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Sample records for abnormally short telomeres

  1. The wide-ranging clinical implications of the short telomere syndromes.

    PubMed

    Barbaro, P M; Ziegler, D S; Reddel, R R

    2016-04-01

    There is an increasing number of inherited disorders in which excessive telomere shortening underlies the molecular defect, with dyskeratosis congenita (DC) being the archetypal short telomere syndrome. DC is classically described as a mucocutaneous triad of oral leukoplakia, nail dystrophy and abnormal skin pigmentation. However, excessive telomere shortening can affect almost any organ system, so the clinical manifestations are protean, including developmental delay, cerebellar hypoplasia, exudative retinopathy, aplastic anaemia, acute myeloid leukaemia, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, idiopathic hepatic cirrhosis, head and neck cancer and dental abnormalities, and may be multi-systemic. Undiagnosed patients may be seen by essentially any medical subspecialist. Correct diagnosis is important to ensure appropriate management, and for initiating investigations to identify affected family members. Treatment is often supportive, with transplantation offering cure for pulmonary fibrosis or bone marrow failure. Higher rates of mortality and morbidity with transplantation often require regimen alterations, underscoring the need for correct diagnosis. Short telomeres result from mutations in genes essential for telomere maintenance (e.g. genes encoding subunits of the telomerase enzyme complex). Disease severity reflects not only the severity of the defect, but also the inheritance of short telomeres, giving rise to incomplete penetrance and genetic anticipation. Attendees of the inaugural Australian Short Telomere Syndrome Conference were updated on the current scientific and clinical understanding of these disorders, and discussed the best approach for management of these patients in the Australian context. This review will include recommendations from the conference and aims to increase awareness of short telomere disorders. PMID:26247919

  2. Telomere length abnormalities and telomerase RNA component expression in gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hee Sung; Lee, Hye Seung; Nam, Kyung Han; Choi, Jiwoon; Kim, Woo Ho

    2015-06-01

    Telomere lengths in normal human cells are tightly regulated within a narrow range. Telomere length abnormalities are prevalent genetic alterations in malignant transformation. We studied telomere length abnormalities, telomerase RNA component (TERC) expression, alpha-thalassemia X-linked mental retardation (ATRX) expression, and death domain-associated protein (DAXX) expression in gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs). We used tissue microarrays to perform telomere fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and TERC in situ hybridization in 327 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues of GEP-NETs. Telomere length abnormalities were detected in 35% of 253 informative cases by using telomere FISH. Ten cases had altered lengthening of telomeres (ALT), an ALT-positive phenotype (4%), and 79 cases had telomere shortening (31%). The ALT-positive phenotype was significantly associated with tumors of pancreatic origin (7/10) and loss of ATRX or DAXX protein (8/10). Telomere shortening was significantly associated with low TERC expression. In the survival analysis, loss of ATRX or DAXX protein was associated with a decreased overall survival. Multivariate regression analysis showed that lymph node metastasis and high TERC expression were independent prognostic factors of reduced overall survival (OS) for patients with GEP-NETs. Our results showed that telomere lengthening (the ALT-positive phenotype) and telomere shortening accompanied by low TERC levels are two types of clinically significant telomere abnormalities in GEP-NETs. PMID:26026117

  3. Are Short Telomeres Predictive of Advanced Cancer?

    PubMed Central

    Shay, Jerry W.

    2013-01-01

    Summary The combination of variable telomere length in cancer cells combined with shorter telomere length in cancer-associated stromal cells, strongly correlate with progression to prostate cancer metastasis and cancer death. The implications are that telomere length measurements not only have the potential as a prognostic indicator of prostate cancer outcomes but also as a risk stratification enrichment biomarker for individualized therapeutic interventions. PMID:24124228

  4. Disrupted lymphocyte homeostasis in hepatitis‐associated acquired aplastic anemia is associated with short telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Babushok, Daria V.; Grignon, Anne‐Laure; Li, Yimei; Atienza, Jamie; Xie, Hongbo M.; Lam, Ho‐Sun; Hartung, Helge; Bessler, Monica

    2016-01-01

    Hepatitis‐associated aplastic anemia (HAA) is a variant of acquired aplastic anemia (AA) in which immune‐mediated bone marrow failure (BMF) develops following an acute episode of seronegative hepatitis. Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is an inherited BMF syndrome characterized by the presence of short telomeres, mucocutaneous abnormalities, and cancer predisposition. While both conditions may cause BMF and hepatic impairment, therapeutic approaches are distinct, making it imperative to establish the correct diagnosis. In clinical practice, lymphocyte telomere lengths (TL) are used as a first‐line screen to rule out inherited telomeropathies before initiating treatment for AA. To evaluate the reliability of TL in the HAA population, we performed a retrospective analysis of TL in 10 consecutively enrolled HAA patients compared to 19 patients with idiopathic AA (IAA). HAA patients had significantly shorter telomeres than IAA patients (P = 0.009), including four patients with TL at or below the 1st percentile for age‐matched controls. HAA patients had no clinical features of DC and did not carry disease‐causing mutations in known genes associated with inherited telomere disorders. Instead, short TLs were significantly correlated with severe lymphopenia and skewed lymphocyte subsets, features characteristic of HAA. Our results indicate the importance of caution in the interpretation of TL measurements in HAA, because, in this patient population, short telomeres have limited specificity. Am. J. Hematol. 91:243–247, 2016. © 2015 The Authors. American Journal of Hematology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26615915

  5. 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

  6. Mammalian Ku86 mediates chromosomal fusions and apoptosis caused by critically short telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Espejel, Silvia; Franco, Sonia; Rodríguez-Perales, Sandra; Bouffler, Simon D.; Cigudosa, Juan C.; Blasco, María A.

    2002-01-01

    Here we analyze the functional interaction between Ku86 and telomerase at the mammalian telomere by studying mice deficient for both proteins. We show that absence of Ku86 prevents the end-to-end chromosomal fusions that result from critical telomere shortening in telomerase-deficient mice. In addition, Ku86 deficiency rescues the male early germ cell apoptosis triggered by short telomeres in these mice. Together, these findings define a role for Ku86 in mediating chromosomal instability and apoptosis triggered by short telomeres. In addition, we show here that Ku86 deficiency results in telomerase-dependent telomere elongation and in the fusion of random pairs of chromosomes in telomerase-proficient cells, suggesting a model in which Ku86 keeps normal-length telomeres less accessible to telomerase- mediated telomere lengthening and to DNA repair activities. PMID:11980718

  7. Telomerase and Tel1p Preferentially Associate with Short Telomeres in S. cerevisiae

    PubMed Central

    Sabourin, Michelle; Tuzon, Creighton T.; Zakian, Virginia A.

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY In diverse organisms, telomerase preferentially elongates short telomeres. We generated a single short telomere in otherwise wild-type (WT) S. cerevisiae cells. The binding of the positive regulators Ku and Cdc13p was similar at short and WT-length telomeres. The negative regulators Rif1p and Rif2p were present at the short telomere, although Rif2p levels were reduced. Two telomerase holoenzyme components, Est1p and Est2p, were preferentially enriched at short telomeres in late S/G2 phase, the time of telomerase action. Tel1p, the yeast ATM-like checkpoint kinase, was highly enriched at short telomeres from early S through G2 phase and even into the next cell cycle. Nonetheless, induction of a single short telomere did not elicit a cell-cycle arrest. Tel1p binding was dependent on Xrs2p and required for preferential binding of telomerase to short telomeres. These data suggest that Tel1p targets telomerase to the DNA ends most in need of extension. PMID:17656141

  8. Human cancer cells harbor T-stumps, a distinct class of extremely short telomeres.

    PubMed

    Xu, Lifeng; Blackburn, Elizabeth H

    2007-10-26

    Using a modified single telomere length analysis protocol (STELA) to clone and examine the sequence composition of individual human XpYp telomeres, we discovered a distinct class of extremely short telomeres in human cancer cells with active telomerase. We name them "t-stumps," to distinguish them from the well-regulated longer bulk telomeres. T-stumps contained arrangements of telomeric repeat variants and a minimal run of seven canonical telomeric TTAGGG repeats, but all could bind at least one TRF1 or TRF2 in vitro. The abundance of t-stumps was unaffected by ATM alteration but could be changed by manipulating telomerase catalytic subunit (hTERT) levels in cancer cells. We propose that in the setting of active telomerase and compromised checkpoints characteristic of human cancer cells, t-stumps define the minimal telomeric unit that can still be protected by a TRF1/TRF2-capping complex and, further, that hTERT (or telomerase) may have a role in protecting t-stumps. PMID:17964269

