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Sample records for abnormally short telomeres

  1. The short and long telomere syndromes: paired paradigms for molecular medicine.

    PubMed

    Stanley, Susan E; Armanios, Mary

    2015-08-01

    Recent advances have defined a role for abnormally short telomeres in a broad spectrum of genetic disorders. They include rare conditions such as dyskeratosis congenita as well pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema. Now, there is new evidence that some familial cancers, such as melanoma, are caused by mutations that lengthen telomeres. Here, we examine the significance of these short and long telomere length extremes for understanding the molecular basis of age-related disease and cancer.

  2. Short Telomeres in Key Tissues Initiate Local and Systemic Aging in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Carneiro, Madalena C.; Ferreira, Tânia; Carvalho, Tânia; Ferreira, Miguel Godinho

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26789415

  3. The Dicentric Chromosome dic(20;22) Is a Recurrent Abnormality in Myelodysplastic Syndromes and Is a Product of Telomere Fusion.

    PubMed

    MacKinnon, Ruth N; Duivenvoorden, Hendrika M; Campbell, Lynda J; Wall, Meaghan

    2017-03-04

    We describe a recurrent dicentric chromosome formed by telomere fusion between chromosome 20 and chromosome 22 in 4 cases of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) or acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). In particular, the presence of residual telomere sequences at the site of translocation in 3 of the 4 cases makes a compelling case for telomere fusion. This is the first description of a recurrent telomere fusion event in any malignant condition. The 20q subtelomeric region was retained in all 4 examples despite deletion of the 20q12 region closer to the centromere. The original dicentric chromosome in all 4 cases contained nucleolus organiser region material from the short arm of chromosome 22 and had also undergone secondary rearrangements that produced amplification of the common gained region on 20q. We propose that the sequence of events producing this chromosome abnormality is: degradation of the telomeres, formation of an unstable dicentric chromosome by 20q and 22p telomere fusion, breakage-fusion-bridge cycles causing copy number aberration between the centromeres, selection of cells with 20q12 deletion, and further selection of cells with 20q11.2 gain. The last 2 steps are driver events responsible for the abnormal chromosomes found in the malignant cells. Finding recurrent patterns in the complex genome reorganisation events that characterise poor-prognosis, complex-karyotype AML and MDS will help us understand the mechanisms and oncogenic driver mutations in these poorly understood malignancies.

  4. Preferential extension of short telomeres induced by low extracellular pH

    PubMed Central

    Ge, Yuanlong; Wu, Shu; Xue, Yong; Tao, Jun; Li, Feng; Chen, Yanlian; Liu, Haiying; Ma, Wenbin; Huang, Junjiu; Zhao, Yong

    2016-01-01

    The majority of tumor cells overcome proliferative limit by expressing telomerase. Whether or not telomerase preferentially extends the shortest telomeres is still under debate. When human cancer cells are cultured at neutral pH, telomerase extends telomeres in telomere length-independent manner. However, the microenvironment of tumor is slightly acidic, and it is not yet known how this influences telomerase action. Here, we examine telomere length homeostasis in tumor cells cultured at pHe 6.8. The results indicate that telomerase preferentially extends short telomeres, such that telomere length distribution narrows and telomeres become nearly uniform in size. After growth at pHe 6.8, the expression of telomerase, TRF1, TRF2 and TIN2 decreases, and the abundance of Cajal bodies decreases. Therefore, telomerase are insufficient for extending every telomere and shorter telomeres bearing less shelterin proteins are more accessible for telomerase recruitment. The findings support the ‘protein-counting mechanism’ in which extended and unextended state of telomere is determined by the number of associated shelterin proteins and the abundance of telomerase. Decreased expression of telomerase and preferential extension of short telomeres have important implications for tumor cell viability, and generate a strong rationale for research on telomerase-targeted anti-cancer therapeutics. PMID:27220467

  5. Telomeres, stem cells, and hematology

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Telomeres are highly dynamic structures that adjust the cellular response to stress and growth stimulation based on previous cell divisions. This critical function is accomplished by progressive telomere shortening and DNA damage responses activated by chromosome ends without sufficient telomere repeats. Repair of critically short telomeres by telomerase or recombination is limited in most somatic cells, and apoptosis or cellular senescence is triggered when too many uncapped telomeres accumulate. The chance of the latter increases as the average telomere length decreases. The average telomere length is set and maintained in cells of the germ line that typically express high levels of telomerase. In somatic cells, the telomere length typically declines with age, posing a barrier to tumor growth but also contributing to loss of cells with age. Loss of (stem) cells via telomere attrition provides strong selection for abnormal cells in which malignant progression is facilitated by genome instability resulting from uncapped telomeres. The critical role of telomeres in cell proliferation and aging is illustrated in patients with 50% of normal telomerase levels resulting from a mutation in one of the telomerase genes. Here, the role of telomeres and telomerase in human biology is reviewed from a personal historical perspective. PMID:18263784

  6. Accumulation of cells with short telomeres is associated with impaired zinc homeostasis and inflammation in old hypertensive participants.

    PubMed

    Cipriano, Catia; Tesei, Silvia; Malavolta, Marco; Giacconi, Robertina; Muti, Elisa; Costarelli, Laura; Piacenza, Francesco; Pierpaoli, Sara; Galeazzi, Roberta; Blasco, Maria; Vera, Elsa; Canela, Andres; Lattanzio, Fabrizia; Mocchegiani, Eugenio

    2009-07-01

    Critical shortening of telomeres, likely associated with a considerable increase of senescent cells, can be observed in PBMC of individuals aged 80 and older. We investigated the relationship between critical telomere shortening and zinc status in healthy or hypertensive participants with or without cardiovascular disease in old and very old participants. Telomere shortening and accumulation of cells with short telomeres (percent of cells with short telomeres) in advancing age was evident in patients and healthy controls, but exacerbated in those patients aged 80 and older. Moreover, in very old patients, the accumulation of % CST may impair intracellular zinc homeostasis and metallothioneins expression, which itself is linked to an increased number of inflammatory agents, thereby suggesting the existence of a possible causal relationship between % CST and zinc homeostasis. The determination of % CST could be a more reliable means than the simple measure of telomere length as fundamental parameter in ageing to determine whether individuals are still able to respond to stress.

  7. Therapeutic effect of androgen therapy in a mouse model of aplastic anemia produced by short telomeres.

    PubMed

    Bär, Christian; Huber, Nicolas; Beier, Fabian; Blasco, Maria A

    2015-10-01

    Aplastic anemia is a rare but life-threatening disorder characterized by cytopenia in at least two of the three blood lineages. A frequent feature of patients with aplastic anemia is that they have shorter telomeres than those of age-matched controls. Testosterone has been used for over half a century in the treatment of aplastic anemia. However, although remissions are frequent following hormone therapy, the molecular mechanism underlying the response to treatment has remained unknown. Here we explored the possibility that the recently described regulation of telomerase activity by sex hormones may be the mechanism responsible. To this end, we used a mouse model of aplastic anemia induced by short telomeres in the bone marrow compartment. We found that testosterone therapy results in telomerase up-regulation, improved blood counts, and a significant extension of life-span of these mice. Importantly, longitudinal follow-up studies revealed longer telomeres in peripheral blood in mice subjected to hormone treatment. Our results demonstrate that testosterone-mediated telomerase activation can attenuate or reverse aplastic anemia disease progression associated with the presence of short telomeres.

  8. Telomere length in the two extremes of abnormal fetal growth and the programming effect of maternal arterial hypertension.

    PubMed

    Tellechea, Mariana; Gianotti, Tomas Fernandéz; Alvariñas, Jorge; González, Claudio D; Sookoian, Silvia; Pirola, Carlos J

    2015-01-19

    We tested the hypothesis that leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is associated with birth weight in both extremes of abnormal fetal growth: small (SGA) and large for gestational age newborns (LGA). Clinical and laboratory variables of the mothers and the neonates were explored; 45 newborns with appropriate weight for gestational age (AGA), 12 SGA and 12 LGA were included. Whether the differences might be explained by variation in OBFC1 (rs9419958) and CTC1 (rs3027234) genes associated with LTL was determined. A significant association between birth weight and LTL was observed; LTL was significantly shorter in LGA newborns (1.01 ± 0.12) compared with SGA (1.73 ± 0.19) p < 0.005, mean ± SE. Maternal (Spearman R = -0.6, p = 0.03) and neonatal LTL (R = -0.25, p = 0.03) were significantly and inversely correlated with maternal history of arterial hypertension in previous gestations. Neonatal LTL was not significantly associated with either rs9419950 or rs3027234, suggesting that the association between neonatal LTL and birth weight is not influenced by genetic variation in genes that modify the interindividual LTL. In conclusion, telomere biology seems to be modulated by abnormal fetal growth; modifications in telomere length might be programmed by an adverse environment in utero.

  9. Msh2 deficiency leads to chromosomal abnormalities, centrosome amplification, and telomere capping defect

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Yisong; Liu, Yie

    2006-01-01

    Msh2 is a key mammalian DNA mismatch repair (MMR) gene and mutations or deficiencies in mammalian Msh2 gene result in microsatellite instability (MSI+) and the development of cancer. Here, we report that primary mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) deficient in the murine MMR gene Msh2 (Msh2-/-) showed a significant increase in chromosome aneuploidy, centrosome amplification, and defective mitotic spindle organization and unequal chromosome segregation. Although Msh2-/- mouse tissues or primary MEFs had no apparent change in telomerase activity, telomere length, or recombination at telomeres, Msh2-/- MEFs showed an increase in chromosome end-to-end fusions or chromosome ends without detectable telomeric DNA. These data suggest that MSH2 helps to maintain genomic stability through the regulation of the centrosome and normal telomere capping in vivo and that defects in MMR can contribute to oncogenesis through multiple pathways.

  10. Telomere length alterations unique to invasive lobular carcinoma.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

    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.

  11. The effect of Ku on telomere replication time is mediated by telomere length but is independent of histone tail acetylation

    PubMed Central

    Lian, Hui-Yong; Robertson, E. Douglas; Hiraga, Shin-ichiro; Alvino, Gina M.; Collingwood, David; McCune, Heather J.; Sridhar, Akila; Brewer, Bonita J.; Raghuraman, M. K.; Donaldson, Anne D.

    2011-01-01

    DNA replication in Saccharomyces cerevisiae proceeds according to a temporal program. We have investigated the role of the telomere-binding Ku complex in specifying late replication of telomere-proximal sequences. Genome-wide analysis shows that regions extending up to 80 kb from telomeres replicate abnormally early in a yku70 mutant. We find that Ku does not appear to regulate replication time by binding replication origins directly, nor is its effect on telomere replication timing mediated by histone tail acetylation. We show that Ku instead regulates replication timing through its effect on telomere length, because deletion of the telomerase regulator Pif1 largely reverses the short telomere defect of a yku70 mutant and simultaneously rescues its replication timing defect. Consistent with this conclusion, deleting the genome integrity component Elg1 partially rescued both length and replication timing of yku70 telomeres. Telomere length–mediated control of replication timing requires the TG1–3 repeat-counting component Rif1, because a rif1 mutant replicates telomeric regions early, despite having extended TG1–3 tracts. Overall, our results suggest that the effect of Ku on telomere replication timing results from its impact on TG1–3 repeat length and support a model in which Rif1 measures telomere repeat length to ensure that telomere replication timing is correctly programmed. PMID:21441303

  12. Complex cytogenetic abnormalities including telomeric associations and MEN1 mutation in a pediatric ependymoma.

    PubMed

    Urioste, M; Martínez-Ramírez, A; Cigudosa, J C; Colmenero, I; Madero, L; Robledo, M; Martínez-Delgado, B; Benítez, J

    2002-10-15

    Ependymomas are neuroectodermal tumors of the brain and spinal cord. Some recurrent cytogenetic aberrations have been reported in these tumors, including alterations involving chromosomes 22, 6, and 11. However, consistent molecular alterations have not been identified in ependymal tumors. We studied a recurrent ependymoma in a 3-year-old patient by standard cytogenetic and molecular analysis of TP53 and MEN1 genes. In the present case, we found many of the cytogenetic features previously described as being recurrent in ependymomas, including unstable telomeric alterations. Furthermore, we detected a novel acquired heterozygous mutation in the MEN1 gene. The chromosomal instability produced by the telomeric alterations and the mutation in the MEN1 gene could be important events in the tumorigenesis of ependymomas.

  13. Dietary restriction ameliorates haematopoietic ageing independent of telomerase, whilst lack of telomerase and short telomeres exacerbates the ageing phenotype.

    PubMed

    Al-Ajmi, Nouf; Saretzki, Gabriele; Miles, Colin; Spyridopoulos, Ioakim

    2014-10-01

    Ageing is associated with an overall decline in the functional capacity of tissues and stem cells, including haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs), as well as telomere dysfunction. Dietary restriction (DR) is a recognised anti-ageing intervention that extends lifespan and improves health in several organisms. To investigate the role of telomeres and telomerase in haematopoietic ageing, we compared the HSPC profile and clonogenic capacity of bone marrow cells from wild type with telomerase-deficient mice and the effect of DR on these parameters. Compared with young mice, aged wild type mice demonstrated a significant accumulation of HSPCs (1.3% vs 0.2%, P=0.002) and elevated numbers of granulocyte/macrophage colony forming units (CFU-GM, 26.4 vs 17.3, P=0.0037) consistent with myeloid "skewing" of haematopoiesis. DR was able to restrict the increase in HSPC number as well as the myeloid "skewing" in aged wild type mice. In order to analyse the influence of short telomeres on the ageing phenotype we examined mice lacking the RNA template for telomerase, TERC(-/-). Telomere shortening resulted in a similar bone marrow phenotype to that seen in aged mice, with significantly increased HSPC numbers and an increased formation of all myeloid colony types but at a younger age than wild type mice. However, an additional increase in erythroid colonies (BFU-E) was also evident. Mice lacking telomerase reverse transcriptase without shortened telomeres, TERT(-/-), also presented with augmented haematopoietic ageing which was ameliorated by DR, demonstrating that the effect of DR was not dependent on the presence of telomerase in HSPCs. We conclude that whilst shortened telomeres mimic some aspects of haematopoietic ageing, both shortened telomeres and the lack of telomerase produce specific phenotypes, some of which can be prevented by dietary restriction.

  14. Telomere and telomerase biology.

    PubMed

    Giardini, Miriam Aparecida; Segatto, Marcela; da Silva, Marcelo Santos; Nunes, Vinícius Santana; Cano, Maria Isabel Nogueira

    2014-01-01

    Telomeres are the physical ends of eukaryotic linear chromosomes. Telomeres form special structures that cap chromosome ends to prevent degradation by nucleolytic attack and to distinguish chromosome termini from DNA double-strand breaks. With few exceptions, telomeres are composed primarily of repetitive DNA associated with proteins that interact specifically with double- or single-stranded telomeric DNA or with each other, forming highly ordered and dynamic complexes involved in telomere maintenance and length regulation. In proliferative cells and unicellular organisms, telomeric DNA is replicated by the actions of telomerase, a specialized reverse transcriptase. In the absence of telomerase, some cells employ a recombination-based DNA replication pathway known as alternative lengthening of telomeres. However, mammalian somatic cells that naturally lack telomerase activity show telomere shortening with increasing age leading to cell cycle arrest and senescence. In another way, mutations or deletions of telomerase components can lead to inherited genetic disorders, and the depletion of telomeric proteins can elicit the action of distinct kinases-dependent DNA damage response, culminating in chromosomal abnormalities that are incompatible with life. In addition to the intricate network formed by the interrelationships among telomeric proteins, long noncoding RNAs that arise from subtelomeric regions, named telomeric repeat-containing RNA, are also implicated in telomerase regulation and telomere maintenance. The goal for the next years is to increase our knowledge about the mechanisms that regulate telomere homeostasis and the means by which their absence or defect can elicit telomere dysfunction, which generally results in gross genomic instability and genetic diseases.

  15. BRCA1/2 mutations perturb telomere biology: characterization of structural and functional abnormalities in vitro and in vivo.

    PubMed

    Uziel, Orit; Yerushalmi, Rinat; Zuriano, Lital; Naser, Shaden; Beery, Einat; Nordenberg, Jardena; Lubin, Ido; Adel, Yonatan; Shepshelovich, Daniel; Yavin, Hagai; Ben Aharon, Irit; Pery, Shlomit; Rizel, Shulamit; Pasmanik-Chor, Metsada; Frumkin, Dan; Lahav, Meir

    2016-01-19

    BRCA1 mutation is associated with carcinogenesis, especially of breast tissue. Telomere maintenance is crucial for malignant transformation. Being a part of the DNA repair machinery, BRCA1 may be implicated in telomere biology. We explored the role of BRCA1 in telomere maintenance in lymphocytes of BRCA1/2 mutation carriers and in in vitro system by knocking down its expression in non-malignant breast epithelial cells.The results in both systems were similar. BRCA1/2 mutation caused perturbation of telomere homeostasis, shortening of the single stranded telomere overhang and increased the intercellular telomere length variability as well as the number of telomere free chromosomal ends and telomeric circles. These changes resulted in an increased DNA damage status. Telomerase activity, inducibility and expression remained unchanged. BRCA1 mutation resulted also in changes in the binding of shelterin proteins to telomeres. DNMT-1 levels were markedly reduced both in the carriers and in in vitro system. The methylation pattern of the sub-telomeric regions in carriers suggested hypomethylation in chromosome 10. The expression of a distinct set of genes was also changed, some of which may relate to pre-disposition to malignancy.These results show that BRCA gene products have a role in telomere length homeostasis. It is plausible that these perturbations contribute to malignant transformation in BRCA mutants.

  16. Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, White Blood Cell Count, and Telomere Length in Newly Diagnosed, Antidepressant-Naïve Patients with Depression

    PubMed Central

    Garcia-Rizo, Clemente; Fernandez-Egea, Emilio; Miller, Brian J.; Oliveira, Cristina; Justicia, Azucena; Griffith, Jeffrey K.; Heaphy, Christopher M.; Bernardo, Miguel; Kirkpatrick, Brian

    2012-01-01

    Chronic mood disorders have been associated with a shortened telomere, a marker of increased mortality rate and ageing, and impaired cellular immunity. However, treatment may confound these relationships. We examined the relationship of glucose tolerance, white blood cell count and telomere length to depression in newly diagnosed, antidepressant-naïve patients. Subjects with major depression (n=15), and matched healthy control subjects (n=70) underwent a two-hour oral glucose tolerance test and evaluation of blood cell count and telomere content. The depression group had significantly higher two-hour glucose concentrations and a lower lymphocyte count than control subjects (respective means [SD] for two-hour glucose were 125.0 mg/dL [67.9] vs 84.6 [25.6] (p<.001); for lymphocyte count 2.1 × 109/L [0.6] vs. 2.5 ×109/L [0.7] p=.028).Telomere content was significantly shortened in the depression group (87.9 [7.6]) compared to control subjects (101.0 [14.3]; p<0.01). Abnormal glucose tolerance, lymphopenia and a shortened telomere are present early in the course of depression independently of the confounding effect of antidepressant treatment, supporting the concept of major depression as an accelerated ageing disease. PMID:23207109

  17. The time of onset of abnormal calcification in spondylometaepiphyseal dysplasia, short limb-abnormal calcification type.

    PubMed

    Tüysüz, Beyhan; Gazioğlu, Nurperi; Ungür, Savaş; Aji, Dolly Yafet; Türkmen, Seval

    2009-01-01

    A 1-month-old boy with shortness of extremities on prenatal US was referred to our department with a provisional diagnosis of achondroplasia. His height was normal but he had short extremities and platyspondyly, premature carpal epiphyses on both hands, and short tubular bones with irregular metaphyses on radiographs. Re-evaluation of the patient at the age of 1 year revealed very short height and premature calcification of the costal cartilages and epiphyses. Spondylometaepiphyseal dysplasia (SMED), short limb-abnormal calcification type was diagnosed. This condition is a very rare autosomal recessively inherited disorder, and most of the patients die in early childhood due to neurological involvement. At the age of 2 years and 5 months, a CT scan showed narrowing of the cervical spinal canal. One month later he died suddenly because of spinal cord injury. In conclusion early diagnosis is very important because the recurrence risk is high and patients may die due to early neurological complications. The time of onset of abnormal calcifications, a diagnostic finding of the disease, is at the age of around 1 year in most patients. When abnormal calcifications are not yet present, but radiological changes associated with SMED are present, this rare disease must be considered.

  18. CHILDHOOD TRAUMA ASSOCIATED WITH SHORT LEUKOCYTE TELOMERE LENGTH IN POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER

    PubMed Central

    O’Donovan, Aoife; Epel, Elissa; Lin, Jue; Wolkowitz, Owen; Cohen, Beth; Maguen, Shira; Metzler, Thomas; Lenoci, Maryann; Blackburn, Elizabeth; Neylan, Thomas C

    2011-01-01

    Background Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with increased risk for age-related diseases and early mortality. An accelerated rate of biological aging could contribute to this increased risk. To investigate, we assessed leukocyte telomere length (LTL), an emerging marker of biological age, in men and women with and without PTSD. We also examined childhood trauma, a risk factor for both PTSD and short LTL, as a potential contributor to short LTL in PTSD. Methods Participants included 43 adults with chronic PTSD (n=18 with multiple categories of childhood trauma) and 47 controls (none with multiple categories of childhood trauma) (M age = 30.55, SD = 7.44). Exclusion criteria included physical illness, medication use, obesity, alcohol or substance abuse, and pregnancy. Structured clinical interviews were conducted to assess PTSD and other psychiatric disorders and childhood trauma exposure. LTL was measured with quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Results As predicted, participants with PTSD had shorter age-adjusted LTL than controls. Exposure to childhood trauma was also associated with short LTL. In fact, childhood trauma appeared to account for the PTSD group difference in LTL; only participants with PTSD and exposure to multiple categories of childhood trauma had significantly shorter LTL than controls. Conclusions Childhood trauma is associated with short LTL in individuals with PTSD. Chronic exposure to the psychobiological sequelae of childhood trauma could increase risk for PTSD and short LTL. Thus, the lasting psychological impact of exposure to trauma in childhood may be accompanied by equally enduring changes at the molecular level. PMID:21489410

  19. 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.

    PubMed

    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

    2014-01-01

    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.

  20. Telomeres in ICF syndrome cells are vulnerable to DNA damage due to elevated DNA:RNA hybrids

    PubMed Central

    Sagie, Shira; Toubiana, Shir; Hartono, Stella R.; Katzir, Hagar; Tzur-Gilat, Aya; Havazelet, Shany; Francastel, Claire; Velasco, Guillaume; Chédin, Frédéric; Selig, Sara

    2017-01-01

    DNA:RNA hybrids, nucleic acid structures with diverse physiological functions, can disrupt genome integrity when dysregulated. Human telomeres were shown to form hybrids with the lncRNA TERRA, yet the formation and distribution of these hybrids among telomeres, their regulation and their cellular effects remain elusive. Here we predict and confirm in several human cell types that DNA:RNA hybrids form at many subtelomeric and telomeric regions. We demonstrate that ICF syndrome cells, which exhibit short telomeres and elevated TERRA levels, are enriched for hybrids at telomeric regions throughout the cell cycle. Telomeric hybrids are associated with high levels of DNA damage at chromosome ends in ICF cells, which are significantly reduced with overexpression of RNase H1. Our findings suggest that abnormally high TERRA levels in ICF syndrome lead to accumulation of telomeric hybrids that, in turn, can result in telomeric dysfunction. PMID:28117327

  1. The long and the short of telomeres in bone marrow recipient SCID patients.

    PubMed

    Sarzotti-Kelsoe, Marcella; Daniell, Xiaoju G; Whitesides, John F; Buckley, Rebecca H

    2011-04-01

    Telomeres are noncoding DNA regions at the end of the chromosomes that are crucial for genome stability. Since telomere length decreases with cell division, they can be used as a signature of cell proliferation history. T-cell reconstitution in severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) subjects, recipients of T-cell-depleted, allogeneic-related bone marrow cells, is due to the development and maturation of donor T-cell precursors in the infant's vestigial thymus and to homeostatic proliferation of mature T cells in the peripheral organs. Since T-cell function, thymic output, and T-cell clonal diversity are maintained long term in these patients, we investigated whether donor T-cell engraftment resulted in increased telomere shortening. Our study of seven SCID patients, following successful bone marrow transplantation, demonstrates that the patients' peripheral T cells did not exhibit greater than normal telomere shortening.

  2. Different chromosome Y abnormalities in a case with short stature.

    PubMed

    Balkan, Mahmut; Fidanboy, Mehmet; Özbek, M Nuri; Alp, M Nail; Budak, Turgay

    2012-12-01

    We report a case with different chromosome Y abnormalities. Case was an 11-year-old boy, who was diagnosed with short stature, referred to laboratory of human medical genetics laboratory for genetic evaluation. Chromosomal analysis of the case was carried out on peripheral blood lymphocyte culture. Classic cytogenetic analysis (G and C banding) was confirmed by using fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis (FISH) technique. Cytogenetic and FISH analysis showed a mosaic 46,X,i(Yq)/45,X/47,X,i(Yq)x2/47,XYY karyotype. Case, which was found interesting due to its rarity, is discussed with its clinical features and cytogenetic results, in the light of relevant source information. This case underlines the importance of karyotyping patients with unexplained short stature. This clinical report also will be helpful in defining the phenotypic range associated with these karyotypes.

  3. A subject with abnormally short stature from Imperial Rome.

    PubMed

    Ottini, L; Minozzi, S; Pantano, W B; Maucci, C; Gazzaniga, V; Angeletti, L R; Catalano, P; Mariani-Costantini, R

    2001-01-01

    In spite of the rich iconographic and literary documentation from ancient sources, the skeletal evidence concerning individuals of abnormally short stature in the Greco-Roman world is scarce. The necropolis of Viale della Serenissima/Via Basiliano in Rome, mostly referable to the II century AD, recently yielded the skeleton of an individual characterized by proportionate short stature, gracile features suggesting female gender, and delayed epiphysial closure, associated with full maturation of the permanent dentition. These characteristics could be compatible with the phenotype associated with female gonadal dysgenesis. The skeletal individual described here, although poorly preserved, represents the first evidence of a paleopathologic condition affecting skeletal growth documented for the population of ancient Rome.

  4. A quantitative telomeric chromatin isolation protocol identifies different telomeric states

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-11-01

    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.

  5. Telomeres and human reproduction.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    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.

  6. Unusual chromatin in human telomeres.

    PubMed Central

    Tommerup, H; Dousmanis, A; de Lange, T

    1994-01-01

    We report that human telomeres have an unusual chromatin structure characterized by diffuse micrococcal nuclease patterns. The altered chromatin manifested itself only in human telomeres that are relatively short (2 to 7 kb). In contrast, human and mouse telomeres with telomeric repeat arrays of 14 to 150 kb displayed a more canonical chromatin structure with extensive arrays of tightly packed nucleosomes. All telomeric nucleosomes showed a shorter repeat size than bulk nucleosomes, and telomeric mononucleosomal particles were found to be hypersensitive to micrococcal nuclease. However, telomeric nucleosomes were similar to bulk nucleosomes in the rate at which they sedimented through sucrose gradients. We speculate that mammalian telomeres have a bipartite structure with unusual chromatin near the telomere terminus and a more canonical nucleosomal organization in the proximal part of the telomere. Images PMID:8065312

  7. Germline mutations of regulator of telomere elongation helicase 1, RTEL1, in Dyskeratosis congenita.

    PubMed

    Ballew, Bari J; Yeager, Meredith; Jacobs, Kevin; Giri, Neelam; Boland, Joseph; Burdett, Laurie; Alter, Blanche P; Savage, Sharon A

    2013-04-01

    Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is an inherited bone marrow failure and cancer predisposition syndrome caused by aberrant telomere biology. The classic triad of dysplastic nails, abnormal skin pigmentation, and oral leukoplakia is diagnostic of DC, but substantial clinical heterogeneity exists; the clinically severe variant Hoyeraal Hreidarsson syndrome (HH) also includes cerebellar hypoplasia, severe immunodeficiency, enteropathy, and intrauterine growth retardation. Germline mutations in telomere biology genes account for approximately one-half of known DC families. Using exome sequencing, we identified mutations in RTEL1, a helicase with critical telomeric functions, in two families with HH. In the first family, two siblings with HH and very short telomeres inherited a premature stop codon from their mother who has short telomeres. The proband from the second family has HH and inherited a premature stop codon in RTEL1 from his father and a missense mutation from his mother, who also has short telomeres. In addition, inheritance of only the missense mutation led to very short telomeres in the proband's brother. Targeted sequencing identified a different RTEL1 missense mutation in one additional DC proband who has bone marrow failure and short telomeres. Both missense mutations affect the helicase domain of RTEL1, and three in silico prediction algorithms suggest that they are likely deleterious. The nonsense mutations both cause truncation of the RTEL1 protein, resulting in loss of the PIP box; this may abrogate an important protein-protein interaction. These findings implicate a new telomere biology gene, RTEL1, in the etiology of DC.

  8. Vanishing honey bees: Is the dying of adult worker bees a consequence of short telomeres and premature aging?

    PubMed

    Stindl, Reinhard; Stindl, Wolfgang

    2010-10-01

    Einstein is often quoted to have said that without the bee, mankind would have but 4years to live. It is highly unlikely that he made this comment, which was even mentioned in a Lancet article on honey bees. However, the current vanishing of the bees can have serious consequences for human health, because 35% of the human diet is thought to benefit from pollination. Colony collapse disorder (CCD) in honey bees is characterized by the rapid decline of the adult bee population, leaving the brood and the queen poorly or completely unattended, with no dead bodies in or around the hive. A large study found no evidence that the presence or amount of any individual pesticide or infectious agent occurred more frequently or abundantly in CCD-affected colonies. The growing consensus is that honey bees are suffering from comprised immune systems, which allow various infectious pathogens to invade. The question remains, what causes immunosuppression in many colonies of Apis mellifera in North America and Europe? Telomeres are protective DNA structures located at eukaryotic chromosome tips that shorten in the somatic tissues of animals with age. Lifelong tissue regeneration takes place in Apis mellifera, and worker bees have been shown to senesce. In humans, a vast amount of literature has accumulated on exhausted telomere reserves causing impaired tissue regeneration and age-associated diseases, specifically cancer and immunosuppression. Therefore, we propose a new causative mechanism for the vanishing of the bees: critically short telomeres in long-lived winter bees. We term this the telomere premature aging syndrome.

  9. Study of 30 patients with unexplained developmental delay and dysmorphic features or congenital abnormalities using conventional cytogenetics and multiplex FISH telomere (M-TEL) integrity assay.

    PubMed

    Popp, Susanne; Schulze, Birgit; Granzow, Martin; Keller, Monika; Holtgreve-Grez, Heidi; Schoell, Brigitte; Brough, Michaela; Hager, Hans-Dieter; Tariverdian, Gholamali; Brown, Jill; Kearney, Lyndal; Jauch, Anna

    2002-07-01

    Cryptic subtelomeric chromosome rearrangements are a major cause of mild to severe mental retardation pointing out the necessity of sensitive screening techniques to detect such aberrations among affected patients. In this prospective study a group of 30 patients with unexplained developmental retardation and dysmorphic features or congenital abnormalities were analysed using the recently published multiplex FISH telomere (M-TEL) integrity assay in combination with conventional G-banding analysis. The patients were selected by one or more of the following criteria defined by de Vries et al.: (a) family history with two or more affected individuals, (b) prenatal onset growth retardation, (c) postnatal growth abnormalities, (d) facial dysmorphic features, (e) non-facial dysmorphism and congenital abnormalities. In addition, we included two patients who met these criteria and revealed questionable chromosome regions requiring further clarification. In four patients (13.3%) cryptic chromosome aberrations were successfully determined by the M-TEL integrity assay and in two patients with abnormal chromosome regions intrachromosomal aberrations were characterized by targetted FISH experiments. Our results accentuate the requirement of strict selection criteria prior to patient testing with the M-TEL integrity assay. Another essential precondition is high-quality banding analysis to identify structural abnormal chromosomes. The detection of familial balanced translocation carriers in 50% of the cases emphasizes the significance of such an integrated approach for genetic counselling and prenatal diagnosis.

  10. Telomeres and human health.

    PubMed

    Bojesen, S E

    2013-11-01

    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.

  11. Short communication: Ovine leukocyte telomere length is associated with variation in the cortisol response to systemic bacterial endotoxin challenge.

    PubMed

    Yip, L; Oh, S Y; Li, Z; You, Q; Quinton, V M; Gilchrist, G C; Karrow, N A

    2016-04-01

    Stress has been associated with biological aging and numerous age-related diseases. This may be due, in part, to accelerated shortening of telomeres, which are critical genomic structures that cap and protect chromosomal ends. Dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis may indirectly contribute to telomere shortening if an animal reacts too strongly or weakly to a stressor, leading to accelerated biological aging. In this study, outbred Rideau-Arcott sheep were stress challenged with Escherichia coli endotoxin and classified as high, middle, or low cortisol responders to investigate a potential relationship between cortisol response and age, and telomere length. In the present study, no association was found between age and telomere length. The study, however, revealed shorter telomeres in high and low cortisol responders compared with the middle cortisol responders, which suggests that health and longevity may be compromised in extreme high- and low-stress-responding sheep.

  12. Telomere-driven diseases and telomere-targeting therapies.

    PubMed

    Martínez, Paula; Blasco, Maria A

    2017-04-03

    Telomeres, the protective ends of linear chromosomes, shorten throughout an individual's lifetime. Telomere shortening is proposed to be a primary molecular cause of aging. Short telomeres block the proliferative capacity of stem cells, affecting their potential to regenerate tissues, and trigger the development of age-associated diseases. Mutations in telomere maintenance genes are associated with pathologies referred to as telomere syndromes, including Hoyeraal-Hreidarsson syndrome, dyskeratosis congenita, pulmonary fibrosis, aplastic anemia, and liver fibrosis. Telomere shortening induces chromosomal instability that, in the absence of functional tumor suppressor genes, can contribute to tumorigenesis. In addition, mutations in telomere length maintenance genes and in shelterin components, the protein complex that protects telomeres, have been found to be associated with different types of cancer. These observations have encouraged the development of therapeutic strategies to treat and prevent telomere-associated diseases, namely aging-related diseases, including cancer. Here we review the molecular mechanisms underlying telomere-driven diseases and highlight recent advances in the preclinical development of telomere-targeted therapies using mouse models.

  13. Short-term inhibition of TERT induces telomere length-independent cell cycle arrest and apoptotic response in EBV-immortalized and transformed B cells

    PubMed Central

    Celeghin, Andrea; Giunco, Silvia; Freguja, Riccardo; Zangrossi, Manuela; Nalio, Silvia; Dolcetti, Riccardo; De Rossi, Anita

    2016-01-01

    Besides its canonical role in stabilizing telomeres, telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) may promote tumorigenesis through extra-telomeric functions. The possible therapeutic effects of BIBR1532 (BIBR), a powerful TERT inhibitor, have been evaluated in different cellular backgrounds, but no data are currently available regarding Epstein–Barr virus (EBV)-driven B-cell malignancies. Our aim was to characterize the biological effects of TERT inhibition by BIBR on EBV-immortalized lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) and fully transformed Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) cell lines. We found that BIBR selectively inhibits telomerase activity in TERT-positive 4134/Late and 4134/TERT+ LCLs and EBV-negative BL41 and EBV-positive BL41/B95.8 BL cell lines. TERT inhibition led to decreased cell proliferation, accumulation of cells in the S-phase and ultimately to increased apoptosis, compared with mock-treated control cells. All these effects occurred within 72 h and were not observed in BIBR-treated TERT-negative 4134/TERT- and U2OS cells. The cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, consequent upon short-term TERT inhibition, were associated with and likely dependent on the activation of the DNA damage response (DDR), highlighted by the increased levels of γH2AX and activation of ATM and ATR pathways. Analyses of the mean and range of telomere lengths and telomere dysfunction-induced foci indicated that DDR after short-term TERT inhibition was not related to telomere dysfunction, thus suggesting that TERT, besides stabilizing telomere, may protect DNA via telomere-independent mechanisms. Notably, TERT-positive LCLs treated with BIBR in combination with fludarabine or cyclophosphamide showed a significant increase in the number of apoptotic cells with respect to those treated with chemotherapeutic agents alone. In conclusion, TERT inhibition impairs cell cycle progression and enhances the pro-apoptotic effects of chemotherapeutic agents in TERT-positive cells. These results support new

  14. Telomeres shorten more slowly in long-lived birds and mammals than in short-lived ones.

    PubMed Central

    Haussmann, Mark F; Winkler, David W; O'Reilly, Kathleen M; Huntington, Charles E; Nisbet, Ian C T; Vleck, Carol M

    2003-01-01

    We know very little about physiological constraints on the evolution of life-history traits in general, and, in particular, about physiological and molecular adjustments that accompany the evolution of variation in lifespan. Identifying mechanisms that underlie adaptive variation in lifespan should provide insight into the evolution of trade-offs between lifespan and other life-history traits. Telomeres, the DNA caps at the ends of linear chromosomes, usually shorten as animals age, but whether telomere rate of change is associated with lifespan is unknown. We measured telomere length in erythrocytes from five bird species with markedly different lifespans. Species with shorter lifespans lost more telomeric repeats with age than species with longer lifespans. A similar correlation is seen in mammals. Furthermore, telomeres did not shorten with age in Leach's storm-petrels, an extremely long-lived bird, but actually lengthened. This novel finding suggests that regulation of telomere length is associated not only with cellular replicative lifespan, but also with organismal lifespan, and that very long-lived organisms have escaped entirely any telomeric constraint on cellular replicative lifespan. PMID:12965030

  15. Telomerase gene therapy rescues telomere length, bone marrow aplasia, and survival in mice with aplastic anemia.

    PubMed

    Bär, Christian; Povedano, Juan Manuel; Serrano, Rosa; Benitez-Buelga, Carlos; Popkes, Miriam; Formentini, Ivan; Bobadilla, Maria; Bosch, Fatima; Blasco, Maria A

    2016-04-07

    Aplastic anemia is a fatal bone marrow disorder characterized by peripheral pancytopenia and marrow hypoplasia. The disease can be hereditary or acquired and develops at any stage of life. A subgroup of the inherited form is caused by replicative impairment of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells due to very short telomeres as a result of mutations in telomerase and other telomere components. Abnormal telomere shortening is also described in cases of acquired aplastic anemia, most likely secondary to increased turnover of bone marrow stem and progenitor cells. Here, we test the therapeutic efficacy of telomerase activation by using adeno-associated virus (AAV)9 gene therapy vectors carrying the telomerase Tert gene in 2 independent mouse models of aplastic anemia due to short telomeres (Trf1- and Tert-deficient mice). We find that a high dose of AAV9-Tert targets the bone marrow compartment, including hematopoietic stem cells. AAV9-Tert treatment after telomere attrition in bone marrow cells rescues aplastic anemia and mouse survival compared with mice treated with the empty vector. Improved survival is associated with a significant increase in telomere length in peripheral blood and bone marrow cells, as well as improved blood counts. These findings indicate that telomerase gene therapy represents a novel therapeutic strategy to treat aplastic anemia provoked or associated with short telomeres.

  16. Sphingolipids regulate telomere clustering by affecting the transcription of genes involved in telomere homeostasis.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-07-15

    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.

  17. The role of telomere length modulation in delayed chromosome instability induced by ionizing radiation in human primary fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Berardinelli, Francesco; Antoccia, Antonio; Buonsante, Rossella; Gerardi, Silvia; Cherubini, Roberto; De Nadal, Viviana; Tanzarella, Caterina; Sgura, Antonella

    2013-04-01

    Telomere integrity is important for chromosome stability. The main objective of our study was to investigate the relationship between telomere length modulation and mitotic chromosome segregation induced by ionizing radiation in human primary fibroblasts. We used X-rays and low-energy protons because of their ability to induce different telomeric responses. Samples irradiated with 4 Gy were fixed at different times up to 6 days from exposure and telomere length, anaphase abnormalities, and chromosome aberrations were analyzed. We observed that X-rays induced telomere shortening in cells harvested at 96 hrs, whereas protons induced a significant increase in telomere length at short as well as at long harvesting times (24 and 96 hrs). Consistent with this, the analysis of anaphase bridges at 96 hrs showed a fourfold increase in X-ray- compared with proton-irradiated samples, suggesting a correlation between telomere length/dysfunction and chromosome missegregation. In line with these findings, the frequency of dicentrics and rings decreased with time for protons whereas it remained stable after X-rays irradiation. Telomeric FISH staining on anaphases revealed a higher percentage of bridges with telomere signals in X-ray-treated samples than that observed after proton irradiation, thus suggesting that the aberrations observed after X-ray irradiation originated from telomere attrition and consequent chromosome end-to-end fusion. This study shows that, beside an expected "early" chromosome instability induced shortly after irradiation, a delayed one occurs as a result of alterations in telomere metabolism and that this mechanism may play an important role in genomic stability.

  18. Telomeres, A Busy Platform for Cell Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Gardano, Laura; Pucci, Fabio; Christian, Larissa; Le Bihan, Thierry; Harrington, Lea

    2013-01-01

    Telomeres are the terminal structures at the ends of linear chromosomes that represent a solution to the end replication problem. Specific binding of the six-protein subunit complex shelterin to telomeric, repetitive TTAGGG DNA sequences contributes to the stable architecture and maintenance of telomeres. Proteins involved in the DNA damage response are also localized at telomeres, and play a role in the surveillance and maintenance of telomere integrity. The enzyme responsible for telomere extension is telomerase, a ribonucleoprotein with reverse transcriptase activity. In the absence of telomerase, telomeres shorten to a length threshold that triggers the DNA damage response and replicative senescence. Here, we will summarize the latest findings concerning vertebrate telomere structure and epigenetics, and we present data regarding the impact of short telomeres upon cell signaling. In particular, in murine embryonic stem cells lacking telomerase, we found that distribution of cytosolic/nuclear β-catenin, a key component of the Wnt signaling pathway, changes when telomeres become critically short. We discuss implications and future perspectives of the effect of epigenetic modifications and/or conformational changes of telomeres on cell metabolism and signaling networks. Such an analysis may unveil potential therapeutic targets for pathologies like cancer, where the integrity of telomeres is altered. PMID:23772418

  19. Telomere neurobiology.

    PubMed

    Mattson, Mark P; Zhang, Peisu; Cheng, Aiwu

    2008-01-01

    The ends of chromosomes consist of a hexanucleotide DNA repeat sequence and specialized DNA-binding and telomere-associated proteins. An enzyme activity called telomerase maintains telomere length by using an RNA template (TR) and a reverse transcriptase (TERT) to add the hexanucleotide sequence to the free chromosome end. The structure of telomeres is maintained and modified by telomere repeat-binding factors (TRF1 and TRF2) and proteins known for their role in DNA damage responses, including poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1, Werner, and ATM. Telomerase activity can be quantified using a telomere repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) assay, and levels of TERT and telomere-associated proteins are evaluated by immunoblot and immunocytochemical methods. Levels of TERT and telomere-associated proteins can be overexpressed or knocked down using viral vector-based methods. Using the kinds of approaches described here, evidence has been obtained suggesting that telomeres play important roles in regulating neural stem cell proliferation, neuronal differentiation, senescence of glial cells, and apoptosis and DNA damage responses of neural cells.

  20. Molecular basis of telomere dysfunction in human genetic diseases.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    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. Optic nerve fast axonal transport abnormalities in primates. Occurrence after short posterior ciliary artery occlusion.

    PubMed

    Radius, R L

    1980-11-01

    Fast axonal transport abnormalities in primate (Aotus trivirgatus) optic nerve were studied in ten eyes at various intervals after occlusion of the lateral short posterior ciliary circulation. Evidence of focal axonal ischemia, as indicated by swelling of mitochondria and dissolution of cytoplasmic detail, was noted as early as one hour after occlusion. Accumulation of mitochondria, microvesicles, and dense bodies, indicating focal interruption of axonal transport mechanisms, was noted in eyes examined at 2, 4, and 6 hours. This accumulation of organelles was limited to the region of the lamina cribrosa. Nerve head abnormalities were not seen in two eyes studied at two weeks.

  2. Telomeres and Telomerase in Cardiovascular Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Yeh, Jih-Kai; Wang, Chao-Yung

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres are tandem repeat DNA sequences present at the ends of each eukaryotic chromosome to stabilize the genome structure integrity. Telomere lengths progressively shorten with each cell division. Inflammation and oxidative stress, which are implicated as major mechanisms underlying cardiovascular diseases, increase the rate of telomere shortening and lead to cellular senescence. In clinical studies, cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and hypertension have been associated with short leukocyte telomere length. In addition, low telomerase activity and short leukocyte telomere length have been observed in atherosclerotic plaque and associated with plaque instability, thus stroke or acute myocardial infarction. The aging myocardium with telomere shortening and accumulation of senescent cells limits the tissue regenerative capacity, contributing to systolic or diastolic heart failure. In addition, patients with ion-channel defects might have genetic imbalance caused by oxidative stress-related accelerated telomere shortening, which may subsequently cause sudden cardiac death. Telomere length can serve as a marker for the biological status of previous cell divisions and DNA damage with inflammation and oxidative stress. It can be integrated into current risk prediction and stratification models for cardiovascular diseases and can be used in precise personalized treatments. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of telomeres and telomerase in the aging process and their association with cardiovascular diseases. In addition, we discuss therapeutic interventions targeting the telomere system in cardiovascular disease treatments. PMID:27598203

  3. Telomere length and heredity: Indications of paternal inheritance.

    PubMed

    Nordfjäll, Katarina; Larefalk, Asa; Lindgren, Petter; Holmberg, Dan; Roos, Göran

    2005-11-08

    Cellular telomere length is linked to replicative life span. Telomere repeats are lost in peripheral blood cells in vivo by age, and women show less telomere attrition than men. Previous reports have indicated that telomere length and chromosome-specific telomere-length patterns partly are inherited. The mode of heredity has not been clarified, but a link to the X chromosome was recently suggested. We analyzed peripheral mononuclear cells from 49 unrelated families for telomere length using a real-time PCR method. Short-term cultured Epstein-Barr virus-transformed lymphoblasts from the same individuals (n = 130) were analyzed for ability to maintain telomere length and possible gender-linked inheritance. A statistically significant association between telomere lengths comparing father-son (P = 0.011, n = 20) and father-daughter (P = 0.005, n = 22) pairs was found. However, no correlation was observed between mother-daughter (P = 0.463, n = 23) or mother-son (P = 0.577, n = 18). The father-offspring correlation was highly significant (P < 0.0001), in contrast to mother-offspring (P = 0.361). Epstein-Barr virus cultures demonstrated in most cases telomere preservation inversely related to initial mononuclear cell telomere length with short telomeres displaying the most pronounced elongation. Telomere length is inherited, and evidence for a father-to-offspring heritage of this trait was obtained, whereas in vitro telomere length maintenance was found to be dependent on the initial telomere length.

  4. ZNF365 promotes stability of fragile sites and telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yuqing; Shin, Sandra J.; Liu, Debra; Ivanova, Elena; Foerster, Friedrich; Ying, Haoqiang; Zheng, Hongwu; Xiao, Yonghong; Chen, Zhengming; Protopopov, Alexei; DePinho, Ronald A.; Paik, Ji-Hye

    2013-01-01

    Critically short telomeres activate cellular senescence or apoptosis, as mediated by the tumor suppressor p53, but in the absence of this checkpoint response, telomere dysfunction engenders chromosomal aberrations and cancer. Here, analysis of p53-regulated genes activated in the setting of telomere dysfunction identified Zfp365 (ZNF365 in humans) as a direct p53 target that promotes genome stability. Germline polymorphisms in the ZNF365 locus are associated with increased cancer risk, including those associated with telomere dysfunction. On the mechanistic level, ZNF365 suppresses expression of a subset of common fragile sites (CFS) including telomeres. In the absence of ZNF365, defective telomeres engage in aberrant recombination of telomere ends, leading to increased telomere sister chromatid exchange (T-SCE) and formation of anaphase DNA bridges, including ultra-fine DNA bridges (UFB), and ultimately increased cytokinesis failure and aneuploidy. Thus, the p53-ZNF365 axis contributes to genomic stability in the setting of telomere dysfunction. PMID:23776040

  5. Telomeres: the beginnings and ends of eukaryotic chromosomes.

    PubMed

    Zakian, Virginia A

    2012-07-15

    The ends of eukaryotic chromosomes are called telomeres. This article provides a short history of telomere and telomerase research starting with the pioneering work of Muller and McClintock through the molecular era of telomere biology. These studies culminated in the 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine. Critical findings that moved the field forward and that suggest directions for future research are emphasized.

  6. Telomere lengths in human oocytes, cleavage stage embryos and blastocysts

    PubMed Central

    Turner, S.; Wong, H.P.; Rai, J.; Hartshorne, G.M.

    2010-01-01

    Telomeres are repeated sequences that protect the ends of chromosomes and harbour DNA repair proteins. Telomeres shorten during each cell division in the absence of telomerase. When telomere length becomes critically short, cell senescence occurs. Telomere length therefore reflects both cellular ageing and capacity for division. We have measured telomere length in human germinal vesicle (GV) oocytes and preimplantation embryos, by quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization (Q-FISH), providing baseline data towards our hypothesis that telomere length is a marker of embryo quality. The numbers of fluorescent foci suggest that extensive clustering of telomeres occurs in mature GV stage oocytes, and in preimplantation embryos. When calculating average telomere length by assuming that each signal presents one telomere, the calculated telomere length decreased from the oocyte to the cleavage stages, and increased between the cleavage stages and the blastocyst (11.12 versus 8.43 versus 12.22 kb, respectively, P < 0.001). Other methods of calculation, based upon expected maximum and minimum numbers of telomeres, confirm that telomere length in blastocysts is significantly longer than cleavage stages. Individual blastomeres within an embryo showed substantial variation in calculated average telomere length. This study implies that telomere length changes according to the stage of preimplantation embryo development. PMID:20573647

  7. Recombinogenic Telomeres in Diploid Sorex granarius (Soricidae, Eulipotyphla) Fibroblast Cells

    PubMed Central

    Draskovic, I.; Minina, J. M.; Karamysheva, T. V.; Novo, C. L.; Liu, W.-Y.; Porreca, R. M.; Gibaud, A.; Zvereva, M. E.; Skvortsov, D. A.; Rubtsov, N. B.

    2014-01-01

    The telomere structure in the Iberian shrew Sorex granarius is characterized by unique, striking features, with short arms of acrocentric chromosomes carrying extremely long telomeres (up to 300 kb) with interspersed ribosomal DNA (rDNA) repeat blocks. In this work, we investigated the telomere physiology of S. granarius fibroblast cells and found that telomere repeats are transcribed on both strands and that there is no telomere-dependent senescence mechanism. Although telomerase activity is detectable throughout cell culture and appears to act on both short and long telomeres, we also discovered that signatures of a recombinogenic activity are omnipresent, including telomere-sister chromatid exchanges, formation of alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT)-associated PML-like bodies, production of telomere circles, and a high frequency of telomeres carrying marks of a DNA damage response. Our results suggest that recombination participates in the maintenance of the very long telomeres in normal S. granarius fibroblasts. We discuss the possible interplay between the interspersed telomere and rDNA repeats in the stabilization of the very long telomeres in this organism. PMID:24842907

  8. Telomere shortening and telomere position effect in mild ring 17 syndrome

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Ring chromosome 17 syndrome is a rare disease that arises from the breakage and reunion of the short and long arms of chromosome 17. Usually this abnormality results in deletion of genetic material, which explains the clinical features of the syndrome. Moreover, similar phenotypic features have been observed in cases with complete or partial loss of the telomeric repeats and conservation of the euchromatic regions. We studied two different cases of ring 17 syndrome, firstly, to clarify, by analyzing gene expression analysis using real-time qPCR, the role of the telomere absence in relationship with the clinical symptoms, and secondly, to look for a new model of the mechanism of ring chromosome transmission in a rare case of familial mosaicism, through cytomolecular and quantitative fluorescence in-situ hybridization (Q-FISH) investigations. Results The results for the first case showed that the expression levels of genes selected, which were located close to the p and q ends of chromosome 17, were significantly downregulated in comparison with controls. Moreover, for the second case, we demonstrated that the telomeres were conserved, but were significantly shorter than those of age-matched controls; data from segregation analysis showed that the ring chromosome was transmitted only to the affected subjects of the family. Conclusions Subtelomeric gene regulation is responsible for the phenotypic aspects of ring 17 syndrome; telomere shortening influences the phenotypic spectrum of this disease and strongly contributes to the familial transmission of the mosaic ring. Together, these results provide new insights into the genotype-phenotype relationships in mild ring 17 syndrome. PMID:24393457

  9. Sudden death in spondylo-meta-epiphyseal dysplasia, short limb-abnormal calcification type.

    PubMed

    Dias, Cristina; Cairns, Robyn; Patel, Millan S

    2009-01-01

    The spondylo-meta-epiphyseal dysplasias are an expanding group of skeletal dysplasias with specific features differentiating each subtype. We review the precocious carpal mineralization, unique metacarpal shape, triangular distal phalanges and mushroom cloud-shaped proximal phalanges present at an early age in spondylo-meta-epiphyseal dysplasia, short limb-abnormal calcification type (SMED SL-AC) and report two patients with clinical and radiographic features consistent with SMED SL-AC, who died suddenly because of spinal cord compression. The patients presented are female siblings, providing further evidence for autosomal recessive inheritance. Cervical cord compression is found in half of reported patients and is the major cause of mortality. SMED SL-AC should be added to the list of genetic causes of sudden death. Radiological features in the hand may be used in the first few years of life to support an early diagnosis and thus allow for prevention of premature demise.

  10. Smoking and perceived stress in relation to short salivary telomere length among caregivers of children with disabilities.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiaoli; Velez, Juan Carlos; Barbosa, Clarita; Pepper, Micah; Andrade, Asterio; Stoner, Lee; De Vivo, Immaculata; Gelaye, Bizu; Williams, Michelle A

    2015-01-01

    Telomere length (TL), the length of repeated DNA sequence that forms protective caps at the end of chromosomes, has emerged as a novel biomarker of cell aging and oxidative stress. There is increasing research exploring the associations of smoking and perceived stress with TL, and the results are inconsistent. This study aimed to examine whether smoking and perceived stress were associated with shortened salivary TL among primary caregivers of children with disabilities. Using a quantitative polymerase chain reaction method, salivary TL was assessed among 89 caregivers aged 19-69 years (87% were women) who took care of disabled children in the Patagonia Region, Chile. Interviewer-administered questionnaires were used to collect information on sociodemographic and lifestyle factors. The 14-item Perceived Stress Scale was used to assess perceived stress. Mean relative TL was 0.92 (standard error = 0.03). Smokers had age-adjusted mean TL that was 0.07 units lower (β = -0.07, standard error = 0.03; p = 0.012) than non-smokers. Smokers were 2.17 times more likely to have shorter TL ( < 0.73, the lowest quartile of TL) than non-smokers (odds ratio = 3.17; 95% confidence interval = 1.05-9.52) with adjustment for age and perceived stress. Caregivers with higher perceived stress were 2.13 times more likely to have shorter TL (odds ratio = 3.13; 95% confidence interval = 1.03-9.55) than caregivers with lower perceived stress after adjustment for age and smoking. This study provides the first evidence of strong associations between smoking and perceived stress and shortened salivary TL among caregivers of children with disabilities. Larger studies with detailed information on smoking status are warranted to confirm our findings.

  11. Extreme Telomere Length Dimorphism in the Tasmanian Devil and Related Marsupials Suggests Parental Control of Telomere Length

    PubMed Central

    Bender, Hannah S.; Murchison, Elizabeth P.; Pickett, Hilda A.; Deakin, Janine E.; Strong, Margaret A.; Conlan, Carly; McMillan, Daniel A.; Neumann, Axel A.; Greider, Carol W.; Hannon, Gregory J.; Reddel, Roger R.; Graves, Jennifer A. Marshall.

