-PKcs deficient mice accumulate a large number of telomere fusions, yet still retain wildtype telomere length. Thus, the phenotype of this defect separates the two-telomere related phenotypes, capping and length maintenance. DNA-PKcs deficient MEFs also exhibit elevated levels of chromosome fragments and breaks, which correlate with increased telomere fusions. Based on the high levels of telomere fusions observed in DNA-PKcs deficient cells, we conclude that DNA-PKcs plays an important capping role at the mammalian telomere.

  7. Socioecological variables predict telomere length in wild spotted hyenas. (United States)

    Lewin, Nora; Treidel, Lisa A; Holekamp, Kay E; Place, Ned J; Haussmann, Mark F


    Telomeres are regarded as important biomarkers of ageing and serve as useful tools in revealing how stress acts at the cellular level. However, the effects of social and ecological factors on telomere length remain poorly understood, particularly in free-ranging mammals. Here, we investigated the influences of within-group dominance rank and group membership on telomere length in wild adult spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta). We found large effects of both factors; high-ranking hyenas exhibited significantly greater mean telomere length than did subordinate animals, and group membership significantly predicted mean telomere length within high-ranking females. We further inquired whether prey availability mediates the observed effect of group membership on telomere length, but this hypothesis was not supported. Interestingly, adult telomere length was not predicted by age. Our work shows for the first time, to the best of our knowledge, the effects of social rank on telomere length in a wild mammal and enhances our understanding of how social and ecological variables may contribute to organismal senescence.

  8. Gender and telomere length : Systematic review and meta-analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gardner, Michael; Bann, David; Wiley, Laura; Cooper, Rachel; Hardy, Rebecca; Nitsch, Dorothea; Martin-Ruiz, Carmen; Shiels, Paul; Sayer, Avan Aihie; Barbieri, Michelangela; Bekaert, Sofie; Bischoff, Claus; Brooks-Wilson, Angela; Chen, Wei; Cooper, Cyrus; Christensen, Kaare; De Meyer, Tim; Deary, Ian; Der, Geoff; Roux, Ana Diez; Fitzpatrick, Annette; Hajat, Anjum; Halaschek-Wiener, Julius; Harris, Sarah; Hunt, Steven C.; Jagger, Carol; Jeon, Hyo-Sung; Kaplan, Robert; Kimura, Masayuki; Lansdorp, Peter; Li, Changyong; Maeda, Toyoki; Mangino, Massimo; Nawrot, Tim S.; Nilsson, Peter; Nordfjall, Katarina; Paolisso, Giuseppe; Ren, Fu; Riabowol, Karl; Robertson, Tony; Roos, Goran; Staessen, Jan A.; Spector, Tim; Tang, Nelson; Unryn, Brad; van der Harst, Pim; Woo, Jean; Xing, Chao; Yadegarfar, Mohammad E.; Park, Jae Yong; Young, Neal; Kuh, Diana; von Zglinicki, Thomas; Ben-Shlomo, Yoav


    Background: It is widely believed that females have longer telomeres than males, although results from studies have been contradictory. Methods: We carried out a systematic review and meta-analyses to test the hypothesis that in humans, females have longer telomeres than males and that this associat

  9. Telomere dynamics in human cells reprogrammed to pluripotency.

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    Steven T Suhr

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Human induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSCs have enormous potential in the development of cellular models of human disease and represent a potential source of autologous cells and tissues for therapeutic use. A question remains as to the biological age of IPSCs, in particular when isolated from older subjects. Studies of cloned animals indicate that somatic cells reprogrammed to pluripotency variably display telomere elongation, a common indicator of cell "rejuvenation." METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We examined telomere lengths in human skin fibroblasts isolated from younger and older subjects, fibroblasts converted to IPSCs, and IPSCs redifferentiated through teratoma formation and explant culture. In IPSCs analyzed at passage five (P5, telomeres were significantly elongated in 6/7 lines by >40% and approximated telomere lengths in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs. In cell lines derived from three IPSC-teratoma explants cultured to P5, two displayed telomeres shortened to lengths similar to input fibroblasts while the third line retained elongated telomeres. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: While these results reveal some heterogeneity in the reprogramming process with respect to telomere length, human somatic cells reprogrammed to pluripotency generally displayed elongated telomeres that suggest that they will not age prematurely when isolated from subjects of essentially any age.

  10. Common variants near TERC are associated with mean telomere length

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Codd, Veryan; Mangino, Massimo; van der Harst, Pim; Braund, Peter S.; Kaiser, Michael; Beveridge, Alan J.; Rafelt, Suzanne; Moore, Jasbir; Nelson, Chris; Soranzo, Nicole; Zhai, Guangju; Valdes, Ana M.; Blackburn, Hannah; Mateo Leach, Irene; de Boer, Rudolf A.; Goodall, Alison H.; Ouwehand, Willem; van Veldhuisen, Dirk J.; van Gilst, Wiek H.; Navis, Gerjan; Burton, Paul R.; Tobin, Martin D.; Hall, Alistair S.; Thompson, John R.; Spector, Tim; Samani, Nilesh J.


    We conducted genome-wide association analyses of mean leukocyte telomere length in 2,917 individuals, with follow-up replication in 9,492 individuals. We identified an association with telomere length on 3q26 (rs12696304, combined P = 3.72 x 10(-14)) at a locus that includes TERC, which encodes the

  11. Longitudinal Changes in Leukocyte Telomere Length and Mortality in Humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bendix, Laila; Thinggaard, Mikael; Fenger, Mogens;


    Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) ostensibly shortens with age and has been moderately associated with mortality. In humans, these findings have come almost solely from cross-sectional studies. Only recently has LTL shortening within individuals been analyzed in longitudinal studies. Such studies...... are relevant to establish LTL dynamics as biomarkers of mortality as well as to disentangle the causality of telomeres on aging....

  12. Quantification of telomere length by FISH and laser scanning cytometry (United States)

    Mahoney, John E.; Sahin, Ergun; Jaskelioff, Mariela; Chin, Lynda; DePinho, Ronald A.; Protopopov, Alexei I.


    Telomeres play a critical role in the maintenance of chromosomal stability. Telomere erosion, coupled with loss of DNA damage checkpoint function, results in genomic instability that promotes the development of cancer. The critical role of telomere dynamics in cancer has motivated the development of technologies designed to monitor telomere reserves in a highly quantitative and high-throughput manner in humans and model organisms. To this end, we have adapted and modified two established technologies, telomere-FISH and laser scanning cytometry. Specifically, we have produced a number of enhancements to the iCys LSC (CompuCyte) package including software updates, use of 60X dry objectives, and increased spatial resolution by 0.2 um size of stage steps. In addition, the 633 nm HeNe laser was replaced with a 532 nm green diode laser to better match the viewing options. Utilization of telomere-deficient mouse cells with short dysfunctional telomeres and matched telomerase reconstituted cultures demonstrated significantly higher mean integral specific fluorescence values for mTR transfectants relative to empty vector controls: 4.485M vs. 1.362M (ptelomere intensities for individual cells were obtained and demonstrated intercellular heterogeneity in telomere lengths. The validation of the approach derives from a strong correlation between iCys LSC values and Southern blotting. This validated method greatly increases our experimental throughput and objectivity.

  13. Human Stn1 protects telomere integrity by promoting efficient lagging-strand synthesis at telomeres and mediating C-strand fill-in

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chenhui Huang; Xueyu Dai; Weihang Chai


    Telomere maintenance is critical for genome stability.The newly-identified Ctc1/Stn1/Ten1 complex is important for telomere maintenance,though its precise role is unclear.We report here that depletion of hStn1 induces catastrophic telomere shortening,DNA damage response,and early senescence in human somatic cells.These phenotypes are likely due to the essential role of hStn1 in promoting efficient replication of lagging-strand telomeric DNA.Downregulation of hStn1 accumulates single-stranded G-rich DNA specifically at lagging-strand telomeres,increases telomere fragility,hinders telomere DNA synthesis,as well as delays and compromises telomeric C-strand synthesis.We further show that hStn1 deficiency leads to persistent and elevated association of DNA polymerase α(polα)to telomeres,suggesting that hStn1 may modulate the DNA synthesis activity of polα rather than controlling the loading of polα to telomeres.Additionally,our data suggest that hStn1 is unlikely to be part of the telomere capping complex.We propose that the hStn1 assists DNA polymerases to efficiently duplicate lagging-strand telomeres in order to achieve complete synthesis of telomeric DNA,therefore preventing rapid telomere loss.

  14. Estimation of the amount of telomere molecules in different human age groups and the telomere increasing effect of acupuncture and shiatsu on St.36, using synthesized basic units of the human telomere molecules as reference control substances for the bi-digital O-ring test resonance phenomenon. (United States)

    Omura, Y; Shimotsura, Y; Ooki, M; Noguchi, T


    It is well established that the telomeres at the ends of chromosomes are composed of long arrays of (TTAGGG)n x (CCCTAA)n that form a nucleoprotein complex required for the replication and protection of chromosome ends. Throughout the cell cycle, telomeres also contain a protein component related to the proto-oncogene Myb that is known as TRF1 (telomere TTAGGG repeat binding factor 1) that binds to the duplex array of TTAGGG repeats in the telomere. Previous studies have shown that TRF1 appears to play a role in controlling the length of telomeres by acting as an inhibitor of telomerase. The amount of each of the TRF1(C-19) & TRF1(N-19) was identical to the amount of telomere of the same organ of the same apparently normal individual. Using synthesized basic unit of TTAGGG, as well as CCCTAA, as separate reference control substances for the Bi-Digital O-Ring Test of Resonance Phenomenon between 2 identical substances, we were able to non-invasively measure the approximate amount of TTAGGG and CCCTAA units, in both normal and cancerous human cells. We examined about 30 apparently normal subjects (both Asian and Caucasian in both sex). The subjects' ages ranged from infancy to 76 years. Each subject was first examined using TTAGGG as a control substance and then examined using CCCTAA as a control substance. The amount of telomere in various cancer tissues are almost always higher than that of normal tissue of the same organ. The measured amounts of both TTAGGG and CCCTAA were found to be in an average of 1500-1600 ng for human fetus or infancy and decreased with the advance of age in both sex with the exception of the heart, brain, eyes (retina), testes, and ovaries, which usually remain at the level of the infant, or reduced very little. Individuals in the same age group had a similar range of amounts of both TTAGGG and CCCTAA in the same organ of the same individual, (except for those with unusually low telomeres often had chronic degenerative diseases, and those

  15. Nestling telomere shortening, but not telomere length, reflects developmental stress and predicts survival in wild birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boonekamp, Jelle J.; Mulder, Ellis; Salomons, H. Martijn; Dijkstra, Cornelis; Verhulst, Simon


    Developmental stressors often have long-term fitness consequences, but linking offspring traits to fitness prospects has remained a challenge. Telomere length predicts mortality in adult birds, and may provide a link between developmental conditions and fitness prospects. Here, we examine the effect

  16. Telomere Length – a New Biomarker in Medicine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnieszka Kozłowska


    Full Text Available A number of xenobiotics in the environment and workplace influences on our health and life. Biomarkers are tools for measuring such exposures and their effects in the organism. Nowadays, telomere length, epigenetic changes, mutations and changes in gene expression pattern have become new molecular biomarkers. Telomeres play the role of molecular clock, which influences on expectancy of cell life and thus aging, the formation of damages, development diseases and carcinogenesis. The telomere length depends on mechanisms of replication and the activity of telomerase. Telomere length is currently used as a biomarker of susceptibility and/or exposure. This paper describes the role of telomere length as a biomarker of aging cells, oxidative stress, a marker of many diseases including cancer, and as a marker of environmental and occupational exposure.

  17. Telomere Replication Stress Induced by POT1 Inactivation Accelerates Tumorigenesis. (United States)

    Pinzaru, Alexandra M; Hom, Robert A; Beal, Angela; Phillips, Aaron F; Ni, Eric; Cardozo, Timothy; Nair, Nidhi; Choi, Jaehyuk; Wuttke, Deborah S; Sfeir, Agnel; Denchi, Eros Lazzerini


    Genome sequencing studies have revealed a number of cancer-associated mutations in the telomere-binding factor POT1. Here, we show that when combined with p53 deficiency, depletion of murine POT1a in common lymphoid progenitor cells fosters genetic instability, accelerates the onset, and increases the severity of T cell lymphomas. In parallel, we examined human and mouse cells carrying POT1 mutations found in cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL) patients. Inhibition of POT1 activates ATR-dependent DNA damage signaling and induces telomere fragility, replication fork stalling, and telomere elongation. Our data suggest that these phenotypes are linked to impaired CST (CTC1-STN1-TEN1) function at telomeres. Lastly, we show that proliferation of cancer cells lacking POT1 is enabled by the attenuation of the ATR kinase pathway. These results uncover a role for defective telomere replication during tumorigenesis.

  18. Telomere Replication Stress Induced by POT1 Inactivation Accelerates Tumorigenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra M. Pinzaru


    Full Text Available Genome sequencing studies have revealed a number of cancer-associated mutations in the telomere-binding factor POT1. Here, we show that when combined with p53 deficiency, depletion of murine POT1a in common lymphoid progenitor cells fosters genetic instability, accelerates the onset, and increases the severity of T cell lymphomas. In parallel, we examined human and mouse cells carrying POT1 mutations found in cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL patients. Inhibition of POT1 activates ATR-dependent DNA damage signaling and induces telomere fragility, replication fork stalling, and telomere elongation. Our data suggest that these phenotypes are linked to impaired CST (CTC1-STN1-TEN1 function at telomeres. Lastly, we show that proliferation of cancer cells lacking POT1 is enabled by the attenuation of the ATR kinase pathway. These results uncover a role for defective telomere replication during tumorigenesis.

  19. Computing the Length of the Shortest Telomere in the Nucleus (United States)

    Dao Duc, K.; Holcman, D.


    The telomere length can either be shortened or elongated by an enzyme called telomerase after each cell division. Interestingly, the shortest telomere is involved in controlling the ability of a cell to divide. Yet, its dynamics remains elusive. We present here a stochastic approach where we model this dynamics using a Markov jump process. We solve the forward Fokker-Planck equation to obtain the steady state distribution and the statistical moments of telomere lengths. We focus specifically on the shortest one and we estimate its length difference with the second shortest telomere. After extracting key parameters such as elongation and shortening dynamics from experimental data, we compute the length of telomeres in yeast and obtain as a possible prediction the minimum concentration of telomerase required to ensure a proper cell division.

  20. Critically short telomeres in acute myeloid leukemia with loss or gain of parts of chromosomes. (United States)

    Swiggers, Susan J J; Kuijpers, Marianne A; de Cort, Maartje J M; Beverloo, H Berna; Zijlmans, J Mark J M


    Telomeres, nucleoprotein complexes at chromosome ends, protect chromosomes against end-to-end fusion. Previous in vitro studies in human fibroblast models indicated that telomere dysfunction results in chromosome instability. Loss of telomere function can result either from critical shortening of telomeric DNA or from loss of distinct telomere-capping proteins. It is less clear whether telomere dysfunction has an important role in human cancer development in vivo. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a good model to study mechanisms that generate chromosome instability in human cancer development because distinct groups of AML are characterized either by aberrations that theoretically could result from telomere dysfunction (terminal deletions, gains/losses of chromosome parts, nonreciprocal translocations), or aberrations that are unlikely to result from telomere dysfunction (e.g., reciprocal translocations or inversions). Here we demonstrate that AML with multiple chromosome aberrations that theoretically could result from telomere dysfunction is invariably characterized by critically short telomeres. Short telomeres in this group are not associated with low telomerase activity or decreased expression of essential telomeric capping proteins TRF2 and POT1. In contrast, telomerase activity levels are significantly higher in AML with short telomeres. Notably, short telomeres in the presence of high telomerase may relate to significantly higher expression of TRF1, a negative regulator of telomere length. Our observations suggest that, consistent with previous in vitro fibroblast models, age-related critical telomere shortening may have a role in generating chromosome instability in human AML development.

  1. QTL mapping and candidate gene analysis of telomere length control factors in maize (Zea mays L.) (United States)

    Telomere length is under genetic control and important for essential telomere functions. Failure to regulate telomere length homeostasis contributes to cancers and aging-related diseases in animals, but the effects of telomere length defects in plants remains poorly understood. To learn more about t...

  2. Prostate Cancer Cell Telomere Length Variability and Stromal Cell Telomere Length as Prognostic Markers for Metastasis and Death (United States)

    Heaphy, Christopher M.; Yoon, Ghil Suk; Peskoe, Sarah B.; Joshu, Corinne E.; Lee, Thomas K.; Giovannucci, Edward; Mucci, Lorelei A.; Kenfield, Stacey A.; Stampfer, Meir J.; Hicks, Jessica L.; De Marzo, Angelo M.; Platz, Elizabeth A.; Meeker, Alan K.


    Current prognostic indicators are imperfect predictors of outcome in men with clinicallylocalized prostate cancer. Thus, tissue-based markers are urgently needed to improve treatment and surveillance decision-making. Given that shortened telomeres enhance chromosomal instability and such instability is a hallmark of metastatic lesions, we hypothesized that alterations in telomere length in the primary cancer would predict risk of progression to metastasis and prostate cancer death. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a prospective cohort study of 596 surgically treated men who participated in the ongoing Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Men who had the combination of more variable telomere length among prostate cancer cells (cell-to-cell) and shorter telomere length in prostate cancer-associated stromal cells were substantially more likely to progress to metastasis or die of their prostate cancer. These findings point to the translational potential of this telomere biomarker for prognostication and risk stratification for individualized therapeutic and surveillance strategies. PMID:23779129

  3. Emotions and family interactions in childhood: Associations with leukocyte telomere length emotions, family interactions, and telomere length. (United States)

    Robles, Theodore F; Carroll, Judith E; Bai, Sunhye; Reynolds, Bridget M; Esquivel, Stephanie; Repetti, Rena L


    Conceptualizations of links between stress and cellular aging in childhood suggest that accumulating stress predicts shorter leukocyte telomere length (LTL). At the same time, several models suggest that emotional reactivity to stressors may play a key role in predicting cellular aging. Using intensive repeated measures, we tested whether exposure or emotional "reactivity" to conflict and warmth in the family were related to LTL. Children (N=39; 30 target children and 9 siblings) between 8 and 13 years of age completed daily diary questionnaires for 56 consecutive days assessing daily warmth and conflict in the marital and the parent-child dyad, and daily positive and negative mood. To assess exposure to conflict and warmth, diary scale scores were averaged over the 56 days. Mood "reactivity" was operationalized by using multilevel modeling to generate estimates of the slope of warmth or conflict scores (marital and parent-child, separately) predicting same-day mood for each individual child. After diary collection, a blood sample was collected to determine LTL. Among children aged 8-13 years, a stronger association between negative mood and marital conflict, suggesting greater negative mood reactivity to marital conflict, was related to shorter LTL (B=-1.51, ptelomere length.

  4. Correlation of chromosomal instability, telomere length and telomere maintenance in microsatellite stable rectal cancer: a molecular subclass of rectal cancer.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa A Boardman

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Colorectal cancer (CRC tumor DNA is characterized by chromosomal damage termed chromosomal instability (CIN and excessively shortened telomeres. Up to 80% of CRC is microsatellite stable (MSS and is historically considered to be chromosomally unstable (CIN+. However, tumor phenotyping depicts some MSS CRC with little or no genetic changes, thus being chromosomally stable (CIN-. MSS CIN- tumors have not been assessed for telomere attrition. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: MSS rectal cancers from patients ≤50 years old with Stage II (B2 or higher or Stage III disease were assessed for CIN, telomere length and telomere maintenance mechanism (telomerase activation [TA]; alternative lengthening of telomeres [ALT]. Relative telomere length was measured by qPCR in somatic epithelial and cancer DNA. TA was measured with the TRAPeze assay, and tumors were evaluated for the presence of C-circles indicative of ALT. p53 mutation status was assessed in all available samples. DNA copy number changes were evaluated with Spectral Genomics aCGH. RESULTS: Tumors were classified as chromosomally stable (CIN- and chromosomally instable (CIN+ by degree of DNA copy number changes. CIN- tumors (35%; n=6 had fewer copy number changes (<17% of their clones with DNA copy number changes than CIN+ tumors (65%; n=13 which had high levels of copy number changes in 20% to 49% of clones. Telomere lengths were longer in CIN- compared to CIN+ tumors (p=0.0066 and in those in which telomerase was not activated (p=0.004. Tumors exhibiting activation of telomerase had shorter tumor telomeres (p=0.0040; and tended to be CIN+ (p=0.0949. CONCLUSIONS: MSS rectal cancer appears to represent a heterogeneous group of tumors that may be categorized both on the basis of CIN status and telomere maintenance mechanism. MSS CIN- rectal cancers appear to have longer telomeres than those of MSS CIN+ rectal cancers and to utilize ALT rather than activation of telomerase.

  5. Stable loop in the crystal structure of the intercalated four-stranded cytosine-rich metazoan telomere (United States)

    Kang, C.; Berger, I.; Lockshin, C.; Ratliff, R.; Moyzis, R.; Rich, A.


    In most metazoans, the telomeric cytosine-rich strand repeating sequence is d(TAACCC). The crystal structure of this sequence was solved to 1.9-A resolution. Four strands associate via the cytosine-containing parts to form a four-stranded intercalated structure held together by C.C+ hydrogen bonds. The base-paired strands are parallel to each other, and the two duplexes are intercalated into each other in opposite orientations. One TAA end forms a highly stabilized loop with the 5' thymine Hoogsteen-base-paired to the third adenine. The 5' end of this loop is in close proximity to the 3' end of one of the other intercalated cytosine strands. Instead of being entirely in a DNA duplex, this structure suggests the possibility of an alternative conformation for the cytosine-rich telomere strands.

  6. Dynamic changes of telomeric restriction fragment (TRF) lengths in cells during the developmental process from embryos to seedlings and a comparison with the embryonal calli in Ginkgo biloba L.

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Liu Di; Zhang Xiao-mei; Hua Xin; Qiao Nan; Song Han; Lu Hai; Guo Hui-hong; Li Feng-lan


    Telomeres are the structures that locate at the terminals of linear eukaryotic chromosomes. They can play essential roles in many cellular processes. The terminal location of Arabidopsis-type TTTAGGG tandem repeats were thought to be highly conserved.The terminal location of Ginkgo biloba L. consisting of TTTAGGG tandem repeats, were confirmed by Bal31 exonuclease degradation and Southern blotting. By comparing telomeric restriction fragment (TRF) lengths at different developmental stages from embryos to seedlings, a fluctuant tendency towards variation was found in these samples. The TRF length of embryos was also compared with that of embryonal calli and an upward trend was discovered in callus culture. The results suggest that there should be a telomerase mechanism or/and ALT mechanism for the maintenance of telomere length.

  7. Identification of Neuroblastoma Subgroups Based on Three-Dimensional Telomere Organization

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    Alexandra Kuzyk


    Full Text Available Using 3D telomere quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization, we determined the 3D telomere organization of 74 neuroblastoma tissue samples. Hierarchical cluster analysis of the measured telomere parameters identified three subgroups from our patient cohort. These subgroups have unique telomere profiles based on telomere length and nuclear architecture. Subgroups with higher levels of telomere dysfunction were comprised of tumors with greater numbers of telomeres, telomeric aggregates, and short telomeres (P < .0001. Tumors with greater telomere dysfunction were associated with unfavorable tumor characteristics (greater age at diagnosis, unfavorable histology, higher stage of disease, MYCN amplification, and higher MYCN expression and poor prognostic risk (P < .001. Subgroups with greater telomere dysfunction also had higher intratumor heterogeneity. MYCN overexpression in two neuroblastoma cell lines with constitutively low MYCN expression induced changes in their telomere profile that were consistent with increased telomere dysfunction; this illustrates a functional relationship between MYCN and 3D telomere organization. This study demonstrates the ability to classify neuroblastomas based on the level of telomere dysfunction, which is a novel approach for this cancer.

  8. Using the telobox to search for plant telomere binding proteins. (United States)

    Peška, Vratislav; Schrumpfová, Petra Procházková; Fajkus, Jiŕí


    Telobox is a Myb-related DNA-binding domain which is present in a number of yeast, plant and animal proteins. Its capacity to bind preferentially double-stranded telomeric DNA has been used in numerous studies to search for candidate telomeric proteins in various organisms, including plants. Here we provide an overview of these studies with a special emphasis on plants, where a specific subfamily of the proteins possessing the N-terminally positioned telobox is present in addition to more common C-terminal telobox proteins. We further demonstrate the presence of a telobox protein (CpTBP1) in Cestrum parqui, a plant lacking typical telomeres and telomerase. The protein shows nuclear localisation and association with chromatin. The role of this protein in ancestral and current telomere structure is discussed in the evolutionary context. Altogether, the present overview shows the importance of the telobox domain in a search for candidate telomere proteins but at the same time warns against oversimplified identification of any telobox protein with telomere structure without appropriate evidence of its telomeric localisation and function.