  9. Short telomeres and high telomerase activity in T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia.

    PubMed

    Röth, A; Dürig, J; Himmelreich, H; Bug, S; Siebert, R; Dührsen, U; Lansdorp, P M; Baerlocher, G M

    2007-12-01

    To test the role of telomere biology in T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL), a rare aggressive disease characterized by the expansion of a T-cell clone derived from immuno-competent post-thymic T-lymphocytes, we analyzed telomere length and telomerase activity in subsets of peripheral blood leukocytes from 11 newly diagnosed or relapsed patients with sporadic T-PLL. Telomere length values of the leukemic T cells (mean+/-s.d.: 1.53+/-0.65 kb) were all below the 1st percentile of telomere length values observed in T cells from healthy age-matched controls whereas telomere length of normal T- and B cells fell between the 1st and 99th percentile of the normal distribution. Leukemic T cells exhibited high levels of telomerase and were sensitive to the telomerase inhibitor BIBR1532 at doses that showed no effect on normal, unstimulated T cells. Targeting the short telomeres and telomerase activity in T-PLL seems an attractive strategy for the future treatment of this devastating disease. PMID:17898784

  10. The long and short of it: the role of telomeres in fetal origins of adult disease.

    PubMed

    Hallows, Stephanie E; Regnault, Timothy R H; Betts, Dean H

    2012-01-01

    Placental insufficiency, maternal malnutrition, and other causes of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) can significantly affect short-term growth and long-term health. Following IUGR, there is an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes. The etiology of these diseases is beginning to be elucidated, and premature aging or cellular senescence through increased oxidative stress and DNA damage to telomeric ends may be initiators of these disease processes. This paper will explore the areas where telomere and telomerase biology can have significant effects on various tissues in the body in IUGR outcomes. PMID:23094159

  11. 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. PMID:26206796

  12. 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.

  13. Chromosome abnormalities in Indonesian patients with short stature

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Short stature is associated with several disorders including wide variations of chromosomal disorders and single gene disorders. The objective of this report is to present the cytogenetic findings in Indonesian patients with short stature. Methods G-banding and interphase/metaphase FISH were performed on short stature patients with and without other clinical features who were referred by clinicians all over Indonesia to our laboratory during the year 2003–2009. Results The results of chromosomal analysis of ninety seven patients (mean age: 10.7 years old) were collected. The group of patients with other clinical features showed sex chromosome abnormalities in 45% (18/40) and autosomal abnormalities in 10% (4/40), whereas those with short stature only, 42.1% (24/57) had sex chromosome abnormalities and 1.75% (1/57) had autosomal abnormalities. The autosomal chromosomal abnormalities involved mostly subtelomeric regions. Results discrepancies between karyotype and FISH were found in 10 patients, including detection of low-level monosomy X mosaicism in 6 patients with normal karyotype, and detection of mosaic aneuploidy chromosome 18 in 1 patient with 45,XX,rob(13;14)(q10;q10). Statistical analysis showed no significant association between the groups and the type of chromosomal abnormalities. Conclusion Chromosome abnormalities account for about 50% of the short stature patients. Wide variations of both sex and autosomal chromosomes abnormalities were detected in the study. Since three out of five patients had autosomal structural abnormalities involving the subtelomeric regions, thus in the future, subtelomeric FISH or even a more sensitive method such as genomic/SNP microarray is needed to confirm deletions of subtelomeric regions of chromosome 9, 11 and 18. Low-level mosaicism in normal karyotype patients indicates interphase FISH need to be routinely carried out in short stature patients as an adjunct to karyotyping. PMID:22863325

  14. 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

  15. A translocation-defective telomerase with low levels of activity and processivity stabilizes short telomeres and confers immortalization

    PubMed Central

    D'Souza, Yasmin; Chu, Tsz Wai; Autexier, Chantal

    2013-01-01

    Short, repetitive, G-rich telomeric sequences are synthesized by telomerase, a ribonucleoprotein consisting of telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) and an integrally associated RNA. Human TERT (hTERT) can repetitively reverse transcribe its RNA template, acting processively to add multiple telomeric repeats onto the same substrate. We investigated whether certain threshold levels of telomerase activity and processivity are required to maintain telomere function and immortalize human cells with limited lifespan. We assessed hTERT variants with mutations in motifs implicated in processivity and interaction with DNA, namely the insertion in fingers domain (V791Y), and the E primer grip motif (W930F). hTERT-W930F and hTERT-V791Y reconstitute reduced levels of DNA synthesis and processivity compared with wild-type telomerase. Of interest, hTERT-W930F is more defective in translocation than hTERT-V791Y. Nonetheless, hTERT-W930F, but not hTERT-V791Y, immortalizes limited-lifespan human cells. Both hTERT-W930F– and hTERT-V791Y–expressing cells harbor short telomeres, measured as signal free ends (SFEs), yet SFEs persist only in hTERT-V791Y cells, which undergo apoptosis, likely as a consequence of a defect in recruitment of hTERT-V791Y to telomeres. Our study is the first to demonstrate that low levels of DNA synthesis—on the order of 20% of wild-type telomerase levels—and extension of as few as three telomeric repeats are sufficient to maintain functional telomeres and immortalize limited-lifespan human cells. PMID:23447707

  16. Individual Telomere Lengths in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia12

    PubMed Central

    Samassekou, Oumar; Ntwari, Aimé; Hébert, Josée; Yan, Ju

    2009-01-01

    Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a neoplasia characterized by proliferation of a myeloid cell lineage and chromosome translocation t(9;22) (q34;q11.2). As in the case of most cancers, the average telomere length in CML cells is shorter than that in normal blood cells. However, there are currently no data available concerning specific individual telomere length in CML. Here, we studied telomere length on each chromosome arm of CML cells. In situ hybridization with peptide nucleic acid probes was performed on CML cells in metaphase. The fluorescence intensity of each specific telomere was converted into kilobases according to the telomere restriction fragment results for each sample. We found differences in telomere length between short arm ends and long arm ends. We observed recurrent telomere length changes as well as telomere length maintenance and elongation in some individual telomeres. We propose a possible involvement of individual telomere length changes to some chromosomal abnormalities in CML. We suggest that individual telomere length maintenance is chromosome arm-specific associated with leukemia cells. PMID:19881950

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26515461

  18. 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. PMID:26515461

  19. 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. PMID:19002453

  20. The Role of Telomere Biology in Bone Marrow Failure and Other Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Savage, Sharon A.; Alter, Blanche P.

    2008-01-01

    Telomeres, consisting of nucleotide repeats and a protein complex at chromosome ends, are essential in maintaining chromosomal integrity. Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is the inherited bone marrow failure syndrome (IBMFS) that epitomizes the effects of abnormal telomere biology. Patients with DC have extremely short telomere lengths (<1st percentile) and many have mutations in telomere biology genes. Interpretation of telomere length in other IBMFSs is less straightforward. Abnormal telomere shortening has been reported in patients with apparently acquired hematologic disorders, including aplastic anemia, myeolodysplasia, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, and leukemia. In these disorders, the shortest lived cells have the shortest telomeres, suggestive of increased hematopoietic stress. Telomeres are also markers of replicative and/or oxidative stress in other complex disease pathways, such as inflammation, stress, and carcinogenesis. The spectrum of related disorders caused by mutations in telomere biology genes extends beyond classical DC to include marrow failure that does not respond to immunosuppression, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and possibly other syndromes. We suggest that such patients are categorized as having an inherited disorder of telomere biology. Longitudinal studies of patients with very short telomeres but without classical DC are necessary to further understand the long-term sequelae, such as malignancy, osteonecrosis/osteoporosis, and pulmonary and liver disease. PMID:18160098