    2012-01-01

    Telomeres, specialised structures that protect chromosome ends, play a critical role in preserving chromosome integrity. Telomere dynamics in the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) are of particular interest in light of the emergence of devil facial tumour disease (DFTD), a transmissible malignancy that causes rapid mortality and threatens the species with extinction. We used fluorescent in situ hybridisation to investigate telomere length in DFTD cells, in healthy Tasmanian devils and in four closely related marsupial species. Here we report that animals in the Order Dasyuromorphia have chromosomes characterised by striking telomere length dimorphism between homologues. Findings in sex chromosomes suggest that telomere length dimorphism may be regulated by events in the parental germlines. Long telomeres on the Y chromosome imply that telomere lengthening occurs during spermatogenesis, whereas telomere diminution occurs during oogenesis. Although found in several somatic cell tissue types, telomere length dimorphism was not found in DFTD cancer cells, which are characterised by uniformly short telomeres. This is, to our knowledge, the first report of naturally occurring telomere length dimorphism in any species and suggests a novel strategy of telomere length control. Comparative studies in five distantly related marsupials and a monotreme indicate that telomere dimorphism evolved at least 50 million years ago. PMID:23049977

  12. Extreme telomere length dimorphism in the Tasmanian devil and related marsupials suggests parental control of telomere length.

    PubMed

    Bender, Hannah S; Murchison, Elizabeth P; Pickett, Hilda A; Deakin, Janine E; Strong, Margaret A; Conlan, Carly; McMillan, Daniel A; Neumann, Axel A; Greider, Carol W; Hannon, Gregory J; Reddel, Roger R; Graves, Jennifer A Marshall

    2012-01-01

    Telomeres, specialised structures that protect chromosome ends, play a critical role in preserving chromosome integrity. Telomere dynamics in the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) are of particular interest in light of the emergence of devil facial tumour disease (DFTD), a transmissible malignancy that causes rapid mortality and threatens the species with extinction. We used fluorescent in situ hybridisation to investigate telomere length in DFTD cells, in healthy Tasmanian devils and in four closely related marsupial species. Here we report that animals in the Order Dasyuromorphia have chromosomes characterised by striking telomere length dimorphism between homologues. Findings in sex chromosomes suggest that telomere length dimorphism may be regulated by events in the parental germlines. Long telomeres on the Y chromosome imply that telomere lengthening occurs during spermatogenesis, whereas telomere diminution occurs during oogenesis. Although found in several somatic cell tissue types, telomere length dimorphism was not found in DFTD cancer cells, which are characterised by uniformly short telomeres. This is, to our knowledge, the first report of naturally occurring telomere length dimorphism in any species and suggests a novel strategy of telomere length control. Comparative studies in five distantly related marsupials and a monotreme indicate that telomere dimorphism evolved at least 50 million years ago.

  13. Telomere Shortening and Associated Chromosomal Instability in Peripheral Blood Lymphocytes of Patients With Hodgkin's Lymphoma Prior to Any Treatment Are Predictive of Second Cancers

    SciTech Connect

    M'kacher, Radhia . E-mail: mkacher@igr.fr; Bennaceur-Griscelli, Annelise; Girinsky, Theodore; Koscielny, Serge; Delhommeau, Francois; Dossou, Julien; Violot, Dominique; Leclercq, Evelyne; Courtier, Marie Helene; Beron-Gaillard, Nadine; Assaf, Elias; Ribrag, Vincent; Carde, Patrice; Bourhis, Jean |; Feneux, Daniele; Bernheim, Alain; Parmentier, Claude

    2007-06-01

    Purpose: To investigate a potential link between telomere length, chromosomal instability, and the advent of a second cancer (SC) in patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL), who are known to be at risk for SCs. This study was premised on the finding that telomere dysfunction and DNA repair pathways were related to many pathologic conditions. Methods and Materials: Three cohorts of patients with HL were studied: 73 who were prospectively followed >5 years after diagnosis (prospective HL cohort), 28 who developed a SC (SC HL cohort), and 18 long-term survivors with no evidence of disease or complication since their initial treatment (NED HL cohort). Telomere length was analyzed by a telomeric restriction fragment assay in peripheral blood lymphocytes. Thirty healthy donors and 70 patients with a newly diagnosed solid tumor were the control population. Results: Compared with controls, patients from the prospective HL cohort, before any treatment, showed age-independent shorter telomeres (mean, 8.3 vs. 11.7 kb in healthy donors; <6 kb in 18% in HL patients), increased spontaneous chromosomal abnormalities, and increased in vitro radiation sensitivity (p < 10{sup -4} each). After treatment, telomere shortening was associated with cytogenetic profiles characterized by the persistence of complex chromosomal rearrangement and clonal aberrations. Moreover, the two cases of SC in the prospective HL patients had short telomeres and CCR initially. In addition, the SC HL cohort was characterized by markedly short telomeres (6.6 vs. 9.7 kb in the NED HL cohort), the presence of complex chromosome rearrangements, and increased in vitro radiation sensitivity. Conclusions: An intimate relationship between pre-treatment telomere shortening, chromosomal instability, radiation sensitivity and occurrence of SC was found in HL patients.

  14. Short telomere length in blood leucocytes contributes to the presence of atherothrombotic stroke and haemorrhagic stroke and risk of post-stroke death.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Weili; Chen, Yu; Wang, Yuyao; Liu, Peng; Zhang, Mei; Zhang, Channa; Hu, Frank B; Hui, Rutai

    2013-03-13

    Inter-individual differences in biological aging could affect susceptibility to stroke. To date, the relationship between stroke and telomere shortening remain inconclusive; and sparse data are available for haemorrhagic stroke. A Chinese case-control study was conducted, comprising 1756 cases (767 atherothrombosis, 503 lacunar infarction and 486 haemorrhagic strokes) and 1801 controls. Stroke patients were prospectively followed up for a median of 4.5 (range, 0.1-6.0) years. Individuals with shorter telomere length had a higher presence of atherothrombotic stroke {multivariate OR (odds ratio) 1.37 [95% CI (confidence interval), 1.06-1.77]; P=0.015} or haemorrhagic stroke [multivariate OR 1.48 (95% CI, 1.08-2.02); P=0.016] in comparison of the lowest to highest tertile of telomere length. Particularly, in subjects with a family history of stroke, there was a significant 2.55-fold increased presence of atherothrombotic stroke (95% CI, 1.87-3.48; Ptrend<0.0001) and a 2.33-fold increased presence of haemorrhagic stroke (95% CI, 1.62-3.36; Ptrend<0.0001). During the follow-up, 338 recurrent strokes and 312 deaths (181 from stroke or coronary heart disease and 131 from other causes) were documented. Associations with stroke recurrence were not observed in the follow-up patients, whereas atherothrombotic stroke cases with shorter telomeres had 69% increased risk of post-stroke death [relative risk, 1.69 (95% CI, 1.07-2.67); P=0.02]. Finally, we compared telomere lengths in 12 paired samples of circulating leucocytes and carotid atherosclerotic plaques from patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy; there was a positive correlation between vessel wall tissue and leucocyte telomere length. In conclusion, shorter telomere length may serve as a potential marker for the presence of atherothrombotic and haemorrhagic stroke and for the risk of post-stroke death.

  15. Telomeric transcriptome from Chironomus riparius (Diptera), a species with noncanonical telomeres.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Guitarte, J L; de la Fuente, M; Morcillo, G

    2014-06-01

    Although there are alternative telomere structures, most telomeres contain DNA arrays of short repeats (6-26 bp) maintained by telomerase. Like other diptera, Chironomus riparius has noncanonical telomeres and three subfamilies, TsA, TsB and TsC, of longer sequences (176 bp) are found at their chromosomal ends. Reverse transcription PCR was used to show that different RNAs are transcribed from these sequences. Only one strand from TsA sequences seems to render a noncoding RNA (named CriTER-A); transcripts from both TsB strands were found (CriTER-B and αCriTER-B) but no TsC transcripts were detected. Interestingly, these sequences showed a differential transcriptional response upon heat shock, and they were also differentially affected by inhibitors of RNA polymerase II and RNA polymerase III. A computer search for transcription factor binding sites revealed putative regulatory cis-elements within the transcribed sequence, reinforcing the experimental evidence which suggests that the telomeric repeat might function as a promoter. This work describes the telomeric transcriptome of an insect with non-telomerase telomeres, confirming the evolutionary conservation of telomere transcription. Our data reveal differences in the regulation of telomeric transcripts between control and stressful environmental conditions, supporting the idea that telomeric RNAs could have a relevant role in cellular metabolism in insect cells.

  16. The asymmetry of telomere replication contributes to replicative senescence heterogeneity

    PubMed Central

    Bourgeron, Thibault; Xu, Zhou; Doumic, Marie; Teresa Teixeira, Maria

    2015-01-01

    In eukaryotes, the absence of telomerase results in telomere shortening, eventually leading to replicative senescence, an arrested state that prevents further cell divisions. While replicative senescence is mainly controlled by telomere length, the heterogeneity of its onset is not well understood. This study proposes a mathematical model based on the molecular mechanisms of telomere replication and shortening to decipher the causes of this heterogeneity. Using simulations fitted on experimental data obtained from individual lineages of senescent Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells, we decompose the sources of senescence heterogeneity into interclonal and intraclonal components, and show that the latter is based on the asymmetry of the telomere replication mechanism. We also evidence telomere rank-switching events with distinct frequencies in short-lived versus long-lived lineages, revealing that telomere shortening dynamics display important variations. Thus, the intrinsic heterogeneity of replicative senescence and its consequences find their roots in the asymmetric structure of telomeres. PMID:26468778

  17. Changes of telomere status with aging: An update.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    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.

  18. Transcription and activation under environmental stress of the complex telomeric repeats of Chironomus thummi.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Guitarte, J L; Díez, J L; Morcillo, G

    2008-01-01

    In contrast to their traditional role, telomeres seem to behave as transcriptionally active regions. RNAs complementary to the short DNA repeats characteristic of telomerase-maintained telomeres have recently been identified in various mammalian cell lines, representing a new and unexpected element in telomere architecture. Here, we report the existence of transcripts complementary to telomeric sequences characteristic of Chironomus thummi telomeres. As in other Diptera, the non-canonical telomeres of chironomids lack the simple telomerase repeats and have instead more complex repetitive sequences. Northern blots of total RNA hybridized with telomere probes and RT-PCR with telomere-specific tailed primers confirm the existence of small non-coding RNAs of around 200 bp, the size of the DNA repeated telomeric unit. Telomere transcripts are heterogeneous in length, and they appear as a ladder pattern that probably corresponds to multimers of the repeat. Moreover, telomeres are activated under conditions of environmental stress, such as heat shock, appearing highly decondensed and densely labelled with acetylated H4 histone, as well as with RNA polymerase II antibodies, both marks of transcriptional activity. Changes in the expression levels of telomeric RNA were detected after heat shock. These findings provide evidence that transcriptional activity of the repetitive telomere sequences is an evolutionarily conserved feature, not limited to telomerase telomeres. The functional significance of this non-coding RNA as a new additional element in the context of telomere biology remains to be explained.

  19. Uncoupling of longevity and telomere length in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Raices, Marcela; Maruyama, Hugo; Dillin, Andrew; Karlseder, Jan

    2005-09-01

    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.

  20. Telomere Length Is a Determinant of Emphysema Susceptibility

    PubMed Central

    Alder, Jonathan K.; Guo, Nini; Kembou, Frant; Parry, Erin M.; Anderson, Collin J.; Gorgy, Amany I.; Walsh, Michael F.; Sussan, Thomas; Biswal, Shyam; Mitzner, Wayne; Tuder, Rubin M.

    2011-01-01

    Rationale: Germline mutations in the enzyme telomerase cause telomere shortening, and have their most common clinical manifestation in age-related lung disease that manifests as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Short telomeres are also a unique heritable trait that is acquired with age. Objectives: We sought to understand the mechanisms by which telomerase deficiency contributes to lung disease. Methods: We studied telomerase null mice with short telomeres. Measurements and Main Results: Although they have no baseline histologic defects, when mice with short telomeres are exposed to chronic cigarette smoke, in contrast with controls, they develop emphysematous air space enlargement. The emphysema susceptibility did not depend on circulating cell genotype, because mice with short telomeres developed emphysema even when transplanted with wild-type bone marrow. In lung epithelium, cigarette smoke exposure caused additive DNA damage to telomere dysfunction, which limited their proliferative recovery, and coincided with a failure to down-regulate p21, a mediator of cellular senescence, and we show here, a determinant of alveolar epithelial cell cycle progression. We also report early onset of emphysema, in addition to pulmonary fibrosis, in a family with a germline deletion in the Box H domain of the RNA component of telomerase. Conclusions: Our data indicate that short telomeres lower the threshold of cigarette smoke–induced damage, and implicate telomere length as a genetic susceptibility factor in emphysema, potentially contributing to its age-related onset in humans. PMID:21757622

  1. Telomeres and immune competency.

    PubMed

    Weng, Nan-ping

    2012-08-01

    Telomeres are essential for the integrity of chromosomes and for cellular replication. Attrition of telomeres occurs during DNA replication owing to the inability of conventional DNA polymerase to replicate chromosomal termini and the insufficient compensation for telomere loss by telomerase, an enzyme that synthesizes telomeric DNA. A number of genetic defects have been described in humans and in animal models that cause accelerated telomere attrition, in turn leading to severe phenotypes of hematopoietic and other proliferating cells. Telomere length, most frequently measured as an average value in heterogeneous peripheral blood leukocyte populations in humans, has been associated with a wide range of health conditions and diseases of immune and non-immune cells. Here, I review recent studies of telomere length dynamics with particular relevance to immune function.

  2. Oxidative Stress Induces Persistent Telomeric DNA Damage Responsible for Nuclear Morphology Change in Mammalian Cells

    PubMed Central

    Coluzzi, Elisa; Colamartino, Monica; Cozzi, Renata; Leone, Stefano; Meneghini, Carlo; O’Callaghan, Nathan; Sgura, Antonella

    2014-01-01

    One main function of telomeres is to maintain chromosome and genome stability. The rate of telomere shortening can be accelerated significantly by chemical and physical environmental agents. Reactive oxygen species are a source of oxidative stress and can produce modified bases (mainly 8-oxoG) and single strand breaks anywhere in the genome. The high incidence of guanine residues in telomeric DNA sequences makes the telomere a preferred target for oxidative damage. Our aim in this work is to evaluate whether chromosome instability induced by oxidative stress is related specifically to telomeric damage. We treated human primary fibroblasts (MRC-5) in vitro with hydrogen peroxide (100 and 200 µM) for 1 hr and collected data at several time points. To evaluate the persistence of oxidative stress-induced DNA damage up to 24 hrs after treatment, we analysed telomeric and genomic oxidative damage by qPCR and a modified comet assay, respectively. The results demonstrate that the genomic damage is completely repaired, while the telomeric oxidative damage persists. The analysis of telomere length reveals a significant telomere shortening 48 hrs after treatment, leading us to hypothesise that residual telomere damage could be responsible for the telomere shortening observed. Considering the influence of telomere length modulation on genomic stability, we quantified abnormal nuclear morphologies (Nucleoplasmic Bridges, Nuclear Buds and Micronuclei) and observed an increase of chromosome instability in the same time frame as telomere shortening. At subsequent times (72 and 96 hrs), we observed a restoration of telomere length and a reduction of chromosome instability, leaving us to conjecture a correlation between telomere shortening/dysfunction and chromosome instability. We can conclude that oxidative base damage leads to abnormal nuclear morphologies and that telomere dysfunction is an important contributor to this effect. PMID:25354277

  3. Finding the end: recruitment of telomerase to the telomere

    PubMed Central

    Nandakumar, Jayakrishnan; Cech, Thomas R.

    2013-01-01

    Telomeres, the ends of linear eukaryotic chromosomes, are characterized by the presence of multiple repeats of a short DNA sequence. This telomeric DNA is protected from illicit repair by telomere-associated proteins, which in mammals form the shelterin complex. Replicative polymerases are unable to synthesize DNA at the extreme ends of chromosomes, but in unicellular eukaryotes such as yeast and in mammalian germ cells and stem cells, telomere length is maintained by a ribonucleoprotein enzyme known as telomerase. Recent work has provided insights into the mechanisms of telomerase recruitment to telomeres, highlighting the contribution of telomere-associated proteins including TPP1 in humans, Ccq1 in S. pombe, and Cdc13 and Ku in S. cerevisiae. PMID:23299958

  4. Genome-wide studies of telomere biology in budding yeast

    PubMed Central

    Harari, Yaniv; Kupiec, Martin

    2014-01-01

    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.

  5. Telomeric RNAs are essential to maintain telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Montero, Juan José; López de Silanes, Isabel; Graña, Osvaldo; Blasco, Maria A.

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres are transcribed generating long non-coding RNAs known as TERRA. Deciphering the role of TERRA has been one of the unsolved issues of telomere biology in the past decade. This has been, in part, due to lack of knowledge on the TERRA loci, thus preventing functional genetic studies. Here, we describe that long non-coding RNAs with TERRA features are transcribed from the human 20q and Xp subtelomeres. Deletion of the 20q locus by using the CRISPR-Cas9 technology causes a dramatic decrease in TERRA levels, while deletion of the Xp locus does not result in decreased TERRA levels. Strikingly, 20q-TERRA ablation leads to dramatic loss of telomere sequences and the induction of a massive DNA damage response. These findings identify chromosome 20q as a main TERRA locus in human cells and represent the first demonstration in any organism of the essential role of TERRA in the maintenance of telomeres. PMID:27531349

  6. Telomere dysfunction and chromothripsis.

    PubMed

    Ernst, Aurélie; Jones, David T W; Maass, Kendra K; Rode, Agata; Deeg, Katharina I; Jebaraj, Billy Michael Chelliah; Korshunov, Andrey; Hovestadt, Volker; Tainsky, Michael A; Pajtler, Kristian W; Bender, Sebastian; Brabetz, Sebastian; Gröbner, Susanne; Kool, Marcel; Devens, Frauke; Edelmann, Jennifer; Zhang, Cindy; Castelo-Branco, Pedro; Tabori, Uri; Malkin, David; Rippe, Karsten; Stilgenbauer, Stephan; Pfister, Stefan M; Zapatka, Marc; Lichter, Peter

    2016-06-15

    Chromothripsis is a recently discovered form of genomic instability, characterized by tens to hundreds of clustered DNA rearrangements resulting from a single dramatic event. Telomere dysfunction has been suggested to play a role in the initiation of this phenomenon, which occurs in a large number of tumor entities. Here, we show that telomere attrition can indeed lead to catastrophic genomic events, and that telomere patterns differ between cells analyzed before and after such genomic catastrophes. Telomere length and telomere stabilization mechanisms diverge between samples with and without chromothripsis in a given tumor subtype. Longitudinal analyses of the evolution of chromothriptic patterns identify either stable patterns between matched primary and relapsed tumors, or loss of the chromothriptic clone in the relapsed specimen. The absence of additional chromothriptic events occurring between the initial tumor and the relapsed tumor sample points to telomere stabilization after the initial chromothriptic event which prevents further shattering of the genome.

  7. Decreasing initial telomere length in humans intergenerationally understates age-associated telomere shortening

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25952108

  8. Decreasing initial telomere length in humans intergenerationally understates age-associated telomere shortening.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-08-01

    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.

  9. Short antisense-locked nucleic acids (all-LNAs) correct alternative splicing abnormalities in myotonic dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Wojtkowiak-Szlachcic, Agnieszka; Taylor, Katarzyna; Stepniak-Konieczna, Ewa; Sznajder, Lukasz J; Mykowska, Agnieszka; Sroka, Joanna; Thornton, Charles A; Sobczak, Krzysztof

    2015-03-31

    Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is an autosomal dominant multisystemic disorder caused by expansion of CTG triplet repeats in 3'-untranslated region of DMPK gene. The pathomechanism of DM1 is driven by accumulation of toxic transcripts containing expanded CUG repeats (CUG(exp)) in nuclear foci which sequester several factors regulating RNA metabolism, such as Muscleblind-like proteins (MBNLs). In this work, we utilized very short chemically modified antisense oligonucleotides composed exclusively of locked nucleic acids (all-LNAs) complementary to CUG repeats, as potential therapeutic agents against DM1. Our in vitro data demonstrated that very short, 8- or 10-unit all-LNAs effectively bound the CUG repeat RNA and prevented the formation of CUG(exp)/MBNL complexes. In proliferating DM1 cells as well as in skeletal muscles of DM1 mouse model the all-LNAs induced the reduction of the number and size of CUG(exp) foci and corrected MBNL-sensitive alternative splicing defects with high efficacy and specificity. The all-LNAs had low impact on the cellular level of CUG(exp)-containing transcripts and did not affect the expression of other transcripts with short CUG repeats. Our data strongly indicate that short all-LNAs complementary to CUG repeats are a promising therapeutic tool against DM1.

  10. Microstructural Abnormalities of Short-Distance White Matter Tracts in Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shukla, Dinesh K.; Keehn, Brandon; Smylie, Daren M.; Muller, Ralph-Axel

    2011-01-01

    Recent functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies have suggested atypical functional connectivity and reduced integrity of long-distance white matter fibers in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, evidence for short-distance white matter fibers is still limited, despite some speculation of…

  11. Short-term inhalation of particulate transition metals has little effect on the electrocardiograms of dogs having preexisting cardiac abnormalities.

    PubMed

    Muggenburg, B A; Benson, J M; Barr, E B; Kubatko, J; Tilley, L P

    2003-04-11

    There is growing epidemiological evidence for statistical associations between increases in air pollution, especially particulate matter, and increases in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Laboratory studies have shown that transition metals contribute strongly to the effects of high lung doses of model particles on changes in the electrocardiograms of animals. The present study evaluated the effects of short-term inhalation exposure to respirable particles of specific oxide and sulfate forms of transition metals on heart rate and the electrocardiogram of old dogs having preexisting cardiac abnormalities. Conscious beagle dogs were exposed by oral inhalation for 3 h on each of 3 successive days to aerosols of manganese, nickel, vanadium, iron, and copper oxides, and nickel and vanadium sulfates as single compounds at concentrations of 0.05 mg/m(3). Electrocardiograms were recorded and evaluated for exposure-related changes in heart rate, heart rate variability, and abnormalities of waveforms. Although the electrocardiograms of this population of dogs having potential age and cardiovascular susceptibility factors reflected their underlying clinical abnormalities, no significant effect of exposure to the transition metal aerosols was observed.

  12. Unraveling the pathogenesis of Hoyeraal-Hreidarsson syndrome, a complex telomere biology disorder.

    PubMed

    Glousker, Galina; Touzot, Fabien; Revy, Patrick; Tzfati, Yehuda; Savage, Sharon A

    2015-08-01

    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.

  13. Role of the ESCRT Complexes in Telomere Biology

    PubMed Central

    Dieckmann, Anna K.; Babin, Vera; Harari, Yaniv; Eils, Roland; König, Rainer

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT 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. PMID:27834202

  14. Role of the ESCRT Complexes in Telomere Biology.

    PubMed

    Dieckmann, Anna K; Babin, Vera; Harari, Yaniv; Eils, Roland; König, Rainer; Luke, Brian; Kupiec, Martin

    2016-11-08

    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.

  15. Quantification of telomere length by FISH and laser scanning cytometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-02-01

    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 (p<0.0001). Histograms of average telomere 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.

  16. Telomere status in chronic lymphocytic leukemia with TP53 disruption.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-08-30

    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.

  17. Telomere status in chronic lymphocytic leukemia with TP53 disruption

    PubMed Central

    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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27486974

  18. Telomere biology: Rationale for diagnostics and therapeutics in cancer.

    PubMed

    Rousseau, Philippe; Autexier, Chantal

    2015-01-01

    The key step of carcinogenesis is the malignant transformation which is fundamentally a telomere biology dysfunction permitting cells to bypass the Hayflick limit and to divide indefinitely and uncontrollably. Thus all partners and structures involved in normal and abnormal telomere maintenance, protection and lengthening can be considered as potential anti-cancer therapeutic targets. In this Point of View we discuss, highlight and provide new perspectives from the current knowledge and understanding to position the different aspects of telomere biology and dysfunction as diagnostic, preventive and curative tools in the field of cancer.

  19. The DNA structure and sequence preferences of WRN underlie its function in telomeric recombination events

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Deanna N.; Machwe, Amrita; Chen, Li; Bohr, Vilhelm A.; Orren, David K.

    2015-01-01

    Telomeric abnormalities caused by loss of function of the RecQ helicase WRN are linked to the multiple premature ageing phenotypes that characterize Werner syndrome. Here we examine WRN's role in telomeric maintenance, by comparing its action on a variety of DNA structures without or with telomeric sequences. Our results show that WRN clearly prefers to act on strand invasion intermediates in a manner that favours strand invasion and exchange. Moreover, WRN unwinding of these recombination structures is further enhanced when the invading strand contains at least three G-rich single-stranded telomeric repeats. These selectivities are most pronounced at NaCl concentrations within the reported intranuclear monovalent cation concentration range, and are partly conferred by WRN's C-terminal region. Importantly, WRN's specificity for the G-rich telomeric sequence within this precise structural context is particularly relevant to telomere metabolism and strongly suggests a physiological role in telomeric recombination processes, including T-loop dynamics. PMID:26420422

  20. The DNA structure and sequence preferences of WRN underlie its function in telomeric recombination events.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Deanna N; Machwe, Amrita; Chen, Li; Bohr, Vilhelm A; Orren, David K

    2015-09-30

    Telomeric abnormalities caused by loss of function of the RecQ helicase WRN are linked to the multiple premature ageing phenotypes that characterize Werner syndrome. Here we examine WRN's role in telomeric maintenance, by comparing its action on a variety of DNA structures without or with telomeric sequences. Our results show that WRN clearly prefers to act on strand invasion intermediates in a manner that favours strand invasion and exchange. Moreover, WRN unwinding of these recombination structures is further enhanced when the invading strand contains at least three G-rich single-stranded telomeric repeats. These selectivities are most pronounced at NaCl concentrations within the reported intranuclear monovalent cation concentration range, and are partly conferred by WRN's C-terminal region. Importantly, WRN's specificity for the G-rich telomeric sequence within this precise structural context is particularly relevant to telomere metabolism and strongly suggests a physiological role in telomeric recombination processes, including T-loop dynamics.

  1. Humero-radial synostosis, microcephaly, short corpus callosum, and abnormal genitalia in sibs.

    PubMed

    Guilherme, Romain; Baumann, Clarisse; Garel, Catherine; Huten, Yolène; Oury, Jean-François; Delezoide, Anne-Lise

    2008-07-15

    We report on two male sib fetuses with humero-radial synostosis and thumb hypoplasia, microcephaly with simplified gyral pattern, short corpus callosum and ambiguous genitalia. The main clinical, anatomopathological and imaging findings are presented and compared with previous cases of humero-radial synostosis as a prominent manifestation and with the X-linked lissencephaly with ambiguous genitalia syndrome (X-LAG). To our knowledge, this combination of anomalies has never been described before, and we propose that this disorder comprises a new humero-radial synostosis syndrome with an autosomal recessive or X-linked pattern of inheritance.

  2. Telomere Length and the Cancer–Atherosclerosis Trade-Off

    PubMed Central

    Stone, Rivka C.; Horvath, Kent; Kark, Jeremy D.; Susser, Ezra; Tishkoff, Sarah A.; Aviv, Abraham

    2016-01-01

    Modern humans, the longest-living terrestrial mammals, display short telomeres and repressed telomerase activity in somatic tissues compared with most short-living small mammals. The dual trait of short telomeres and repressed telomerase might render humans relatively resistant to cancer compared with short-living small mammals. However, the trade-off for cancer resistance is ostensibly increased age-related degenerative diseases, principally in the form of atherosclerosis. In this communication, we discuss (a) the genetics of human telomere length, a highly heritable complex trait that is influenced by genetic ancestry, sex, and paternal age at conception, (b) how cancer might have played a role in the evolution of telomere biology across mammals, (c) evidence that in modern humans telomere length is a determinant (rather than only a biomarker) of cancer and atherosclerosis, and (d) the potential influence of relatively recent evolutionary forces in fashioning the variation in telomere length across and within populations, and their likely lasting impact on major diseases in humans. Finally, we propose venues for future research on human telomere genetics in the context of its potential role in shaping the modern human lifespan. PMID:27386863

  3. Hoyeraal-Hreidarsson syndrome caused by a germline mutation in the TEL patch of the telomere protein TPP1

    PubMed Central

    Kocak, Hande; Ballew, Bari J.; Bisht, Kamlesh; Eggebeen, Rebecca; Hicks, Belynda D.; Suman, Shalabh; O’Neil, Adri; Giri, Neelam; Maillard, Ivan; Alter, Blanche P.; Keegan, Catherine E.; Nandakumar, Jayakrishnan

    2014-01-01

    Germline mutations in telomere biology genes cause dyskeratosis congenita (DC), an inherited bone marrow failure and cancer predisposition syndrome. DC is a clinically heterogeneous disorder diagnosed by the triad of dysplastic nails, abnormal skin pigmentation, and oral leukoplakia; Hoyeraal-Hreidarsson syndrome (HH), a clinically severe variant of DC, also includes cerebellar hypoplasia, immunodeficiency, and intrauterine growth retardation. Approximately 70% of DC cases are associated with a germline mutation in one of nine genes, the products of which are all involved in telomere biology. Using exome sequencing, we identified mutations in Adrenocortical Dysplasia Homolog (ACD) (encoding TPP1), a component of the telomeric shelterin complex, in one family affected by HH. The proband inherited a deletion from his father and a missense mutation from his mother, resulting in extremely short telomeres and a severe clinical phenotype. Characterization of the mutations revealed that the single-amino-acid deletion affecting the TEL patch surface of the TPP1 protein significantly compromises both telomerase recruitment and processivity, while the missense mutation in the TIN2-binding region of TPP1 is not as clearly deleterious to TPP1 function. Our results emphasize the critical roles of the TEL patch in proper stem cell function and demonstrate that TPP1 is the second shelterin component (in addition to TIN2) to be implicated in DC. PMID:25233904

  4. Telomere biology: cancer firewall or aging clock?

    PubMed

    Mitteldorf, J J

    2013-09-01

    It has been a decade since the first surprising discovery that longer telomeres in humans are statistically associated with longer life expectancies. Since then, it has been firmly established that telomere shortening imposes an individual fitness cost in a number of mammalian species, including humans. But telomere shortening is easily avoided by application of telomerase, an enzyme which is coded into nearly every eukaryotic genome, but whose expression is suppressed most of the time. This raises the question how the sequestration of telomerase might have evolved. The predominant assumption is that in higher organisms, shortening telomeres provide a firewall against tumor growth. A more straightforward interpretation is that telomere attrition provides an aging clock, reliably programming lifespans. The latter hypothesis is routinely rejected by most biologists because the benefit of programmed lifespan applies only to the community, and in fact the individual pays a substantial fitness cost. There is a long-standing skepticism that the concept of fitness can be applied on a communal level, and of group selection in general. But the cancer hypothesis is problematic as well. Animal studies indicate that there is a net fitness cost in sequestration of telomerase, even when cancer risk is lowered. The hypothesis of protection against cancer has never been tested in animals that actually limit telomerase expression, but only in mice, whose lifespans are not telomerase-limited. And human medical evidence suggests a net aggravation of cancer risk from the sequestration of telomerase, because cells with short telomeres are at high risk of neoplastic transformation, and they also secrete cytokines that exacerbate inflammation globally. The aging clock hypothesis fits well with what is known about ancestral origins of telomerase sequestration, and the prejudices concerning group selection are without merit. If telomeres are an aging clock, then telomerase makes an

  5. Robust algorithmic detection of the developed cardiac pathologies and emerging or transient abnormalities from short periods of RR data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gavrishchaka, Valeriy V.; Senyukova, Olga

    2011-06-01

    Numerous research efforts and clinical testing have confirmed validity of heart rate variability (HRV) analysis as one of the cardiac diagnostics modalities. The majority of HRV analysis tools currently used in practice are based on linear indicators. Methods from nonlinear dynamics (NLD) provide more natural modeling framework for adaptive biological systems with multiple feedback loops. Compared to linear indicators, many NLD-based measures are much less sensitive to data artifacts and non-stationarity. However, majority of NLD measures require long time series for stable calculation. Similar restrictions also apply for linear indicators. Such requirements could drastically limit practical usability of HRV analysis in many applications, including express diagnostics, early indication of subtle directional changes during personalization of medical treatment, and robust detection of emerging or transient abnormalities. Recently we have illustrated that these challenges could be overcome by using classification framework based on boosting-like ensemble learning techniques that are capable of discovering robust meta-indicators from existing HRV measures and other incomplete empirical knowledge. In this paper we demonstrate universality of such meta-indicators and discuss operational details of their practical usage. Using such pathology examples as congestive heart failure (CHF) and arrhythmias, we show that classifiers trained on short RR segments (down to several minutes) could achieve reasonable classification accuracy (˜80-85% and higher). These indicators calculated from longer RR segments could be applicable for accurate diagnostics with classification accuracy approaching 100%. In addition, it is feasible to discover single "normal-abnormal" meta-classifier capable of detecting multiple abnormalities.

  6. Fibroblast prostaglandin E2 synthesis. Persistence of an abnormal phenotype after short-term exposure to mononuclear cell products.

    PubMed

    Korn, J H

    1983-05-01

    Acquired abnormalities of connective tissue metabolism in inflammatory diseases often persist when lesional tissue is maintained in in vitro culture. Although connective tissue cells are exposed to inflammatory cell-derived mediators in vivo and such mediators have been shown to alter connective tissue cell behavior, it is unclear whether the persistence of metabolic defects in vitro could result from remote in vivo exposure to these mediators. An in vitro model was used to test whether transient exposure of normal fibroblasts to inflammatory mediators could lead to metabolic alterations that persist during in vitro culture. Short-term exposure of human foreskin fibroblasts in vitro to supernates of mitogen-activated peripheral blood mononuclear cells led to persistent abnormalities of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) metabolism. Fibroblasts previously exposed to mononuclear cell products synthesized more than twice as much PGE2 when stimulated compared with similarly stimulated but previously unexposed control fibroblasts of the same strain. The enhanced PGE2 synthesis persisted for as long as 20 wk and 19 cell generations after the original exposure to mononuclear cell products. Exposure of fibroblast populations to mononuclear cell products may, thus, lead to metabolite alterations that are still evident after multiple cell generations.

  7. Mutations in DDR2 gene cause SMED with short limbs and abnormal calcifications.

    PubMed

    Bargal, Ruth; Cormier-Daire, Valerie; Ben-Neriah, Ziva; Le Merrer, Martine; Sosna, Jacob; Melki, Judith; Zangen, David H; Smithson, Sarah F; Borochowitz, Zvi; Belostotsky, Ruth; Raas-Rothschild, Annick

    2009-01-01

    The spondylo-meta-epiphyseal dysplasia [SMED] short limb-hand type [SMED-SL] is a rare autosomal-recessive disease, first reported by Borochowitz et al. in 1993.(1) Since then, 14 affected patients have been reported.(2-5) We diagnosed 6 patients from 5 different consanguineous Arab Muslim families from the Jerusalem area with SMED-SL. Additionally, we studied two patients from Algerian and Pakistani ancestry and the parents of the first Jewish patients reported.(1) Using a homozygosity mapping strategy, we located a candidate region on chromosome 1q23 spanning 2.4 Mb. The position of the Discoidin Domain Receptor 2 (DDR2) gene within the candidate region and the similarity of the ddr2 knockout mouse to the SMED patients' phenotype prompted us to study this gene(6). We identified three missense mutations c.2254 C > T [R752C], c. 2177 T > G [I726R], c.2138C > T [T713I] and one splice site mutation [IVS17+1g > a] in the conserved sequence encoding the tyrosine kinase domain of the DDR2 gene. The results of this study will permit an accurate early prenatal diagnosis and carrier screening for families at risk.

  8. The Role Of Nonhomologous End-Joining Components in Telomere Metabolism in Kluyveromyces lactis

    PubMed Central

    Carter, Sidney D.; Iyer, Shilpa; Xu, Jianing; McEachern, Michael J.; Åström, Stefan U.

    2007-01-01

    The relationship between telomeres and nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) is paradoxical, as NHEJ proteins are part of the telomere cap, which serves to differentiate telomeres from DNA double-strand breaks. We explored these contradictory functions for NHEJ proteins by investigating their role in Kluyveromyces lactis telomere metabolism. The ter1-4LBsr allele of the TER1 gene resulted in the introduction of sequence altered telomeric repeats and subsequent telomere–telomere fusions (T–TFs). In this background, Lig4 and Ku80 were necessary for T–TFs to form. Nej1, essential for NHEJ at internal positions, was not. Hence, T–TF formation was mediated by an unusual NHEJ mechanism. Rad50 and mre11 strains exhibited stable short telomeres, suggesting that Rad50 and Mre11 were required for telomerase recruitment. Introduction of the ter1-4LBsr allele into these strains failed to result in telomere elongation as normally observed with the ter1-4LBsr allele. Thus, the role of Rad50 and Mre11 in the formation of T–TFs was unclear. Furthermore, rad50 and mre11 mutants had highly increased subtelomeric recombination rates, while ku80 and lig4 mutants displayed moderate increases. Ku80 mutant strains also contained extended single-stranded 3′ telomeric overhangs. We concluded that NHEJ proteins have multiple roles at telomeres, mediating fusions of mutant telomeres and ensuring end protection of normal telomeres. PMID:17237517

  9. Short-Term Treatment with Bisphenol-A Leads to Metabolic Abnormalities in Adult Male Mice

    PubMed Central

    Batista, Thiago M.; Alonso-Magdalena, Paloma; Vieira, Elaine; Amaral, Maria Esmeria C.; Cederroth, Christopher R.; Nef, Serge; Quesada, Ivan; Carneiro, Everardo M.; Nadal, Angel

    2012-01-01

    Bisphenol-A (BPA) is one of the most widespread endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) used as the base compound in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics. Although evidence points to consider exposure to BPA as a risk factor for insulin resistance, its actions on whole body metabolism and on insulin-sensitive tissues are still unclear. The aim of the present work was to study the effects of low doses of BPA in insulin-sensitive peripheral tissues and whole body metabolism in adult mice. Adult mice were treated with subcutaneous injection of 100 µg/kg BPA or vehicle for 8 days. Whole body energy homeostasis was assessed with in vivo indirect calorimetry. Insulin signaling assays were conducted by western blot analysis. Mice treated with BPA were insulin resistant and had increased glucose-stimulated insulin release. BPA-treated mice had decreased food intake, lower body temperature and locomotor activity compared to control. In skeletal muscle, insulin-stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of the insulin receptor β subunit was impaired in BPA-treated mice. This impairment was associated with a reduced insulin-stimulated Akt phosphorylation in the Thr308 residue. Both skeletal muscle and liver displayed an upregulation of IRS-1 protein by BPA. The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway was also impaired in the skeletal muscle from BPA-treated mice. In the liver, BPA effects were of lesser intensity with decreased insulin-stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of the insulin receptor β subunit. In conclusion, short-term treatment with low doses of BPA slows down whole body energy metabolism and disrupts insulin signaling in peripheral tissues. Thus, our findings support the notion that BPA can be considered a risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes. PMID:22470480

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

    PubMed

    Nersisyan, Lilit; Arakelyan, Arsen

    2015-01-01

    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 https://github.com/lilit-nersisyan/computel. 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.

  11. Telomere regulation during ageing and tumorigenesis of the grey mouse lemur.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-06-01

    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.

  12. Telomeres in aging and disease: lessons from zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Carneiro, Madalena C.; de Castro, Inês Pimenta

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Age is the highest risk factor for some of the most prevalent human diseases, including cancer. Telomere shortening is thought to play a central role in the aging process in humans. The link between telomeres and aging is highlighted by the fact that genetic diseases causing telomerase deficiency are associated with premature aging and increased risk of cancer. For the last two decades, this link has been mostly investigated using mice that have long telomeres. However, zebrafish has recently emerged as a powerful and complementary model system to study telomere biology. Zebrafish possess human-like short telomeres that progressively decline with age, reaching lengths in old age that are observed when telomerase is mutated. The extensive characterization of its well-conserved molecular and cellular physiology makes this vertebrate an excellent model to unravel the underlying relationship between telomere shortening, tissue regeneration, aging and disease. In this Review, we explore the advantages of using zebrafish in telomere research and discuss the primary discoveries made in this model that have contributed to expanding our knowledge of how telomere attrition contributes to cellular senescence, organ dysfunction and disease. PMID:27482813

  13. Realizing the Translational Potential of Telomere Length Variation as a Tissue-Based Prognostic Marker for Prostate Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-10-01

    Telomere Length Variation as a Tissue- Based Prognostic Marker for Prostate Cancer PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Elizabeth A. Platz CONTRACTING...Translational Potential of Telomere Length Variation as a Tissue- Based Prognostic Marker for Prostate Cancer 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-12-1-0545 5c...combination of telomere length variability in prostate cancer cells and short telomere length in cancer -associated stromal cells is an independent

  14. Chromatin Structure in Telomere Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Galati, Alessandra; Micheli, Emanuela; Cacchione, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    The establishment of a specific nucleoprotein structure, the telomere, is required to ensure the protection of chromosome ends from being recognized as DNA damage sites. Telomere shortening below a critical length triggers a DNA damage response that leads to replicative senescence. In normal human somatic cells, characterized by telomere shortening with each cell division, telomere uncapping is a regulated process associated with cell turnover. Nevertheless, telomere dysfunction has also been associated with genomic instability, cell transformation, and cancer. Despite the essential role telomeres play in chromosome protection and in tumorigenesis, our knowledge of the chromatin structure involved in telomere maintenance is still limited. Here we review the recent findings on chromatin modifications associated with the dynamic changes of telomeres from protected to deprotected state and their role in telomere functions. PMID:23471416

  15. Consequences of telomere shortening at an active VSG expression site in telomerase-deficient Trypanosoma brucei.

    PubMed

    Dreesen, Oliver; Cross, George A M

    2006-12-01

    Trypanosoma brucei evades the host immune response by sequential expression of a large family of variant surface glycoproteins (VSG) from one of approximately 20 subtelomeric expression sites (ES). VSG transcription is monoallelic, and little is known about the regulation of antigenic switching. To explore whether telomere length could affect antigenic switching, we created a telomerase-deficient cell line, in which telomeres shortened at a rate of 3 to 6 bp at each cell division. Upon reaching a critical length, short silent ES telomeres were stabilized by a telomerase-independent mechanism. The active ES telomere progressively shortened and frequently broke. Upon reaching a critical length, the short active ES telomere stabilized, but the transcribed VSG was gradually lost from the population and replaced by a new VSG through duplicative gene conversion. We propose a model in which subtelomeric-break-induced replication-mediated repair at a short ES telomere leads to duplicative gene conversion and expression of a new VSG.

  16. Telomerase RNA stem terminus element affects template boundary element function, telomere sequence, and shelterin binding.

    PubMed

    Webb, Christopher J; Zakian, Virginia A

    2015-09-08

    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.

  17. On the origin of Robertsonian fusions in nature: evidence of telomere shortening in wild house mice.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Guillén, R A; Capilla, L; Reig-Viader, R; Martínez-Plana, M; Pardo-Camacho, C; Andrés-Nieto, M; Ventura, J; Ruiz-Herrera, A

    2015-01-01

    The role of telomere shortening to explain the occurrence of Robertsonian (Rb) fusions, as well as the importance of the average telomere length vs. the proportion of short telomeres, especially in nature populations, is largely unexplored. In this study, we have analysed telomere shortening in nine wild house mice from the Barcelona Rb system with diploid numbers ranging from 29 to 40 chromosomes. We also included two standard (2n=40) laboratory mice for comparison. Our data showed that the average telomere length (considering all chromosomal arms) is influenced by both the diploid number and the origin of the mice (wild vs. laboratory). In detail, we detected that wild mice from the Rb Barcelona system (fused and standard) present shorter telomeres than standard laboratory mice. However, only wild mice with Rb fusions showed a high proportion of short telomeres (only in p-arms), thus revealing the importance of telomere shortening in the origin of the Rb fusions in the Barcelona system. Overall, our study confirms that the number of critically short telomeres, and not a simple reduction in the average telomere length, is more likely to lead to the origin of Rb fusions in the Barcelona system and ultimately in nature.

  18. Solving the Telomere Replication Problem

    PubMed Central

    Maestroni, Laetitia; Matmati, Samah; Coulon, Stéphane

    2017-01-01

    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

  19. Aloe spp.--plants with vertebrate-like telomeric sequences.

    PubMed

    Weiss, Hanna; Scherthan, Harry

    2002-01-01

    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.

  20. Strand exchange of telomeric DNA catalyzed by the Werner syndrome protein (WRN) is specifically stimulated by TRF2.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Deanna N; Orren, David K; Machwe, Amrita

    2014-07-01

    Werner syndrome (WS), caused by loss of function of the RecQ helicase WRN, is a hereditary disease characterized by premature aging and elevated cancer incidence. WRN has DNA binding, exonuclease, ATPase, helicase and strand annealing activities, suggesting possible roles in recombination-related processes. Evidence indicates that WRN deficiency causes telomeric abnormalities that likely underlie early onset of aging phenotypes in WS. Furthermore, TRF2, a protein essential for telomere protection, interacts with WRN and influences its basic helicase and exonuclease activities. However, these studies provided little insight into WRN's specific function at telomeres. Here, we explored the possibility that WRN and TRF2 cooperate during telomeric recombination processes. Our results indicate that TRF2, through its interactions with both WRN and telomeric DNA, stimulates WRN-mediated strand exchange specifically between telomeric substrates; TRF2's basic domain is particularly important for this stimulation. Although TRF1 binds telomeric DNA with similar affinity, it has minimal effects on WRN-mediated strand exchange of telomeric DNA. Moreover, TRF2 is displaced from telomeric DNA by WRN, independent of its ATPase and helicase activities. Together, these results suggest that TRF2 and WRN act coordinately during telomeric recombination processes, consistent with certain telomeric abnormalities associated with alteration of WRN function.

  1. E-type cyclins modulate telomere integrity in mammalian male meiosis.

    PubMed

    Manterola, Marcia; Sicinski, Piotr; Wolgemuth, Debra J

    2016-06-01

    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.

  2. Characterization of telomeres and telomerase from the single-celled eukaryote Giardia intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Uzlíková, Magdalena; Fulnečková, Jana; Weisz, Filip; Sýkorová, Eva; Nohýnková, Eva; Tůmová, Pavla

    2017-01-01

    The ends of linear chromosomes, telomeres, are most commonly maintained by the enzyme telomerase. Our study presents the characteristics of telomeres and telomerase from the single-celled parasitic eukaryote Giardia intestinalis. Using fluorescence in situ hybridization, we localized telomeres during all stages of the trophozoite cell cycle and demonstrated differences in the observed number of telomeric foci, indicating telomere clustering. The length of Giardia telomeres was determined in different cell lines derived from WB clinical isolate using terminal restriction fragment analysis and ranged from 0.5 to 2.5kb; moreover, a BAL-31 digestion experiment did not reveal any long interstitial telomeric sequences in the genome. Despite the absence of the specific T motif in the telomerase catalytic subunit, the presence of an active telomerase enzyme synthesising telomeric repeats in Giardia was proved by a Telomere repeat amplification protocol assay, and its localization in nuclei was determined by the expression of recombinant GiTERT. Except for the Giardia-type TAGGG telomeric repeat, Giardia telomerase was proved to synthesize in vitro also other repeat variants, TAAGG and TAAGGG. In summary, despite its unusual characteristics, including a structurally divergent but active telomerase, unique terminal sequences and relatively short telomeres, the present data support the view that the chromosomal termini in Giardia are maintained in a conservative manner that is common to other eukaryotes.

  3. Possibility of Abnormal Formation of Pearlite in Medium-Carbon Steel After Short-Term Heating to a Temperature Above Ac 1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mirzaev, D. A.; Yakovleva, I. L.; Tereshchenko, N. A.; Urtsev, V. N.

    2017-03-01

    The kinetics of phase recrystallization and formation of structure in medium-carbon steels under short-term heating at a temperature exceeding Ac 1 and accelerated cooling is studied. The conditions of implementation of two mechanisms of abnormal formation of pearlite differing in the lengths of the diffusion paths of carbon are determined, and the morphology of the pearlite is described.

  4. Ticking Telomeres/Telltale Telomerase.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Biermann, Carol A.

    1997-01-01

    Discusses telomeres, complexes of DNA and protein that form the chromatin at the ends of chromosomes. Highlights telomeres as controllers of chromosome integrity, expendable telomeres, DNA replication requirements and their consequences, protection of structural genes, telomerase as indicators of immortality, cancer cells and other immortals, and…

  5. A Human Artificial Chromosome Recapitulates the Metabolism of Native Telomeres in Mammalian Cells

    PubMed Central

    Wakai, Michihito; Abe, Satoshi; Kazuki, Yasuhiro; Oshimura, Mitsuo; Ishikawa, Fuyuki

    2014-01-01

    Telomeric and subtelomeric regions of human chromosomes largely consist of highly repetitive and redundant DNA sequences, resulting in a paucity of unique DNA sequences specific to individual telomeres. Accordingly, it is difficult to analyze telomere metabolism on a single-telomere basis. To circumvent this problem, we have exploited a human artificial chromosome (HAC#21) derived from human chromosome 21 (hChr21). HAC#21 was generated through truncation of the long arm of native hChr21 by the targeted telomere seeding technique. The newly established telomere of HAC#21 lacks canonical subtelomere structures but possesses unique sequences derived from the target vector backbone and the internal region of hChr21 used for telomere targeting, which enabled us to molecularly characterize the single HAC telomere. We established HeLa and NIH-3T3 sub-lines containing a single copy of HAC#21, where it was robustly maintained. The seeded telomere is associated with telomeric proteins over a length similar to that reported in native telomeres, and is faithfully replicated in mid-S phase in HeLa cells. We found that the seeded telomere on HAC#21 is transcribed from the newly juxtaposed site. The transcript, HAC-telRNA, shares several features with TERRA (telomeric repeat-containing RNA): it is a short-lived RNA polymerase II transcript, rarely contains a poly(A) tail, and associates with chromatin. Interestingly, HAC-telRNA undergoes splicing. These results suggest that transcription into TERRA is locally influenced by the subtelomeric context. Taken together, we have established human and mouse cell lines that will be useful for analyzing the behavior of a uniquely identifiable, functional telomere. PMID:24558398

  6. Association of Donor and Recipient Telomere Length with Clinical Outcomes following Lung Transplantation

    PubMed Central

    Courtwright, Andrew M.; Fried, Sabrina; Villalba, Julian A.; Moniodis, Anna; Guleria, Indira; Wood, Isabelle; Milford, Edgar; Mallidi, Hari H.; Hunninghake, Gary M.; Raby, Benjamin A.; Agarwal, Suneet; Camp, Philip C.; Rosas, Ivan O.; Goldberg, Hilary J.; El-Chemaly, Souheil

    2016-01-01

    Background Patients with short telomere syndromes and pulmonary fibrosis have increased complications after lung transplant. However, the more general impact of donor and recipient telomere length in lung transplant has not been well characterized. Methods This was an observational cohort study of patients who received lung transplant at a single center between January 1st 2012 and January 31st 2015. Relative donor lymphocyte telomere length was measured and classified into long (third tertile) and short (other tertiles). Relative recipient lung telomere length was measured and classified into short (first tertile) and long (other tertiles). Outcome data included survival, need for modification of immunosuppression, liver or kidney injury, cytomegalovirus reactivation, and acute rejection. Results Recipient lung tissue telomere lengths were measured for 54 of the 79 patients (68.3%) who underwent transplant during the study period. Donor lymphocyte telomeres were measured for 45 (83.3%) of these recipients. Neither long donor telomere length (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.58, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.12–2.85, p = 0.50) nor short recipient telomere length (HR = 1.01, 95% CI = 0.50–2.05, p = 0.96) were associated with adjusted survival following lung transplant. Recipients with short telomeres were less likely to have acute cellular rejection (23.5% vs. 58.8%, p = 0.02) but were not more likely to have other organ dysfunction. Conclusions In this small cohort, neither long donor lymphocyte telomeres nor short recipient lung tissue telomeres were associated with adjusted survival after lung transplantation. Larger studies are needed to confirm these findings. PMID:27589328

  7. Super-resolution optical microscopy study of telomere structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

    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.

  8. Generation of mice with longer and better preserved telomeres in the absence of genetic manipulations

    PubMed Central

    Varela, Elisa; Muñoz-Lorente, Miguel A.; Tejera, Agueda M.; Ortega, Sagrario; Blasco, Maria A.

    2016-01-01

    Although telomere length is genetically determined, mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells with telomeres of twice the normal size have been generated. Here, we use such ES cells with ‘hyper-long' telomeres, which also express green fluorescent protein (GFP), to generate chimaeric mice containing cells with both hyper-long and normal telomeres. We show that chimaeric mice contain GFP-positive cells in all mouse tissues, display normal tissue histology and normal survival. Both hyper-long and normal telomeres shorten with age, but GFP-positive cells retain longer telomeres as mice age. Chimaeric mice with hyper-long telomeres also accumulate fewer cells with short telomeres and less DNA damage with age, and express lower levels of p53. In highly renewing compartments, such as the blood, cells with hyper-long telomeres are longitudinally maintained or enriched with age. We further show that wound-healing rates in the skin are increased in chimaeric mice. Our work demonstrates that mice with functional, longer and better preserved telomeres can be generated without the need for genetic manipulations, such as TERT overexpression. PMID:27252083

  9. Break-induced telomere synthesis underlies alternative telomere maintenance.

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-03

    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.

  10. Donor Telomere Length SAA

    Cancer.gov

    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

  11. Improvement of abnormal vaginal flora in Ugandan women by self-testing and short use of intravaginal antimicrobials.

    PubMed

    Donders, G; Bellen, G; Donders, F; Pinget, J; Vandevelde, I; Michiels, T; Byamughisa, J

    2016-12-08

    The vaginal composition of African women is more often lactobacillus-deficient compared to that of women from other areas around the world. Lactobacillus-deficient microflora is a known risk factor for serious health problems, such as preterm birth, cervix cancer, and entrapment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The aim of this study was to assess the effect of local vaginal antibiotic or antiseptic treatment on abnormal vaginal flora (AVF), aerobic vaginitis (AV), and bacterial vaginosis (BV) among women in rural, semi-urban, and urban areas in Uganda, as compared to placebo. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial, 300 women presenting for outpatient routine, follow-up, or medical care at Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda, were enrolled to receive 6 days of treatment with vaginal rifaximin (RFX), dequalinium chloride (DQC), or placebo if they had an increased vaginal pH of >4.5 as determined by self-testing. At initial visit and at control visit after 4 weeks, a smear was taken for blinded wet mount microscopy to determine AVF, BV, AV, and Candida severity scores. As compared to placebo, both RFX or DQC treatments dramatically diminished BV prevalence and severity from the initial to follow-up visit: the BV score declined from 2.5 to 1.6 (p < 0.0001) and from 2.5 to 1.9 (p < 0.0001), respectively. Similarly, strong improvements in the AV score were seen in both treatment regimens: moderate and severe AV declined from AV scores of 6.3 to 3.6 (p = 0.003) and from 6.6 to 4.1 (p < 0.004), respectively. Also, women with AVF (deceased or absent lactobacilli) showed similar improvements when compared with placebo. Women with normal flora and Candida at the initial visit showed less Candida after 4 weeks in the group treated with DQC (p = 0.014). Even after a short duration of intravaginal treatment with local non-absorbable antiseptics or antibiotics produced significant

  12. Opposing impacts on healthspan and longevity by limiting dietary selenium in Telomere Dysfunctional mice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Selenium (Se) is an essential trace element essential for optimal health. We investigated the role of Se in longevity and healthspan in a mouse model of healthy aging in humans with short telomeres. Telomere shortening is associated with aging, mortality and aging-related diseases. We found that whi...

  13. Anatomical relationship between traditional acupuncture point ST 36 and Omura's ST 36 (True ST 36) with their therapeutic effects: 1) inhibition of cancer cell division by markedly lowering cancer cell telomere while increasing normal cell telomere, 2) improving circulatory disturbances, with reduction of abnormal increase in high triglyceride, L-homocystein, CRP, or cardiac troponin I & T in blood by the stimulation of Omura's ST 36--Part 1.