  9. Protection of Drosophila chromosome ends through minimal telomere capping. (United States)

    Dubruille, Raphaëlle; Loppin, Benjamin


    In Drosophila, telomere-capping proteins have the remarkable capacity to recognize chromosome ends in a sequence-independent manner. This epigenetic protection is essential to prevent catastrophic ligations of chromosome extremities. Interestingly, capping proteins occupy a large telomere chromatin domain of several kilobases; however, the functional relevance of this to end protection is unknown. Here, we investigate the role of the large capping domain by manipulating HOAP (encoded by caravaggio) capping-protein expression in the male germ cells, where telomere protection can be challenged without compromising viability. We show that the exhaustion of HOAP results in a dramatic reduction of other capping proteins at telomeres, including K81 [encoded by ms(3)K81], which is essential for male fertility. Strikingly however, we demonstrate that, although capping complexes are barely detected in HOAP-depleted male germ cells, telomere protection and male fertility are not dramatically affected. Our study thus demonstrates that efficient protection of Drosophila telomeres can be achieved with surprisingly low amounts of capping complexes. We propose that these complexes prevent fusions by acting at the very extremity of chromosomes, reminiscent of the protection conferred by extremely short telomeric arrays in yeast or mammalian systems.

  10. The relationship between telomere length and beekeeping among Malaysians. (United States)

    Nasir, Nurul Fatihah Mohamad; Kannan, Thirumulu Ponnuraj; Sulaiman, Siti Amrah; Shamsuddin, Shaharum; Azlina, Ahmad; Stangaciu, Stefan


    The belief that beekeepers live longer than anyone else is present since ages. However, no research has been done to explore the longevity of life in beekeepers. Here, we investigated the telomere length in 30 male beekeepers and 30 male non-beekeepers and associated them with the longevity of life using Southern analysis of terminal restriction fragments (TRFs) generated by Hinf I/Rsa I digestion of human genomic DNA using TeloTAGGG Telomere Length Assay. Interestingly, we found that the telomere length of male beekeepers was significantly longer than those of male non-beekeepers with a p value of less than 0.05, suggesting that beekeepers may have longer life compared to non-beekeepers. We further found that the consumption of bee products for a long period and frequent consumption of bee products per day are associated with telomere length. An increase of year in consuming bee products is associated with a mean increase in telomere length of 0.258 kbp. In addition, an increase in frequency of eating bee products per day was also associated with a mean increase of 2.66 kbp in telomere length. These results suggested that bee products might play some roles in telomere length maintenance.

  11. Telomere Dysfunction in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Cryptogenic Cirrhosis. (United States)

    Laish, Ido; Mannasse-Green, Batya; Hadary, Ruth; Biron-Shental, Tal; Konikoff, Fred M; Amiel, Aliza; Kitay-Cohen, Yona


    Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and cryptogenic cirrhosis (CC) are considered preneoplastic conditions that might progress to hepatocellular carcinoma. We evaluated parameters of telomere dysfunction in these patient groups to study the correlation between telomere length and the progression of NAFLD. We analyzed peripheral lymphocytes from 22 patients with NAFLD, 20 patients with CC, and 20 healthy, age-matched controls. Telomere length was analyzed using quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization, and cellular senescence was evaluated by the percentage of cells with senescence-associated heterochromatin foci. The expression of telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) mRNA was measured using polymerase chain reaction, and telomere capture (TC) was assessed with 2 Cytocell probes, 15qter and 13qter. Shorter telomere length and increased cellular senescence was demonstrated in patients with NAFLD, compared to the CC patients and healthy controls. While hTERT mRNA was significantly decreased, TC was increased in CC patients, compared to the NAFLD group and healthy individuals. Thus, there is a correlation between hTERT mRNA expression and telomere length in patients with NAFLD, which might be related to associated metabolic disorders and the risk of malignant transformation. Patients with CC, on the contrary, elongate their telomeres through the TC mechanism.

  12. Telomere length and cortisol reactivity in children of depressed mothers. (United States)

    Gotlib, I H; LeMoult, J; Colich, N L; Foland-Ross, L C; Hallmayer, J; Joormann, J; Lin, J; Wolkowitz, O M


    A growing body of research demonstrates that individuals diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) are characterized by shortened telomere length, which has been posited to underlie the association between depression and increased instances of medical illness. The temporal nature of the relation between MDD and shortened telomere length, however, is not clear. Importantly, both MDD and telomere length have been associated independently with high levels of stress, implicating dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and anomalous levels of cortisol secretion in this relation. Despite these associations, no study has assessed telomere length or its relation with HPA-axis activity in individuals at risk for depression, before the onset of disorder. In the present study, we assessed cortisol levels in response to a laboratory stressor and telomere length in 97 healthy young daughters of mothers either with recurrent episodes of depression (i.e., daughters at familial risk for depression) or with no history of psychopathology. We found that daughters of depressed mothers had shorter telomeres than did daughters of never-depressed mothers and, further, that shorter telomeres were associated with greater cortisol reactivity to stress. This study is the first to demonstrate that children at familial risk of developing MDD are characterized by accelerated biological aging, operationalized as shortened telomere length, before they had experienced an onset of depression; this may predispose them to develop not only MDD but also other age-related medical illnesses. It is critical, therefore, that we attempt to identify and distinguish genetic and environmental mechanisms that contribute to telomere shortening.

  13. Telomeres and telomerase: Biological and clinical importance in dogs. (United States)

    Nasir, Lubna


    In recent years in human oncology the enzyme telomerase has emerged as an ideal target for cancer therapy. This has led to the assessment of telomerase in cancers in companion animals, mainly dogs and these studies confirm that in dogs, like humans, telomere maintenance by telomerase is the primary mechanism by which cancer cells overcome their mortality and extend their lifespan. This review aims to provide an introduction to the biology of telomeres and telomerase and to discuss some of the telomere/telomerase directed therapeutic methodologies currently under development which may be of benefit to the canine cancer patient.

  14. Electrochemical detection of telomeric quadruplex DNA using ferrocenyl naphthalene diimide. (United States)

    Sato, Shinobu; Kondo, Hiroki; Nojima, Takahiko; Takenaka, Shigeori


    Ferrocenylnaphthalene diimide (FND) could strongly bind to the synthetic telomere DNA, 5'-CAT GGT GGT TTG GGT TAG GGT TAG GGT TAG GGT TAC CAC-3', at 0.1 M KCl. The binding affinity of FND for the telomere DNA was ten times higher than that for calf thymus DNA under the conditions employed. Circular dichroism spectra suggested that the telomere DNA can form a tetraplex structure and FND can bind to it. Oligonucleotide extended by telomerase on the electrode could also be detected electrochemically by using FND, thereby suggesting the possibility that telomerase activity may be detected electrochemically.

  15. Telomere Lengths and Telomerase Activity in Dog Tissues: A Potential Model System to Study Human Telomere and Telomerase Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lubna Nasir


    Full Text Available Studies on telomere and telomerase biology are fundamental to the understanding of aging and age-related diseases such as cancer. However, human studies have been hindered by differences in telomere biology between humans and the classical murine animal model system. In this paper, we describe basic studies of telomere length and telomerase activity in canine normal and neoplastic tissues and propose the dog as an alternative model system. Briefly, telomere lengths were measured in normal canine peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs, a range of normal canine tissues, and in a panel of naturally occurring soft tissue tumours by terminal restriction fragment (TRF analysis. Further, telomerase activity was measured in canine cell lines and multiple canine tissues using a combined polymerase chain reaction/enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. TRF analysis in canine PBMCs and tissues demonstrated mean TRF lengths to range between 12 and 23 kbp with heterogeneity in telomere lengths being observed in a range of normal somatic tissues. In soft tissue sarcomas, two subgroups were identified with mean TRFs of 22.2 and 18.2 kbp. Telomerase activity in canine tissue was present in tumour tissue and testis with little or no activity in normal somatic tissues. These results suggest that the dog telomere biology is similar to that in humans and may represent an alternative model system for studying telomere biology and telomerase-targeted anticancer therapies.

  16. Global transcription regulation by DNA topoisomerase I in exponentially growing Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells: activation of telomere-proximal genes by TOP1 deletion. (United States)

    Lotito, Luca; Russo, Alessandra; Chillemi, Giovanni; Bueno, Susana; Cavalieri, Duccio; Capranico, Giovanni


    To establish the cellular functions of DNA topoisomerase I-B (Top1p) at a global level, we have determined the expression profiles and histone modification patterns affected by TOP1 gene deletion (DeltaTOP1) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In exponentially growing cells, DeltaTOP1 specifically increases transcription of telomere-proximal genes and decreases glucose utilization and energy production pathways. Immunoprecipitation data demonstrate that Top1p can bind to and is catalytically active at telomeric DNA repeats, and that both DeltaTOP1 and an inactive Y727F Top1p mutant increase H4 histone acetylation at telomere-proximal regions. Interestingly, while the Y727F mutation has no influence on enzyme recruitment to chromatin sites, it has a marked effect on H4 K16 acetylation at subtelomeric regions. The Top1p mutation also increases H3 histone K4 dimethylation, which has been associated with gene transcription, at 3' termini of subtelomeric genes. No major effect of DeltaTOP1 or mutation was detected on Sir3p recruitment; however, DeltaTOP1 has an effect on transcript levels of genes known to regulate telomeric silencing. Thus, the findings indicate that Top1p activity can favor both a repressed chromatin organization and a reduced gene expression level at telomere-proximal regions in yeast. As telomere-proximal regions are known to be enriched for stress-activated genes, our findings show that Top1p can optimize transcript levels for cell growth in exponentially growing cells under a synthetic medium with glucose.

  17. Epigenetics and triplet repeat neurological diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sathiji eNageshwaran


    Full Text Available The term ‘junk DNA’ has been reconsidered following the delineation of the functional significance of repetitive DNA regions. Typically associated with centromeres and telomeres, DNA repeats are found in nearly all organisms throughout their genomes. Repetitive regions are frequently heterchromatinised resulting in silencing of intrinsic and nearby genes. However, this is not a uniform rule, with several genes known to require such an environment to permit transcription. Repetitive regions frequently exist as dinucleotide, trinucleotide and tetranucleotide repeats. The association between repetitive regions and disease was emphasised following the discovery of abnormal trinucleotide repeats underlying spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (Kennedy’s disease and fragile X syndrome of mental retardation (FRAXA in 1991. In this review we provide a brief overview of epigenetic mechanisms and then focus on several diseases caused by DNA triplet-repeat expansions, which exhibit diverse epigenetic effects. It is clear that the emerging field of epigenetics is already generating novel potential therapeutic avenues for this group of largely incurable diseases.

  18. Short Telomeres in Key Tissues Initiate Local and Systemic Aging in Zebrafish.

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    Madalena C Carneiro


    Full Text Available Telomeres shorten with each cell division and telomere dysfunction is a recognized hallmark of aging. Tissue proliferation is expected to dictate the rate at which telomeres shorten. We set out to test whether proliferative tissues age faster than non-proliferative due to telomere shortening during zebrafish aging. We performed a prospective study linking telomere length to tissue pathology and disease. Contrary to expectations, we show that telomeres shorten to critical lengths only in specific tissues and independently of their proliferation rate. Short telomeres accumulate in the gut but not in other highly proliferative tissues such as the blood and gonads. Notably, the muscle, a low proliferative tissue, accumulates short telomeres and DNA damage at the same rate as the gut. Together, our work shows that telomere shortening and DNA damage in key tissues triggers not only local dysfunction but also anticipates the onset of age-associated diseases in other tissues, including cancer.

  19. Telomere dynamics in human mesenchymal stem cells after exposure to acute oxidative stress

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harbo, M.; Koelvraa, S.; Serakinci, N.;


    A gradual shortening of telomeres due to replication can be measured using the standard telomere restriction fragments (TRF) assay and other methods by measuring the mean length of all the telomeres in a cell. In contrast, stress-induced telomere shortening, which is believed to be just...... as important for causing cellular senescence, cannot be measured properly using these methods. Stress-induced telomere shortening caused by, e.g. oxidative damage happens in a stochastic manner leaving just a few single telomeres critically short. It is now possible to visualize these few ultra-short telomeres...... due to the advantages of the newly developed Universal single telomere length assay (STELA), and we therefore believe that this method should be considered the method of choice when measuring the length of telomeres after exposure to oxidative stress. In order to test our hypothesis, cultured human...

  20. Telomere shortening and telomerase activity in ischaemic cardiomyopathy patients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sawhney, V; Campbell, N G; Brouilette, S W


    BACKGROUND: Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) reduce mortality in patients with ischaemic cardiomyopathy at high risk of ventricular arrhythmias (VA). However, the current indication for ICD prescription needs improvement. Telomere and telomerase in leucocytes have been shown to asso...

  1. How do Innovation Intermediaries add Value?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tran, Yen; Hsuan, Juliana; Mahnke, Volker


    Innovation intermediaries are increasingly being used in practice, but there is little concrete theoretical guidance on when and how they add value to client's new product development (NPD) processes. This paper develops propositions on innovation intermediaries value-added based on a detailed case...... types of specific intermediary capabilities (best-cost capabilities, timing-capabilities, market-response capabilities, and product solution capabilities) increases value added in clients' NDP processes....... study of an innovation intermediary's relations to three major clients in the European apparel fashion industry. We identify key contingencies to an innovation intermediary's value added (e.g. NDP speed and complexity of involvement). We also suggest a framework that specifies when a combination of four...

  2. Using Joint Interviews to Add Analytic Value. (United States)

    Polak, Louisa; Green, Judith


    Joint interviewing has been frequently used in health research, and is the subject of a growing methodological literature. We review this literature, and build on it by drawing on a case study of how people make decisions about taking statins. This highlights two ways in which a dyadic approach to joint interviewing can add analytic value compared with individual interviewing. First, the analysis of interaction within joint interviews can help to explicate tacit knowledge and to illuminate the range of often hard-to-access resources that are drawn upon in making decisions. Second, joint interviews mitigate some of the weaknesses of interviewing as a method for studying practices; we offer a cautious defense of the often-tacit assumption that the "naturalness" of joint interviews strengthens their credibility as the basis for analytic inferences. We suggest that joint interviews are a particularly appropriate method for studying complex shared practices such as making health decisions.

  3. Two pathways recruit telomerase to Saccharomyces cerevisiae telomeres.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela Chan


    Full Text Available The catalytic subunit of yeast telomerase, Est2p, is a telomere associated throughout most of the cell cycle, while the Est1p subunit binds only in late S/G2 phase, the time of telomerase action. Est2p binding in G1/early S phase requires a specific interaction between telomerase RNA (TLC1 and Ku80p. Here, we show that in four telomerase-deficient strains (cdc13-2, est1A, tlc1-SD, and tlc1-BD, Est2p telomere binding was normal in G1/early S phase but reduced to about 40-50% of wild type levels in late S/G2 phase. Est1p telomere association was low in all four strains. Wild type levels of Est2p telomere binding in late S/G2 phase was Est1p-dependent and required that Est1p be both telomere-bound and associated with a stem-bulge region in TLC1 RNA. In three telomerase-deficient strains in which Est1p is not Est2p-associated (tlc1-SD, tlc1-BD, and est2A, Est1p was present at normal levels but its telomere binding was very low. When the G1/early S phase and the late S/G2 phase telomerase recruitment pathways were both disrupted, neither Est2p nor Est1p was telomere-associated. We conclude that reduced levels of Est2p and low Est1p telomere binding in late S/G2 phase correlated with an est phenotype, while a WT level of Est2p binding in G1 was not sufficient to maintain telomeres. In addition, even though Cdc13p and Est1p interact by two hybrid, biochemical and genetic criteria, this interaction did not occur unless Est1p was Est2p-associated, suggesting that Est1p comes to the telomere only as part of the holoenzyme. Finally, the G1 and late S/G2 phase pathways for telomerase recruitment are distinct and are likely the only ones that bring telomerase to telomeres in wild-type cells.

  4. Lead Exposure Induces Telomere Instability in Human Cells.

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    Géraldine Pottier

    Full Text Available Lead (Pb is an important environmental contaminant due to its widespread use over many centuries. While it affects primarily every organ system of the body, the most pernicious effects of Pb are on the central nervous system leading to cognitive and behavioral modification. Despite decades of research, the mechanisms responsible for Pb toxicity remain poorly understood. Recent work has suggested that Pb exposure may have consequences on chromosomal integrity as it was shown that Pb exposure leads to the generation of γH2Ax foci, a well-established biomarker for DNA double stranded break (DSB formation. As the chromosomal localization of γH2Ax foci plays an important role in determining the molecular mechanism responsible for their formation, we examined the localization of Pb-induced foci with respect to telomeres. Indeed, short or dysfunctional telomeres (uncapped or damaged telomeres may be recognized as DSB by the DNA repair machinery, leading to "telomere-Induced Foci" (TIFs. In the current study, we show that while Pb exposure did not increase intra-chromosomal foci, it significantly induced TIFs, leading in some cases, to chromosomal abnormalities including telomere loss. The evidence suggests that these chromosomal abnormalities are likely due to perturbation of telomere replication, in particular on the lagging DNA strand. We propose a mechanism by which Pb exposure leads to the loss of telomere maintenance. As numerous studies have demonstrated a role for telomere maintenance in brain development and tissue homeostasis, our results suggest a possible mechanism for lead-induced neurotoxicity.

  5. [Telomeres: a Nobel Prize at the beginning… of the end]. (United States)

    Rajpar, Shanna; Guittat, Lionel; Mergny, Jean-Louis


    The 2009 Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine was awarded to Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider and Jack K. Szostak for their work on telomeres and telomerase. This prize acknowledges their pionneering discoveries on chromosomal extremities. Telomeres are the nucleoproteic complexes that may be found at the ends of linear chromosomes. They are essential for genomic stability and are involved in aging and tumorogenesis.

  6. Telomere dynamics and homeostasis in a transmissible cancer.

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    Beata Ujvari

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD is a unique clonal cancer that threatens the world's largest carnivorous marsupial, the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii with extinction. This transmissible cancer is passed between individual devils by cell implantation during social interactions. The tumour arose in a Schwann cell of a single devil over 15 years ago and since then has expanded clonally, without showing signs of replicative senescence; in stark contrast to a somatic cell that displays a finite capacity for replication, known as the "Hayflick limit". METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In the present study we investigate the role of telomere length, measured as Telomere Copy Number (TCN, and telomerase and shelterin gene expression, as well as telomerase activity in maintaining hyperproliferation of Devil Facial Tumour (DFT cells. Our results show that DFT cells have short telomeres. DFTD TCN does not differ between geographic regions or between strains. However, TCN has increased over time. Unlimited cell proliferation is likely to have been achieved through the observed up-regulation of the catalytic subunit of telomerase (TERT and concomitant activation of telomerase. Up-regulation of the central component of shelterin, the TRF1-intercating nuclear factor 2 (TINF2 provides DFT a mechanism for telomere length homeostasis. The higher expression of both TERT and TINF2 may also protect DFT cells from genomic instability and enhance tumour proliferation. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: DFT cells appear to monitor and regulate the length of individual telomeres: i.e. shorter telomeres are elongated by up-regulation of telomerase-related genes; longer telomeres are protected from further elongation by members of the shelterin complex, which may explain the lack of spatial and strain variation in DFT telomere copy number. The observed longitudinal increase in gene expression in DFT tissue samples and telomerase activity in DFT cell lines might

  7. Blood cell telomere length is a dynamic feature.

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    Ulrika Svenson

    Full Text Available There is a considerable heterogeneity in blood cell telomere length (TL for individuals of similar age and recent studies have revealed that TL changes by time are dependent on TL at baseline. TL is partly inherited, but results from several studies indicate that e.g. life style and/or environmental factors can affect TL during life. Collectively, these studies imply that blood cell TL might fluctuate during a life time and that the actual TL at a defined time point is the result of potential regulatory mechanism(s and environmental factors. We analyzed relative TL (RTL in subsequent blood samples taken six months apart from 50 individuals and found significant associations between RTL changes and RTL at baseline. Individual RTL changes per month were more pronounced than the changes recorded in a previously studied population analyzed after 10 years' follow up. The data argues for an oscillating TL pattern which levels out at longer follow up times. In a separate group of five blood donors, a marked telomere loss was demonstrated within a six month period for one donor where after TL was stabilized. PCR determined RTL changes were verified by Southern blotting and STELA (single telomere elongation length analysis. The STELA demonstrated that for the donor with a marked telomere loss, the heterogeneity of the telomere distribution decreased considerably, with a noteworthy loss of the largest telomeres. In summary, the collected data support the concept that individual blood cell telomere length is a dynamic feature and this will be important to recognize in future studies of human telomere biology.

  8. Photosensitized damage to telomere overhang and telomerase RNA by riboflavin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yuxia Liu; Fuqiang Du; Weizhen Lin; Tiecheng Tu; Wenxin Li; Nianyun Lin


    By ESR spin elimination and photodeavage assay, the mechanisms of one-electron oxidation damage of oligonucleotides by excited triplet state of riboflavin (Rb) have been elucidated. The results demonstrate that Rb, an endogenous photosensitizer, is capable of cleaving single-stranded telomeric overhang and the template region of telomerase RNA under UVA irradiation, resulting in blocking of reverse transcription of telomeric DNA which leads to the apoptosis of cancer cells ultimately.

  9. Genome-wide studies of telomere biology in budding yeast

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    Yaniv Harari


    Full Text Available Telomeres are specialized DNA-protein structures at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. Telomeres are essential for chromosomal stability and integrity, as they prevent chromosome ends from being recognized as double strand breaks. In rapidly proliferating cells, telomeric DNA is synthesized by the enzyme telomerase, which copies a short template sequence within its own RNA moiety, thus helping to solve the “end-replication problem”, in which information is lost at the ends of chromosomes with each DNA replication cycle. The basic mechanisms of telomere length, structure and function maintenance are conserved among eukaryotes. Studies in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae have been instrumental in deciphering the basic aspects of telomere biology. In the last decade, technical advances, such as the availability of mutant collections, have allowed carrying out systematic genome-wide screens for mutants affecting various aspects of telomere biology. In this review we summarize these efforts, and the insights that this Systems Biology approach has produced so far.

  10. Dyskeratosis congenita as a disorder of telomere maintenance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nelson, Nya D. [Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children' s Hospital, 1102 Bates, FC 1200, Houston, TX 77030 (United States); Bertuch, Alison A., E-mail: [Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children' s Hospital, 1102 Bates, FC 1200, Houston, TX 77030 (United States); Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children' s Hospital, 1102 Bates, FC 1200, Houston, TX 77030 (United States)


    Since 1998, there have been great advances in our understanding of the pathogenesis of dyskeratosis congenita (DC), a rare inherited bone marrow failure and cancer predisposition syndrome with prominent mucocutaneous abnormalities and features of premature aging. DC is now characterized molecularly by the presence of short age-adjusted telomeres. Mutations in seven genes have been unequivocally associated with DC, each with a role in telomere length maintenance. These observations, combined with knowledge that progressive telomere shortening can impose a proliferative barrier on dividing cells and contribute to chromosome instability, have led to the understanding that extreme telomere shortening drives the clinical features of DC. However, some of the genes implicated in DC encode proteins that are also components of H/ACA-ribonucleoprotein enzymes, which are responsible for the post-translational modification of ribosomal and spliceosomal RNAs, raising the question whether alterations in these activities play a role in the pathogenesis of DC. In addition, recent reports suggest that some cases of DC may not be characterized by short age-adjusted telomeres. This review will highlight our current knowledge of the telomere length defects in DC and the factors involved in its development.

  11. Telomeric trans-silencing in Drosophila melanogaster: tissue specificity, development and functional interactions between non-homologous telomeres.

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    Thibaut Josse

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The study of P element repression in Drosophila melanogaster led to the discovery of the telomeric Trans-Silencing Effect (TSE, a homology-dependent repression mechanism by which a P-transgene inserted in subtelomeric heterochromatin (Telomeric Associated Sequences, "TAS" has the capacity to repress in trans, in the female germline, a homologous P-lacZ transgene located in euchromatin. TSE can show variegation in ovaries, displays a maternal effect as well as an epigenetic transmission through meiosis and involves heterochromatin and RNA silencing pathways. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we analyze phenotypic and genetic properties of TSE. We report that TSE does not occur in the soma at the adult stage, but appears restricted to the female germline. It is detectable during development at the third instar larvae where it presents the same tissue specificity and maternal effect as in adults. Transgenes located in TAS at the telomeres of the main chromosomes can be silencers which in each case show the maternal effect. Silencers located at non-homologous telomeres functionally interact since they stimulate each other via the maternally-transmitted component. All germinally-expressed euchromatic transgenes tested, located on all major chromosomes, were found to be repressed by a telomeric silencer: thus we detected no TSE escaper. The presence of the euchromatic target transgene is not necessary to establish the maternal inheritance of TSE, responsible for its epigenetic behavior. A single telomeric silencer locus can simultaneously repress two P-lacZ targets located on different chromosomal arms. CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: Therefore TSE appears to be a widespread phenomenon which can involve different telomeres and work across the genome. It can explain the P cytotype establishment by telomeric P elements in natural Drosophila populations.