  1. Short telomere length is associated with arterial aging in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

    PubMed Central

    Dudinskaya, E N; Tkacheva, O N; Shestakova, M V; Brailova, N V; Strazhesko, I D; Akasheva, D U; Isaykina, O Y; Sharashkina, N V; Kashtanova, D A; Boytsov, S A

    2015-01-01

    It is known that glucose disturbances contribute to micro- and macrovascular complications and vascular aging. Telomere length is considered to be a cellular aging biomarker. It is important to determine the telomere length role in vascular structural and functional changes in patients with diabetes mellitus. We conducted a cross-sectional observational study in a high-risk population from Moscow, Russia. The study included 50 patients with diabetes and without clinical cardiovascular disease and 49 control group participants. Glucose metabolism assessment tests, measuring intima–media complex thickness and determining the presence of atherosclerotic plaques, pulse wave velocity measurement, and telomere length measurement were administered to all participants. Vascular changes were more dramatic in patients with diabetes than in the control group, and the telomeres were shorter in patients with diabetes. Significant differences were found in the vascular wall condition among diabetes patients, and there were no substantial differences in the arterial structure between patients with ‘long’ telomeres; however, there were statistically significant differences in the vascular wall condition between patients with ‘short’ telomeres. Vascular ageing signs were more prominent in patients with diabetes. However, despite diabetes, vascular changes in patients with long telomeres were very modest and were similar to the vascular walls in healthy individuals. Thus, long lymphocyte telomeres may have a protective effect on the vascular wall and may prevent vascular wall deterioration caused by glucose metabolism disorders. PMID:26034119

  2. Telomere Length Maintenance and Cardio-Metabolic Disease Prevention Through Exercise Training.

    PubMed

    Denham, Joshua; O'Brien, Brendan J; Charchar, Fadi J

    2016-09-01

    Telomeres are tandem repeat DNA sequences located at distal ends of chromosomes that protect against genomic DNA degradation and chromosomal instability. Excessive telomere shortening leads to cellular senescence and for this reason telomere length is a marker of biological age. Abnormally short telomeres may culminate in the manifestation of a number of cardio-metabolic diseases. Age-related cardio-metabolic diseases attributable to an inactive lifestyle, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease, are associated with short leukocyte telomeres. Exercise training prevents and manages the symptoms of many cardio-metabolic diseases whilst concurrently maintaining telomere length. The positive relationship between exercise training, physical fitness and telomere length raises the possibility of a mediating role of telomeres in chronic disease prevention via exercise. Further elucidation of the underpinning molecular mechanisms of how exercise maintains telomere length should provide crucial information on how physical activity can be best structured to combat the chronic disease epidemic and improve the human health span. Here, we synthesise and discuss the current evidence on the impact of physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness on telomere dynamics. We provide the molecular mechanisms with a known role in exercise-induced telomere length maintenance and highlight unexplored, alternative pathways ripe for future investigations. PMID:26914269

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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.

  4. 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. PMID:12136233

  5. Short communication: Telomere lengths in different tissues of dairy cows during early and late lactation.

    PubMed

    Laubenthal, L; Hoelker, M; Frahm, J; Dänicke, S; Gerlach, K; Südekum, K-H; Sauerwein, H; Häussler, S

    2016-06-01

    Telomeres create a protective cap on the ends of chromosomes that shorten with cell division and are influenced by stressful conditions. With the onset of lactation, high-yielding dairy cows are exposed to metabolic stress. In the present study, we aimed to analyze telomere length (TL) in key metabolic organs, such as liver, subcutaneous (sc) adipose tissue (AT), and mammary gland, as well as in peripheral blood cells during early and late lactation in German Holstein cows (n=21). Animals were fed according to their requirement, and biopsies from scAT, liver, and mammary gland as well as blood cells were collected in early and late lactation. The relative quantity of telomere products (qT), which is proportional to the average TL, was determined in genomic DNA by multiplex quantitative PCR. In this study, relative qT varied widely in the investigated tissues and blood. In late lactation, slowly proliferating tissues, such as liver and scAT, had the highest qT, whereas peripheral blood cells and in the mammary gland had the lowest qT. Comparing early with late lactation, relative qT attrition was limited to blood and mammary gland. Relationships between relative qT in blood, mammary gland, scAT, and liver suggest that blood qT might serve as a surrogate marker for tissue-specific qT. Cows with high initial qT in tissues and blood in early lactation had greater qT attrition during the course of lactation than cows with lower qT. The determination of qT could be included when phenotyping dairy cattle to test for associations with performance and fitness traits. PMID:26995138

  6. Short Telomeres and Stem Cell Exhaustion Model Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in mdx/mTR Mice

    PubMed Central

    Sacco, Alessandra; Mourkioti, Foteini; Tran, Rose; Choi, Jinkuk; Llewellyn, Michael; Kraft, Peggy; Shkreli, Marina; Delp, Scott; Pomerantz, Jason H.; Artandi, Steven E.; Blau, Helen M.

    2010-01-01

    Summary In Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), dystrophin mutation leads to progressive lethal skeletal muscle degeneration. For unknown reasons, dystrophin deficiency does not recapitulate DMD in mice (mdx), which have mild skeletal muscle defects and potent regenerative capacity. We postulated that human DMD progression is a consequence of loss of functional muscle stem cells (MuSC) and the mild mouse mdx phenotype results from greater MuSC reserve fueled by longer telomeres. We report that mdx mice lacking the RNA component of telomerase (mdx/mTR) have shortened telomeres in muscle cells and severe muscular dystrophy that progressively worsens with age. Muscle wasting severity parallels a decline in MuSC regenerative capacity, and is ameliorated histologically by transplantation of wild-type MuSC. These data show that DMD progression results in part from a cell-autonomous failure of MuSC to maintain the damage-repair cycle initiated by dystrophin deficiency. The essential role of MuSC function has therapeutic implications for DMD. PMID:21145579

  7. A Common Variant in the Telomerase RNA Component Is Associated with Short Telomere Length

    PubMed Central

    Njajou, Omer T.; Blackburn, Elizabeth H.; Pawlikowska, Ludmila; Mangino, Massimo; Damcott, Coleen M.; Kwok, Pui-Yan; Spector, Timothy D.; Newman, Anne B.; Harris, Tamara B.; Cummings, Steven R.; Cawthon, Richard M.; Shuldiner, Alan R.; Valdes, Ana M.; Hsueh, Wen-Chi

    2010-01-01

    Background Telomeres shorten as cells divide. This shortening is compensated by the enzyme telomerase. We evaluated the effect of common variants in the telomerase RNA component (TERC) gene on telomere length (TL) in the population-based Health Aging and Body Composition (Health ABC) Study and in two replication samples (the TwinsUK Study and the Amish Family Osteoporosis Study, AFOS). Methodology Five variants were identified in the TERC region by sequence analysis and only one SNP was common (rs2293607, G/A). The frequency of the G allele was 0.26 and 0.07 in white and black, respectively. Testing for association between TL and rs2293607 was performed using linear regression models or variance component analysis conditioning on relatedness among subjects. Results The adjusted mean TL was significantly shorter in 665 white carriers of the G allele compared to 887 non-carriers from the Health ABC Study (4.69±0.05 kbp vs. 4.86±0.04 kbp, measured by quantitative PCR, p = 0.005). This association was replicated in another white sample from the TwinsUK Study (6.90±0.03 kbp in 301 carriers compared to 7.06±0.03 kbp in 395 non-carriers, measured by Southern blots, p = 0.009). A similar pattern of association was observed in whites from the family-based AFOS and blacks from the Health ABC cohort, although not statistically significant, possibly due to the lower allele frequency in these populations. Combined analysis using 2,953 white subjects from 3 studies showed a significant association between TL and rs2293607 (β = −0.19±0.04 kbp, p = 0.001). Conclusion Our study shows a significant association between a common variant in TERC and TL in humans, suggesting that TERC may play a role in telomere homeostasis. PMID:20885959

  8. Phenotypes in mTERT⁺/⁻ and mTERT⁻/⁻ mice are due to short telomeres, not telomere-independent functions of telomerase reverse transcriptase.