    PubMed

    Omura, Yoshiaki; Chen, Yemeng; Lu, Dominic P; Shimotsura, Yasuhiro; Ohki, Motomu; Duvvi, Harsha

    2007-01-01

    Using Bi-Digital O-Ring Test Resonance Phenomena between 2 identical substances, Omura, Y. succeeded in making the image of the outline of internal organs without use of standard imaging devices since 1982. When he imaged the outline of the stomach on the abdominal wall, a number of the lines came out from upper and lower parts of stomach wall. When the lines were followed, they were very close to the well-known stomach meridians. Subsequently, he found a method of localizing meridians and their corresponding acupuncture points as well as shapes and diameters accurately. At the anatomical location of ST 36 described in traditional textbooks, Omura, Y. found there is no acupuncture point. However, in the close vicinity, there is an acupuncture point which he named as true ST 36 in the mid 1980s, but it is generally known as Omura's ST 36. When the effects of the acupuncture on these 2 locations were compared, Omura's ST 36 (true ST 36) produced very significant well-known acupuncture beneficial effects including improved circulation and blood chemistry, while in the traditional ST 36, the effects were small. In this article, the anatomical relationship between these two acupuncture points, with a short distance of 0.6 approximately 1.5 cm between the centers of these locations, was described. In early 2000, Omura, Y. found Press Needle Stimulation of Omura's ST 36, using "Press-Release" procedure repeated 200 times, 4 times a day to cancer patients reduced high cancer cell telomere of 600-1500ng and high Oncogen C-fos Ab2 and Integrin alpha5beta1 of 100-700ng BDORT units to close to lyg (= 10(-24) g) BDORT units. In addition there was a significant reduction of Asbestos and Hg from cancer cells, while markedly reduced normal cell telomere of lyg was increased to optimally high amounts of 500-530ng BDORTunits. Thus, cancer cells can no longer divide and cancer activity is inhibited. The authors have successfully applied this method for a variety of cancers as well as

  14. Population mixture model for nonlinear telomere dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

    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.

  15. Change in Leukocyte Telomere Length Predicts Mortality in Patients with Stable Coronary Heart Disease from the Heart and Soul Study

    PubMed Central

    Goglin, Sarah E.; Farzaneh-Far, Ramin; Epel, Elissa S.; Lin, Jue; Blackburn, Elizabeth H.

    2016-01-01

    Background Short telomere length independently predicts mortality in patients with coronary heart disease. Whether 5-year change in telomere length predicts subsequent mortality in patients with coronary heart disease has not been evaluated. Methods In a prospective cohort study of 608 individuals with stable coronary artery disease, we measured leukocyte telomere length at baseline and after five years of follow-up. We divided the sample into tertiles of telomere change: shortened, maintained or lengthened. We used Cox survival models to evaluate 5-year change in telomere length as a predictor of mortality. Results During an average of 4.2 years follow-up, there were 149 deaths. Change in telomere length was inversely predictive of all-cause mortality. Using the continuous variable of telomere length change, each standard deviation (325 base pair) greater increase in telomere length was associated with a 24% reduction in mortality (HR 0.76, 95% CI 0.61–0.94; p = 0.01), adjusted for age, sex, waist to hip ratio, exercise capacity, LV ejection fraction, serum creatinine, and year 5 telomere length. Mortality occurred in 39% (79/203) of patients who experienced telomere shortening, 22% (45/203) of patients whose telomere length was maintained, and 12% (25/202) of patients who experienced telomere lengthening (p<0.001). As compared with patients whose telomere length was maintained, those who experienced telomere lengthening were 56% less likely to die (HR 0.44, 95% CI, 0.23–0.87). Conclusions In patients with coronary heart disease, an increase in leukocyte telomere length over 5 years is associated with decreased mortality. PMID:27783614

  16. Zscan4 regulates telomere elongation and genomic stability in ES cells

    PubMed Central

    Zalzman, Michal; Falco, Geppino; Sharova, Lioudmila V.; Nishiyama, Akira; Thomas, Marshall; Lee, Sung-Lim; Stagg, Carole A.; Hoang, Hien G.; Yang, Hsih-Te; Indig, Fred E.; Wersto, Robert P.; Ko, Minoru S. H.

    2010-01-01

    Exceptional genomic stability is one of the hallmarks of mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells. However, the genes contributing to this stability remain obscure. We previously identified Zscan4 as a specific marker for 2-cell embryo and ES cells. Here we show that Zscan4 is involved in telomere maintenance and long-term-genomic stability in ES cells. Only 5% of ES cells express Zscan4 at a given time, but nearly all ES cells activate Zscan4 at least once within nine passages. The transient Zscan4-positive state is associated with rapid telomere extension by telomere recombination and upregulation of meiosis-specific homologous recombination genes, which encode proteins that are colocalized with ZSCAN4 on telomeres. Furthermore, Zscan4 knockdown shortens telomeres, increases karyotype abnormalities and spontaneous sister chromatid exchange, and slows down cell proliferation until reaching crisis by eight passages. Together, our data reveal a unique mode of genome maintenance in ES cells. PMID:20336070

  17. Lack of correlation between telomere length and telomerase activity and expression in leukemic cells.

    PubMed

    Januszkiewicz, Danuta; Wysoki, Jacek; Lewandowski, Krzysztof; Pernak, Monika; Nowicka, Karina; Rembowska, Jolanta; Nowak, Jerzy

    2003-12-01

    The expression of three components of telomerase complex (hTR, hTERT, TP1) along with telomerase activity and telomere length in leukemic cells was investigated. Cells were isolated from peripheral blood and/or bone marrow of children with acute lymphoblastic (ALL) and non-lymphoblastic (ANLL) leukemia. Expression of three components of telomerase as well as telomerase activity was found in all leukemic cells. Chemiluminescent detection of terminal restriction fragments (TRF) from DNA isolated from ALL cells showed variable patterns expressing considerable heterogeneity of telomere length. The ALL cells appeared to have both long and short telomere lengths, in contrast to normal peripheral lymphocytes, which produced limited pattern of TRF. The ANLL cells produced predominantly short telomere pattern despite high telomerase activity and expression. It can be concluded that high telomerase activity and expression in leukemic cells is not always correlated with long telomeres (TRF pattern).

  18. Abnormal sperm morphology in mouse germ cells after short-term exposures to acetamiprid, propineb, and their mixture.

    PubMed

    Rasgele, Pinar Göç

    2014-03-01

    Pesticides are one of the most potent environmental contaminants, which accumulate in biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems. Acetamiprid (Acm), a neonicotinoid insecticide, and Propineb (Pro), a dithiocarbamate fungicide, are widely used to control sucking insects and fungal infections on crops, respectively. The present study was undertaken to investigate the genotoxic effects of these compounds, individually and in mixtures, in mouse germ cells by using the sperm morphology assay. Mice were injected intraperitoneally with 0.625, 1.25, and 2.50 μg mL⁻¹ of Acm, 12.5, 25, and 50 μg mL⁻¹ of Pro, and their mixture at the same concentrations over 24 and 48 h. Acm did not significantly increase the percentage of abnormal sperm at any concentration. The frequency of abnormal sperm significantly increased after 24 and 48 h of exposure to 50 μg mL⁻¹ of Pro. The mixtures of 2.50 μg mL⁻¹ of Acm and 50 μg mL⁻¹ of Pro induced sperm abnormalities antagonistically both after 24 and 48 h of exposure. Results suggest that Acm was non-genotoxic for mouse germ cells, while Pro may have been a germ cell mutagen due to the observed increase in the frequency of sperm abnormalities. However, to gain better insight into the mutagenicity and DNA damaging potential of both of these pesticides, further studies at molecular level should be done.

  19. [Telomeres and telomerase activity: their role in aging and in neoplastic development].

    PubMed

    Cottliar, A S; Slavutsky, I R

    2001-01-01

    Telomeres are specialized structures at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, composed of tandem repeats of a repetitive DNA sequence (TTAGGG)n and associated proteins. They have a number of important functions including the protection of chromosomes from end-to-end fusion and degradation. When telomeres become critically short, telomere separation in mitosis cannot be performed properly leading to metaphase telomeric associations (tas) and chromosome instability. This instability can be relevant for neoplastic transformation because it increases the probability of errors that can generate genetic changes critical in the multistep process of transformation, like gene amplification and loss of heterozygosity. The mechanisms involved in tas are unknown, but it could be because of failure in the enzymatic activity of telomerase, a ribonucleoprotein enzyme with an RNA template that directs synthesis of telomeric repeats at chromosome extremities, producing telomeric length stabilization. A progressive telomere shortening with ageing has been shown to occur both in vitro and in vivo. Recent studies have shown an association between the presence of tas and telomeric shortening, and also a correlation between telomere reduction and increased telomerase activity in both solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. The evidence that most human malignancies have telomerase activity would indicate that telomerase could be a prevalent and specific tumor marker, and thus may be a novel and excellent target for anti-cancer therapy.

  20. Dynamic peptides of human TPP1 fulfill diverse functions in telomere maintenance

    PubMed Central

    Rajavel, Malligarjunan; Orban, Tivadar; Xu, Mengyuan; Hernandez-Sanchez, Wilnelly; de la Fuente, Maria; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Taylor, Derek J.

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres are specialized nucleoprotein complexes that comprise the ends of linear chromosomes. Human telomeres end in a short, single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) overhang that is recognized and bound by two telomere proteins, POT1 and TPP1. Whereas POT1 binds directly to telomere ssDNA, its interaction with TPP1 is essential for localization of POT1 to the telomere. TPP1 also provides enhanced binding and sequence discrimination that regulates POT1-TPP1 interactions exclusively with telomere ssDNA. Finally, TPP1 recruits telomerase, the enzyme responsible for synthesis of telomere DNA, to the telomere. While the oligosaccharide–oligonucleotide-binding (OB)-fold domain of TPP1 has been solved by X-ray crystallography, the molecular interactions within the POT1-TPP1-ssDNA ternary complex and the conformational changes that contribute to its diverse functions remain ambiguous. We employed hydrogen/deuterium exchange combined with mass spectrometry to identify three peptides, all residing within the OB-fold of TPP1, that exhibit altered exchange rates upon complex formation or ssDNA binding. Mutation of these regions combined with functional assays revealed the diverse contributions of each moiety in protein–protein interactions, regulating telomerase activity or DNA-binding. Together, these functional data combined with biophysical analyses and homology modeling provide a molecular understanding of the diverse contributions of TPP1 in telomere maintenance. PMID:27655633

  1. Telomeres are elongated in older individuals in a hibernating rodent, the edible dormouse (Glis glis)

    PubMed Central

    Hoelzl, Franz; Smith, Steve; Cornils, Jessica S.; Aydinonat, Denise; Bieber, Claudia; Ruf, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Telomere shortening is thought to be an important biomarker for life history traits such as lifespan and aging, and can be indicative of genome integrity, survival probability and the risk of cancer development. In humans and other animals, telomeres almost always shorten with age, with more rapid telomere attrition in short-lived species. Here, we show that in the edible dormouse (Glis glis) telomere length significantly increases from an age of 6 to an age of 9 years. While this finding could be due to higher survival of individuals with longer telomeres, we also found, using longitudinal measurements, a positive effect of age on the rate of telomere elongation within older individuals. To our knowledge, no previous study has reported such an effect of age on telomere lengthening. We attribute this exceptional pattern to the peculiar life-history of this species, which skips reproduction in years with low food availability. Further, we show that this “sit tight” strategy in the timing of reproduction is associated with an increasing likelihood for an individual to reproduce as it ages. As reproduction could facilitate telomere attrition, this life-history strategy may have led to the evolution of increased somatic maintenance and telomere elongation with increasing age. PMID:27883035

  2. Telomeres are elongated in older individuals in a hibernating rodent, the edible dormouse (Glis glis).

    PubMed

    Hoelzl, Franz; Smith, Steve; Cornils, Jessica S; Aydinonat, Denise; Bieber, Claudia; Ruf, Thomas

    2016-11-24

    Telomere shortening is thought to be an important biomarker for life history traits such as lifespan and aging, and can be indicative of genome integrity, survival probability and the risk of cancer development. In humans and other animals, telomeres almost always shorten with age, with more rapid telomere attrition in short-lived species. Here, we show that in the edible dormouse (Glis glis) telomere length significantly increases from an age of 6 to an age of 9 years. While this finding could be due to higher survival of individuals with longer telomeres, we also found, using longitudinal measurements, a positive effect of age on the rate of telomere elongation within older individuals. To our knowledge, no previous study has reported such an effect of age on telomere lengthening. We attribute this exceptional pattern to the peculiar life-history of this species, which skips reproduction in years with low food availability. Further, we show that this "sit tight" strategy in the timing of reproduction is associated with an increasing likelihood for an individual to reproduce as it ages. As reproduction could facilitate telomere attrition, this life-history strategy may have led to the evolution of increased somatic maintenance and telomere elongation with increasing age.

  3. Predictors of telomere content in dragon lizards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-08-01

    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.

  4. Alternative lengthening of telomeres: remodeling the telomere architecture.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    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.

  5. Telomere attrition and diabetes mellitus.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    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.

  6. DNA excision repair at telomeres.

    PubMed

    Jia, Pingping; Her, Chengtao; Chai, Weihang

    2015-12-01

    DNA damage is caused by either endogenous cellular metabolic processes such as hydrolysis, oxidation, alkylation, and DNA base mismatches, or exogenous sources including ultraviolet (UV) light, ionizing radiation, and chemical agents. Damaged DNA that is not properly repaired can lead to genomic instability, driving tumorigenesis. To protect genomic stability, mammalian cells have evolved highly conserved DNA repair mechanisms to remove and repair DNA lesions. Telomeres are composed of long tandem TTAGGG repeats located at the ends of chromosomes. Maintenance of functional telomeres is critical for preventing genome instability. The telomeric sequence possesses unique features that predispose telomeres to a variety of DNA damage induced by environmental genotoxins. This review briefly describes the relevance of excision repair pathways in telomere maintenance, with the focus on base excision repair (BER), nucleotide excision repair (NER), and mismatch repair (MMR). By summarizing current knowledge on excision repair of telomere damage and outlining many unanswered questions, it is our hope to stimulate further interest in a better understanding of excision repair processes at telomeres and in how these processes contribute to telomere maintenance.

  7. Telomere Biology in Metazoa

    PubMed Central

    Gomes, Nuno M.V.; Shay, Jerry W.; Wright, Woodring E.

    2010-01-01

    In this review we present critical overview of some of the available literature on the fundamental biology of telomeres and telomerase in Metazoan. With the exception of Nematodes and Arthropods, the (TTAGGG)n sequence is conserved in most Metazoa. Available data shows that telomerase-based end maintenance is a very ancient mechanism in unicellular and multicellular organisms. In invertebrates, fish, amphibian, and reptiles persistent telomerase activity in somatic tissues might allow the maintenance of the extensive regenerative potentials of these species. Telomerase repression among birds and many mammals suggests that, as humans, they may use replicative aging as a tumor protection mechanism. PMID:20655915

  8. Novel DDR2 mutation identified by whole exome sequencing in a Moroccan patient with spondylo-meta-epiphyseal dysplasia, short limb-abnormal calcification type.

    PubMed

    Mansouri, Maria; Kayserili, Hülya; Elalaoui, Siham Chafai; Nishimura, Gen; Iida, Aritoshi; Lyahyai, Jaber; Miyake, Noriko; Matsumoto, Naomichi; Sefiani, Abdelaziz; Ikegawa, Shiro

    2016-02-01

    Spondylo-meta-epiphyseal dysplasia (SMED), short limb-abnormal calcification type (SMED, SL-AC), is a very rare autosomal recessive disorder with various skeletal changes characterized by premature calcification leading to severe disproportionate short stature. Twenty-two patients have been reported until now, but only five mutations (four missense and one splice-site) in the conserved sequence encoding the tyrosine kinase domain of the DDR2 gene has been identified. We report here a novel DDR2 missense mutation, c.370C > T (p.Arg124Trp) in a Moroccan girl with SMED, SL-AC, identified by whole exome sequencing. Our study has expanded the mutational spectrum of this rare disease and it has shown that exome sequencing is a powerful and cost-effective tool for the diagnosis of clinically heterogeneous disorders such as SMED.

  9. TP53-dependent chromosome instability is associated with transient reductions in telomere length in immortal telomerase-positive cell lines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schwartz, J. L.; Jordan, R.; Liber, H.; Murnane, J. P.; Evans, H. H.

    2001-01-01

    Telomere shortening in telomerase-negative somatic cells leads to the activation of the TP53 protein and the elimination of potentially unstable cells. We examined the effect of TP53 gene expression on both telomere metabolism and chromosome stability in immortal, telomerase-positive cell lines. Telomere length, telomerase activity, and chromosome instability were measured in multiple clones isolated from three related human B-lymphoblast cell lines that vary in TP53 expression; TK6 cells express wild-type TP53, WTK1 cells overexpress a mutant form of TP53, and NH32 cells express no TP53 protein. Clonal variations in both telomere length and chromosome stability were observed, and shorter telomeres were associated with higher levels of chromosome instability. The shortest telomeres were found in WTK1- and NH32-derived cells, and these cells had 5- to 10-fold higher levels of chromosome instability. The primary marker of instability was the presence of dicentric chromosomes. Aneuploidy and other stable chromosome alterations were also found in clones showing high levels of dicentrics. Polyploidy was found only in WTK1-derived cells. Both telomere length and chromosome instability fluctuated in the different cell populations with time in culture, presumably as unstable cells and cells with short telomeres were eliminated from the growing population. Our results suggest that transient reductions in telomere lengths may be common in immortal cell lines and that these alterations in telomere metabolism can have a profound effect on chromosome stability. Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  10. DNA-induced dimerization of the single-stranded DNA binding telomeric protein Pot1 from Schizosaccharomyces pombe

    PubMed Central

    Nandakumar, Jayakrishnan; Cech, Thomas R.

    2012-01-01

    Eukaryotic chromosome ends are protected from illicit DNA joining by protein–DNA complexes called telomeres. In most studied organisms, telomeric DNA is composed of multiple short G-rich repeats that end in a single-stranded tail that is protected by the protein POT1. Mammalian POT1 binds two telomeric repeats as a monomer in a sequence-specific manner, and discriminates against RNA of telomeric sequence. While addressing the RNA discrimination properties of SpPot1, the POT1 homolog in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, we found an unanticipated ssDNA-binding mode in which two SpPot1 molecules bind an oligonucleotide containing two telomeric repeats. DNA binding seems to be achieved via binding of the most N-terminal OB domain of each monomer to each telomeric repeat. The SpPot1 dimer may have evolved to accommodate the heterogeneous spacers that occur between S. pombe telomeric repeats, and it also has implications for telomere architecture. We further show that the S. pombe telomeric protein Tpz1, like its mammalian homolog TPP1, increases the affinity of Pot1 for telomeric single-stranded DNA and enhances the discrimination of Pot1 against RNA. PMID:21911358

  11. Telomere shortening and metabolic compromise underlie dystrophic cardiomyopathy

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Alex Chia Yu; Ong, Sang-Ging; LaGory, Edward L.; Kraft, Peggy E.; Giaccia, Amato J.; Wu, Joseph C.; Blau, Helen M.

    2016-01-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an incurable X-linked genetic disease that is caused by a mutation in the dystrophin gene and affects one in every 3,600 boys. We previously showed that long telomeres protect mice from the lethal cardiac disease seen in humans with the same genetic defect, dystrophin deficiency. By generating the mdx4cv/mTRG2 mouse model with “humanized” telomere lengths, the devastating dilated cardiomyopathy phenotype seen in patients with DMD was recapitulated. Here, we analyze the degenerative sequelae that culminate in heart failure and death in this mouse model. We report progressive telomere shortening in developing mouse cardiomyocytes after postnatal week 1, a time when the cells are no longer dividing. This proliferation-independent telomere shortening is accompanied by an induction of a DNA damage response, evident by p53 activation and increased expression of its target gene p21 in isolated cardiomyocytes. The consequent repression of Pgc1α/β leads to impaired mitochondrial biogenesis, which, in conjunction with the high demands of contraction, leads to increased oxidative stress and decreased mitochondrial membrane potential. As a result, cardiomyocyte respiration and ATP output are severely compromised. Importantly, treatment with a mitochondrial-specific antioxidant before the onset of cardiac dysfunction rescues the metabolic defects. These findings provide evidence for a link between short telomere length and metabolic compromise in the etiology of dilated cardiomyopathy in DMD and identify a window of opportunity for preventive interventions. PMID:27799523

  12. Telomere shortening relaxes X chromosome inactivation and forces global transcriptome alterations.

    PubMed

    Schoeftner, Stefan; Blanco, Raquel; Lopez de Silanes, Isabel; Muñoz, Purificación; Gómez-López, Gonzalo; Flores, Juana M; Blasco, Maria A

    2009-11-17

    Telomeres are heterochromatic structures at chromosome ends essential for chromosomal stability. Telomere shortening and the accumulation of dysfunctional telomeres are associated with organismal aging. Using telomerase-deficient TRF2-overexpressing mice (K5TRF2/Terc(-/-)) as a model for accelerated aging, we show that telomere shortening is paralleled by a gradual deregulation of the mammalian transcriptome leading to cumulative changes in a defined set of genes, including up-regulation of the mTOR and Akt survival pathways and down-regulation of cell cycle and DNA repair pathways. Increased DNA damage from dysfunctional telomeres leads to reduced deposition of H3K27me3 onto the inactive X chromosome (Xi), impaired association of the Xi with telomeric transcript accumulations (Tacs), and reactivation of an X chromosome-linked K5TRF2 transgene that is subjected to X-chromosome inactivation in female mice with sufficiently long telomeres. Exogenously induced DNA damage also disrupts Xi-Tacs, suggesting DNA damage at the origin of these alterations. Collectively, these findings suggest that critically short telomeres activate a persistent DNA damage response that alters gene expression programs in a nonstochastic manner toward cell cycle arrest and activation of survival pathways, as well as impacts the maintenance of epigenetic memory and nuclear organization, thereby contributing to organismal aging.

  13. Extra telomeres, but not internal tracts of telomeric DNA, reduce transcriptional repression at Saccharomyces telomeres

    SciTech Connect

    Wiley, E.A.; Zakian, V.A.

    1995-01-01

    Yeast telomeric DNA is assembled into a nonnucleosomal chromatin structure known as the telosome, which is thought to influence the transcriptional repression of genes placed in its vicinity, a phenomenon called telomere position effect (TPE). The product of the RAP1 gene, Rap1p, is a component of the telosome. We show that the fraction of cells exhibiting TPE can be substantially reduced by expressing large amounts of a deletion derivative of Rap1p that is unable to bind DNA, called Rap1{Delta}BBp, or by introducing extra telomeres on a linear plasmid, presumably because both compete in trans with telomeric chromatin for factor(s) important for TPE. This reduction in TPE, observed in three different strains, was demonstrated for two different genes, each assayed at a different telomere. In contrast, the addition of internal tracts of telomeric DNA on a circular plasmid had very little effect on TPE. The product of the SIR3 gene, Sir3p, appears to be limiting for TPE. Overexpression of Sir3p completely suppressed the reduction in TPE observed with expression of Rap1{Delta}BBp, but did not restore high levels of TPE to cells with extra telomeres. These results suggest that extra telomeres must titrate a factor other than Sir3p that is important for TPE. These results also provide evidence for a terminus-specific binding factor that is a factor with a higher affinity for DNA termini than for nonterminal tracts of telomeric DNA and indicate that this factor is important for TPE. 51 refs., 8 figs., 1 tab.

  14. Extra Telomeres, but Not Internal Tracts of Telomeric Dna, Reduce Transcriptional Repression at Saccharomyces Telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Wiley, E. A.; Zakian, V. A.

    1995-01-01

    Yeast telomeric DNA is assembled into a nonnucleosomal chromatin structure known as the telosome, which is thought to influence the transcriptional repression of genes placed in its vicinity, a phenomenon called telomere position effect (TPE). The product of the RAP1 gene, Rap1p, is a component of the telosome. We show that the fraction of cells exhibiting TPE can be substantially reduced by expressing large amounts of a deletion derivative of Rap1p that is unable to bind DNA, called Rap1δBBp, or by introducing extra telomeres on a linear plasmid, presumably because both compete in trans with telomeric chromatin for factor(s) important for TPE. This reduction in TPE, observed in three different strains, was demonstrated for two different genes, each assayed at a different telomere. In contrast, the addition of internal tracts of telomeric DNA on a circular plasmid had very little effect on TPE. The product of the SIR3 gene, Sir3p, appears to be limiting for TPE. Overexpression of Sir3p completely suppressed the reduction in TPE observed with expression of Rap1δBBp, but did not restore high levels of TPE to cells with extra telomeres. These results suggest that extra telomeres must titrate a factor other than Sir3p that is important for TPE. These results also provide evidence for a terminus-specific binding factor that is a factor with a higher affinity for DNA termini than for nonterminal tracts of telomeric DNA and indicate that this factor is important for TPE. PMID:7705652

  15. Pot1 and Telomere Maintenance

    PubMed Central

    Baumann, Peter; Price, Carolyn

    2010-01-01

    Proteins that specifically bind the single stranded overhang at the ends of telomeres have been identified in a wide range of eukaryotes and play pivotal roles in chromosome end protection and telomere length regulation. Here we summarize recent findings regarding the functions of POT1 proteins in vertebrates and discuss the functional evolution of POT1 proteins following gene duplication in protozoa, plants, nematodes and mice. PMID:20493859

  16. Tired telomeres: Poor global sleep quality, perceived stress, and telomere length in immune cell subsets in obese men and women.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-07-01

    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

  17. Heat shock regulatory elements are present in telomeric repeats of Chironomus thummi.

    PubMed

    Martinez, J L; Sanchez-Elsner, T; Morcillo, G; Diez, J L

    2001-11-15

    As in other Diptera, the telomeres of Chironomus thummi lack canonical short telomerase-specified repeats and instead contain complex sequences. They react to heat shock and other stress treatments by forming giant puffs at some chromosome termini, which are visible in polytene cells. All telomeres, except the telocentric end of chromosome four (4L), consist of large blocks of repeats, 176 bp in length. Three subfamilies of telomeric sequences have been found to show different distribution patterns between chromosome ends. TsA and TsC are characteristic of telomeres 3R and 4R, respectively, whereas TsB is present in the other non-telocentric telomeres. Heat shock transcription regulatory elements have been identified in the telomeric sequences, appearing differentially represented in the three subfamilies, but otherwise rather similar in size and sequence. Interestingly, TsA and TsB repeats share the well-conserved heat shock element (HSE) and GAGA motif, while the TATA box is only present in the former. Neither a HSE nor a TATA box appear in TsC repeats. Moreover, experimental data indicate that the HSE is functionally active in binding heat shock transcription factor (HSF). These results provide, for the first time, a molecular basis for the effect of heat shock on C.thummi telomeres and might also explain the different behaviour they show. A positive correlation between the presence of HSE and telomeric puffing and transcription under heat shock was demonstrated. This was also confirmed in the sibling species Chironomus piger. The significance of heat shock activation of telomeric repeats in relation to telomeric function is unknown at present, but it might be compared to the behaviour of other non-heat shock protein coding sequences, such as SINE-like and LINE-like retroelements, which have been reported to be activated by stress.

  18. SAMS, a syndrome of short stature, auditory-canal atresia, mandibular hypoplasia, and skeletal abnormalities is a unique neurocristopathy caused by mutations in Goosecoid.

    PubMed

    Parry, David A; Logan, Clare V; Stegmann, Alexander P A; Abdelhamed, Zakia A; Calder, Alistair; Khan, Shabana; Bonthron, David T; Clowes, Virginia; Sheridan, Eamonn; Ghali, Neeti; Chudley, Albert E; Dobbie, Angus; Stumpel, Constance T R M; Johnson, Colin A

    2013-12-05

    Short stature, auditory canal atresia, mandibular hypoplasia, and skeletal abnormalities (SAMS) has been reported previously to be a rare, autosomal-recessive developmental disorder with other, unique rhizomelic skeletal anomalies. These include bilateral humeral hypoplasia, humeroscapular synostosis, pelvic abnormalities, and proximal defects of the femora. To identify the genetic basis of SAMS, we used molecular karyotyping and whole-exome sequencing (WES) to study small, unrelated families. Filtering of variants from the WES data included segregation analysis followed by comparison of in-house exomes. We identified a homozygous 306 kb microdeletion and homozygous predicted null mutations of GSC, encoding Goosecoid homeobox protein, a paired-like homeodomain transcription factor. This confirms that SAMS is a human malformation syndrome resulting from GSC mutations. Previously, Goosecoid has been shown to be a determinant at the Xenopus gastrula organizer region and a segment-polarity determinant in Drosophila. In the present report, we present data on Goosecoid protein localization in staged mouse embryos. These data and the SAMS clinical phenotype both suggest that Goosecoid is a downstream effector of the regulatory networks that define neural-crest cell-fate specification and subsequent mesoderm cell lineages in mammals, particularly during shoulder and hip formation. Our findings confirm that Goosecoid has an essential role in human craniofacial and joint development and suggest that Goosecoid is an essential regulator of mesodermal patterning in mammals and that it has specific functions in neural crest cell derivatives.

  19. Congenital Abnormalities

    MedlinePlus

    ... Listen Español Text Size Email Print Share Congenital Abnormalities Page Content Article Body About 3% to 4% ... of congenital abnormalities earlier. 5 Categories of Congenital Abnormalities Chromosome Abnormalities Chromosomes are structures that carry genetic ...

  20. Mammalian telomeres and their partnership with lamins

    PubMed Central

    Burla, Romina; La Torre, Mattia; Saggio, Isabella

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Chromosome ends are complex structures, which require a panel of factors for their elongation, replication, and protection. We describe here the mechanics of mammalian telomeres, dynamics and maintainance in relation to lamins. Multiple biochemical connections, including association of telomeres to the nuclear envelope and matrix, of telomeric proteins to lamins, and of lamin-associated proteins to chromosome ends, underline the interplay between lamins and telomeres. Paths toward senescence, such as defective telomere replication, altered heterochromatin organization, and impaired DNA repair, are common to lamins' and telomeres' dysfunction. The convergence of phenotypes can be interpreted through a model of dynamic, lamin-controlled functional platforms dedicated to the function of telomeres as fragile sites. The features of telomeropathies and laminopathies, and of animal models underline further overlapping aspects, including the alteration of stem cell compartments. We expect that future studies of basic biology and on aging will benefit from the analysis of this telomere-lamina interplay. PMID:27116558

  1. Telomere length affects the frequency and mechanism of antigenic variation in Trypanosoma brucei.

    PubMed

    Hovel-Miner, Galadriel A; Boothroyd, Catharine E; Mugnier, Monica; Dreesen, Oliver; Cross, George A M; Papavasiliou, F Nina

    2012-01-01

    Trypanosoma brucei is a master of antigenic variation and immune response evasion. Utilizing a genomic repertoire of more than 1000 Variant Surface Glycoprotein-encoding genes (VSGs), T. brucei can change its protein coat by "switching" from the expression of one VSG to another. Each active VSG is monoallelically expressed from only one of approximately 15 subtelomeric sites. Switching VSG expression occurs by three predominant mechanisms, arguably the most significant of which is the non-reciprocal exchange of VSG containing DNA by duplicative gene conversion (GC). How T. brucei orchestrates its complex switching mechanisms remains to be elucidated. Recent work has demonstrated that an exogenous DNA break in the active site could initiate a GC based switch, yet the source of the switch-initiating DNA lesion under natural conditions is still unknown. Here we investigated the hypothesis that telomere length directly affects VSG switching. We demonstrate that telomerase deficient strains with short telomeres switch more frequently than genetically identical strains with long telomeres and that, when the telomere is short, switching preferentially occurs by GC. Our data supports the hypothesis that a short telomere at the active VSG expression site results in an increase in subtelomeric DNA breaks, which can initiate GC based switching. In addition to their significance for T. brucei and telomere biology, the findings presented here have implications for the many diverse pathogens that organize their antigenic genes in subtelomeric regions.

  2. Persistent telomere cohesion triggers a prolonged anaphase.

    PubMed

    Kim, Mi Kyung; Smith, Susan

    2014-01-01

    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.

  3. Inhibition of telomere recombination by inactivation of KEOPS subunit Cgi121 promotes cell longevity.

    PubMed

    Peng, Jing; He, Ming-Hong; Duan, Yi-Ming; Liu, Yu-Ting; Zhou, Jin-Qiu

    2015-03-01

    DNA double strand break (DSB) is one of the major damages that cause genome instability and cellular aging. The homologous recombination (HR)-mediated repair of DSBs plays an essential role in assurance of genome stability and cell longevity. Telomeres resemble DSBs and are competent for HR. Here we show that in budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae telomere recombination elicits genome instability and accelerates cellular aging. Inactivation of KEOPS subunit Cgi121 specifically inhibits telomere recombination, and significantly extends cell longevity in both telomerase-positive and pre-senescing telomerase-negative cells. Deletion of CGI121 in the short-lived yku80(tel) mutant restores lifespan to cgi121Δ level, supporting the function of Cgi121 in telomeric single-stranded DNA generation and thus in promotion of telomere recombination. Strikingly, inhibition of telomere recombination is able to further slow down the aging process in long-lived fob1Δ cells, in which rDNA recombination is restrained. Our study indicates that HR activity at telomeres interferes with telomerase to pose a negative impact on cellular longevity.

  4. Telomere Dysfunction Triggers Palindrome Formation Independently of Double-Strand Break Repair Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Raykov, Vasil; Marvin, Marcus E.; Louis, Edward J.; Maringele, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Inverted chromosome duplications or palindromes are linked with genetic disorders and malignant transformation. They are considered by-products of DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair: the homologous recombination (HR) and the nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ). Palindromes near chromosome ends are often triggered by telomere losses. An important question is to what extent their formation depends upon DSB repair mechanisms. Here we addressed this question using yeast genetics and comparative genomic hybridization. We induced palindrome formation by passaging cells lacking any form of telomere maintenance (telomerase and telomere recombination). Surprisingly, we found that DNA ligase 4, essential for NHEJ, did not make a significant contribution to palindrome formation induced by telomere losses. Moreover RAD51, important for certain HR-derived mechanisms, had little effect. Furthermore RAD52, which is essential for HR in yeast, appeared to decrease the number of palindromes in cells proliferating without telomeres. This study also uncovered an important role for Rev3 and Rev7 (but not for Pol32) subunits of polymerase ζ in the survival of cells undergoing telomere losses and forming palindromes. We propose a model called short-inverted repeat-induced synthesis in which DNA synthesis, rather than DSB repair, drives the inverted duplication triggered by telomere dysfunction. PMID:27334270

  5. Lifespan adversity and later adulthood telomere length in the nationally representative US Health and Retirement Study

    PubMed Central

    Gemmill, Alison; Weir, David; Adler, Nancy E.; Prather, Aric A.

    2016-01-01

    Stress over the lifespan is thought to promote accelerated aging and early disease. Telomere length is a marker of cell aging that appears to be one mediator of this relationship. Telomere length is associated with early adversity and with chronic stressors in adulthood in many studies. Although cumulative lifespan adversity should have bigger impacts than single events, it is also possible that adversity in childhood has larger effects on later life health than adult stressors, as suggested by models of biological embedding in early life. No studies have examined the individual vs. cumulative effects of childhood and adulthood adversities on adult telomere length. Here, we examined the relationship between cumulative childhood and adulthood adversity, adding up a range of severe financial, traumatic, and social exposures, as well as comparing them to each other, in relation to salivary telomere length. We examined 4,598 men and women from the US Health and Retirement Study. Single adversities tended to have nonsignificant relations with telomere length. In adjusted models, lifetime cumulative adversity predicted 6% greater odds of shorter telomere length. This result was mainly due to childhood adversity. In adjusted models for cumulative childhood adversity, the occurrence of each additional childhood event predicted 11% increased odds of having short telomeres. This result appeared mainly because of social/traumatic exposures rather than financial exposures. This study suggests that the shadow of childhood adversity may reach far into later adulthood in part through cellular aging. PMID:27698131

  6. The telomeric part of the human chromosome 21 from Cstb to Prmt2 is not necessary for the locomotor and short-term memory deficits observed in the Tc1 mouse model of Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Duchon, Arnaud; Pothion, Stéphanie; Brault, Véronique; Sharp, Andrew J; Tybulewicz, Victor L J; Fisher, Elizabeth M C; Herault, Yann

    2011-03-01

    Trisomy 21 or Down syndrome (DS) is the most common form of human aneuploid disorder. Increase in the copy number of human chromosome 21 genes leads to several alterations including mental retardation, heart and skeletal dysmorphologies with additional physiological defects. To better understand the genotype and phenotype relationships, several mouse models have been developed, including the transchromosomic Tc1 mouse, which carries an almost complete human chromosome 21, that displays several locomotor and cognitive alterations related to DS. In this report we explore the contribution of the genetic dosage of 47 mouse genes located in the most telomeric part of Hsa21, using a novel model, named Ms4Yah, carrying a deletion of the 2.2Mb Ctsb-Prmt2 genetic interval. We combine this deletion with the Tc1 Hsa21 in a rescue experiment. We could recapitulate most of the Tc1 phenotypes but we found no phenotypes induced by the Ms4Yah and no contribution to the Tc1-induced phenotypes even if we described new alteration in social preference but not in olfaction. Thus we conclude that the genes conserved between mouse and human, found in the most telomeric part of Hsa21, and trisomic in Tc1, are not contributing to the major Tc1 phenotypes, suggesting that the Cstb-Prmt2 region is not playing a major role in locomotor and cognitive deficits found in DS.

  7. Need telomere maintenance? Call 911.

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-17

    "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.

  8. Analysis of the epigenetic status of telomeres by using ChIP-seq data

    PubMed Central

    Vaquero-Sedas, María I.; Luo, Chongyuan; Vega-Palas, Miguel A.

    2012-01-01

    The chromatin structure of eukaryotic telomeres plays an essential role in telomere functions. However, their study might be impaired by the presence of interstitial telomeric sequences (ITSs), which have a widespread distribution in different model systems. We have developed a simple approach to study the chromatin structure of Arabidopsis telomeres independently of ITSs by analyzing ChIP-seq data. This approach could be used to study the chromatin structure of telomeres in some other eukaryotes. The analysis of ChIP-seq experiments revealed that Arabidopsis telomeres have higher density of histone H3 than centromeres, which might reflects their short nucleosomal organization. These experiments also revealed that Arabidopsis telomeres have lower levels of heterochromatic marks than centromeres (H3K9Me2 and H3K27Me), higher levels of some euchromatic marks (H3K4Me2 and H3K9Ac) and similar or lower levels of other euchromatic marks (H3K4Me3, H3K36Me2, H3K36Me3 and H3K18Ac). Interestingly, the ChIP-seq experiments also revealed that Arabidopsis telomeres exhibit high levels of H3K27Me3, a repressive mark that associates with many euchromatic genes. The epigenetic profile of Arabidopsis telomeres is closely related to the previously defined chromatin state 2. This chromatin state is found in 23% of Arabidopsis genes, many of which are repressed or lowly expressed. At least, in part, this scenario is similar in rice. PMID:22855559

  9. Long telomeres are associated with clonality in wild populations of the fissiparous starfish Coscinasterias tenuispina

    PubMed Central

    Garcia-Cisneros, A; Pérez-Portela, R; Almroth, B C; Degerman, S; Palacín, C; Sköld, H Nilsson

    2015-01-01

    Telomeres usually shorten during an organism's lifespan and have thus been used as an aging and health marker. When telomeres become sufficiently short, senescence is induced. The most common method of restoring telomere length is via telomerase reverse transcriptase activity, highly expressed during embryogenesis. However, although asexual reproduction from adult tissues has an important role in the life cycles of certain species, its effect on the aging and fitness of wild populations, as well as its implications for the long-term survival of populations with limited genetic variation, is largely unknown. Here we compare relative telomere length of 58 individuals from four populations of the asexually reproducing starfish Coscinasterias tenuispina. Additionally, 12 individuals were used to compare telomere lengths in regenerating and non-regenerating arms, in two different tissues (tube feet and pyloric cecum). The level of clonality was assessed by genotyping the populations based on 12 specific microsatellite loci and relative telomere length was measured via quantitative PCR. The results revealed significantly longer telomeres in Mediterranean populations than Atlantic ones as demonstrated by the Kruskal–Wallis test (K=24.17, significant value: P-value<0.001), with the former also characterized by higher levels of clonality derived from asexual reproduction. Telomeres were furthermore significantly longer in regenerating arms than in non-regenerating arms within individuals (pyloric cecum tissue: Mann–Whitney test, V=299, P-value<10−6; and tube feet tissue Student's t=2.28, P-value=0.029). Our study suggests that one of the mechanisms responsible for the long-term somatic maintenance and persistence of clonal populations is telomere elongation. PMID:25990879

  10. Danazol Treatment for Telomere Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Townsley, Danielle M.; Dumitriu, Bogdan; Liu, Delong; Biancotto, Angélique; Weinstein, Barbara; Chen, Christina; Hardy, Nathan; Mihalek, Andrew D.; Lingala, Shilpa; Kim, Yun Ju; Yao, Jianhua; Jones, Elizabeth; Gochuico, Bernadette R.; Heller, Theo; Wu, Colin O.; Calado, Rodrigo T.; Scheinberg, Phillip; Young, Neal S.

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND Genetic defects in telomere maintenance and repair cause bone marrow failure, liver cirrhosis, and pulmonary fibrosis, and they increase susceptibility to cancer. Historically, androgens have been useful as treatment for marrow failure syndromes. In tissue culture and animal models, sex hormones regulate expression of the telomerase gene. METHODS In a phase 1–2 prospective study involving patients with telomere diseases, we administered the synthetic sex hormone danazol orally at a dose of 800 mg per day for a total of 24 months. The goal of treatment was the attenuation of accelerated telomere attrition, and the primary efficacy end point was a 20% reduction in the annual rate of telomere attrition measured at 24 months. The occurrence of toxic effects of treatment was the primary safety end point. Hematologic response to treatment at various time points was the secondary efficacy end point. RESULTS After 27 patients were enrolled, the study was halted early, because telomere attrition was reduced in all 12 patients who could be evaluated for the primary end point; in the intention-to-treat analysis, 12 of 27 patients (44%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 26 to 64) met the primary efficacy end point. Unexpectedly, almost all the patients (11 of 12, 92%) had a gain in telomere length at 24 months as compared with baseline (mean increase, 386 bp [95% CI, 178 to 593]); in exploratory analyses, similar increases were observed at 6 months (16 of 21 patients; mean increase, 175 bp [95% CI, 79 to 271]) and 12 months (16 of 18 patients; mean increase, 360 bp [95% CI, 209 to 512]). Hematologic responses occurred in 19 of 24 patients (79%) who could be evaluated at 3 months and in 10 of 12 patients (83%) who could be evaluated at 24 months. Known adverse effects of danazol — elevated liver-enzyme levels and muscle cramps — of grade 2 or less occurred in 41% and 33% of the patients, respectively. CONCLUSIONS In our study, treatment with danazol led to telomere

  11. The JIL-1 Kinase Affects Telomere Expression in the Different Telomere Domains of Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Silva-Sousa, Rute; Casacuberta, Elena

    2013-01-01

    In Drosophila, the non-LTR retrotransposons HeT-A, TART and TAHRE build a head-to-tail array of repetitions that constitute the telomere domain by targeted transposition at the end of the chromosome whenever needed. As a consequence, Drosophila telomeres have the peculiarity to harbor the genes in charge of telomere elongation. Understanding telomere expression is important in Drosophila since telomere homeostasis depends in part on the expression of this genomic compartment. We have recently shown that the essential kinase JIL-1 is the first positive regulator of the telomere retrotransposons. JIL-1 mediates chromatin changes at the promoter of the HeT-A retrotransposon that are necessary to obtain wild type levels of expression of these telomere transposons. With the present study, we show how JIL-1 is also needed for the expression of a reporter gene embedded in the telomere domain. Our analysis, using different reporter lines from the telomere and subtelomere domains of different chromosomes, indicates that JIL-1 likely acts protecting the telomere domain from the spreading of repressive chromatin from the adjacent subtelomere domain. Moreover, the analysis of the 4R telomere suggests a slightly different chromatin structure at this telomere. In summary, our results strongly suggest that the action of JIL-1 depends on which telomere domain, which chromosome and which promoter is embedded in the telomere chromatin. PMID:24244743

  12. Maintenance of very long telomeres by recombination in the Kluyveromyces lactis stn1-M1 mutant involves extreme telomeric turnover, telomeric circles, and concerted telomeric amplification.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jianing; McEachern, Michael J

    2012-08-01

    Some cancers utilize the recombination-dependent process of alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) to maintain long heterogeneous telomeres. Here, we studied the recombinational telomere elongation (RTE) of the Kluyveromyces lactis stn1-M1 mutant. We found that the total amount of the abundant telomeric DNA in stn1-M1 cells is subject to rapid variation and that it is likely to be primarily extrachromosomal. Rad50 and Rad51, known to be required for different RTE pathways in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, were not essential for the production of either long telomeres or telomeric circles in stn1-M1 cells. Circles of DNA containing telomeric repeats (t-circles) either present at the point of establishment of long telomeres or introduced later into stn1-M1 cells each led to the formation of long tandem arrays of the t-circle's sequence, which were incorporated at multiple telomeres. These tandem arrays were extraordinarily unstable and showed evidence of repeated rounds of concerted amplification. Our results suggest that the maintenance of telomeres in the stn1-M1 mutant involves extreme turnover of telomeric sequences from processes including both large deletions and the copying of t-circles.

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

    PubMed

    Weischer, Maren; Bojesen, Stig E; Nordestgaard, Børge G

    2014-03-01

    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.

  14. The controversial telomeres of lily plants.

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

    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.

  15. Dynamics and stability of polymorphic human telomeric G-quadruplex under tension

    PubMed Central

    You, Huijuan; Zeng, Xiangjun; Xu, Yue; Lim, Ci Ji; Efremov, Artem K.; Phan, Anh Tuân; Yan, Jie

    2014-01-01

    As critical DNA structures capping the human chromosome ends, the stability and structural polymorphism of human telomeric G-quadruplex (G4) have drawn increasing attention in recent years. This work characterizes the equilibrium transitions of single-molecule telomeric G4 at physiological K+ concentration. We report three folded states of telomeric G4 with markedly different lifetime and mechanical stability. Our results show that the kinetically favored folding pathway is through a short-lived intermediate state to a longer-lived state. By examining the force dependence of transition rates, the force-dependent transition free energy landscape for this pathway is determined. In addition, an ultra-long-lived form of telomeric G4 structure with a much stronger mechanical stability is identified. PMID:25013179

  16. Transitions between the Arabidopsis-type and the human-type telomere sequence in green algae (clade Caudivolvoxa, Chlamydomonadales).

    PubMed

    Fulnečková, Jana; Ševčíková, Tereza; Lukešová, Alena; Sýkorová, Eva

    2016-06-01

    Telomeres are nucleoprotein structures that distinguish native chromosomal ends from double-stranded breaks. They are maintained by telomerase that adds short G-rich telomeric repeats at chromosomal ends in most eukaryotes and determines the TnAmGo sequence of canonical telomeres. We employed an experimental approach that was based on detection of repeats added by telomerase to identify the telomere sequence type forming the very ends of chromosomes. Our previous studies that focused on the algal order Chlamydomonadales revealed several changes in telomere motifs that were consistent with the phylogeny and supported the concept of the Arabidopsis-type sequence being the ancestral telomeric motif for green algae. In addition to previously described independent transitions to the Chlamydomonas-type sequence, we report that the ancestral telomeric motif was replaced by the human-type sequence in the majority of algal species grouped within a higher order clade, Caudivolvoxa. The Arabidopsis-type sequence was apparently retained in the Polytominia clade. Regarding the telomere sequence, the Chlorogonia clade within Caudivolvoxa bifurcates into two groups, one with the human-type sequence and the other group with the Arabidopsis-type sequence that is solely formed by the Chlorogonium species. This suggests that reversion to the Arabidopsis-type telomeric motif occurred in the common ancestral Chlorogonium species. The human-type sequence is also synthesized by telomerases of algal strains from Arenicolinia, Dunaliellinia and Stephanosphaerinia, except a distinct subclade within Stephanosphaerinia, where telomerase activity was not detected and a change to an unidentified telomeric motif might arise. We discuss plausible reasons why changes in telomeric motifs were tolerated during evolution of green algae.

  17. Telomere length shortening in gastric mucosa is a field effect associated with increased risk of gastric cancer.

    PubMed

    Tahara, Tomomitsu; Shibata, Tomoyuki; Kawamura, Tomohiko; Horiguchi, Noriyuki; Okubo, Masaaki; Nakano, Naoko; Ishizuka, Takamitsu; Nagasaka, Mitsuo; Nakagawa, Yoshihito; Ohmiya, Naoki

    2016-07-01

    Telomere shortening occurs in many organs and tissues and is accelerated by oxidative injury and rapid cell turnover. Short telomeres initiate chromosomal instability and may eventually contribute to tumorigenesis. To evaluate telomere length as potential biomarker for gastric cancer (GC) risk, we measured average telomere length using quantitative real-time PCR in GC tissues and in non-neoplastic mucosa from patients with GC and without GC. We obtained of 217 GC patients matched biopsies from the GC and adjacent tissues as well as gastric biopsies of 102 subjects without GC. Relative telomere length was measured in genomic DNA by real-time PCR. Relative telomere length decreased gradually in Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) negative and positive gastric mucosa of GC free subjects compared with adjacent mucosa and cancer tissue from GC patients (4.03 ± 0.3 vs. 2.82 ± 0.19 vs. 0.82 ± 0.07 vs. 0.29 ± 0.09, P < 0.0001). In non-neoplastic mucosa of GC patients, shorter telomeres were found significantly more often than in that of GC free subjects (age, sex, and H. pylori adjusted odds ratio = 7.81, 95 % confidence interval = 4.71-12.9, P < 0.0001). Telomere shortening in non-neoplastic mucosa was associated with chronic inflammation (P = 0.0018) and intestinal metaplasia (P < 0.0001). No significant associations were found between relative telomere length and clinicopathological features of GC and overall survival. Telomere shortening in gastric mucosa reflects a field effect in an early stage of carcinogenesis and is associated with an increased risk of GC. Telomere length in GC is not associated with clinicopathological features or prognosis.

  18. Super-telomeres in transformed human fibroblasts.

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

    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.

  19. Long leukocyte telomere length in prostate cancer patients at diagnosis is associated with poor metastasis-free and cancer-specific survival.

    PubMed

    Svenson, Ulrika; Roos, Göran; Wikström, Pernilla

    2017-02-01

    Previous studies have suggested that leukocyte telomere length is associated with risk of developing prostate cancer. Investigations of leukocyte telomere length as a prognostic factor in prostate cancer are, however, lacking. In this study, leukocyte telomere length was investigated both as a risk marker, comparing control subjects and patient risk groups (based on serum levels of prostate-specific antigen, tumor differentiation, and tumor stage), and as a prognostic marker for metastasis-free and cancer-specific survival. Relative telomere length was measured by a well-established quantitative polymerase chain reaction method in 415 consecutively sampled individuals. Statistical evaluation included 162 control subjects without cancer development during follow-up and 110 untreated patients with newly diagnosed localized prostate cancer at the time of blood draw. Leukocyte telomere length did not differ significantly between control subjects and patients, or between patient risk groups. Interestingly, however, and in line with our previous results in breast and kidney cancer patients, relative telomere length at diagnosis was an independent prognostic factor. Patients with long leukocyte telomeres (⩾median) had a significantly worse prostate cancer-specific and metastasis-free survival compared to patients with short telomere length. In contrast, for patients who died of other causes than prostate cancer, long relative telomere length was not coupled to shorter survival time. To our knowledge, these results are novel and give further strength to our hypothesis that leukocyte telomere length might be used as a prognostic marker in malignancy.

  20. Telomerase inhibitor imetelstat has preclinical activity across the spectrum of non-small cell lung cancer oncogenotypes in a telomere length dependent manner

    PubMed Central

    Frink, Robin E.; Peyton, Michael; Schiller, Joan H.; Gazdar, Adi F.; Shay, Jerry W.; Minna, John D.

    2016-01-01

    Telomerase was evaluated as a therapeutic oncotarget by studying the efficacy of the telomerase inhibitor imetelstat in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines to determine the range of response phenotypes and identify potential biomarkers of response. A panel of 63 NSCLC cell lines was studied for telomere length and imetelstat efficacy in inhibiting colony formation and no correlation was found with patient characteristics, tumor histology, and oncogenotypes. While there was no overall correlation between imetelstat efficacy with initial telomere length (ranging from 1.5 to 20 kb), the quartile of NSCLC lines with the shortest telomeres was more sensitive than the quartile with the longest telomeres. Continuous long-term treatment with imetelstat resulted in sustained telomerase inhibition, progressive telomere shortening and eventual growth inhibition in a telomere-length dependent manner. Cessation of imetelstat therapy before growth inhibition was followed by telomere regrowth. Likewise, in vivo imetelstat treatment caused tumor xenograft growth inhibition in a telomere-length dependent manner. We conclude from these preclinical studies of telomerase as an oncotarget tested by imetelstat response that imetelstat has efficacy across the entire oncogenotype spectrum of NSCLC, continuous therapy is necessary to prevent telomere regrowth, and short telomeres appears to be the best treatment biomarker. PMID:27192120

  1. Inositol pyrophosphates modulate cell cycle independently of alteration in telomere length.

    PubMed

    Banfic, Hrvoje; Crljen, Vladiana; Lukinovic-Skudar, Vesna; Dembitz, Vilma; Lalic, Hrvoje; Bedalov, Antonio; Visnjic, Dora

    2016-01-01

    Synthesis of inositol pyrophosphates through activation of Kcs1 plays an important role in the signalling response required for cell cycle progression after mating pheromone arrest. Overexpression of Kcs1 doubled the level of inositol pyrophosphates when compared to wild type cells and 30 min following the release from α-factor block further increase in inositol pyrophosphates was observed, which resulted that cells overexpressing Kcs1 reached G2/M phase earlier than wild type cells. Similar effect was observed in ipk1Δ cells, which are unable to synthesize IP6-derived inositol pyrophosphates (IP7 and IP8) but will synthesize IP5-derived inositol pyrophosphates (PP-IP4 and (PP)2-IP3). Although ipk1Δ cells have shorter telomeres than wild type cells, overexpression of Kcs1 in both strains have similar effect on cell cycle progression. As it is known that PP-IP4 regulates telomere length through Tel1, inositol polyphosphates, cell cycle and telomere length were determined in tel1Δ cells. The release of the cells from α-factor block and overexpression of Kcs1 in tel1Δ cells produced similar effects on inositol pyrophosphates level and cell cycle progression when compared to wild type cells, although tel1Δ cells possesses shorter telomeres than wild type cells. It can be concluded that telomere length does not affect cell cycle progression, since cells with short telomeres (ipk1Δ and tel1Δ) progress through cell cycle in a similar manner as wild type cells and that overexpression of Kcs1 in cells with either short or normal telomeres will increase S phase progression without affecting telomere length. Furthermore, IP5-derived inositol pyrophosphates can compensate for the loss of IP6-derived inositol pyrophosphates, in modulating S phase progression of the cell cycle.

  2. Telomeres thrown for a loop.

    PubMed

    Haber, James E

    2004-11-19

    A remarkable paper from the de Lange lab (Wang et al., 2004) in a recent issue of Cell reveals that homologous recombination can result in the abrupt shortening of telomeres in a process that appears to involve reciprocal crossing over within the t-loop structure that protects chromosome ends.

  3. Distinct Responses of Stem Cells to Telomere Uncapping-A Potential Strategy to Improve the Safety of Cell Therapy.

    PubMed

    Liu, Chang Ching; Ma, Dong Liang; Yan, Ting-Dong; Fan, XiuBo; Poon, Zhiyong; Poon, Lai-Fong; Goh, Su-Ann; Rozen, Steve G; Hwang, William Ying Khee; Tergaonkar, Vinay; Tan, Patrick; Ghosh, Sujoy; Virshup, David M; Goh, Eyleen L K; Li, Shang

    2016-10-01

    In most human somatic cells, the lack of telomerase activity results in progressive telomere shortening during each cell division. Eventually, DNA damage responses triggered by critically short telomeres induce an irreversible cell cycle arrest termed replicative senescence. However, the cellular responses of human pluripotent stem cells to telomere uncapping remain unknown. We generated telomerase knockout human embryonic stem (ES) cells through gene targeting. Telomerase inactivation in ES cells results in progressive telomere shortening. Telomere DNA damage in ES cells and neural progenitor cells induces rapid apoptosis when telomeres are uncapped, in contrast to fibroblast cells that enter a state of replicative senescence. Significantly, telomerase inactivation limits the proliferation capacity of human ES cells without affecting their pluripotency. By targeting telomerase activity, we can functionally separate the two unique properties of human pluripotent stem cells, namely unlimited self-renewal and pluripotency. We show that the potential of ES cells to form teratomas in vivo is dictated by their telomere length. By controlling telomere length of ES cells through telomerase inactivation, we can inhibit teratoma formation and potentially improve the safety of cell therapies involving terminally differentiated cells as well as specific progenitor cells that do not require sustained cellular proliferation in vivo, and thus sustained telomerase activity. Stem Cells 2016;34:2471-2484.