  12. hTERT cancer risk genotypes are associated with telomere length. (United States)

    Melin, Beatrice S; Nordfjäll, Katarina; Andersson, Ulrika; Roos, Göran


    Telomere biology is associated with cancer initiation and prognosis. Collected data suggest that blood cell telomere length (TL) can change over time, which may be related to development of common disorders, such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Recently, single nucleotide polymorphisms in the region of the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) gene were associated with various malignancies, including glioma, lung and urinary bladder cancer, and telomerase RNA gene hTERC genotypes were recently linked to TL. In the present study a hypothetical association between identified genotypes in hTERT and hTERC genes and TL were investigated. We analyzed 21 polymorphisms, covering 90% of the genetic variance, in the hTERT gene, two genetic variants in hTERC, and relative TL(RTL) at average age 50 and 60 in 959 individuals with repeated blood samples. Mean RTL at age 60 was associated with four genetic variants of the hTERT gene (rs2736100, rs2853672, rs2853677, and rs2853676), two of which reported to be associated with cancer risk. Two alleles (rs12696304, rs16847897) near the hTERC gene were confirmed as also being associated with RTL at age 60. Our data suggest that hTERT and hTERC genotypes have an impact on TL of potential relevance and detectable first at higher ages, which gives us further insight to the complex regulation of TL.

  13. Segregating YKU80 and TLC1 alleles underlying natural variation in telomere properties in wild yeast.

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    Gianni Liti


    Full Text Available In yeast, as in humans, telomere length varies among individuals and is controlled by multiple loci. In a quest to define the extent of variation in telomere length, we screened 112 wild-type Saccharomyces sensu stricto isolates. We found extensive telomere length variation in S. paradoxus isolates. This phenotype correlated with their geographic origin: European strains were observed to have extremely short telomeres (400 bp. Insertions of a URA3 gene near telomeres allowed accurate analysis of individual telomere lengths and telomere position effect (TPE. Crossing the American and European strains resulted in F1 spores with a continuum of telomere lengths consistent with what would be predicted if many quantitative trait loci (QTLs were involved in length maintenance. Variation in TPE is similarly quantitative but only weakly correlated with telomere length. Genotyping F1 segregants indicated several QTLs associated with telomere length and silencing variation. These QTLs include likely candidate genes but also map to regions where there are no known genes involved in telomeric properties. We detected transgressive segregation for both phenotypes. We validated by reciprocal hemizygosity that YKU80 and TLC1 are telomere-length QTLs in the two S. paradoxus subpopulations. Furthermore, we propose that sequence divergence within the Ku heterodimer generates negative epistasis within one of the allelic combinations (American-YKU70 and European-YKU80 resulting in very short telomeres.

  14. Telomere-binding protein TPP1 modulates telomere homeostasis and confers radioresistance to human colorectal cancer cells.

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    Lei Yang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Radiotherapy is one of the major therapeutic strategies in cancer treatment. The telomere-binding protein TPP1 is an important component of the shelterin complex at mammalian telomeres. Our previous reports showed that TPP1 expression was elevated in radioresistant cells, but the exact effects and mechanisms of TPP1 on radiosensitivity is unclear. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we found that elevated TPP1 expression significantly correlated with radioresistance and longer telomere length in human colorectal cancer cell lines. Moreover, TPP1 overexpression showed lengthened telomere length and a significant decrease of radiosensitivity to X-rays. TPP1 mediated radioresistance was correlated with a decreased apoptosis rate after IR exposure. Furthermore, TPP1 overexpression showed prolonged G2/M arrest mediated by ATM/ATR-Chk1 signal pathway after IR exposure. Moreover, TPP1 overexpression accelerated the repair kinetics of total DNA damage and telomere dysfunction induced by ionizing radiation. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated that elevated expressions of TPP1 in human colorectal cancer cells could protect telomere from DNA damage and confer radioresistance. These results suggested that TPP1 may be a potential target in the radiotherapy of colorectal cancer.

  15. Depleting components of the THO complex causes increased telomere length by reducing the expression of the telomere-associated protein Rif1p.

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    Tai-Yuan Yu

    Full Text Available Telomere length is regulated mostly by proteins directly associated with telomeres. However, genome-wide analysis of Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutants has revealed that deletion of Hpr1p, a component of the THO complex, also affects telomere length. The THO complex comprises four protein subunits, namely, Tho2p, Hpr1p, Mft1p, and Thp2p. These subunits interplay between transcription elongation and co-transcriptional assembly of export-competent mRNPs. Here we found that the deletion of tho2 or hpr1 caused telomere lengthening by ∼50-100 bps, whereas that of mft1 or thp2 did not affect telomere length. Since the THO complex functions in transcription elongation, we analyzed the expression of telomere-associated proteins in mutants depleted of complex components. We found that both the mRNA and protein levels of RIF1 were decreased in tho2 and hpr1 cells. RIF1 encodes a 1917-amino acid polypeptide that is involved in regulating telomere length and the formation of telomeric heterochromatin. Hpr1p and Tho2p appeared to affect telomeres through Rif1p, as increased Rif1p levels suppressed the telomere lengthening in tho2 and hpr1 cells. Moreover, yeast cells carrying rif1 tho2 or rif1 hpr1 double mutations showed telomere lengths and telomere silencing effects similar to those observed in the rif1 mutant. Thus, we conclude that mutations of components of the THO complex affect telomere functions by reducing the expression of a telomere-associated protein, Rif1p.

  16. Social isolation shortens telomeres in African Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus.

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    Denise Aydinonat

    Full Text Available Telomeres, the caps of eukaryotic chromosomes, control chromosome stability and cellular senescence, but aging and exposure to chronic stress are suspected to cause attrition of telomere length. We investigated the effect of social isolation on telomere length in the highly social and intelligent African Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus. Our study population consisted of single-housed (n = 26 and pair-housed (n = 19 captive individuals between 0.75 to 45 years of age. Relative telomere length of erythrocyte DNA was measured by quantitative real-time PCR. We found that telomere length declined with age (p<0.001, and socially isolated parrots had significantly shorter telomeres compared to pair-housed birds (p<0.001 - even among birds of similar ages. Our findings provide the first evidence that social isolation affects telomere length, which supports the hypothesis that telomeres provide a biomarker indicating exposure to chronic stress.

  17. Social isolation shortens telomeres in African Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus). (United States)

    Aydinonat, Denise; Penn, Dustin J; Smith, Steve; Moodley, Yoshan; Hoelzl, Franz; Knauer, Felix; Schwarzenberger, Franz


    Telomeres, the caps of eukaryotic chromosomes, control chromosome stability and cellular senescence, but aging and exposure to chronic stress are suspected to cause attrition of telomere length. We investigated the effect of social isolation on telomere length in the highly social and intelligent African Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus). Our study population consisted of single-housed (n = 26) and pair-housed (n = 19) captive individuals between 0.75 to 45 years of age. Relative telomere length of erythrocyte DNA was measured by quantitative real-time PCR. We found that telomere length declined with age (pparrots had significantly shorter telomeres compared to pair-housed birds (p<0.001) - even among birds of similar ages. Our findings provide the first evidence that social isolation affects telomere length, which supports the hypothesis that telomeres provide a biomarker indicating exposure to chronic stress.

  18. The distribution pattern of critically short telomeres in human osteoarthritic knees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harbo, Maria; Bendix, Laila; Bay-Jensen, Anne Christine;


    ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Telomere shortening is associated with a number of common age-related diseases. A role of telomere shortening in osteoarthritis (OA) has been suggested, mainly based on the assessment of mean telomere length in ex vivo expanded chondrocytes. We addressed this role directly...... site. Each sample was split into three: one was used for quantification of ultra-short single telomeres through the Universal single telomere length assay (STELA), one for histological Mankin grading of OA, and one for mean telomere length measurement through quantitative fluorescence in situ...... hybridization (Q-FISH) as well as for assessment of senescence through quantification of senescence-associated heterochromatin foci (SAHF). RESULTS: The load of ultra-short telomeres as well as mean telomere length was significantly associated with proximity to lesions, OA severity, and senescence level...

  19. Human telomere biology: A contributory and interactive factor in aging, disease risks, and protection. (United States)

    Blackburn, Elizabeth H; Epel, Elissa S; Lin, Jue


    Telomeres are the protective end-complexes at the termini of eukaryotic chromosomes. Telomere attrition can lead to potentially maladaptive cellular changes, block cell division, and interfere with tissue replenishment. Recent advances in the understanding of human disease processes have clarified the roles of telomere biology, especially in diseases of human aging and in some aging-related processes. Greater overall telomere attrition predicts mortality and aging-related diseases in inherited telomere syndrome patients, and also in general human cohorts. However, genetically caused variations in telomere maintenance either raise or lower risks and progression of cancers, in a highly cancer type-specific fashion. Telomere maintenance is determined by genetic factors and is also cumulatively shaped by nongenetic influences throughout human life; both can interact. These and other recent findings highlight both causal and potentiating roles for telomere attrition in human diseases.

  20. Unraveling the pathogenesis of Hoyeraal-Hreidarsson syndrome, a complex telomere biology disorder. (United States)

    Glousker, Galina; Touzot, Fabien; Revy, Patrick; Tzfati, Yehuda; Savage, Sharon A


    Hoyeraal-Hreidarsson (HH) syndrome is a multisystem genetic disorder characterized by very short telomeres and considered a clinically severe variant of dyskeratosis congenita. The main cause of mortality, usually in early childhood, is bone marrow failure. Mutations in several telomere biology genes have been reported to cause HH in about 60% of the HH patients, but the genetic defects in the rest of the patients are still unknown. Understanding the aetiology of HH and its diverse manifestations is challenging because of the complexity of telomere biology and the multiple telomeric and non-telomeric functions played by telomere-associated proteins in processes such as telomere replication, telomere protection, DNA damage response and ribosome and spliceosome assembly. Here we review the known clinical complications, molecular defects and germline mutations associated with HH, and elucidate possible mechanistic explanations and remaining questions in our understanding of the disease.

  1. The heritability of telomere length among the elderly and oldest-old

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bischoff, Claus; Graakjaer, Jesper; Petersen, Hans Christian;


    A tight link exists between telomere length and both population doublings of a cell culture and age of a given organism. The more population doublings of the cell culture or the higher the age of the organism, the shorter the telomeres. The proposed model for telomere shortening, called the end...... replication problem, explains why the telomere erodes at each cellular turnover. Telomere length is regulated by a number of associated proteins through a number of different signaling pathways. The determinants of telomere length were studied using whole blood samples from 287 twin pairs aged 73 to 95 years....... Structural equation models revealed that a model including additive genetic effects and non-shared environment was the best fitting model and that telomere length was moderately heritable, with an estimate that was sensitive to the telomere length standardization procedure. Sex-specific analyses showed lower...

  2. Loss of ATRX Suppresses Resolution of Telomere Cohesion to Control Recombination in ALT Cancer Cells. (United States)

    Ramamoorthy, Mahesh; Smith, Susan


    The chromatin-remodeler ATRX is frequently lost in cancer cells that use ALT (alternative lengthening of telomeres) for telomere maintenance, but its function in telomere recombination is unknown. Here we show that loss of ATRX suppresses the timely resolution of sister telomere cohesion that normally occurs prior to mitosis. In the absence of ATRX, the histone variant macroH2A1.1 binds to the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase tankyrase 1, preventing it from localizing to telomeres and resolving cohesion. The resulting persistent telomere cohesion promotes recombination between sister telomeres, while it suppresses inappropriate recombination between non-sisters. Forced resolution of sister telomere cohesion induces excessive recombination between non-homologs, genomic instability, and impaired cell growth, indicating the ATRX-macroH2A1.1-tankyrase axis as a potential therapeutic target in ALT tumors.

  3. Telomeres and telomerase: Pharmacological targets for new anticancer strategies? (United States)

    Pendino, F; Tarkanyi, I; Dudognon, C; Hillion, J; Lanotte, M; Aradi, J; Ségal-Bendirdjian, E


    Telomeres are located at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. Human telomerase, a cellular reverse transcriptase, is a ribonucleoprotein enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis and extension of telomeric DNA. It is composed of at least, a template RNA component (hTR; human Telomerase RNA) and a catalytic subunit, the telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT). The absence of telomerase is associated with telomere shortening and aging of somatic cells, while high telomerase activity is observed in over 85% of human cancer cells, strongly indicating its key role during tumorigenesis. Several details regarding telomere structure and telomerase regulation have already been elucidated, providing new targets for therapeutic exploitation. Further support for anti-telomerase approaches comes from recent studies indicating that telomerase is endowed of additional functions in the control of growth and survival of tumor cells that do not depend only on the ability of this enzyme to maintain telomere length. This observation suggests that inhibiting telomerase or its synthesis may have additional anti-proliferative and apoptosis inducing effect, independently of the reduction of telomere length during cell divisions. This article reviews the basic information about the biology of telomeres and telomerase and attempts to present various approaches that are currently under investigation to inhibit its expression and its activity. We summarize herein distinct anti-telomerase approaches like antisense strategies, reverse transcriptase inhibitors, and G-quadruplex interacting agents, and also review molecules targeting hTERT expression, such as retinoids and evaluate them for their therapeutic potential. "They conceive a certain theory, and everything has to fit into that theory. If one little fact will not fit it, they throw it aside. But it is always the facts that will not fit in that are significant". "Death on the Nile". Agatha Christie.

  4. Genome-wide association study of relative telomere length. (United States)

    Prescott, Jennifer; Kraft, Peter; Chasman, Daniel I; Savage, Sharon A; Mirabello, Lisa; Berndt, Sonja I; Weissfeld, Joel L; Han, Jiali; Hayes, Richard B; Chanock, Stephen J; Hunter, David J; De Vivo, Immaculata


    Telomere function is essential to maintaining the physical integrity of linear chromosomes and healthy human aging. The probability of forming proper telomere structures depends on the length of the telomeric DNA tract. We attempted to identify common genetic variants associated with log relative telomere length using genome-wide genotyping data on 3,554 individuals from the Nurses' Health Study and the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial that took part in the National Cancer Institute Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility initiative for breast and prostate cancer. After genotyping 64 independent SNPs selected for replication in additional Nurses' Health Study and Women's Genome Health Study participants, we did not identify genome-wide significant loci; however, we replicated the inverse association of log relative telomere length with the minor allele variant [C] of rs16847897 at the TERC locus (per allele β = -0.03, P = 0.003) identified by a previous genome-wide association study. We did not find evidence for an association with variants at the OBFC1 locus or other loci reported to be associated with telomere length. With this sample size we had >80% power to detect β estimates as small as ±0.10 for SNPs with minor allele frequencies of ≥0.15 at genome-wide significance. However, power is greatly reduced for β estimates smaller than ±0.10, such as those for variants at the TERC locus. In general, common genetic variants associated with telomere length homeostasis have been difficult to detect. Potential biological and technical issues are discussed.

  5. Genome-wide association study of relative telomere length.

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    Jennifer Prescott

    Full Text Available Telomere function is essential to maintaining the physical integrity of linear chromosomes and healthy human aging. The probability of forming proper telomere structures depends on the length of the telomeric DNA tract. We attempted to identify common genetic variants associated with log relative telomere length using genome-wide genotyping data on 3,554 individuals from the Nurses' Health Study and the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial that took part in the National Cancer Institute Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility initiative for breast and prostate cancer. After genotyping 64 independent SNPs selected for replication in additional Nurses' Health Study and Women's Genome Health Study participants, we did not identify genome-wide significant loci; however, we replicated the inverse association of log relative telomere length with the minor allele variant [C] of rs16847897 at the TERC locus (per allele β = -0.03, P = 0.003 identified by a previous genome-wide association study. We did not find evidence for an association with variants at the OBFC1 locus or other loci reported to be associated with telomere length. With this sample size we had >80% power to detect β estimates as small as ±0.10 for SNPs with minor allele frequencies of ≥0.15 at genome-wide significance. However, power is greatly reduced for β estimates smaller than ±0.10, such as those for variants at the TERC locus. In general, common genetic variants associated with telomere length homeostasis have been difficult to detect. Potential biological and technical issues are discussed.

  6. Telomere shortening may be associated with human keloids

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    Wilson Robert R


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Keloids are benign skin tumors that are the effect of a dysregulated wound-healing process in genetically predisposed patients. They are inherited with an autosomal dominant mode with incomplete clinical penetrance and variable expression. Keloids are characterized by formation of excess scar tissue beyond the boundaries of the wound. The exact etiology is still unknown and there is currently no appropriate treatment for keloid disease. Methods We analyzed sample tissues were obtained from 20 patients with keloid skin lesions and normal skin was obtained from 20 healthy donors. The telomeres were measured by Terminal Restriction Fragment (TRF analysis and Real-Time PCR assay. Quantitative Real-Time RT-PCR analysis of hTERT gene expression was performed and intracellular ROS generation was measured. Results In this study, we determined whether telomeric shortening and the expression of human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT occurs in keloid patients. Using Terminal Restriction Fragment (TRF analysis and Real-Time PCR assay, we detected a significant telomere shortening of 30% in keloid specimens compared to normal skin. Using quantitative Real-Time RT-PCR, telomerase activity was found absent in the keloid tissues. Moreover, an increase in ROS generation was detected in fibroblasts cell cultures from keloid specimens as more time elapsed compared to fibroblasts from normal skin. Conclusion Telomere shortening has been reported in several metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. We found that telomere shortening can also be associated with human keloids. Chronic oxidative stress plays a major role in the pathophysiology of several chronic inflammatory diseases. Here we found increased ROS generation in fibroblasts from keloid fibroblasts cell cultures when compared to normal skin fibroblasts. Hence we conclude that oxidative stress might be an important modulator of telomere loss in keloid because of the absence of active

  7. High Phobic Anxiety Is Related to Lower Leukocyte Telomere Length in Women


    Okereke, Olivia I.; Jennifer Prescott; Wong, Jason Y.Y.; Jiali Han; Rexrode, Kathryn M; Immaculata De Vivo


    BACKGROUND: Chronic psychological distress has been linked to shorter telomeres, an indication of accelerated aging. Yet, little is known about relations of anxiety to telomeres. We examined whether a typically chronic form of anxiety--phobic anxiety--is related to telomere length. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Relative telomere lengths (RTLs) in peripheral blood leukocytes were measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction among 5,243 women (aged 42-69 years) who: were parti...

  8. Clinical Associations of Leukocyte Telomere Length in a Cohort of Repatriated Prisoners of War (United States)


    1 RPW TELOMERE LENGTH 1. Title Page Clinical Associations of Leukocyte Telomere Length in a Cohort of Repatriated Prisoners of War Authors...Reprints will not be available from the authors Short Title: RPW Telomere Length Manuscript metrics: Word count for abstract - 200 Word count 01-07-2014 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Clinical Associations of Leukocyte Telomere Length in a Cohort of Repatriated Prisoners of War 5a. CONTRACT

  9. Repeat-until-success quantum repeaters (United States)

    Bruschi, David Edward; Barlow, Thomas M.; Razavi, Mohsen; Beige, Almut


    We propose a repeat-until-success protocol to improve the performance of probabilistic quantum repeaters. Conventionally, these rely on passive static linear-optics elements and photodetectors to perform Bell-state measurements (BSMs) with a maximum success rate of 50%. This is a strong impediment for entanglement swapping between distant quantum memories. Every time a BSM fails, entanglement needs to be redistributed between the corresponding memories in the repeater link. The key ingredients of our scheme are repeatable BSMs. Under ideal conditions, these turn probabilistic quantum repeaters into deterministic ones. Under realistic conditions, our protocol too might fail. However, using additional threshold detectors now allows us to improve the entanglement generation rate by almost orders of magnitude, at a nominal distance of 1000 km, compared to schemes that rely on conventional BSMs. This improvement is sufficient to make the performance of our scheme comparable to the expected performance of some deterministic quantum repeaters.

  10. RTEL1 contributes to DNA replication and repair and telomere maintenance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uringa, Evert-Jan; Lisaingo, Kathleen; Pickett, Hilda A.; Brind'Amour, Julie; Rohde, Jan-Hendrik; Zelensky, Alex; Essers, Jeroen; Lansdorp, Peter M.


    Telomere maintenance and DNA repair are important processes that protect the genome against instability. mRtel1, an essential helicase, is a dominant factor setting telomere length in mice. In addition, mRtel1 is involved in DNA double-strand break repair. The role of mRtel1 in telomere maintenance

  11. Proteins induced by telomere dysfunction and DNA damage represent biomarkers of human aging and disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jiang, Hong; Schiffer, Eric; Song, Zhangfa; Wang, Jianwei; Zürbig, Petra; Thedieck, Kathrin; Moes, Suzette; Bantel, Heike; Saal, Nadja; Jantos, Justyna; Brecht, Meiken; Jenö, Paul; Hall, Michael N; Hager, Klaus; Manns, Michael P; Hecker, Hartmut; Ganser, Arnold; Döhner, Konstanze; Bartke, Andrzej; Meissner, Christoph; Mischak, Harald; Ju, Zhenyu; Rudolph, K Lenhard


    Telomere dysfunction limits the proliferative capacity of human cells by activation of DNA damage responses, inducing senescence or apoptosis. In humans, telomere shortening occurs in the vast majority of tissues during aging, and telomere shortening is accelerated in chronic diseases that increase

  12. Trigeminal star-like platinum complexes induce cancer cell senescence through quadruplex-mediated telomere dysfunction. (United States)

    Zheng, Xiao-Hui; Mu, Ge; Zhong, Yi-Fang; Zhang, Tian-Peng; Cao, Qian; Ji, Liang-Nian; Zhao, Yong; Mao, Zong-Wan


    Two trigeminal star-like platinum complexes were synthesized to induce the formation of human telomere G-quadruplex (hTel G4) with extremely high selectivity and affinity. The induced hTel G4 activates strong telomeric DNA damage response (TDDR), resulting in telomere dysfunction and cell senescence.

  13. Age intrinsic loss of telomere protection via TRF1 reduction in endothelial cells. (United States)

    Hohensinner, P J; Kaun, C; Buchberger, E; Ebenbauer, B; Demyanets, S; Huk, I; Eppel, W; Maurer, G; Huber, K; Wojta, J


    Aging is a major factor predisposing for multiple diseases. Telomeres at the ends of chromosomes protect the integrity of chromosomal DNA. A specialized six-protein complex termed shelterin protects the telomere from unwanted interaction with DNA damage pathways. The aim of our study was to evaluate the integrity of telomeres and the stability of telomere protection during aging in endothelial cells (EC). We describe that aging EC can be characterized by an increased cell size (40%, p=0.02) and increased expression of PAI 1 (4 fold, p=0.02), MCP1 (10 fold, p=0.001) and GMCSF (15 fold, p=0.004). Telomeric state in aging cells is defined by an increased telomere oxidation (27%, p=0.01), reduced telomere length (62%, p=0.02), and increased DNA damage foci formation (5% in young EC versus 16% in aged EC, p=0.003). This telomeric dysfunction is accompanied by a reduction in the shelterin component TRF1 (33% mRNA, p=0.001; 24% protein, p=0.007). Overexpression of TRF1 in aging EC reduced telomere-associated DNA damage foci to 5% (p=0.02) and reduced expression levels of MCP1 (18% reduction, p=0.008). Aged EC have increased telomere damage and an intrinsic loss of telomere protection. Reestablishing telomere integrity could therefore be a target for rejuvenating endothelial cell function.

  14. Telomere length predicts all-cause mortality in patients with type 1 diabetes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Astrup, A S; Tarnow, L; Jorsal, Anders;


    Type 1 diabetic patients with diabetic nephropathy have increased mortality and morbidity compared with normoalbuminuric patients. Telomere length in proliferative cells is inversely related to the total number of cell divisions, and therefore to biological age. We aimed to evaluate differences...... in telomere length in patients with type 1 diabetes with or without diabetic nephropathy; we also evaluated the prognostic value of telomere length....

  15. Dynamic Length Changes of Telomeres and Their Nuclear Organization in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Samassekou, Oumar [Manitoba Institute of Cell Biology, Cancer Care Manitoba, Department of Physiology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 0V9 (Canada)


    Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a myeloproliferative neoplasm characterized by the t(9;22) translocation. As in most cancers, short telomeres are one of the features of CML cells, and telomere shortening accentuates as the disease progresses from the chronic phase to the blastic phase. Although most individual telomeres are short, some of them are lengthened, and long individual telomeres occur non-randomly and might be associated with clonal selection. Telomerase is the main mechanism used to maintain telomere lengths, and its activity increases when CML evolves toward advanced stages. ALT might be another mechanism employed by CML cells to sustain the homeostasis of their telomere lengths and this mechanism seems predominant at the early stage of leukemogenesis. Also, telomerase and ALT might jointly act to maintain telomere lengths at the chronic phase, and as CML progresses, telomerase becomes the major mechanism. Finally, CML cells display an altered nuclear organization of their telomeres which is characterized by the presence of high number of telomeric aggregates, a feature of genomic instability, and differential positioning of telomeres. CML represents a good model to study mechanisms responsible for dynamic changes of individual telomere lengths and the remodeling of telomeric nuclear organization throughout cancer progression.