    PubMed

    Strong, Margaret A; Vidal-Cardenas, Sofia L; Karim, Baktiar; Yu, Huimin; Guo, Nini; Greider, Carol W

    2011-06-01

    Telomerase is essential for telomere length maintenance. Mutations in either of the two core components of telomerase, telomerase RNA (TR) or the catalytic protein component telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT), cause the genetic disorders dyskeratosis congenita, pulmonary fibrosis, and other degenerative diseases. Overexpression of the TERT protein has been reported to have telomere length-independent roles, including regulation of the Wnt signaling pathway. To examine the phenotypes of TERT haploinsufficiency and determine whether loss of function of TERT has effects other than those associated with telomere shortening, we characterized both mTERT⁺/⁻ and mTERT⁻/⁻ mice on the CAST/EiJ genetic background. Phenotypic analysis showed a loss of tissue renewal capacity with progressive breeding of heterozygous mice that was indistinguishable from that of mTR-deficient mice. mTERT⁻/⁻ mice, from heterozygous mTERT⁺/⁻ mouse crosses, were born at the expected Mendelian ratio (26.5%; n = 1,080 pups), indicating no embryonic lethality of this genotype. We looked for, and failed to find, hallmarks of Wnt deficiency in various adult and embryonic tissues, including those of the lungs, kidneys, brain, and skeleton. Finally, mTERT⁻/⁻ cells showed wild-type levels of Wnt signaling in vitro. Thus, while TERT overexpression in some settings may activate the Wnt pathway, loss of function in a physiological setting has no apparent effects on Wnt signaling. Our results indicate that both TERT and TR are haploinsufficient and that their deficiency leads to telomere shortening, which limits tissue renewal. Our studies imply that hypomorphic loss-of-function alleles of hTERT and hTR should cause a similar disease spectrum in humans. PMID:21464209

  9. 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

    2016-04-01

    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 telomeraseTertgene in 2 independent mouse models of aplastic anemia due to short telomeres (Trf1- andTert-deficient mice). We find that a high dose of AAV9-Terttargets the bone marrow compartment, including hematopoietic stem cells. AAV9-Terttreatment 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. PMID:26903545

  10. Fanconi anemia proteins in telomere maintenance.

    PubMed

    Sarkar, Jaya; Liu, Yie

    2016-07-01

    Mammalian chromosome ends are protected by nucleoprotein structures called telomeres. Telomeres ensure genome stability by preventing chromosome termini from being recognized as DNA damage. Telomere length homeostasis is inevitable for telomere maintenance because critical shortening or over-lengthening of telomeres may lead to DNA damage response or delay in DNA replication, and hence genome instability. Due to their repetitive DNA sequence, unique architecture, bound shelterin proteins, and high propensity to form alternate/secondary DNA structures, telomeres are like common fragile sites and pose an inherent challenge to the progression of DNA replication, repair, and recombination apparatus. It is conceivable that longer the telomeres are, greater is the severity of such challenges. Recent studies have linked excessively long telomeres with increased tumorigenesis. Here we discuss telomere abnormalities in a rare recessive chromosomal instability disorder called Fanconi Anemia and the role of the Fanconi Anemia pathway in telomere biology. Reports suggest that Fanconi Anemia proteins play a role in maintaining long telomeres, including processing telomeric joint molecule intermediates. We speculate that ablation of the Fanconi Anemia pathway would lead to inadequate aberrant structural barrier resolution at excessively long telomeres, thereby causing replicative burden on the cell. PMID:27118469

  11. Novel telomere-anchored PCR approach for studying sexual stage telomeres in Aspergillus nidulans.

    PubMed

    Wang, Nengding; Rizvydeen, Saajidha; Vahedi, Mithaq; Vargas Gonzalez, Daysi M; Allred, Amanda L; Perry, Dustin W; Mirabito, Peter M; Kirk, Karen E

    2014-01-01

    Telomere length varies between germline and somatic cells of the same organism, leading to the hypothesis that telomeres are lengthened during meiosis. However, little is known about the meiotic telomere length in many organisms. In the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans, the telomere lengths in hyphae and asexual spores are invariant. No study using existing techniques has determined the telomere length of the sexual ascospores due to the relatively low abundance of pure meiotic cells in A. nidulans and the small quantity of DNA present. To address this, we developed a simple and sensitive PCR strategy to measure the telomere length of A. nidulans meiotic cells. This novel technique, termed "telomere-anchored PCR," measures the length of the telomere on chromosome II-L using a small fraction of the DNA required for the traditional terminal restriction fragment (TRF) Southern analysis. Using this approach, we determined that the A. nidulans ascospore telomere length is virtually identical to telomeres of other cell types from this organism, approximately 110 bp, indicating that a surprisingly strict telomere length regulation exists in the major cell types of A. nidulans. When the hyphal telomeres were measured in a telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) knockout strain, small decreases in length were readily detected. Thus, this technique can detect telomeres in relatively rare cell types and is particularly sensitive in measuring exceptionally short telomeres. This rapid and inexpensive telomere-anchored PCR method potentially can be utilized in other filamentous fungi and types of organisms. PMID:24927411

  12. Human telomeric proteins occupy selective interstitial sites

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Human telomeres are bound and protected by protein complexes assembled around the six core telomeric proteins RAP1, TRF1, TRF2, TIN2, TPP1, and POT1. The function of these proteins on telomeres has been studied extensively. Recently, increasing evidence has suggested possible roles for these proteins outside of telomeres. However, the non-canonical (extra-telomeric) function of human telomeric proteins remains poorly understood. To this end, we systematically investigated the binding sites of telomeric proteins along human chromosomes, by performing whole-genome chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) for RAP1 and TRF2. ChIP sequencing (ChIP-seq) revealed that RAP1 and TRF2 could be found on a small number of interstitial sites, including regions that are proximal to genes. Some of these binding sites contain short telomere repeats, suggesting that telomeric proteins could directly bind to interstitial sites. Interestingly, only a small fraction of the available interstitial telomere repeat-containing regions were occupied by RAP1 and TRF2. Ectopically expressed TRF2 was able to occupy additional interstitial telomere repeat sites, suggesting that protein concentration may dictate the selective targeting of telomeric proteins to interstitial sites. Reducing RAP1 and TRF2 expression by RNA interference led to altered transcription of RAP1- and TRF2-targeted genes. Our results indicate that human telomeric proteins could occupy a limited number of interstitial sites and regulate gene transcription. PMID:21423278

  13. 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

  14. Advances in the molecular design of potential anticancer agents via targeting of human telomeric DNA.

    PubMed

    Maji, Basudeb; Bhattacharya, Santanu

    2014-06-21

    Telomerases are an attractive drug target to develop new generation drugs against cancer. A telomere appears from the chromosomal termini and protects it from double-stranded DNA degradation. A short telomere promotes genomic instability, like end-to-end fusion and regulates the over-expression of the telomere repairing enzyme, telomerase. The telomerase maintains the telomere length, which may lead to genetically abnormal situations, leading to cancer. Thus, the design and synthesis of an efficient telomerase inhibitor is a viable strategy toward anticancer drugs development. Accordingly, small molecule induced stabilization of the G-quadruplex structure, formed by the human telomeric DNA, is an area of contemporary scientific art. Several such compounds efficiently stabilize the G-quadruplex forms of nucleic acids, which often leads to telomerase inhibition. This Feature article presents the discovery and development of the telomere structure, function and evolution in telomere targeted anticancer drug design and incorporates the recent advances in this area, in addition to discussing the advantages and disadvantages in the methods, and prospects for the future. PMID:24695755

  15. Telomerase Activity and Telomere Length in Daphnia

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Telomeres, comprised of short repetitive sequences, are essential for genome stability and have been studied in relation to cellular senescence and aging. Telomerase, the enzyme that adds telomeric repeats to chromosome ends, is essential for maintaining the overall telomere length. A lack of telomerase activity in mammalian somatic cells results in progressive shortening of telomeres with each cellular replication event. Mammals exhibit high rates of cell proliferation during embryonic and juvenile stages but very little somatic cell proliferation occurs during adult and senescent stages. The telomere hypothesis of cellular aging states that telomeres serve as an internal mitotic clock and telomere length erosion leads to cellular senescence and eventual cell death. In this report, we have examined telomerase activity, processivity, and telomere length in Daphnia, an organism that grows continuously throughout its life. Similar to insects, Daphnia telomeric repeat sequence was determined to be TTAGG and telomerase products with five-nucleotide periodicity were generated in the telomerase activity assay. We investigated telomerase function and telomere lengths in two closely related ecotypes of Daphnia with divergent lifespans, short-lived D. pulex and long-lived D. pulicaria. Our results indicate that there is no age-dependent decline in telomere length, telomerase activity, or processivity in short-lived D. pulex. On the contrary, a significant age dependent decline in telomere length, telomerase activity and processivity is observed during life span in long-lived D. pulicaria. While providing the first report on characterization of Daphnia telomeres and telomerase activity, our results also indicate that mechanisms other than telomere shortening may be responsible for the strikingly short life span of D. pulex. PMID:25962144