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

    PubMed Central

    Boonekamp, Jelle J.; Mulder, G. A.; Salomons, H. Martijn; Dijkstra, Cor; Verhulst, Simon

    2014-01-01

    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 effects of manipulated brood size on growth, telomere dynamics and post-fledging survival in free-living jackdaws. Nestlings in enlarged broods achieved lower mass and lost 21% more telomere repeats relative to nestlings in reduced broods, showing that developmental stress accelerates telomere shortening. Adult telomere length was positively correlated with their telomere length as nestling (r = 0.83). Thus, an advantage of long telomeres in nestlings is carried through to adulthood. Nestling telomere shortening predicted post-fledging survival and recruitment independent of manipulation and fledgling mass. This effect was strong, with a threefold difference in recruitment probability over the telomere shortening range. By contrast, absolute telomere length was neither affected by brood size manipulation nor related to survival. We conclude that telomere loss, but not absolute telomere length, links developmental conditions to subsequent survival and suggest that telomere shortening may provide a key to unravelling the physiological causes of developmental effects on fitness. PMID:24789893

  5. The Insertion in Fingers Domain in Human Telomerase Can Mediate Enzyme Processivity and Telomerase Recruitment to Telomeres in a TPP1-Dependent Manner

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Tsz Wai; D'Souza, Yasmin

    2015-01-01

    In most human cancer cells, cellular immortalization relies on the activation and recruitment of telomerase to telomeres. The telomere-binding protein TPP1 and the TEN domain of the telomerase catalytic subunit TERT regulate telomerase recruitment. TERT contains a unique domain, called the insertion in fingers domain (IFD), located within the conserved reverse transcriptase domain. We report the role of specific hTERT IFD residues in the regulation of telomerase activity and processivity, recruitment to telomeres, and cell survival. One hTERT IFD variant, hTERT-L805A, with reduced activity and processivity showed impaired telomere association, which could be partially rescued by overexpression of TPP1-POT1. Another previously reported hTERT IFD mutant enzyme with similarly low levels of activity and processivity, hTERT-V791Y, displayed defects in telomere binding and was insensitive to TPP1-POT1 overexpression. Our results provide the first evidence that the IFD can mediate enzyme processivity and telomerase recruitment to telomeres in a TPP1-dependent manner. Moreover, unlike hTERT-V791Y, hTERT-V763S, a variant with reduced activity but increased processivity, and hTERT-L805A, could both immortalize limited-life-span cells, but cells expressing these two mutant enzymes displayed growth defects, increased apoptosis, DNA damage at telomeres, and short telomeres. Our results highlight the importance of the IFD in maintaining short telomeres and in cell survival. PMID:26503784

  6. Mammalian RAP1 controls telomere function and gene expression through binding to telomeric and extra-telomeric sites

    PubMed Central

    Martinez, Paula; Thanasoula, Maria; Carlos, Ana R.; Gómez, Gonzalo; Tejera, Agueda M.; Schoeftner, Stefan; Dominguez, Orlando; Pisano, David G.; Tarsounas, Madalena; Blasco, Maria A.

    2013-01-01

    Shelterin binds and protects mammalian telomeres. Here, we generated cells and mice conditionally deleted for the shelterin component RAP1. We find that Rap1 deficiency is dispensable for telomere capping but leads to increased telomere recombination and fragility. Mice with Rap1 deletion in stratified epithelia are viable but have shorter telomeres and develop skin hyperpigmentation at aduldhood. By performing chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled with ultra-highthroughput sequencing, we find that RAP1 binds to telomeres and to extra-telomeric sites through the (TTAGGG)2 consensus motif. Extra-telomeric RAP1 binding sites are enriched at subtelomeric regions, in agreement with preferential deregulation of subtelomeric genes in Rap1-deficient cells. More than 70% of extra-telomeric RAP1 binding sites are at the vicinity of genes and 31% of the genes deregulated in Rap1-null cells contain RAP1 binding sites, suggesting a role of RAP1 in transcriptional control. These findings place a shelterin component at the interface between telomere function and transcriptional regulation. PMID:20622869

  7. How homologous recombination maintains telomere integrity.

    PubMed

    Tacconi, Eliana M C; Tarsounas, Madalena

    2015-06-01

    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.

  8. Moderate stem-cell telomere shortening rate postpones cancer onset in a stochastic model.

    PubMed

    Holbek, Simon; Bendtsen, Kristian Moss; Juul, Jeppe

    2013-10-01

    Mammalian cells are restricted from proliferating indefinitely. Telomeres at the end of each chromosome are shortened at cell division and when they reach a critical length, the cell will enter permanent cell cycle arrest-a state known as senescence. This mechanism is thought to be tumor suppressing, as it helps prevent precancerous cells from dividing uncontrollably. Stem cells express the enzyme telomerase, which elongates the telomeres, thereby postponing senescence. However, unlike germ cells and most types of cancer cells, stem cells only express telomerase at levels insufficient to fully maintain the length of their telomeres, leading to a slow decline in proliferation potential. It is not yet fully understood how this decline influences the risk of cancer and the longevity of the organism. We here develop a stochastic model to explore the role of telomere dynamics in relation to both senescence and cancer. The model describes the accumulation of cancerous mutations in a multicellular organism and creates a coherent theoretical framework for interpreting the results of several recent experiments on telomerase regulation. We demonstrate that the longest average cancer-free lifespan before cancer onset is obtained when stem cells start with relatively long telomeres that are shortened at a steady rate at cell division. Furthermore, the risk of cancer early in life can be reduced by having a short initial telomere length. Finally, our model suggests that evolution will favor a shorter than optimal average cancer-free lifespan in order to postpone cancer onset until late in life.

  9. Moderate stem-cell telomere shortening rate postpones cancer onset in a stochastic model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holbek, Simon; Bendtsen, Kristian Moss; Juul, Jeppe

    2013-10-01

    Mammalian cells are restricted from proliferating indefinitely. Telomeres at the end of each chromosome are shortened at cell division and when they reach a critical length, the cell will enter permanent cell cycle arrest—a state known as senescence. This mechanism is thought to be tumor suppressing, as it helps prevent precancerous cells from dividing uncontrollably. Stem cells express the enzyme telomerase, which elongates the telomeres, thereby postponing senescence. However, unlike germ cells and most types of cancer cells, stem cells only express telomerase at levels insufficient to fully maintain the length of their telomeres, leading to a slow decline in proliferation potential. It is not yet fully understood how this decline influences the risk of cancer and the longevity of the organism. We here develop a stochastic model to explore the role of telomere dynamics in relation to both senescence and cancer. The model describes the accumulation of cancerous mutations in a multicellular organism and creates a coherent theoretical framework for interpreting the results of several recent experiments on telomerase regulation. We demonstrate that the longest average cancer-free lifespan before cancer onset is obtained when stem cells start with relatively long telomeres that are shortened at a steady rate at cell division. Furthermore, the risk of cancer early in life can be reduced by having a short initial telomere length. Finally, our model suggests that evolution will favor a shorter than optimal average cancer-free lifespan in order to postpone cancer onset until late in life.

  10. Defective telomere elongation and hematopoiesis from telomerase-mutant aplastic anemia iPSCs

    PubMed Central

    Winkler, Thomas; Hong, So Gun; Decker, Jake E.; Morgan, Mary J.; Wu, Chuanfeng; Hughes, William M.; Yang, Yanqin; Wangsa, Danny; Padilla-Nash, Hesed M.; Ried, Thomas; Young, Neal S.; Dunbar, Cynthia E.; Calado, Rodrigo T.

    2013-01-01

    Critically short telomeres activate p53-mediated apoptosis, resulting in organ failure and leading to malignant transformation. Mutations in genes responsible for telomere maintenance are linked to a number of human diseases. We derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from 4 patients with aplastic anemia or hypocellular bone marrow carrying heterozygous mutations in the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) or the telomerase RNA component (TERC) telomerase genes. Both mutant and control iPSCs upregulated TERT and TERC expression compared with parental fibroblasts, but mutant iPSCs elongated telomeres at a lower rate compared with healthy iPSCs, and the deficit correlated with the mutations’ impact on telomerase activity. There was no evidence for alternative lengthening of telomere (ALT) pathway activation. Elongation varied among iPSC clones derived from the same patient and among clones from siblings harboring identical mutations. Clonal heterogeneity was linked to genetic and environmental factors, but was not influenced by residual expression of reprogramming transgenes. Hypoxia increased telomere extension in both mutant and normal iPSCs. Additionally, telomerase-mutant iPSCs showed defective hematopoietic differentiation in vitro, mirroring the clinical phenotype observed in patients and demonstrating that human telomere diseases can be modeled utilizing iPSCs. Our data support the necessity of studying multiple clones when using iPSCs to model disease. PMID:23585473

  11. Telomerase RNA level limits telomere maintenance in X-linked dyskeratosis congenita

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Judy M.Y.; Collins, Kathleen

    2006-01-01

    Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) patients suffer a progressive and ultimately fatal loss of hematopoietic renewal correlating with critically short telomeres. The predominant X-linked form of DC results from substitutions in dyskerin, a protein required both for ribosomal RNA (rRNA) pseudouridine modification and for cellular accumulation of telomerase RNA (TER). Accordingly, alternative models have posited that the exhaustion of cellular renewal in X-linked DC arises as a primary consequence of ribosome deficiency or telomerase deficiency. Here we test, for the first time, whether X-linked DC patient cells are compromised for telomerase function at telomeres. We show that telomerase activation in family-matched control cells allows telomere elongation and telomere length maintenance, while telomerase activation in X-linked DC patient cells fails to prevent telomere erosion with proliferation. Furthermore, we demonstrate by phenotypic rescue that telomere defects in X-linked DC patient cells arise solely from reduced accumulation of TER. We also show that X-linked DC patient cells averted from premature senescence support normal levels of rRNA pseudouridine modification and normal kinetics of rRNA precursor processing, in contrast with phenotypes reported for a proposed mouse model of the human disease. These findings support the significance of telomerase deficiency in the pathology of X-linked DC. PMID:17015423

  12. SORBS2 transcription is activated by telomere position effect–over long distance upon telomere shortening in muscle cells from patients with facioscapulohumeral dystrophy

    PubMed Central

    Robin, Jérôme D.; Ludlow, Andrew T.; Batten, Kimberly; Gaillard, Marie-Cécile; Stadler, Guido; Magdinier, Frédérique; Wright, Woodring E.; Shay, Jerry W.

    2015-01-01

    DNA is organized into complex three-dimensional chromatin structures, but how this spatial organization regulates gene expression remains a central question. These DNA/chromatin looping structures can range in size from 10–20 kb (enhancers/repressors) to many megabases during intra- and inter-chromosomal interactions. Recently, the influence of telomere length on chromatin organization prior to senescence has revealed the existence of long-distance chromatin loops that dictate the expression of genes located up to 10 Mb from the telomeres (Telomere Position Effect–Over Long Distances [TPE-OLD]). Here, we demonstrate the existence of a telomere loop at the 4q35 locus involving the sorbin and SH3 domain-containing protein 2 gene, SORBS2, a skeletal muscle protein using a modification of the chromosome conformation capture method. The loop reveals a cis-acting mechanism modifying SORBS2 transcription. The expression of this gene is altered by TPE-OLD in myoblasts from patients affected with the age-associated genetic disease, facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD1A, MIM 158900). SORBS2 is expressed in FSHD myoblasts with short telomeres, while not detectable in FSHD myoblasts with long telomeres or in healthy myoblasts regardless of telomere length. This indicates that TPE-OLD may modify the regulation of the 4q35 locus in a pathogenic context. Upon differentiation, both FSHD and healthy myotubes express SORBS2, suggesting that SORBS2 is normally up-regulated by maturation/differentiation of skeletal muscle and is misregulated by TPE-OLD-dependent variegation in FSHD myoblasts. These findings provide additional insights for the complexity and age-related symptoms of FSHD. PMID:26359233

  13. SORBS2 transcription is activated by telomere position effect-over long distance upon telomere shortening in muscle cells from patients with facioscapulohumeral dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Robin, Jérôme D; Ludlow, Andrew T; Batten, Kimberly; Gaillard, Marie-Cécile; Stadler, Guido; Magdinier, Frédérique; Wright, Woodring E; Shay, Jerry W

    2015-12-01

    DNA is organized into complex three-dimensional chromatin structures, but how this spatial organization regulates gene expression remains a central question. These DNA/chromatin looping structures can range in size from 10-20 kb (enhancers/repressors) to many megabases during intra- and inter-chromosomal interactions. Recently, the influence of telomere length on chromatin organization prior to senescence has revealed the existence of long-distance chromatin loops that dictate the expression of genes located up to 10 Mb from the telomeres (Telomere Position Effect-Over Long Distances [TPE-OLD]). Here, we demonstrate the existence of a telomere loop at the 4q35 locus involving the sorbin and SH3 domain-containing protein 2 gene, SORBS2, a skeletal muscle protein using a modification of the chromosome conformation capture method. The loop reveals a cis-acting mechanism modifying SORBS2 transcription. The expression of this gene is altered by TPE-OLD in myoblasts from patients affected with the age-associated genetic disease, facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD1A, MIM 158900). SORBS2 is expressed in FSHD myoblasts with short telomeres, while not detectable in FSHD myoblasts with long telomeres or in healthy myoblasts regardless of telomere length. This indicates that TPE-OLD may modify the regulation of the 4q35 locus in a pathogenic context. Upon differentiation, both FSHD and healthy myotubes express SORBS2, suggesting that SORBS2 is normally up-regulated by maturation/differentiation of skeletal muscle and is misregulated by TPE-OLD-dependent variegation in FSHD myoblasts. These findings provide additional insights for the complexity and age-related symptoms of FSHD.

  14. Widespread telomere instability in prostatic lesions.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    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. .

  15. Evidence for a mitotic clock in human hematopoietic stem cells: loss of telomeric DNA with age.

    PubMed Central

    Vaziri, H; Dragowska, W; Allsopp, R C; Thomas, T E; Harley, C B; Lansdorp, P M

    1994-01-01

    The proliferative life-span of the stem cells that sustain hematopoiesis throughout life is not known. It has been proposed that the sequential loss of telomeric DNA from the ends of human chromosomes with each somatic cell division eventually reaches a critical point that triggers cellular senescence. We now show that candidate human stem cells with a CD34+CD38lo phenotype that were purified from adult bone marrow have shorter telomeres than cells from fetal liver or umbilical cord blood. We also found that cells produced in cytokine-supplemented cultures of purified precursor cells show a proliferation-associated loss of telomeric DNA. These findings strongly suggest that the proliferative potential of most, if not all, hematopoietic stem cells is limited and decreases with age, a concept that has widespread implications for models of normal and abnormal hematopoiesis as well as gene therapy. Images PMID:7937905

  16. The absence of Arabidopsis-type telomeres in Cestrum and closely related genera Vestia and Sessea (Solanaceae): first evidence from eudicots.

    PubMed

    Sykorova, Eva; Lim, Kar Yoong; Chase, Mark W; Knapp, Sandra; Leitch, Ilia Judith; Leitch, Andrew Rowland; Fajkus, Jiri

    2003-05-01

    Using slot-blot and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), we found no evidence for the presence of the Arabidopsis-type telomeric sequence (TTTAGGG)n at the chromosome termini in any of the Cestrum species we investigated. Probing for the human-type telomere (TTAGGG)n also revealed no signal. However, polymerase chain reaction experiments indicated that there are short lengths of the sequence TTTAGGG dispersed in the genome but that these sequences are almost certainly too short to act as functional telomeres even if they were at the chromosome termini. An analysis of related genera Vestia and Sessea indicates that they too lack the Arabidopsis-type telomere, and the sequences were lost in the common ancestor of these genera. We found that the Cestrum species investigated had particularly large mean chromosome sizes. We discuss whether this is a consequence of alternative telomere end maintenance systems.

  17. Single strand DNA binding proteins 1 and 2 protect newly replicated telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Peili; Deng, Wei; Lei, Ming; Chang, Sandy

    2013-01-01

    Human single-strand (ss) DNA binding proteins 1 and 2 (hSSB1 and 2) are components of the hSSB1/2-INTS3-C9orf80 heterotrimeric protein complex shown to participate in DNA damage response and maintenance of genome stability. However, their roles at telomeres remain unknown. Here, we generated murine SSB1 conditional knockout mice and cells and found that mSSB1 plays a critical role in telomere end protection. Both mSSB1 and mSSB2 localize to a subset of telomeres and are required to repair TRF2-deficient telomeres. Deletion of mSSB1 resulted in increased chromatid-type fusions involving both leading- and lagging-strand telomeric DNA, suggesting that it is required for the protection of G-overhangs. mSSB1's interaction with INTS3 is required for its localization to damaged DNA. mSSB1 interacts with Pot1a, but not Pot1b, and its association with telomeric ssDNA requires Pot1a. mSSB1Δ/Δ mice die at birth with developmental abnormalities, while mice with the hypomorphic mSSB1F/F allele are born alive and display increased sensitivity to ionizing radiation (IR). Our results suggest that mSSB1 is required to maintain genome stability, and document a previously unrecognized role for mSSB1/2 in the protection of newly replicated leading- and lagging-strand telomeres. PMID:23459151

  18. Therapeutic inhibition of TRF1 impairs the growth of p53-deficient K-RasG12V-induced lung cancer by induction of telomeric DNA damage.

    PubMed

    García-Beccaria, María; Martínez, Paula; Méndez-Pertuz, Marinela; Martínez, Sonia; Blanco-Aparicio, Carmen; Cañamero, Marta; Mulero, Francisca; Ambrogio, Chiara; Flores, Juana M; Megias, Diego; Barbacid, Mariano; Pastor, Joaquín; Blasco, Maria A

    2015-07-01

    Telomeres are considered anti-cancer targets, as telomere maintenance above a minimum length is necessary for cancer growth. Telomerase abrogation in cancer-prone mouse models, however, only decreased tumor growth after several mouse generations when telomeres reach a critically short length, and this effect was lost upon p53 mutation. Here, we address whether induction of telomere uncapping by inhibition of the TRF1 shelterin protein can effectively block cancer growth independently of telomere length. We show that genetic Trf1 ablation impairs the growth of p53-null K-Ras(G12V)-induced lung carcinomas and increases mouse survival independently of telomere length. This is accompanied by induction of telomeric DNA damage, apoptosis, decreased proliferation, and G2 arrest. Long-term whole-body Trf1 deletion in adult mice did not impact on mouse survival and viability, although some mice showed a moderately decreased cellularity in bone marrow and blood. Importantly, inhibition of TRF1 binding to telomeres by small molecules blocks the growth of already established lung carcinomas without affecting mouse survival or tissue function. Thus, induction of acute telomere uncapping emerges as a potential new therapeutic target for lung cancer.

  19. HIV Infection Is Associated with Shortened Telomere Length in Ugandans with Suspected Tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    Auld, Elizabeth; Lin, Jue; Chang, Emily; Byanyima, Patrick; Ayakaka, Irene; Musisi, Emmanuel; Worodria, William; Davis, J. Lucian; Segal, Mark; Blackburn, Elizabeth; Huang, Laurence

    2016-01-01

    Introduction HIV infection is a risk factor for opportunistic pneumonias such as tuberculosis (TB) and for age-associated health complications. Short telomeres, markers of biological aging, are also associated with an increased risk of age-associated diseases and mortality. Our goals were to use a single cohort of HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected individuals hospitalized with pneumonia to assess whether shortened telomere length was associated with HIV infection, TB diagnosis, and 2-month mortality. Methods This was a sub-study of the IHOP Study, a prospective observational study. Participants consisted of 184 adults admitted to Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda who underwent evaluation for suspected TB and were followed for 2 months. Standardized questionnaires were administered to collect demographic and clinical data. PBMCs were isolated and analyzed using quantitative PCR to determine telomere length. The association between HIV infection, demographic and clinical characteristics, and telomere length was assessed, as were the associations between telomere length, TB diagnosis and 2-month mortality. Variables with a P≤0.2 in bivariate analysis were included in multivariate models. Results No significant demographic or clinical differences were observed between the HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected subjects. Older age (P<0.0001), male gender (P = 0.04), total pack-years smoked (P<0.001), alcohol consumption in the past year (P = 0.12), and asthma (P = 0.08) were all associated (P≤0.2) with shorter telomere length in bivariate analysis. In multivariate analysis adjusting for these five variables, HIV-positive participants had significantly shorter telomeres than HIV-negative participants (β = -0.0621, 95% CI -0.113 to -0.011, P = 0.02). Shortened telomeres were not associated with TB or short-term mortality. Conclusions The association between HIV infection and shorter telomeres suggests that HIV may play a role in cellular senescence and biological aging and

  20. Alveolar abnormalities

    MedlinePlus

    ... page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001093.htm Alveolar abnormalities To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Alveolar abnormalities are changes in the tiny air sacs in ...

  1. Nail abnormalities

    MedlinePlus

    Beau's lines; Fingernail abnormalities; Spoon nails; Onycholysis; Leukonychia; Koilonychia; Brittle nails ... 2012:chap 71. Zaiac MN, Walker A. Nail abnormalities associated with systemic pathologies. Clin Dermatol . 2013;31: ...

  2. Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria and telomere length predicts response to immunosuppressive therapy in pediatric aplastic anemia.

    PubMed

    Narita, Atsushi; Muramatsu, Hideki; Sekiya, Yuko; Okuno, Yusuke; Sakaguchi, Hirotoshi; Nishio, Nobuhiro; Yoshida, Nao; Wang, Xinan; Xu, Yinyan; Kawashima, Nozomu; Doisaki, Sayoko; Hama, Asahito; Takahashi, Yoshiyuki; Kudo, Kazuko; Moritake, Hiroshi; Kobayashi, Masao; Kobayashi, Ryoji; Ito, Etsuro; Yabe, Hiromasa; Ohga, Shouichi; Ohara, Akira; Kojima, Seiji

    2015-12-01

    Acquired aplastic anemia is an immune-mediated disease characterized by severe defects in stem cell number resulting in hypocellular marrow and peripheral blood cytopenias. Minor paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria populations and a short telomere length were identified as predictive biomarkers of immunosuppressive therapy responsiveness in aplastic anemia. We enrolled 113 aplastic anemia patients (63 boys and 50 girls) in this study to evaluate their response to immunosuppressive therapy. The paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria populations and telomere length were detected by flow cytometry. Forty-seven patients (42%) carried a minor paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria population. The median telomere length of aplastic anemia patients was -0.99 standard deviation (SD) (range -4.01-+3.01 SD). Overall, 60 patients (53%) responded to immunosuppressive therapy after six months. Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified the absence of a paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria population and a shorter telomere length as independent unfavorable predictors of immunosuppressive therapy response at six months. The cohort was stratified into a group of poor prognosis (paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria negative and shorter telomere length; 37 patients) and good prognosis (paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria positive and/or longer telomere length; 76 patients), respectively. The response rates of the poor prognosis and good prognosis groups at six months were 19% and 70%, respectively (P<0.001). The combined absence of a minor paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria population and a short telomere length is an efficient predictor of poor immunosuppressive therapy response, which should be considered while deciding treatment options: immunosuppressive therapy or first-line hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The trial was registered in www.umin.ac.jp with number UMIN000017972.

  3. SUMO-Dependent Relocalization of Eroded Telomeres to Nuclear Pore Complexes Controls Telomere Recombination.

    PubMed

    Churikov, Dmitri; Charifi, Ferose; Eckert-Boulet, Nadine; Silva, Sonia; Simon, Marie-Noelle; Lisby, Michael; Géli, Vincent

    2016-05-10

    In budding yeast, inactivation of telomerase and ensuing telomere erosion cause relocalization of telomeres to nuclear pore complexes (NPCs). However, neither the mechanism of such relocalization nor its significance are understood. We report that proteins bound to eroded telomeres are recognized by the SUMO (small ubiquitin-like modifier)-targeted ubiquitin ligase (STUbL) Slx5-Slx8 and become increasingly SUMOylated. Recruitment of Slx5-Slx8 to eroded telomeres facilitates telomere relocalization to NPCs and type II telomere recombination, a counterpart of mammalian alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT). Moreover, artificial tethering of a telomere to a NPC promotes type II telomere recombination but cannot bypass the lack of Slx5-Slx8 in this process. Together, our results indicate that SUMOylation positively contributes to telomere relocalization to the NPC, where poly-SUMOylated proteins that accumulated over time have to be removed. We propose that STUbL-dependent relocalization of telomeres to NPCs constitutes a pathway in which excessively SUMOylated proteins are removed from "congested" intermediates to ensure unconventional recombination.

  4. RNaseH1 regulates TERRA-telomeric DNA hybrids and telomere maintenance in ALT tumour cells.

    PubMed

    Arora, Rajika; Lee, Yongwoo; Wischnewski, Harry; Brun, Catherine M; Schwarz, Tobias; Azzalin, Claus M

    2014-10-21

    A fraction of cancer cells maintain telomeres through the telomerase-independent, 'Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres' (ALT) pathway. ALT relies on homologous recombination (HR) between telomeric sequences; yet, what makes ALT telomeres recombinogenic remains unclear. Here we show that the RNA endonuclease RNaseH1 regulates the levels of RNA-DNA hybrids between telomeric DNA and the long noncoding RNA TERRA, and is a key mediator of telomere maintenance in ALT cells. RNaseH1 associated to telomeres specifically in ALT cells and its depletion led to telomeric hybrid accumulation, exposure of single-stranded telomeric DNA, activation of replication protein A at telomeres and abrupt telomere excision. Conversely, overexpression of RNaseH1 weakened the recombinogenic nature of ALT telomeres and led to telomere shortening. Altering cellular RNaseH1 levels did not perturb telomere homoeostasis in telomerase-positive cells. RNaseH1 maintains regulated levels of telomeric RNA-DNA hybrids at ALT telomeres to trigger HR without compromising telomere integrity too severely.

  5. Regulation of the Human Telomerase Gene TERT by Telomere Position Effect-Over Long Distances (TPE-OLD): Implications for Aging and Cancer.

    PubMed

    Kim, Wanil; Ludlow, Andrew T; Min, Jaewon; Robin, Jerome D; Stadler, Guido; Mender, Ilgen; Lai, Tsung-Po; Zhang, Ning; Wright, Woodring E; Shay, Jerry W

    2016-12-01

    Telomerase is expressed in early human development and then becomes silenced in most normal tissues. Because ~90% of primary human tumors express telomerase and generally maintain very short telomeres, telomerase is carefully regulated, particularly in large, long-lived mammals. In the current report, we provide substantial evidence for a new regulatory control mechanism of the rate limiting catalytic protein component of telomerase (hTERT) that is determined by the length of telomeres. We document that normal, young human cells with long telomeres have a repressed hTERT epigenetic status (chromatin and DNA methylation), but the epigenetic status is altered when telomeres become short. The change in epigenetic status correlates with altered expression of TERT and genes near to TERT, indicating a change in chromatin. Furthermore, we identified a chromosome 5p telomere loop to a region near TERT in human cells with long telomeres that is disengaged with increased cell divisions as telomeres progressively shorten. Finally, we provide support for a role of the TRF2 protein, and possibly TERRA, in the telomere looping maintenance mechanism through interactions with interstitial TTAGGG repeats. This provides new insights into how the changes in genome structure during replicative aging result in an increased susceptibility to age-related diseases and cancer prior to the initiation of a DNA damage signal.

  6. Regulation of the Human Telomerase Gene TERT by Telomere Position Effect—Over Long Distances (TPE-OLD): Implications for Aging and Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Min, Jaewon; Robin, Jerome D.; Stadler, Guido; Mender, Ilgen; Lai, Tsung-Po; Zhang, Ning; Wright, Woodring E.; Shay, Jerry W.

    2016-01-01

    Telomerase is expressed in early human development and then becomes silenced in most normal tissues. Because ~90% of primary human tumors express telomerase and generally maintain very short telomeres, telomerase is carefully regulated, particularly in large, long-lived mammals. In the current report, we provide substantial evidence for a new regulatory control mechanism of the rate limiting catalytic protein component of telomerase (hTERT) that is determined by the length of telomeres. We document that normal, young human cells with long telomeres have a repressed hTERT epigenetic status (chromatin and DNA methylation), but the epigenetic status is altered when telomeres become short. The change in epigenetic status correlates with altered expression of TERT and genes near to TERT, indicating a change in chromatin. Furthermore, we identified a chromosome 5p telomere loop to a region near TERT in human cells with long telomeres that is disengaged with increased cell divisions as telomeres progressively shorten. Finally, we provide support for a role of the TRF2 protein, and possibly TERRA, in the telomere looping maintenance mechanism through interactions with interstitial TTAGGG repeats. This provides new insights into how the changes in genome structure during replicative aging result in an increased susceptibility to age-related diseases and cancer prior to the initiation of a DNA damage signal. PMID:27977688

  7. Unwinding protein complexes in ALTernative telomere maintenance.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharyya, Saumitri; Sandy, April; Groden, Joanna

    2010-01-01

    Telomeres are composed of specialized chromatin that includes DNA repair/recombination proteins, telomere DNA-binding proteins and a number of three dimensional nucleic acid structures including G-quartets and D-loops. A number of studies suggest that the BLM and WRN recQ-like helicases play important roles in recombination-mediated mechanisms of telomere elongation or Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT), processes that maintain/elongate telomeres in the absence of telomerase. BLM and WRN localize within ALT-associated nuclear bodies in telomerase-negative immortalized cell lines and interact with the telomere-specific proteins POT1, TRF1 and TRF2. Helicase activity is modulated by these interactions. BLM functions in DNA double-strand break repair processes such as non-homologous end joining, homologous recombination-mediated repair, resolution of stalled replication forks and synthesis-dependent strand annealing, although its precise functions at the telomeres are speculative. WRN also functions in DNA replication, recombination and repair, and in addition to its helicase domain, includes an exonuclease domain not found in other recQ-like helicases. The biochemical properties of BLM and WRN are, therefore, important in biological processes other than DNA replication, recombination and repair. In this review, we discuss some previous and recent findings of human rec-Q-like helicases and their role in telomere elongation during ALT processes.

  8. Problem-Solving Test: Telomere Replication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Szeberenyi, Jozsef

    2010-01-01

    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…

  9. Dynamics of telomeric DNA turnover in yeast.

    PubMed Central

    McEachern, Michael J; Underwood, Dana Hager; Blackburn, Elizabeth H

    2002-01-01

    Telomerase adds telomeric DNA repeats to telomeric termini using a sequence within its RNA subunit as a template. We characterized two mutations in the Kluyveromyces lactis telomerase RNA gene (TER1) template. Each initially produced normally regulated telomeres. One mutation, ter1-AA, had a cryptic defect in length regulation that was apparent only if the mutant gene was transformed into a TER1 deletion strain to permit extensive replacement of basal wild-type repeats with mutant repeats. This mutant differs from previously studied delayed elongation mutants in a number of properties. The second mutation, TER1-Bcl, which generates a BclI restriction site in newly synthesized telomeric repeats, was indistinguishable from wild type in all phenotypes assayed: cell growth, telomere length, and in vivo telomerase fidelity. TER1-Bcl cells demonstrated that the outer halves of the telomeric repeat tracts turn over within a few hundred cell divisions, while the innermost few repeats typically resisted turnover for at least 3000 cell divisions. Similarly deep but incomplete turnover was also observed in two other TER1 template mutants with highly elongated telomeres. These results indicate that most DNA turnover in functionally normal telomeres is due to gradual replicative sequence loss and additions by telomerase but that there are other processes that also contribute to turnover. PMID:11805045

  10. One Identity or More for Telomeres?

    PubMed Central

    Giraud-Panis, Marie-Josèphe; Pisano, Sabrina; Benarroch-Popivker, Delphine; Pei, Bei; Le Du, Marie-Hélène; Gilson, Eric

    2013-01-01

    A major issue in telomere research is to understand how the integrity of chromosome ends is controlled. The fact that different types of nucleoprotein complexes have been described at the telomeres of different organisms raises the question of whether they have in common a structural identity that explains their role in chromosome protection. We will review here how telomeric nucleoprotein complexes are structured, comparing different organisms and trying to link these structures to telomere biology. It emerges that telomeres are formed by a complex and specific network of interactions between DNA, RNA, and proteins. The fact that these interactions and associated activities are reinforcing each other might help to guarantee the robustness of telomeric functions across the cell cycle and in the event of cellular perturbations. We will also discuss the recent notion that telomeres have evolved specific systems to overcome the DNA topological stress generated during their replication and transcription. This will lead to revisit the way we envisage the functioning of telomeric complexes since the regulation of topology is central to DNA stability, replication, recombination, and transcription as well as to chromosome higher-order organization. PMID:23509004

  11. Telomere shortening in leukocyte subpopulations in depression

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Telomere shortening is a normal age-related process. However, premature shortening of telomeres in leukocytes – as has been reported in depression – may increase the risk for age-related diseases. While previous studies investigated telomere length in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) as a whole, this study investigated specific changes in the clonal composition of white blood cells of the adaptive immune system (CD4+ helper and CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes, and CD20+ B lymphocytes). Methods Forty-four females with a history of unipolar depression were investigated and compared to fifty age-matched female controls. Telomere lengths were compared between three groups: 1) individuals with a history of depression but currently no clinically relevant depressive symptoms, 2) individuals with a history of depression with relevant symptoms of depression, and 3) healthy age-matched controls. Telomere length was assessed using quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization (qFISH). Results Both groups with a history of unipolar depression (with and without current depressive symptoms) showed significantly shorter telomeres in all three lymphocyte subpopulations. The effect was stronger in CD8+ and CD20+ cells than in CD4+ cells. Individuals with a history of depression and with (without) current symptoms exhibited a CD8+ telomere length shortening corresponding to an age differential of 27.9 (25.3) years. Conclusions A history of depression is associated with shortened telomeres in the main effector populations of the adaptive immune system. Shorter telomeres seem to persist in individuals with lifetime depression independently of the severity of depressive symptoms. CD8+ cytotoxic T cells and CD20+ B cells seem to be particularly affected in depression. The total number of depressive episodes did not influence telomere length in the investigated adaptive immune cell populations. PMID:24996455

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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.

  13. Break-induced replication and recombinational telomere elongation in yeast.

    PubMed

    McEachern, Michael J; Haber, James E

    2006-01-01

    When a telomere becomes unprotected or if only one end of a chromosomal double-strand break succeeds in recombining with a template sequence, DNA can be repaired by a recombination-dependent DNA replication process termed break-induced replication (BIR). In budding yeasts, there are two BIR pathways, one dependent on the Rad51 recombinase protein and one Rad51 independent; these two repair processes lead to different types of survivors in cells lacking the telomerase enzyme that is required for normal telomere maintenance. Recombination at telomeres is triggered by either excessive telomere shortening or disruptions in the function of telomere-binding proteins. Telomere elongation by BIR appears to often occur through a "roll and spread" mechanism. In this process, a telomeric circle produced by recombination at a dysfunctional telomere acts as a template for a rolling circle BIR event to form an elongated telomere. Additional BIR events can then copy the elongated sequence to all other telomeres.

  14. Telomeric localization of the Arabidopsis-type heptamer repeat, (TTTAGGG)n , at the chromosome ends in Saccharina japonica (Phaeophyta).

    PubMed

    Yang, Qi-Fan; Liu, Li; Liu, Yu; Zhou, Zhi-Gang

    2017-02-01

    Telomeres generally consist of short repeats of minisatellite DNA sequences and are useful in chromosome identification and karyotype analysis. To date, telomeres have not been characterized in the economically important brown seaweed Saccharina japonica, thus its full cytogenetic research and genetic breeding potential has not been realized. Herein, the tentative sequence of telomeres in S. japonica was identified by PCR amplification with primers designed based on the Arabidopsis-type telomere sequence (TTTAGGG)n , which was chosen out of three possible telomeric repeat DNA sequences typically present in plants and algae. After PCR optimization and cloning, sequence analysis of the amplified products from S. japonica genomic DNA showed that they were composed of repeat units, (TTTAGGG)n , in which the repeat number ranged from 15 to 63 (n = 46). This type of repeat sequence was verified by a Southern blot assay with the Arabidopsis-type telomere sequence as a probe. The digestion of S. japonica genomic DNA with the exonuclease Bal31 illustrated that the target sequence corresponding to the Arabidopsis-type telomere sequence was susceptible to Bal31 digestion, suggesting that the repeat sequence was likely located at the outermost ends of the kelp chromosomes. Fluorescence in situ hybridizations with the aforementioned probe provided the initial cytogenetic evidence that the hybridization signals were principally localized at both ends of S. japonica chromosomes. This study indicates that the telomeric repeat of the kelp chromosomes is (TTTAGGG)n which differs from the previously reported (TTAGGG)n sequence in Ectocarpus siliculosus through genome sequencing, thereby suggesting distinct telomeres in brown seaweeds.

  15. The signature of the Cestrum genome suggests an evolutionary response to the loss of (TTTAGGG)n telomeres.

    PubMed

    Sýkorová, Eva; Lim, K Yoong; Fajkus, Jiri; Leitch, Andrew R

    2003-12-01

    The genus Cestrumin the Solanaceae family is unusual in lacking Arabidopsis-type telomeres (TTTAGGG)n, although short interstitial telomeric sequences (ITSs) occur scattered throughout the genome in both orientations. To isolate candidate telomeric sequences in Cestrum we assumed that some of the ITSs were residues of the original telomeres and that they may still be located in the vicinity of present-day telomeres. Three sequence types associated with ITSs were cloned and characterized; these were termed NA3G, BR23 and A/T-rich minisatellite. These high copy number sequences are dispersed across the genome and clustered at a number of chromosomal loci. Their association with ITSs, which can act as recombination hotspots, might indicate past recombination and chromosomal fusion events, processes that may have contributed to the large size of Cestrum chromosomes. The sequences are frequently arranged as NA3G-ITS-BR23 blocks embedded in an A/T-rich minisatellite array. The A/T-rich minisatellite is of particular interest because the consensus 5'-T(4-5)AGCAG-3' might be a derivative of "typical" eukaryotic telomeric sequence motifs. The sequence is abundant at the end of some chromosomes in C. parqui and is found not only in Cestrum but also in the closely related genera Sessea and Vestia, which also lack Arabidopsis-type telomeric sequences. However, the sequence is absent from the Solanaceae genera investigated that are outside the group, including the closely related genus Streptosolen, which all have the Arabidopsis-type telomere. The data indicate that the A/T rich minisatellite might have evolved in response to the loss of Arabidopsis-type telomeres.

  16. Alterations of Mitochondrial DNA Copy Number and Telomere Length with Early Adversity and Psychopathology

    PubMed Central

    Tyrka, Audrey R.; Parade, Stephanie H.; Price, Lawrence H.; Kao, Hung-Teh; Porton, Barbara; Philip, Noah S.; Welch, Emma S.; Carpenter, Linda L.

    2015-01-01

    Background Telomere shortening and alterations of mitochondrial biogenesis are involved in cellular aging. Childhood adversity is associated with telomere shortening, and several investigations have shown short telomeres in psychiatric disorders. Recent studies have examined whether mitochondria might be involved in neuropsychiatric conditions; findings are limited and no prior work has examined this in relation to stress exposure. Methods Two-hundred and ninety healthy adults provided information on childhood parental loss and maltreatment and completed diagnostic interviews. Participants were categorized into four groups based upon the presence or absence of childhood adversity and the presence or absence of lifetime psychopathology (depressive, anxiety, and substance use disorders). Telomere length and mtDNA copy number were measured from leukocyte DNA by qPCR. Results Childhood adversity and lifetime psychopathology were each associated with shorter telomeres (p < .01) and higher mtDNA copy numbers (p < .001). Significantly higher mtDNA copy numbers and shorter telomeres were seen in individuals with major depression, depressive disorders, and anxiety disorders, as well as those with parental loss and childhood maltreatment. A history of substance disorders was also associated with significantly higher mtDNA copy numbers. Conclusion This study provides the first evidence of an alteration of mitochondrial biogenesis with early life stress and with anxiety and substance use disorders. We replicate prior work on telomere length and psychopathology, and show that this effect is not secondary to medication use or comorbid medical illness. Finally, we show that early life stress and psychopathology are each associated with these markers of cellular aging. PMID:25749099

  17. Stabilization of telomeres in nonlinear models of proliferating cell lines.

    PubMed

    Dyson, Janet; Sánchez, Eva; Villella-Bressan, Rosanna; Webb, Glenn F

    2007-02-07

    We analyse an age-structured model of telomere loss in a proliferating cell population. The cell population is divided into telomere classes, which shorten each round of division. The model consists of a nonlinear system of partial differential equations for the telomere classes. We prove that if the highest telomere class is exempted from mortality, then all the classes stabilize to a nontrivial equilibrium dependent on the initial state of cells in the highest telomere class.

  18. Bortezomib-mediated down-regulation of telomerase and disruption of telomere homeostasis contributes to apoptosis of malignant cells

    PubMed Central

    Ci, Xinyu; Li, Bingnan; Ma, Xueping; Kong, Feng; Zheng, Chengyun; Björkholm, Magnus; Jia, Jihui; Xu, Dawei

    2015-01-01

    Bortezomib inhibits the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway to achieve its anti-cancer effect and its well characterized activity is the NF-κB inhibition through which the anti-apoptotic bcl-2 expression is down-regulated and apoptosis is subsequently induced. However, the downstream molecular targets of bortezomib are still incompletely defined. Because telomere stabilization via activation of telomerase, induction of telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) and appropriate expression of shelterin proteins is essential to cancer development and progression, we investigated the effect of bortezomib on telomere homeostasis/function in malignant cells. The bortezomib treatment of leukemic (HEL) and gastric cancer cells (BGC-823) led to significant inhibition of hTERT and telomerase expression, widespread dysregulation of shelterin protein expression, and telomere shortening, thereby triggering telomere dysfunction and DNA damage. hTERT over-expression attenuated bortezomib-induced telomere shortening, abnormal shelterin expression and telomere dysfunction. Importantly, bortezomib-mediated apoptosis of malignant cells was partially prevented by hTERT over-expression. Mechanistically, hTERT first robustly enhances bcl2 expression and maintains significantly high residual levels of bcl2 even in bortezomib-treated HEL cells. Second, hTERT protects against bortezomib-induced DNA damage. Our findings collectively reveal a profound impact of bortezomib on telomere homeostasis/function. Down-regulation of hTERT expression and telomere dysfunction induced by bortezomib both contribute to its cancer cell killing actions. It is evident from the present study that hTERT can confer resistance of malignant cells to bortezomib-based target cancer therapy, which may have important clinical implications. PMID:26472030

  19. Long-Term Effects of Radiation Exposure and Metabolic Status on Telomere Length of Peripheral Blood T Cells in Atomic Bomb Survivors.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Kengo; Misumi, Munechika; Kubo, Yoshiko; Yamaoka, Mika; Kyoizumi, Seishi; Ohishi, Waka; Hayashi, Tomonori; Kusunoki, Yoichiro

    2016-10-01

    In a series of studies of atomic bomb survivors, radiation-dose-dependent alterations in peripheral T-cell populations have been reported. For example, reduced size in naïve T-cell pools and impaired proliferation ability of T cells were observed. Because these alterations are also generally observed with human aging, we hypothesized that radiation exposure may accelerate the aging process of the T-cell immune system. To further test this hypothesis, we conducted cross-sectional analyses of telomere length, a hallmark of cellular aging, of naïve and memory CD4 T cells and total CD8 T cells in the peripheral blood of 620 atomic bomb survivors as it relates to age and radiation dose, using fluorescence in situ hybridization with flow cytometry. Since telomere shortening has been recently demonstrated in obesity-related metabolic abnormalities and diseases, the modifying effects of metabolic status were also examined. Our results indicated nonlinear relationships between T-cell telomere length and prior radiation exposure, i.e., longer telomeres with lower dose exposure and a decreasing trend of telomere length with individuals exposed to doses higher than 0.5 Gy. There were associations between shorter T-cell telomeres and higher hemoglobin Alc levels or fatty liver development. In naïve and memory CD4 T cells, radiation dose and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol were found to positively interact with telomere length, suggesting that the decreasing trend of telomere length from a higher radiation dose was less conspicuous in individuals with a higher HDL cholesterol. It is therefore likely that radiation exposure perturbs T-cell homeostasis involving telomere length maintenance by multiple biological mechanisms, depending on dose, and that long-term-radiation-induced effects on the maintenance of T-cell telomeres may be modified by the subsequent metabolic conditions of individuals.

  20. Telomere dysfunction induces metabolic and mitochondrial compromise

    PubMed Central

    Sahin, Ergün; Colla, Simona; Liesa, Marc; Moslehi, Javid; Müller, Florian L.; Guo, Mira; Cooper, Marcus; Kotton, Darrell; Fabian, Attila J.; Walkey, Carl; Maser, Richard S.; Tonon, Giovanni; Foerster, Friedrich; Xiong, Robert; Wang, Y. Alan; Shukla, Sachet A.; Jaskelioff, Mariela; Martin, Eric S.; Heffernan, Timothy P.; Protopopov, Alexei; Ivanova, Elena; Mahoney, John E.; Kost-Alimova, Maria; Perry, Samuel R.; Bronson, Roderick; Liao, Ronglih; Mulligan, Richard; Shirihai, Orian S.; Chin, Lynda; DePinho, Ronald A.

    2013-01-01

    Telomere dysfunction activates p53-mediated cellular growth arrest, senescence and apoptosis to drive progressive atrophy and functional decline in high-turnover tissues. The broader adverse impact of telomere dysfunction across many tissues including more quiescent systems prompted transcriptomic network analyses to identify common mechanisms operative in haematopoietic stem cells, heart and liver. These unbiased studies revealed profound repression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma, coactivator 1 alpha and beta (PGC-1α and PGC-1β, also known as Ppargc1a and Ppargc1b, respectively) and the downstream network in mice null for either telomerase reverse transcriptase (Tert) or telomerase RNA component (Terc) genes. Consistent with PGCs as master regulators of mitochondrial physiology and metabolism, telomere dysfunction is associated with impaired mitochondrial biogenesis and function, decreased gluconeogenesis, cardiomyopathy, and increased reactive oxygen species. In the setting of telomere dysfunction, enforced Tert or PGC-1α expression or germline deletion of p53 (also known as Trp53) substantially restores PGC network expression, mitochondrial respiration, cardiac function and gluconeogenesis. We demonstrate that telomere dysfunction activates p53 which in turn binds and represses PGC-1α and PGC-1β promoters, thereby forging a direct link between telomere and mitochondrial biology. We propose that this telomere–p53–PGC axis contributes to organ and metabolic failure and to diminishing organismal fitness in the setting of telomere dysfunction. PMID:21307849

  1. DNA damage response inhibition at dysfunctional telomeres by modulation of telomeric DNA damage response RNAs.

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-27

    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.

  2. Loving-Kindness Meditation practice associated with longer telomeres in women.

    PubMed

    Hoge, Elizabeth A; Chen, Maxine M; Orr, Esther; Metcalf, Christina A; Fischer, Laura E; Pollack, Mark H; De Vivo, Immaculata; Simon, Naomi M

    2013-08-01

    Relatively short telomere length may serve as a marker of accelerated aging, and shorter telomeres have been linked to chronic stress. Specific lifestyle behaviors that can mitigate the effects of stress might be associated with longer telomere lengths. Previous research suggests a link between behaviors that focus on the well-being of others, such as volunteering and caregiving, and overall health and longevity. We examined relative telomere length in a group of individuals experienced in Loving-Kindness Meditation (LKM), a practice derived from the Buddhist tradition which utilizes a focus on unselfish kindness and warmth towards all people, and control participants who had done no meditation. Blood was collected by venipuncture, and Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral blood leukocytes. Quantitative real time PCR was used to measure relative telomere length (RTL) (Cawthon, 2002) in fifteen LKM practitioners and 22 control participants. There were no significant differences in age, gender, race, education, or exposure to trauma, but the control group had a higher mean body mass index (BMI) and lower rates of past depression. The LKM practitioners had longer RTL than controls at the trend level (p=.083); among women, the LKM practitioners had significantly longer RTL than controls, (p=.007), which remained significant even after controlling for BMI and past depression. Although limited by small sample size, these results offer the intriguing possibility that LKM practice, especially in women, might alter RTL, a biomarker associated with longevity.

  3. Telomere length in epidemiology: a biomarker of aging, age-related disease, both, or neither?

    PubMed

    Sanders, Jason L; Newman, Anne B

    2013-01-01

    Telomeres are nucleoprotein caps flanking DNA. They are shortened by cell division and oxidative stress and are lengthened by the enzyme telomerase and DNA exchange during mitosis. Short telomeres induce cellular senescence. As an indicator of oxidative stress and senescence (2 processes thought to be fundamental to aging), telomere length is hypothesized to be a biomarker of aging. This hypothesis has been tested for more than a decade with epidemiologic study methods. In cross-sectional studies, researchers have investigated whether leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is associated with demographic, behavioral, and health variables. In prospective studies, baseline LTL has been used to predict mortality and occasionally other adverse health outcomes. Conflicting data have generated heated debate about the value of LTL as a biomarker of overall aging. In this review, we address the epidemiologic data on LTL and demonstrate that shorter LTL is associated with older age, male gender, Caucasian race, and possibly atherosclerosis; associations with other markers of health are equivocal. We discuss the reasons for discrepancy across studies, including a detailed review of methods for measuring telomere length as they apply to epidemiology. Finally, we conclude with questions about LTL as a biomarker of aging and how epidemiology can be used to answer these questions.

  4. rasiRNA pathway controls antisense expression of Drosophila telomeric retrotransposons in the nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Shpiz, Sergey; Kwon, Dmitry; Rozovsky, Yakov; Kalmykova, Alla

    2009-01-01

    Telomeres in Drosophila are maintained by the specialized telomeric retrotransposons HeT-A, TART and TAHRE. Sense transcripts of telomeric retroelements were shown to be the targets of a specialized RNA-interference mechanism, a repeat-associated short interfering (rasi)RNA-mediated system. Antisense rasiRNAs play a key role in this mechanism, highlighting the importance of antisense expression in retrotransposon silencing. Previously, bidirectional transcription was reported for the telomeric element TART. Here, we show that HeT-A is also bidirectionally transcribed, and HeT-A antisense transcription in ovaries is regulated by a promoter localized within its 3′ untranslated region. A remarkable feature of noncoding HeT-A antisense transcripts is the presence of multiple introns. We demonstrate that sense and antisense HeT-A-specific rasiRNAs are present in the same tissue, indicating that transcripts of both directions may be considered as natural targets of the rasiRNA pathway. We found that the expression of antisense transcripts of telomeric elements is regulated by the RNA silencing machinery, suggesting rasiRNA-mediated interplay between sense and antisense transcripts in the cell. Finally, this regulation occurs in the nucleus since disruption of the rasiRNA pathway leads to an accumulation of TART and HeT-A transcripts in germ cell nuclei. PMID:19036789

  5. Meiotic abnormalities

    SciTech Connect

    1993-12-31

    Chapter 19, describes meiotic abnormalities. These include nondisjunction of autosomes and sex chromosomes, genetic and environmental causes of nondisjunction, misdivision of the centromere, chromosomally abnormal human sperm, male infertility, parental age, and origin of diploid gametes. 57 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab.

  6. Telomere profiling: toward glioblastoma personalized medicine.

    PubMed

    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

    2013-02-01

    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

  7. Increased expression of telomere-regulating genes in endurance athletes with long leukocyte telomeres.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-15

    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.

  8. Molecular Cytogenetic Analysis of Telomere Rearrangements

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Christa Lese; Ledbetter, David H.

    2015-01-01

    Genomic imbalances involving the telomeric regions of human chromosomes, which contain the highest gene concentration in the genome, are proposed to have severe phenotypic consequences. For this reason, it is important to identify telomere rearrangements and assess their contribution to human pathology. This unit describes the structure and function of human telomeres and outlines several FISH-based methodologies that can be employed to study these unique regions of human chromosomes. It is a revision of the original version of the unit published in 2000, now including an introductory section describing advances in the discipline that have taken place since the original publication. PMID:25599669

  9. Telomere elongation (Tel), a new mutation in Drosophila melanogaster that produces long telomeres.

    PubMed Central

    Siriaco, Giorgia M; Cenci, Giovanni; Haoudi, Abdelali; Champion, Larry E; Zhou, Chun; Gatti, Maurizio; Mason, James M

    2002-01-01

    In most eukaryotes telomeres are extended by telomerase. Drosophila melanogaster, however, lacks telomerase, and telomere-specific non-LTR retrotransposons, HeT-A and TART, transpose specifically to chromosome ends. A Drosophila strain, Gaiano, that has long telomeres has been identified. We extracted the major Gaiano chromosomes into an Oregon-R genetic background and examined the resulting stocks after 60 generations. In situ hybridization using HeT-A and TART sequences showed that, in stocks carrying either the X or the second chromosome from Gaiano, only the Gaiano-derived chromosomes display long telomeres. However, in stocks carrying the Gaiano third chromosome, all telomeres are substantially elongated, indicating that the Gaiano chromosome 3 carries a factor that increases HeT-A and TART addition to the telomeres. We show that this factor, termed Telomere elongation (Tel), is dominant and localizes as a single unit to 69 on the genetic map. The long telomeres tend to associate with each other in both polytene and mitotic cells. These associations depend on telomere length rather than the presence of Tel. Associations between metaphase chromosomes are resolved during anaphase, suggesting that they are mediated by either proteinaceous links or DNA hydrogen bonding, rather than covalent DNA-DNA bonds. PMID:11805059

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    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.

  11. MAJIN Links Telomeric DNA to the Nuclear Membrane by Exchanging Telomere Cap.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-19

    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.

  12. Telomere repeat binding proteins are functional components of Arabidopsis telomeres and interact with telomerase

    PubMed Central

    Procházková Schrumpfová, Petra; Vychodilová, Ivona; Dvořáčková, Martina; Majerská, Jana; Dokládal, Ladislav; Schořová, Šárka; Fajkus, Jiří

    2014-01-01

    Although telomere-binding proteins constitute an essential part of telomeres, in vivo data indicating the existence of a structure similar to mammalian shelterin complex in plants are limited. Partial characterization of a number of candidate proteins has not identified true components of plant shelterin or elucidated their functional mechanisms. Telomere repeat binding (TRB) proteins from Arabidopsis thaliana bind plant telomeric repeats through a Myb domain of the telobox type in vitro, and have been shown to interact with POT1b (Protection of telomeres 1). Here we demonstrate co-localization of TRB1 protein with telomeres in situ using fluorescence microscopy, as well as in vivo interaction using chromatin immunoprecipitation. Classification of the TRB1 protein as a component of plant telomeres is further confirmed by the observation of shortening of telomeres in knockout mutants of the trb1 gene. Moreover, TRB proteins physically interact with plant telomerase catalytic subunits. These findings integrate TRB proteins into the telomeric interactome of A. thaliana. PMID:24397874

  13. Telomere stability is frequently impaired in high-risk groups of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes.

    PubMed

    Ohyashiki, J H; Iwama, H; Yahata, N; Ando, K; Hayashi, S; Shay, J W; Ohyashiki, K

    1999-05-01

    Genomic instability induces an accumulation of genetic changes and may play a role in the pathogenesis of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). To clarify the possible association between genomic instability and clinical outcome in MDS patients, we compared telomere dynamics to the recently established International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS) risk groups for MDS. We measured the terminal restriction fragments (TRFs) of 93 patients with MDS at the time of diagnosis, and telomerase activity was analyzed in 62 patients with MDS using the PCR-based telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) assay. A total of 53 of 93 MDS patients had TRFs within the age-matched normal range, and the remaining patients showed shortened TRFs (35 patients) or elongated TRFs (5 patients). MDS patients with shortened TRFs had a significantly low hemoglobin concentration (P = 0.04), a high percentage of marrow blasts (P = 0.02), and a high incidence of cytogenetic abnormalities (P < 0.05). The incidence of leukemic transformation was significantly high in patients with shortened TRF length (P < 0.05). In addition, patients with shortened TRF length were frequently seen in the IPSS high-risk group (P < 0.01). Most of the MDS patients had normal-to-low levels of telomerase activity, suggesting that changes in TRF length rather than telomerase activity may more accurately reflect the pathophysiology of MDS. MDS patients with shortened TRF length had a very poor prognosis (P < 0.01), suggesting that telomere dynamics may be linked to clinical outcome in MDS patients. Thus, an abnormal mechanism of telomere maintenance in subgroups of MDS patients may be an early indication of genomic instability. This study demonstrates that telomere stability is frequently impaired in a high-risk group of MDS patients and suggests that, in combination with the IPSS classification system, measurement of TRFs may be useful in the future to stratify MDS patients according to risk and manage the care of MDS

  14. Maternal telomere length inheritance in the king penguin.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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.