  16. Association of telomere length with authentic pluripotency of ES/iPS cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Junjiu Huang; William W Ge; John CM Tsibris; David L Keefe; Lin Liu; Fang Wang; Maja Okuka; Na Liu; Guangzhen Ji; Xiaoying Ye; Bingfeng Zuo; Minshu Li; Ping Liang


    Telomerase and telomeres are important for indefinite replication of stem cells. Recently, telomeres of somatic cells were found to be reprogrammed to elongate in induced pluripotent stem cells(iPSCs). The role of telomeres in developmental pluripotency in vivo of embryonic stem cells(ESCs)or iPSCs, however, has not been directly addressed.We show that ESCs with long telomeres exhibit authentic developmental pluripotency, as evidenced by generation of complete ESC pups as well as germline-competent chimeras, the most stringent tests available in rodents. ESCs with short telomeres show reduced teratoma formation and chimera production, and fail to generate complete ESC pups. Telomere lengths are highly correlated(r>0.8)with the developmental pluripotency of ESCs. Short telomeres decrease the proliferative rate or capacity of ESCs, alter the expression of genes related to telomere epigenetics,down-regulate genes important for embryogenesis and disrupt germ cell differentiation. Moreover, iPSCs with longer telomeres generate chimeras with higher efficiency than those with short telomeres. Our data show that functional telomeres are essential for the developmental pluripotency of ESCs/iPSCs and suggest that telomere length may provide a valuable marker to evaluate stem cell pluripotency, particularly when the stringent tests are not feasible.

  17. The Genetic Basis of Natural Variation in Caenorhabditis elegans Telomere Length

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cook, D.C.; Zdraljevic, S.; Tanny, R.E.; Seo, B.; Riccardi, D.D.; Noble, L.M.; Rockman, M.V.; Alkema, M.J.; Braendle, C.; Kammenga, J.E.; Wang, J.; Kruglyak, L.; Felix, M.A.; Lee, J.; Andersen, E.C.


    Telomeres are involved in the maintenance of chromosomes and the prevention of genome instability. Despite this central importance, significant variation in telomere length has been observed in a variety of organisms. The genetic determinants of telomere-length variation and their effects on organis

  18. Adipocyte telomere length associates negatively with adipocyte size, whereas adipose tissue telomere length associates negatively with the extent of fibrosis in severely obese women. (United States)

    el Bouazzaoui, F; Henneman, P; Thijssen, P; Visser, A; Koning, F; Lips, M A; Janssen, I; Pijl, H; Willems van Dijk, K; van Harmelen, V


    Telomere length can be considered as a biological marker for cell proliferation and aging. Obesity is associated with adipocyte hypertrophy and proliferation as well as with shorter telomeres in adipose tissue. As adipose tissue is a mixture of different cell types and the cellular composition of adipose tissue changes with obesity, it is unclear what determines telomere length of whole adipose tissue. We aimed to investigate telomere length in whole adipose tissue and isolated adipocytes in relation to adiposity, adipocyte hypertrophy and adipose tissue inflammation and fibrosis. Telomere length was measured by real-time PCR in visceral adipose tissue, and isolated adipocytes of 21 obese women with a waist ranging from 110 to 147 cm and age from 31 to 61 years. Telomere length in adipocytes was shorter than in whole adipose tissue. Telomere length of adipocytes but not whole adipose tissue correlated negatively with waist and adipocyte size, which was still significant after correction for age. Telomere length of whole adipose tissue associated negatively with fibrosis as determined by collagen content. Thus, in extremely obese individuals, adipocyte telomere length is a marker of adiposity, whereas whole adipose tissue telomere length reflects the extent of fibrosis and may indicate adipose tissue dysfunction.

  19. Unprotected Drosophila melanogaster telomeres activate the spindle assembly checkpoint. (United States)

    Musarò, Mariarosaria; Ciapponi, Laura; Fasulo, Barbara; Gatti, Maurizio; Cenci, Giovanni


    In both yeast and mammals, uncapped telomeres activate the DNA damage response (DDR) and undergo end-to-end fusion. Previous work has shown that the Drosophila HOAP protein, encoded by the caravaggio (cav) gene, is required to prevent telomeric fusions. Here we show that HOAP-depleted telomeres activate both the DDR and the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC). The cell cycle arrest elicited by the DDR was alleviated by mutations in mei-41 (encoding ATR), mus304 (ATRIP), grp (Chk1) and rad50 but not by mutations in tefu (ATM). The SAC was partially overridden by mutations in zw10 (also known as mit(1)15) and bubR1, and also by mutations in mei-41, mus304, rad50, grp and tefu. As expected from SAC activation, the SAC proteins Zw10, Zwilch, BubR1 and Cenp-meta (Cenp-E) accumulated at the kinetochores of cav mutant cells. Notably, BubR1 also accumulated at cav mutant telomeres in a mei-41-, mus304-, rad50-, grp- and tefu-dependent manner. Our results collectively suggest that recruitment of BubR1 by dysfunctional telomeres inhibits Cdc20-APC function, preventing the metaphase-to-anaphase transition.

  20. Therapeutic opportunities: Telomere maintenance in inducible pluripotent stem cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gourronc, Francoise A. [Department of Microbiology, University of Iowa (United States); Klingelhutz, Aloysius J., E-mail: [Department of Microbiology, University of Iowa (United States)


    It has been demonstrated that exogenous expression of a combination of transcription factors can reprogram differentiated cells such as fibroblasts and keratinocytes into what have been termed induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. These iPS cells are capable of differentiating into all the tissue lineages when placed in the right environment and, in the case of mouse cells, can generate chimeric mice and be transmitted through the germline. Safer and more efficient methods of reprogramming are rapidly being developed. Clearly, iPS cells present a number of exciting possibilities, including disease modeling and therapy. A major question is whether the nuclei of iPS cells are truly rejuvenated or whether they might retain some of the marks of aging from the cells from which they were derived. One measure of cellular aging is the telomere. In this regard, recent studies have demonstrated that telomeres in iPS cells may be rejuvenated. They are not only elongated by reactivated telomerase but they are also epigenetically modified to be similar but not identical to embryonic stem cells. Upon differentiation, the derivative cells turn down telomerase, the telomeres begin to shorten again, and the telomeres and the genome are returned to an epigenetic state that is similar to normal differentiated somatic cells. While these preliminary telomere findings are promising, the overall genomic integrity of reprogrammed cells may still be problematic and further studies are needed to examine the safety and feasibility of using iPS cells in regenerative medicine applications.

  1. Test anxiety and telomere length: Academic stress in adolescents may not cause rapid telomere erosion. (United States)

    Zou, Yaru; Leong, Waiian; Yao, Mingling; Hu, Xuefei; Lu, Sixiao; Zhu, Xiaowei; Chen, Lianxiang; Tong, Jianjing; Shi, Jingyi; Gilson, Eric; Ye, Jing; Lu, Yiming


    Academic stress (AS) is one of the most important health problems experienced by students, but no biomarker of the potential psychological or physical problems associated with AS has yet been identified. As several cross-sectional studies have shown that psychiatric conditions accelerate aging and shorten telomere length (TL), we explored whether AS affected TL.Between June 2014 and July 2014, we recruited 200 junior high school students with imminent final examinations for participation in this study. The students were divided into three subgroups (mild, moderate, and severe anxiety) using the Sarason Test Anxiety Scale (TAS). Saliva samples were collected for TL measurement via quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR).Students from both a specialized and a general school suffered from anxiety (p > 0.05). A total 35% had severe anxiety (score: 26.09±3.87), 33% had moderate anxiety (16.98±2.64), and 32% had mild anxiety (7.89±1.92). The TAS values differed significantly (p 0.05): 1.14±0.46 for those with severe anxiety, 1.02±0.40 for those with moderate anxiety, and 1.12±0.45 for those with mild anxiety.Previous reports have found that AS is very common in Asian adolescents. We found no immediate telomere shortening in adolescents with AS. Longitudinal observations are required to determine if TL is affected by AS.

  2. Tired telomeres: Poor global sleep quality, perceived stress, and telomere length in immune cell subsets in obese men and women. (United States)

    Prather, Aric A; Gurfein, Blake; Moran, Patricia; Daubenmier, Jennifer; Acree, Michael; Bacchetti, Peter; Sinclair, Elizabeth; Lin, Jue; Blackburn, Elizabeth; Hecht, Frederick M; Epel, Elissa S


    Poor sleep quality and short sleep duration are associated with increased incidence and progression of a number of chronic health conditions observed at greater frequency among the obese and those experiencing high levels of stress. Accelerated cellular aging, as indexed by telomere attrition in immune cells, is a plausible pathway linking sleep and disease risk. Prior studies linking sleep and telomere length are mixed. One factor may be reliance on leukocytes, which are composed of varied immune cell types, as the sole measure of telomere length. To better clarify these associations, we investigated the relationships of global sleep quality, measured by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and diary-reported sleep duration with telomere length in different immune cell subsets, including granulocytes, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), CD8+ and CD4+ T lymphocytes, and B lymphocytes in a sample of 87 obese men and women (BMI mean=35.4, SD=3.6; 81.6% women; 62.8% Caucasian). Multiple linear regression analyses were performed adjusting for age, gender, race, education, BMI, sleep apnea risk, and perceived stress. Poorer PSQI global sleep quality was associated with statistically significantly shorter telomere length in lymphocytes but not granulocytes and in particular CD8+ T cells (b=-56.8 base pairs per one point increase in PSQI, SE=20.4, p=0.007) and CD4+ T cells (b=-37.2, SE=15.9, p=0.022). Among separate aspects of global sleep quality, low perceived sleep quality and decrements in daytime function were most related to shorter telomeres. In addition, perceived stress moderated the sleep-CD8+ telomere association. Poorer global sleep quality predicted shorter telomere length in CD8+ T cells among those with high perceived stress but not in low stress participants. These findings provide preliminary evidence that poorer global sleep quality is related to telomere length in several immune cell types, which may serve as a pathway linking sleep and

  3. Alternative lengthening of telomeres and loss of ATRX are frequent events in pleomorphic and dedifferentiated liposarcomas. (United States)

    Lee, Jen-Chieh; Jeng, Yung-Ming; Liau, Jau-Yu; Tsai, Jia-Huei; Hsu, Hung-Han; Yang, Ching-Yao


    Telomerase activation and alternative lengthening of telomeres are two major mechanisms of telomere length maintenance. Soft tissue sarcomas appear to use the alternative lengthening of telomeres more frequently. Loss of α-thalassemia/mental retardation syndrome X-linked (ATRX) or death domain-associated protein 6 (DAXX) expression has been implicated in the pathogenesis of alternative telomere lengthening in pancreatic endocrine neoplasm and glioma. The mechanism leading to the alternative lengthening of telomeres in liposarcoma remains unknown. Whereas alternative telomere lengthening was determined to be an indicator of poor prognosis in liposarcomas as a whole, its prognostic power has not been verified in any subtype of liposarcoma. In this study, we characterized the status of alternative telomere lengthening and expression of ATRX and DAXX in 111 liposarcomas (28 well-differentiated, 52 dedifferentiated, 20 myxoid or round cell, and 11 pleomorphic liposarcomas) by telomere fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, respectively. Alternative lengthening of telomere was observed in 0% (0/16) of well-differentiated, 30% (14/46) of dedifferentiated, 5% (1/19) of myxoid or round cell, and 80% (8/10) of pleomorphic liposarcomas. Eighteen (16%) and one (1%) tumors were negative for ATRX and DAXX immunostaining, respectively. Remarkably, all cases with loss of either ATRX or DAXX expression had alternative lengthening of telomeres, and 83% (19/23) of tumors that had alternative lengthening of telomeres showed loss of either protein. The correlation between loss of either ATRX or DAXX and alternative telomere lengthening was 100% in dedifferentiated liposarcoma. The presence of alternative telomere lengthening in dedifferentiated liposarcoma suggested poor overall survival (hazard ratio=1.954, P=0.077) and was the most significant indicator of short progression-free survival (hazard ratio=3.119, P=0.003). In conclusion, we found that ATRX loss was

  4. Religious Involvement and Telomere Length in Women Family Caregivers. (United States)

    Koenig, Harold G; Nelson, Bruce; Shaw, Sally F; Saxena, Salil; Cohen, Harvey Jay


    Telomere length (TL) is an indicator of cellular aging associated with longevity and psychosocial stress. We examine here the relationship between religious involvement and TL in 251 stressed female family caregivers recruited into a 2-site study. Religious involvement, perceived stress, caregiver burden, depressive symptoms, and social support were measured and correlated with TL in whole blood leukocytes. Results indicated a U-shaped relationship between religiosity and TL. Those scoring in the lowest 10% on religiosity tended to have the longest telomeres (5743 bp ± 367 vs. 5595 ± 383, p = 0.069). However, among the 90% of caregivers who were at least somewhat religious, religiosity was significantly and positively related to TL after controlling for covariates (B = 1.74, SE = 0.82, p = 0.034). Whereas nonreligious caregivers have relatively long telomeres, we found a positive relationship between religiosity and TL among those who are at least somewhat religious.

  5. Mathematical model of alternative mechanism of telomere length maintenance

    CERN Document Server

    Kollár, Richard; Nosek, Jozef; Tomaska, Lubomir


    Biopolymer length regulation is a complex process that involves a large number of subprocesses acting simultaneously across multiple spatial and temporal scales. An illustrative example important for genomic stability is the length regulation of telomeres---nucleo-protein structures at the ends of linear chromosomes. Maintenance of telomeres is often facilitated by the enzyme telomerase but, particularly in telomerase-free systems, the maintenance of chromosomal termini depends on alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) mechanisms mediated by recombination. Various linear and circular DNA structures were identified to participate in ALT, however, dynamics of the whole process is still poorly understood. We propose a chemical kinetics model of ALT with kinetic rates systematically derived from the biophysics of DNA diffusion and looping. The reaction system is reduced to a coagulation-fragmentation system by quasi-steady state approximation. The detailed treatment of kinetic rates yields explicit formulae f...

  6. Three-dimensional quantitative imaging of telomeres in buccal cells identifies mild, moderate, and severe Alzheimer's disease patients. (United States)

    Mathur, Shubha; Glogowska, Aleksandra; McAvoy, Elizabeth; Righolt, Christiaan; Rutherford, Jaclyn; Willing, Cornelia; Banik, Upama; Ruthirakuhan, Myuri; Mai, Sabine; Garcia, Angeles


    Using three-dimensional (3D) telomeric analysis of buccal cells of 82 Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and cognitively normal age and gender-matched controls, we have for the first time examined changes in the 3D nuclear telomeric architecture of buccal cells among levels of AD severity based on five 3D parameters: i) telomere length, ii) telomere number, iii) telomere aggregation, iv) nuclear volume, and v) a/c ratio, a measure of spatial telomere distribution. Our data indicate that matched controls have significantly different 3D telomere profiles compared to mild, moderate, and severe AD patients (p stages of the disease (p < 0.0001).

  7. Dimensions of religious involvement and leukocyte telomere length. (United States)

    Hill, Terrence D; Ellison, Christopher G; Burdette, Amy M; Taylor, John; Friedman, Katherine L


    Although numerous studies suggest that religious involvement is associated with a wide range of favorable health outcomes, it is unclear whether this general pattern extends to cellular aging. In this paper, we tested whether leukocyte telomere length varies according to several dimensions of religious involvement. We used cross-sectional data from the Nashville Stress and Health Study (2011-2014), a large probability sample of 1252 black and white adults aged 22 to 69 living in Davidson County, TN, USA. Leukocyte telomere length was measured using the monochrome multiplex quantitative polymerase chain reaction method with albumin as the single-copy reference sequence. Dimensions of religious involvement included religiosity, religious support, and religious coping. Our multivariate analyses showed that religiosity (an index of religious attendance, prayer frequency, and religious identity) was positively associated with leukocyte telomere length, even with adjustments for religious support, religious coping, age, gender, race, education, employment status, income, financial strain, stressful life events, marital status, family support, friend support, depressive symptoms, smoking, heavy drinking, and allostatic load. Unlike religiosity, religious support and religious coping were unrelated to leukocyte telomere length across models. Depressive symptoms, smoking, heavy drinking, and allostatic load failed to explain any of the association between religiosity and telomere length. To our knowledge, this is the first population-based study to link religious involvement and cellular aging. Although our data suggest that adults who frequently attend religious services, pray with regularity, and consider themselves to be religious tend to exhibit longer telomeres than those who attend and pray less frequently and do not consider themselves to be religious, additional research is needed to establish the mechanisms underlying this association.

  8. Mitosis, double strand break repair, and telomeres: a view from the end: how telomeres and the DNA damage response cooperate during mitosis to maintain genome stability. (United States)

    Cesare, Anthony J


    Double strand break (DSB) repair is suppressed during mitosis because RNF8 and downstream DNA damage response (DDR) factors, including 53BP1, do not localize to mitotic chromatin. Discovery of the mitotic kinase-dependent mechanism that inhibits DSB repair during cell division was recently reported. It was shown that restoring mitotic DSB repair was detrimental, resulting in repair dependent genome instability and covalent telomere fusions. The telomere DDR that occurs naturally during cellular aging and in cancer is known to be refractory to G2/M checkpoint activation. Such DDR-positive telomeres, and those that occur as part of the telomere-dependent prolonged mitotic arrest checkpoint, normally pass through mitosis without covalent ligation, but result in cell growth arrest in G1 phase. The discovery that suppressing DSB repair during mitosis may function primarily to protect DDR-positive telomeres from fusing during cell division reinforces the unique cooperation between telomeres and the DDR to mediate tumor suppression.

  9. Longer leukocyte telomere length in Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula: a population-based study. (United States)

    Rehkopf, David H; Dow, William H; Rosero-Bixby, Luis; Lin, Jue; Epel, Elissa S; Blackburn, Elizabeth H


    Studies in humans suggest that leukocyte telomere length may act as a marker of biological aging. We investigated whether individuals in the Nicoya region of Costa Rica, known for exceptional longevity, had longer telomere length than those in other parts of the country. After controlling for age, age squared, rurality, rainy season and gender, the mean leukocyte telomere length in Nicoya was substantially longer (81 base pairs, ptelomere length that characterizes this unique region does not appear to be explainable by traditional behavioral and biological risk factors. More detailed examination of mean leukocyte telomere length by age shows that the regional telomere length difference declines at older ages.

  10. Telomere shortening correlates to dysplasia but not to DNA aneuploidy in longstanding ulcerative colitis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friis-Ottessen, Mariann; Bendix, Laila; Kølvraa, Steen;


    Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic, inflammatory bowel disease which may lead to dysplasia and adenocarcinoma in patients when long-lasting. Short telomeres have been reported in mucosal cells of UC patients. Telomeres are repetitive base sequences capping the ends of linear chromosomes......, and protect them from erosion and subsequent wrongful recombination and end-to-end joining during cell division. Short telomeres are associated with the development of chromosomal instability and aneuploidy, the latter being risk factors for development of dysplasia and cancer. Specifically, the abrupt...... shortening of one or more telomeres to a critical length, rather than bulk shortening of telomeres, seems to be associated with chromosomal instability....

  11. Oxytricha telomeric nucleoprotein complexes reconstituted with synthetic DNA.



    The telomere binding protein from macronuclei of Oxytricha nova binds macronuclear DNA in vitro, protecting the 3'-terminal single-stranded (T4G4)2 tail from chemical and enzymatic probes. We have used synthetic oligodeoxynucleotides to study the binding properties of the telomere protein. It binds at the 3' end of single-stranded oligonucleotides that have the sequence (T4G4)n, where n greater than or equal to 2, reconstituting the methylation protection seen with macronuclear DNA. Three oli...

  12. Association of Telomere Length with Breast Cancer Prognostic Factors (United States)

    Têtu, Bernard; Maunsell, Elizabeth; Poirier, Brigitte; Montoni, Alicia; Rochette, Patrick J.; Diorio, Caroline


    Introduction Telomere length, a marker of cell aging, seems to be affected by the same factors thought to be associated with breast cancer prognosis. Objective To examine associations of peripheral blood cell-measured telomere length with traditional and potential prognostic factors in breast cancer patients. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of data collected before surgery from 162 breast cancer patients recruited consecutively between 01/2011 and 05/2012, at a breast cancer reference center. Data on the main lifestyle factors (smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity) were collected using standardized questionnaires. Anthropometric factors were measured. Tumor biological characteristics were extracted from pathology reports. Telomere length was measured using a highly reproducible quantitative PCR method in peripheral white blood cells. Spearman partial rank-order correlations and multivariate general linear models were used to evaluate relationships between telomere length and prognostic factors. Results Telomere length was positively associated with total physical activity (rs = 0.17, P = 0.033; Ptrend = 0.069), occupational physical activity (rs = 0.15, P = 0.054; Ptrend = 0.054) and transportation-related physical activity (rs = 0.19, P = 0.019; P = 0.005). Among post-menopausal women, telomere length remained positively associated with total physical activity (rs = 0.27, P = 0.016; Ptrend = 0.054) and occupational physical activity (rs = 0.26, P = 0.021; Ptrend = 0.056) and was only associated with transportation-related physical activity among pre-menopausal women (rs = 0.27, P = 0.015; P = 0.004). No association was observed between telomere length and recreational or household activities, other lifestyle factors or traditional prognostic factors. Conclusions Telomeres are longer in more active breast cancer patients. Since white blood cells are involved in anticancer immune responses, these findings suggest that even regular low

  13. Examining a scaled dynamical system of telomere shortening (United States)

    Cyrenne, Benoit M.; Gooding, Robert J.


    A model of telomere dynamics is proposed and examined. Our model, which extends a previously introduced model that incorporates stem cells as progenitors of new cells, imposes the Hayflick limit, the maximum number of cell divisions that are possible. This new model leads to cell populations for which the average telomere length is not necessarily a monotonically decreasing function of time, in contrast to previously published models. We provide a phase diagram indicating where such results would be expected via the introduction of scaled populations, rate constants and time. The application of this model to available leukocyte baboon data is discussed.

  14. Telomere length, genetic variants and gastric cancer risk in a Chinese population. (United States)

    Du, Jiangbo; Zhu, Xun; Xie, Cuiwei; Dai, Ningbin; Gu, Yayun; Zhu, Meng; Wang, Cheng; Gao, Yong; Pan, Feng; Ren, Chuanli; Ji, Yong; Dai, Juncheng; Ma, Hongxia; Jiang, Yue; Chen, Jiaping; Yi, Honggang; Zhao, Yang; Hu, Zhibin; Shen, Hongbing; Jin, Guangfu


    Telomeres maintain chromosomal stability and integrity and are crucial in carcinogenesis. Telomere length is implicated in multiple cancer risk, but the results are conflicting. Genome-wide association studies have identified several genetic loci associated with telomere length in Caucasians. However, the roles of telomere length and related variants on gastric cancer development are largely unknown. We conducted a case-control study including 1136 gastric cancer cases and 1012 controls to evaluate the associations between telomere length, eight telomere length-related variants identified in Caucasians and gastric cancer risk in Chinese population. We observed an obvious U-shaped association between telomere length and gastric cancer risk (P telomere length (P telomeres (P = 0.047). However, we did not observe significant associations between these genetic variants and gastric cancer risk for both single-variant and WGS analyses. These findings suggest that either short or extreme long telomeres may be risk factor for gastric cancer. Genetic variants identified in Caucasians may also contribute to the variation of telomere length in Chinese but seems not to gastric cancer susceptibility.

  15. Genetic architecture of natural variation of telomere length in Arabidopsis thaliana. (United States)

    Fulcher, Nick; Teubenbacher, Astrid; Kerdaffrec, Envel; Farlow, Ashley; Nordborg, Magnus; Riha, Karel


    Telomeres represent the repetitive sequences that cap chromosome ends and are essential for their protection. Telomere length is known to be highly heritable and is derived from a homeostatic balance between telomeric lengthening and shortening activities. Specific loci that form the genetic framework underlying telomere length homeostasis, however, are not well understood. To investigate the extent of natural variation of telomere length in Arabidopsis thaliana, we examined 229 worldwide accessions by terminal restriction fragment analysis. The results showed a wide range of telomere lengths that are specific to individual accessions. To identify loci that are responsible for this variation, we adopted a quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping approach with multiple recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations. A doubled haploid RIL population was first produced using centromere-mediated genome elimination between accessions with long (Pro-0) and intermediate (Col-0) telomere lengths. Composite interval mapping analysis of this population along with two established RIL populations (Ler-2/Cvi-0 and Est-1/Col-0) revealed a number of shared and unique QTL. QTL detected in the Ler-2/Cvi-0 population were examined using near isogenic lines that confirmed causative regions on chromosomes 1 and 2. In conclusion, this work describes the extent of natural variation of telomere length in A. thaliana, identifies a network of QTL that influence telomere length homeostasis, examines telomere length dynamics in plants with hybrid backgrounds, and shows the effects of two identified regions on telomere length regulation.