  16. Telomerase activity and telomere length in Daphnia.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Telomeres, comprised of short repetitive sequences, are essential for genome stability and have been studied in relation to cellular senescence and aging. Telomerase, the enzyme that adds telomeric repeats to chromosome ends, is essential for maintaining the overall telomere length. A lack of telomerase activity in mammalian somatic cells results in progressive shortening of telomeres with each cellular replication event. Mammals exhibit high rates of cell proliferation during embryonic and juvenile stages but very little somatic cell proliferation occurs during adult and senescent stages. The telomere hypothesis of cellular aging states that telomeres serve as an internal mitotic clock and telomere length erosion leads to cellular senescence and eventual cell death. In this report, we have examined telomerase activity, processivity, and telomere length in Daphnia, an organism that grows continuously throughout its life. Similar to insects, Daphnia telomeric repeat sequence was determined to be TTAGG and telomerase products with five-nucleotide periodicity were generated in the telomerase activity assay. We investigated telomerase function and telomere lengths in two closely related ecotypes of Daphnia with divergent lifespans, short-lived D. pulex and long-lived D. pulicaria. Our results indicate that there is no age-dependent decline in telomere length, telomerase activity, or processivity in short-lived D. pulex. On the contrary, a significant age dependent decline in telomere length, telomerase activity and processivity is observed during life span in long-lived D. pulicaria. While providing the first report on characterization of Daphnia telomeres and telomerase activity, our results also indicate that mechanisms other than telomere shortening may be responsible for the strikingly short life span of D. pulex. PMID:25962144

  17. Keratoconus posticus circumscriptus, cleft lip and palate, genitourinary abnormalities, short stature, and mental retardation in sibs

    PubMed Central

    Young, I D; Macrae, W G; Hughes, H E; Crawford, J S

    1982-01-01

    This paper describes two sibs in each of whom Keratoconus posticus circumscriptus is associated with multiple abnormalities. These include short stature, mental retardation, cleft lip and palate, and vertebral anomalies. The authors have been unable to trace any former reports of an identical condition and suggest that the findings in these children may represent a previously unrecognised malformation syndrome showing probable autosomal recessive inheritance. Images PMID:7143385

  18. Progressive cis-inhibition of telomerase upon telomere elongation.

    PubMed Central

    Marcand, S; Brevet, V; Gilson, E

    1999-01-01

    In yeast, the constant length of telomeric DNA results from a negative regulation of telomerase by the telomere itself. Here we follow the return to equilibrium of an abnormally shortened telomere. We observe that telomere elongation is restricted to a few base pairs per generation and that its rate decreases progressively with increasing telomere length. In contrast, in the absence of telomerase or in the presence of an over-elongated telomere, the degradation rate linked to the succession of generations appears to be constant, i.e. independent of telomere length. Together, these results indicate that telomerase is gradually inhibited at its site of action by the elongating telomere. The implications of this finding for the dynamics of telomere length regulation are discussed in this study. PMID:10369690

  19. ATM kinase is required for telomere elongation in mouse and human cells

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Stella Suyong; Bohrson, Craig; Pike, Alexandra Mims; Wheelan, Sarah Jo; Greider, Carol Widney

    2015-01-01

    Summary Short telomeres induce a DNA damage response, senescence and apoptosis; thus, maintaining telomere length equilibrium is essential for cell viability. Telomerase addition of telomere repeats is tightly regulated in cells. To probe pathways that regulate telomere addition, we developed the ADDIT assay to measure new telomere addition at a single telomere in vivo. Sequence analysis showed telomerase specific addition of repeats onto a new telomere occurred in just 48 hr. Using the ADDIT assay, we found that ATM is required for addition of new repeats onto telomeres in mouse cells. Evaluation of bulk telomeres, in both human and mouse cells, showed that blocking ATM inhibited telomere elongation. Finally, the activation of ATM through the inhibition of PARP1 resulted in increased telomere elongation, supporting the central role of the ATM pathway in regulating telomere addition. Understanding this role of ATM may yield new areas for possible therapeutic intervention in telomere-mediated disease. PMID:26586427

  20. Telomere Dysfunction Induced Foci (TIF) Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Mender, Ilgen; Shay, Jerry W.

    2016-01-01

    Telomerase maintains telomeric DNA in eukaryotes during early developments, ~90% of cancer cells and some proliferative stem like cells. Telomeric repeats at the end of chromosomes are associated with the shelterin complex. This complex consists of TRF1, TRF2, Rap1, TIN2, TPP1, POT1 which protect DNA from being recognized as DNA double-stranded breaks. Critically short telomeres or impaired shelterin proteins can cause telomere dysfunction, which eventually induces DNA damage responses at the telomeres. DNA damage responses can be identified by antibodies to 53BP1, gammaH2AX, Rad17, ATM, and Mre11. DNA damage foci at uncapped telomeres are referred to as Telomere dysfunction-Induced Foci (TIFs) (de Lange, 2005; Takai et al., 2003). The TIF assay is based on the co-localization detection of DNA damage by an antibody against DNA damage markers, such as gamma-H2AX, and telomeres using an antibody against one of the shelterin proteins such as TRF2 (Takai et al., 2003; de Lange, 2002; Karlseder et al., 1999). The method we describe here can be used in normal human and cancer cells. Other commonly used methods-Telomere Restriction Fragment (TRF) Analysis (Mender and Shay, 2015b) and Telomere Repeat Amplification Protocol (TRAP) (Mender and Shay, 2015a)- in telomere biology can be found by clicking on the indicated links.

  1. Telomere length in early life predicts lifespan

    PubMed Central

    Heidinger, Britt J.; Blount, Jonathan D.; Boner, Winnie; Griffiths, Kate; Metcalfe, Neil B.; Monaghan, Pat

    2012-01-01

    The attrition of telomeres, the ends of eukaryote chromosomes, is thought to play an important role in cell deterioration with advancing age. The observed variation in telomere length among individuals of the same age is therefore thought to be related to variation in potential longevity. Studies of this relationship are hampered by the time scale over which individuals need to be followed, particularly in long-lived species where lifespan variation is greatest. So far, data are based either on simple comparisons of telomere length among different age classes or on individuals whose telomere length is measured at most twice and whose subsequent survival is monitored for only a short proportion of the typical lifespan. Both approaches are subject to bias. Key studies, in which telomere length is tracked from early in life, and actual lifespan recorded, have been lacking. We measured telomere length in zebra finches (n = 99) from the nestling stage and at various points thereafter, and recorded their natural lifespan (which varied from less than 1 to almost 9 y). We found telomere length at 25 d to be a very strong predictor of realized lifespan (P < 0.001); those individuals living longest had relatively long telomeres at all points at which they were measured. Reproduction increased adult telomere loss, but this effect appeared transient and did not influence survival. Our results provide the strongest evidence available of the relationship between telomere length and lifespan and emphasize the importance of understanding factors that determine early life telomere length. PMID:22232671