  15. An interstitial deletion of 7.1Mb in chromosome band 6p22.3 associated with developmental delay and dysmorphic features including heart defects, short neck, and eye abnormalities.

    PubMed

    Bremer, Anna; Schoumans, Jacqueline; Nordenskjöld, Magnus; Anderlid, Britt-Marie; Giacobini, Maibritt

    2009-01-01

    Seven cases with an interstitial deletion of the short arm of chromosome 6 involving the 6p22 region have previously been reported. The clinical phenotype of these cases includes developmental delay, brain-, heart-, and kidney defects, eye abnormalities, short neck, craniofacial malformations, hypotonia, as well as clinodactyly or syndactyly. Here, we report a patient with a 7.1Mb interstitial deletion of chromosome band 6p22.3, detected by genome-wide screening array CGH. The patient is a 4-year-old girl with developmental delay and dysmorphic features including eye abnormalities, short neck, and a ventricular septum defect. The deleted region at 6p22.3 in our patient overlaps with six out of the seven previously reported cases with a 6p22-24 interstitial deletion. This enabled us to further narrow down the critical region for the 6p22 deletion phenotype to 2.2Mb. Twelve genes are mapped to the overlapping deleted region, among them the gene encoding the ataxin-1 protein, the ATXN1 gene. Mice with homozygous deletions in ATXN1 are phenotypically normal but show cognitive delay. Haploinsufficiency of ATXN1 may therefore contribute to the learning difficulties observed in the patients harboring a 6p22 deletion.

  16. Portrait of replication stress viewed from telomeres.

    PubMed

    Ishikawa, Fuyuki

    2013-07-01

    Genetic instability is the driving force of the malignant progression of cancer cells. Recently, replication stress has attracted much attention as a source of genetic instability that gives rise to an accumulation of mutations during the lifespan of individuals. However, the molecular details of the process are not fully understood. Here, recent progress in understanding how genetic alterations accumulate at telomeres will be reviewed. In particular, two aspects of telomere replication will be discussed in this context, covering conventional semi-conservative replication, and DNA synthesis by telomerase plus the C-strand fill-in reactions. Although these processes are seemingly telomere-specific, I will emphasize the possibility that the molecular understanding of the telomere events may shed light on genetic instability at other genetic loci in general.

  17. Treating Cancer by Targeting Telomeres and Telomerase

    PubMed Central

    Ivancich, Marko; Schrank, Zachary; Wojdyla, Luke; Leviskas, Brandon; Kuckovic, Adijan; Sanjali, Ankita; Puri, Neelu

    2017-01-01

    Telomerase is expressed in more than 85% of cancer cells. Tumor cells with metastatic potential may have a high telomerase activity, allowing cells to escape from the inhibition of cell proliferation due to shortened telomeres. Human telomerase primarily consists of two main components: hTERT, a catalytic subunit, and hTR, an RNA template whose sequence is complimentary to the telomeric 5′-dTTAGGG-3′ repeat. In humans, telomerase activity is typically restricted to renewing tissues, such as germ cells and stem cells, and is generally absent in normal cells. While hTR is constitutively expressed in most tissue types, hTERT expression levels are low enough that telomere length cannot be maintained, which sets a proliferative lifespan on normal cells. However, in the majority of cancers, telomerase maintains stable telomere length, thereby conferring cell immortality. Levels of hTERT mRNA are directly related to telomerase activity, thereby making it a more suitable therapeutic target than hTR. Recent data suggests that stabilization of telomeric G-quadruplexes may act to indirectly inhibit telomerase action by blocking hTR binding. Telomeric DNA has the propensity to spontaneously form intramolecular G-quadruplexes, four-stranded DNA secondary structures that are stabilized by the stacking of guanine residues in a planar arrangement. The functional roles of telomeric G-quadruplexes are not completely understood, but recent evidence suggests that they can stall the replication fork during DNA synthesis and inhibit telomere replication by preventing telomerase and related proteins from binding to the telomere. Long-term treatment with G-quadruplex stabilizers induces a gradual reduction in the length of the G-rich 3’ end of the telomere without a reduction of the total telomere length, suggesting that telomerase activity is inhibited. However, inhibition of telomerase, either directly or indirectly, has shown only moderate success in cancer patients. Another

  18. Telomeric armor: the layers of end protection

    PubMed Central

    Oganesian, Liana; Karlseder, Jan

    2009-01-01

    Summary The linear nature of eukaryotic chromosomes necessitates protection of their physical ends, the telomeres, because the DNA-repair machinery can misconstrue the ends as double-stranded DNA breaks. Thus, protection is crucial for avoiding an unwarranted DNA-damage response that could have catastrophic ramifications for the integrity and stability of the linear genome. In this Commentary, we attempt to define what is currently understood by the term `telomere protection'. Delineating the defining boundaries of chromosome-end protection is important now more than ever, as it is becoming increasingly evident that, although unwanted DNA repair at telomeres must be avoided at all costs, the molecular players involved in recognition, signaling and repair of DNA damage might also serve to protect telomeres. PMID:19910493

  19. Telomeres, histone code, and DNA damage response.

    PubMed

    Misri, S; Pandita, S; Kumar, R; Pandita, T K

    2008-01-01

    Genomic stability is maintained by telomeres, the end terminal structures that protect chromosomes from fusion or degradation. Shortening or loss of telomeric repeats or altered telomere chromatin structure is correlated with telomere dysfunction such as chromosome end-to-end associations that could lead to genomic instability and gene amplification. The structure at the end of telomeres is such that its DNA differs from DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) to avoid nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ), which is accomplished by forming a unique higher order nucleoprotein structure. Telomeres are attached to the nuclear matrix and have a unique chromatin structure. Whether this special structure is maintained by specific chromatin changes is yet to be thoroughly investigated. Chromatin modifications implicated in transcriptional regulation are thought to be the result of a code on the histone proteins (histone code). This code, involving phosphorylation, acetylation, methylation, ubiquitylation, and sumoylation of histones, is believed to regulate chromatin accessibility either by disrupting chromatin contacts or by recruiting non-histone proteins to chromatin. The histone code in which distinct histone tail-protein interactions promote engagement may be the deciding factor for choosing specific DSB repair pathways. Recent evidence suggests that such mechanisms are involved in DNA damage detection and repair. Altered telomere chromatin structure has been linked to defective DNA damage response (DDR), and eukaryotic cells have evolved DDR mechanisms utilizing proficient DNA repair and cell cycle checkpoints in order to maintain genomic stability. Recent studies suggest that chromatin modifying factors play a critical role in the maintenance of genomic stability. This review will summarize the role of DNA damage repair proteins specifically ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and its effectors and the telomere complex in maintaining genome stability.

  20. Telomeres and the ethics of human cloning.

    PubMed

    Allhoff, Fritz

    2004-01-01

    In search of a potential problem with cloning, I investigate the phenomenon of telomere shortening which is caused by cell replication; clones created from somatic cells will have shortened telomeres and therefore reach a state of senescence more rapidly. While genetic intervention might fix this problem at some point in the future, I ask whether, absent technological advances, this biological phenomenon undermines the moral permissibility of cloning.

  1. Shorter telomeres and high telomerase activity correlate with a highly aggressive phenotype in breast cancer cell lines.

    PubMed

    Ceja-Rangel, Hugo A; Sánchez-Suárez, Patricia; Castellanos-Juárez, Emilio; Peñaroja-Flores, Rubicelia; Arenas-Aranda, Diego J; Gariglio, Patricio; Benítez-Bribiesca, Luis

    2016-09-01

    Maintenance of telomere length is one function of human telomerase that is crucial for the survival of cancer cells and cancer progression. Both telomeres and telomerase have been proposed as possible biomarkers of cancer risk and cancer invasiveness; however, their clinical relevance is still under discussion. In order to improve our understanding of the relationship between telomere length and telomerase activity with cancer invasiveness, we studied telomere length as well as telomerase levels, activity, and intracellular localization in breast cancer cell lines with diverse invasive phenotypes. We found an apparently paradoxical coincidence of short telomeres and enhanced telomerase activity in the most invasive breast cancer cell lines. We also observed that hTERT intracellular localization could be correlated with its level of activity. There was no association between human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) protein expression levels and invasiveness. We propose that simultaneous evaluation of these two biomarkers-telomere length and telomerase activity-could be useful for the assessment of the invasive capacity and aggressiveness of tumor cells from breast cancer patients.

  2. Telomere--the twilight to immortality.

    PubMed

    Shukla, Samarth; Acharya, Sourya; Rajput, Devendra; Vagha, S; Grover, Shobha

    2010-09-01

    Besides forming a very important component of the chromosome, the telomeres have extremely significant modes of action and functions, right from maintaining a basic infrastructure and integrity of the chromosome vis a vis the other chromosomes, telomeres are responsible for the cell divisions and replicative senescence of the cell. The number of mitotic divisions which a cell will go through in its life span while passing through the cell cycle is governed inturn by these telomeres, the crux of the entire functioning of these chromosomal components suggests that they are the ticking clocks of the cell and when they diminish or are worn out so does the cell reach it's senility at the fag end of it's replicative life--resulting fate being--the cell is sent to it's grave yard (the final destination). Clinical implications include--regulation of cell life spans, regulating the cell's replicative behavior and it's utility in forming cells which usually are impossible to divide or replicate, telomeres regulate the cloning process,the telomeres play a major role in predicting the fate of a neoplastic cell and finally enhancing the life span of a single cell, the organ, the body as a whole by enzymes which expand the telomeres--the telomerase.

  3. Unique C. elegans telomeric overhang structures reveal the evolutionarily conserved properties of telomeric DNA

    PubMed Central

    Školáková, Petra; Foldynová-Trantírková, Silvie; Bednářová, Klára; Fiala, Radovan; Vorlíčková, Michaela; Trantírek, Lukáš

    2015-01-01

    There are two basic mechanisms that are associated with the maintenance of the telomere length, which endows cancer cells with unlimited proliferative potential. One mechanism, referred to as alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT), accounts for approximately 10–15% of all human cancers. Tumours engaged in the ALT pathway are characterised by the presence of the single stranded 5′-C-rich telomeric overhang (C-overhang). This recently identified hallmark of ALT cancers distinguishes them from healthy tissues and renders the C-overhang as a clear target for anticancer therapy. We analysed structures of the 5′-C-rich and 3′-G-rich telomeric overhangs from human and Caenorhabditis elegans, the recently established multicellular in vivo model of ALT tumours. We show that the telomeric DNA from C. elegans and humans forms fundamentally different secondary structures. The unique structural characteristics of C. elegans telomeric DNA that are distinct not only from those of humans but also from those of other multicellular eukaryotes allowed us to identify evolutionarily conserved properties of telomeric DNA. Differences in structural organisation of the telomeric DNA between the C. elegans and human impose limitations on the use of the C. elegans as an ALT tumour model. PMID:25855805

  4. Duplicative activation mechanisms of two trypanosome telomeric VSG genes with structurally simple 5' flanks.

    PubMed

    Matthews, K R; Shiels, P G; Graham, S V; Cowan, C; Barry, J D

    1990-12-25

    In the mammalian bloodstream, African trypanosomes express variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) genes from a family of long and complex telomeric expression sites. VSG switching generally occurs by the duplication of different VSG genes into these sites by gene conversion involving a series of 70 base pair (70bp) repeats in the 5' flank. In contrast, when VSG is first synthesised by trypanosomes in the tsetse fly at the metacyclic stage, a separate set of telomeric expression sites is activated. These latter telomeres appear not to act as recipients in gene conversion. We have found that the structure of two such expression sites is simple, with very short 70bp repeat regions and very little other sequence in common with bloodstream expression sites. However, the two telomeres readily act as donors in VSG gene conversion in the bloodstream and we show for one a consistent association of the conversion 5' end point with the short 70bp repeat region. These findings help explain why a very predictable set of VSGs is expressed in the tsetse fly and have implications for VSG gene conversion mechanisms.

  5. [Association study of telomere length with idiopathic male infertility].

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    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.

  6. Spatially confined polymer chains: implications of chromatin fibre flexibility and peripheral anchoring on telomere telomere interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-04-01

    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.

  7. Paternal imprint essential for the inheritance of telomere identity in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Guanjun; Cheng, Yan; Wesolowska, Natalia; Rong, Yikang S.

    2011-01-01

    Chromatin remodeling during sperm maturation could erase epigenetic landmarks on the paternal genome, creating a challenge for its reestablishment on fertilization. Here, we show that selective retention of a chromosomal protein in mature sperm protects the identity of paternal telomeres in Drosophila. The ms(3)k81 (k81) gene is a duplication of hiphop that encodes a telomeric protein. Although HipHop protects telomeres in somatic cells, K81 is produced exclusively in males and localizes to telomeres in postmitotic cells, including mature sperm. In embryos fathered by k81 mutants, the maternal supplies fail to reestablish a protective cap on paternal telomeres, leading to their fusions. These fusions hinder the segregation of the paternal genome and result in haploid embryos with maternal chromosomes. The functional divergence between hiphop and k81 manifests not only in their expression patterns but also in the protein functions that they encode. By swapping the two coding regions, we show that K81 can replace HipHop for somatic protection; however, HipHop cannot replace K81 in the germ line to specify telomere identity, because HipHop ectopically expressed in the testis is removed from chromatin during sperm maturation. HipHop lacks a short motif in K81 that is essential for K81 to survive the remodeling process. We show that the combined functions of HipHop and K81 are likely fulfilled by the single ancestral hiphop locus in other Drosophila species, supporting the hypothesis that the evolutionary process of subfunctionalization was responsible for the preservation of the hiphop-k81 duplicate. PMID:21383184

  8. Innate sexuality determines the mechanisms of telomere maintenance.

    PubMed

    Tasaka, Kenta; Yokoyama, Naoki; Nodono, Hanae; Hoshi, Motonori; Matsumoto, Midori

    2013-01-01

    Recently, telomere length has been shown to be differentially regulated in asexually and sexually reproducing planarians. In addition, it was found that asexual worms maintain telomere length somatically during reproduction by fission or when regeneration is induced by amputation, whereas sexual worms only achieve telomere elongation through sexual reproduction. We have established an experimental bioassay system to induce switching from asexual to sexual reproduction in planarians, that is, sexualization. In this study, the relationship between the reproductive mode and telomere maintenance was investigated using innate asexually reproducing worms, innate sexually reproducing worms, and experimentally sexualized worms. Here, we show that innate asexual planarians maintain telomere length during cell division and that innate sexual planarians exhibit telomere shortening. However, experimental sexualized worms maintain telomere length during cell division. These results indicate that innate sexuality is linked to the mechanism of telomere maintenance.

  9. Multiple facets of TPP1 in telomere maintenance

    PubMed Central

    Rajavel, Malligarjunan; Mullins, Michael R.; Taylor, Derek J.

    2014-01-01

    Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes that cap the ends of all linear chromosomes and function to prevent aberrant repair and end-to-end chromosome fusions. In somatic cells, telomere shortening is a natural part of the aging process as it occurs with each round of cell division. In germ and stem cells, however, the enzyme telomerase synthesizes telomere DNA to counter-balance telomere shortening and help maintain cellular proliferation. Of the primary telomere end-binding proteins, TPP1 has recently emerged as a primary contributor in protecting telomere DNA and in recruiting telomerase to the telomere ends. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge regarding the role of TPP1 in telomere maintenance. PMID:24780581

  10. Tumor viruses and replicative immortality--avoiding the telomere hurdle.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xinsong; Kamranvar, Siamak Akbari; Masucci, Maria G

    2014-06-01

    Tumor viruses promote cell proliferation in order to gain access to an environment suitable for persistence and replication. The expression of viral products that promote growth transformation is often accompanied by the induction of multiple signs of telomere dysfunction, including telomere shortening, damage of telomeric DNA and chromosome instability. Long-term survival and progression to full malignancy require the bypassing of senescence programs that are triggered by the damaged telomeres. Here we review different strategies by which tumor viruses interfere with telomere homeostasis during cell transformation. This frequently involves the activation of telomerase, which assures both the integrity and functionality of telomeres. In addition, recent evidence suggests that oncogenic viruses may activate a recombination-based mechanism for telomere elongation known as Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT). This error-prone strategy promotes genomic instability and could play an important role in viral oncogenesis.

  11. Telomere length and telomerase activity in the context of menopause.

    PubMed

    Pines, A

    2013-12-01

    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.

  12. Insomnia and Telomere Length in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Carroll, Judith E.; Esquivel, Stephanie; Goldberg, Alyssa; Seeman, Teresa E.; Effros, Rita B.; Dock, Jeffrey; Olmstead, Richard; Breen, Elizabeth C.; Irwin, Michael R.

    2016-01-01

    Study Objectives: Insomnia, particularly in later life, may raise the risk for chronic diseases of aging and mortality through its effect on cellular aging. The current study examines the effects of insomnia on telomere length, a measure of cellular aging, and tests whether insomnia interacts with chronological age to increase cellular aging. Methods: A total of 126 males and females (60–88 y) were assessed for insomnia using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV criterion for primary insomnia and the International Classification of Sleep Disorders, Second Edition for general insomnia (45 insomnia cases; 81 controls). Telomere length in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) was determined using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) methodology. Results: In the analysis of covariance model adjusting for body mass index and sex, age (60–69 y versus 70–88 y) and insomnia diagnosis interacted to predict shorter PBMC telomere length (P = 0.04). In the oldest age group (70–88 y), PBMC telomere length was significantly shorter in those with insomnia, mean (standard deviation) M(SD) = 0.59(0.2) compared to controls with no insomnia M(SD) = 0.78(0.4), P = 0.04. In the adults aged 60–69 y, PBMC telomere length was not different between insomnia cases and controls, P = 0.44. Conclusions: Insomnia is associated with shorter PBMC telomere length in adults aged 70–88 y, but not in those younger than 70 y, suggesting that clinically severe sleep disturbances may increase cellular aging, especially in the later years of life. These findings highlight insomnia as a vulnerability factor in later life, with implications for risk for diseases of aging. Citation: Carroll JE, Esquivel S, Goldberg A, Seeman TE, Effros RB, Dock J, Olmstead R, Breen EC, Irwin MR. Insomnia and telomere length in older adults. SLEEP 2016;39(3):559–564. PMID:26715231

  13. Two faces of Solanaceae telomeres: a comparison between Nicotiana and Cestrum telomeres and telomere-binding proteins.

    PubMed

    Peska, V; Sýkorová, E; Fajkus, J

    2008-01-01

    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.

  14. TOR links starvation responses to telomere length maintenance.

    PubMed

    Kupiec, Martin; Weisman, Ronit

    2012-06-15

    Telomeres are nucleoprotein structures that protect the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes and play important roles in ensuring the genome's integrity. Telomere length is maintained by complex mechanisms that ensure length homeostasis. Recent work has linked telomere length maintenance to the Tor protein kinases, which are central regulators of cellular growth. Here we summarize these results, which suggest a link between nutrient availability, telomere length maintenance and chronological lifespan.

  15. Runaway telomere elongation caused by telomerase RNA gene mutations.

    PubMed

    McEachern, M J; Blackburn, E H

    1995-08-03

    The ribonucleoprotein enzyme telomerase adds telomeric DNA onto chromosome ends and is normally regulated so that telomeric DNA lengths are kept within defined bounds. In the telomerase RNA gene from the yeast Kluyveromyces lactis, specific mutations that alter telomeric DNA sequences result in telomeres elongating to up to 100 times their normal length and impair cell growth. Some mutations cause immediate elongation whereas others behave like genetic time bombs, causing elongation only after a latent period of hundreds of generations.

  16. Cellular Consequences of Telomere Shortening in Histologically Normal Breast Tissues

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-01

    prognostic and/or risk biomarker [2]. Dysfunctional telomeres cause genomic instability via chromosomal breakage-fusion-bridge cycles. In the...invited to write a review article describing “The potential utility of telomere-related markers for cancer diagnosis” [7]. In alignment with his...De Marzo, E.A. Platz, and A.K. Meeker. Prostate cancer cell telomere length variability and stromal cell telomere length as prognostic markers for

  17. Leukocyte abnormalities.

    PubMed

    Gabig, T G

    1980-07-01

    Certain qualitative abnormalities in neutrophils and blood monocytes are associated with frequent, severe, and recurrent bacterial infections leading to fatal sepsis, while other qualitative defects demonstrated in vitro may have few or no clinical sequelae. These qualitative defects are discussed in terms of the specific functions of locomotion, phagocytosis, degranulation, and bacterial killing.

  18. Characterization of Arabidopsis thaliana telomeres isolated in yeast.

    PubMed Central

    Richards, E J; Chao, S; Vongs, A; Yang, J

    1992-01-01

    In an effort to learn more about the genomic organization of chromosomal termini in plants we employed a functional complementation strategy to isolate Arabidopsis thaliana telomeres in the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Eight yeast episomes carrying A. thaliana telomeric sequences were obtained. The plant sequences carried on two episomes, YpAtT1 and YpAtT7, were characterized in detail. The telomeric origins of YpAtT1 and YpAtT7 insert DNAs were confirmed by demonstrating that corresponding genomic sequences are preferentially degraded during exonucleolytic digestion. The isolated telomeric restriction fragments contain G-rich repeat arrays characteristic of A. thaliana telomeres, as well as subterminal telomere-associated sequences (TASs). DNA sequence analysis revealed the presence of variant telomeric repeats at the centromere-proximal border of the terminal block of telomere repeats. The TAS flanking the telomeric G-rich repeat in YpAtT7 corresponds to a repetitive element present at other A. thaliana telomeres, while more proximal sequences are unique to one telomere. The YpAtT1 TAS is unique in the Landsberg strain of A. thaliana from which the clone originated; however, the Landsberg TAS cross-hybridizes weakly to a second telomere in the strain Columbia. Restriction analysis with cytosine methylation-sensitive endonucleases indicated that both TASs are highly methylated in the genome. Images PMID:1508688

  19. Single-molecule choreography between telomere proteins and G quadruplexes.

    PubMed

    Hopfner, Karl-Peter

    2014-06-10

    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.

  20. Akt Regulates TPP1 Homodimerization and Telomere Protection

    PubMed Central

    Han, Xin; Liu, Dan; Zhang, Yi; Li, Yujing; Lu, Weisi; Chen, Junjie; Songyang, Zhou

    2014-01-01

    Summary Telomeres are specialized structures at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes that are important for maintaining genome stability and integrity. Telomere dysfunction has been linked to aging and cancer development. In mammalian cells, extensive studies have been carried out to illustrate how core telomeric proteins assemble on telomeres to recruit the telomerase and additional factors for telomere maintenance and protection. In comparison, how changes in growth signaling pathways impact telomeres and telomere-binding proteins remains largely unexplored. The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K)/Akt (also known as PKB) pathway, one of the best characterized growth signaling cascades, regulates a variety of cellular function including cell proliferation, survival, metabolism, and DNA repair, and dysregulation of PI3-K/Akt signaling has been linked to aging and diseases such as cancer and diabetes. In this study, we provide evidence that the Akt signaling pathway plays an important role in telomere protection. Akt inhibition either by chemical inhibitors or small interfering RNAs induced telomere dysfunction. Furthermore, we found that TPP1 could homodimerize through its OB fold, a process that was dependent on the Akt kinase. Telomere damage and reduced TPP1 dimerization as a result of Akt inhibition was also accompanied by diminished recruitment of TPP1 and POT1 to the telomeres. Our findings highlight a previously unknown link between Akt signaling and telomere protection. PMID:23862686

  1. The latent cytomegalovirus decreases telomere length by microcompetition

    PubMed Central

    Javaherian, Adrian

    2015-01-01

    Reduced telomere length has been associated with aging and age-related diseases. Latent infection with the Cytomegalovirus (CMV) induces telomere shortening in the infected cells. Latent CMV infection may cause reduced telomere length via GABP transcription factor deficiency, according to the Microcompetition Theory. Microcompetition and viral-induced transcription factor deficiency is important since most people harbor a latent viral infection.

  2. Chromothripsis and kataegis induced by telomere crisis

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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 h 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. PMID:26687355

  3. Telomeres: structures in need of unwinding.

    PubMed

    Paeschke, Katrin; McDonald, Karin R; Zakian, Virginia A

    2010-09-10

    Telomeres protect the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes from being recognized and processed as double strand breaks. In most organisms, telomeric DNA is highly repetitive with a high GC-content. Moreover, the G residues are concentrated in the strand running 3'-5' from the end of the chromosome towards its center. This G-rich strand is extended to form a 3' single-stranded tail that can form unusual secondary structures such as T-loops and G-quadruplex DNA. Both the duplex repeats and the single-stranded G-tail are assembled into stable protein-DNA complexes. The unique architecture, high GC content, and multi-protein association create particularly stable protein-DNA complexes that are a challenge for replication, recombination, and transcription. Helicases utilize the energy of nucleotide hydrolysis to unwind base paired nucleic acids and, in some cases, to displace proteins from them. The telomeric functions of helicases from the RecQ, Pifl, FANCJ, and DNA2 families are reviewed in this article. We summarize data showing that perturbation of their telomere activities can lead to telomere dysfunction and genome instability and in some cases human disease.

  4. Chromothripsis and Kataegis Induced by Telomere Crisis.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-17

    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.

  5. The yeast telomere length regulator TEL2 encodes a protein that binds to telomeric DNA.

    PubMed Central

    Kota, R S; Runge, K W

    1998-01-01

    TEL2 is required for telomere length regulation and viability in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. To investigate the mechanism by which Tel2p regulates telomere length, the majority (65%) of the TEL2 ORF was fused to the 3'-end of the gene for maltose binding protein, expressed in bacteria and the purified protein used in DNA binding studies. Rap1p, the major yeast telomere binding protein, recognizes a 13 bp duplex site 5'-GGTGTGTGGGTGT-3' in yeast telomeric DNA with high affinity. Gel shift experiments revealed that the MBP-Tel2p fusion binds the double-stranded yeast telomeric Rap1p site in a sequence-specific manner. Analysis of mutated sites showed that MBP-Tel2p could bind 5'-GTGTGTGG-3' within this 13 bp site. Methylation interference analysis revealed that Tel2p contacts the 5'-terminal guanine in the major groove. MBP-Tel2p did not bind duplex telomeric DNA repeats from vertebrates, Tetrahymena or Oxytricha. These results suggest that Tel2p is a DNA binding protein that recognizes yeast telomeric DNA. PMID:9490802

  6. Molecular architecture of classical cytological landmarks: Centromeres and telomeres

    SciTech Connect

    Meyne, J.

    1994-11-01

    Both the human telomere repeat and the pericentromeric repeat sequence (GGAAT)n were isolated based on evolutionary conservation. Their isolation was based on the premise that chromosomal features as structurally and functionally important as telomeres and centromeres should be highly conserved. Both sequences were isolated by high stringency screening of a human repetitive DNA library with rodent repetitive DNA. The pHuR library (plasmid Human Repeat) used for this project was enriched for repetitive DNA by using a modification of the standard DNA library preparation method. Usually DNA for a library is cut with restriction enzymes, packaged, infected, and the library is screened. A problem with this approach is that many tandem repeats don`t have any (or many) common restriction sites. Therefore, many of the repeat sequences will not be represented in the library because they are not restricted to a viable length for the vector used. To prepare the pHuR library, human DNA was mechanically sheared to a small size. These relatively short DNA fragments were denatured and then renatured to C{sub o}t 50. Theoretically only repetitive DNA sequences should renature under C{sub o}t 50 conditions. The single-stranded regions were digested using S1 nuclease, leaving the double-stranded, renatured repeat sequences.

  7. Tetrafluoroethylene telomerization initiated by benzoyl peroxide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

    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.

  8. Abnormal short-latency synaptic plasticity in the motor cortex of subjects with Becker muscular dystrophy: a rTMS study.

    PubMed

    Golaszewski, Stefan; Schwenker, Kerstin; Bergmann, Jürgen; Brigo, Francesco; Christova, Monica; Trinka, Eugen; Nardone, Raffaele

    2016-01-01

    We used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to further investigate motor cortex excitability in 13 patients with Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD), six of them with slight mental retardation. RTMS delivered at 5Hz frequency and suprathreshold intensity progressively increases the size of motor evoked potentials (MEPs) in healthy subjects; the rTMS-induced facilitation of MEPs was significantly reduced in the BMD patients mentally retarded or classified as borderline when compared with age-matched control subjects and the BMD patients with normal intelligence. The increase in the duration of the cortical silent period was similar in both patient groups and controls. These findings suggest an altered cortical short-term synaptic plasticity in glutamate-dependent excitatory circuits within the motor cortex in BMD patients with intellectual disabilities. RTMS studies may shed new light on the physiological mechanisms of cortical involvement in dystrophinopathies.

  9. X-linked congenital ptosis and associated intellectual disability, short stature, microcephaly, cleft palate, digital and genital abnormalities define novel Xq25q26 duplication syndrome.

    PubMed

    Møller, R S; Jensen, L R; Maas, S M; Filmus, J; Capurro, M; Hansen, C; Marcelis, C L M; Ravn, K; Andrieux, J; Mathieu, M; Kirchhoff, M; Rødningen, O K; de Leeuw, N; Yntema, H G; Froyen, G; Vandewalle, J; Ballon, K; Klopocki, E; Joss, S; Tolmie, J; Knegt, A C; Lund, A M; Hjalgrim, H; Kuss, A W; Tommerup, N; Ullmann, R; de Brouwer, A P M; Strømme, P; Kjaergaard, S; Tümer, Z; Kleefstra, T

    2014-05-01

    Submicroscopic duplications along the long arm of the X-chromosome with known phenotypic consequences are relatively rare events. The clinical features resulting from such duplications are various, though they often include intellectual disability, microcephaly, short stature, hypotonia, hypogonadism and feeding difficulties. Female carriers are often phenotypically normal or show a similar but milder phenotype, as in most cases the X-chromosome harbouring the duplication is subject to inactivation. Xq28, which includes MECP2 is the major locus for submicroscopic X-chromosome duplications, whereas duplications in Xq25 and Xq26 have been reported in only a few cases. Using genome-wide array platforms we identified overlapping interstitial Xq25q26 duplications ranging from 0.2 to 4.76 Mb in eight unrelated families with in total five affected males and seven affected females. All affected males shared a common phenotype with intrauterine- and postnatal growth retardation and feeding difficulties in childhood. Three had microcephaly and two out of five suffered from epilepsy. In addition, three males had a distinct facial appearance with congenital bilateral ptosis and large protruding ears and two of them showed a cleft palate. The affected females had various clinical symptoms similar to that of the males with congenital bilateral ptosis in three families as most remarkable feature. Comparison of the gene content of the individual duplications with the respective phenotypes suggested three critical regions with candidate genes (AIFM1, RAB33A, GPC3 and IGSF1) for the common phenotypes, including candidate loci for congenital bilateral ptosis, small head circumference, short stature, genital and digital defects.

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

    PubMed

    Prusty, Bhupesh K; Krohne, George; Rudel, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    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.

  11. Exome Sequencing Links Mutations in PARN and RTEL1 with Familial Pulmonary Fibrosis and Telomere Shortening

    PubMed Central

    Stuart, Bridget D.; Choi, Jungmin; Zaidi, Samir; Xing, Chao; Holohan, Brody; Chen, Rui; Choi, Mihwa; Dharwadkar, Pooja; Torres, Fernando; Girod, Carlos E.; Weissler, Jonathan; Fitzgerald, John; Kershaw, Corey; Klesney-Tait, Julia; Mageto, Yolanda; Shay, Jerry W.; Ji, Weizhen; Bilguvar, Kaya; Mane, Shrikant; Lifton, Richard P.; Garcia, Christine Kim

    2015-01-01

    Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is an age-related disease featuring progressive lung scarring. To elucidate the molecular basis of IPF, we performed exome sequencing of familial pulmonary fibrosis kindreds. Gene burden analysis comparing 78 European cases and 2,816 controls implicated PARN, an exoribonuclease with no prior connection to telomere biology or disease, with five novel heterozygous damaging mutations in unrelated cases and none in controls (P-value = 1.3 × 10−8); mutations were shared by all affected relatives (odds in favor of linkage = 4,096:1). RTEL1, an established locus for dyskeratosis congenita, harbored significantly more novel damaging and missense variants at conserved residues in cases than controls (P = 1.6 × 10−6). PARN and RTEL1 mutation carriers had shortened leukocyte telomere lengths and epigenetic inheritance of short telomeres was seen in family members. Together these genes explain ~7% of familial pulmonary fibrosis and strengthen the link between lung fibrosis and telomere dysfunction. PMID:25848748

  12. Telomere length is a prognostic biomarker in elderly advanced ovarian cancer patients: a multicenter GINECO study

    PubMed Central

    Falandry, Claire; Horard, Béatrice; Bruyas, Amandine; Legouffe, Eric; Cretin, Jacques; Meunier, Jérôme; Alexandre, Jérôme; Delecroix, Valérie; Fabbro, Michel; Certain, Marie-Noëlle; Maraval-Gaget, Raymonde; Pujade-Lauraine, Eric; Gilson, Eric; Freyer, Gilles

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Age induces a progressive decline in functional reserve and impacts cancer treatments. Telomere attrition leads to tissue senescence. We tested the hypothesis that telomere length (TL) could predict patient vulnerability and outcome with cancer treatment. Patients and methods An ancillary study in the Elderly Women GINECO Trial 3 was performed to evaluate the impact of geriatric covariates on survival in elderly advanced ovarian cancer patients receiving six cycles of carboplatin. TL was estimated from peripheral blood at inclusion using standard procedures. Results TL (in base pairs) was estimated for 109/111 patients (median 6.1 kb; range [4.5-8.3 kb]). With a cut-off of 5.77 kb, TL discriminated two patient groups, long telomere (LT) and short telomeres (ST), with significantly different treatment completion rates of 0.80 (95%CI [0.71-0.89]) and 0.59 (95%CI [0.41-0.76]), respectively (odds ratio [OR]=2.8, p=0.02). ST patients were at higher risk of serious adverse events (SAE, OR=2.7; p=0.02) and had more unplanned hospital admissions (OR=2.1; p=0.08). After adjustment on FIGO stage, TL shorter than 6 kb was a risk factor of premature death (HR=1.57; p=0.06). Conclusion This exploratory study identifies TL as predictive factor of decreased treatment completion, SAE risk, unplanned hospital admissions and OS after adjustment on FIGO stage. PMID:26638179

  13. Overcoming the immortality of tumour cells by telomere and telomerase based cancer therapeutics--current status and future prospects.

    PubMed

    Kelland, Lloyd R

    2005-05-01

    A key property of malignant tumours is their immortality or limitless replicative potential. Cell replication is associated with the maintenance of telomeres and in the great majority of cases, through the reactivation of the reverse transcriptase telomerase. Targeting the telomere/telomerase machinery offers a novel and potentially broad-spectrum anticancer therapeutic strategy since telomerase is constitutively overexpressed in the vast majority of human cancers. Telomeres are also critically short in most tumours compared to normal tissues. Strategies that exploit these differences include the direct targeting of components of telomerase: the protein component hTERT or RNA component hTR. Examples of such agents include the small molecule hTERT inhibitor BIBR1532 and GRN163L, a thio-phosphoramidate oligonucleotide targeting the template region of hTR as a "template antagonist". Anti-tumour effects have been observed in both cell lines and, especially for GRN163L, in xenografted human tumours in mice. Effects, however, are largely dependent upon initial telomere length, which can result in a substantial lag before antitumour activity is observed in tumours possessing relatively long telomeres. An alternative approach is to target the telomere itself (Telomere Targeting Agents, TTAs). Several classes of small molecules have been described that induce the G-rich single-stranded overhang of telomeric DNA to fold into 4-stranded G-quadruplex structures. Such folding is incompatible with telomerase function and may induce rapid telomere uncapping. These molecules have shown potent telomerase inhibition in nanomolar concentrations in vitro and the rapid induction of senescence in cancer cells. The trisubstituted acridine based TTA, BRACO19, has demonstrated single agent activity against human tumour xenografts with anti-tumour effects apparent from only 7 days of treatment. In the near future, it is expected that lead examples from both the direct telomerase targeted

  14. Occurrence of molecular abnormalities of cell cycle in L132 cells after in vitro short-term exposure to air pollution PM(2.5).

    PubMed

    Abbas, Imane; Garçon, Guillaume; Saint-Georges, Françoise; Billet, Sylvain; Verdin, Anthony; Gosset, Pierre; Mulliez, Philippe; Shirali, Pirouz

    2010-12-05

    To improve the knowledge of the underlying mechanisms implying in air pollution Particulate Matter (PM)-induced lung toxicity in humans, we were interested in the sequential occurrence of molecular abnormalities from TP53-RB gene signaling pathway activation in the L132 target human lung epithelial cell model. The most toxicologically relevant physical and chemical characteristics of air pollution PM(2.5) collected in Dunkerque, a French highly-industrialized sea-side city, were determined. L132 cells were exposed during 24, 48 and 72h to Dunkerque City's PM(2.5) (i.e. Lethal Concentration (LC)(10)=18.84μgPM/mL or 5.02μgPM/cm(2); LC(50)=75.36μgPM/mL or 20.10μgPM/cm(2)), TiO(2) and desorbed PM (i.e. dPM; EqLC(10)=15.42μg/mL or 4.11μgPM/cm(2); EqLC(50)=61.71μg/mL or 16.46μgPM/cm(2)), benzene (7μM) or Benzo[a]Pyrene (B[a]P; 1μM). Dunkerque City's PM(2.5) altered the gene expression and/or the protein concentration of several key cell cycle controllers from TP53-RB gene signaling pathway (i.e. P53; BCL2; P21; cyclin D1, cyclin-dependent kinase 1; retinoblastoma protein) in L132 cells, thereby leading to the occurrence of cell proliferation and apoptosis together. The activation of the critical cell cycle controllers under study might be related to PM-induced oxidative stress, through the possible involvement of covalent metals in redox systems, the metabolic activation of organic chemicals by enzyme-catalyzed reactions, and phagocytosis. Taken together, these results might ask the critical question whether there is a balance or, in contrast, rather an imbalance between the cell proliferation and the apoptosis occurring in PM-exposed L132 cells, with possible consequences in term of PM-induced lung tumorgenesis.

  15. Telomere length and genetic anticipation in Lynch syndrome.

    PubMed

    Seguí, Nuria; Pineda, Marta; Guinó, Elisabet; Borràs, Ester; Navarro, Matilde; Bellido, Fernando; Moreno, Victor; Lázaro, Conxi; Blanco, Ignacio; Capellá, Gabriel; Valle, Laura

    2013-01-01

    Telomere length variation has been associated with increased risk of several types of tumors, and telomere shortening, with genetic anticipation in a number of genetic diseases including hereditary cancer syndromes. No conclusive studies have been performed for Lynch syndrome, a hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome caused by germline mutations in the DNA mismatch repair genes. Here we evaluate telomere length in Lynch syndrome, both as a cancer risk factor and as a mechanism associated with anticipation in the age of cancer onset observed in successive generations of Lynch syndrome families. Leukocyte telomere length was measured in 244 mismatch repair gene mutation carriers from 96 Lynch syndrome families and in 234 controls using a monochrome multiplex quantitative PCR method. Cancer-affected mutation carriers showed significantly shorter telomeres than cancer-free mutation carriers. In addition, cancer-affected carriers showed the most pronounced shortening of telomere length with age, compared with unaffected carriers. The anticipation in the age of cancer onset observed in successive generations was not associated with telomere shortening, although, interestingly, all mother-son pairs showed telomere shortening. In conclusion, cancer-affected mismatch repair gene mutation carriers have distinct telomere-length pattern and dynamics. However, anticipation in the age of onset is not explained by telomere shortening. Pending further study, our findings suggest that telomere attrition might explain the previously reported dependence of cancer risk on the parent-of-origin of mismatch repair gene mutations.

  16. Assessing Telomere Length Using Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

    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.

  17. The role of telomere dynamics in aging and cancer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blagoev, Krastan; Goodwin, Edwin

    2006-03-01

    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.

  18. Elevated levels of TRF2 induce telomeric ultrafine anaphase bridges and rapid telomere deletions

    PubMed Central

    Nera, Bernadette; Huang, Hui-Shun; Lai, Thao; Xu, Lifeng

    2015-01-01

    The shelterin protein TRF2 is essential for chromosome-end protection. Depletion of TRF2 causes chromosome end-to-end fusions, initiating genomic instability that can be cancer promoting. Paradoxically, significant increased levels of TRF2 are observed in a subset of human cancers. Experimental overexpression of TRF2 has also been shown to induce telomere shortening, through an unknown mechanism. Here we report that TRF2 overexpression results in replication stalling in duplex telomeric repeat tracts and the subsequent formation of telomeric ultrafine anaphase bridges (UFBs), ultimately leading to stochastic loss of telomeric sequences. These TRF2 overexpression-induced telomere deletions generate chromosome fusions resembling those detected in human cancers and in mammalian cells containing critically shortened telomeres. Therefore, our findings have uncovered a second pathway by which altered TRF2 protein levels can induce end-to-end fusions. The observations also provide mechanistic insight into the molecular basis of genomic instability in tumour cells containing significantly increased TRF2 levels. PMID:26640040

  19. Age-related telomere uncapping is associated with cellular senescence and inflammation independent of telomere shortening in human arteries.

    PubMed

    Morgan, Richard G; Ives, Stephen J; Lesniewski, Lisa A; Cawthon, Richard M; Andtbacka, Robert H I; Noyes, R Dirk; Richardson, Russell S; Donato, Anthony J

    2013-07-15

    Arterial telomere dysfunction may contribute to chronic arterial inflammation by inducing cellular senescence and subsequent senescence-associated inflammation. Although telomere shortening has been associated with arterial aging in humans, age-related telomere uncapping has not been described in non-cultured human tissues and may have substantial prognostic value. In skeletal muscle feed arteries from 104 younger, middle-aged, and older adults, we assessed the potential role of age-related telomere uncapping in arterial inflammation. Telomere uncapping, measured by p-histone γ-H2A.X (ser139) localized to telomeres (chromatin immunoprecipitation; ChIP), and telomeric repeat binding factor 2 bound to telomeres (ChIP) was greater in arteries from older adults compared with those from younger adults. There was greater tumor suppressor protein p53 (P53)/cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1A (P21)-induced senescence, measured by P53 bound to P21 gene promoter (ChIP), and greater expression of P21, interleukin 8, and monocyte chemotactic protein 1 mRNA (RT-PCR) in arteries from older adults compared with younger adults. Telomere uncapping was a highly influential covariate for the age-group difference in P53/P21-induced senescence. Despite progressive age-related telomere shortening in human arteries, mean telomere length was not associated with telomere uncapping or P53/P21-induced senescence. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that advancing age is associated with greater telomere uncapping in arteries, which is linked to P53/P21-induced senescence independent of telomere shortening.

  20. A loopy view of telomere evolution.

    PubMed

    de Lange, Titia

    2015-01-01

    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.

  1. ARSENIC EFFECTS ON TELOMERE AND TELOMERASE ACTIVITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    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 27711
    Arsenic is a known carcinogen and also an anticancer agent for acut...

  2. Telomere Length, Proviral Load and Neurologic Impairment in HTLV-1 and HTLV-2-Infected Subjects

    PubMed Central

    Usadi, Benjamin; Bruhn, Roberta; Lin, Jue; Lee, Tzong-Hae; Blackburn, Elizabeth; Murphy, Edward L.

    2016-01-01

    Short or damaged telomeres have been implicated in degenerative conditions. We hypothesized that analysis of telomere length (TL) in human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV) infection and HTLV-associated neuropathy might provide clues to the etiology of HTLV-associated disease and viral dynamics. A subset of 45 human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1), 45 human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 2 (HTLV-2), and 45 seronegative subjects was selected from the larger HTLV Outcomes Study (HOST) cohort, matched on age, sex and race/ethnicity. Telomere-to-single-copy gene (T/S) ratio (a measure of TL) and HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 proviral loads were measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) using quantitative PCR (qPCR). Vibration sensation measured by tuning fork during neurologic examinations performed as part of the HOST study allowed for an assessment of peripheral neuropathy. TL was compared between groups using t-tests, linear and logistic regression. Mean T/S ratio was 1.02 ± 0.16 in HTLV-1, 1.03 ± 0.17 in HTLV-2 and 0.99 ± 0.18 in HTLV seronegative subjects (p = 0.322). TL was not associated with HTLV-1 or -2 proviral load. Shorter TL was significantly associated with impaired vibration sense in the HTLV-2 positive group only. Overall, we found no evidence that telomere length was affected by chronic HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 infection. That TL was only associated with peripheral neuropathy in the HTLV-2-positive group is intriguing, but should be interpreted cautiously. Studies with larger sample size and telomere length measurement in lymphocyte subsets may clarify the relationship between TL and HTLV-infection. PMID:27529270

  3. Telomere Length, Proviral Load and Neurologic Impairment in HTLV-1 and HTLV-2-Infected Subjects.

    PubMed

    Usadi, Benjamin; Bruhn, Roberta; Lin, Jue; Lee, Tzong-Hae; Blackburn, Elizabeth; Murphy, Edward L

    2016-08-11

    Short or damaged telomeres have been implicated in degenerative conditions. We hypothesized that analysis of telomere length (TL) in human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV) infection and HTLV-associated neuropathy might provide clues to the etiology of HTLV-associated disease and viral dynamics. A subset of 45 human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1), 45 human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 2 (HTLV-2), and 45 seronegative subjects was selected from the larger HTLV Outcomes Study (HOST) cohort, matched on age, sex and race/ethnicity. Telomere-to-single-copy gene (T/S) ratio (a measure of TL) and HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 proviral loads were measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) using quantitative PCR (qPCR). Vibration sensation measured by tuning fork during neurologic examinations performed as part of the HOST study allowed for an assessment of peripheral neuropathy. TL was compared between groups using t-tests, linear and logistic regression. Mean T/S ratio was 1.02 ± 0.16 in HTLV-1, 1.03 ± 0.17 in HTLV-2 and 0.99 ± 0.18 in HTLV seronegative subjects (p = 0.322). TL was not associated with HTLV-1 or -2 proviral load. Shorter TL was significantly associated with impaired vibration sense in the HTLV-2 positive group only. Overall, we found no evidence that telomere length was affected by chronic HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 infection. That TL was only associated with peripheral neuropathy in the HTLV-2-positive group is intriguing, but should be interpreted cautiously. Studies with larger sample size and telomere length measurement in lymphocyte subsets may clarify the relationship between TL and HTLV-infection.

  4. Measurement of Telomere length: a new assay using QuantiGene chemistry on a Luminex platform

    PubMed Central

    Kibriya, Muhammad G.; Jasmine, Farzana; Roy, Shantanu; Ahsan, Habibul; Pierce, Brandon

    2014-01-01

    Background Telomeres are tandem repeats of sequences present at the end of the chromosomes that maintain chromosomal integrity. After repeated cell division, telomeres shorten to a critical level, triggering replicative senescence or apoptosis, which is a key determinant of cellular ageing. Short telomeres also contribute to genome instability and are a hallmark of many cancers. There are several methods for estimating telomere length (TL) from extracted DNA samples. Southern blot is accurate but requires a large quantity of DNA and is expensive. qPCR is cost-effective and requires a small quantity of DNA and is therefore widely used for large-scale epidemiological studies; however, typically requires triplicates. We describe a novel multiplexed probe-based non-PCR method for TL measurement. Methods A small amount of DNA (∼50ng) is hybridized to telomere repeat sequence-specific probes (T) and a reference single gene probes (R). T and R signals are detected from a single reaction well containing the same input DNA. Branching DNA technology is used to amplify the signal which is detected by Luminex technology. Results The intra- and inter-assay CV (∼3% and ∼5% respectively) shows the precision of the new assay and the measurements from single well correlated well with traditional single-plex qPCR run in triplicate (r=0.7 to 0.8). The assay was also validated in an independent set of samples using Southern blot (r=0.74). Conclusion We describe a novel assay for TL assessment using Luminex platform. Impact This may offer an alternative cost-efficient way to study TL in extracted DNA samples. PMID:25472675

  5. Chromosomal localization of ribosomal and telomeric DNA provides new insights on the evolution of gomphocerinae grasshoppers.

    PubMed

    Jetybayev, I E; Bugrov, A G; Karamysheva, T V; Camacho, J P M; Rubtsov, N B

    2012-01-01

    Chromosome location of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) and telomeric repeats was analysed in mitotic chromosomes of 15 species of Gomphocerinae grasshoppers belonging to the tribes Arcypterini, Gomphocerini, Stenobothrini, and Chrysochraontini. Two types of rDNA distribution were found in the Gomphocerini tribe. Type 1, found in 9 species, was characterized by the presence of rDNA in the short arm of the long biarmed chromosomes 2 and 3 and, in some species, also in the X chromosome. Type 2 was found only in Aeropus sibiricus and Stauroderus scalaris and consisted in the presence of pericentromeric rDNA blocks in all chromosomes. A comparison of rDNA distribution in Gomphocerini species with 2n ♂ = 23, 2n ♂ = 21, and 2n ♂ = 17 suggested the possible involvement of chromosome 6 in the ancestral karyotype (2n ♂ = 23) in 1 of the 3 centric fusions that decreased the chromosome number in these species. In the tribe Stenobothrini, Stenobothrus eurasius carried a single rDNA cluster in the X chromosome, likewise 2 Spanish species previously analysed, but Omocestus viridulus unusually showed a single rDNA cluster in the longest autosome. Telomeric repeats were located primarily on the ends of chromosome arms. In 2 species, however, we observed the presence of interstitial clusters outside telomeric regions. The first one, Aeropus sibiricus, exhibited a polymorphic interstitial site of telomeric repeats in chromosome 6 as a consequence of a paracentric inversion. Most remarkably, Chorthippus jacobsoni showed the presence of telomeric repeats in the pericentric regions of the 3 biarmed chromosome pairs originated by centric fusion, thus suggesting that these rearrangements were not of the Robertsonian type but true centric fusion with a probable generation of dicentric chromosomes.

  6. Repair of UV-induced DNA lesions in natural Saccharomyces cerevisiae telomeres is moderated by Sir2 and Sir3, and inhibited by yKu-Sir4 interaction.

    PubMed

    Guintini, Laetitia; Tremblay, Maxime; Toussaint, Martin; D'Amours, Annie; Wellinger, Ralf E; Wellinger, Raymund J; Conconi, Antonio

    2017-02-21

    Ultraviolet light (UV) causes DNA damage that is removed by nucleotide excision repair (NER). UV-induced DNA lesions must be recognized and repaired in nucleosomal DNA, higher order structures of chromatin and within different nuclear sub-compartments. Telomeric DNA is made of short tandem repeats located at the ends of chromosomes and their maintenance is critical to prevent genome instability. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae the chromatin structure of natural telomeres is distinctive and contingent to telomeric DNA sequences. Namely, nucleosomes and Sir proteins form the heterochromatin like structure of X-type telomeres, whereas a more open conformation is present at Y'-type telomeres. It is proposed that there are no nucleosomes on the most distal telomeric repeat DNA, which is bound by a complex of proteins and folded into higher order structure. How these structures affect NER is poorly understood. Our data indicate that the X-type, but not the Y'-type, sub-telomeric chromatin modulates NER, a consequence of Sir protein-dependent nucleosome stability. The telomere terminal complex also prevents NER, however, this effect is largely dependent on the yKu-Sir4 interaction, but Sir2 and Sir3 independent.

  7. Leukocyte Telomere Length in the Neonatal Offspring of Mothers with Gestational and Pre-Gestational Diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Gilfillan, Christopher; Naidu, Pratyusha; Gunawan, Florence; Hassan, Fadwa; Tian, Pei; Elwood, Ngaire

    2016-01-01

    Aims Telomeres undergo shortening with cell division, accelerated by increased oxidative stress. We aimed to demonstrate shortened telomeres in the offspring of mothers who have diabetes as a consequence of exposure to increased oxidative stress during intrauterine development. Methods We examined the level of glycaemia (glucose, HbA1c, fructosamine), oxidative stress (lipid peroxidation) and the levels of antioxidant enzymes (Superoxide dismutase (SOD) and Selenium dependent glutathione peroxidase) and correlate these findings with mean telomere length (TL) in maternal and foetal blood in groups of pregnant women with pre-gestational diabetes (PGD), gestational diabetes (GD) and a euglycaemic control group. Results Foetal and maternal glucose, maternal HbA1c, and foetal insulin and C-peptide were higher in the PGD group with the GD group being intermediate. Markers of oxidative stress did not vary between groups with the exception of foetal SOD activity that was highest in the GD group. There were no detectable differences in maternal or foetal TL between study groups. An exploratory analysis looking at correlations between glycaemic and oxidative stress parameters and TL revealed a negative correlation between maternal and foetal glucose and TL across the whole study population. This relationship held for the short-term marker of glycaemic control, fructosamine. Conclusions We were unable to show significant telomere shortening in the offspring of mothers with PGD or GD. Exploratory analysis revealed a relationship between foetal TL and short-term glycaemia particularly in PGD. It is possible that increased telomerase activity can compensate for long-term increased oxidative stress but not for short-term dysglycaemia. PMID:27736899

  8. POT1 and TRF2 Cooperate To Maintain Telomeric Integrity†

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Qin; Zheng, Yun-Ling; Harris, Curtis C.

    2005-01-01

    Mammalian telomeric DNA contains duplex TTAGGG repeats and single-stranded overhangs. POT1 (protection of telomeres 1) is a telomere-specific single-stranded DNA-binding protein, highly conserved in eukaryotes. The biological function of human POT1 is not well understood. In the present study, we demonstrate that POT1 plays a key role in telomeric end protection. The reduction of POT1 by RNA interference led to the loss of telomeric single-stranded overhangs and induced apoptosis, chromosomal instability, and senescence in cells. POT1 and TRF2 interacted with each other to form a complex with telomeric DNA. A dominant negative TRF2, TRF2ΔBΔM, bound to POT1 and prevented it from binding to telomeres. POT1 overexpression protected against TRF2ΔBΔM-induced loss of telomeric single-stranded overhangs, chromosomal instability, and senescence. These results demonstrate that POT1 and TRF2 share in part in the same pathway for telomere capping and suggest that POT1 binds to the telomeric single-stranded DNA in the D-loop and cooperates with TRF2 in t-loop maintenance. PMID:15657433

  9. Telomere homeostasis in mammalian germ cells: a review.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    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.

  10. Telomere maintenance and the etiology of adult glioma.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-11-01

    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.