  16. Telomere regulation during ageing and tumorigenesis of the grey mouse lemur. (United States)

    Trochet, Delphine; Mergui, Xénia; Ivkovic, Ivana; Porreca, Rosa Maria; Gerbault-Seureau, Michèle; Sidibe, Assitan; Richard, Florence; Londono-Vallejo, Arturo; Perret, Martine; Aujard, Fabienne; Riou, Jean-François


    Telomere erosion leading to replicative senescence has been well documented in human and anthropoid primates, and provides a clue against tumorigenesis. In contrast, other mammals, such as laboratory mice, with short lifespan and low body weight mass have different telomere biology without replicative senescence. We analyzed telomere biology in the grey mouse lemur, a small prosimian model with a relative long lifespan currently used in ageing research. We report an average telomere length by telomere restriction fragment (TRF) among the longest reported so far for a primate species (25-30 kb), but without detectable overall telomere shortening with ageing on blood samples. However, we demonstrate using universal STELA (Single Telomere Length Amplification) the existence of short telomeres, the increase of which, while correlating with ageing might be related to another mechanism than replicative senescence. We also found a low stringency of telomerase restriction in tissues and an ease to immortalize fibroblasts in vitro upon spontaneous telomerase activation. Finally, we describe the first grey mouse lemur cancer cell line showing a dramatic telomere shortening and high telomerase activity associated with polyploidy. Our overall results suggest that telomere biology in grey mouse lemur is an exception among primates, with at best a physiologically limited replicative telomere ageing and closest to that observed in small rodents.

  17. Clinical Relevance of Telomere Status and Telomerase Activity in Colorectal Cancer. (United States)

    Fernández-Marcelo, Tamara; Sánchez-Pernaute, Andrés; Pascua, Irene; De Juan, Carmen; Head, Jacqueline; Torres-García, Antonio-José; Iniesta, Pilar


    The role of telomeres and telomerase in colorectal cancer (CRC) is well established as the major driving force in generating chromosomal instability. However, their potential as prognostic markers remains unclear. We investigated the outcome implications of telomeres and telomerase in this tumour type. We considered telomere length (TL), ratio of telomere length in cancer to non-cancer tissue (T/N ratio), telomerase activity and TERT levels; their relation with clinical variables and their role as prognostic markers. We analyzed 132 CRCs and paired non-cancer tissues. Kaplan-Meier curves for disease-free survival were calculated for TL, T/N ratio, telomerase activity and TERT levels. Overall, tumours had shorter telomeres than non-tumour tissues (P Telomere lengths of non-tumour tissues and CRCs were positively correlated (P telomere status and clinical variables, the lowest degree of telomere shortening was shown by tumours located in the rectum (P = 0.021). Regarding prognosis studies, patients with tumours showing a mean TL telomere shortening relapsed during the follow-up period (P = 0.043). The mean TL in CRCs emerged as an independent prognostic factor in the Cox analysis (P = 0.017). Telomerase-positive activity was identified as a marker that confers a trend toward a poor prognosis. In CRC, our results support the use of telomere status as an independent prognostic factor. Telomere status may contribute to explaining the different molecular identities of this tumour type.

  18. Age-related arterial telomere uncapping and senescence is greater in women compared with men. (United States)

    Walker, Ashley E; Morgan, R Garrett; Ives, Stephen J; Cawthon, Richard M; Andtbacka, Robert H I; Noyes, Dirk; Lesniewski, Lisa A; Richardson, Russell S; Donato, Anthony J


    Telomere uncapping increases with advancing age in human arteries and this telomere uncapping is associated with increased markers of senescence, independent of mean telomere length. However, whether there are sex specific differences in arterial telomere uncapping is unknown. We found that telomere uncapping (serine 139 phosphorylated histone γ-H2A.X in telomeres) in arteries was ~2.5 fold greater in post-menopausal women (n=17, 63±2 years) compared with pre-menopausal women (n=11, 30±2 years, p=0.02), while there was only a trend towards greater telomere uncapping in older men (n=26, 66±2 years) compared with young men (n=11, 31±2, p=0.11). Senescence markers, p53 bound to the p21 gene promoter and p21 gene expression, were 3-4 fold greater in post-menopausal compared with pre-menopausal women (p=0.01-0.02), but only 1.5-2 fold greater in older compared with young men (p=0.02-0.08). Blood glucose was related to telomere uncapping in women, while systolic blood pressure, pulse pressure and serum creatinine were related to telomere uncapping in men. Mean arterial telomere length decreased similarly in women and men with age (ptelomere uncapping and senescence is greater in women than men, despite similar age-related reductions in mean telomere length in both sexes.

  19. Human leukocyte telomere length is associated with DNA methylation levels in multiple subtelomeric and imprinted loci. (United States)

    Buxton, Jessica L; Suderman, Matthew; Pappas, Jane J; Borghol, Nada; McArdle, Wendy; Blakemore, Alexandra I F; Hertzman, Clyde; Power, Christine; Szyf, Moshe; Pembrey, Marcus


    In humans, leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is positively correlated with lifespan, and shorter LTL is associated with increased risk of age-related disease. In this study we tested for association between telomere length and methylated cytosine levels. Measurements of mean telomere length and DNA methylation at >450,000 CpG sites were obtained for both blood (N = 24) and EBV-transformed cell-line (N = 36) DNA samples from men aged 44-45 years. We identified 65 gene promoters enriched for CpG sites at which methylation levels are associated with leukocyte telomere length, and 36 gene promoters enriched for CpG sites at which methylation levels are associated with telomere length in DNA from EBV-transformed cell-lines. We observed significant enrichment of positively associated methylated CpG sites in subtelomeric loci (within 4 Mb of the telomere) (P telomere length, DNA methylation and gene expression in health and disease.

  20. Nature vs nurture: interplay between the genetic control of telomere length and environmental factors. (United States)

    Harari, Yaniv; Romano, Gal-Hagit; Ungar, Lior; Kupiec, Martin


    Telomeres are nucleoprotein structures that cap the ends of the linear eukaryotic chromosomes, thus protecting their stability and integrity. They play important roles in DNA replication and repair and are central to our understanding of aging and cancer development. In rapidly dividing cells, telomere length is maintained by the activity of telomerase. About 400 TLM (telomere length maintenance) genes have been identified in yeast, as participants of an intricate homeostasis network that keeps telomere length constant. Two papers have recently shown that despite this extremely complex control, telomere length can be manipulated by external stimuli. These results have profound implications for our understanding of cellular homeostatic systems in general and of telomere length maintenance in particular. In addition, they point to the possibility of developing aging and cancer therapies based on telomere length manipulation.

  1. Telomerase RNA stem terminus element affects template boundary element function, telomere sequence, and shelterin binding. (United States)

    Webb, Christopher J; Zakian, Virginia A


    The stem terminus element (STE), which was discovered 13 y ago in human telomerase RNA, is required for telomerase activity, yet its mode of action is unknown. We report that the Schizosaccharomyces pombe telomerase RNA, TER1 (telomerase RNA 1), also contains a STE, which is essential for telomere maintenance. Cells expressing a partial loss-of-function TER1 STE allele maintained short stable telomeres by a recombination-independent mechanism. Remarkably, the mutant telomere sequence was different from that of wild-type cells. Generation of the altered sequence is explained by reverse transcription into the template boundary element, demonstrating that the STE helps maintain template boundary element function. The altered telomeres bound less Pot1 (protection of telomeres 1) and Taz1 (telomere-associated in Schizosaccharomyces pombe 1) in vivo. Thus, the S. pombe STE, although distant from the template, ensures proper telomere sequence, which in turn promotes proper assembly of the shelterin complex.

  2. The effect of regular strength training on telomere length in human skeletal muscle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kadi, F.; Ponsot, Elodie; Piehl-Aulin, Karin;


    PURPOSE: The length of DNA telomeres is an important parameter of the proliferative potential of tissues. A recent study has reported abnormally short telomeres in skeletal muscle of athletes with exercise-associated fatigue. This important report raises the question of whether long-term practice...... of sports might have deleterious effects on muscle telomeres. Therefore, we aimed to compare telomere length of a group of power lifters (PL; N = 7) who trained for 8 +/- 3 yr against that of a group of healthy, active subjects (C; N = 7) with no history of strength training. METHODS: Muscle biopsies were...... taken from the vastus lateralis, and the mean and minimum telomeric restriction fragments (TRF) (telomere length) were determined, using the Southern blot protocol previously used for the analysis of skeletal muscle. RESULTS: There was no abnormal shortening of telomeres in PL. On the contrary, the mean...

  3. Hela细胞端粒DNA断裂损伤%Strand breaks in telomeres in Hela cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    阳芳; 杨洁萍; 李清焕; 邵兰; 谭铮


    Telomeres are the repetitive G-rich DNA sequences at the end of chromosomes and shorten at each round of cell division.Besides the incomplete DNA synthesis,single and double DNA strand breaks,if not repaired, also contribute to the telomere shortening.To assess the frequency of strand breaks in proliferating Hela cells,telomere fragments were released by alkaline denaturing and electrophoresis from cells embedded in agarose,blotted onto membrane,and detected by probe specific to telomere sequence.The quantity of telomere fragments released was estimated to be less than 0.4% of the total telomere content,which corresponded to less than one break per cell.Since the mean length of the terminal restriction fragments of the cells was about 7 kbp,the fragments detected would lead to less than 19 bp in mean telomere shortening [Acta Zoologica Sinica 49(6):873-877,2003].

  4. A two-step model for senescence triggered by a single critically short telomere

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abdallah, Pauline; Luciano, Pierre; Runge, Kurt W;


    Telomeres protect chromosome ends from fusion and degradation. In the absence of a specific telomere elongation mechanism, their DNA shortens progressively with every round of replication, leading to replicative senescence. Here, we show that telomerase-deficient cells bearing a single, very short...... telomere senesce earlier, demonstrating that the length of the shortest telomere is a major determinant of the onset of senescence. We further show that Mec1p-ATR specifically recognizes the single, very short telomere causing the accelerated senescence. Strikingly, before entering senescence, cells divide...... for several generations despite complete erosion of their shortened telomeres. This pre-senescence growth requires RAD52 (radiation sensitive) and MMS1 (methyl methane sulfonate sensitive), and there is no evidence for major inter-telomeric recombination. We propose that, in the absence of telomerase, a very...

  5. Discovering Focus: Helping Students with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) (United States)

    Valkenburg, Jim


    Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a neurological disorder which effects learning and that has a confusing set of diagnostic symptoms and an even more confusing set of remedies ranging from medication to meditation to nothing at all. Current neurological research suggests, however, that there are strategies that the individual with ADD can use to…

  6. Reliability of the Assessment of Dual Diagnosis (ADD). (United States)

    Matson, Johnny L.; Bamburg, Jay W.


    The initial psychometric properties of the Assessment for Dual Diagnosis (ADD), a new scale designed to screen for psychopathology in individuals with mild and moderate mental retardation, was examined. The ADD was found to have high stability across raters, high stability over time, and good internal consistency. (Author/DB)

  7. Ten1p promotes the telomeric DNA-binding activity of Cdc13p: implication for its function in telomere length regulation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wei Qian; Jianyong Wang; Na-Na Jin; Xiao-Hong Fu; Yi-Chien Lin; Jing-Jer Lin; Jin-Qiu Zhou


    In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the essential gene CDC13 encodes a telomeric single-stranded DNA-binding protein that interacts with Stnlp and Tenlp genetically and physically, and is required for telomere end protection and te-Iomere length control. The molecular mechanism by which Ten1 participates in telomere length regulation and chro-mosome end protection remains elusive. In this work, we observed a weak interaction of Cdc13p and Tenlp in a gel-filtration analysis using purified recombinant Cdc13p and Ten lp. Ten 1p itself exhibits a weak DNA-binding activity, but enhances the telomeric TG1-3 DNA-binding ability of Cdc13p. Cdc13p is co-immunoprecipitated with Ten1p. In the mutant ten1-55 or ten1-66 cells, the impaired interaction between Ten1p and Cdc13p results in much longer telomeres, as well as a decreased association of Cdc13p with telomeric DNA. Consistently, the Ten1-55 and Ten1-66 mutant proteins fail to stimulate the telomeric DNA-binding activity of Cdc13p in vitro. These results suggest that Ten1p enhances the telomeric DNA-binding activity of Cdc13p to negatively regulate telomere length.

  8. Dynamics of telomere length in different age groups in a Latvian population. (United States)

    Zole, Egija; Pliss, Liana; Ranka, Renate; Krumina, Astrida; Baumanis, Viesturs


    The shortening of telomeres with ageing is a well-documented observation; however, the reported number of nucleotides in telomeres varies between different laboratories and studies. Such variability is likely caused by ethnic differences between the populations studied. Until now, there were no studies that investigated the variability of telomere length in a senescent Latvian population of the most common mitochondrial haplogroups, defined as H (45%), U (25%), Y chromosomal N1c (40%) and R1a1 (40%). Telomere length was determined in 121 individuals in different age groups, including a control group containing individuals of 20-40 years old and groups of individuals between 60-70 years old, 71-80 years old, 81-90 years old, and above 90 years old. Telomere length was determined using the Southern blot telomeric restriction fragment assay (TRF). Decreased telomere length with ageing was confirmed, but a comparison of centenarians and individuals between 60-90 years of age did not demonstrate a significant difference in telomere length. However, significant variability in telomere length was observed in the control group, indicating probable rapid telomere shortening in some individuals that could lead up to development of health status decline appearing with ageing. Telomere length measured in mononuclear blood cells (MNC) was compared with the telomere length measured in whole peripheral white blood cells (WBC) using TRF. Telomere length in MNC was longer than in WBC for the control group with individuals 20 to 40 years old; in contrast, for the group of individuals aged 65 to 85 years old, measured telomere length was shorter in MNC when compared to WBC.

  9. Genetic variants within telomere-associated genes, leukocyte telomere length and the risk of acute coronary syndrome in Czech women. (United States)

    Dlouha, Dana; Pitha, Jan; Mesanyova, Jana; Mrazkova, Jolana; Fellnerova, Adela; Stanek, Vladimir; Lanska, Vera; Hubacek, Jaroslav A


    The association between leukocyte telomere length (LTL) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been published in many reports, although almost exclusively in men. In our study we analysed the association between LTL and five selected variants within three candidate genes (TERC rs12696304; TERF2IP rs3784929 and rs8053257; UCP2 rs659366 and rs622064), which are not only involved in telomere-length maintenance but also potentially associated with higher risk of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in Czech women (505 cases and 642 controls). We detected significantly shorter LTL in women with ACS (Ptelomere length or ACS risk in Czech females.

  10. Leukocyte Telomere Length and Late-Life Depression

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schaakxs, Roxanne; Verhoeven, Josine E.; Oude Voshaar, Richard; Comijs, Hannie C.; Penninx, Brenda W. J. H.


    OBJECTIVE: Depressive disorders have been associated with increased risk for aging-related diseases, possibly as a consequence of accelerated cellular aging. Cellular aging, indexed by telomere length (TL) shortening, has been linked to depression in adults younger than 60 years; however, it remains

  11. Leukocyte telomere length and late-life depression

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schaakxs, R.; Verhoeven, J.E.; Oude Voshaar, R.C.; Comijs, H.C.; Penninx, B.W.


    OBJECTIVE: Depressive disorders have been associated with increased risk for aging-related diseases, possibly as a consequence of accelerated cellular aging. Cellular aging, indexed by telomere length (TL) shortening, has been linked to depression in adults younger than 60 years; however, it remains

  12. Telomere Length as a Predictor of Aggressive Prostate Cancer (United States)


    45. PMID: 19668150 Vander Griend DJ, Konishi Y, De Marzo AM, Isaacs JT, Meeker AK. Dual-label centromere and telomere FISH identifies human, rat ...K, Rimm EB, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC, Giovannucci E. Statin drugs and risk of advanced prostate cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 2006;98:1819-25. PMID

  13. Traffic noise exposure affects telomere length in nestling house sparrows. (United States)

    Meillère, Alizée; Brischoux, François; Ribout, Cécile; Angelier, Frédéric


    In a consistently urbanizing world, anthropogenic noise has become almost omnipresent, and there are increasing evidence that high noise levels can have major impacts on wildlife. While the effects of anthropogenic noise exposure on adult animals have been widely studied, surprisingly, there has been little consideration of the effects of noise pollution on developing organisms. Yet, environmental conditions experienced in early life can have dramatic lifelong consequences for fitness. Here, we experimentally manipulated the acoustic environment of free-living house sparrows (Passer domesticus) breeding in nest boxes. We focused on the impact of such disturbance on nestlings' telomere length and fledging success, as telomeres (the protective ends of chromosomes) appear to be a promising predictor of longevity. We showed that despite the absence of any obvious immediate consequences (growth and fledging success), nestlings reared under traffic noise exposure exhibited reduced telomere lengths compared with their unexposed neighbours. Although the mechanisms responsible for this effect remain to be determined, our results provide the first experimental evidence that noise alone can affect a wild vertebrate's early-life telomere length. This suggests that noise exposure may entail important costs for developing organisms.

  14. Impact of Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate on Newborn Leukocyte Telomere Length (United States)

    Liu, Han; Zhou, Guangdi; Chen, Qian; Ouyang, Fengxiu; Little, Julian; Zhang, Jun; Chen, Dan


    The newborn setting of leukocyte telomere length (LTL) likely has important implications for telomere dynamics over the lifespan. However, its determinants are poorly understood. Hormones play an important role during pregnancy and delivery. We hypothesized that exposure to hormones may impact the fetal telomere biology system. To test this hypothesis, cortisol, estradiol, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were measured in cord blood of 821 newborns from a prospective study. After accounting for the effects of potential determinants of newborn LTL, a 10-fold increase in DHEAS concentration was associated with a 0.021 increase in T/S ratio of newborn LTL (95% confidence interval: 0.009–0.034, P = 0.0008). For newborns who fell in the lowest quartile of DHEAS level, the mean newborn LTL was estimated to be approximately 2.0% shorter than the newborns in the highest DHEAS concentration quartile (P = 0.0014). However, no association was found between newborn LTL and cortisol or estradiol. As expected, newborns with higher ROS level (ROS > 260 mol/L) had lower LTL compared to that with lower ROS level (ROS ≤ 260 mol/L) (P = 0.007). There was also an inverse relationship between DHEAS and ROS (P programming” effect on the newborn telomere biology system. PMID:28186106

  15. Leukocyte telomere length dynamics in women and men

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dalgård, Christine; Benetos, Athanase; Verhulst, Simon;


    BACKGROUND: A longer leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in women than men has been attributed to a slow rate of LTL attrition in women, perhaps due to high estrogen exposure during the premenopausal period. METHODS: To test this premise we performed a longitudinal study (an average follow-up of 12...

  16. Telomere shortening reduces Alzheimer's disease amyloid pathology in mice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rolyan, Harshvardhan; Scheffold, Annika; Heinrich, Annette; Begus-Nahrmann, Yvonne; Langkopf, Britta Heike; Hoelter, Sabine M.; Vogt-Weisenhorn, Daniela M.; Liss, Birgit; Wurst, Wolfgang; Lie, Dieter Chichung; Thal, Dietmar Rudolf; Biber, Knut; Rudolph, Karl Lenhard


    Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder of the elderly and advancing age is the major risk factor for Alzheimer's disease development. Telomere shortening represents one of the molecular causes of ageing that limits the proliferative capacity of cells, including neural stem cells. Studie

  17. Cells with dysfunctional telomeres are susceptible to reactive oxygen species hydrogen peroxide via generation of multichromosomal fusions and chromosomal fragments bearing telomeres

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Woo, Seon Rang [Division of Radiation Cancer Research, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Seoul 139-706 (Korea, Republic of); Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul 136-705 (Korea, Republic of); Park, Jeong-Eun; Juhn, Kyoung-Mi; Ju, Yeun-Jin; Jeong, Jaemin [Division of Radiation Cancer Research, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Seoul 139-706 (Korea, Republic of); Kang, Chang-Mo; Yun, Hyun Jin [Division of Radiation Effect, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Seoul 139-706 (Korea, Republic of); Yun, Mi Yong; Shin, Hyun-Jin; Joo, Hyun-Yoo; Park, Eun-Ran; Park, In-Chul; Hong, Sung Hee; Hwang, Sang-Gu [Division of Radiation Cancer Research, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Seoul 139-706 (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Haekwon [Department of Biotechnology, Seoul Woman' s University, Seoul 139-774 (Korea, Republic of); Cho, Myung-Haing [Laboratory of Toxicology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742 (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Sang Hoon [Department of Biology, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701 (Korea, Republic of); Park, Gil Hong [Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul 136-705 (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Kee-Ho, E-mail: [Division of Radiation Cancer Research, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Seoul 139-706 (Korea, Republic of)


    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Under conditions of telomere erosion, cells become extremely sensitive to H{sub 2}O{sub 2}. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Chromosomal regions adjacent to telomeres are cleaved by H{sub 2}O{sub 2} under such conditions. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer H{sub 2}O{sub 2} thus causes multichromosomal fusions and generation of small chromosomal fragments. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer N-acetylcysteine prevents H{sub 2}O{sub 2}-induced chromosomal aberrations. -- Abstract: During genotoxic stress, reactive oxygen species hydrogen peroxide (H{sub 2}O{sub 2}) is a prime mediator of the DNA damage response. Telomeres function both to assist in DNA damage repair and to inhibit chromosomal end-to-end fusion. Here, we show that telomere dysfunction renders cells susceptible to H{sub 2}O{sub 2}, via generation of multichromosomal fusion and chromosomal fragments. H{sub 2}O{sub 2} caused formation of multichromosomal end-to-end fusions involving more than three chromosomes, preferentially when telomeres were erosive. Interestingly, extensive chromosomal fragmentation (yielding small-sized fragments) occurred only in cells exhibiting such multichromosomal fusions. Telomeres were absent from fusion points, being rather present in the small fragments, indicating that H{sub 2}O{sub 2} cleaves chromosomal regions adjacent to telomeres. Restoration of telomere function or addition of the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine prevented development of chromosomal aberrations and rescued the observed hypersensitivity to H{sub 2}O{sub 2}. Thus, chromosomal regions adjacent to telomeres become sensitive to reactive oxygen species hydrogen peroxide when telomeres are dysfunctional, and are cleaved to produce multichromosomal fusions and small chromosomal fragments bearing the telomeres.

  18. The telomere binding protein TRF2 induces chromatin compaction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Asmaa M Baker

    Full Text Available Mammalian telomeres are specialized chromatin structures that require the telomere binding protein, TRF2, for maintaining chromosome stability. In addition to its ability to modulate DNA repair activities, TRF2 also has direct effects on DNA structure and topology. Given that mammalian telomeric chromatin includes nucleosomes, we investigated the effect of this protein on chromatin structure. TRF2 bound to reconstituted telomeric nucleosomal fibers through both its basic N-terminus and its C-terminal DNA binding domain. Analytical agarose gel electrophoresis (AAGE studies showed that TRF2 promoted the folding of nucleosomal arrays into more compact structures by neutralizing negative surface charge. A construct containing the N-terminal and TRFH domains together altered the charge and radius of nucleosomal arrays similarly to full-length TRF2 suggesting that TRF2-driven changes in global chromatin structure were largely due to these regions. However, the most compact chromatin structures were induced by the isolated basic N-terminal region, as judged by both AAGE and atomic force microscopy. Although the N-terminal region condensed nucleosomal array fibers, the TRFH domain, known to alter DNA topology, was required for stimulation of a strand invasion-like reaction with nucleosomal arrays. Optimal strand invasion also required the C-terminal DNA binding domain. Furthermore, the reaction was not stimulated on linear histone-free DNA. Our data suggest that nucleosomal chromatin has the ability to facilitate this activity of TRF2 which is thought to be involved in stabilizing looped telomere structures.

  19. Genomic Organization of the Drosophila Telomere RetrotransposableElements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    George, J.A.; DeBaryshe, P.G.; Traverse, K.L.; Celniker, S. E.; Pardue, M-L.


    The emerging sequence of the heterochromatic portion of the Drosophila melanogaster genome, with the most recent update of euchromatic sequence, gives the first genome-wide view of the chromosomal distribution of the telomeric retrotransposons, HeT-A, TART, and Tahre. As expected, these elements are entirely excluded from euchromatin, although sequence fragments of HeT-A and TART 3 untranslated regions are found in nontelomeric heterochromatin on the Y chromosome. The proximal ends of HeT-A/TART arrays appear to be a transition zone because only here do other transposable elements mix in the array. The sharp distinction between the distribution of telomeric elements and that of other transposable elements suggests that chromatin structure is important in telomere element localization. Measurements reported here show (1) D. melanogaster telomeres are very long, in the size range reported for inbred mouse strains (averaging 46 kb per chromosome end in Drosophila stock 2057). As in organisms with telomerase, their length varies depending on genotype. There is also slight under-replication in polytene nuclei. (2) Surprisingly, the relationship between the number of HeT-A and TART elements is not stochastic but is strongly correlated across stocks, supporting the idea that the two elements are interdependent. Although currently assembled portions of the HeT-A/TART arrays are from the most-proximal part of long arrays, {approx}61% of the total HeT-A sequence in these regions consists of intact, potentially active elements with little evidence of sequence decay, making it likely that the content of the telomere arrays turns over more extensively than has been thought.