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

    PubMed

    Phillips, Jane A; Chan, Angela; Paeschke, Katrin; Zakian, Virginia A

    2015-04-01

    Telomerase, the enzyme that maintains telomeres, preferentially lengthens short telomeres. The S. cerevisiae Pif1 DNA helicase inhibits both telomerase-mediated telomere lengthening and de novo telomere addition at double strand breaks (DSB). Here, we report that the association of the telomerase subunits Est2 and Est1 at a DSB was increased in the absence of Pif1, as it is at telomeres, suggesting that Pif1 suppresses de novo telomere addition by removing telomerase from the break. To determine how the absence of Pif1 results in telomere lengthening, we used the single telomere extension assay (STEX), which monitors lengthening of individual telomeres in a single cell cycle. In the absence of Pif1, telomerase added significantly more telomeric DNA, an average of 72 nucleotides per telomere compared to the 45 nucleotides in wild type cells, and the fraction of telomeres lengthened increased almost four-fold. Using an inducible short telomere assay, Est2 and Est1 no longer bound preferentially to a short telomere in pif1 mutant cells while binding of Yku80, a telomere structural protein, was unaffected by the status of the PIF1 locus. Two experiments demonstrate that Pif1 binding is affected by telomere length: Pif1 (but not Yku80) -associated telomeres were 70 bps longer than bulk telomeres, and in the inducible short telomere assay, Pif1 bound better to wild type length telomeres than to short telomeres. Thus, preferential lengthening of short yeast telomeres is achieved in part by targeting the negative regulator Pif1 to long telomeres. PMID:25906395

  3. Telomeres and Telomerase in Cardiovascular Diseases.

    PubMed

    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

  4. Short Term Outcome of Neonates Born With Abnormal Umbilical Cord Arterial Blood Gases

    PubMed Central

    Ahmadpour-Kacho, Mousa; Zahedpasha, Yadollah; Hagshenas, Mohsen; Akbarian Rad, Zahra; Sadat Nasseri, Bahram; Bijani, Ali

    2015-01-01

    Background: Umbilical arterial blood gas (UABG) analysis is more objective than other methods for predicting neonatal outcome. Acidemic neonates may be at risk for unfavorable outcome after birth, but all neonates with abnormal arterial blood gas (ABG) analysis do not always have poor outcome. Objectives: This study was carried out to determine the short term outcome of the neonates born with an abnormal ABG. Patients and Methods: In a cohort prospective study 120 high risk mother-neonate pairs were enrolled and UABG was taken immediately after birth. All neonates with an umbilical cord pH less than 7.2 were considered as case group and more than 7.2 as controls. Outcomes like need to resuscitation, admission to newborn services and/or NICU), seizure occurrence, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), delayed initiation of oral feeding and length of hospital stay were recorded and compared between the two groups. P value less than 0.05 was considered as being significant. Results: Comparison of short term outcomes between normal and abnormal ABG groups were as the fallowing: need for advanced resuscitation 4 vs. 0 (P = 0.001), NICU admission 16 vs. 4 (P = 0.001), convulsion 2 vs. 0 (P = 0.496), HIE 17 vs. 4 (P = 0.002), delay to start oral feeding 16 vs. 4 (P = 0.001), mean hospital stay 4 vs. 3 days (P = 0.001). None of the neonates died in study groups. Conclusions: An umbilical cord PH less than 7.2 immediately after birth can be used as a prognostic factor for unfavorable short term outcome in newborns. PMID:26199700

  5. Telomere position effect: regulation of gene expression with progressive telomere shortening over long distances.

    PubMed

    Robin, Jérôme D; Ludlow, Andrew T; Batten, Kimberly; Magdinier, Frédérique; Stadler, Guido; Wagner, Kathyrin R; Shay, Jerry W; Wright, Woodring E

    2014-11-15

    While global chromatin conformation studies are emerging, very little is known about the chromatin conformation of human telomeres. Most studies have focused on the role of telomeres as a tumor suppressor mechanism. Here we describe how telomere length regulates gene expression long before telomeres become short enough to produce a DNA damage response (senescence). We directly mapped the interactions adjacent to specific telomere ends using a Hi-C (chromosome capture followed by high-throughput sequencing) technique modified to enrich for specific genomic regions. We demonstrate that chromosome looping brings the telomere close to genes up to 10 Mb away from the telomere when telomeres are long and that the same loci become separated when telomeres are short. Furthermore, expression array analysis reveals that many loci, including noncoding RNAs, may be regulated by telomere length. We report three genes (ISG15 [interferon-stimulated gene 15 kd], DSP [Desmoplakin], and C1S [complement component 1s subcomplement]) located at three different subtelomeric ends (1p, 6p, and 12p) whose expressions are altered with telomere length. Additionally, we confirmed by in situ analysis (3D-FISH [three-dimensional fluorescence in situ hybridization]) that chromosomal looping occurs between the loci of those genes and their respective telomere ends. We term this process TPE-OLD for "telomere position effect over long distances." Our results suggest a potential novel mechanism for how telomere shortening could contribute to aging and disease initiation/progression in human cells long before the induction of a critical DNA damage response. PMID:25403178

  6. 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

  7. Rap1p telomere association is not required for mitotic stability of a C3TA2 telomere in yeast

    PubMed Central

    Alexander, Mary Kate; Zakian, Virginia A.

    2003-01-01

    Telomeric DNA usually consists of a repetitive sequence: C1–3A/TG1–3 in yeast, and C3TA2/T2AG3 in vertebrates. In yeast, the sequence-specific DNA- binding protein Rap1p is thought to be essential for telomere function. In a tlc1h mutant, the templating region of the telomerase RNA gene is altered so that telomerase adds the vertebrate telomere sequence instead of the yeast sequence to the chromosome end. A tlc1h strain has short but stable telomeres and no growth defect. We show here that Rap1p and the Rap1p-associated Rif2p did not bind to a telomere that contains purely vertebrate repeats, while the TG1–3 single-stranded DNA binding protein Cdc13p and the normally non-telomeric protein Tbf1p did bind this telomere. A chromosome with one entirely vertebrate-sequence telomere had a wild-type loss rate, and the telomere was maintained at a short but stable length. However, this telomere was unable to silence a telomere-adjacent URA3 gene, and the strain carrying this telomere had a severe defect in meiosis. We conclude that Rap1p localization to a C3TA2 telomere is not required for its essential mitotic functions. PMID:12660174

  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. PMID:19050401

  10. Telomere Maintenance Mechanisms in Cancer: Clinical Implications

    PubMed Central

    Reddel, Roger R

    2014-01-01

    The presence of immortal cell populations with an up-regulated telomere maintenance mechanism (TMM) is an almost univer-sal characteristic of cancers, whereas normal somatic cells are unable to prevent proliferation-associated telomere shortening and have a limited proliferative potential. TMMs and related aspects of telomere structure and function therefore appear to be ideal targets for the development of anticancer therapeutics. Such treatments would be targeted to a specific cancer-related molecular abnormality, and also be broad-spectrum in that they would be expected to be potentially applicable to most cancers. However, the telomere biology of normal and malignant human cells is a relatively young research field with large numbers of unanswered questions, so the optimal design of TMM-targeted therapeutic approaches remains unclear. This review outlines the opportunities and challenges presented by telomeres and TMMs for clinical management of cancer. PMID:24975603

  11. Molecular basis of telomere syndrome caused by CTC1 mutations

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Liuh-Yow; Majerská, Jana; Lingner, Joachim

    2013-01-01

    Mutations in CTC1 lead to the telomere syndromes Coats Plus and dyskeratosis congenita (DC), but the molecular mechanisms involved remain unknown. CTC1 forms with STN1 and TEN1 a trimeric complex termed CST, which binds ssDNA, promotes telomere DNA synthesis, and inhibits telomerase-mediated telomere elongation. Here we identify CTC1 disease mutations that disrupt CST complex formation, the physical interaction with DNA polymerase α-primase (polα-primase), telomeric ssDNA binding in vitro, accumulation in the nucleus, and/or telomere association in vivo. While having diverse molecular defects, CTC1 mutations commonly lead to the accumulation of internal single-stranded gaps of telomeric DNA, suggesting telomere DNA replication defects as a primary cause of the disease. Strikingly, mutations in CTC1 may also unleash telomerase repression and telomere length control. Hence, the telomere defect initiated by CTC1 mutations is distinct from the telomerase insufficiencies seen in classical forms of telomere syndromes, which cause short telomeres due to reduced maintenance of distal telomeric ends by telomerase. Our analysis provides molecular evidence that CST collaborates with DNA polα-primase to promote faithful telomere DNA replication. PMID:24115768

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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 behaviors. 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 (beta=−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. PMID:25256607