  11. Functional characterization of the TERRA transcriptome at damaged telomeres

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25359189

  12. Telomeres, Age and Reproduction in a Long-Lived Reptile

    PubMed Central

    Plot, Virginie; Criscuolo, François; Zahn, Sandrine; Georges, Jean-Yves

    2012-01-01

    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 individual reproductive

  13. Multiple roles for Mre11 at uncapped telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Yibin; Guo, Xiaolan; Ferguson, David O.; Chang, Sandy

    2009-01-01

    Progressive telomere attrition or uncapping of the shelterin complex elicits a DNA damage response (DDR) as a result of a cell’s inability to distinguish dysfunctional telomeric ends from DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs)1. Telomere deprotection activates both ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and telangiectasia and Rad3-related (ATR) kinase dependent DDR pathways and promotes efficient non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) of dysfunctional telomeres2–5. The mammalian Mre11-Rad50-NBS1 (MRN) complex interacts with ATM to sense chromosomal DSBs and coordinate global DNA damage responses6, 7. While the MRN complex accumulates at dysfunctional telomeres, it is not known whether mammalian MRN promotes repair at these sites. Here we address this question by utilizing mouse alleles that either inactivate the entire MRN complex or eliminate only the nuclease activities of Mre118. Cells lacking MRN do not activate ATM when telomeric repeat binding factor 2 (TRF2) is removed from telomeres, and Ligase 4 (Lig4) dependent chromosome end-to-end fusions are markedly reduced. Residual chromatid fusions involve only telomeres generated by leading strand synthesis. Strikingly, while cells deficient for Mre11 nuclease activity efficiently activate ATM and recruit 53BP1 to deprotected telomeres, the 3’ telomeric overhang persists to prevent NHEJ-mediated chromosomal fusions. Removal of shelterin proteins that protect the 3’ overhang in the setting of Mre11 nuclease deficiency restores Lig4 dependent chromosome fusions. Our data suggest a critical role for the MRN complex in sensing dysfunctional telomeres, with Mre11 nuclease activity required to remove the 3’ telomeric overhang to promote chromosome fusion. Mre11 is also required to protect newly replicated leading strand telomeres from engaging the NHEJ pathway, likely by promoting 5’ strand resection to generate Pot1a-TPP1 bound 3’ overhangs that prevents NHEJ. PMID:19633651

  14. ERCC1 and telomere status in breast tumours treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy and their association with patient prognosis

    PubMed Central

    Gay‐Bellile, Mathilde; Romero, Pierre; Cayre, Anne; Véronèse, Lauren; Privat, Maud; Singh, Shalini; Combes, Patricia; Kwiatkowski, Fabrice; Abrial, Catherine; Bignon, Yves‐Jean; Vago, Philippe; Penault‐Llorca, Frédérique

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Dysfunctional telomeres and DNA damage repair (DDR) play important roles in cancer progression. Studies have reported correlations between these factors and tumour aggressiveness and clinical outcome in breast cancer. We studied the characteristics of telomeres and expression of ERCC1, a protein involved in a number of DNA repair pathways and in telomere homeostasis, to assess their prognostic value, alone or in combination, in 90 residual breast tumours after treatment with neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NCT). ERCC1 status was investigated at different molecular levels (protein and gene expression and gene copy‐number variations) by immunohistochemistry, qRT‐PCR and quantitative multiplex fluorescent‐PCR (QMF‐PCR). A comprehensive analysis of telomere characteristics was performed using qPCR for telomere length and qRT‐PCR for telomerase (hTERT), tankyrase 1 (TNKS) and shelterin complex (TRF1, TRF2, POT1, TPP1, RAP1 and TIN2) gene expression. Short telomeres, high hTERT and TNKS expression and low ERCC1 protein expression were independently associated with worse survival outcome. Interestingly, ERCC1 gains and losses correlated with worse disease‐free (p = 0.026) and overall (p = 0.043) survival as compared to survival of patients with normal gene copy‐numbers. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering of all ERCC1 and telomere parameters identified four subgroups with distinct prognosis. In particular, a cluster combining low ERCC1, ERCC1 gene alterations, dysfunctional telomeres and high hTERT and a cluster with high TNKS and shelterin expression correlated with poor disease‐free (HR= 5.41, p= 0.0044) and overall survival (HR= 6.01, p= 0.0023) irrespective of tumour stage and grade. This comprehensive study demonstrates that telomere dysfunction and DDR can contribute synergistically to tumour progression and chemoresistance. These parameters are predictors of clinical outcome in breast cancer patients treated with NCT and could be useful

  15. Constitutional telomeric association (Y;7) in a patient with a female phenotype.

    PubMed

    Beneteau, Claire; Baron, Sabine; David, Albert; Jossic, Frédérique; Poulain, Damien; Schmitt, Sébastien; Leclair, Marc-David; Piloquet, Philippe; Le Caignec, Cédric

    2013-06-01

    Telomeric associations (TAs) are fusions between two telomeres of two different chromosomes without visible loss of chromosomal material. Constitutional telomeric associations are rare chromosomal anomalies. We report on the cytogenetic and molecular analyses of a TA involving chromosomes Y and 7 in a child with a female phenotype. Prenatal cytogenetic analysis showed a 45,X chromosome complement in all cells. No fetal abnormality was identified at ultrasound examinations and the pregnancy went to term. During childhood, the proband had gonadal dysgenesis but no other phenotypic manifestations of Turner syndrome. Molecular genetic analyses showed the presence of genomic DNA of the SRY gene without any mutation. Karyotyping and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) analyses on blood showed two cell lines: one cell line with a TA involving chromosomes Y and 7 [46,X,tas(Y;7)(p11.32;q36.3)] and a second cell line with a 45,X pattern. A human pantelomeric repeat TTAGGG probe hybridized to the junction of the TA within the derivative chromosome. FISH and array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) analyses demonstrated that tas(Y;7) occurred without detectable loss of any sequence at the derivative chromosome. SNP array analysis excluded an uniparental isodisomy of chromosome 7. Knowing more about TAs will help geneticists to deliver accurate genetic counseling.

  16. RecQ helicases in DNA double strand break repair and telomere maintenance.

    PubMed

    Singh, Dharmendra Kumar; Ghosh, Avik K; Croteau, Deborah L; Bohr, Vilhelm A

    2012-08-01

    Organisms are constantly exposed to various environmental insults which could adversely affect the stability of their genome. To protect their genomes against the harmful effect of these environmental insults, organisms have evolved highly diverse and efficient repair mechanisms. Defective DNA repair processes can lead to various kinds of chromosomal and developmental abnormalities. RecQ helicases are a family of evolutionarily conserved, DNA unwinding proteins which are actively engaged in various DNA metabolic processes, telomere maintenance and genome stability. Bacteria and lower eukaryotes, like yeast, have only one RecQ homolog, whereas higher eukaryotes including humans possess multiple RecQ helicases. These multiple RecQ helicases have redundant and/or non-redundant functions depending on the types of DNA damage and DNA repair pathways. Humans have five different RecQ helicases and defects in three of them cause autosomal recessive diseases leading to various kinds of cancer predisposition and/or aging phenotypes. Emerging evidence also suggests that the RecQ helicases have important roles in telomere maintenance. This review mainly focuses on recent knowledge about the roles of RecQ helicases in DNA double strand break repair and telomere maintenance which are important in preserving genome integrity.

  17. Accelerated Telomere Shortening in Acromegaly; IGF-I Induces Telomere Shortening and Cellular Senescence

    PubMed Central

    Matsumoto, Ryusaku; Fukuoka, Hidenori; Iguchi, Genzo; Odake, Yukiko; Yoshida, Kenichi; Bando, Hironori; Suda, Kentaro; Nishizawa, Hitoshi; Takahashi, Michiko; Yamada, Shozo; Ogawa, Wataru; Takahashi, Yutaka

    2015-01-01

    Objective Patients with acromegaly exhibit reduced life expectancy and increased prevalence of age-related diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. However, the underlying mechanism has not been fully elucidated. Telomere shortening is reportedly associated with reduced life expectancy and increased prevalence of these age-related diseases. Methods We measured telomere length in patients with acromegaly using quantitative PCR method. The effect of GH and IGF-I on telomere length and cellular senescence was examined in human skin fibroblasts. Results Patients with acromegaly exhibited shorter telomere length than age-, sex-, smoking-, and diabetes-matched control patients with non-functioning pituitary adenoma (0.62 ± 0.23 vs. 0.75 ± 0.35, respectively, P = 0.047). In addition, telomere length in acromegaly was negatively correlated with the disease duration (R2 = 0.210, P = 0.003). In vitro analysis revealed that not GH but IGF-I induced telomere shortening in human skin fibroblasts. Furthermore, IGF-I-treated cells showed increased senescence-associated β-galactosidase activity and expression of p53 and p21 protein. IGF-I-treated cells reached the Hayflick limit earlier than GH- or vehicle-treated cells, indicating that IGF-I induces cellular senescence. Conclusion Shortened telomeres in acromegaly and cellular senescence induced by IGF-I can explain, in part, the underlying mechanisms by which acromegaly exhibits an increased morbidity and mortality in association with the excess secretion of IGF-I. PMID:26448623

  18. A POT1 mutation implicates defective telomere end fill-in and telomere truncations in Coats plus.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    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).

  19. Insights into Cdc13 Dependent Telomere Length Regulation

    SciTech Connect

    M Mason; E Skordalakes

    2011-12-31

    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.

  20. The heterochromatic chromosome caps in great apes impact telomere metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Novo, Clara; Bordes, Win-Yan; Castro-Vega, Luis; Gibaud, Anne; Dutrillaux, Bernard; Bacchetti, Silvia; Londoño-Vallejo, Arturo

    2013-01-01

    In contrast with the limited sequence divergence accumulated after separation of higher primate lineages, marked cytogenetic variation has been associated with the genome evolution in these species. Studying the impact of such structural variations on defined molecular processes can provide valuable insights on how genome structural organization contributes to organismal evolution. Here, we show that telomeres on chromosome arms carrying subtelomeric heterochromatic caps in the chimpanzee, which are completely absent in humans, replicate later than telomeres on chromosome arms without caps. In gorilla, on the other hand, a proportion of the subtelomeric heterochromatic caps present in most chromosome arms are associated with large blocks of telomere-like sequences that follow a replication program different from that of bona fide telomeres. Strikingly, telomere-containing RNA accumulates extrachromosomally in gorilla mitotic cells, suggesting that at least some aspects of telomere-containing RNA biogenesis have diverged in gorilla, perhaps in concert with the evolution of heterochromatic caps in this species. PMID:23519615

  1. Telomere Dysfunction and DNA-PKcs Deficiency: characterization and consequence

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Eli S.; Klingler, Rebekah; Ponnaiya, Brian; Hardt, Tanja; Schrock, Evelin; Lees-Miller, Susan P.; Meek, Katheryn; Ullrich, Robert L.; Bailey, Susan M.

    2013-01-01

    The mechanisms by which cells accurately distinguish between DNA double-strand break (DSB) ends and telomeric DNA ends remain poorly defined. Recent investigations have revealed intriguing interactions between DNA repair and telomeres. We were the first to report a requirement for the non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) protein DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) in the effective end-capping of mammalian telomeres. Here, we report our continued characterization of uncapped (as opposed to shortened) dysfunctional telomeres in cells deficient for the catalytic subunit of DNA-PK (DNA-PKcs) and shed light on their consequence. We present evidence in support of our model that uncapped telomeres in this repair-deficient background are inappropriately detected and processed as DSBs, and so participate not only in spontaneous telomere-telomere fusion, but importantly, also in ionizing radiation (IR)-induced telomere-DSB fusion events. We demonstrate that phosphorylation of DNA-PKcs itself (Thr-2609 cluster) is a critical event for proper telomere end-processing and that ligase IV (NHEJ) is required for uncapped telomere fusion. We also find uncapped telomeres in cells from the BALB/c mouse, which harbors two single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that result in reduced DNA-PKcs abundance and activity, most markedly in mammary tissue, and is both radiosensitive and susceptible to radiogenic mammary cancer. Our results suggest mechanistic links between uncapped/dysfunctional telomeres in DNA-PKcs repair-deficient backgrounds, radiation-induced instability and breast cancer. These studies provide the first direct evidence of genetic susceptibility and environmental insult interactions leading to a unique and on-going form of genomic instability capable of driving carcinogenesis. PMID:19244120

  2. Acacetin and Chrysin, Two Polyphenolic Compounds, Alleviate Telomeric Position Effect in Human Cells

    PubMed Central

    Boussouar, Amina; Barette, Caroline; Nadon, Robert; Saint-Léger, Adelaïde; Broucqsault, Natacha; Ottaviani, Alexandre; Firozhoussen, Arva; Lu, Yiming; Lafanechère, Laurence; Gilson, Eric; Magdinier, Frédérique; Ye, Jing

    2013-01-01

    We took advantage of the ability of human telomeres to silence neighboring genes (telomere position effect or TPE) to design a high-throughput screening assay for drugs altering telomeres. We identified, for the first time, that two dietary flavones, acacetin and chrysin, are able to specifically alleviate TPE in human cells. We further investigated their influence on telomere integrity and showed that both drugs drastically deprotect telomeres against DNA damage response. However, telomere deprotection triggered by shelterin dysfunction does not affect TPE, indicating that acacetin and chrysin target several functions of telomeres. These results show that TPE-based screening assays represent valuable methods to discover new compounds targeting telomeres. PMID:23962900

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2004-10-01

    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.

  4. Circular permutation of a synthetic eukaryotic chromosome with the telomerator

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, Leslie A.; Boeke, Jef D.

    2014-01-01

    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

  5. Telomere Length of Individual Chromosomes in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

    PubMed

    Blinova, E A; Zinnatova, E V; Barkovskaya, M Sh; Borisov, V I; Sizikov, A E; Kozhevnikov, V S; Rubtsov, N B; Kozlov, V A

    2016-04-01

    We analyzed telomere length of individual chromosomes in peripheral blood lymphocytes of healthy individuals and patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Quantitative fluorescent in situ hybridization and subsequent computer analysis of metaphase chromosomes showed that distribution of telomere length on individual chromosomes is different under normal and pathological conditions. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis had significantly shorter chromosome 4p telomeres, which can be essential for pathogenesis of this multifactorial disease. Additionally, disease activity inversely correlated with telomere length on chromosome 10p carrying genes involved in T cell differentiation and proliferation.

  6. Telomere and telomerase stability in human diseases and cancer.

    PubMed

    Chiodi, Ilaria; Mondello, Chiara

    2016-01-01

    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.

  7. Characterization of two telomeric DNA processing reactions in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed Central

    Murray, A W; Claus, T E; Szostak, J W

    1988-01-01

    We have investigated two reactions that occur on telomeric sequences introduced into Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells by transformation. The elongation reaction added repeats of the yeast telomeric sequence C1-3A to telomeric sequences at the end of linear DNA molecules. The reaction worked on the Tetrahymena telomeric sequence C4A2 and also on the simple repeat CA. The reaction was orientation specific: it occurred only when the GT-rich strand ran 5' to 3' towards the end of the molecule. Telomere elongation occurred by non-template-directed DNA synthesis rather than any type of recombination with chromosomal telomeres, because C1-3A repeats could be added to unrelated DNA sequences between the CA-rich repeats and the terminus of the transforming DNA. The elongation reaction was very efficient, and we believe that it was responsible for maintaining an average telomere length despite incomplete replication by template-directed DNA polymerase. The resolution reaction processed a head-to-head inverted repeat of telomeric sequences into two new telomeres at a frequency of 10(-2) per cell division. Images PMID:3062364

  8. Telomere length and periodontal attachment loss: a prospective cohort study

    PubMed Central

    Thomson, WM; Zeng, J; Broadbent, JM; Foster Page, LA; Shalev, I; Moffitt, TE; Caspi, A; Williams, SM; Braithwaite, AW; Robertson, SP; Poulton, R

    2016-01-01

    Aim To examine the association between telomere erosion and periodontitis in a longstanding prospective cohort study of New Zealand adults. Specific hypotheses tested were: (1) that exposure to periodontitis at ages 26 and 38 was associated with accelerated leucocyte telomere erosion; and (2) that accelerated leucocyte telomere erosion was associated with higher rates of periodontitis by ages 26 and 38. Materials and Methods Periodontal attachment loss data were collected at ages 26 and 38. Blood samples taken at the same ages were analysed to obtain estimates of leucocyte telomere length and erosion over a 12-year period. Results Overall, mean telomere length reduced by 0.15 T/S ratio (adjusted) from age 26 to 38 among the 661 participants reported on here. During the same period, the mean attachment loss increased by 10%, after adjusting for sex, socio-economic status and smoking. Regression models showed that attachment loss did not predict telomere length, and that telomere erosion did not predict attachment loss. Conclusions Although both periodontitis and telomere length are age-dependent, they do not appear to be linked, suggesting that determination of leucocyte telomere length may not be a promising clinical approach at this age for identifying people who are at risk for periodontitis. PMID:26713854

  9. Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Telomere and TRF1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  10. SMARCAL1 maintains telomere integrity during DNA replication.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    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.

  11. The meiosis-specific modification of mammalian telomeres.

    PubMed

    Shibuya, Hiroki; Watanabe, Yoshinori

    2014-01-01

    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.

  12. Air Pollution Stress and the Aging Phenotype: The Telomere Connection.

    PubMed

    Martens, Dries S; Nawrot, Tim S

    2016-09-01

    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.

  13. Unraveling secrets of telomeres: one molecule at a time

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Jiangguo; Kaur, Parminder; Countryman, Preston; Opresko, Patricia L.; Wang, Hong

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres play important roles in maintaining the stability of linear chromosomes. Telomere maintenance involves dynamic actions of multiple proteins interacting with long repetitive sequences and complex dynamic DNA structures, such as G-quadruplexes, T-loops and t-circles. Given the heterogeneity and complexity of telomeres, single-molecule approaches are essential to fully understand the structure-function relationships that govern telomere maintenance. In this review, we present a brief overview of the principles of single-molecule imaging and manipulation techniques. We then highlight results obtained from applying these single-molecule techniques for studying structure, dynamics and functions of G-quadruplexes, telomerase, and shelterin proteins. PMID:24569170

  14. Conservation of Telomere protein complexes: Shuffling through Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Linger, Benjamin R.; Price, Carolyn M.

    2009-01-01

    The rapid evolution of telomere proteins has hindered identification of orthologs from diverse species and created the impression that certain groups of eukaryotes have largely non-overlapping sets of telomere proteins. However, the recent identification of additional telomere proteins from various model organisms has dispelled this notion by expanding our understanding of the composition, architecture and range of telomere protein complexes present in individual species. It is now apparent that versions of the budding yeast CST complex and mammalian shelterin are present in multiple phyla. While the precise subunit composition and architecture of these complexes vary between species, the general function is often conserved. Despite the overall conservation of telomere protein complexes, there is still considerable species specific variation, with some organisms having lost a particular subunit or even an entire complex. In some cases, complex components appear to have migrated between the telomere and the telomerase RNP. Finally, gene duplication has created telomere protein paralogs with novel functions. While one paralog may be part of a conserved telomere protein complex and have the expected function, the other paralog may serve in a completely different aspect of telomere biology. PMID:19839711

  15. Clinical and cytogenetic findings in seven cases of inverted duplication of 8p with evidence of a telomeric deletion using fluorescence in situ hybridization

    SciTech Connect

    Guo, Wen-Jun; Callif-Daley, F.; Zapata, M.C.; Miller, M.E.

    1995-09-11

    We report on the clinical and cytogenetic findings in 7 cases of inverted duplication of region 8p11.2-p23. The phenotype of inv dup (8p) compiled from this series and the literature (N = 29) consists of severe mental retardation (100%), minor facial alterations (97%), agenesis of the corpus callosum (80%), hypotonia (66%), orthopedic abnormalities (58%), scoliosis/kyphosis (40%), and congenital heart defect (26%). A telomeric deletion of region 8p23.3-pter was confirmed in 3 of our cases studied using fluorescent in situ hybridization with a telomeric probe for 8p. Thus, these karyotypes are inv dup del(8) (qter{r_arrow} p23.1::p23.1{r_arrow}p11.2:). Our findings suggest that most cases of inv dup(8p) probably have a telomeric deletion. 20 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs.

  16. Variation in early-life telomere dynamics in a long-lived bird: links to environmental conditions and survival.

    PubMed

    Watson, Hannah; Bolton, Mark; Monaghan, Pat

    2015-03-01

    Conditions experienced during early life can have profound consequences for both short- and long-term fitness. Variation in the natal environment has been shown to influence survival and reproductive performance of entire cohorts in wild vertebrate populations. Telomere dynamics potentially provide a link between the early environment and long-term fitness outcomes, yet we know little about how the environment can influence telomere dynamics in early life. We found that environmental conditions during growth have an important influence on early-life telomere length (TL) and attrition in nestlings of a long-lived bird, the European storm petrel Hydrobates pelagicus. Nestlings reared under unfavourable environmental conditions experienced significantly greater telomere loss during postnatal development compared with nestlings reared under more favourable natal conditions, which displayed a negligible change in TL. There was, however, no significant difference in pre-fledging TL between cohorts. The results suggest that early-life telomere dynamics could contribute to the marked differences in life-history traits that can arise among cohorts reared under different environmental conditions. Early-life TL was also found to be a significant predictor of survival during the nestling phase, providing further evidence for a link between variation in TL and individual fitness. To what extent the relationship between early-life TL and mortality during the nestling phase is a consequence of genetic, parental and environmental factors is currently unknown, but it is an interesting area for future research. Accelerated telomere attrition under unfavourable conditions, as observed in this study, might play a role in mediating the effects of the early-life environment on later-life performance.

  17. Association between Snoring and Leukocyte Telomere Length

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Chol; Yun, Chang-Ho; Yoon, Dae Wui; Baik, Inkyung

    2016-01-01

    Study Objectives: Data on the association between snoring and telomere length, an indicator of biological aging, are very limited. Moreover, no polysomnography (PSG) studies on this association in a general population have been conducted. Our study aimed to evaluate the association between snoring and leukocyte telomere length (LTL) using PSG and a questionnaire. Methods: A cross-sectional PSG study embedded in a population-based cohort from the Korean Genome Epidemiology Study was conducted in 2010–2013. During the same period, questionnaire-based interviews, blood collection, and relative LTL assays were conducted. A total of 887 Korean men and women aged 50–79 y with an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) < 15 determined in the PSG study were included in the study. Results: We observed that the percentage of time spent snoring during sleep (% time spent snoring) assessed by PSG was inversely associated with LTL even after adjusting for potential risk factors and AHI. In the linear regression association between tertiles of percentage of time spent snoring and log-transformed LTL, coefficient estimates (P value) were −0.076 (< 0.05) for the second tertile and −0.084 (< 0.01) for the third tertile compared with the bottom tertile. When LTL was compared according to snoring status determined using PSG and questionnaire information, both primary snorers and those with mild sleep apnea (5 ≤ AHI < 15) had shorter LTL than nonsnorers. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that snoring may influence telomere attrition independent of sleep apnea. Citation: Shin C, Yun CH, Yoon DW, Baik I. Association between snoring and leukocyte telomere length. SLEEP 2016;39(4):767–772. PMID:26715224

  18. Telomere and Telomerase Therapeutics in Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Yucheng; Goldkorn, Amir

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27240403

  19. End Joining at Caenorhabditis elegans Telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Lowden, Mia Rochelle; Meier, Bettina; Lee, Teresa Wei-sy; Hall, Julie; Ahmed, Shawn

    2008-01-01

    Critically shortened telomeres can be subjected to DNA repair events that generate end-to-end chromosome fusions. The resulting dicentric chromosomes can enter breakage–fusion–bridge cycles, thereby impeding elucidation of the structures of the initial fusion events and a mechanistic understanding of their genesis. Current models for the molecular basis of fusion of critically shortened, uncapped telomeres rely on PCR assays that typically capture fusion breakpoints created by direct ligation of chromosome ends. Here we use independent approaches that rely on distinctive features of Caenorhabditis elegans to study the frequency of direct end-to-end chromosome fusion in telomerase mutants: (1) holocentric chromosomes that allow for genetic isolation of stable end-to-end fusions and (2) unique subtelomeric sequences that allow for thorough PCR analysis of samples of genomic DNA harboring multiple end-to-end fusions. Surprisingly, only a minority of end-to-end fusion events resulted from direct end joining with no additional genome rearrangements. We also demonstrate that deficiency for the C. elegans Ku DNA repair heterodimer does not affect telomere length or cause synthetic effects in the absence of telomerase. PMID:18780750

  20. Ku is important for telomere maintenance, but not for differential expression of telomeric VSG genes, in African trypanosomes.

    PubMed

    Conway, Colin; McCulloch, Richard; Ginger, Michael L; Robinson, Nicholas P; Browitt, Alison; Barry, J David

    2002-06-14

    Trypanosome antigenic variation, involving differential expression of variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) genes, has a strong association with telomeres and with DNA recombination. All expressed VSGs are telomeric, and differential activation involves recombination into the telomeric environment or silencing/activation of subtelomeric promoters. A number of pathogen contingency gene systems associated with immune evasion involve telomeric loci, which has prompted speculation that chromosome ends provide conditions conducive for the operation of rapid gene switching mechanisms. Ku is a protein associated with eukaryotic telomeres that is directly involved in DNA recombination and in gene silencing. We have tested the hypothesis that Ku in trypanosomes is centrally involved in differential VSG expression. We show, via the generation of null mutants, that trypanosome Ku is closely involved in telomere length maintenance, more so for a transcriptionally active than an inactive telomere, but exhibits no detectable influence on DNA double strand break repair. The absence of Ku and the consequent great shortening of telomeres had no detectable influence either on the rate of VSG switching or on the silencing of the telomeric promoters of the VSG subset that is expressed in the tsetse fly.

  1. The Genetic Basis of Natural Variation in Caenorhabditis elegans Telomere Length

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2016-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xueying; Kam, Zvi; Carlton, Peter M; Xu, Lifeng; Sedat, John W; Blackburn, Elizabeth H

    2008-01-01

    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. PMID:19014413

  3. Targeted DNA damage at individual telomeres disrupts their integrity and triggers cell death

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Luxi; Tan, Rong; Xu, Jianquan; LaFace, Justin; Gao, Ying; Xiao, Yanchun; Attar, Myriam; Neumann, Carola; Li, Guo-Min; Su, Bing; Liu, Yang; Nakajima, Satoshi; Levine, Arthur S.; Lan, Li

    2015-01-01

    Cellular DNA is organized into chromosomes and capped by a unique nucleoprotein structure, the telomere. Both oxidative stress and telomere shortening/dysfunction cause aging-related degenerative pathologies and increase cancer risk. However, a direct connection between oxidative damage to telomeric DNA, comprising <1% of the genome, and telomere dysfunction has not been established. By fusing the KillerRed chromophore with the telomere repeat binding factor 1, TRF1, we developed a novel approach to generate localized damage to telomere DNA and to monitor the real time damage response at the single telomere level. We found that DNA damage at long telomeres in U2OS cells is not repaired efficiently compared to DNA damage in non-telomeric regions of the same length in heterochromatin. Telomeric DNA damage shortens the average length of telomeres and leads to cell senescence in HeLa cells and cell death in HeLa, U2OS and IMR90 cells, when DNA damage at non-telomeric regions is undetectable. Telomere-specific damage induces chromosomal aberrations, including chromatid telomere loss and telomere associations, distinct from the damage induced by ionizing irradiation. Taken together, our results demonstrate that oxidative damage induces telomere dysfunction and underline the importance of maintaining telomere integrity upon oxidative damage. PMID:26082495

  4. Heregulin, a new regulator of telomere length in human cells.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-24

    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.

  5. Accelerated Telomere Shortening and Replicative Senescence in Human Fibroblasts Overexpressing Mutant and Wild Type Lamin A

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Shurong; Risques, Rosa Ana; Martin, George M.; Rabinovitch, Peter S.; Oshima, Junko

    2008-01-01

    LMNA mutations are responsible for a variety of genetic disorders, including muscular dystrophy, lipodystrophy, and certain progeroid syndromes, notably Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria. Although a number of clinical features of these disorders are suggestive of accelerated aging, it is not known whether cells derived from these patients exhibit cellular phenotypes associated with accelerated aging. We examined a series of isogenic skin fibroblast lines transfected with LMNA constructs bearing known pathogenic point mutations or deletion mutations found in progeroid syndromes. Fibroblasts overexpressing mutant lamin A exhibited accelerated rates of loss of telomeres and shortened replicative lifespans, in addition to abnormal nuclear morphology. To our surprise, these abnormalities were also observed in lines overexpressing wild-type lamin A. Copy number variants are common in human populations; those involving LMNA, whether arising meiotically or mitotically, might lead to progeroid phenotypes. In an initial pilot study of 23 progeroid cases without detectible WRN or LMNA mutations, however, no cases of altered LMNA copy number were detected. Nevertheless, our findings raise a hypothesis that changes in lamina organization may cause accelerated telomere attrition, with different kinetics for overexpession of wild-type and mutant lamin A, which leads to rapid replicative senescence and progroid phenotypes. PMID:17870066

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

    PubMed

    Wang, Sidney H; Nan, Ruth; Accardo, Maria C; Sentmanat, Monica; Dimitri, Patrizio; Elgin, Sarah C R

    2014-01-01

    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(VAR)3-9, but no sensitivity to Su(z)2 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.

  7. PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS AND LEUKOCYTE TELOMERE LENGTH: UNDERLYING MECHANISMS LINKING MENTAL ILLNESS WITH CELLULAR AGING

    PubMed Central

    Lindqvist, Daniel; Epel, Elissa S.; Mellon, Synthia H.; Penninx, Brenda W.; Révész, Dóra; Verhoeven, Josine E.; Reus, Victor I.; Lin, Jue; Mahan, Laura; Hough, Christina M.; Rosser, Rebecca; Bersani, F. Saverio; Blackburn, Elizabeth H.; Wolkowitz, Owen M.

    2015-01-01

    Many psychiatric illnesses are associated with early mortality and with an increased risk of developing physical diseases that are more typically seen in the elderly. Moreover, certain psychiatric illnesses may be associated with accelerated cellular aging, evidenced by shortened leukocyte telomere length (LTL), which could underlie this association. Shortened LTL reflects a cell’s mitotic history and cumulative exposure to inflammation and oxidation as well as the availability of telomerase, a telomere-lengthening enzyme. Critically short telomeres can cause cells to undergo senescence, apoptosis or genomic instability, and shorter LTL correlates with poorer health and predicts mortality. Emerging data suggest that LTL may be reduced in certain psychiatric illnesses, perhaps in proportion to exposure to the psychiatric illnesses, although conflicting data exist. Telomerase has been less well characterized in psychiatric illnesses, but a role in depression and in antidepressant and neurotrophic effects has been suggested by preclinical and clinical studies. In this article, studies on LTL and telomerase activity in psychiatric illnesses are critically reviewed, potential mediators are discussed, and future directions are suggested. A deeper understanding of cellular aging in psychiatric illnesses could lead to re-conceptualizing them as systemic illnesses with manifestations inside and outside the brain and could identify new treatment targets. PMID:25999120

  8. Psychiatric disorders and leukocyte telomere length: Underlying mechanisms linking mental illness with cellular aging.

    PubMed

    Lindqvist, Daniel; Epel, Elissa S; Mellon, Synthia H; Penninx, Brenda W; Révész, Dóra; Verhoeven, Josine E; Reus, Victor I; Lin, Jue; Mahan, Laura; Hough, Christina M; Rosser, Rebecca; Bersani, F Saverio; Blackburn, Elizabeth H; Wolkowitz, Owen M

    2015-08-01

    Many psychiatric illnesses are associated with early mortality and with an increased risk of developing physical diseases that are more typically seen in the elderly. Moreover, certain psychiatric illnesses may be associated with accelerated cellular aging, evidenced by shortened leukocyte telomere length (LTL), which could underlie this association. Shortened LTL reflects a cell's mitotic history and cumulative exposure to inflammation and oxidation as well as the availability of telomerase, a telomere-lengthening enzyme. Critically short telomeres can cause cells to undergo senescence, apoptosis or genomic instability, and shorter LTL correlates with poorer health and predicts mortality. Emerging data suggest that LTL may be reduced in certain psychiatric illnesses, perhaps in proportion to exposure to the psychiatric illnesses, although conflicting data exist. Telomerase has been less well characterized in psychiatric illnesses, but a role in depression and in antidepressant and neurotrophic effects has been suggested by preclinical and clinical studies. In this article, studies on LTL and telomerase activity in psychiatric illnesses are critically reviewed, potential mediators are discussed, and future directions are suggested. A deeper understanding of cellular aging in psychiatric illnesses could lead to re-conceptualizing them as systemic illnesses with manifestations inside and outside the brain and could identify new treatment targets.

  9. Unusually large telomeric repeats in the yeast Candida albicans.

    PubMed Central

    McEachern, M J; Hicks, J B

    1993-01-01

    We have identified sequences at the telomeres of the yeast Candida albicans and have found that they are composed of tandem copies of a 23-bp sequence. Through the cloning of native telomeric ends and the characterization and cloning of a "healed" end, we demonstrate that these repeated sequences are sufficient to function as a telomere. All copies of the 23-bp repeat that have been sequenced from a number of C. albicans strains are identical. In contrast, adjacent subtelomeric sequences are variable both between strains and within the WO-1 strain. In the WO-1 strain, the lengths of the telomeres are dependent upon growth temperature and are substantially longer at higher temperatures. Telomere growth is accompanied by increases in the number of the 23-bp repeats present on the telomeric fragments. These results suggest that either telomerase-maintained telomeres can be more complex in structure than was previously imagined or that Candida telomeres are maintained via a telomerase-independent mechanism. Images PMID:8417351

  10. Telomere variability in the monocotyledonous plant order Asparagales.

    PubMed Central

    Sýkorová, E; Lim, K Y; Kunická, Z; Chase, M W; Bennett, M D; Fajkus, J; Leitch, A R

    2003-01-01

    A group of monocotyledonous plants within the order Asparagales, forming a distinct clade in phylogenetic analyses, was reported previously to lack the 'typical' Arabidopsis-type telomere (TTTAGGG)(n). This stimulated us to determine what has replaced these sequences. Using slot-blot and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) to species within this clade, our results indicate the following. 1. The typical Arabidopsis-type telomeric sequence has been partly or fully replaced by the human-type telomeric sequence (TTAGGG)(n). Species in Allium lack the human-type variant. 2. In most cases the human variant occurs along with a lower abundance of two or more variants of the minisatellite sequences (of seven types evaluated), usually these being the consensus telomeric sequence of Arabidopsis, Bombyx (TTAGG)(n) and Tetrahymena (TTGGGG)(n). FISH shows that the variants can occur mixed together at the telomere. 3. Telomerases generate products with a 6 base pair periodicity and when sequenced they reveal predominantly a reiterated human-type motif. These motifs probably form the 'true telomere' but the error rate of motif synthesis is higher compared with 'typical' plant telomerases. The data indicate that the Asparagales clade is unified by a mutation resulting in a switch from synthesis of Arabidopsis-like telomeres to a low-fidelity synthesis of human-like telomeres. PMID:14561302

  11. Stress induced telomere shortening: longer life with less mutations?

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Mutations accumulate as a result of DNA damage and imperfect DNA repair machinery. In higher eukaryotes the accumulation and spread of mutations is limited in two primary ways: through p53-mediated programmed cell death and cellular senescence mediated by telomeres. Telomeres shorten at every cell division and cell stops dividing once the shortest telomere reaches a critical length. It has been shown that the rate of telomere attrition is accelerated when cells are exposed to DNA damaging agents. However the implications of this mechanism are not fully understood. Results With the help of in silico model we investigate the effect of genotoxic stress on telomere attrition and apoptosis in a population of non-identical replicating cells. When comparing the populations of cells with constant vs. stress-induced rate of telomere shortening we find that stress induced telomere shortening (SITS) increases longevity while reducing mutation rate. Interestingly, however, the effect takes place only when genotoxic stresses (e.g. reactive oxygen species due to metabolic activity) are distributed non-equally among cells. Conclusions Our results for the first time show how non-equal distribution of metabolic load (and associated genotoxic stresses) combined with stress induced telomere shortening can delay aging and minimize mutations. PMID:24580844

  12. DNA-PKcs is critical for telomere capping

    SciTech Connect

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

    2001-04-10

    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.

  13. The KEOPS complex: a rosetta stone for telomere regulation?

    PubMed

    Bianchi, Alessandro; Shore, David

    2006-03-24

    The detailed mechanisms underlying telomere capping and its relationship to telomerase activity are still unclear, although many proteins have been implicated in either or both processes. In this issue of Cell, the surprising identification of a new complex, called KEOPS, which promotes both telomere uncapping and elongation is presented.

  14. Cellular Consequences of Telomere Shortening in Histologically Normal Breast Tissues

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-01

    undergoing reduction mammoplasty surgeries . (A) A normal breast TDLU with normal length telomeres in all cell types present. (B) A normal breast TDLU...to severe telomere shortening is highly prevalent within histologically normal TDLUs obtained from women undergoing reduction mammoplasty surgeries ...specialize in the research and treatment of breast cancer. The trainee has attended weekly journal clubs, Oncology translational research seminars , breast

  15. The many facets of homologous recombination at telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Claussin, Clémence; Chang, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The ends of linear chromosomes are capped by nucleoprotein structures called telomeres. A dysfunctional telomere may resemble a DNA double-strand break (DSB), which is a severe form of DNA damage. The presence of one DSB is sufficient to drive cell cycle arrest and cell death. Therefore cells have evolved mechanisms to repair DSBs such as homologous recombination (HR). HR-mediated repair of telomeres can lead to genome instability, a hallmark of cancer cells, which is why such repair is normally inhibited. However, some HR-mediated processes are required for proper telomere function. The need for some recombination activities at telomeres but not others necessitates careful and complex regulation, defects in which can lead to catastrophic consequences. Furthermore, some cell types can maintain telomeres via telomerase-independent, recombination-mediated mechanisms. In humans, these mechanisms are called alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) and are used in a subset of human cancer cells. In this review, we summarize the different recombination activities occurring at telomeres and discuss how they are regulated. Much of the current knowledge is derived from work using yeast models, which is the focus of this review, but relevant studies in mammals are also included.

  16. Socioecological variables predict telomere length in wild spotted hyenas.

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

    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.

  17. Molecular Cytogenetics Investigation of the Telomeres in a Case of Philadelphia Positive B-ALL with a Single Telomere Expansion1

    PubMed Central

    Krejci, Katerina; Stentoft, Jesper; Koch, Jørn

    1999-01-01

    Abstract We have investigated a single telomere expansion in a case of acute lymphoblastic B-cell leukemia (B-ALL), where half of the cells in the bone marrow sample appeared with a Philadelphia chromosome. Comparing telomere sizes in Philadelphia-positive versus -negative cells, we found generally shorter telomeres in the Philadelphia-positive cells, but with an expansion of the telomere on the long arm of one chromosome 11 homologue. This expansion was also found in a minority of Philadelphia-negative cells. The telomeres in these cells were of the same overall size as the telomeres in the Philadelphia-negative cells without the 11q expansion. Together, these findings suggest that the order of events was: 11q telomere expansion, Philadelphia translocation, overall telomere shortening. The expanded 11q telomere contained the standard telomeric (AGGGTT)n repeat, but also variant repeat sequences. The single telomere expansion suggests a non-telomerase mechanism behind the expansion which may also explain the presence of variant repeats in the expanded telomere. The present case illustrates that telomere changes may occur at only some chromosome ends in a subset of cells. To reveal such changes, telomere morphology should be studied with in situ methodology. PMID:10935496

  18. Differential Expression of Non-Shelterin Genes Associated with High Telomerase Levels and Telomere Shortening in Plasma Cell Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Panero, Julieta; Stella, Flavia; Schutz, Natalia; Fantl, Dorotea Beatriz; Slavutsky, Irma

    2015-01-01

    Telomerase, shelterin proteins and various interacting factors, named non-shelterin proteins, are involved in the regulation of telomere length (TL). Altered expression of any of these telomere-associated genes can lead to telomere dysfunction, causing genomic instability and disease development. In this study, we investigated the expression profile of a set of non-shelterin genes involved in essential processes such as replication (RPA1), DNA damage repair pathways (MRE11-RAD50-NBS1) and stabilization of telomerase complex (DKC1), in 35 patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and 40 cases with multiple myeloma (MM). Results were correlated with hTERT expression, TL and clinical parameters. Overall, a significant increase in DKC1, RAD50, MRE11, NBS1 and RPA1 expression along with an upregulation of hTERT in MM compared with MGUS was observed (p≤0.032). Interestingly, in both entities high mRNA levels of non-shelterin genes were associated with short TLs and increased hTERT expression. Significant differences were observed for DKC1 in MM (p ≤0.026), suggesting an important role for this gene in the maintenance of short telomeres by telomerase in myeloma plasma cells. With regard to clinical associations, we observed a significant increase in DKC1, RAD50, MRE11 and RPA1 expression in MM cases with high bone marrow infiltration (p≤0.03) and a tendency towards cases with advanced ISS stage, providing the first evidence of non-shelterin genes associated to risk factors in MM. Taken together, our findings bring new insights into the intricate mechanisms by which telomere-associated proteins collaborate in the maintenance of plasma cells immortalization and suggest a role for the upregulation of these genes in the progression of the disease. PMID:26366868

  19. Computing the Length of the Shortest Telomere in the Nucleus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dao Duc, K.; Holcman, D.

    2013-11-01

    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. Alterations of telomere length in human brain tumors.

    PubMed

    Kheirollahi, Majid; Mehrazin, Masoud; Kamalian, Naser; Mehdipour, Parvin

    2011-09-01

    Telomeres at the ends of human chromosomes consist of tandem hexametric (TTAGGG)n repeats, which protect them from degradation. At each cycle of cell division, most normal somatic cells lose approximately 50-100 bp of the terminal telomeric repeat DNA. Precise prediction of growth and estimation of the malignant potential of brain tumors require additional markers. DNA extraction was performed from the 51 frozen tissues, and a non-radioactive chemiluminescent assay was used for Southern blotting. One sample t-test shows highly significant difference in telomere length in meningioma and astrocytoma with normal range. According to our results, higher grades of meningioma and astrocytoma tumors show more heterogeneity in telomere length, and also it seems shortening process of telomeres is an early event in brain tumors.

  1. Telomere dysfunction drives aberrant hematopoietic differentiation and myelodysplastic syndrome.

    PubMed

    Colla, Simona; Ong, Derrick Sek Tong; Ogoti, Yamini; Marchesini, Matteo; Mistry, Nipun A; Clise-Dwyer, Karen; Ang, Sonny A; Storti, Paola; Viale, Andrea; Giuliani, Nicola; Ruisaard, Kathryn; Ganan Gomez, Irene; Bristow, Christopher A; Estecio, Marcos; Weksberg, David C; Ho, Yan Wing; Hu, Baoli; Genovese, Giannicola; Pettazzoni, Piergiorgio; Multani, Asha S; Jiang, Shan; Hua, Sujun; Ryan, Michael C; Carugo, Alessandro; Nezi, Luigi; Wei, Yue; Yang, Hui; D'Anca, Marianna; Zhang, Li; Gaddis, Sarah; Gong, Ting; Horner, James W; Heffernan, Timothy P; Jones, Philip; Cooper, Laurence J N; Liang, Han; Kantarjian, Hagop; Wang, Y Alan; Chin, Lynda; Bueso-Ramos, Carlos; Garcia-Manero, Guillermo; DePinho, Ronald A

    2015-05-11

    Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) risk correlates with advancing age, therapy-induced DNA damage, and/or shorter telomeres, but whether telomere erosion directly induces MDS is unknown. Here, we provide the genetic evidence that telomere dysfunction-induced DNA damage drives classical MDS phenotypes and alters common myeloid progenitor (CMP) differentiation by repressing the expression of mRNA splicing/processing genes, including SRSF2. RNA-seq analyses of telomere dysfunctional CMP identified aberrantly spliced transcripts linked to pathways relevant to MDS pathogenesis such as genome stability, DNA repair, chromatin remodeling, and histone modification, which are also enriched in mouse CMP haploinsufficient for SRSF2 and in CD34(+) CMML patient cells harboring SRSF2 mutation. Together, our studies establish an intimate link across telomere biology, aberrant RNA splicing, and myeloid progenitor differentiation.

  2. Telomere length and cardiovascular aging: the means to the ends?

    PubMed

    De Meyer, Tim; Rietzschel, Ernst R; De Buyzere, Marc L; Van Criekinge, Wim; Bekaert, Sofie

    2011-04-01

    Epidemiologic and other evidence clearly indicates that peripheral blood leukocyte telomere length, a systemic marker for biological aging, can be useful as a cardiovascular aging biomarker. Although telomere biology might yield new insights into the underlying molecular biology of vascular aging and even radically improve current cardiovascular risk stratification, the specific nature of the association between telomere length and cardiovascular disease still remains to be elucidated. Here, we review several candidate hypotheses and critically review supporting and contesting scientific evidence for the underlying theories. For each hypothesis, we discuss the potential implications. We conclude that the most promising theory is based on an acceleration of the telomere attrition rate due to cardiovascular aging related factors, possibly complemented by telomere mediated hematopoietic senescence.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  4. The known genetic loci for telomere length may be involved in the modification of telomeres length after birth

    PubMed Central

    Weng, Qiao; Du, Jiangbo; Yu, Fei; Huang, Tongtong; Chen, Mengxi; Lv, Hong; Ma, Hongxia; Hu, Zhibin; Jin, Guangfu; Hu, Yali; Shen, Hongbing

    2016-01-01

    Telomere length varies considerably among individuals. It is highly heritable and decreases with ageing or ageing related diseases. Recently, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified several genetic loci associated with telomere length in adults. However, it is unclear whether these loci represent the genetic basis of telomere length or determine the individual susceptibility to shortening during growth process. Using DNA extracted from peripheral and cord blood of 444 mother-newborn pairs from a Chinese population, we measured relative telomere length (RTL) and genotyped eight known telomere length related variants that were initially identified in populations of European descent. We observed the T allele of rs10936599 and the T allele of rs2736100 were norminally associated with shorter RTL (P = 0.041 and 0.046, respectively) in maternal samples. Furthermore, the Weighted genetic score (WGS) of eight variants was significantly associated with RTL in maternal samples (R2 = 0.012, P = 0.025). However, we didn’t detect any significant associations for any individual variant or the combined WGS with RTL in newborns. These findings didn’t support the hypothesis that telomere length related loci may affect telomere length at birth, and we suggested that these loci may play a role in telomere length modification during life course. PMID:27929092

  5. Finding a place in the SUN: telomere maintenance in a diverse nuclear landscape.

    PubMed

    Ebrahimi, Hani; Cooper, Julia Promisel

    2016-06-01

    Telomeres function in the context of a complex nuclear milieu in which telomeres tend to occupy distinct subnuclear regions. Indeed, regulation of the subnuclear positioning of telomeres is conserved from yeast to human, raising the age-old question: to what extent is location important for function? In mitotically dividing cells, the positioning of telomeres affects their epigenetic state and influences telomere processing and synthesis. In meiotic cells, telomere location is important for homologue pairing, centromere assembly and spindle formation. Here we focus on recent insights into the functions of telomere positioning in maintaining genome integrity.

  6. Telomerase and telomere biology in hematological diseases: A new therapeutic target.

    PubMed

    Allegra, Alessandro; Innao, Vanessa; Penna, Giuseppa; Gerace, Demetrio; Allegra, Andrea G; Musolino, Caterina

    2017-02-07

    Telomeres are structures confined at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. With each cell division, telomeric repeats are lost because DNA polymerases are incapable to fully duplicate the very ends of linear chromosomes. Loss of repeats causes cell senescence, and apoptosis. Telomerase neutralizes loss of telomeric sequences by adding telomere repeats at the 3' telomeric overhang. Telomere biology is frequently associated with human cancer and dysfunctional telomeres have been proved to participate to genetic instability. This review covers the information on telomerase expression and genetic alterations in the most relevant types of hematological diseases. Telomere erosion hampers the capability of hematopoietic stem cells to effectively replicate, clinically resulting in bone marrow failure. Furthermore, telomerase mutations are genetic risk factors for the occurrence of some hematologic cancers. New discoveries in telomere structure and telomerase functions have led to an increasing interest in targeting telomeres and telomerase in anti-cancer therapy.

  7. Integration of Telomere Length Dynamics into Systems Biology Framework: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Nersisyan, Lilit

    2016-01-01

    Telomere length dynamics plays a crucial role in regulation of cellular processes and cell fate. In contrast to epidemiological studies revealing the association of telomere length with age, age-related diseases, and cancers, the role of telomeres in regulation of transcriptome and epigenome and the role of genomic variations in telomere lengthening are not extensively analyzed. This is explained by the fact that experimental assays for telomere length measurement are resource consuming, and there are very few studies where high-throughput genomics, transcriptomics, and/or epigenomics experiments have been coupled with telomere length measurements. Recent development of computational approaches for assessment of telomere length from whole genome sequencing data pave a new perspective on integration of telomeres into high-throughput systems biology analysis framework. Herein, we review existing methodologies for telomere length measurement and compare them to computational approaches, as well as discuss their applications in large-scale studies on telomere length dynamics. PMID:27346946

  8. Prostate Cancer Cell Telomere Length Variability and Stromal Cell Telomere Length as Prognostic Markers for Metastasis and Death

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2013-01-01

    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

  9. Ectodermal dysplasia and abnormal thumbs.

    PubMed

    Lucky, A W; Esterly, N B; Tunnessen, W W

    1980-05-01

    Two unrelated children, a girl and a boy, with alopecia, anomalous cutaneous pigmentation, abnormal thumbs, and endocrine disorders, including short stature and delayed bone age in one patient and juvenile onset diabetes mellitus in the other, are described. In one instance, the mother and the maternal grandmother had similar abnormalities, although of a less severe nature. Both children had normal nails and no unusual susceptibility to infections. We believe these two patients represent a previously undescribed syndrome of ectodermal dysplasia that may be inherited as an autosomal-dominant trait.

  10. U-shaped association between telomere length and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma risk: a case-control study in Chinese population.

    PubMed

    Du, Jiangbo; Xue, Wenjie; Ji, Yong; Zhu, Xun; Gu, Yayun; Zhu, Meng; Wang, Cheng; Gao, Yong; Dai, Juncheng; Ma, Hongxia; Jiang, Yue; Chen, Jiaping; Hu, Zhibin; Jin, Guangfu; Shen, Hongbing

    2015-12-01

    Telomeres play a critical role in biological ageing by maintaining chromosomal integrity and preventing chromosome ends fusion. Epidemiological studies have suggested that inter-individual differences of telomere length could affect predisposition to multiple cancers, but evidence regarding esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) was still uncertain. Several telomere length-related single nucleotide polymorphisms (TLSNPs) in Caucasians have been reported in genome-wide association studies. However, the effects of telomere length and TL-SNPs on ESCC development are unclear. Therefore, we conducted a case-control study (1045 ESCC cases and 1433 controls) to evaluate the associations between telomere length, TL-SNPs, and ESCC risk in Chinese population. As a result, ESCC cases showed overall shorter relative telomere length (RTL) (median: 1.34) than controls (median: 1.50, P < 0.001). More interestingly, an evident nonlinear U-shaped association was observed between RTL and ESCC risk (P < 0.001), with odds ratios (95% confidence interval) equal to 2.40 (1.84-3.14), 1.36 (1.03-1.79), 1.01 (0.76-1.35), and 1.37 (1.03-1.82) for individuals in the 1st (the shortest), 2nd, 3rd, and 5th (the longest) quintile, respectively, compared with those in the 4th quintile as reference group. No significant associations were observed between the eight reported TL-SNPs and ESCC susceptibility. These findings suggest that either short or extremely long telomeres may be risk factors for ESCC in the Chinese population.

  11. Multiple Pathways Suppress Telomere Addition to DNA Breaks in the Drosophila Germline

    PubMed Central

    Beaucher, Michelle; Zheng, Xiao-Feng; Amariei, Flavia; Rong, Yikang S.

    2012-01-01

    Telomeres protect chromosome ends from being repaired as double-strand breaks (DSBs). Just as DSB repair is suppressed at telomeres, de novo telomere addition is suppressed at the site of DSBs. To identify factors responsible for this suppression, we developed an assay to monitor de novo telomere formation in Drosophila, an organism in which telomeres can be established on chromosome ends with essentially any sequence. Germline expression of the I-SceI endonuclease resulted in precise telomere formation at its cut site with high efficiency. Using this assay, we quantified the frequency of telomere formation in different genetic backgrounds with known or possible defects in DNA damage repair. We showed that disruption of DSB repair factors (Rad51 or DNA ligase IV) or DSB sensing factors (ATRIP or MDC1) resulted in more efficient telomere formation. Interestingly, partial disruption of factors that normally regulate telomere protection (ATM or NBS) also led to higher frequencies of telomere formation, suggesting that these proteins have opposing roles in telomere maintenance vs. establishment. In the ku70 mutant background, telomere establishment was preceded by excessive degradation of DSB ends, which were stabilized upon telomere formation. Most strikingly, the removal of ATRIP caused a dramatic increase in telomeric retrotransposon attachment to broken ends. Our study identifies several pathways thatsuppress telomere addition at DSBs, paving the way for future mechanistic studies. PMID:22446318

  12. The relationship between telomere length and beekeeping among Malaysians.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    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.

  13. Translin and Trax differentially regulate telomere-associated transcript homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Alshehri, Zafer; Thallinger, Gerhard G.; Wakeman, Jane A.; McFarlane, Ramsay J.

    2016-01-01

    Translin and Trax proteins are highly conserved nucleic acid binding proteins that have been implicated in RNA regulation in a range of biological processes including tRNA processing, RNA interference, microRNA degradation during oncogenesis, spermatogenesis and neuronal regulation. Here, we explore the function of this paralogue pair of proteins in the fission yeast. Using transcript analysis we demonstrate a reciprocal mechanism for control of telomere-associated transcripts. Mutation of tfx1+ (Trax) elevates transcript levels from silenced sub-telomeric regions of the genome, but not other silenced regions, such as the peri-centromeric heterochromatin. In the case of some sub-telomeric transcripts, but not all, this elevation is dependent on the Trax paralogue, Tsn1 (Translin). In a reciprocal fashion, Tsn1 (Translin) serves to repress levels of transcripts (TERRAs) from the telomeric repeats, whereas Tfx1 serves to maintain these elevated levels. This reveals a novel mechanism for the regulation of telomeric transcripts. We extend this to demonstrate that human Translin and Trax also control telomere-associated transcript levels in human cells in a telomere-specific fashion. PMID:27183912

  14. Telomere attrition in beta and alpha cells with age.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-06-01

    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 < 0.001 for both). NTCRs decreased more rapidly with age and were more widely distributed (p = 0.036 for NTCRβ, p < 0.001 for NTCRα) in subjects under 18 years of age than in subjects over 18 years. There was a positive correlation between NTCRβ and NTCRα only among adult subjects (p < 0.001). In conclusion, the telomeres of β and α cells become shortened with normal aging process.

  15. Telomere Dysfunction in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Cryptogenic Cirrhosis.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  16. DNA damage and repair in telomeres: relation to aging.

    PubMed Central

    Kruk, P A; Rampino, N J; Bohr, V A

    1995-01-01

    We have established a method for the detection of DNA damage and its repair in human telomeres, the natural ends of chromosomes which are necessary for replication and critical for chromosomal stability. We find that ultraviolet light-induced pyrimidine dimers in telomeric DNA are repaired less efficiently than endogenous genes but more efficiently than inactive, noncoding regions. We have also measured telomeric length, telomeric DNA damage, and its repair in relation to the progression of aging. Telomeres are shorter in fibroblasts from an old donor compared to fibroblasts from a young donor, shortest in cells from a patient with the progeroid disorder Werner syndrome, and relatively long in fibroblasts from a patient with Alzheimer disease. Telomeric DNA repair efficiency is lower in cells from an old donor than in cells from a young donor, normal in Alzheimer cells, and slightly lower in Werner cells. It is possible that this decline in telomeric repair with aging is of functional significance to an age-related decline in genomic stability. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 PMID:7816828

  17. Using the telobox to search for plant telomere binding proteins.

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

    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.

  18. Telomere length and cortisol reactivity in children of depressed mothers.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    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.

  19. Mathematical model of alternative mechanism of telomere length maintenance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

    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.

  20. Do telomeres ask checkpoint proteins: "gimme shelter-in"?

    PubMed

    Weinert, Ted

    2005-12-01

    Telomeres are complicated structures designed to allow one thing and avoid another. They allow replication of chromosome ends, an issue mostly about telomerase, which we seem to understand (though details of its regulation are works in progress). Telomeres must also avoid being detected as DNA breaks. This is important for two reasons: DNA breaks activate checkpoints that cause arrest of cell division, and DNA breaks engage repair machinery. Clearly, normal telomeres neither activate cell cycle arrest nor allow themselves to be repaired; arrest blocks cell division, and repair fuses chromosomes.

  1. Telomeres and Telomerase: From Discovery to Clinical Trials

    PubMed Central

    Corey, David R.

    2010-01-01

    Telomeres are the ends of linear chromosomes. They cannot be fully replicated by standard polymerases and are maintained by the ribonucleoprotein telomerase. Telomeres and telomerase stand at a junction of critical processes underlying chromosome integrity, cancer, and aging and their importance was recognized by the 2009 Nobel Prize to Elizabeth Blackburn, Jack Szostak, and Carol Greider. Where will the field go now? What are the prospects for anti-telomerase agents as drugs? Nearly thirty years after Szostak and Blackburn’s pioneering manuscript on telomere ends, the challenges of discovery remain. PMID:20064431

  2. Telomeres and telomerase: Biological and clinical importance in dogs.

    PubMed

    Nasir, Lubna

    2008-02-01

    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.

  3. Tandem isomerization/telomerization of long chain dienes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torrente Murciano, Laura; Nielsen, David; Cavell, Kingsley; Lapkin, Alexei

    2014-06-01

    The first example of a tandem reaction involving double-bond migration in combination with telomerization is reported. Homogeneous and heterogeneous Ru catalysts were employed as isomerisation catalysts, and telomerization was realized using a homogeneous Pd(0) precursor complex with a N-heterocyclic carbene (IMes) ligand. Overall conversions approaching 60 % were achieved with the best selectivity to telomerization products of 91% attained at 11 % conversion. Conversion was markedly higher in the presence of longer-chain alcohol (1-butanol) as the nucleophile (telogen).