  20. Telomeric position effect--a third silencing mechanism in eukaryotes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Greg Doheny

    Full Text Available Eukaryotic chromosomes terminate in telomeres, complex nucleoprotein structures that are required for chromosome integrity that are implicated in cellular senescence and cancer. The chromatin at the telomere is unique with characteristics of both heterochromatin and euchromatin. The end of the chromosome is capped by a structure that protects the end and is required for maintaining proper chromosome length. Immediately proximal to the cap are the telomere associated satellite-like (TAS sequences. Genes inserted into the TAS sequences are silenced indicating the chromatin environment is incompatible with transcription. This silencing phenomenon is called telomeric position effect (TPE. Two other silencing mechanisms have been identified in eukaryotes, suppressors position effect variegation [Su(vars, greater than 30 members] and Polycomb group proteins (PcG, approximately 15 members. We tested a large number of each group for their ability to suppress TPE [Su(TPE]. Our results showed that only three Su(vars and only one PcG member are involved in TPE, suggesting silencing in the TAS sequences occurs via a novel silencing mechanism. Since, prior to this study, only five genes have been identified that are Su(TPEs, we conducted a candidate screen for Su(TPE in Drosophila by testing point mutations in, and deficiencies for, proteins involved in chromatin metabolism. Screening with point mutations identified seven new Su(TPEs and the deficiencies identified 19 regions of the Drosophila genome that harbor suppressor mutations. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments on a subset of the new Su(TPEs confirm they act directly on the gene inserted into the telomere. Since the Su(TPEs do not overlap significantly with either PcGs or Su(vars, and the candidates were selected because they are involved generally in chromatin metabolism and act at a wide variety of sites within the genome, we propose that the Su(TPE represent a third, widely used, silencing

  1. Single-molecule TPM studies on the conversion of human telomeric DNA. (United States)

    Chu, Jen-Fei; Chang, Ta-Chau; Li, Hung-Wen


    Human telomere contains guanine-rich (G-rich) tandem repeats of single-stranded DNA sequences at its 3' tail. The G-rich sequences can be folded into various secondary structures, termed G-quadruplexes (G4s), by Hoogsteen basepairing in the presence of monovalent cations (such as Na+ and K+). We developed a single-molecule tethered particle motion (TPM) method to investigate the unfolding process of G4s in the human telomeric sequence AGGG(TTAGGG)3 in real time. The TPM method monitors the DNA tether length change caused by formation of the G4, thus allowing the unfolding process and structural conversion to be monitored at the single-molecule level. In the presence of its antisense sequence, the folded G4 structure can be disrupted and converted to the unfolded conformation, with apparent unfolding time constants of 82 s and 3152 s. We also observed that the stability of the G4 is greatly affected by different monovalent cations. The folding equilibrium constant of G4 is strongly dependent on the salt concentration, ranging from 1.75 at 5 mM Na+ to 3.40 at 15 mM Na+. Earlier spectral studies of Na+- and K+-folded states suggested that the spectral conversion between these two different folded structures may go through a structurally unfolded intermediate state. However, our single-molecule TPM experiments did not detect any totally unfolded intermediate within our experimental resolution when sodium-folded G4 DNA molecules were titrated with high-concentration, excess potassium ions. This observation suggests that a totally unfolding pathway is likely not the major pathway for spectral conversion on the timescale of minutes, and that interconversion among folded states can be achieved by the loop rearrangement. This study also demonstrates that TPM experiments can be used to study conformational changes in single-stranded DNA molecules.

  2. Tet Enzymes Regulate Telomere Maintenance and Chromosomal Stability of Mouse ESCs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiao Yang


    Full Text Available Ten-eleven translocation (Tet family proteins convert 5-methylcytosine to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine. We show that mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs depleted of Tet1 and/or Tet2 by RNAi exhibit short telomeres and chromosomal instability, concomitant with reduced telomere recombination. Tet1 and Tet2 double-knockout ESCs also display short telomeres but to a lesser extent. Notably, Tet1/2/3 triple-knockout ESCs show heterogeneous telomere lengths and increased frequency of telomere loss and chromosomal fusion. Mechanistically, Tets depletion or deficiency increases Dnmt3b and decreases 5hmC levels, resulting in elevated methylation levels at sub-telomeres. Consistently, knockdown of Dnmt3b or addition of 2i (MAPK and GSK3β inhibitors, which also inhibits Dnmt3b, reduces telomere shortening, partially rescuing Tet1/2 deficiency. Interestingly, Tet1/2 double or Tet1/2/3 triple knockout in ESCs consistently upregulates Zscan4, which may counteract telomere shortening. Together, Tet enzymes play important roles in telomere maintenance and chromosomal stability of ESCs by modulating sub-telomeric methylation levels.

  3. ATM Inhibition Potentiates Death of Androgen Receptor-inactivated Prostate Cancer Cells with Telomere Dysfunction. (United States)

    Reddy, Vidyavathi; Wu, Min; Ciavattone, Nicholas; McKenty, Nathan; Menon, Mani; Barrack, Evelyn R; Reddy, G Prem-Veer; Kim, Sahn-Ho


    Androgen receptor (AR) plays a role in maintaining telomere stability in prostate cancer cells, as AR inactivation induces telomere dysfunction within 3 h. Since telomere dysfunction in other systems is known to activate ATM (ataxia telangiectasia mutated)-mediated DNA damage response (DDR) signaling pathways, we investigated the role of ATM-mediated DDR signaling in AR-inactivated prostate cancer cells. Indeed, the induction of telomere dysfunction in cells treated with AR-antagonists (Casodex or MDV3100) or AR-siRNA was associated with a dramatic increase in phosphorylation (activation) of ATM and its downstream effector Chk2 and the presenceof phosphorylated ATM at telomeres, indicating activation of DDR signaling at telomeres. Moreover, Casodex washout led to the reversal of telomere dysfunction, indicating repair of damaged telomeres. ATM inhibitor blocked ATM phosphorylation, induced PARP cleavage, abrogated cell cycle checkpoint activation and attenuated the formation of γH2AX foci at telomeres in AR-inactivated cells, suggesting that ATM inhibitor induces apoptosis in AR-inactivated cells by blocking the repair of damaged DNA at telomeres. Finally, colony formation assay revealed a dramatic decrease in the survival of cells co-treated with Casodex and ATM inhibitor as compared with those treated with either Casodex or ATM inhibitor alone. These observations indicate that inhibitors of DDR signaling pathways may offer a unique opportunity to enhance the potency of AR-targeted therapies for the treatment of androgen-sensitive as well as castration-resistant prostate cancer.

  4. Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase-telomere association correlates with redox status in Trypanosoma cruzi.

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    Ricardo Pariona-Llanos

    Full Text Available Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH is a classical metabolic enzyme involved in energy production and plays a role in additional nuclear functions, including transcriptional control, recognition of misincorporated nucleotides in DNA and maintenance of telomere structure. Here, we show that the recombinant protein T. cruzi GAPDH (rTcGAPDH binds single-stranded telomeric DNA. We demonstrate that the binding of GAPDH to telomeric DNA correlates with the balance between oxidized and reduced forms of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotides (NAD+/NADH. We observed that GAPDH-telomere association and NAD+/NADH balance changed throughout the T. cruzi life cycle. For example, in replicative epimastigote forms of T. cruzi, which show similar intracellular concentrations of NAD+ and NADH, GAPDH binds to telomeric DNA in vivo and this binding activity is inhibited by exogenous NAD+. In contrast, in the T. cruzi non-proliferative trypomastigote forms, which show higher NAD+ concentration, GAPDH was absent from telomeres. In addition, NAD+ abolishes physical interaction between recombinant GAPDH and synthetic telomere oligonucleotide in a cell free system, mimicking exogenous NAD+ that reduces GAPDH-telomere interaction in vivo. We propose that the balance in the NAD+/NADH ratio during T. cruzi life cycle homeostatically regulates GAPDH telomere association, suggesting that in trypanosomes redox status locally modulates GAPDH association with telomeric DNA.

  5. Longer telomere length in COPD patients with α1-antitrypsin deficiency independent of lung function.

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    Aabida Saferali

    Full Text Available Oxidative stress is involved in the pathogenesis of airway obstruction in α1-antitrypsin deficient patients. This may result in a shortening of telomere length, resulting in cellular senescence. To test whether telomere length differs in α1-antitrypsin deficient patients compared with controls, we measured telomere length in DNA from peripheral blood cells of 217 α1-antitrypsin deficient patients and 217 control COPD patients. We also tested for differences in telomere length between DNA from blood and DNA from lung tissue in a subset of 51 controls. We found that telomere length in the blood was significantly longer in α1-antitrypsin deficient COPD patients compared with control COPD patients (p = 1×10(-29. Telomere length was not related to lung function in α1-antitrypsin deficient patients (p = 0.3122 or in COPD controls (p = 0.1430. Although mean telomere length was significantly shorter in the blood when compared with the lungs (p = 0.0078, telomere length was correlated between the two tissue types (p = 0.0122. Our results indicate that telomere length is better preserved in α1-antitrypsin deficient COPD patients than in non-deficient patients. In addition, measurement of telomere length in the blood may be a suitable surrogate for measurement in the lung.

  6. Longer telomere length in COPD patients with α1-antitrypsin deficiency independent of lung function. (United States)

    Saferali, Aabida; Lee, Jee; Sin, Don D; Rouhani, Farshid N; Brantly, Mark L; Sandford, Andrew J


    Oxidative stress is involved in the pathogenesis of airway obstruction in α1-antitrypsin deficient patients. This may result in a shortening of telomere length, resulting in cellular senescence. To test whether telomere length differs in α1-antitrypsin deficient patients compared with controls, we measured telomere length in DNA from peripheral blood cells of 217 α1-antitrypsin deficient patients and 217 control COPD patients. We also tested for differences in telomere length between DNA from blood and DNA from lung tissue in a subset of 51 controls. We found that telomere length in the blood was significantly longer in α1-antitrypsin deficient COPD patients compared with control COPD patients (p = 1×10(-29)). Telomere length was not related to lung function in α1-antitrypsin deficient patients (p = 0.3122) or in COPD controls (p = 0.1430). Although mean telomere length was significantly shorter in the blood when compared with the lungs (p = 0.0078), telomere length was correlated between the two tissue types (p = 0.0122). Our results indicate that telomere length is better preserved in α1-antitrypsin deficient COPD patients than in non-deficient patients. In addition, measurement of telomere length in the blood may be a suitable surrogate for measurement in the lung.

  7. The relationship between telomere length and mortality in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD.

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    Jee Lee

    Full Text Available Some have suggested that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD is a disease of accelerated aging. Aging is characterized by shortening of telomeres. The relationship of telomere length to important clinical outcomes such as mortality, disease progression and cancer in COPD is unknown. Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR, we measured telomere length of peripheral leukocytes in 4,271 subjects with mild to moderate COPD who participated in the Lung Health Study (LHS. The subjects were followed for approximately 7.5 years during which time their vital status, FEV(1 and smoking status were ascertained. Using multiple regression methods, we determined the relationship of telomere length to cancer and total mortality in these subjects. We also measured telomere length in healthy "mid-life" volunteers and patients with more severe COPD. The LHS subjects had significantly shorter telomeres than those of healthy "mid-life" volunteers (p<.001. Compared to individuals in the 4(th quartile of relative telomere length (i.e. longest telomere group, the remaining participants had significantly higher risk of cancer mortality (Hazard ratio, HR, 1.48; p = 0.0324 and total mortality (HR, 1.29; p = 0.0425. Smoking status did not make a significant difference in peripheral blood cells telomere length. In conclusion, COPD patients have short leukocyte telomeres, which are in turn associated increased risk of total and cancer mortality. Accelerated aging is of particular relevance to cancer mortality in COPD.

  8. Breast cancer survival is associated with telomere length in peripheral blood cells. (United States)

    Svenson, Ulrika; Nordfjäll, Katarina; Stegmayr, Birgitta; Manjer, Jonas; Nilsson, Peter; Tavelin, Björn; Henriksson, Roger; Lenner, Per; Roos, Göran


    Telomeres are essential for maintaining chromosomal stability. Previous studies have indicated that individuals with shorter blood telomeres may be at higher risk of developing various types of cancer, such as in lung, bladder, and kidney. We have analyzed relative telomere length (RTL) of peripheral blood cells in relation to breast cancer incidence and prognosis. The study included 265 newly diagnosed breast cancer patients and 446 female controls. RTL was measured by real-time PCR, and our results show that the patient group displayed significantly longer telomeres compared with controls (P cancer risk increased with increasing telomere length, with a maximal OR of 5.17 [95% confidence interval (95% CI), 3.09-8.64] for the quartile with the longest telomeres. Furthermore, RTL carried prognostic information for patients with advanced disease. Node positive (N+) patients with short telomeres (telomeres (P = 0.001). For patients with ages 16 mm (median tumor diameter), short telomeres were associated with a significantly better outcome than longer telomeres (P = 0.006). Cox regression analysis showed that long RTL was a significant independent negative prognostic factor (hazards ratio, 2.92; 95% CI, 1.33-6.39; P = 0.007). Our results indicate that blood RTL may serve as a prognostic indicator in breast cancer patients with advanced disease.

  9. Paclitaxel stimulates chromosomal fusion and instability in cells with dysfunctional telomeres: Implication in multinucleation and chemosensitization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Park, Jeong-Eun [Division of Radiation Cancer Research, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Seoul 139-706 (Korea, Republic of); Woo, Seon Rang [Division of Radiation Cancer Research, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Seoul 139-706 (Korea, Republic of); Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul 136-705 (Korea, Republic of); Kang, Chang-Mo [Laboratory of Cytogenetics and Tissue Regeneration, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Seoul 139-706 (Korea, Republic of); Juhn, Kyoung-Mi; Ju, Yeun-Jin; Shin, Hyun-Jin; Joo, Hyun-Yoo; Park, Eun Ran; Park, In-chul; Hong, Sung Hee; Hwang, Sang-Gu [Division of Radiation Cancer Research, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Seoul 139-706 (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Jung-Kee [Department of Life Science and Genetic Engineering, Paichai University, Daejeon 302-735 (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Hae Kwon [Department of Biotechnology, Seoul Woman' s University, Seoul 139-774 (Korea, Republic of); Cho, Myung-Haing [Laboratory of Toxicology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-74-2 (Korea, Republic of); Park, Gil Hong [Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul 136-705 (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Kee-Ho, E-mail: [Division of Radiation Cancer Research, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Seoul 139-706 (Korea, Republic of)


    Research highlights: {yields} Paclitaxel serves as a stimulator of chromosomal fusion in cells in which telomeres are dysfunctional. {yields} Typical fusions involve p-arms, but paclitaxel-induced fusions occur between both q- and p-arms. {yields} Paclitaxel-stimulated fusions in cells in which telomeres are dysfunctional evoke prolonged G2/M cell cycle arrest and delay multinucleation. {yields} Upon telomere erosion, paclitaxel promotes chromosomal instability and subsequent apoptosis. {yields} Chromosomal fusion enhances paclitaxel chemosensitivity under telomere dysfunction. -- Abstract: The anticancer effect of paclitaxel is attributable principally to irreversible promotion of microtubule stabilization and is hampered upon development of chemoresistance by tumor cells. Telomere shortening, and eventual telomere erosion, evoke chromosomal instability, resulting in particular cellular responses. Using telomerase-deficient cells derived from mTREC-/-p53-/- mice, here we show that, upon telomere erosion, paclitaxel propagates chromosomal instability by stimulating chromosomal end-to-end fusions and delaying the development of multinucleation. The end-to-end fusions involve both the p- and q-arms in cells in which telomeres are dysfunctional. Paclitaxel-induced chromosomal fusions were accompanied by prolonged G2/M cell cycle arrest, delayed multinucleation, and apoptosis. Telomere dysfunctional cells with mutlinucleation eventually underwent apoptosis. Thus, as telomere erosion proceeds, paclitaxel stimulates chromosomal fusion and instability, and both apoptosis and chemosensitization eventually develop.

  10. Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering Based in Situ Hybridization Strategy for Telomere Length Assessment. (United States)

    Zong, Shenfei; Chen, Chen; Wang, Zhuyuan; Zhang, Yizhi; Cui, Yiping


    Assessing telomere length is of vital importance since telomere length is closely related with several fatal diseases such as atherosclerosis and cancer. Here, we present a strategy to assess/measure telomere length, that is, surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) based in situ hybridization (SISH). The SISH method uses two kinds of SERS nanoprobes to hybridize in situ with telomeres and centromeres, respectively. The telomere specific SERS nanoprobe is called the Telo-probe, while the centromere specific SERS nanoprobe is called the Centro-probe. They are composed of metal nanoparticles (NPs), Raman reporter molecules and specially designed DNA strands. With longer telomeres, more Telo-probes will hybridize with them, resulting in a stronger SERS signal. To exclude possible influence of the SERS intensity by external factors (such as the nanoprobe concentration, the cell number or different batches of nanoprobes), centromeres are used as the inner control, which can be recognized by Centro-probes. Telomere length is evaluated using a redefined telomere-to-centromere ratio (T/C ratio). The calculation method for T/C ratio in SISH method is more reliable than that in fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). In addition, unlike FISH method, the SISH method is insensitive to autofluorescence. Moreover, SISH method can be used to analyze single telomeres. These features make SISH an excellent alternative strategy for telomere length measurement.

  11. The relationship between telomere length and clinicopathologic characteristics in colorectal cancers among Tunisian patients. (United States)

    Mzahma, Raja; Kharrat, Maher; Fetiriche, Fadhel; Bouasker; Ben Moussa, Mounir; Ben Safta, Zoubeir; Dziri, Chadli; Zaouche, AbdelJelil; Chaabouni-Bouhamed, Habiba


    Alterations in telomere dynamics have emerged as having a causative role in carcinogenesis. Both the telomere attrition contribute to tumor initiation via increasing chromosomal instability and that the telomere elongation induces cell immortalization and leads to tumor progression. The objectives of this study are to investigate the dynamics of telomere length in colorectal cancer (CRC) and the clinicopathological parameters implicated. We measured the relative telomere length (RTL) in cancerous tissues and in corresponding peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) using quantitative PCR (Q-PCR) from 94 patients with CRC. Telomere length correlated significantly in cancer tissues and corresponding PBL (r = 0.705). Overall, cancer tissue had shorter telomeres than PBL (p = 0.033). In both cancer tissue and PBL, the RTL was significantly correlated with age groups (p = 0.008 and p = 0.012, respectively). The RTL in cancer tissue was significantly longer in rectal tumors (p = 0.04) and in the late stage of tumors (p = 0.01). In PBL, the RTL was significantly correlated with the macroscopic aspect of tumors (p = 0.02). In addition, the telomere-length ratio of cancer to corresponding PBL increased significantly with late-stage groups. Shortening of the telomere was detected in 44.7%, elongation in 36.2%, and telomeres were unchanged in 19.1% of 94 tumors. Telomere shortening occurred more frequently in the early stage of tumors (p = 0.01). This study suggests that the telomere length in PBL is affected by the macroscopic aspect of tumors and that telomere length in cancer tissues is a marker for progression of CRC and depends on tumor-origin site.

  12. Comprehensive screening of alternative lengthening of telomeres phenotype and loss of ATRX expression in sarcomas. (United States)

    Liau, Jau-Yu; Lee, Jen-Chieh; Tsai, Jia-Huei; Yang, Ching-Yao; Liu, Tsung-Lin; Ke, Zhi-Long; Hsu, Hung-Han; Jeng, Yung-Ming


    According to cytogenetic aberrations, sarcomas can be categorized as complex or simple karyotype tumors. Alternative lengthening of telomeres is a telomere-maintenance mechanism common in sarcomas. Recently, this mechanism was found to be associated with loss of either α-thalassemia/mental retardation syndrome X-linked (ATRX) or death domain-associated (DAXX) protein. We previously reported that alternative lengthening of telomeres and loss of ATRX expression were common in leiomyosarcoma, angiosarcoma, pleomorphic liposarcoma, and dedifferentiated liposarcoma. In the present study, we screened an additional 245 sarcomas of other types to determine the prevalence of alternative lengthening of telomeres, loss of ATRX/DAXX expression, and their relationship. Undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcomas were frequently alternative lengthening of telomeres positive (65%) and loss of ATRX was seen in approximately half of the alternative lengthening of telomeres-positive tumors. Nineteen of 25 myxofibrosarcomas were alternative lengthening of telomeres-positive, but only one was ATRX deficient. Three of 15 radiation-associated sarcomas were alternative lengthening of telomeres positive, but none of them was ATRX deficient. Alternative lengthening of telomeres and/or loss of ATRX were uncommon in malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors, gastrointestinal stromal tumors, and embryonal rhabdomyosarcomas. By contrast, none of the 71 gene fusion-associated sarcomas was ATRX deficient or alternative lengthening of telomeres positive. All tumors exhibited preserved DAXX expression. Combining our previous studies and this study, a total of 384 sarcomas with complex karyotypes were examined, 83 of which were ATRX deficient (22%). By telomere-specific fluorescence in situ hybridization, 45% (138/308) were alternative lengthening of telomeres positive, 55% (76/138) of which were ATRX deficient. Loss of ATRX was highly associated with alternative lengthening of telomeres (PATRX is highly

  13. Proteomic Profiling Reveals a Specific Role for Translesion DNA Polymerase η in the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres

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    Laura Garcia-Exposito


    Full Text Available Cancer cells rely on the activation of telomerase or the alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT pathways for telomere maintenance and survival. ALT involves homologous recombination (HR-dependent exchange and/or HR-associated synthesis of telomeric DNA. Utilizing proximity-dependent biotinylation (BioID, we sought to determine the proteome of telomeres in cancer cells that employ these distinct telomere elongation mechanisms. Our analysis reveals that multiple DNA repair networks converge at ALT telomeres. These include the specialized translesion DNA synthesis (TLS proteins FANCJ-RAD18-PCNA and, most notably, DNA polymerase eta (Polη. We observe that the depletion of Polη leads to increased ALT activity and late DNA polymerase δ (Polδ-dependent synthesis of telomeric DNA in mitosis. We propose that Polη fulfills an important role in managing replicative stress at ALT telomeres, maintaining telomere recombination at tolerable levels and stimulating DNA synthesis by Polδ.

  14. Suppression of telomere-binding protein TPP1 resulted in telomere dysfunction and enhanced radiation sensitivity in telomerase-negative osteosarcoma cell line

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    Qiang, Weiguang [Hubei Cancer Clinical Study Center, Hubei Key Laboratory of Tumor Biological Behaviors, Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University, Wuhan (China); Department of Oncology, The Third Affiliated Hospital, Soochow University, Changzhou (China); Wu, Qinqin [Hubei Cancer Clinical Study Center, Hubei Key Laboratory of Tumor Biological Behaviors, Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University, Wuhan (China); Department of Radiation Oncology, Changzhou Tumor Hospital, Soochow University, Changzhou (China); Zhou, Fuxiang; Xie, Conghua [Hubei Cancer Clinical Study Center, Hubei Key Laboratory of Tumor Biological Behaviors, Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University, Wuhan (China); Wu, Changping, E-mail: [Department of Oncology, The Third Affiliated Hospital, Soochow University, Changzhou (China); Zhou, Yunfeng, E-mail: [Hubei Cancer Clinical Study Center, Hubei Key Laboratory of Tumor Biological Behaviors, Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University, Wuhan (China)


    Highlights: • Down-regulation of TPP1 shortened telomere length in telomerase-negative cells. • Down-regulation of TPP1 induced cell apoptosis in telomerase-negative cells. • Down-regulation of TPP1 increased radiosensitivity in telomerase-negative cells. - Abstract: Mammalian telomeres are protected by the shelterin complex that contains the six core proteins POT1, TPP1, TIN2, TRF1, TRF2 and RAP1. TPP1, formerly known as TINT1, PTOP, and PIP1, is a key factor that regulates telomerase recruitment and activity. In addition to this, TPP1 is required to mediate the shelterin assembly and stabilize telomere. Previous work has found that TPP1 expression was elevated in radioresistant cells and that overexpression of TPP1 led to radioresistance and telomere lengthening in telomerase-positive cells. However, the exact effects and mechanism of TPP1 on radiosensitivity are yet to be precisely defined in the ALT cells. Here we report on the phenotypes of the conditional deletion of TPP1 from the human osteosarcoma U2OS cells using ALT pathway to extend the telomeres.TPP1 deletion resulted in telomere shortening, increased apoptosis and radiation sensitivity enhancement. Together, our findings show that TPP1 plays a vital role in telomere maintenance and protection and establish an intimate relationship between TPP1, telomere and cellular response to ionizing radiation, but likely has the specific mechanism yet to be defined.

  15. The Telomere Binding Protein Cdc13 and the Single-Stranded DNA Binding Protein RPA Protect Telomeric DNA from Resection by Exonucleases. (United States)

    Greetham, Matthew; Skordalakes, Emmanuel; Lydall, David; Connolly, Bernard A


    The telomere is present at the ends of all eukaryotic chromosomes and usually consists of repetitive TG-rich DNA that terminates in a single-stranded 3' TG extension and a 5' CA-rich recessed strand. A biochemical assay that allows the in vitro observation of exonuclease-catalyzed degradation (resection) of telomeres has been developed. The approach uses an oligodeoxynucleotide that folds to a stem-loop with a TG-rich double-stranded region and a 3' single-stranded extension, typical of telomeres. Cdc13, the major component of the telomere-specific CST complex, strongly protects the recessed strand from the 5'→3' exonuclease activity of the model exonuclease from bacteriophage λ. The isolated DNA binding domain of Cdc13 is less effective at shielding telomeres. Protection is specific, not being observed in control DNA lacking the specific TG-rich telomere sequence. RPA, the eukaryotic single-stranded DNA binding protein, also inhibits telomere resection. However, this protein is non-specific, equally hindering the degradation of non-telomere controls.