  13. Telomere length correlates with life span of dog breeds.

    PubMed

    Fick, Laura J; Fick, Gordon H; Li, Zichen; Cao, Eric; Bao, Bo; Heffelfinger, Doug; Parker, Heidi G; Ostrander, Elaine A; Riabowol, Karl

    2012-12-27

    Telomeric DNA repeats are lost as normal somatic cells replicate. When telomeres reach a critically short length, a DNA damage signal is initiated, inducing cell senescence. Some studies have indicated that telomere length correlates with mortality, suggesting that telomere length contributes to human life span; however, other studies report no correlation, and thus the issue remains controversial. Domestic dogs show parallels in telomere biology to humans, with similar telomere length, telomere attrition, and absence of somatic cell telomerase activity. Using this model, we find that peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) telomere length is a strong predictor of average life span among 15 different breeds (p < 0.0001), consistent with telomeres playing a role in life span determination. Dogs lose telomeric DNA ~10-fold faster than humans, which is similar to the ratio of average life spans between these species. Breeds with shorter mean telomere lengths show an increased probability of death from cardiovascular disease, which was previously correlated with short telomere length in humans. PMID:23260664

  14. 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. PMID:23049977

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Progressive Telomere Dysfunction Causes Cytokinesis Failure and Leads to the Accumulation of Polyploid Cells

    PubMed Central

    Pampalona, Judit; Frías, Cristina; Genescà, Anna; Tusell, Laura

    2012-01-01

    Most cancer cells accumulate genomic abnormalities at a remarkably rapid rate, as they are unable to maintain their chromosome structure and number. Excessively short telomeres, a known source of chromosome instability, are observed in early human-cancer lesions. Besides telomere dysfunction, it has been suggested that a transient phase of polyploidization, in most cases tetraploidization, has a causative role in cancer. Proliferation of tetraploids can gradually generate subtetraploid lineages of unstable cells that might fire the carcinogenic process by promoting further aneuploidy and genomic instability. Given the significance of telomere dysfunction and tetraploidy in the early stages of carcinogenesis, we investigated whether there is a connection between these two important promoters of chromosomal instability. We report that human mammary epithelial cells exhibiting progressive telomere dysfunction, in a pRb deficient and wild-type p53 background, fail to complete the cytoplasmatic cell division due to the persistence of chromatin bridges in the midzone. Flow cytometry together with fluorescence in situ hybridization demonstrated an accumulation of binucleated polyploid cells upon serial passaging cells. Restoration of telomere function through hTERT transduction, which lessens the formation of anaphase bridges by recapping the chromosome ends, rescued the polyploid phenotype. Live-cell imaging revealed that these polyploid cells emerged after abortive cytokinesis due to the persistence of anaphase bridges with large intervening chromatin in the cleavage plane. In agreement with a primary role of anaphase bridge intermediates in the polyploidization process, treatment of HMEC-hTERT cells with bleomycin, which produces chromatin bridges through illegimitate repair, resulted in tetraploid binucleated cells. Taken together, we demonstrate that human epithelial cells exhibiting physiological telomere dysfunction engender tetraploid cells through interference of

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    A subset of human cancer cells uses a specialized, aberrant recombination pathway known as ALT to maintain telomeres, which in these cells are characterized by complex aberrations including length heterogeneity, high levels of unpaired C-strand, and accumulation of extra-chromosomal telomere repeats (ECTR). These phenotypes have not been recapitulated in any standard budding or fission yeast mutant. We found that eliminating Ku70 or Ku80 in the yeast-like fungus Ustilago maydis results initially in all the characteristic telomere aberrations of ALT cancer cells, including C-circles, a highly specific marker of ALT. Subsequently the ku mutants experience permanent G2 cell cycle arrest, accompanied by loss of telomere repeats from chromosome ends and even more drastic accumulation of very short ECTRs (vsECTRs). The deletion of atr1 or chk1 rescued the lethality of the ku mutant, and “trapped” the telomere aberrations in the early ALT-like stage. Telomere abnormalities are telomerase-independent, but dramatically suppressed by deletion of mre11 or blm, suggesting major roles for these factors in the induction of the ALT pathway. In contrast, removal of other DNA damage response and repair factors such as Rad51 has disparate effects on the ALT phenotypes, suggesting that these factors process ALT intermediates or products. Notably, the antagonism of Ku and Mre11 in the induction of ALT is reminiscent of their roles in DSB resection, in which Blm is also known to play a key role. We suggest that an aberrant resection reaction may constitute an early trigger for ALT telomeres, and that the outcomes of ALT are distinct from DSB because of the unique telomere nucleoprotein structure. PMID:26492073

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    A subset of human cancer cells uses a specialized, aberrant recombination pathway known as ALT to maintain telomeres, which in these cells are characterized by complex aberrations including length heterogeneity, high levels of unpaired C-strand, and accumulation of extra-chromosomal telomere repeats (ECTR). These phenotypes have not been recapitulated in any standard budding or fission yeast mutant. We found that eliminating Ku70 or Ku80 in the yeast-like fungus Ustilago maydis results initially in all the characteristic telomere aberrations of ALT cancer cells, including C-circles, a highly specific marker of ALT. Subsequently the ku mutants experience permanent G2 cell cycle arrest, accompanied by loss of telomere repeats from chromosome ends and even more drastic accumulation of very short ECTRs (vsECTRs). The deletion of atr1 or chk1 rescued the lethality of the ku mutant, and "trapped" the telomere aberrations in the early ALT-like stage. Telomere abnormalities are telomerase-independent, but dramatically suppressed by deletion of mre11 or blm, suggesting major roles for these factors in the induction of the ALT pathway. In contrast, removal of other DNA damage response and repair factors such as Rad51 has disparate effects on the ALT phenotypes, suggesting that these factors process ALT intermediates or products. Notably, the antagonism of Ku and Mre11 in the induction of ALT is reminiscent of their roles in DSB resection, in which Blm is also known to play a key role. We suggest that an aberrant resection reaction may constitute an early trigger for ALT telomeres, and that the outcomes of ALT are distinct from DSB because of the unique telomere nucleoprotein structure. PMID:26492073

  1. Molecular mechanisms of activity and derepression of alternative lengthening of telomeres.

    PubMed

    Pickett, Hilda A; Reddel, Roger R

    2015-11-01

    Alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) involves homology-directed telomere synthesis. This multistep process is facilitated by loss of the ATRX or DAXX chromatin-remodeling factors and by abnormalities of the telomere nucleoprotein architecture, including altered DNA sequence and decreased TRF2 saturation. Induction of telomere-specific DNA damage triggers homology-directed searches, and NuRD-ZNF827 protein-protein interactions provide a platform for the telomeric recruitment of homologous recombination (HR) proteins. Telomere lengthening proceeds by strand exchange and template-driven DNA synthesis, which culminates in dissolution of HR intermediates. PMID:26581522

  2. Telomere dysfunction causes alveolar stem cell failure.

    PubMed

    Alder, Jonathan K; Barkauskas, Christina E; Limjunyawong, Nathachit; Stanley, Susan E; Kembou, Frant; Tuder, Rubin M; Hogan, Brigid L M; Mitzner, Wayne; Armanios, Mary

    2015-04-21

    Telomere syndromes have their most common manifestation in lung disease that is recognized as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema. In both conditions, there is loss of alveolar integrity, but the underlying mechanisms are not known. We tested the capacity of alveolar epithelial and stromal cells from mice with short telomeres to support alveolar organoid colony formation and found that type 2 alveolar epithelial cells (AEC2s), the stem cell-containing population, were limiting. When telomere dysfunction was induced in adult AEC2s by conditional deletion of the shelterin component telomeric repeat-binding factor 2, cells survived but remained dormant and showed all the hallmarks of cellular senescence. Telomere dysfunction in AEC2s triggered an immune response, and this was associated with AEC2-derived up-regulation of cytokine signaling pathways that are known to provoke inflammation in the lung. Mice uniformly died after challenge with bleomycin, underscoring an essential role for telomere function in AEC2s for alveolar repair. Our data show that alveoloar progenitor senescence is sufficient to recapitulate the regenerative defects, inflammatory responses, and susceptibility to injury that are characteristic of telomere-mediated lung disease. They suggest alveolar stem cell failure is a driver of telomere-mediated lung disease and that efforts to reverse it may be clinically beneficial. PMID:25840590