  4. Telomere- and Telomerase-Associated Proteins and Their Functions in the Plant Cell

    PubMed Central

    Procházková Schrumpfová, Petra; Schořová, Šárka; Fajkus, Jiří

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres, as physical ends of linear chromosomes, are targets of a number of specific proteins, including primarily telomerase reverse transcriptase. Access of proteins to the telomere may be affected by a number of diverse factors, e.g., protein interaction partners, local DNA or chromatin structures, subcellular localization/trafficking, or simply protein modification. Knowledge of composition of the functional nucleoprotein complex of plant telomeres is only fragmentary. Moreover, the plant telomeric repeat binding proteins that were characterized recently appear to also be involved in non-telomeric processes, e.g., ribosome biogenesis. This interesting finding was not totally unexpected since non-telomeric functions of yeast or animal telomeric proteins, as well as of telomerase subunits, have been reported for almost a decade. Here we summarize known facts about the architecture of plant telomeres and compare them with the well-described composition of telomeres in other organisms. PMID:27446102

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2014-01-01

    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, independent of chronological age. Several different methods have been developed to measure TL, each offering its own technical challenges. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the advantages and drawbacks of each method for researchers, with a particular focus on issues that are likely to face ecologists and evolutionary biologists collecting samples in the field or in organisms that may never have been studied in this context before. We discuss the key issues to consider and wherever possible try to provide current consensus view regarding best practice with regard to sample collection and storage, DNA extraction and storage, and the five main methods currently available to measure TL. Decisions regarding which tissues to sample, how to store them, how to extract DNA, and which TL measurement method to use cannot be prescribed, and are dependent on the biological question addressed and the constraints imposed by the study system. What is essential for future studies of telomere dynamics in evolution and ecology is that researchers publish full details of their methods and the quality control thresholds they employ. PMID:25834722

  6. A model of a patient-derived IDH1 mutant anaplastic astrocytoma with alternative lengthening of telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Borodovsky, Alexandra; Meeker, Alan K.; Kirkness, Ewen F.; Zhao, Qi; Eberhart, Charles G.; Gallia, Gary L.; Riggins, Gregory J.

    2015-01-01

    Mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) have been found in the vast majority of low grade and progressive infiltrating gliomas and are characterized by the production of 2-hydroxyglutarate from α-ketoglutarate. Recent investigations of malignant gliomas have identified additional genetic and chromosomal abnormalities which cluster with IDH1 mutations into two distinct subgroups. The astrocytic subgroup was found to have frequent mutations in ATRX, TP53 and displays alternative lengthening of telomeres. The second subgroup with oligodendrocytic morphology has frequent mutations in CIC or FUBP1, and is linked to co-deletion of the 1p/19q arms. These mutations reflect the development of two distinct molecular pathways representing the majority of IDH1 mutant gliomas. Unfortunately, due to the scarcity of endogenously derived IDH1 mutant models, there is a lack of accurate models to study mechanism and develop new therapy. Here we report the generation of an endogenous IDH1 anaplastic astrocytoma in vivo model with concurrent mutations in TP53, CDKN2A and ATRX. The model has a similar phenotype and histopathology as the original patient tumor, expresses the IDH1 (R132H) mutant protein and exhibits an alternative lengthening of telomeres phenotype. The JHH-273 model is characteristic of anaplastic astrocytoma and represents a valuable tool for investigating the pathogenesis of this distinct molecular subset of gliomas and for preclinical testing of compounds targeting IDH1 mutations or alternative lengthening of telomeres. PMID:25471051

  7. 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.

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-15

    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.

  8. Mild oxidative stress is beneficial for sperm telomere length maintenance

    PubMed Central

    Mishra, Swetasmita; Kumar, Rajeev; Malhotra, Neena; Singh, Neeta; Dada, Rima

    2016-01-01

    AIM: To evaluate telomere length in sperm DNA and its correlation with oxidative stress (normal, mild, severe). METHODS: The study included infertile men (n = 112) and age matched fertile controls (n = 102). The average telomere length from the sperm DNA was measured using a quantitative real time PCR based assay. Seminal reactive oxygen species (ROS) and 8-Isoprostane (8-IP) levels were measured by chemiluminescence assay and ELISA respectively. RESULTS: Average sperm telomere length in infertile men and controls was 0.609 ± 0.15 and 0.789 ± 0.060, respectively (P < 0.0001). Seminal ROS levels in infertile was higher [66.61 ± 28.32 relative light units (RLU)/s/million sperm] than in controls (14.04 ± 10.67 RLU/s/million sperm) (P < 0.0001). The 8-IP level in infertile men was significantly higher (421.55 ± 131.29 pg/mL) than in controls (275.94 ± 48.13 pg/mL) (P < 0.001). When correlated to oxidative stress, in normal range of oxidative stress (ROS, 0-21.3 RLU/s/million sperm) the average telomere length in cases was 0.663 ± 0.14, in mild oxidative stress (ROS, 21.3-35 RLU/s/million sperm) it was elevated (0.684 ± 0.12) and in severe oxidative stress (ROS > 35 RLU/s/million sperm) average telomere length was decreased to 0.595 ± 0.15. CONCLUSION: Mild oxidative stress results in lengthening of telomere length, but severe oxidative stress results in shorter telomeres. Although telomere maintenance is a complex trait, the study shows that mild oxidative stress is beneficial in telomere length maintenance and thus a delicate balance needs to be established to maximize the beneficial effects of free radicals and prevent harmful effects of supra physiological levels. Detailed molecular evaluation of telomere structure, its correlation with oxidative stress would aid in elucidating the cause of accelerated telomere length attrition. PMID:27376021

  9. Spectroscopic and thermodynamic insights into the interaction between proflavine and human telomeric G-quadruplex DNA.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Vivek; Sengupta, Abhigyan; Gavvala, Krishna; Koninti, Raj Kumar; Hazra, Partha

    2014-09-25

    The G-quadruplex (GQ-DNA), an alternative structure motif of DNA, has emerged as a novel and exciting target for anticancer drug discovery. GQ-DNA formed in the presence of monovalent cations (Na(+)/K(+)) by human telomeric DNA is a point of interest due to their direct relevance for cellular aging and abnormal cell growths. Small molecules that selectively target and stabilize G-quadruplex structures are considered to be potential therapeutic anticancer agents. Herein, we probe G-quadruplex and proflavine (a well-known DNA intercalator, hence acting as an anticarcinogen) association through steady state and time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy to explore the effect of stabilization of GQ-DNA by this well-known DNA intercalator. The structural modifications of G-quadruplex upon binding are highlighted through circular dichroism (CD) spectra. Moreover, a detailed insight into the thermodynamics of this interaction has been provided though isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) studies. The thermodynamic parameters obtained from ITC help to gain knowledge about the nature as well as the driving forces of binding. This present study shows that proflavine (PF) can act as a stabilizer of telomeric GQ-DNA through an entropically as well as enthalpically feasible process with high binding affinity and thereby can be considered as a potential telomerase inhibitor.

  10. Beginning at the end: DNA replication within the telomere

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Using single molecule analysis of replicated DNA (SMARD), Drosopoulos et al. (2015; J. Cell Biol. http://dx.doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201410061) report that DNA replication initiates at measurable frequency within the telomere of mouse chromosome arm 14q. They demonstrate that resolution of G4 structures on the G-rich template strand of the telomere requires some overlapping functions of BLM and WRN helicase for leading strand synthesis. PMID:26195663

  11. Cellular Consequences of Telomere Shortening in Histologically Normal Breast Tissues

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-01

    nucleotide polymorphism or a panel of single nucleotide polymorphisms , may provide useful diagnostic information and may identify a subset of people at...Mutat Res. 1995; 338: 25–34. 11. von Zglinicki T, Pilger R, Sitte N. Accumulation of single - strand breaks is the major cause of telomere shortening...Background: Telomeres, nucleoprotein complexes located at the extreme ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, function to mask double strand break DNA damage

  12. Estimating telomere length from whole genome sequence data.

    PubMed

    Ding, Zhihao; Mangino, Massimo; Aviv, Abraham; Spector, Tim; Durbin, Richard

    2014-05-01

    Telomeres play a key role in replicative ageing and undergo age-dependent attrition in vivo. Here, we report a novel method, TelSeq, to measure average telomere length from whole genome or exome shotgun sequence data. In 260 leukocyte samples, we show that TelSeq results correlate with Southern blot measurements of the mean length of terminal restriction fragments (mTRFs) and display age-dependent attrition comparably well as mTRFs.

  13. Estimating telomere length from whole genome sequence data

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Zhihao; Mangino, Massimo; Aviv, Abraham; Spector, Tim; Durbin, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Telomeres play a key role in replicative ageing and undergo age-dependent attrition in vivo. Here, we report a novel method, TelSeq, to measure average telomere length from whole genome or exome shotgun sequence data. In 260 leukocyte samples, we show that TelSeq results correlate with Southern blot measurements of the mean length of terminal restriction fragments (mTRFs) and display age-dependent attrition comparably well as mTRFs. PMID:24609383

  14. Telomere Recombination Accelerates Cellular Aging in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xiao-Fen; Meng, Fei-Long; Zhou, Jin-Qiu

    2009-01-01

    Telomeres are nucleoprotein structures located at the linear ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. Telomere integrity is required for cell proliferation and survival. Although the vast majority of eukaryotic species use telomerase as a primary means for telomere maintenance, a few species can use recombination or retrotransposon-mediated maintenance pathways. Since Saccharomyces cerevisiae can use both telomerase and recombination to replicate telomeres, budding yeast provides a useful system with which to examine the evolutionary advantages of telomerase and recombination in preserving an organism or cell under natural selection. In this study, we examined the life span in telomerase-null, post-senescent type II survivors that have employed homologous recombination to replicate their telomeres. Type II recombination survivors stably maintained chromosomal integrity but exhibited a significantly reduced replicative life span. Normal patterns of cell morphology at the end of a replicative life span and aging-dependent sterility were observed in telomerase-null type II survivors, suggesting the type II survivors aged prematurely in a manner that is phenotypically consistent with that of wild-type senescent cells. The shortened life span of type II survivors was extended by calorie restriction or TOR1 deletion, but not by Fob1p inactivation or Sir2p over-expression. Intriguingly, rDNA recombination was decreased in type II survivors, indicating that the premature aging of type II survivors was not caused by an increase in extra-chromosomal rDNA circle accumulation. Reintroduction of telomerase activity immediately restored the replicative life span of type II survivors despite their heterogeneous telomeres. These results suggest that telomere recombination accelerates cellular aging in telomerase-null type II survivors and that telomerase is likely a superior telomere maintenance pathway in sustaining yeast replicative life span. PMID:19557187

  15. [Telomeres: a Nobel Prize at the beginning… of the end].

    PubMed

    Rajpar, Shanna; Guittat, Lionel; Mergny, Jean-Louis

    2011-10-01

    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.

  16. Sustained telomere erosion due to increased stem cell turnover during triple autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

    PubMed

    Widmann, Thomas; Kneer, Harald; König, Jochem; Herrmann, Markus; Pfreundschuh, Michael

    2008-01-01

    Telomeres cap chromosomal ends and are shortened throughout a lifetime. Additional telomere erosion has been documented during conventional chemotherapy or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Previous studies of stem cell transplantation reported variable amounts of telomere shortening with inconsistent results regarding the persistence of telomere shortening. Here we have prospectively studied telomere length and proliferation kinetics of hematopoietic cells in aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients who underwent a four-course high-dose chemotherapy protocol combined with triple autologous stem cell transplantation. We observed sustained telomere shortening in hematopoietic cells after triple stem cell transplantation with prolonged stem cell replication during the first year after stem cell transplantation.

  17. Human Rap1 modulates TRF2 attraction to telomeric DNA

    PubMed Central

    Janoušková, Eliška; Nečasová, Ivona; Pavloušková, Jana; Zimmermann, Michal; Hluchý, Milan; Marini, Victoria; Nováková, Monika; Hofr, Ctirad

    2015-01-01

    More than two decades of genetic research have identified and assigned main biological functions of shelterin proteins that safeguard telomeres. However, a molecular mechanism of how each protein subunit contributes to the protecting function of the whole shelterin complex remains elusive. Human Repressor activator protein 1 (Rap1) forms a multifunctional complex with Telomeric Repeat binding Factor 2 (TRF2). Rap1–TRF2 complex is a critical part of shelterin as it suppresses homology-directed repair in Ku 70/80 heterodimer absence. To understand how Rap1 affects key functions of TRF2, we investigated full-length Rap1 binding to TRF2 and Rap1–TRF2 complex interactions with double-stranded DNA by quantitative biochemical approaches. We observed that Rap1 reduces the overall DNA duplex binding affinity of TRF2 but increases the selectivity of TRF2 to telomeric DNA. Additionally, we observed that Rap1 induces a partial release of TRF2 from DNA duplex. The improved TRF2 selectivity to telomeric DNA is caused by less pronounced electrostatic attractions between TRF2 and DNA in Rap1 presence. Thus, Rap1 prompts more accurate and selective TRF2 recognition of telomeric DNA and TRF2 localization on single/double-strand DNA junctions. These quantitative functional studies contribute to the understanding of the selective recognition of telomeric DNA by the whole shelterin complex. PMID:25675958

  18. Interstitial telomeric sequences in human chromosomes cluster with common fragile sites, mutagen sensitive sites, viral integration sites, cancer breakpoints, proto-oncogenes and breakpoints involved in primate evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Adekunle, S.S.A.; Wyandt, H.; Mark, H.F.L.

    1994-09-01

    Recently we mapped the telomeric repeat sequences to 111 interstitial sites in the human genome and to sites of gaps and breaks induced by aphidicolin and sister chromatid exchange sites detected by BrdU. Many of these sites correspond to conserved fragile sites in man, gorilla and chimpazee, to sites of conserved sister chromatid exchange in the mammalian X chromosome, to mutagenic sensitive sites, mapped locations of proto-oncogenes, breakpoints implicated in primate evolution and to breakpoints indicated as the sole anomaly in neoplasia. This observation prompted us to investigate if the interstitial telomeric sites cluster with these sites. An extensive literature search was carried out to find all the available published sites mentioned above. For comparison, we also carried out a statistical analysis of the clustering of the sites of the telomeric repeats with the gene locations where only nucleotide mutations have been observed as the only chromosomal abnormality. Our results indicate that the telomeric repeats cluster most with fragile sites, mutagenic sensitive sites and breakpoints implicated in primate evolution and least with cancer breakpoints, mapped locations of proto-oncogenes and other genes with nucleotide mutations.

  19. The study on telomere length for age estimation in a Thai population.

    PubMed

    Srettabunjong, Supawon; Satitsri, Saravut; Thongnoppakhun, Wanna; Tirawanchai, Nednapis

    2014-06-01

    Age is one of the key parameters in establishing a physical characteristic profile of an individual. For biological evidence left in crime scenes such as blood, saliva, hair, etc, the evidence owner's age can be determined only by DNA extracted from these materials. Previous researches have found that there are certain DNA regions with specialized characteristic and function called telomere being able to predict age. The present study was to determine the correlation between telomere length and age as well as the effect of sex on the correlation and to create linear regression equation for age estimation in Thai population for forensic purposes. Blood samples obtained from unrelated healthy Thai fresh cadavers without anatomical organ abnormalities were used in this study. All cadaver subjects underwent the postmortem examination in jurisdiction of the Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, and Institute of Forensic Medicine, Police General Hospital. Fifty blood samples from both sexes of all ages divided into 6 groups for equal age distribution (0-11, 12-23, 24-35, 36-47, 48-59, and 60 years old and older) were collected for a total of 100 samples. The extracted genomic DNA samples were then subjected to telomere length estimation by terminal restriction fragment (TRF) assay. The results showed that the mean TRF length was inversely correlated with age (r = -0.625), and sex did not have a statistically significant influence on the association between age and mean TRF length (P > 0.05). The obtained linear regression equation was y = 113.538 ± 9.604 - 0.012 × (R = 0.391; P < 0.001). However, the correlation was too low to be used for age estimation with high certainty and a possible reason for this in part would be the postmortem DNA degradation at some level, even using fresh cadaver blood, and other biological factors such as ethnicity and DNA sources. Roughly, those individuals who had a mean TRF length

  20. Impaired Telomere Maintenance and Decreased Canonical WNT Signaling but Normal Ribosome Biogenesis in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells from X-Linked Dyskeratosis Congenita Patients

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Bai-Wei; Apicella, Marisa; Mills, Jason; Fan, Jian-Meng; Reeves, Dara A.; French, Deborah; Podsakoff, Gregory M.; Bessler, Monica; Mason, Philip J.

    2015-01-01

    Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is an inherited bone marrow failure syndrome characterized by the presence of short telomeres at presentation. Mutations in ten different genes, whose products are involved in the telomere maintenance pathway, have been shown to cause DC. The X-linked form is the most common form of the disease and is caused by mutations in the gene DKC1, encoding the protein dyskerin. Dyskerin is required for the assembly and stability of telomerase and is also involved in ribosomal RNA (rRNA) processing where it converts specific uridines to pseudouridine. DC is thought to result from failure to maintain tissues, like blood, that are renewed by stem cell activity, but research into pathogenic mechanisms has been hampered by the difficulty of obtaining stem cells from patients. We reasoned that induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from X-linked DC patients may provide information about the mechanisms involved. Here we describe the production of iPS cells from DC patients with DKC1 mutations Q31E, A353V and ΔL37. In addition we constructed “corrected” lines with a copy of the wild type dyskerin cDNA expressed from the AAVS1 safe harbor locus. We show that in iPS cells with DKC1 mutations telomere maintenance is compromised with short telomere lengths and decreased telomerase activity. The degree to which telomere lengths are affected by expression of telomerase during reprograming, or with ectopic expression of wild type dyskerin, is variable. The recurrent mutation A353V shows the most severe effect on telomere maintenance. A353V cells but not Q31E or ΔL37 cells, are refractory to correction by expression of wild type DKC1 cDNA. Because dyskerin is involved in both telomere maintenance and ribosome biogenesis it has been postulated that defective ribosome biogenesis and translation may contribute to the disease phenotype. Evidence from mouse and zebra fish models has supported the involvement of ribosome biogenesis but primary cells from human

  1. Telomeric Trans-Silencing in Drosophila melanogaster: Tissue Specificity, Development and Functional Interactions between Non-Homologous Telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Josse, Thibaut; Maurel-Zaffran, Corinne; de Vanssay, Augustin; Teysset, Laure; Todeschini, Anne-Laure; Delmarre, Valerie; Chaminade, Nicole; Anxolabéhère, Dominique; Ronsseray, Stéphane

    2008-01-01

    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. PMID:18813361

  2. Urine - abnormal color

    MedlinePlus

    ... medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003139.htm Urine - abnormal color To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. The usual color of urine is straw-yellow. Abnormally colored urine ...

  3. Tooth - abnormal colors

    MedlinePlus

    ... medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003065.htm Tooth - abnormal colors To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Abnormal tooth color is any color other than white to yellowish- ...

  4. Abnormal Head Position

    MedlinePlus

    ... cause. Can a longstanding head turn lead to any permanent problems? Yes, a significant abnormal head posture could cause permanent ... occipitocervical synostosis and unilateral hearing loss. Are there any ... postures? Yes. Abnormal head postures can usually be improved depending ...

  5. Skeletal limb abnormalities

    MedlinePlus

    ... medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003170.htm Skeletal limb abnormalities To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Skeletal limb abnormalities refers to a variety of bone structure problems ...

  6. In situ analysis of changes in telomere size during replicative aging and cell transformation

    PubMed Central

    1996-01-01

    Telomeres have been shown to gradually shorten during replicative aging in human somatic cells by Southern analysis. This study examines telomere shortening at the single cell level by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). FISH and confocal microscopy of interphase human diploid fibroblasts (HDFs) demonstrate that telomeres are distributed throughout the nucleus with an interchromosomal heterogeneity in size. Analysis of HDFs at increasing population doubling levels shows a gradual increase in spot size, intensity, and detectability of telomeric signal. FISH of metaphase chromosomes prepared from young and old HDFs shows a heterogeneity in detection frequency for telomeres on chromosomes 1, 9, 15, and Y. The interchromosomal distribution of detection frequencies was similar for cells at early and late passage. The telomeric detection frequency for metaphase chromosomes also decreased with age. These observations suggest that telomeres shorten at similar rates in normal human somatic cels. T-antigen transformed HDFs near crisis contained telomere signals that were low compared to nontransformed HDFs. A large intracellular heterogeneity in telomere lengths was detected in two telomerase-negative cell lines compared to normal somatic cells and the telomerase-positive 293 cell line. Many telomerase-negative immortal cells had telomeric signals stronger than those in young HDFs, suggesting a different mechanism for telomere length regulation in telomerase-negative immortal cells. These studies provide an in situ demonstration of interchromosomal heterogeneity in telomere lengths. Furthermore, FISH is a reliable and sensitive method for detecting changes in telomere size at the single cell level. PMID:8698806

  7. Factors that influence telomeric oxidative base damage and repair by DNA glycosylase OGG1.

    PubMed

    Rhee, David B; Ghosh, Avik; Lu, Jian; Bohr, Vilhelm A; Liu, Yie

    2011-01-02

    Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes at the ends of linear chromosomes in eukaryotes, and are essential in preventing chromosome termini from being recognized as broken DNA ends. Telomere shortening has been linked to cellular senescence and human aging, with oxidative stress as a major contributing factor. 7,8-Dihydro-8-oxogaunine (8-oxodG) is one of the most abundant oxidative guanine lesions, and 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase (OGG1) is involved in its removal. In this study, we examined if telomeric DNA is particularly susceptible to oxidative base damage and if telomere-specific factors affect the incision of oxidized guanines by OGG1. We demonstrated that telomeric TTAGGG repeats were more prone to oxidative base damage and repaired less efficiently than non-telomeric TG repeats in vivo. We also showed that the 8-oxodG-incision activity of OGG1 is similar in telomeric and non-telomeric double-stranded substrates. In addition, telomere repeat binding factors TRF1 and TRF2 do not impair OGG1 incision activity. Yet, 8-oxodG in some telomere structures (e.g., fork-opening, 3'-overhang, and D-loop) were less effectively excised by OGG1, depending upon its position in these substrates. Collectively, our data indicate that the sequence context of telomere repeats and certain telomere configurations may contribute to telomere vulnerability to oxidative DNA damage processing.

  8. Telomere-Mediated Plasmid Segregation in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Involves Gene Products Required for Transcriptional Repression at Silencers and Telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Longtine, M. S.; Enomoto, S.; Finstad, S. L.; Berman, J.

    1993-01-01

    Plasmids that contain Saccharomyces cerevisiae TG(1-3) telomere repeat sequences (TRS plasmids) segregate efficiently during mitosis. Mutations in histone H4 reduce the efficiency of TRS-mediated plasmid segregation, suggesting that chromatin structure is involved in this process. Sir2, Sir3 and Sir4 are required for the transcriptional repression of genes located at the silent mating type loci (HML and HMR) and at telomeres (telomere position effect) and are also involved in the segregation of TRS plasmids, indicating that TRS-mediated plasmid segregation involves factors that act at chromosomal telomeres. TRS plasmid segregation differs from the segregation of plasmids carrying the HMR E silencing region: HMR E plasmid segregation function is completely dependent upon Sir2, Sir3 and Sir4, involves Sir1 and is not influenced by mutations in RAP1 that eliminate TRS plasmid segregation. Mutations in SIR1, SIN1, TOP1, TEL1 and TEL2 do not influence TRS plasmid segregation. Unlike transcriptional repression at telomeres, TRS plasmids retain partial segregation function in sir2, sir3, sir4, nat1 and ard1 mutant strains. Thus it is likely that TRS plasmid segregation involves additional factors that are not involved in telomere position effect. PMID:8436267

  9. Abnormal Uterine Bleeding FAQ

    MedlinePlus

    ... PROBLEMS Abnormal Uterine Bleeding • What is a normal menstrual cycle? • When is bleeding abnormal? • At what ages is ... treat abnormal bleeding? •Glossary What is a normal menstrual cycle? The normal length of the menstrual cycle is ...

  10. Automated Assay of Telomere Length Measurement and Informatics for 100,000 Subjects in the Genetic Epidemiology Research on Adult Health and Aging (GERA) Cohort.

    PubMed

    Lapham, Kyle; Kvale, Mark N; Lin, Jue; Connell, Sheryl; Croen, Lisa A; Dispensa, Brad P; Fang, Lynn; Hesselson, Stephanie; Hoffmann, Thomas J; Iribarren, Carlos; Jorgenson, Eric; Kushi, Lawrence H; Ludwig, Dana; Matsuguchi, Tetsuya; McGuire, William B; Miles, Sunita; Quesenberry, Charles P; Rowell, Sarah; Sadler, Marianne; Sakoda, Lori C; Smethurst, David; Somkin, Carol P; Van Den Eeden, Stephen K; Walter, Lawrence; Whitmer, Rachel A; Kwok, Pui-Yan; Risch, Neil; Schaefer, Catherine; Blackburn, Elizabeth H

    2015-08-01

    The Kaiser Permanente Research Program on Genes, Environment, and Health (RPGEH) Genetic Epidemiology Research on Adult Health and Aging (GERA) cohort includes DNA specimens extracted from saliva samples of 110,266 individuals. Because of its relationship to aging, telomere length measurement was considered an important biomarker to develop on these subjects. To assay relative telomere length (TL) on this large cohort over a short time period, we created a novel high throughput robotic system for TL analysis and informatics. Samples were run in triplicate, along with control samples, in a randomized design. As part of quality control, we determined the within-sample variability and employed thresholds for the elimination of outlying measurements. Of 106,902 samples assayed, 105,539 (98.7%) passed all quality control (QC) measures. As expected, TL in general showed a decline with age and a sex difference. While telomeres showed a negative correlation with age up to 75 years, in those older than 75 years, age positively correlated with longer telomeres, indicative of an association of longer telomeres with more years of survival in those older than 75. Furthermore, while females in general had longer telomeres than males, this difference was significant only for those older than age 50. An additional novel finding was that the variance of TL between individuals increased with age. This study establishes reliable assay and analysis methodologies for measurement of TL in large, population-based human studies. The GERA cohort represents the largest currently available such resource, linked to comprehensive electronic health and genotype data for analysis.

  11. Super DNAging-New insights into DNA integrity, genome stability and telomeres in the oldest old.

    PubMed

    Franzke, Bernhard; Neubauer, Oliver; Wagner, Karl-Heinz

    2015-01-01

    Reductions in DNA integrity, genome stability, and telomere length are strongly associated with the aging process, age-related diseases as well as the age-related loss of muscle mass. However, in people reaching an age far beyond their statistical life expectancy the prevalence of diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes or dementia, is much lower compared to "averagely" aged humans. These inverse observations in nonagenarians (90-99 years), centenarians (100-109 years) and super-centenarians (110 years and older) require a closer look into dynamics underlying DNA damage within the oldest old of our society. Available data indicate improved DNA repair and antioxidant defense mechanisms in "super old" humans, which are comparable with much younger cohorts. Partly as a result of these enhanced endogenous repair and protective mechanisms, the oldest old humans appear to cope better with risk factors for DNA damage over their lifetime compared to subjects whose lifespan coincides with the statistical life expectancy. This model is supported by study results demonstrating superior chromosomal stability, telomere dynamics and DNA integrity in "successful agers". There is also compelling evidence suggesting that life-style related factors including regular physical activity, a well-balanced diet and minimized psycho-social stress can reduce DNA damage and improve chromosomal stability. The most conclusive picture that emerges from reviewing the literature is that reaching "super old" age appears to be primarily determined by hereditary/genetic factors, while a healthy lifestyle additionally contributes to achieving the individual maximum lifespan in humans. More research is required in this rapidly growing population of super old people. In particular, there is need for more comprehensive investigations including short- and long-term lifestyle interventions as well as investigations focusing on the mechanisms causing DNA damage, mutations, and telomere

  12. DNA profiling, telomere analysis and antioxidant properties as tools for monitoring ex situ seed longevity

    PubMed Central

    Donà, M.; Balestrazzi, A.; Mondoni, A.; Rossi, G.; Ventura, L.; Buttafava, A.; Macovei, A.; Sabatini, M. E.; Valassi, A.; Carbonera, D.

    2013-01-01

    deeper insights to study seed viability during storage. Telomere lengthening is a promising tool to discriminate between short- and long-lived species. PMID:23532044

  13. Disease mutant analysis identifies a new function of DAXX in telomerase regulation and telomere maintenance

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Mengfan; Li, Yujing; Zhang, Yi; Chen, Yuxi; Huang, Wenjun; Wang, Dan; Zaug, Arthur J.; Liu, Dan; Zhao, Yong; Cech, Thomas R.; Ma, Wenbin; Songyang, Zhou

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Most human cancers depend on the telomerase to maintain telomeres; however, about 10% of cancers are telomerase negative and utilize the alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) mechanism. Mutations in the DAXX gene have been found frequently in both telomerase-positive and ALT cells, and how DAXX mutations contribute to cancers remains unclear. We report here that endogenous DAXX can localize to Cajal bodies, associate with the telomerase and regulate telomerase targeting to telomeres. Furthermore, disease mutations that are located in different regions of DAXX differentially impact on its ability to interact with its binding partners and its targeting to Cajal bodies and telomeres. In addition, DAXX knockdown by RNA interference led to reduced telomerase targeting to telomeres and telomere shortening. These findings collectively support a DAXX-centric pathway for telomere maintenance, where DAXX interaction with the telomerase regulates telomerase assembly in Cajal bodies and telomerase targeting to telomeres. PMID:25416818

  14. Spatiotemporal analysis with a genetically encoded fluorescent RNA probe reveals TERRA function around telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Yamada, Toshimichi; Yoshimura, Hideaki; Shimada, Rintaro; Hattori, Mitsuru; Eguchi, Masatoshi; Fujiwara, Takahiro K.; Kusumi, Akihiro; Ozawa, Takeaki

    2016-01-01

    Telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA) controls the structure and length of telomeres through interactions with numerous telomere-binding proteins. However, little is known about the mechanism by which TERRA regulates the accessibility of the proteins to telomeres, mainly because of the lack of spatiotemporal information of TERRA and its-interacting proteins. We developed a fluorescent probe to visualize endogenous TERRA to investigate its dynamics in living cells. Single-particle fluorescence imaging revealed that TERRA accumulated in a telomere-neighboring region and trapped diffusive heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1 (hnRNPA1), thereby inhibiting hnRNPA1 localization to the telomere. These results suggest that TERRA regulates binding of hnRNPA1 to the telomere in a region surrounding the telomere, leading to a deeper understanding of the mechanism of TERRA function. PMID:27958374

  15. Human telomere biology: A contributory and interactive factor in aging, disease risks, and protection.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Elizabeth H; Epel, Elissa S; Lin, Jue

    2015-12-04

    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.

  16. Social isolation shortens telomeres in African Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus).

    PubMed

    Aydinonat, Denise; Penn, Dustin J; Smith, Steve; Moodley, Yoshan; Hoelzl, Franz; Knauer, Felix; Schwarzenberger, Franz

    2014-01-01

    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. Tiptoeing to chromosome tips: facts, promises and perils of today's human telomere biology.

    PubMed Central

    Fajkus, J; Simícková, M; Maláska, J

    2002-01-01

    The past decade has witnessed an explosion of knowledge concerning the structure and function of chromosome terminal structures-telomeres. Today's telomere research has advanced from a pure descriptive approach of DNA and protein components to an elementary understanding of telomere metabolism, and now to promising applications in medicine. These applications include 'passive' ones, among which the use of analysis of telomeres and telomerase (a cellular reverse transcriptase that synthesizes telomeres) for cancer diagnostics is the best known. The 'active' applications involve targeted downregulation or upregulation of telomere synthesis, either to mortalize immortal cancer cells, or to rejuvenate mortal somatic cells and tissues for cellular transplantations, respectively. This article reviews the basic data on structure and function of human telomeres and telomerase, as well as both passive and active applications of human telomere biology. PMID:12028791

  18. Specific DNA replication mutations affect telomere length in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed Central

    Adams, A K; Holm, C

    1996-01-01

    To investigate the relationship between the DNA replication apparatus and the control of telomere length, we examined the effects of several DNA replication mutations on telomere length in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We report that a mutation in the structural gene for the large subunit of DNA replication factor C (cdc44/rfc1) causes striking increases in telomere length. A similar effect is seen with mutations in only one other DNA replication gene: the structural gene for DNA polymerase alpha (cdc17/pol1) (M.J. Carson and L. Hartwell, Cell 42:249-257, 1985). For both genes, the telomere elongation phenotype is allele specific and appears to correlate with the penetrance of the mutations. Furthermore, fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis reveals that those alleles that cause elongation also exhibit a slowing of DNA replication. To determine whether elongation is mediated by telomerase or by slippage of the DNA polymerase, we created cdc17-1 mutants carrying deletions of the gene encoding the RNA component of telomerase (TLC1). cdc17-1 strains that would normally undergo telomere elongation failed to do so in the absence of telomerase activity. This result implies that telomere elongation in cdc17-1 mutants is mediated by the action of telomerase. Since DNA replication involves transfer of the nascent strand from polymerase alpha to replication factor C (T. Tsurimoto and B. Stillman, J. Biol. Chem. 266:1950-1960, 1991; T. Tsurimoto and B. Stillman, J. Biol. Chem. 266:1961-1968, 1991; S. Waga and B. Stillman, Nature [London] 369:207-212, 1994), one possibility is that this step affects the regulation of telomere length. PMID:8756617

  19. Telomeres and telomerase: Pharmacological targets for new anticancer strategies?

    PubMed

    Pendino, F; Tarkanyi, I; Dudognon, C; Hillion, J; Lanotte, M; Aradi, J; Ségal-Bendirdjian, E

    2006-03-01

    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.

  20. Alternative lengthening of telomeres does exist in various canine sarcomas.

    PubMed

    Kreilmeier, Theresa; Sampl, Sandra; Deloria, Abigail J; Walter, Ingrid; Reifinger, Martin; Hauck, Marlene; Borst, Luke B; Holzmann, Klaus; Kleiter, Miriam

    2017-03-01

    Alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) is a telomere maintenance mechanism (TMM) found in some human tumors such as sarcomas. Canine tumors are not characterized for ALT and the study aim was to identify if the ALT phenotype exists in canine sarcomas. Sixty-four canine sarcoma samples (20 snap-frozen, 44 FFPE) as well as six canine sarcoma cell lines were screened for ALT by C-circle assay. ALT was further evaluated by measuring telomere length via qPCR and telomere restriction-fragments including pulsed-field electrophoresis. ALT-associated proteins were validated by immunohistochemistry. Further, telomerase activity (TA) and gene expression were analyzed by TRAP and qPCR. DNA from 20 human neuroblastomas and 8 sarcoma cell lines served as comparative controls. ALT was detected in 9.4% (6/64) canine sarcomas including aggressive subtypes as hemangiosarcoma, osteosarcoma, and histiocytic sarcoma. C-circle levels were comparable with human ALT-positive controls. All ALT tumors demonstrated loss of ATRX expression and 5/6 showed strong p53 expression. TA was detected in 93% (14/15) snap-frozen samples including a sarcoma with ALT activity. This tumor showed long heterogeneous telomeres, and a high level of colocalization of DAXX with telomeres. One sarcoma was ALT and TA negative. All canine and human sarcoma cell lines were ALT negative. In this study, we demonstrated that canine sarcomas use ALT. As in humans, ALT was identified in aggressive sarcomas subtypes and coexisted with TA in one tumor. Overall, canine sarcomas seem to share many similarities with their human counterparts and appear an attractive model for comparative telomere research. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Stress and telomere shortening among central Indian conservation refugees.

    PubMed

    Zahran, Sammy; Snodgrass, Jeffrey G; Maranon, David G; Upadhyay, Chakrapani; Granger, Douglas A; Bailey, Susan M

    2015-03-03

    Research links psychosocial stress to premature telomere shortening and accelerated human aging; however, this association has only been demonstrated in so-called "WEIRD" societies (Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic), where stress is typically lower and life expectancies longer. By contrast, we examine stress and telomere shortening in a non-Western setting among a highly stressed population with overall lower life expectancies: poor indigenous people--the Sahariya--who were displaced (between 1998 and 2002) from their ancestral homes in a central Indian wildlife sanctuary. In this setting, we examined adult populations in two representative villages, one relocated to accommodate the introduction of Asiatic lions into the sanctuary (n = 24 individuals), and the other newly isolated in the sanctuary buffer zone after their previous neighbors were moved (n = 22). Our research strategy combined physical stress measures via the salivary analytes cortisol and α-amylase with self-assessments of psychosomatic stress, ethnographic observations, and telomere length assessment [telomere-fluorescence in situ hybridization (TEL-FISH) coupled with 3D imaging of buccal cell nuclei], providing high-resolution data amenable to multilevel statistical analysis. Consistent with expectations, we found significant associations between each of our stress measures--the two salivary analytes and the psychosomatic symptom survey--and telomere length, after adjusting for relevant behavioral, health, and demographic traits. As the first study (to our knowledge) to link stress to telomere length in a non-WEIRD population, our research strengthens the case for stress-induced telomere shortening as a pancultural biomarker of compromised health and aging.

  2. Different TP53 mutations are associated with specific chromosomal rearrangements, telomere length changes, and remodeling of the nuclear architecture of telomeres.

    PubMed

    Samassekou, Oumar; Bastien, Nathalie; Lichtensztejn, Daniel; Yan, Ju; Mai, Sabine; Drouin, Régen

    2014-11-01

    TP53 mutations are the most common mutations in human cancers, and TP53-R175H and TP53-R273H are the most frequent. The impact of these mutations on genomic instability after tumor initiation is still uncovered. To gain insight into this, we studied the effects of three specific TP53 mutants (TP53-V143A, TP53-R175H, and TP53-R273H) on genomic instability using four isogenic lines of LoVo cells. Multicolor fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), three-dimensional (3D) quantitative FISH (Q-FISH) on interphase and Q-FISH on metaphases were used to investigate genomic instability. We found that LoVo cells expressing mutant TP53-R175H displayed the highest level of chromosomal instability among the LoVo cell lines. Furthermore, we observed that mutant TP53-R175H and TP53-V143A showed more alterations in their 3D nuclear architecture of telomeres than the mutant TP53-R273H and the wild type. Moreover, we noted an association between some chromosomal abnormalities and telomere elongation in the mutant TP53-R175H. Taken together, our results indicate that the mutation TP53-R175H is more likely to cause higher levels of genomic instability than the other TP53 mutations. We proposed that the type of TP53 mutations and the genetic background of a cancer cell are major determinants of the TP53-dependent genomic instability.

  3. Direct comparison of flow-FISH and qPCR as diagnostic tests for telomere length measurement in humans.

    PubMed

    Gutierrez-Rodrigues, Fernanda; Santana-Lemos, Bárbara A; Scheucher, Priscila S; Alves-Paiva, Raquel M; Calado, Rodrigo T

    2014-01-01

    Telomere length measurement is an essential test for the diagnosis of telomeropathies, which are caused by excessive telomere erosion. Commonly used methods are terminal restriction fragment (TRF) analysis by Southern blot, fluorescence in situ hybridization coupled with flow cytometry (flow-FISH), and quantitative PCR (qPCR). Although these methods have been used in the clinic, they have not been comprehensively compared. Here, we directly compared the performance of flow-FISH and qPCR to measure leukocytes' telomere length of healthy individuals and patients evaluated for telomeropathies, using TRF as standard. TRF and flow-FISH showed good agreement and correlation in the analysis of healthy subjects (R(2) = 0.60; p<0.0001) and patients (R(2) = 0.51; p<0.0001). In contrast, the comparison between TRF and qPCR yielded modest correlation for the analysis of samples of healthy individuals (R(2) = 0.35; p<0.0001) and low correlation for patients (R(2) = 0.20; p = 0.001); Bland-Altman analysis showed poor agreement between the two methods for both patients and controls. Quantitative PCR and flow-FISH modestly correlated in the analysis of healthy individuals (R(2) = 0.33; p<0.0001) and did not correlate in the comparison of patients' samples (R(2) = 0.1, p = 0.08). Intra-assay coefficient of variation (CV) was similar for flow-FISH (10.8 ± 7.1%) and qPCR (9.5 ± 7.4%; p = 0.35), but the inter-assay CV was lower for flow-FISH (9.6 ± 7.6% vs. 16 ± 19.5%; p = 0.02). Bland-Altman analysis indicated that flow-FISH was more precise and reproducible than qPCR. Flow-FISH and qPCR were sensitive (both 100%) and specific (93% and 89%, respectively) to distinguish very short telomeres. However, qPCR sensitivity (40%) and specificity (63%) to detect telomeres below the tenth percentile were lower compared to flow-FISH (80% sensitivity and 85% specificity). In the clinical setting, flow-FISH was more accurate, reproducible, sensitive, and specific in the measurement of human

  4. Direct Comparison of Flow-FISH and qPCR as Diagnostic Tests for Telomere Length Measurement in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Gutierrez-Rodrigues, Fernanda; Santana-Lemos, Bárbara A.; Scheucher, Priscila S.; Alves-Paiva, Raquel M.; Calado, Rodrigo T.

    2014-01-01

    Telomere length measurement is an essential test for the diagnosis of telomeropathies, which are caused by excessive telomere erosion. Commonly used methods are terminal restriction fragment (TRF) analysis by Southern blot, fluorescence in situ hybridization coupled with flow cytometry (flow-FISH), and quantitative PCR (qPCR). Although these methods have been used in the clinic, they have not been comprehensively compared. Here, we directly compared the performance of flow-FISH and qPCR to measure leukocytes' telomere length of healthy individuals and patients evaluated for telomeropathies, using TRF as standard. TRF and flow-FISH showed good agreement and correlation in the analysis of healthy subjects (R2 = 0.60; p<0.0001) and patients (R2 = 0.51; p<0.0001). In contrast, the comparison between TRF and qPCR yielded modest correlation for the analysis of samples of healthy individuals (R2 = 0.35; p<0.0001) and low correlation for patients (R2 = 0.20; p = 0.001); Bland-Altman analysis showed poor agreement between the two methods for both patients and controls. Quantitative PCR and flow-FISH modestly correlated in the analysis of healthy individuals (R2 = 0.33; p<0.0001) and did not correlate in the comparison of patients' samples (R2 = 0.1, p = 0.08). Intra-assay coefficient of variation (CV) was similar for flow-FISH (10.8±7.1%) and qPCR (9.5±7.4%; p = 0.35), but the inter-assay CV was lower for flow-FISH (9.6±7.6% vs. 16±19.5%; p = 0.02). Bland-Altman analysis indicated that flow-FISH was more precise and reproducible than qPCR. Flow-FISH and qPCR were sensitive (both 100%) and specific (93% and 89%, respectively) to distinguish very short telomeres. However, qPCR sensitivity (40%) and specificity (63%) to detect telomeres below the tenth percentile were lower compared to flow-FISH (80% sensitivity and 85% specificity). In the clinical setting, flow-FISH was more accurate, reproducible, sensitive, and specific in the

  5. Genetic and epigenetic trends in telomere research: a novel way in immunoepigenetics.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    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

  6. The Association between Telomere Length and Cancer Prognosis: Evidence from a Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Li, Lu; Zhou, Ying; Wang, Chao; Hou, Shuxun

    2015-01-01

    Background Telomeres are essential for chromosomal integrity and stability. Shortened telomere length (TL) has been associated with risk of cancers and aging-related diseases. Several studies have explored associations between TL and cancer prognosis, but the results are conflicting. Methods Prospective studies on the relationship between TL and cancer survival were identified by a search of PubMed up to May 25, 2015. There were no restrictions on the cancer type or DNA source. The quality of the included studies was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. Meta-analysis approaches were conducted to determine pooled relative risks and 95% confidence intervals. Results Thirty-three articles containing forty-five independent studies were ultimately involved in our meta-analysis, of which twenty-seven were about overall cancer survival and eighteen were about cancer progression. Short TL was associated with increased cancer mortality risk (RR = 1.30, 95%CI: 1.06–1.59) and poor cancer progression (RR = 1.44, 95%CI: 1.10–1.88), both with high levels of heterogeneity (I2 = 83.5%, P = 0.012for overall survival and I2 = 75.4%, P = 0.008 for progression). TL was an independent predictor of overall cancer survival and progression in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Besides, short telomeres were also associated with increased colorectal cancer mortality and decreased overall survival of esophageal cancer, but not in other cancers. Cancer progression was associated with TL in Asian and America populations and short TL predicted poor cancer survival in older populations. Compared with tumor tissue cells, TL in blood lymphocyte cells was better for prediction. In addition, the associations remained significant when restricted to studies with adjustments for age, with larger sample sizes, measuring TL using southern blotting or estimating risk effects by hazard ratios. Conclusion Short TL demonstrated a significant association with poor cancer survival, suggesting the

  7. The OB-fold domain 1 of human POT1 recognizes both telomeric and non-telomeric DNA motifs

    PubMed Central

    Kolar, Carol; Yan, Ying; Borgstahl, Gloria E.O.; Ouellette, Michel M.

    2015-01-01

    The POT1 protein plays a critical role in telomere protection and telomerase regulation. POT1 binds single-stranded 5’-TTAGGGTTAG-3’ and forms a dimer with the TPP1 protein. The dimer is recruited to telomeres, either directly or as part of the Shelterin complex. Human POT1 contains two Oligonucleotide/Oligosaccharide Binding (OB) fold domains, OB1 and OB2, which make physical contact with the DNA. OB1 recognizes 5’-TTAGGG whereas OB2 binds to the downstream TTAG-3’. Studies of POT1 proteins from other species have shown that some of these proteins are able to recognize a broader variety of DNA ligands than expected. To explore this possibility in humans, we have used SELEX to reexamine the sequence-specificity of the protein. Using human POT1 as a selection matrix, high-affinity DNA ligands were selected from a pool of randomized single-stranded oligonucleotides. After six successive rounds of selection, two classes of high-affinity targets were obtained. The first class was composed of oligonucleotides containing a cognate POT1 binding sites (5’-TTAGGGTTAG-3’). The second and more abundant class was made of molecules that carried a novel non-telomeric consensus: 5’-TNCANNAGKKKTTAGG-3’ (where K=G/T and N=any base). Binding studies showed that these non-telomeric sites were made of an OB1-binding motif (TTAGG) and a non-telomeric motif (NT motif), with the two motifs recognized by distinct regions of the OB1 domain. POT1 interacted with these non-telomeric binding sites with high affinity and specificity, even when bound to its dimerization partner TPP1. This intrinsic ability of POT1 to recognize NT motifs raises the possibility that the protein may fulfill additional functions at certain non-telomeric locations of the genome, in perhaps gene transcription, replication, or repair. PMID:25934589

  8. A high rate of telomeric sister chromatid exchange occurs in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia B-cells.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-07-01

    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.

  9. Homologous recombination-dependent repair of telomeric DSBs in proliferating human cells

    PubMed Central

    Mao, Pingsu; Liu, Jingfan; Zhang, Zepeng; Zhang, Hong; Liu, Haiying; Gao, Song; Rong, Yikang S.; Zhao, Yong

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres prevent chromosome ends from being recognized as double-stranded breaks (DSBs). Meanwhile, G/C-rich repetitive telomeric DNA is susceptible to attack by DNA-damaging agents. How cells balance the need to protect DNA ends and the need to repair DNA lesions in telomeres is unknown. Here we show that telomeric DSBs are efficiently repaired in proliferating cells, but are irreparable in stress-induced and replicatively senescent cells. Using the CRISPR-Cas9 technique, we specifically induce DSBs at telomeric or subtelomeric regions. We find that DSB repair (DSBR) at subtelomeres occurs in an error-prone manner resulting in small deletions, suggestive of NHEJ. However, DSBR in telomeres involves ‘telomere-clustering', 3′-protruding C-rich telomeric ssDNA, and HR between sister-chromatid or interchromosomal telomeres. DSBR in telomeres is suppressed by deletion or inhibition of Rad51. These findings reveal proliferation-dependent DSBR in telomeres and suggest that telomeric HR, which is normally constitutively suppressed, is activated in the context of DSBR. PMID:27396625

  10. The DDR at telomeres lacking intact shelterin does not require substantial chromatin decompaction.

    PubMed

    Timashev, Leonid A; Babcock, Hazen; Zhuang, Xiaowei; de Lange, Titia

    2017-03-15

    Telomeres are protected by shelterin, a six-subunit protein complex that represses the DNA damage response (DDR) at chromosome ends. Extensive data suggest that TRF2 in shelterin remodels telomeres into the t-loop structure, thereby hiding telomere ends from double-stranded break repair and ATM signaling, whereas POT1 represses ATR signaling by excluding RPA. An alternative protection mechanism was suggested recently by which shelterin subunits TRF1, TRF2, and TIN2 mediate telomeric chromatin compaction, which was proposed to minimize access of DDR factors. We performed superresolution imaging of telomeres in mouse cells after conditional deletion of TRF1, TRF2, or both, the latter of which results in the complete loss of shelterin. Upon removal of TRF1 or TRF2, we observed only minor changes in the telomere volume in most of our experiments. Upon codeletion of TRF1 and TRF2, the telomere volume increased by varying amounts, but even those samples exhibiting small changes in telomere volume showed DDR at nearly all telomeres. Upon shelterin removal, telomeres underwent 53BP1-dependent clustering, potentially explaining at least in part the apparent increase in telomere volume. Furthermore, chromatin accessibility, as determined by ATAC-seq (assay for transposase-accessible chromatin [ATAC] with high-throughput sequencing), was not substantially altered by shelterin removal. These results suggest that the DDR induced by shelterin removal does not require substantial telomere decompaction.

  11. A role for monoubiquitinated FANCD2 at telomeres in ALT cells.

    PubMed

    Fan, Qiang; Zhang, Fan; Barrett, Briana; Ren, Keqin; Andreassen, Paul R

    2009-04-01

    Both Fanconi anemia (FA) and telomere dysfunction are associated with chromosome instability and an increased risk of cancer. Because of these similarities, we have investigated whether there is a relationship between the FA protein, FANCD2 and telomeres. We find that FANCD2 nuclear foci colocalize with telomeres and PML bodies in immortalized telomerase-negative cells. These cells maintain telomeres by alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT). In contrast, FANCD2 does not colocalize with telomeres or PML bodies in cells which express telomerase. Using a siRNA approach we find that FANCA and FANCL, which are components of the FA nuclear core complex, regulate FANCD2 monoubiquitination and the telomeric localization of FANCD2 in ALT cells. Transient depletion of FANCD2, or FANCA, results in a dramatic loss of detectable telomeres in ALT cells but not in telomerase-expressing cells. Furthermore, telomere loss following depletion of these proteins in ALT cells is associated with decreased homologous recombination between telomeres (T-SCE). Thus, the FA pathway has a novel function in ALT telomere maintenance related to DNA repair. ALT telomere maintenance is therefore one mechanism by which monoubiquitinated FANCD2 may promote genetic stability.

  12. Trigeminal star-like platinum complexes induce cancer cell senescence through quadruplex-mediated telomere dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Xiao-Hui; Mu, Ge; Zhong, Yi-Fang; Zhang, Tian-Peng; Cao, Qian; Ji, Liang-Nian; Zhao, Yong; Mao, Zong-Wan

    2016-12-01

    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. NAP-1, Nucleosome assembly protein 1, a histone chaperone involved in Drosophila telomeres.

    PubMed

    López-Panadès, Elisenda; Casacuberta, Elena

    2016-03-01

    Telomere elongation is a function that all eukaryote cells must accomplish in order to guarantee, first, the stability of the end of the chromosomes and second, to protect the genetic information from the inevitable terminal erosion. The targeted transposition of the telomere transposons HeT-A, TART and TAHRE perform this function in Drosophila, while the telomerase mechanism elongates the telomeres in most eukaryotes. In order to integrate telomere maintenance together with cell cycle and metabolism, different components of the cell interact, regulate, and control the proteins involved in telomere elongation. Different partners of the telomerase mechanism have already been described, but in contrast, very few proteins have been related with assisting the telomere transposons of Drosophila. Here, we describe for the first time, the implication of NAP-1 (Nucleosome assembly protein 1), a histone chaperone that has been involved in nuclear transport, transcription regulation, and chromatin remodeling, in telomere biology. We find that Nap-1 and HeT-A Gag, one of the major components of the Drosophila telomeres, are part of the same protein complex. We also demonstrate that their close interaction is necessary to guarantee telomere stability in dividing cells. We further show that NAP-1 regulates the transcription of the HeT-A retrotransposon, pointing to a positive regulatory role of NAP-1 in telomere expression. All these results facilitate the understanding of the transposon telomere maintenance mechanism, as well as the integration of telomere biology with the rest of the cell metabolism.

  14. Age intrinsic loss of telomere protection via TRF1 reduction in endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Hohensinner, P J; Kaun, C; Buchberger, E; Ebenbauer, B; Demyanets, S; Huk, I; Eppel, W; Maurer, G; Huber, K; Wojta, J

    2016-02-01

    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.

  15. Age-related arterial telomere uncapping and senescence is greater in women compared with men.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-01-01

    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 (p<0.01). Thus, the age-related increase in arterial telomere uncapping and senescence is greater in women than men, despite similar age-related reductions in mean telomere length in both sexes.

  16. Adipocyte telomere length associates negatively with adipocyte size, whereas adipose tissue telomere length associates negatively with the extent of fibrosis in severely obese women.

    PubMed

    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

    2014-05-01

    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.

  17. Polymerases ε and ∂ repair dysfunctional telomeres facilitated by salt

    PubMed Central

    Ivanova, Iglika G.; Maringele, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Damaged DNA can be repaired by removal and re-synthesis of up to 30 nucleotides during base or nucleotide excision repair. An important question is what happens when many more nucleotides are removed, resulting in long single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) lesions. Such lesions appear on chromosomes during telomere damage, double strand break repair or after the UV damage of stationary phase cells. Here, we show that long single-stranded lesions, formed at dysfunctional telomeres in budding yeast, are re-synthesized when cells are removed from the telomere-damaging environment. This process requires Pol32, an accessory factor of Polymerase δ. However, re-synthesis takes place even when the telomere-damaging conditions persist, in which case the accessory factors of both polymerases δ and ε are required, and surprisingly, salt. Salt added to the medium facilitates the DNA synthesis, independently of the osmotic stress responses. These results provide unexpected insights into the DNA metabolism and challenge the current view on cellular responses to telomere dysfunction. PMID:26883631

  18. Older adults with higher income or marriage have longer telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Yen, Yung-Chieh; Lung, For-Wey

    2013-01-01

    Background: telomere length has been used to represent biological ageing and is found to be associated with various physiological, psychological and social factors. Objective: to explore the effects of income and marriage on leucocyte telomere length in a representative sample of older adults. Design and subjects: cross-sectional analysis among 298 adults, aged 65–74, randomly selected from the community by census. Methods: telomere length was measured by quantitative PCR. Participants provided information on sociodemographics, physical illness and completed questionnaires rating mental state and perceived neighbourhood experience. Results: telomere length was negatively associated with lower income [coefficient −0.141 (95% CI: −0.244 to −0.020), P = 0.021] and positively associated with the marital status [coefficient 0.111 (95% CI: −0.008 to 0.234), P = 0.067] when controlling for gender, age, educational level, physical diseases (including diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, cerebrovascular disease and Parkinson's disease), depressive symptoms, minor mental symptoms, cognitive impairment and perceived neighbourhood experience (including social support, perceived security and public facilities). Conclusions: these results indicate that older adults with higher income or being married have longer telomeres when other sociodemographics, physical diseases, mental status and neighbourhood experience are adjusted. PMID:22951603

  19. Developmental control of telomere lengths and telomerase activity in plants.

    PubMed Central

    Riha, K; Fajkus, J; Siroky, J; Vyskot, B

    1998-01-01

    Telomere lengths and telomerase activity were studied during the development of a model dioecious plant, Melandrium album (syn Silene latifolia). Telomeric DNA consisted of Arabidopsis-type TTTAGGG tandem repeats. The terminal positions of these repeats were confirmed by both Bal31 exonuclease degradation and in situ hybridization. Analysis of terminal restriction fragments in different tissues and ontogenetic stages showed that telomere lengths are stabilized precisely and do not change during plant growth and development. Telomerase activity tested by using a semiquantitative telomerase repeat amplification protocol correlated with cell proliferation in the tissues analyzed. Highest activity was found in germinating seedlings and root tips, whereas we observed a 100-fold decrease in telomerase activity in leaves and no activity in quiescent seeds. Telomerase also was found in mature pollen grains. Telomerase activity in tissues containing dividing cells and telomere length stability during development suggest their precise control during plant ontogenesis; however, the telomere length regulation mechanism could be unbalanced during in vitro dedifferentiation. PMID:9761795

  20. The evolutionary origin of insect telomeric repeats, (TTAGG)n.

    PubMed

    Vítková, Magda; Král, Jirí; Traut, Walther; Zrzavý, Jan; Marec, Frantisek

    2005-01-01

    The (TTAGG)n sequence is supposed to be an ancestral DNA motif of telomeres in insects. Here we examined the occurrence of TTAGG telomeric repeats in other arthropods and their close relatives by Southern hybridization of genomic DNAs and fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) of chromosomes with (TTAGG)n probes or, alternatively, with the 'vertebrate' telomeric probe, (TTAGGG)n. Our results show that the (TTAGG)n motif is conserved in entognathous hexapods (Diplura and Collembola), crustaceans (Malacostraca, Branchiura, Pentastomida, and Branchiopoda), myriapods (Diplopoda and Chilopoda), pycnogonids, and most chelicerates (Palpigradi, Amblypygi, Acari, Opiliones, Scorpiones, Pseudoscorpiones, and Solifugae) but not in spiders (Araneae). The presence of TTAGG repeats in these groups suggests that the sequence is an ancestral motif of telomeres not only in insects but in Arthropoda. We failed, however, to detect the TTAGG repeats in close relatives of the arthropods, Tardigrada and Onychophora. But while Onychophora had the 'vertebrate' (TTAGGG)n motif instead, the Tardigrada did not. The (TTAGG)n motif probably evolved from the (TTAGGG)n motif. Based on our and compiled data, we presume that the 'vertebrate' motif (TTAGGG)n is an ancestral motif of telomeres in bilaterian animals and possibly also in the superclade including animals, fungi and amoebozoans.