  16. Internalizing Disorders and Leukocyte Telomere Erosion: A Prospective Study of Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (United States)

    Shalev, Idan; Moffitt, Terrie E.; Braithwaite, Antony W.; Danese, Andrea; Fleming, Nicholas I.; Goldman-Mellor, Sidra; Harrington, HonaLee; Houts, Renate M.; Israel, Salomon; Poulton, Richie; Robertson, Stephen P.; Sugden, Karen; Williams, Benjamin; Caspi, Avshalom


    There is evidence that persistent psychiatric disorders lead to age-related disease and premature mortality. Telomere length has emerged as a promising biomarker in studies that test the hypothesis that internalizing psychiatric disorders are associated with accumulating cellular damage. We tested the association between the persistence of internalizing disorders (depression, generalized anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder) and leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in the prospective-longitudinal Dunedin Study (N=1037). Analyses showed that the persistence of internalizing disorders across repeated assessments from ages 11 to 38 years predicted shorter LTL at age 38 years in a dose-response manner, specifically in men (β= −.137, 95% CI: −.232, −.042, p=.005). This association was not accounted for by alternative explanatory factors, including childhood maltreatment, tobacco smoking, substance dependence, psychiatric medication use, poor physical health, or low socioeconomic status. Additional analyses using DNA from blood collected at two time points (ages 26 and 38 years) showed that LTL erosion was accelerated among men who were diagnosed with internalizing disorder in the interim (β= −.111, 95% CI: −.184, −.037, p=.003). No significant associations were found among women in any analysis, highlighting potential sex differences in internalizing-related telomere biology. These findings point to a potential mechanism linking internalizing disorders to accelerated biological aging in the first half of the life course, particularly in men. Because internalizing disorders are treatable, the findings suggest the hypothesis that treating psychiatric disorders in the first half of the life course may reduce the population burden of age-related disease, and extend health expectancy. PMID:24419039

  17. Secure quantum network coding for controlled repeater networks (United States)

    Shang, Tao; Li, Jiao; Liu, Jian-wei


    To realize efficient quantum communication based on quantum repeater, we propose a secure quantum network coding scheme for controlled repeater networks, which adds a controller as a trusted party and is able to control the process of EPR-pair distribution. As the key operations of quantum repeater, local operations and quantum communication are designed to adopt quantum one-time pad to enhance the function of identity authentication instead of local operations and classical communication. Scheme analysis shows that the proposed scheme can defend against active attacks for quantum communication and realize long-distance quantum communication with minimal resource consumption.

  18. Utility of telomere length measurements for age determination of humpback whales

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    Morten Tange Olsen


    Full Text Available This study examines the applicability of telomere length measurements by quantitative PCR as a tool for minimally invasive age determination of free-ranging cetaceans. We analysed telomere length in skin samples from 28 North Atlantic humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae, ranging from 0 to 26 years of age. The results suggested a significant correlation between telomere length and age in humpback whales. However, telomere length was highly variable among individuals of similar age, suggesting that telomere length measured by quantitative PCR is an imprecise determinant of age in humpback whales. The observed variation in individual telomere length was found to be a function of both experimental and biological variability, with the latter perhaps reflecting patterns of inheritance, resource allocation trade-offs, and stochasticity of the marine environment.

  19. Telomere components as potential therapeutic targets for treating microbial pathogen infections

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    Bibo eLi


    Full Text Available In a number of microbial pathogens that undergoes antigenic variation to evade the host’s immune attack, genes encoding surface antigens are located at subtelomeric loci, and recent studies have revealed that telomere components play important roles in regulation of surface antigen expression in several of these pathogens, indicating that telomeres play critical roles in microbial pathogen virulence regulation. Importantly, although telomere protein components and their functions are largely conserved from protozoa to mammals, telomere protein homologues in microbial pathogens and humans have low sequence homology. Therefore, pathogen telomere components are potential drug targets for therapeutic approaches because first, most telomere proteins are essential for pathogens’ survival, and second, disruption of pathogens’ antigenic variation mechanism would facilitate host’s immune system to clear the infection.

  20. Paternal age and telomere length in twins: the germ stem cell selection paradigm. (United States)

    Hjelmborg, Jacob B; Dalgård, Christine; Mangino, Massimo; Spector, Tim D; Halekoh, Ulrich; Möller, Sören; Kimura, Masayuki; Horvath, Kent; Kark, Jeremy D; Christensen, Kaare; Kyvik, Kirsten O; Aviv, Abraham


    Telomere length, a highly heritable trait, is longer in offspring of older fathers. This perplexing feature has been attributed to the longer telomeres in sperm of older men and it might be an 'epigenetic' mechanism through which paternal age plays a role in telomere length regulation in humans. Based on two independent (discovery and replication) twin studies, comprising 889 twin pairs, we show an increase in the resemblance of leukocyte telomere length between dizygotic twins of older fathers, which is not seen in monozygotic twins. This phenomenon might result from a paternal age-dependent germ stem cell selection process, whereby the selected stem cells have longer telomeres, are more homogenous with respect to telomere length, and share resistance to aging.

  1. Telomere length status of somatic cell sheep clones and their offspring. (United States)

    Alexander, Basil; Coppola, Gianfranco; Perrault, Steven D; Peura, Teija T; Betts, Dean H; King, W Allan


    This study was carried out to determine the telomere length status of sheep clones and their offspring, and to examine telomere dynamics and chromosomal abnormalities in culture propagated donor cells. Skin samples were collected from somatic cell nuclear transfer-derived sheep clones, and three of their progeny generated by natural mating. Samples were collected from control animals (n = 35), spanning in age from 1 month to 36 months of age. Genomic DNA was extracted from cell/tissue samples and their telomere lengths were assessed by terminal restriction fragment (TRF) analysis. Results revealed: that (a) sheep clones derived from cultured somatic cells have shortened telomere lengths compared to age-matched controls; (b) the offspring derived from natural mating between clones had normal telomere lengths compared to their age-matched counterparts; and donor cell cultures beyond 20 population doublings had significantly (P < 0.05) shortened telomeres and exhibited a higher numerical and structural chromosomal abnormalities.

  2. Sua5p is required for telomere recombination in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Fei-Long Meng; Xiao-Fen Chen; Yan Hu; Hong-Bo Tang; Wei Dang; Jin-Qiu Zhou


    @@ Dear Editor, Telomeres are highly organized DNA-protein struc-tures at the ends of linear eukaryotic chromosomes [1]. In budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, each chro-mosome end has TG_(1-3)/C_(1-3)A double-stranded telomeric DNA and a G-rich single-stranded tail [2]. The replica-tion of telomere involves both telomerase and recombi-nation pathways [3, 4]. When telomerase is absent, te-lomeric DNA will progressively shorten, and the colony will eventually undergo senescence [4]. Some survivors will escape senescence by maintaining telomeres through a Rad52-dependent homologous recombination mecha-nism [3]. Our previous work had identified a conserved non-OB-fold single-stranded telomeric (ssTG) DNA binding protein Sua5p, which facilitates telomerase ac-tivity [5].

  3. Suppression of the alternative lengthening of telomere pathway by the chromatin remodelling factor ATRX. (United States)

    Clynes, David; Jelinska, Clare; Xella, Barbara; Ayyub, Helena; Scott, Caroline; Mitson, Matthew; Taylor, Stephen; Higgs, Douglas R; Gibbons, Richard J


    Fifteen per cent of cancers maintain telomere length independently of telomerase by the homologous recombination (HR)-associated alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) pathway. A unifying feature of these tumours are mutations in ATRX. Here we show that expression of ectopic ATRX triggers a suppression of the pathway and telomere shortening. Importantly ATRX-mediated ALT suppression is dependent on the histone chaperone DAXX. Re-expression of ATRX is associated with a reduction in replication fork stalling, a known trigger for HR and loss of MRN from telomeres. A G-quadruplex stabilizer partially reverses the effect of ATRX, inferring ATRX may normally facilitate replication through these sequences that, if they persist, promote ALT. We propose that defective telomere chromatinization through loss of ATRX promotes the persistence of aberrant DNA secondary structures, which in turn present a barrier to DNA replication, leading to replication fork stalling, collapse, HR and subsequent recombination-mediated telomere synthesis in ALT cancers.

  4. Quantum repeated games revisited

    CERN Document Server

    Frackiewicz, Piotr


    We present a scheme for playing quantum repeated 2x2 games based on the Marinatto and Weber's approach to quantum games. As a potential application, we study twice repeated Prisoner's Dilemma game. We show that results not available in classical game can be obtained when the game is played in the quantum way. Before we present our idea, we comment on the previous scheme of playing quantum repeated games.

  5. 端粒长度与肾衰老的研究现状%Research progress of telomere length on kidney aging

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    Telomeres are highly conserved DNA repeats at the end of the linear chromosomes . Their main function is to cap the chromosome ends and maintain chromosomal stability and genetic integrity . Telomere length will shorten with every cell division , and will lose the function of the protection of chromosome when shortened to a certain length , and ultimately lead to cell senescence. Researches show that telomere shortening also exists in the aging kidney and meanwhile plays an important role in kindney aging .%端粒是位于线性染色体末端高度保守的DNA重复序列,是染色体末端的"保护帽",维护着染色体的稳定性及基因的完整性.端粒长度随着细胞的分裂而逐渐缩短到一定长度时,便失去了保护染色体的功能,并最终引起细胞衰老.研究表明,衰老的肾中也存在端粒的缩短,端粒的缩短在肾衰老中发挥着重要作用.

  6. The Analysis of Pendolino (peo) Mutants Reveals Differences in the Fusigenic Potential among Drosophila Telomeres. (United States)

    Cenci, Giovanni; Ciapponi, Laura; Marzullo, Marta; Raffa, Grazia D; Morciano, Patrizia; Raimondo, Domenico; Burla, Romina; Saggio, Isabella; Gatti, Maurizio


    Drosophila telomeres are sequence-independent structures that are maintained by transposition to chromosome ends of three specialized retroelements (HeT-A, TART and TAHRE; collectively designated as HTT) rather than telomerase activity. Fly telomeres are protected by the terminin complex (HOAP-HipHop-Moi-Ver) that localizes and functions exclusively at telomeres and by non-terminin proteins that do not serve telomere-specific functions. Although all Drosophila telomeres terminate with HTT arrays and are capped by terminin, they differ in the type of subtelomeric chromatin; the Y, XR, and 4L HTT are juxtaposed to constitutive heterochromatin, while the XL, 2L, 2R, 3L and 3R HTT are linked to the TAS repetitive sequences; the 4R HTT is associated with a chromatin that has features common to both euchromatin and heterochromatin. Here we show that mutations in pendolino (peo) cause telomeric fusions (TFs). The analysis of several peo mutant combinations showed that these TFs preferentially involve the Y, XR and 4th chromosome telomeres, a TF pattern never observed in the other 10 telomere-capping mutants so far characterized. peo encodes a non-terminin protein homologous to the E2 variant ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes. The Peo protein directly interacts with the terminin components, but peo mutations do not affect telomeric localization of HOAP, Moi, Ver and HP1a, suggesting that the peo-dependent telomere fusion phenotype is not due to loss of terminin from chromosome ends. peo mutants are also defective in DNA replication and PCNA recruitment. However, our results suggest that general defects in DNA replication are unable to induce TFs in Drosophila cells. We thus hypothesize that DNA replication in Peo-depleted cells results in specific fusigenic lesions concentrated in heterochromatin-associated telomeres. Alternatively, it is possible that Peo plays a dual function being independently required for DNA replication and telomere capping.

  7. The Analysis of Pendolino (peo Mutants Reveals Differences in the Fusigenic Potential among Drosophila Telomeres.

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    Giovanni Cenci


    Full Text Available Drosophila telomeres are sequence-independent structures that are maintained by transposition to chromosome ends of three specialized retroelements (HeT-A, TART and TAHRE; collectively designated as HTT rather than telomerase activity. Fly telomeres are protected by the terminin complex (HOAP-HipHop-Moi-Ver that localizes and functions exclusively at telomeres and by non-terminin proteins that do not serve telomere-specific functions. Although all Drosophila telomeres terminate with HTT arrays and are capped by terminin, they differ in the type of subtelomeric chromatin; the Y, XR, and 4L HTT are juxtaposed to constitutive heterochromatin, while the XL, 2L, 2R, 3L and 3R HTT are linked to the TAS repetitive sequences; the 4R HTT is associated with a chromatin that has features common to both euchromatin and heterochromatin. Here we show that mutations in pendolino (peo cause telomeric fusions (TFs. The analysis of several peo mutant combinations showed that these TFs preferentially involve the Y, XR and 4th chromosome telomeres, a TF pattern never observed in the other 10 telomere-capping mutants so far characterized. peo encodes a non-terminin protein homologous to the E2 variant ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes. The Peo protein directly interacts with the terminin components, but peo mutations do not affect telomeric localization of HOAP, Moi, Ver and HP1a, suggesting that the peo-dependent telomere fusion phenotype is not due to loss of terminin from chromosome ends. peo mutants are also defective in DNA replication and PCNA recruitment. However, our results suggest that general defects in DNA replication are unable to induce TFs in Drosophila cells. We thus hypothesize that DNA replication in Peo-depleted cells results in specific fusigenic lesions concentrated in heterochromatin-associated telomeres. Alternatively, it is possible that Peo plays a dual function being independently required for DNA replication and telomere capping.

  8. Telomere components as potential therapeutic targets for treating microbial pathogen infections


    Li, Bibo


    In a number of microbial pathogens that undergoes antigenic variation to evade the host’s immune attack, genes encoding surface antigens are located at subtelomeric loci, and recent studies have revealed that telomere components play important roles in regulation of surface antigen expression in several of these pathogens, indicating that telomeres play critical roles in microbial pathogen virulence regulation. Importantly, although telomere protein components and their functions are largely ...

  9. Genetically predicted longer telomere length is associated with increased risk of B-cell lymphoma subtypes. (United States)

    Machiela, Mitchell J; Lan, Qing; Slager, Susan L; Vermeulen, Roel C H; Teras, Lauren R; Camp, Nicola J; Cerhan, James R; Spinelli, John J; Wang, Sophia S; Nieters, Alexandra; Vijai, Joseph; Yeager, Meredith; Wang, Zhaoming; Ghesquières, Hervé; McKay, James; Conde, Lucia; de Bakker, Paul I W; Cox, David G; Burdett, Laurie; Monnereau, Alain; Flowers, Christopher R; De Roos, Anneclaire J; Brooks-Wilson, Angela R; Giles, Graham G; Melbye, Mads; Gu, Jian; Jackson, Rebecca D; Kane, Eleanor; Purdue, Mark P; Vajdic, Claire M; Albanes, Demetrius; Kelly, Rachel S; Zucca, Mariagrazia; Bertrand, Kimberly A; Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, Anne; Lawrence, Charles; Hutchinson, Amy; Zhi, Degui; Habermann, Thomas M; Link, Brian K; Novak, Anne J; Dogan, Ahmet; Asmann, Yan W; Liebow, Mark; Thompson, Carrie A; Ansell, Stephen M; Witzig, Thomas E; Tilly, Hervé; Haioun, Corinne; Molina, Thierry J; Hjalgrim, Henrik; Glimelius, Bengt; Adami, Hans-Olov; Roos, Göran; Bracci, Paige M; Riby, Jacques; Smith, Martyn T; Holly, Elizabeth A; Cozen, Wendy; Hartge, Patricia; Morton, Lindsay M; Severson, Richard K; Tinker, Lesley F; North, Kari E; Becker, Nikolaus; Benavente, Yolanda; Boffetta, Paolo; Brennan, Paul; Foretova, Lenka; Maynadie, Marc; Staines, Anthony; Lightfoot, Tracy; Crouch, Simon; Smith, Alex; Roman, Eve; Diver, W Ryan; Offit, Kenneth; Zelenetz, Andrew; Klein, Robert J; Villano, Danylo J; Zheng, Tongzhang; Zhang, Yawei; Holford, Theodore R; Turner, Jenny; Southey, Melissa C; Clavel, Jacqueline; Virtamo, Jarmo; Weinstein, Stephanie; Riboli, Elio; Vineis, Paolo; Kaaks, Rudolph; Boeing, Heiner; Tjønneland, Anne; Angelucci, Emanuele; Di Lollo, Simonetta; Rais, Marco; De Vivo, Immaculata; Giovannucci, Edward; Kraft, Peter; Huang, Jinyan; Ma, Baoshan; Ye, Yuanqing; Chiu, Brian C H; Liang, Liming; Park, Ju-Hyun; Chung, Charles C; Weisenburger, Dennis D; Fraumeni, Joseph F; Salles, Gilles; Glenn, Martha; Cannon-Albright, Lisa; Curtin, Karen; Wu, Xifeng; Smedby, Karin E; de Sanjose, Silvia; Skibola, Christine F; Berndt, Sonja I; Birmann, Brenda M; Chanock, Stephen J; Rothman, Nathaniel


    Evidence from a small number of studies suggests that longer telomere length measured in peripheral leukocytes is associated with an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). However, these studies may be biased by reverse causation, confounded by unmeasured environmental exposures and might miss time points for which prospective telomere measurement would best reveal a relationship between telomere length and NHL risk. We performed an analysis of genetically inferred telomere length and NHL risk in a study of 10 102 NHL cases of the four most common B-cell histologic types and 9562 controls using a genetic risk score (GRS) comprising nine telomere length-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms. This approach uses existing genotype data and estimates telomere length by weighing the number of telomere length-associated variant alleles an individual carries with the published change in kb of telomere length. The analysis of the telomere length GRS resulted in an association between longer telomere length and increased NHL risk [four B-cell histologic types combined; odds ratio (OR) = 1.49, 95% CI 1.22-1.82,P-value = 8.5 × 10(-5)]. Subtype-specific analyses indicated that chronic lymphocytic leukemia or small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL) was the principal NHL subtype contributing to this association (OR = 2.60, 95% CI 1.93-3.51,P-value = 4.0 × 10(-10)). Significant interactions were observed across strata of sex for CLL/SLL and marginal zone lymphoma subtypes as well as age for the follicular lymphoma subtype. Our results indicate that a genetic background that favors longer telomere length may increase NHL risk, particularly risk of CLL/SLL, and are consistent with earlier studies relating longer telomere length with increased NHL risk.

  10. Telomere length trajectory and its determinants in persons with coronary artery disease: longitudinal findings from the heart and soul study.

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    Ramin Farzaneh-Far

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Leukocyte telomere length, an emerging marker of biological age, has been shown to predict cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. However, the natural history of telomere length in patients with coronary artery disease has not been studied. We sought to investigate the longitudinal trajectory of telomere length, and to identify the independent predictors of telomere shortening, in persons with coronary artery disease. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In a prospective cohort study of 608 individuals with stable coronary artery disease, we measured leukocyte telomere length at baseline, and again after five years of follow-up. We used multivariable linear and logistic regression models to identify the independent predictors of leukocyte telomere trajectory. Baseline and follow-up telomere lengths were normally distributed. Mean telomere length decreased by 42 base pairs per year (p<0.001. Three distinct telomere trajectories were observed: shortening in 45%, maintenance in 32%, and lengthening in 23% of participants. The most powerful predictor of telomere shortening was baseline telomere length (OR per SD increase = 7.6; 95% CI 5.5, 10.6. Other independent predictors of telomere shortening were age (OR per 10 years = 1.6; 95% CI 1.3, 2.1, male sex (OR = 2.4; 95% CI 1.3, 4.7, and waist-to-hip ratio (OR per 0.1 increase = 1.4; 95% CI 1.0, 2.0. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Leukocyte telomere length may increase as well as decrease in persons with coronary artery disease. Telomere length trajectory is powerfully influenced by baseline telomere length, possibly suggesting negative feedback regulation. Age, male sex, and abdominal obesity independently predict telomere shortening. The mechanisms and reversibility of telomeric aging in cardiovascular disease deserve further study.

  11. The three-dimensional organization of telomeres in the nucleus of mammalian cells

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    Perrin Mathilde


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The observation of multiple genetic markers in situ by optical microscopy and their relevance to the study of three-dimensional (3D chromosomal organization in the nucleus have been greatly developed in the last decade. These methods are important in cancer research because cancer is characterized by multiple alterations that affect the modulation of gene expression and the stability of the genome. It is, therefore, essential to analyze the 3D genome organization of the interphase nucleus in both normal and cancer cells. Results We describe a novel approach to study the distribution of all telomeres inside the nucleus of mammalian cells throughout the cell cycle. It is based on 3D telomere fluorescence in situ hybridization followed by quantitative analysis that determines the telomeres' distribution in the nucleus throughout the cell cycle. This method enables us to determine, for the first time, that telomere organization is cell-cycle dependent, with assembly of telomeres into a telomeric disk in the G2 phase. In tumor cells, the 3D telomere organization is distorted and aggregates are formed. Conclusions The results emphasize a non-random and dynamic 3D nuclear telomeric organization and its importance to genomic stability. Based on our findings, it appears possible to examine telomeric aggregates suggestive of genomic instability in individual interphase nuclei and tissues without the need to examine metaphases. Such new avenues of monitoring genomic instability could potentially impact on cancer biology, genetics, diagnostic innovations and surveillance of treatment response in medicine.

  12. Evidence that a RecQ helicase slows senescence by resolving recombining telomeres.

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    Julia Y Lee


    Full Text Available RecQ helicases, including Saccharomyces cerevisiae Sgs1p and the human Werner syndrome protein, are important for telomere maintenance in cells lacking telomerase activity. How maintenance is accomplished is only partly understood, although there is evidence that RecQ helicases function in telomere replication and recombination. Here we use two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DGE and telomere sequence analysis to explore why cells lacking telomerase and Sgs1p (tlc1 sgs1 mutants senesce more rapidly than tlc1 mutants with functional Sgs1p. We find that apparent X-shaped structures accumulate at telomeres in senescing tlc1 sgs1 mutants in a RAD52- and RAD53-dependent fashion. The X-structures are neither Holliday junctions nor convergent replication forks, but instead may be recombination intermediates related to hemicatenanes. Direct sequencing of examples of telomere I-L in senescing cells reveals a reduced recombination frequency in tlc1 sgs1 compared with tlc1 mutants, indicating that Sgs1p is needed for tlc1 mutants to complete telomere recombination. The reduction in recombinants is most prominent at longer telomeres, consistent with a requirement for Sgs1p to generate viable progeny following telomere recombination. We therefore suggest that Sgs1p may be required for efficient resolution of telomere recombination intermediates, and that resolution failure contributes to the premature senescence of tlc1 sgs1 mutants.

  13. Age-dependence of relative telomere length profiles during spermatogenesis in man

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Pernille Bach; Fedder, Jens; Koelvraa, Steen


    human spermatogenesis. A few groups have tried to elucidate this process by measuring telomerase activity in the various cell-types during spermatogenesis, but until now, no one has ever measured telomere length (TL) during these different stages in humans. Some groups have measured TL in spermatozoa...... by telomere QFISH. Our data revealed no difference in the TL profile during spermatogenesis between younger and older men. All men had a similar profile which strongly resembled the telomerase expression profile found by others. This indicates that the longer telomeres in older men are not caused by a wider...... window of telomere elongation, stretching over more cell-types of spermatogenesis....

  14. Neighborhood characteristics and leukocyte telomere length: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. (United States)

    Needham, Belinda L; Carroll, Judith E; Diez Roux, Ana V; Fitzpatrick, Annette L; Moore, Kari; Seeman, Teresa E


    Telomeres are the protective caps at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. Telomeres get shorter each time a cell divides, and critically shortened telomeres trigger cellular senescence. Thus, telomere length is hypothesized to be a biological marker of aging. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between neighborhood characteristics and leukocyte telomere length. Using data from a subsample (n=978) of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, a population-based study of women and men aged 45-84, we found that neighborhood social environment (but not neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage) was associated with telomere length. Respondents who lived in neighborhoods characterized by lower aesthetic quality, safety, and social cohesion had shorter telomeres than those who lived in neighborhoods with a more salutary social environment, even after adjusting for individual-level socioeconomic status and biomedical and lifestyle factors related to telomere length. Telomere length may be one biological mechanism by which neighborhood characteristics influence an individual׳s risk of disease and death.

  15. The relationship between telomere length and mortality in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). (United States)

    Lee, Jee; Sandford, Andrew J; Connett, John E; Yan, Jin; Mui, Tammy; Li, Yuexin; Daley, Denise; Anthonisen, Nicholas R; Brooks-Wilson, Angela; Man, S F Paul; Sin, Don D


    Some have suggested that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a disease of accelerated aging. Aging is characterized by shortening of telomeres. The relationship of telomere length to important clinical outcomes such as mortality, disease progression and cancer in COPD is unknown. Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), we measured telomere length of peripheral leukocytes in 4,271 subjects with mild to moderate COPD who participated in the Lung Health Study (LHS). The subjects were followed for approximately 7.5 years during which time their vital status, FEV(1) and smoking status were ascertained. Using multiple regression methods, we determined the relationship of telomere length to cancer and total mortality in these subjects. We also measured telomere length in healthy "mid-life" volunteers and patients with more severe COPD. The LHS subjects had significantly shorter telomeres than those of healthy "mid-life" volunteers (ptelomere length (i.e. longest telomere group), the remaining participants had significantly higher risk of cancer mortality (Hazard ratio, HR, 1.48; p = 0.0324) and total mortality (HR, 1.29; p = 0.0425). Smoking status did not make a significant difference in peripheral blood cells telomere length. In conclusion, COPD patients have short leukocyte telomeres, which are in turn associated increased risk of total and cancer mortality. Accelerated aging is of particular relevance to cancer mortality in COPD.