  1. Telomere maintenance in liquid crystalline chromosomes of dinoflagellates.

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

    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.

  2. Activation of a LTR-retrotransposon by telomere erosion.

    PubMed

    Scholes, Derek T; Kenny, Alison E; Gamache, Eric R; Mou, Zhongming; Curcio, M Joan

    2003-12-23

    Retrotransposons can facilitate repair of broken chromosomes, and therefore an important question is whether the host can activate retrotransposons in response to chromosomal lesions. Here we show that Ty1 elements, which are LTR-retrotransposons in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, are mobilized when DNA lesions are created by the loss of telomere function. Inactivation of telomerase in yeast results in progressive shortening of telomeric DNA, eventually triggering a DNA-damage checkpoint that arrests cells in G2/M. A fraction of cells, termed survivors, recover from arrest by forming alternative telomere structures. When telomerase is inactivated, Ty1 retrotransposition increases substantially in parallel with telomere erosion and then partially declines when survivors emerge. Retrotransposition is stimulated at the level of Ty1 cDNA synthesis, causing cDNA levels to increase 20-fold or more before survivors form. This response is elicited through a signaling pathway that includes Rad24, Rad17, and Rad9, three components of the DNA-damage checkpoint. Our findings indicate that Ty1 retrotransposons are activated as part of the cellular response to telomere dysfunction.

  3. Internal genomic regions mobilized for telomere maintenance in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Chuna; Sung, Sanghyun; Lee, Junho

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Because DNA polymerase cannot replicate telomeric DNA at linear chromosomal ends, eukaryotes have developed specific telomere maintenance mechanisms (TMMs). A major TMM involves specialized reverse transcriptase, telomerase. However, there also exist various telomerase-independent TMMs (TI-TMMs), which can arise both in pathological conditions (such as cancers) and during evolution. The TI-TMM in cancer cells is called alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT), whose mechanism is not fully understood. We generated stably maintained telomerase-independent survivors from C. elegans telomerase mutants and found that, unlike previously described survivors in worms, these survivors “mobilize” specific internal sequence blocks for telomere lengthening, which we named TALTs (templates for ALT). The cis-duplication of internal genomic TALTs produces “reservoirs” of TALTs, whose trans-duplication occurs at all chromosome ends in the ALT survivors. Our discovery that different TALTs are utilized in different wild isolates provides insight into the molecular events leading to telomere evolution. PMID:27073737

  4. A Biobehavioral Perspective on Telomere Length and the Exposome

    PubMed Central

    Lyon, Debra E.; Starkweather, Angela R.; Montpetit, Alison; Menzies, Victoria; Jallo, Nancy

    2017-01-01

    A major objective of biobehavioral research is defining the mechanisms that underlie linkages among behavior, biology, health, and disease. The genomic revolution has demonstrated the importance of studying the role of the environment in (epi)genetic mechanisms. The idea that interactions between environment and genetics influence health outcomes is a central concept of the exposome, a measure of environmental exposures throughout a lifetime. Research suggests that telomere length (TL) and biologic factors involved in telomere stability may provide an understanding of the effects of gene–environment interaction on disease risk. Telomeres, thus, have become important biomarkers for aging as well as for stress-related disease. However, incorporating telomeres into biobehavioral research requires consideration of several aspects of the exposome. Internal and external modifiable and nonmodifiable exposures have the potential to influence TL. Future research utilizing the concept of the exposome will provide meaningful findings related to exposure sources as well as dosage and duration across the life span that influence telomere biology and disease occurrence. Such findings can be translated into clinical practice and may provide a basis for personalized disease prevention and treatment approaches. PMID:25199652

  5. Accelerated telomere shortening and replicative senescence in human fibroblasts overexpressing mutant and wild-type lamin A

    SciTech Connect

    Huang Shurong; Risques, Rosa Ana; Martin, George M.; Rabinovitch, Peter S.; Oshima, Junko

    2008-01-01

    LMNA mutations are responsible for a variety of genetic disorders, including muscular dystrophy, lipodystrophy, and certain progeroid syndromes, notably Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria. Although a number of clinical features of these disorders are suggestive of accelerated aging, it is not known whether cells derived from these patients exhibit cellular phenotypes associated with accelerated aging. We examined a series of isogenic skin fibroblast lines transfected with LMNA constructs bearing known pathogenic point mutations or deletion mutations found in progeroid syndromes. Fibroblasts overexpressing mutant lamin A exhibited accelerated rates of loss of telomeres and shortened replicative lifespans, in addition to abnormal nuclear morphology. To our surprise, these abnormalities were also observed in lines overexpressing wild-type lamin A. Copy number variants are common in human populations; those involving LMNA, whether arising meiotically or mitotically, might lead to progeroid phenotypes. In an initial pilot study of 23 progeroid cases without detectable WRN or LMNA mutations, however, no cases of altered LMNA copy number were detected. Nevertheless, our findings raise a hypothesis that changes in lamina organization may cause accelerated telomere attrition, with different kinetics for overexpession of wild-type and mutant lamin A, which leads to rapid replicative senescence and progroid phenotypes.

  6. Genetic map of the human pseudoautosomal region reveals a high rate of recombination in female meiosis at the Xp telomere

    SciTech Connect

    Henke, A.; Fischer, C.; Rappold, G.A. )

    1993-12-01

    This paper describes the genetic map of the pseudoautosomal region bounded by the telomere of the short arms of the X and Y chromosomes. In males, meiotic exchange on Xp/Yp is confined to this region, leading to highly elevated recombination rates. The map was constructed using 11 pseudoautosomal probes (six of which are new) and typing individuals from 38 CEPH families. All markers have been physically mapped, thus providing the opportunity to compare genetic distance to physical distance through all intervals of the map. This comparison reveals an unexpected high rate of recombination in female meiosis between loci DXYS20 and DXYS78, within 20-80 kb from the telomere. Within this telemore-adjacent region no differences in male and female recombination rates are seen. Furthermore, data from this genetic map support the hypothesis of a linear gradient of recombination across most of the region in male meiosis and provide densely spaced anchor points for linkage studies especially in the telomeric portion of the pseudoautosomal region. 34 refs., 4 figs., 4 tabs.

  7. New telomeres in yeast are initiated with a highly selected subset of TG1-3 repeats.

    PubMed

    Kramer, K M; Haber, J E

    1993-12-01

    The creation of new telomeres was studied by generating a site-specific double-strand break in diploid strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that are unable to carry out homologous recombination. New telomere formation occurred approximately 1% of the time but only when (T2G4)13 was present proximal to the break site. About half of the healing events occurred at a number of 1- to 9-bp G or G, T sequences located as far as 128 bp distal to the T2G4 repeats. Surprisingly, in 16 events at sites ending in GTGG, the first TG1-3 nucleotides added always included either an 11- or a 13-bp sequence (GTGTGGGTGTG or GTGTGTGGGTGTG), after which each new telomere diverged into a less ordered TG1-3 pattern. Moreover, at 75% of the remaining addition sites, these same 11- or 13-bp sequences were found overlapping the junction between the chromosomal primer and the newly added sequences. We propose that short G, T sequences near an organizing sequence such as (T2G4)13 can act as primers to pair with the template RNA of a telomerase and add new sequences that are complementary to that RNA.

  8. Conformation Selective Antibody Enables Genome Profiling and Leads to Discovery of Parallel G-Quadruplex in Human Telomeres.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hui-Yun; Zhao, Qi; Zhang, Tian-Peng; Wu, Yue; Xiong, Yun-Xia; Wang, Shi-Ke; Ge, Yuan-Long; He, Jin-Hui; Lv, Peng; Ou, Tian-Miao; Tan, Jia-Heng; Li, Ding; Gu, Lian-Quan; Ren, Jian; Zhao, Yong; Huang, Zhi-Shu

    2016-10-20

    G-quadruplexes are specialized secondary structures in nucleic acids that possess significant conformational polymorphisms. The precise G-quadruplex conformations in vivo and their relevance to biological functions remain controversial and unclear, especially for telomeric G-quadruplexes. Here, we report a novel single-chain variable fragment (scFv) antibody, D1, with high binding selectivity for parallel G-quadruplexes in vitro and in vivo. Genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation using D1 and deep-sequencing revealed the consensus sequence for parallel G-quadruplex formation, which is characterized by G-rich sequence with a short loop size (<3 nt). By using D1, telomeric parallel G-quadruplex was identified and its formation was regulated by small molecular ligands targeting and telomere replication. Together, parallel G-quadruplex specific antibody D1 was found to be a valuable tool for determination of G-quadruplex and its conformation, which will prompt further studies on the structure of G-quadruplex and its biological implication in vivo.

  9. Chromosome Number Reduction in Eremothecium coryli by Two Telomere-to-Telomere Fusions

    PubMed Central

    Wendland, Jürgen; Walther, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    The genus Eremothecium belongs to the Saccharomyces complex of pre-whole-genome duplication (WGD) yeasts and contains both dimorphic and filamentous species. We established the 9.1-Mb draft genome of Eremothecium coryli, which encodes 4,682 genes, 186 tRNA genes, and harbors several Ty3 transposons as well as more than 60 remnants of transposition events (LTRs). The initial de novo assembly resulted in 19 scaffolds, which were assembled based on synteny to other Eremothecium genomes into six chromosomes. Interestingly, we identified eight E. coryli loci that bear centromeres in the closely related species E. cymbalariae. Two of these E. coryli loci, CEN1 and CEN8, however, lack conserved DNA elements and did not convey centromere function in a plasmid stability assay. Correspondingly, using a comparative genomics approach we identified two telomere-to-telomere fusion events in E. coryli as the cause of chromosome number reduction from eight to six chromosomes. Finally, with the genome sequences of E. coryli, E. cymbalariae, and Ashbya gossypii a reconstruction of three complete chromosomes of an Eremothecium ancestor revealed that E. coryli is more syntenic to this ancestor than the other Eremothecium species. PMID:24803574

  10. Genetic Heterogeneity of HER2 Amplification and Telomere Shortening in Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Caria, Paola; Cantara, Silvia; Frau, Daniela Virginia; Pacini, Furio; Vanni, Roberta; Dettori, Tinuccia

    2016-01-01

    Extensive research is dedicated to understanding if sporadic and familial papillary thyroid carcinoma are distinct biological entities. We have previously demonstrated that familial papillary thyroid cancer (fPTC) cells exhibit short relative telomere length (RTL) in both blood and tissues and that these features may be associated with chromosome instability. Here, we investigated the frequency of HER2 (Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2) amplification, and other recently reported genetic alterations in sporadic PTC (sPTC) and fPTC, and assessed correlations with RTL and BRAF mutational status. We analyzed HER2 gene amplification and the integrity of ALK, ETV6, RET, and BRAF genes by fluorescence in situ hybridization in isolated nuclei and paraffin-embedded formalin-fixed sections of 13 fPTC and 18 sPTC patients. We analyzed BRAFV600E mutation and RTL by qRT-PCR. Significant HER2 amplification (p = 0.0076), which was restricted to scattered groups of cells, was found in fPTC samples. HER2 amplification in fPTCs was invariably associated with BRAFV600E mutation. RTL was shorter in fPTCs than sPTCs (p < 0.001). No rearrangements of other tested genes were observed. These findings suggest that the association of HER2 amplification with BRAFV600E mutation and telomere shortening may represent a marker of tumor aggressiveness, and, in refractory thyroid cancer, may warrant exploration as a site for targeted therapy. PMID:27775641

  11. Corticosterone, inflammation, immune status and telomere length in frigatebird nestlings facing a severe herpesvirus infection

    PubMed Central

    Sebastiano, Manrico; Eens, Marcel; Angelier, Frederic; Pineau, Kévin; Chastel, Olivier; Costantini, David

    2017-01-01

    Herpesvirus outbreaks are common in natural animal populations, but little is known about factors that favour the infection and its consequences for the organism. In this study, we examined the pathophysiological consequences of a disease probably attributable to herpesvirus infection for several markers of immune function, corticosterone, telomere length and inflammation. In addition, we assessed whether any markers used in this study might be associated with the occurrence of visible clinical signs of the disease and its impact on short-term survival perspectives. To address our questions, in spring 2015, we collected blood samples from nestlings of the magnificent frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) that were free of any clinical signs or showed visible signs of the disease. We found that the plasma concentration of haptoglobin was strongly associated with the infection status and could predict probabilities of survival. We also found that nestlings with clinical signs had lower baseline corticosterone concentrations and similar telomere length compared with healthy nestlings, whereas we did not find any association of the infection status with innate immune defenses or with nitric oxide concentration. Overall, our results suggest that the plasma concentration of haptoglobin might be a valuable tool to assess survival probabilities of frigatebird nestlings facing a herpesvirus outbreak. PMID:28070333

  12. Paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria phenotype cells and leucocyte subset telomere length in childhood acquired aplastic anaemia.

    PubMed

    Tutelman, Perri R; Aubert, Geraldine; Milner, Ruth A; Dalal, Bakul I; Schultz, Kirk R; Deyell, Rebecca J

    2014-03-01

    The significance of paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria (PNH(pos) ) cells and leucocyte subset telomere lengths in paediatric aplastic anaemia (AA) is unknown. Among 22 children receiving immunosuppressive therapy (IST) for AA, 73% (16/22) were PNH(pos) , of whom 94% achieved at least a partial response (PR) to IST; 11/16 (69%) achieved complete response (CR). Only 2/6 (33%) PNH(neg) patients achieved PR. PNH(pos) patients were less likely to fail IST compared to PNH(neg) patients (odds ratio 0·033; 95% confidence interval 0·002-0·468; P = 0·012). Children with AA had short granulocyte (P = 7·8 × 10(-9) ), natural killer cell (P = 6·0 × 10(-4) ), naïve T lymphocyte (P = 0·002) and B lymphocyte (P = 0·005) telomeres compared to age-matched normative data.

  13. Embryonic exposure to corticosterone modifies the juvenile stress response, oxidative stress and telomere length

    PubMed Central

    Haussmann, Mark F.; Longenecker, Andrew S.; Marchetto, Nicole M.; Juliano, Steven A.; Bowden, Rachel M.

    2012-01-01

    Early embryonic exposure to maternal glucocorticoids can broadly impact physiology and behaviour across phylogenetically diverse taxa. The transfer of maternal glucocorticoids to offspring may be an inevitable cost associated with poor environmental conditions, or serve as a maternal effect that alters offspring phenotype in preparation for a stressful environment. Regardless, maternal glucocorticoids are likely to have both costs and benefits that are paid and collected over different developmental time periods. We manipulated yolk corticosterone (cort) in domestic chickens (Gallus domesticus) to examine the potential impacts of embryonic exposure to maternal stress on the juvenile stress response and cellular ageing. Here, we report that juveniles exposed to experimentally increased cort in ovo had a protracted decline in cort during the recovery phase of the stress response. All birds, regardless of treatment group, shifted to oxidative stress during an acute stress response. In addition, embryonic exposure to cort resulted in higher levels of reactive oxygen metabolites and an over-representation of short telomeres compared with the control birds. In many species, individuals with higher levels of oxidative stress and shorter telomeres have the poorest survival prospects. Given this, long-term costs of glucocorticoid-induced phenotypes may include accelerated ageing and increased mortality. PMID:22072607

  14. Karyotypic features including organizations of the 5S, 45S rDNA loci and telomeres of Scadoxus multiflorus (Amaryllidaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Monkheang, Pansa; Chaveerach, Arunrat; Sudmoon, Runglawan; Tanee, Tawatchai

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Scadoxus multiflorus Martyn, 1795 is an ornamental plant with brilliantly colored flowers. Even though its chromosomes are rather large, there is no karyotype description reported so far. Therefore, conventional and molecular cytogenetic studies including fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with 45S and 5S rDNA, and human telomere sequence (TTAGGG)n probes (Arabidopsis-type telomere probes yielded negative results) were carried out. The chromosome number is as reported previously, 2n = 18. The nine chromosome pairs include two large submetacentric, five large acrocentric, one medium acrocentric, two small metacentric and eight small submetacentric chromosomes. Hybridization sites of the 45S rDNA signals were on the short arm ends of chromosomes #1, #3 and #8, while 5S rDNA signals appeared on the long arm of chromosome 3, in one homologue as a double signal. The telomere signals were restricted to all chromosome ends. Three chromosome pairs could be newly identified, chromosome pair 3 by 5S rDNA and chromosomes #1, #3 and #8 by 45S rDNA loci. In addition to new information about rDNA locations we show that the ends of Scadoxus multiflorus chromosomes harbor human instead of Arabidopsis-type telomere sequences. Overall, the Scadoxus multiflorus karyotype presents chromosomal heteromorphy concerning size, shape and 45S and 5S rDNA positioning. As Scadoxus Rafinesque, 1838 and related species are poorly studied on chromosomal level the here presented data is important for better understanding of evolution in Amaryllidaceae. PMID:28123684

  15. Ku Binding on Telomeres Occurs at Sites Distal from the Physical Chromosome Ends

    PubMed Central

    Pasquier, Emeline

    2016-01-01

    The Ku complex binds non-specifically to DNA breaks and ensures repair via NHEJ. However, Ku is also known to bind directly to telomeric DNA ends and its presence there is associated with telomere capping, but avoiding NHEJ. How the complex discriminates between a DNA break and a telomeric extremity remains unknown. Our results using a tagged Ku complex, or a chromosome end capturing method, in budding yeast show that yKu association with telomeres can occur at sites distant from the physical end, on sub-telomeric elements, as well as on interstitial telomeric repeats. Consistent with previous studies, our results also show that yKu associates with telomeres in two distinct and independent ways: either via protein-protein interactions between Yku80 and Sir4 or via direct DNA binding. Importantly, yKu associates with the new sites reported here via both modes. Therefore, in sir4Δ cells, telomere bound yKu molecules must have loaded from a DNA-end near the transition of non-telomeric to telomeric repeat sequences. Such ends may have been one sided DNA breaks that occur as a consequence of stalled replication forks on or near telomeric repeat DNA. Altogether, the results predict a new model for yKu function at telomeres that involves yKu binding at one-sided DNA breaks caused by replication stalling. On telomere proximal chromatin, this binding is not followed by initiation of non-homologous end-joining, but rather by break-induced replication or repeat elongation by telomerase. After repair, the yKu-distal portion of telomeres is bound by Rap1, which in turn reduces the potential for yKu to mediate NHEJ. These results thus propose a solution to a long-standing conundrum, namely how to accommodate the apparently conflicting functions of Ku on telomeres. PMID:27930670

  16. [Effects of lead and selenium on telomere binding protein Rap1p, telomerase and telomeric DNA in Saccharomyces cerevisiae].

    PubMed

    Cui, Qing-Hua; Tang, Chia-Chun; Huang, You-Guo

    2002-03-01

    The effects on S.cerevisiae telomere binding protein Rap1p, telomerase and telomeric DNA by the lead (Pb), the selenium (Se) and Pb + Se were tested respectively in this study. Compared with the control S.cerevisiae after 100 gene rations, the mean telomere length shortened, Rap1p concentration was significantly lower and the secondary structure of Rap1p was disturbed, the telomerase activity was reduced in Pb treated cells. In Se treated cells, telomere length was significantly longer, and telomerase activity expressed higher. The concentration and secondary structure of Rap1p were similar to that of the control. Further more, the viability of Pb treated cells were significantly reduced while cells undergone other three treatments were similar and normal. These results suggest that Pb could damage Rap1p, reduce telomerase activity, resulting in the telomer length shortening and cell death. On the other hand, Se could protect and repair the damage in Rap1p and telomere caused by Pb to some extent.

  17. The yeast telomere-binding protein RAP1 binds to and promotes the formation of DNA quadruplexes in telomeric DNA.

    PubMed Central

    Giraldo, R; Rhodes, D

    1994-01-01

    The protein RAP1 is essential for the maintenance of the telomeres of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and binds in vitro to multiple sites found within the TG1-3 telomeric repeats. We show here that, in addition to its known binding activity for double-stranded DNA, RAP1 binds sequence-specifically to the GT-strands. This indicates that RAP1 is the protein that binds to the telomeric terminal GT-tails. Furthermore, we have found that RAP1 binds to and promotes the formation of G-tetrads, i.e. DNA quadruplexes, in GT-strand oligonucleotides at nanomolar concentrations. The formation of DNA quadruplexes appears to involve the intermolecular association of GT-strands. The minimal DNA-binding domain of RAP1 (DBD) binds only to double-stranded DNA, so that the novel DNA-binding activity we have found involves regions of the protein located outside of the DBD. The finding that a telomeric protein promotes the formation of G-tetrads argues for the use of DNA quadruplexes in telomere association. Images PMID:8194531

  18. Genetic and environmental factors influencing human diseases with telomere dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Ly, Hinh

    2009-01-01

    Both genetic and environmental factors have been implicated in the mechanism underlying the pathogenesis of serious and fatal forms of human blood disorder (acquired aplastic anemia, AA) and lung disease (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, IPF). We and other researchers have recently shown that naturally occurring mutations in genes encoding the telomere maintenance complex (telomerase) may predispose patients to the development of AA or IPF. Epidemiological data have shown that environmental factors can also cause and/or exacerbate the pathogenesis of these diseases. The exact mechanisms that these germ-line mutations in telomere maintenance genes coupled with environmental insults lead to ineffective hematopoiesis in AA and lung scarring in IPF are not well understood, however. In this article, we provide a summary of evidence for environmental and genetic factors influencing the diseases. These studies provide important insights into the interplay between environmental and genetic factors leading to human diseases with telomere dysfunction. PMID:19684885

  19. Tying up loose ends: telomeres, genomic instability and lamins

    PubMed Central

    Eissenberg, Joel C.

    2016-01-01

    On casual inspection, the eukaryotic nucleus is a deceptively simple organelle. Far from being a bag of chromatin, the nucleus is, in some ways, a structural and functional extension of the chromosomes it contains. Recently, interest has intensified in how chromosome compartmentalization and dynamics affect nuclear function. Different studies uncovered functional interactions between chromosomes and the filamentous nuclear meshwork comprised of lamin proteins. Here, we summarize recent research suggesting that telomeres, the capping structures that protect chromosome ends, are stabilized by lamin-binding and that alterations in nuclear lamins lead to defects in telomere compartmentalization, homeostasis and function. Telomere dysfunction contributes to the genomic instability that characterizes aging-related diseases, and might be an important factor in the pathophysiology of lamin-related diseases. PMID:27010504

  20. Telomeres and lifestyle factors: roles in cellular aging.

    PubMed

    Lin, Jue; Epel, Elissa; Blackburn, Elizabeth

    2012-02-01

    Recent research has demonstrated that telomere maintenance might be a key integrating point for the cumulative effects of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors on aging and aging-related diseases. It is timely to 'take stock' of where this work has led the field. This review summarizes studies that have examined associations between lifestyle factors and telomere length and telomerase activity. In most of the studies described in this chapter, telomere length was measured in leukocytes (LTL) or peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), taken from blood draws from the study subjects. Much of this chapter focuses on psychological stress, a widespread factor often intimately tied in with lifestyle or behavioral factors that in turn are related to risks of clinical diseases. Together, these findings suggest that cellular aging is linked to a range of influences, with an individual's life events and lifestyle parameters playing significant roles. Lastly, we propose possible biochemical mechanisms that mediate these associations and discuss future directions.

  1. How Telomeres Solve the End-Protection Problem

    PubMed Central

    de Lange, Titia

    2010-01-01

    The ends of eukaryotic chromosomes have the potential to be mistaken for damaged or broken DNA and must therefore be protected from cellular DNA damage response pathways. Otherwise, cells might permanently arrest in the cell cycle, and attempts to “repair” the chromosome ends would have devastating consequences for genome integrity. This end-protection problem is solved by protein-DNA complexes called telomeres. Studies of mammalian cells have recently uncovered the mechanism by which telomeres disguise the chromosome ends. Comparison to unicellular eukaryotes reveals key differences in the DNA damage response systems that inadvertently threaten chromosome ends. Telomeres appear to be tailored to these variations, explaining their variable structure and composition. PMID:19965504

  2. Stress and telomere shortening among central Indian conservation refugees

    PubMed Central

    Zahran, Sammy; Snodgrass, Jeffrey G.; Maranon, David G.; Upadhyay, Chakrapani; Granger, Douglas A.; Bailey, Susan M.

    2015-01-01

    Research links psychosocial stress to premature telomere shortening and accelerated human aging; however, this association has only been demonstrated in so-called “WEIRD” societies (Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic), where stress is typically lower and life expectancies longer. By contrast, we examine stress and telomere shortening in a non-Western setting among a highly stressed population with overall lower life expectancies: poor indigenous people—the Sahariya—who were displaced (between 1998 and 2002) from their ancestral homes in a central Indian wildlife sanctuary. In this setting, we examined adult populations in two representative villages, one relocated to accommodate the introduction of Asiatic lions into the sanctuary (n = 24 individuals), and the other newly isolated in the sanctuary buffer zone after their previous neighbors were moved (n = 22). Our research strategy combined physical stress measures via the salivary analytes cortisol and α-amylase with self-assessments of psychosomatic stress, ethnographic observations, and telomere length assessment [telomere–fluorescence in situ hybridization (TEL-FISH) coupled with 3D imaging of buccal cell nuclei], providing high-resolution data amenable to multilevel statistical analysis. Consistent with expectations, we found significant associations between each of our stress measures—the two salivary analytes and the psychosomatic symptom survey—and telomere length, after adjusting for relevant behavioral, health, and demographic traits. As the first study (to our knowledge) to link stress to telomere length in a non-WEIRD population, our research strengthens the case for stress-induced telomere shortening as a pancultural biomarker of compromised health and aging. PMID:25730846

  3. 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.

    PubMed

    Cesare, Anthony J

    2014-11-01

    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.

  4. Shorter leukocyte telomere length in patients at ultra high risk for psychosis.

    PubMed

    Maurya, Pawan Kumar; Rizzo, Lucas Bortolotto; Xavier, Gabriela; Tempaku, Priscila Farias; Zeni-Graiff, Maiara; Santoro, Marcos L; Mazzotti, Diego Robles; Zugman, André; Pan, Pedro; Noto, Cristiano; Maes, Michael; Asevedo, Elson; Mansur, Rodrigo B; Cunha, Graccielle R; Gadelha, Ary; Bressan, Rodrigo A; Belangero, Sintia Iole; Brietzke, Elisa

    2017-03-05

    Telomere length attrition has been demonstrated in schizophrenia but not in individuals in ultra high risk (UHR) for psychosis. The present study aimed to compare the leukocyte telomere length (TL) between patients at UHR for psychosis and healthy controls (HC). Twenty-two participants with UHR and 88 HC were enrolled in this study. Telomere lengths were determined using a multiplex qPCR assay. After adjustment for age, sex, ethnicity, and education, patients in UHR, compared with HC groups, had shorter telomere length (RR: 0.929, p=0.031). Shorter leukocyte telomere length in UHR could represent early signs of accelerated aging in this population.

  5. Regulating telomere length from the inside out: the replication fork model

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Telomere length is regulated around an equilibrium set point. Telomeres shorten during replication and are lengthened by telomerase. Disruption of the length equilibrium leads to disease; thus, it is important to understand the mechanisms that regulate length at the molecular level. The prevailing protein-counting model for regulating telomerase access to elongate the telomere does not explain accumulating evidence of a role of DNA replication in telomere length regulation. Here I present an alternative model: the replication fork model that can explain how passage of a replication fork and regulation of origin firing affect telomere length. PMID:27401551

  6. Examining a scaled dynamical system of telomere shortening

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cyrenne, Benoit M.; Gooding, Robert J.

    2015-02-01

    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.

  7. Malaria parasites possess a telomere repeat-binding protein that shares ancestry with transcription factor IIIA.

    PubMed

    Bertschi, Nicole L; Toenhake, Christa G; Zou, Angela; Niederwieser, Igor; Henderson, Rob; Moes, Suzette; Jenoe, Paul; Parkinson, John; Bartfai, Richard; Voss, Till S

    2017-03-13

    Telomere repeat-binding factors (TRFs) are essential components of the molecular machinery that regulates telomere function. TRFs are widely conserved across eukaryotes and bind duplex telomere repeats via a characteristic MYB-type domain. Here, we identified the telomere repeat-binding protein PfTRZ in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, a member of the Alveolate phylum for which TRFs have not been described so far. PfTRZ lacks an MYB domain and binds telomere repeats via a C2H2-type zinc finger domain instead. In vivo, PfTRZ binds with high specificity to the telomeric tract and to interstitial telomere repeats upstream of subtelomeric virulence genes. Conditional depletion experiments revealed that PfTRZ regulates telomere length homeostasis and is required for efficient cell cycle progression. Intriguingly, we found that PfTRZ also binds to and regulates the expression of 5S rDNA genes. Combined with detailed phylogenetic analyses, our findings identified PfTRZ as a remote functional homologue of the basic transcription factor TFIIIA, which acquired a new function in telomere maintenance early in the apicomplexan lineage. Our work sheds unexpected new light on the evolution of telomere repeat-binding proteins and paves the way for dissecting the presumably divergent mechanisms regulating telomere functionality in one of the most deadly human pathogens.

  8. Coordination of transposon expression with DNA replication in the targeting of telomeric retrotransposons in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Liang; Beaucher, Michelle; Cheng, Yan; Rong, Yikang S

    2014-01-01

    In Drosophila, a group of retrotransposons is mobilized exclusively to telomeres in a sequence-independent manner. How they target chromosome ends is not understood. Here, we focused on the telomeric element HeT-A and characterized the cell cycle expression and cytological distribution of its protein and RNA products. We determined the timing of telomere replication by creating a single lacO-marked telomere and provide evidence suggesting that transposon expression and recruitment to telomeres is linked to telomere replication. The HeT-A-encoded ORF1p protein is expressed predominantly in S phase, particularly in early S phase. Orf1p binds HeT-A transcripts and forms spherical structures at telomeres undergoing DNA replication. HeT-A sphere formation requires Verrocchio, a putative homolog of the conserved Stn1 telomeric protein. Our results suggest that coupling of telomere elongation and telomere replication is a universal feature, and raise the possibility that transposon recruitment to Drosophila telomeres is mechanistically related to telomerase recruitment in other organisms. Our study also supports a co-adaptive relationship between the Drosophila host and HeT-A mobile elements. PMID:24733842

  9. The methylating agent streptozotocin induces persistent telomere dysfunction in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    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.

  10. Requirement of DDX39 DEAD box RNA helicase for genome integrity and telomere protection.

    PubMed

    Yoo, Hyun Hee; Chung, In Kwon

    2011-08-01

    Human chromosome ends associate with shelterin, a six-protein complex that protects telomeric DNA from being recognized as sites of DNA damage. The shelterin subunit TRF2 has been implicated in the protection of chromosome ends by facilitating their organization into the protective capping structure and by associating with several accessory proteins involved in various DNA transactions. Here we describe the characterization of DDX39 DEAD-box RNA helicase as a novel TRF2-interacting protein. DDX39 directly interacts with the telomeric repeat binding factor homology domain of TRF2 via the FXLXP motif (where X is any amino acid). DDX39 is also found in association with catalytically competent telomerase in cell lysates through an interaction with hTERT but has no effect on telomerase activity. Whereas overexpression of DDX39 in telomerase-positive human cancer cells led to progressive telomere elongation, depletion of endogenous DDX39 by small hairpin RNA (shRNA) resulted in telomere shortening. Furthermore, depletion of DDX39 induced DNA-damage response foci at internal genome as well as telomeres as evidenced by telomere dysfunction-induced foci. Some of the metaphase chromosomes showed no telomeric signal at chromatid ends, suggesting an aberrant telomere structure. Our findings suggest that DDX39, in addition to its role in mRNA splicing and nuclear export, is required for global genome integrity as well as telomere protection and represents a new pathway for telomere maintenance by modulating telomere length homeostasis.

  11. Structurally abnormal human autosomes

    SciTech Connect

    1993-12-31

    Chapter 25, discusses structurally abnormal human autosomes. This discussion includes: structurally abnormal chromosomes, chromosomal polymorphisms, pericentric inversions, paracentric inversions, deletions or partial monosomies, cri du chat (cat cry) syndrome, ring chromosomes, insertions, duplication or pure partial trisomy and mosaicism. 71 refs., 8 figs.

  12. Lagomorphs (rabbits, pikas and hares) do not use telomere-directed replicative aging in vitro.

    PubMed

    Forsyth, Nicholas R; Elder, Frederick F B; Shay, Jerry W; Wright, Woodring E

    2005-01-01

    Telomere shortening is used for replicative aging in primates and ungulates but not rodents. We examined telomere biology in rabbits to expand the comparative biology of telomere-directed replicative senescence within mammals. The order Lagomorpha consists of two families; Leporidae and Ochotonidae. We examined telomere biology in species representing three leporid genera (European White Rabbit, Black-tailed Jack Rabbit, and Swamp Rabbit) and the monotypic ochotonid genus (North American Pika). Of the leporids one species was a laboratory strain and the others were wild caught. The leporids neither exhibited cellular senescence after sustained periods in culture nor displayed detectable telomerase activity. Continued culture was possible because of their extremely long telomeric arrays. Immunofluorescence showed robust telomere signals at chromosome ends and significant internal chromosomal staining in some instances. Pika was unique in displaying endogenous telomerase activity throughout time in culture. These results show that it is unlikely that lagomorphs use telomere shortening and replicative senescence as a tumor protective mechanism.

  13. Nature vs nurture: interplay between the genetic control of telomere length and environmental factors.

    PubMed

    Harari, Yaniv; Romano, Gal-Hagit; Ungar, Lior; Kupiec, Martin

    2013-11-15

    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.

  14. Characterization of single stranded telomeric DNA-binding proteins in cultured soybean (Glycine max) cells.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Chian; Kwon, Kisang; Chung, In Kwon; Kim, Soon Young; Cho, Myeon Haeng; Kang, Bin Goo

    2004-06-30

    We have identified and characterized a protein factor in soybean (Glycine max) nuclear extracts that binds to plant single stranded telomeric DNA repeats. A single DNA-protein complex was detected in gel retardation assays using synthetic telomeres and nuclear extracts. The protein forming this complex was designated soy-bean (Glycine max) single stranded telomeric DNA-binding protein (Gm-STBP). Gm-STBP binds to single stranded telomeric DNA containing more than two repeats. It does not bind to Tetrahymena, human or mutated plant telomere sequences, and its binding activity is not affected by RNase treatment. Gm-STBP activity gradually decreased after suspension cultures entered stationary phase. A slower migrating band was formed with extracts of earlier and later phases of soybean suspension cultures. Our findings suggest that binding of Gm-STBP to plant single stranded telomeric DNA may play a role in the proper functioning of telomeres during development.

  15. Telomere dynamics rather than age predict life expectancy in the wild

    PubMed Central

    Bize, Pierre; Criscuolo, François; Metcalfe, Neil B.; Nasir, Lubna; Monaghan, Pat

    2009-01-01

    Despite accumulating evidence from in vitro studies that cellular senescence is linked to telomere dynamics, how this relates to whole-organism senescence and longevity is poorly understood and controversial. Using data on telomere length in red blood cells and long-term survival from wild Alpine swifts of a range of ages, we report that the telomere length and the rate of telomere loss are predictive of life expectancy, and that slow erosion of relatively long telomeres is associated with the highest survival probabilities. Importantly, because telomere dynamics, rather than chronological age, predict life expectancy, our study provides good evidence for a mechanistic link between telomere erosion and reduced organism longevity under natural conditions, chronological age itself possibly not becoming a significant predictor until very old ages beyond those in our sample. PMID:19324831

  16. An improved general approach for cloning and characterizing telomeres: the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi as model organism.

    PubMed

    Chiurillo, Miguel Angel; Santos, Marcia R M; Franco Da Silveira, Jose; Ramírez, Jose Luis

    2002-07-10

    We here describe a general strategy for cloning and characterizing telomeric and sub-telomeric regions of the human protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. The use of a bacterial artificial chromosome vector and a telomeric adaptor produced stable telomeric recombinant clones with inserts ranging from 5 to 25 kb. Analysis of these recombinants provided unique landmarks for chromosomal mapping and sequencing and enabled us to derive a more accurate picture of T. cruzi telomeric organization.

  17. Morphological abnormalities among lampreys

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Manion, Patrick J.

    1967-01-01

    The experimental control of the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) in the Great Lakes has required the collection of thousands of lampreys. Representatives of each life stage of the four species of the Lake Superior basin were examined for structural abnormalities. The most common aberration was the presence of additional tails. The accessory tails were always postanal and smaller than the normal tail. The point of origin varied; the extra tails occurred on dorsal, ventral, or lateral surfaces. Some of the extra tails were misshaped and curled, but others were normal in shape and pigment pattern. Other abnormalities in larval sea lampreys were malformed or twisted tails and bodies. The cause of the structural abnormalities is unknown. The presence of extra caudal fins could be genetically controlled, or be due to partial amputation or injury followed by abnormal regeneration. Few if any lampreys with structural abnormalities live to sexual maturity.

  18. Dynamics of telomere length in different age groups in a Latvian population.

    PubMed

    Zole, Egija; Pliss, Liana; Ranka, Renate; Krumina, Astrida; Baumanis, Viesturs

    2013-12-01

    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.

  19. Telomere length and incident atrial fibrillation – data of the PREVEND cohort

    PubMed Central

    Siland, Joylene E.; Geelhoed, Bastiaan; van Gelder, Isabelle C.; van der Harst, Pim; Rienstra, Michiel

    2017-01-01

    Background The incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) increases with age. Telomere length is considered a marker of biological ageing. We investigated the association between leukocyte telomere length and incident AF in the Dutch Prevention of Renal and Vascular End-stage Disease (PREVEND) study. Methods We included 7775 individuals without prevalent AF, and with leukocyte telomere length measured. Mean telomere length was determined by a monochrome multiplex quantitative polymerase chain reaction-based assay. Results Mean age of our cohort was 49±13 years, and 50% were men. During a mean follow-up of 11.4±2.9 years incident AF was detected in 367 (4.7%) individuals. Telomere length was shorter in individuals developing incident AF compared to those without AF (p = 0.013). Incident AF was inversely related to the telomere length. In the quartile with the longest telomere length 68 (3.5%) individuals developed AF, in the shortest telomere length quartile 100 (5.1%) individuals (p = 0.032). Telomere length was associated with incident AF in the second shortest telomere length quartile using the longest telomere length quartile as reference (hazard ratio 1.64; 95% CI 1.02–2.66; p = 0.043). After including age or AF risk factors, the relation between telomere length and incident AF was no longer significant. We found a significant interaction of age, male sex, systolic blood pressure, BMI, heart failure, and myocardial infarction with telomere length for the association with incident AF. Conclusions We found that shorter leukocyte telomere length is not independently associated with incident AF in a community-based cohort. PMID:28158257

  20. 8.6Mb interstitial deletion of chromosome 4q13.3q21.23 in a boy with cognitive impairment, short stature, hearing loss, skeletal abnormalities and facial dysmorphism.

    PubMed

    Lipska, B S; Brzeskwiniewicz, M; Wierzba, J; Morzuchi, L; Piotrowski, A; Limon, J

    2011-01-01

    We describe a 16-year-old boy with an 8.6Mb interstitial deletion of chromosome 4q 13.3q21.23 identified by oligo array-CGH. The patient presents psychomotor developmental delay, absent speech, marked progressive growth restriction, hearing loss, skeletal defects and minor facial anomalies. The patient required surgical treatment for cleft lip and palate, bilateral cryptorchidism and a neurofibroma. The analysis of the presented patient against previously published cases allowed us to expand further on the phenotype and to reevaluate previously proposed critical overlapping region at 4q21. As an addition to PRKG2 and RASGEFIB genes, we propose to include BMP3 gene as the principal determinant of the observed common phenotype. BMP3 haploinsufficiency appears to be causative of hearing loss and peculiar skeletal abnormalities including hemivertebrae and brachydactyly.

  1. Test anxiety and telomere length: Academic stress in adolescents may not cause rapid telomere erosion.

    PubMed

    Zou, Yaru; Leong, Waiian; Yao, Mingling; Hu, Xuefei; Lu, Sixiao; Zhu, Xiaowei; Chen, Lianxiang; Tong, Jianjing; Shi, Jingyi; Gilson, Eric; Ye, Jing; Lu, Yiming

    2017-01-22

    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) among the three subgroups, but the TLs of saliva cells differed only slightly (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. Identification of a second pseudoautosomal region near the Xq and Yq telomeres

    SciTech Connect

    Freije, D.; Helms, C.; Watson, M.S.; Donis-Keller, H. )

    1992-12-11

    The telomeres of Xq and Yq have been observed to associate during meiosis, and in rare cases a short synaptonemal complex is present. Molecular cloning of loci from Xqter and Yqter has revealed that their sequence homology extends over 400 kilobases, which suggests the possibility of genetic exchange. This hypothesis was tested by the development of two highly informative microsatellite markers from yeast artificial chromosome clones that carried Xqter sequences and the following of their inheritance in a set of reference pedigrees from the Centre d'Etude du Polymorphisme Humain in Paris, France. From a total of 195 informative male meioses, four recombination events between these loci were observed. In three cases, paternal X alleles were inherited by male offspring, and in one case a female offspring inherited her father's Y allele. These data support the existence of genetic exchange at Xq-Yq, which defines a second pseudoautosomal region between the sex chromosomes.

  3. Traffic noise exposure affects telomere length in nestling house sparrows

    PubMed Central

    Meillère, Alizée; Brischoux, François; Ribout, Cécile; Angelier, Frédéric

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26382074

  4. Impact of Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate on Newborn Leukocyte Telomere Length

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Han; Zhou, Guangdi; Chen, Qian; Ouyang, Fengxiu; Little, Julian; Zhang, Jun; Chen, Dan

    2017-01-01

    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 < 1×10−4). Our findings suggest that exposure to DHEAS may exert a “programming” effect on the newborn telomere biology system. PMID:28186106

  5. Extensive telomere repeat arrays in mouse are hypervariable.

    PubMed Central

    Starling, J A; Maule, J; Hastie, N D; Allshire, R C

    1990-01-01

    In this study we have analysed mouse telomeres by Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE). A number of specific restriction fragments hybridising to a (TTA-GGG)4 probe in the size range 50-150kb can be detected. These fragments are devoid of sites for most restriction enzymes suggesting that they comprise simple repeats; we argue that most of these are likely to be (TTAGGG)n. Each discrete fragment corresponds to the telomere of an individual chromosome and segregates as a Mendelian character. However, new size variants are being generated in the germ line at very high rates such that inbred mice are heterozygous at all telomeres analysable. In addition we show that specific small (approximately 4-12kb) fragments can be cleaved within some terminal arrays by the restriction enzyme MnII which recognises 5'(N7)GAGG3'. Like the complete telomere-repeat arrays (TRA's) these fragments form new variants at high rates and possibly by the same process. We speculate on the mechanisms that may be involved. Images PMID:2175882

  6. The Association of Telomere Length With Family Violence and Disruption

    PubMed Central

    Mabile, Emily; Brett, Zoë H.; Esteves, Kyle; Jones, Edward; Shirtcliff, Elizabeth A.; Theall, Katherine P.

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: To enhance the understanding of biological mechanisms connecting early adversity and negative health, we examine the association between family interpersonal violence and disruption and telomere length in youth. These specific exposures were selected because of their established links with negative health consequences across the life-course. METHODS: Children, age 5 to 15, were recruited from the greater New Orleans area, and exposure to family disruption and violence was assessed through caregiver report. Telomere length, from buccal cell DNA (buccal telomere length [bTL]), was determined by using monochrome multiplex quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The association between bTL and adversity exposure was tested (n = 80). RESULTS: Cumulative exposure to interpersonal violence and family disruption was correlated with bTL. Controlling for other sociodemographic factors, bTL was significantly shorter in children with higher exposure to family violence and disruption. Witnessing family violence exerted a particularly potent impact. A significant gender interaction was found (β = −0.0086, SE = 0.0031, z test= −2.79, P = .0053) and analysis revealed the effect only in girls. CONCLUSIONS: bTL is a molecular biomarker of adversity and allostatic load that is detectable in childhood. The present results extend previous studies by demonstrating that telomeres are sensitive to adversity within the overarching family domain. These findings suggest that the family ecology may be an important target for interventions to reduce the biological impact of adversity in the lives of children. PMID:24936002

  7. Cellular Consequences of Telomere Shortening in Histologically Normal Breast Tissues

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-09-01

    right) yes 12 19 63% 0 1 0 0 4 0% 9 (left) Fibroadenoma 9 (right) Fibrocystic changes 10 (left) yes 3 22 14% 0 3 0 0 5 0% 10 (right) yes 6 18 33...E, Kanada N, Jibiki K, et al. Reduction of telomeric length and c-erbB-2 gene amplification in human breast cancer, fibroadenoma , and gynecomastia

  8. Traffic noise exposure affects telomere length in nestling house sparrows.

    PubMed

    Meillère, Alizée; Brischoux, François; Ribout, Cécile; Angelier, Frédéric

    2015-09-01

    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.

  9. "Jeopardy" in Abnormal Psychology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keutzer, Carolin S.

    1993-01-01

    Describes the use of the board game, Jeopardy, in a college level abnormal psychology course. Finds increased student interaction and improved application of information. Reports generally favorable student evaluation of the technique. (CFR)

  10. Rearrangements of highly polymorphic regions near telomeres of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed Central

    Horowitz, H; Thorburn, P; Haber, J E

    1984-01-01

    We have examined the mitotic and meiotic properties of telomeric regions in various laboratory strains of yeast. Using a sequence (Y probe) derived from a cloned yeast telomere (J. Szostak and E. Blackburn, Cell 29:245-255, 1982), we found that various strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae show extensive polymorphisms of restriction endonuclease fragment length. Some of the variation in the lengths of telomeric fragments appears to be under the control of a small number of genes. When DNA from various strains was digested with endonuclease KpnI, nearly all of the fragments homologous to the Y probe were found to be of different size. The pattern of fragments in different strains was extremely variable, with a greater degree of polymorphism than that observed for fragments containing the mobile TY1 element. Tetrad analysis of haploid meiotic segregants from diploids heterozygous for many different Y-homologous KpnI fragments revealed that most of them exhibited Mendelian (2:0) segregation. However, only a small proportion of these fragments displayed the obligate 2:2 parental segregation expected of simple allelic variants at the same chromosome end. From the segregations of these fragments, we concluded that some yeast telomeres lack a Y-homologous sequence and that the chromosome arms containing a Y-homologous sequence are different among various yeast strains. Regions near yeast telomeres frequently undergo rearrangement. Among eight tetrads from three different diploids, we have found three novel Y-homologous restriction fragments that appear to have arisen during meiosis. In all three cases, the appearance of a new fragment was accompanied by the loss of another band. In one of these cases, the rearrangement leading to a novel fragment arose in an isogenic diploid, in which both homologous chromosomes should have been identical. Among these same tetrads we also found examples of apparent mitotic gene conversions and mitotic recombination involving telemetric

  11. Genomic Organization of the Drosophila Telomere RetrotransposableElements

    SciTech Connect

    George, J.A.; DeBaryshe, P.G.; Traverse, K.L.; Celniker, S. E.; Pardue, M-L.

    2006-10-16

    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.

  12. Stn1 is critical for telomere maintenance and long-term viability of somatic human cells

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25684230

  13. Beyond Telomerase: Telomere Instability as a Novel Target for Cancer Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Fadri-Moskwik, Maria; Zhou, Qing; Chai, Weihang

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres are areas of heterochromatin composed of TTAGGG repeats located at the ends of linear chromosomes. They play a critical role in keeping genome stable and preventing premature aging diseases and the development of cancer. Characterizing mechanisms of telomere maintenance and understanding how their deregulation contributes to human diseases are therefore important for developing novel therapies. A key mechanism driving telomere maintenance and replicative immortality in cancer cells is telomere elongation by telomerase, and many emerging potential telomere-based therapies have focused on targeting telomerase components. By contrast, recent studies on telomere maintenance mechanism suggest that disrupting telomere stability by interfering with alternative mechanisms of telomere synthesis or protection may also yield new strategies for the treatment of cancer. This review will focus on emerging regulators of telomere synthesis or maintenance, such as G4 telomeric DNA, the CST complex, the t-loop, and shelterins, and discuss their potential as targets for anti-cancer chemotherapeutic intervention in the future. PMID:27123041

  14. ATM Inhibition Potentiates Death of Androgen Receptor-inactivated Prostate Cancer Cells with Telomere Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Reddy, Vidyavathi; Wu, Min; Ciavattone, Nicholas; McKenty, Nathan; Menon, Mani; Barrack, Evelyn R.; Reddy, G. Prem-Veer; Kim, Sahn-Ho

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26336104

  15. Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase-telomere association correlates with redox status in Trypanosoma cruzi.

    PubMed

    Pariona-Llanos, Ricardo; Pavani, Raphael Souza; Reis, Marcelo; Noël, Vincent; Silber, Ariel Mariano; Armelin, Hugo Aguirre; Cano, Maria Isabel Nogueira; Elias, Maria Carolina

    2015-01-01

    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.

  16. Glyceraldehyde 3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase-Telomere Association Correlates with Redox Status in Trypanosoma cruzi

    PubMed Central

    Pariona-Llanos, Ricardo; Pavani, Raphael Souza; Reis, Marcelo; Noël, Vincent; Silber, Ariel Mariano; Armelin, Hugo Aguirre; Cano, Maria Isabel Nogueira; Elias, Maria Carolina

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25775131

  17. Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering Based in Situ Hybridization Strategy for Telomere Length Assessment.

    PubMed

    Zong, Shenfei; Chen, Chen; Wang, Zhuyuan; Zhang, Yizhi; Cui, Yiping

    2016-02-23

    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.

  18. Stn1 is critical for telomere maintenance and long-term viability of somatic human cells.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    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.

  19. SNMIB/Apollo protects leading-strand telomeres against NHEJ-mediated repair

    PubMed Central

    Lam, Yung C; Akhter, Shamima; Gu, Peili; Ye, Jing; Poulet, Anaïs; Giraud-Panis, Marie-Josèphe; Bailey, Susan M; Gilson, Eric; Legerski, Randy J; Chang, Sandy

    2010-01-01

    Progressive telomere attrition or deficiency of the protective shelterin complex elicits a DNA damage response as a result of a cell's inability to distinguish dysfunctional telomeric ends from DNA double-strand breaks. SNMIB/Apollo is a shelterin-associated protein and a member of the SMN1/PSO2 nuclease family that localizes to telomeres through its interaction with TRF2. Here, we generated SNMIB/Apollo knockout mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) to probe the function of SNMIB/Apollo at mammalian telomeres. SNMIB/Apollo null MEFs exhibit an increased incidence of G2 chromatid-type fusions involving telomeres created by leading-strand DNA synthesis, reflective of a failure to protect these telomeres after DNA replication. Mutations within SNMIB/Apollo's conserved nuclease domain failed to suppress this phenotype, suggesting that its nuclease activity is required to protect leading-strand telomeres. SNMIB/Apollo−/−ATM−/− MEFs display robust telomere fusions when Trf2 is depleted, indicating that ATM is dispensable for repair of uncapped telomeres in this setting. Our data implicate the 5′–3′ exonuclease function of SNM1B/Apollo in the generation of 3′ single-stranded overhangs at newly replicated leading-strand telomeres to protect them from engaging the non-homologous end-joining pathway. PMID:20551906

  20. ATM Inhibition Potentiates Death of Androgen Receptor-inactivated Prostate Cancer Cells with Telomere Dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Vidyavathi; Wu, Min; Ciavattone, Nicholas; McKenty, Nathan; Menon, Mani; Barrack, Evelyn R; Reddy, G Prem-Veer; Kim, Sahn-Ho

    2015-10-16

    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.

  1. Loss of telomeric DNA during aging of normal and trisomy 21 human lymphocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Vaziri, H.; Uchida, I.; Lan Wei; Harley, C.B. ); Schaechter, F.; Cohen, D. ); Xiaoming Zhu; Effros, R. )

    1993-04-01

    The telomere hypothesis of cellular aging proposes that loss of telomeric DNA (TTAGGG) from human chromosomes may ultimately cause cell-cycle exit during replicative senescence. Since lymphocytes have a limited replicative capacity and since blood cells were previously shown to lose telomeric DNA during aging in vivo, the authors wished to determine (a) whether accelerated telomere loss is associated with the premature immunosenescence of lymphocytes in individuals with Down syndrome (DS) and (b) whether telomeric DNA is also lost during aging of lymphocytes in vitro. To investigate the effects of aging and trisomy 21 on telomere loss in vivo, genomic DNA was isolated from peripheral blood lymphocytes of 140 individuals (age 0--107 years), including 21 DS patients (age 0--45 years). Digestion with restriction enzymes HinfI and RsaI generated terminal restriction fragments (TRFs), which were detected by Southern analysis using a telomere-specific probe ([sup 32]P-(C[sub 3]TA[sub 2])[sub 3]). The rate of telomere loss was calculated from the decrease in mean TRF length, as a function of donor age. DS patients showed a significantly higher rate of telomere loss with donor age (133 [+-] 15 bp/year) compared with age-matched controls (41 [+-] 7.7 bp/year) (P < .0005), suggesting that accelerated telomere loss is a biomarker of premature immunosenescence of DS patients and that it may play a role in this process. Telomere loss during aging in vitro was calculated for lymphocytes from four normal individuals, grown in culture for 10--30 population doublings. The rate of telomere loss was [approximately]120 bp/cell doubling, comparable to that seen in other somatic cells. Moreover, telomere lengths of lymphocytes from centenarians and from older DS patients were similar to those of senescent lymphocytes in culture, which suggests that replicative senescence could partially account for aging of the immune system in DS patients and in elderly individuals. 31 refs., 3 figs.

  2. Extensive telomere erosion is consistent with localised clonal expansions in Barrett’s metaplasia

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Rhiannon E.; Rowson, Jan; Grimstead, Julia W.; Keith, W. Nicol; Jenkins, Gareth J. S.

    2017-01-01

    Barrett’s oesophagus is a premalignant metaplastic condition that predisposes patients to the development of oesophageal adenocarcinoma. However, only a minor fraction of Barrett’s oesophagus patients progress to adenocarcinoma and it is thus essential to determine bio-molecular markers that can predict the progression of this condition. Telomere dysfunction is considered to drive clonal evolution in several tumour types and telomere length analysis provides clinically relevant prognostic and predictive information. The aim of this work was to use high-resolution telomere analysis to examine telomere dynamics in Barrett’s oesophagus. Telomere length analysis of XpYp, 17p, 11q and 9p, chromosome arms that contain key cancer related genes that are known to be subjected to copy number changes in Barrett’s metaplasia, revealed similar profiles at each chromosome end, indicating that no one specific telomere is likely to suffer preferential telomere erosion. Analysis of patient matched tissues (233 samples from 32 patients) sampled from normal squamous oesophagus, Z-line, and 2 cm intervals within Barrett’s metaplasia, plus oesophago-gastric junction, gastric body and antrum, revealed extensive telomere erosion in Barrett’s metaplasia to within the length ranges at which telomere fusion is detected in other tumour types. Telomere erosion was not uniform, with distinct zones displaying more extensi