  16. The fission yeast heterochromatin protein Rik1 is required for telomere clustering during meiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tuzon, Creighton T; Borgstrøm, Britta; Weilguny, Dietmar


    Telomeres share the ability to silence nearby transcription with heterochromatin, but the requirement of heterochromatin proteins for most telomere functions is unknown. The fission yeast Rik1 protein is required for heterochromatin formation at centromeres and the mating-type locus, as it recrui...... meiosis. However, Rik1 is dispensable for the protective roles of telomeres in preventing chromosome end-fusion. Thus, a Swi6-independent heterochromatin function distinct from that at centromeres and the mating-type locus operates at telomeres during sexual differentiation....

  17. E-type cyclins modulate telomere integrity in mammalian male meiosis. (United States)

    Manterola, Marcia; Sicinski, Piotr; Wolgemuth, Debra J


    We have shown that E-type cyclins are key regulators of mammalian male meiosis. Depletion of cyclin E2 reduced fertility in male mice due to meiotic defects, involving abnormal pairing and synapsis, unrepaired DNA, and loss of telomere structure. These defects were exacerbated by additional loss of cyclin E1, and complete absence of both E-type cyclins produces a meiotic catastrophe. Here, we investigated the involvement of E-type cyclins in maintaining telomere integrity in male meiosis. Spermatocytes lacking cyclin E2 and one E1 allele (E1+/-E2-/-) displayed a high rate of telomere abnormalities but can progress to pachytene and diplotene stages. We show that their telomeres exhibited an aberrant DNA damage repair response during pachynema and that the shelterin complex proteins TRF2 and RAP2 were significantly decreased in the proximal telomeres. Moreover, the insufficient level of these proteins correlated with an increase of γ-H2AX foci in the affected telomeres and resulted in telomere associations involving TRF1 and telomere detachment in later prophase-I stages. These results suggest that E-type cyclins are key modulators of telomere integrity during meiosis by, at least in part, maintaining the balance of shelterin complex proteins, and uncover a novel role of E-type cyclins in regulating chromosome structure during male meiosis.

  18. The DNA damage response at eroded telomeres and tethering to the nuclear pore complex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khadaroo, Basheer; Teixeira, M Teresa; Luciano, Pierre;


    The ends of linear eukaryotic chromosomes are protected by telomeres, which serve to ensure proper chromosome replication and to prevent spurious recombination at chromosome ends. In this study, we show by single cell analysis that in the absence of telomerase, a single short telomere is sufficient...... protein Rad52 into a single focus. Moreover, we show that eroded telomeres, although remaining at the nuclear periphery, move to the nuclear pore complex. Our results link the DNA damage response at eroded telomeres to changes in subnuclear localization and suggest the existence of collapsed replication...

  19. Differential Telomere Shortening in Blood versus Arteries in an Animal Model of Type 2 Diabetes

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    Samira Tajbakhsh


    Full Text Available Vascular dysfunction is an early feature of diabetic vascular disease, due to increased oxidative stress and reduced nitric oxide (NO bioavailability. This can lead to endothelial cell senescence and clinical complications such as stroke. Cells can become senescent by shortened telomeres and oxidative stress is known to accelerate telomere attrition. Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1 has been linked to vascular health by upregulating endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS, suppressing oxidative stress, and attenuating telomere shortening. Accelerated leukocyte telomere attrition appears to be a feature of clinical type 2 diabetes (T2D and therefore the telomere system may be a potential therapeutic target in preventing vascular complications of T2D. However the effect of T2D on vascular telomere length is currently unknown. We hypothesized that T2D gives rise to shortened leukocyte and vascular telomeres alongside reduced vascular SIRT1 expression and increased oxidative stress. Accelerated telomere attrition was observed in circulating leukocytes, but not arteries, in T2D compared to control rats. T2D rats had blunted arterial SIRT1 and eNOS protein expression levels which were associated with reduced antioxidant defense capacity. Our findings suggest that hyperglycemia and a deficit in vascular SIRT1 per se are not sufficient to prematurely shorten vascular telomeres.

  20. Short telomere length, cancer survival, and cancer risk in 47102 individuals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weischer, Maren; Nordestgaard, Børge G; Cawthon, Richard M;


    Recent meta-analyses have suggested that short telomere length was associated with increased risk of cancer. We therefore tested the hypotheses that short telomere length was associated with increased risk of cancer and with increased risk of early death after cancer.......Recent meta-analyses have suggested that short telomere length was associated with increased risk of cancer. We therefore tested the hypotheses that short telomere length was associated with increased risk of cancer and with increased risk of early death after cancer....

  1. Telomere fusion threshold identifies a poor prognostic subset of breast cancer patients. (United States)

    Simpson, K; Jones, R E; Grimstead, J W; Hills, R; Pepper, C; Baird, D M


    Telomere dysfunction and fusion can drive genomic instability and clonal evolution in human tumours, including breast cancer. Telomere length is a critical determinant of telomere function and has been evaluated as a prognostic marker in several tumour types, but it has yet to be used in the clinical setting. Here we show that high-resolution telomere length analysis, together with a specific telomere fusion threshold, is highly prognostic for overall survival in a cohort of patients diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast (n = 120). The telomere fusion threshold defined a small subset of patients with an extremely poor clinical outcome, with a median survival of less than 12 months (HR = 21.4 (7.9-57.6), P telomere length threshold was independent of ER, PGR, HER2 status, NPI, or grade and was the dominant variable in multivariate analysis. We conclude that the fusogenic telomere length threshold provides a powerful, independent prognostic marker with clinical utility in breast cancer. Larger prospective studies are now required to determine the optimal way to incorporate high-resolution telomere length analysis into multivariate prognostic algorithms for patients diagnosed with breast cancer.

  2. Incorporating the Hayflick Limit into a model of Telomere Dynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Cyrenne, Benoit M


    A model of telomere dynamics is proposed and examined. Our model, which extends a previously introduced two-compartment model that incorporates stem cells as progenitors of new cells, imposes the Hayflick Limit, the maximum number of cell divisions that are possible. This new model leads to cell populations for which the average telomere length is not necessarily a monotonically decreasing function of time, in contrast to previously published models. We provide a phase diagram indicating where such results would be expected. In addition, qualitatively different results are obtained for the evolution of the total cell population. Last, in comparison to available leukocyte baboon data, this new model is shown to provide a better fit to biological data.

  3. Telomere length of anterior crucial ligament after rupture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ponsot, Elodie; Langberg, Henning; Krogsgaard, Michael R


    ) and there was no relationship between mean telomere length in ACL and the healing duration after rupture. This implies that despite the occurrence of ligament repair including a phase of intense cell proliferation the proliferative potential of ruptured ACL is not impaired. This knowledge is important for scientists......The regeneration of ligaments following injury is a slow process compared to the healing of many other tissues and the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the proliferative potential of ligaments by assessing telomere length within three distinct parts...... tissues indicating that the endogenous machinery responsible for the proliferative potential of ligament is not implicated in its poor healing capacity. The three ACL parts showed similar mean TRF lengths (distal part: 11.5 ± 0.8 kbp, mid-portion: 11.8 ± 1.2 kbp, proximal part: 11.9 ± 1.6 kbp...

  4. Ergodicity convergence test suggests telomere motion obeys fractional dynamics (United States)

    Kepten, E.; Bronshtein, I.; Garini, Y.


    Anomalous diffusion, observed in many biological processes, is a generalized description of a wide variety of processes, all obeying the same law of mean-square displacement. Identifying the basic mechanisms of these observations is important for deducing the nature of the biophysical systems measured. We implement a previously suggested method for distinguishing between fractional Langevin dynamics, fractional Brownian motion, and continuous time random walk based on the ergodic nature of the data. We apply the method together with the recently suggested P-variation test and the displacement correlation to the lately measured dynamics of telomeres in the nucleus of mammalian cells and find strong evidence that the telomeres motion obeys fractional dynamics. The ergodic dynamics are observed experimentally to fit fractional Brownian or Langevin dynamics.

  5. Intramolecular telomeric G-quadruplexes dramatically inhibit DNA synthesis by replicative and translesion polymerases, revealing their potential to lead to genetic change.

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    Deanna N Edwards

    Full Text Available Recent research indicates that hundreds of thousands of G-rich sequences within the human genome have the potential to form secondary structures known as G-quadruplexes. Telomeric regions, consisting of long arrays of TTAGGG/AATCCC repeats, are among the most likely areas in which these structures might form. Since G-quadruplexes assemble from certain G-rich single-stranded sequences, they might arise when duplex DNA is unwound such as during replication. Coincidentally, these bulky structures when present in the DNA template might also hinder the action of DNA polymerases. In this study, single-stranded telomeric templates with the potential to form G-quadruplexes were examined for their effects on a variety of replicative and translesion DNA polymerases from humans and lower organisms. Our results demonstrate that single-stranded templates containing four telomeric GGG runs fold into intramolecular G-quadruplex structures. These intramolecular G quadruplexes are somewhat dynamic in nature and stabilized by increasing KCl concentrations and decreasing temperatures. Furthermore, the presence of these intramolecular G-quadruplexes in the template dramatically inhibits DNA synthesis by various DNA polymerases, including the human polymerase δ employed during lagging strand replication of G-rich telomeric strands and several human translesion DNA polymerases potentially recruited to sites of replication blockage. Notably, misincorporation of nucleotides is observed when certain translesion polymerases are employed on substrates containing intramolecular G-quadruplexes, as is extension of the resulting mismatched base pairs upon dynamic unfolding of this secondary structure. These findings reveal the potential for blockage of DNA replication and genetic changes related to sequences capable of forming intramolecular G-quadruplexes.

  6. Telomere and Telomerase: From Discovery to Cancer Treatment

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    Full Text Available Context Cancer is a major cause of death worldwide. It was estimated that 7.6 million people died during 2008 due to cancer and this figure is expected to double by 2030. To conquer this disease, discovery of validated targets and new drugs is a necessity. Evidence Acquisition Telomeres are terminal structures of linear chromosomes in eukaryotes and consist of multiple repetitive sequences. Their main function is to protect and confer stability to chromosome ends and prevent their breakage, end-to-end fusion, and degeneration. Polymerases responsible for replication of DNA in eukaryotes are not able to replicate chromosome ends and, during cell division, chromosomes continuously become shorter from the telomere ends. This shortening will eventually stop cell division. In cancer cells, there is a ribonucleoprotein enzyme called telomerase that allows compensation of telomere shortening and continuation of the cell multiplication process. Results About 90% of cancers need a high level of this enzyme to continue cell multiplication. Since this enzyme set is absent in normal cells, or present at a very low level, use of telomerase inhibitors cannot have significant effects on normal cells. Conclusions Since telomerase is expressed in 90% of cancer cells, its inhibition can be considered as a goal of cancer treatment.

  7. Telomeres and telomerase: a modern fountain of youth? (United States)

    de Magalhães, João Pedro; Toussaint, Olivier


    Since ageing is a universal human feature, it is not surprising that, from the Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh to Ponce de Leon seeking the "Fountain of Youth," countless people have dreamed of finding a way to avoid ageing, to no avail. Yet the search continues. In this review, we present one of the latest candidates: the enzyme telomerase, capable of elongating the tips of chromosomes, the telomeres. Research into the causes of cellular ageing established the telomeres as the molecular clock that counts the number of times cells divide and triggers cellular senescence. Herein, we review arguments both in favor and against the use of telomerase as an anti-ageing therapy. The importance of the telomeres in cellular ageing, the low or non-existent levels of telomerase activity in human tissues, and the ability of telomerase to immortalize human cells suggest that telomerase can be used as an anti-ageing therapy. On the other hand, recent experiments in mice have raised doubts whether telomerase affects organismal ageing. Results from human cells expressing telomerase have also suggested telomerase may promote tumorigenesis. We conclude that, though telomerase may be used in regenerative medicine and to treat specific diseases, it is unlikely to become a source of anti-ageing therapies.

  8. Telomere dynamics may link stress exposure and ageing across generations. (United States)

    Haussmann, Mark F; Heidinger, Britt J


    Although exposure to stressors is known to increase disease susceptibility and accelerate ageing, evidence is accumulating that these effects can span more than one generation. Stressors experienced by parents have been reported to negatively influence the longevity of their offspring and even grand offspring. The mechanisms underlying these long-term, cross-generational effects are still poorly understood, but we argue here that telomere dynamics are likely to play an important role. In this review, we begin by surveying the current connections between stress and telomere dynamics. We then lay out the evidence that exposure to stressors in the parental generation influences telomere dynamics in offspring and potentially subsequent generations. We focus on evidence in mammalian and avian studies and highlight several promising areas where our understanding is incomplete and future investigations are critically needed. Understanding the mechanisms that link stress exposure across generations requires interdisciplinary studies and is essential to both the biomedical community seeking to understand how early adversity impacts health span and evolutionary ecologists interested in how changing environmental conditions are likely to influence age-structured population dynamics.

  9. The telomeric sync model of speciation: species-wide telomere erosion triggers cycles of transposon-mediated genomic rearrangements, which underlie the saltatory appearance of nonadaptive characters. (United States)

    Stindl, Reinhard


    Charles Darwin knew that the fossil record is not overwhelmingly supportive of genetic and phenotypic gradualism; therefore, he developed the core of his theory on the basis of breeding experiments. Here, I present evidence for the existence of a cell biological mechanism that strongly points to the almost forgotten European concept of saltatory evolution of nonadaptive characters, which is in perfect agreement with the gaps in the fossil record. The standard model of chromosomal evolution has always been handicapped by a paradox, namely, how speciation can occur by spontaneous chromosomal rearrangements that are known to decrease the fertility of heterozygotes in a population. However, the hallmark of almost all closely related species is a differing chromosome complement and therefore chromosomal rearrangements seem to be crucial for speciation. Telomeres, the caps of eukaryotic chromosomes, erode in somatic tissues during life, but have been thought to remain stable in the germline of a species. Recently, a large human study spanning three healthy generations clearly found a cumulative telomere effect, which is indicative of transgenerational telomere erosion in the human species. The telomeric sync model of speciation presented here is based on telomere erosion between generations, which leads to identical fusions of chromosomes and triggers a transposon-mediated genomic repatterning in the germline of many individuals of a species. The phenotypic outcome of the telomere-triggered transposon activity is the saltatory appearance of nonadaptive characters simultaneously in many individuals. Transgenerational telomere erosion is therefore the material basis of aging at the species level.

  10. The telomeric sync model of speciation: species-wide telomere erosion triggers cycles of transposon-mediated genomic rearrangements, which underlie the saltatory appearance of nonadaptive characters (United States)

    Stindl, Reinhard


    Charles Darwin knew that the fossil record is not overwhelmingly supportive of genetic and phenotypic gradualism; therefore, he developed the core of his theory on the basis of breeding experiments. Here, I present evidence for the existence of a cell biological mechanism that strongly points to the almost forgotten European concept of saltatory evolution of nonadaptive characters, which is in perfect agreement with the gaps in the fossil record. The standard model of chromosomal evolution has always been handicapped by a paradox, namely, how speciation can occur by spontaneous chromosomal rearrangements that are known to decrease the fertility of heterozygotes in a population. However, the hallmark of almost all closely related species is a differing chromosome complement and therefore chromosomal rearrangements seem to be crucial for speciation. Telomeres, the caps of eukaryotic chromosomes, erode in somatic tissues during life, but have been thought to remain stable in the germline of a species. Recently, a large human study spanning three healthy generations clearly found a cumulative telomere effect, which is indicative of transgenerational telomere erosion in the human species. The telomeric sync model of speciation presented here is based on telomere erosion between generations, which leads to identical fusions of chromosomes and triggers a transposon-mediated genomic repatterning in the germline of many individuals of a species. The phenotypic outcome of the telomere-triggered transposon activity is the saltatory appearance of nonadaptive characters simultaneously in many individuals. Transgenerational telomere erosion is therefore the material basis of aging at the species level.

  11. Genetic Inactivation of ATRX Leads to a Decrease in the Amount of Telomeric Cohesin and Level of Telomere Transcription in Human Glioma Cells. (United States)

    Eid, Rita; Demattei, Marie-Véronique; Episkopou, Harikleia; Augé-Gouillou, Corinne; Decottignies, Anabelle; Grandin, Nathalie; Charbonneau, Michel


    Mutations in ATRX (alpha thalassemia/mental retardation syndrome X-linked), a chromatin-remodeling protein, are associated with the telomerase-independent ALT (alternative lengthening of telomeres) pathway of telomere maintenance in several types of cancer, including human gliomas. In telomerase-positive glioma cells, we found by immunofluorescence that ATRX localized not far from the chromosome ends but not exactly at the telomere termini. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) experiments confirmed a subtelomeric localization for ATRX, yet short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-mediated genetic inactivation of ATRX failed to trigger the ALT pathway. Cohesin has been recently shown to be part of telomeric chromatin. Here, using ChIP, we showed that genetic inactivation of ATRX provoked diminution in the amount of cohesin in subtelomeric regions of telomerase-positive glioma cells. Inactivation of ATRX also led to diminution in the amount of TERRAs, noncoding RNAs resulting from transcription of telomeric DNA, as well as to a decrease in RNA polymerase II (RNAP II) levels at the telomeres. Our data suggest that ATRX might establish functional interactions with cohesin on telomeric chromatin in order to control TERRA levels and that one or the other or both of these events might be relevant to the triggering of the ALT pathway in cancer cells that exhibit genetic inactivation of ATRX.

  12. Telomere length in peripheral blood leukocytes and lung cancer risk: a large case-control study in Caucasians. (United States)

    Sanchez-Espiridion, Beatriz; Chen, Meng; Chang, Joe Y; Lu, Charles; Chang, David W; Roth, Jack A; Wu, Xifeng; Gu, Jian


    Telomere dysfunction is a crucial event in malignant transformation and tumorigenesis. Telomere length in peripheral blood leukocytes has been associated with lung cancer risk, but the relationship has remained controversial. In this study, we investigated whether the association might be confounded by study of different histological subtypes of lung cancer. We measured relative telomere lengths in patients in a large case-control study of lung cancer and performed stratified analyses according to the two major histologic subtypes [adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)]. Notably, patients with adenocarcinoma had longer telomeres than controls, whereas patients with SCC had shorter telomeres compared with controls. Long telomeres were associated with increased risk of adenocarcinoma, with the highest risk associated with female sex, younger age (telomeres were protective against SCC, particularly in male patients. Our results extend the concept that telomere length affects risk of lung cancer in a manner that differs with histologic subtype.

  13. Telomerase and telomere-associated proteins: structural insights into mechanism and evolution. (United States)

    Lewis, Karen A; Wuttke, Deborah S


    Recent advances in our structural understanding of telomerase and telomere-associated proteins have contributed significantly to elucidating the molecular mechanisms of telomere maintenance. The structures of telomerase TERT domains have provided valuable insights into how experimentally identified conserved motifs contribute to the telomerase reverse transcriptase reaction. Additionally, structures of telomere-associated proteins in a variety of organisms have revealed that, across evolution, telomere-maintenance mechanisms employ common structural elements. For example, the single-stranded 3' overhang of telomeric DNA is specifically and tightly bound by an OB-fold in nearly all species, including ciliates (TEBP and Pot1a), fission yeast (SpPot1), budding yeast (Cdc13), and humans (hPOT1). Structures of the yeast Cdc13, Stn1, and Ten1 proteins demonstrated that telomere maintenance is regulated by a complex that bears significant similarity to the RPA heterotrimer. Similarly, proteins that specifically bind double-stranded telomeric DNA in divergent species use homeodomains to execute their functions (human TRF1 and TRF2 and budding yeast ScRap1). Likewise, the conserved protein Rap1, which is found in budding yeast, fission yeast, and humans, contains a structural motif that is known to be critical for protein-protein interaction. In addition to revealing the common underlying themes of telomere maintenance, structures have also elucidated the specific mechanisms by which many of these proteins function, including identifying a telomere-specific domain in Stn1 and how the human TRF proteins avoid heterodimerization. In this review, we summarize the high-resolution structures of telomerase and telomere-associated proteins and discuss the emergent common structural themes among these proteins. We also address how these high-resolution structures complement biochemical and cellular studies to enhance our understanding of telomere maintenance and function.

  14. Reconfigurable multiport EPON repeater (United States)

    Oishi, Masayuki; Inohara, Ryo; Agata, Akira; Horiuchi, Yukio


    An extended reach EPON repeater is one of the solutions to effectively expand FTTH service areas. In this paper, we propose a reconfigurable multi-port EPON repeater for effective accommodation of multiple ODNs with a single OLT line card. The proposed repeater, which has multi-ports in both OLT and ODN sides, consists of TRs, BTRs with the CDR function and a reconfigurable electrical matrix switch, can accommodate multiple ODNs to a single OLT line card by controlling the connection of the matrix switch. Although conventional EPON repeaters require full OLT line cards to accommodate subscribers from the initial installation stage, the proposed repeater can dramatically reduce the number of required line cards especially when the number of subscribers is less than a half of the maximum registerable users per OLT. Numerical calculation results show that the extended reach EPON system with the proposed EPON repeater can save 17.5% of the initial installation cost compared with a conventional repeater, and can be less expensive than conventional systems up to the maximum subscribers especially when the percentage of ODNs in lightly-populated areas is higher.

  15. Revisiting the TALE repeat. (United States)

    Deng, Dong; Yan, Chuangye; Wu, Jianping; Pan, Xiaojing; Yan, Nieng


    Transcription activator-like (TAL) effectors specifically bind to double stranded (ds) DNA through a central domain of tandem repeats. Each TAL effector (TALE) repeat comprises 33-35 amino acids and recognizes one specific DNA base through a highly variable residue at a fixed position in the repeat. Structural studies have revealed the molecular basis of DNA recognition by TALE repeats. Examination of the overall structure reveals that the basic building block of TALE protein, namely a helical hairpin, is one-helix shifted from the previously defined TALE motif. Here we wish to suggest a structure-based re-demarcation of the TALE repeat which starts with the residues that bind to the DNA backbone phosphate and concludes with the base-recognition hyper-variable residue. This new numbering system is consistent with the α-solenoid superfamily to which TALE belongs, and reflects the structural integrity of TAL effectors. In addition, it confers integral number of TALE repeats that matches the number of bound DNA bases. We then present fifteen crystal structures of engineered dHax3 variants in complex with target DNA molecules, which elucidate the structural basis for the recognition of bases adenine (A) and guanine (G) by reported or uncharacterized TALE codes. Finally, we analyzed the sequence-structure correlation of the amino acid residues within a TALE repeat. The structural analyses reported here may advance the mechanistic understanding of TALE proteins and facilitate the design of TALEN with improved affinity and specificity.

  16. Telomere length as a predictor of response to Pioglitazone in patients with unremitted depression: a preliminary study (United States)

    Rasgon, N; Lin, K W; Lin, J; Epel, E; Blackburn, E


    We studied peripheral leukocyte telomere length (LTL) as a predictor of antidepressant response to PPAR-γ agonist in patients with unremitted depression. In addition we examined correlation between LTL and the insulin resistance (IR) status in these subjects. Forty-two medically stable men and women ages 23–71 with non-remitted depression participated in double-blind placebo-controlled add-on of Pioglitazone to treatment-as-usual. Oral glucose tolerance tests were administered at baseline and at 12 weeks. Diagnostic evaluation of psychiatric disorders was performed at baseline and mood severity was followed weekly throughout the duration of the trial. At baseline, no differences in LTL were detected by depression severity, duration or chronicity. LTL was also not significantly different between insulin-resistant and insulin-sensitive subjects at baseline. Subjects with longer telomeres exhibited greater declines in depression severity in the active arm, but not in a placebo arm, P=0.005, r=−0.63, 95% confidence interval (95% CI)=(−0.84,−0.21). In addition, LTL predicted improvement in insulin sensitivity in the group overall and did not differ between intervention arms, P=0.036, r=−0.44, 95% CI=(−0.74,0.02) for the active arm, and P=0.026, r=−0.50, 95% CI=(−0.78,−0.03) for the placebo arm. LTL may emerge as a viable predictor of antidepressant response. An association between insulin sensitization and LTL regardless of the baseline IR status points to potential role of LTL as a non-specific moderator of metabolic improvement in these patients. PMID:26731446

  17. The load of short telomeres, estimated by a new method, Universal STELA, correlates with number of senescent cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bendix, Laila; Horn, Peer Bendix; Jensen, Uffe Birk;


    Short telomeres are thought to trigger senescence, most likely through a single - or a group of few - critically shortened telomeres. Such short telomeres are thought to result from a