  3. Defective repair of uracil causes telomere defects in mouse hematopoietic cells.

    PubMed

    Vallabhaneni, Haritha; Zhou, Fang; Maul, Robert W; Sarkar, Jaya; Yin, Jinhu; Lei, Ming; Harrington, Lea; Gearhart, Patricia J; Liu, Yie

    2015-02-27

    Uracil in the genome can result from misincorporation of dUTP instead of dTTP during DNA synthesis, and is primarily removed by uracil DNA glycosylase (UNG) during base excision repair. Telomeres contain long arrays of TTAGGG repeats and may be susceptible to uracil misincorporation. Using model telomeric DNA substrates, we showed that the position and number of uracil substitutions of thymine in telomeric DNA decreased recognition by the telomere single-strand binding protein, POT1. In primary mouse hematopoietic cells, uracil was detectable at telomeres, and UNG deficiency further increased uracil loads and led to abnormal telomere lengthening. In UNG-deficient cells, the frequencies of sister chromatid exchange and fragility in telomeres also significantly increased in the absence of telomerase. Thus, accumulation of uracil and/or UNG deficiency interferes with telomere maintenance, thereby underscoring the necessity of UNG-initiated base excision repair for the preservation of telomere integrity. PMID:25572391

  4. Role of telomeres and telomerase in cancer

    PubMed Central

    Shay, Jerry W.; Wright, Woodring E.

    2012-01-01

    There is mounting evidence for the existence of an important relationship between telomeres and telomerase and cellular aging and cancer. Normal human cells progressively lose telomeres with each cell division until a few short telomeres become uncapped leading to a growth arrest known as replicative aging. In the absence of genomic alterations these cells do not die but remain quiescent producing a different constellation of proteins compared to young quiescent cells. Upon specific genetic and epigenetic alterations, normal human cells bypass replicative senescence and continue to proliferate until many telomere ends become uncapped leading to a phenomenon known as crisis. In crisis cells have critically shortened telomeres but continue to attempt to divide leading to significant cell death (apoptosis) and progressive genomic instability. Rarely, a human cell escapes crisis and these cells almost universally express the ribonucleoprotein, telomerase, and maintain stable but short telomeres. The activation of telomerase may be thought of as a mechanism to slow down the rate genomic instability due to dysfunctional telomeres. While telomerase does not drive the oncogenic process, it is permissive and required for the sustain growth of most advanced cancers. Since telomerase is not expressed in most normal human cells, this has led to the development of targeted telomerase cancer therapeutic approaches that are presently in advanced clinical trials. PMID:22015685

  5. Telomeres and reproductive aging.

    PubMed

    Keefe, David L; Liu, Lin

    2009-01-01

    Infertility, miscarriage and aneuploid offspring increase with age in women, and meiotic dysfunction underlies reproductive aging. How aging disrupts meiotic function in women remains unclear, but as women increasingly delay having children, solving this problem becomes an urgent priority. Telomeres consist of a (TTAGGG)(n) repeated sequence and associated proteins at chromosome ends, mediate aging in mitotic cells and may also mediate aging during meiosis. Telomeres shorten both during DNA replication and from the response to oxidative DNA damage. Oocytes do not divide in adult mammals, but their precursors do replicate during fetal oogenesis; eggs ovulated from older females have traversed more mitotic cell cycles before entering meiosis during fetal oogenesis than eggs ovulated from younger females. Telomeres also would be expected to shorten from inefficient DNA repair of oxidative damage, because the interval between fetal oogenesis and ovulation is exceptionally prolonged in women. We have tested the hypothesis that telomere shortening disrupts meiosis by shortening telomeres experimentally in mice, which normally do not exhibit age-related meiotic dysfunction. Interestingly, mouse telomeres are much longer than human telomeres, but genetic or pharmacological shortening of mouse telomeres recapitulates in mice the human reproductive aging phenotype as the mouse telomeres reach the length of telomeres from older women. These observations led us to propose a telomere theory of reproductive aging. Moreover, chronological oxidative stress increases with reproductive aging, leading to DNA damage preferentially at (TTAGGG)(n) repeats. Finally, if telomeres shorten with aging, how do they reset across generations? Telomerase could not play a significant role in telomere elongation during early development, because this enzyme is not active until the blastocyst stage, well after the stage when telomere elongation takes place. Rather, telomeres lengthen during the

  6. Cohesin SMC1beta protects telomeres in meiocytes.

    PubMed

    Adelfalk, Caroline; Janschek, Johannes; Revenkova, Ekaterina; Blei, Cornelia; Liebe, Bodo; Göb, Eva; Alsheimer, Manfred; Benavente, Ricardo; de Boer, Esther; Novak, Ivana; Höög, Christer; Scherthan, Harry; Jessberger, Rolf

    2009-10-19

    Meiosis-specific mammalian cohesin SMC1beta is required for complete sister chromatid cohesion and proper axes/loop structure of axial elements (AEs) and synaptonemal complexes (SCs). During prophase I, telomeres attach to the nuclear envelope (NE), but in Smc1beta(-/-) meiocytes, one fifth of their telomeres fail to attach. This study reveals that SMC1beta serves a specific role at telomeres, which is independent of its role in determining AE/SC length and loop extension. SMC1beta is necessary to prevent telomere shortening, and SMC3, present in all known cohesin complexes, properly localizes to telomeres only if SMC1beta is present. Very prominently, telomeres in Smc1beta(-/-) spermatocytes and oocytes loose their structural integrity and suffer a range of abnormalities. These include disconnection from SCs and formation of large telomeric protein-DNA extensions, extended telomere bridges between SCs, ring-like chromosomes, intrachromosomal telomeric repeats, and a reduction of SUN1 foci in the NE. We suggest that a telomere structure protected from DNA rearrangements depends on SMC1beta. PMID:19841137

  7. Telomere uncapping by the G-quadruplex ligand RHPS4 inhibits clonogenic tumour cell growth in vitro and in vivo consistent with a cancer stem cell targeting mechanism.

    PubMed

    Phatak, P; Cookson, J C; Dai, F; Smith, V; Gartenhaus, R B; Stevens, M F G; Burger, A M

    2007-04-23

    The pentacyclic acridinium methosulfate salt RHPS4 induces the 3'single-stranded guanine-rich telomeric overhang to fold into a G-quadruplex structure. Stabilisation of the latter is incompatible with an attachment of telomerase to the telomere and thus G-quadruplex ligands can effectively inhibit both the catalytic and capping functions of telomerase. In this study, we examined mechanisms underlying telomere uncapping by RHPS4 in uterus carcinoma cells (UXF1138L) with short telomeres and compared the susceptibility of bulk and clonogenic cancer cells to the G-quadruplex ligand. We show that treatment of UXF1138L cells with RHPS4 leads to the displacement of the telomerase catalytic subunit (hTERT) from the nucleus, induction of telomere-initiated DNA-damage signalling and chromosome fusions. We further report that RHPS4 is more potent against cancer cells that grow as colonies in soft agar than cells growing as monolayers. Human cord blood and HEK293T embryonic kidney cell colony forming units, however, were more resistant to RHPS4. RHPS4-treated UXF1138L xenografts had a decreased clonogenicity, showed loss of nuclear hTERT expression and an induction of mitotic abnormalities compared with controls. Although single-agent RHPS4 had limited in vivo efficacy, a combination of RHPS4 with the mitotic spindle poison Taxol caused tumour remissions and further enhancement of telomere dysfunction. PMID:17406367

  8. Telomere uncapping by the G-quadruplex ligand RHPS4 inhibits clonogenic tumour cell growth in vitro and in vivo consistent with a cancer stem cell targeting mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Phatak, P; Cookson, J C; Dai, F; Smith, V; Gartenhaus, R B; Stevens, M F G; Burger, A M

    2007-01-01

    The pentacyclic acridinium methosulfate salt RHPS4 induces the 3′single-stranded guanine-rich telomeric overhang to fold into a G-quadruplex structure. Stabilisation of the latter is incompatible with an attachment of telomerase to the telomere and thus G-quadruplex ligands can effectively inhibit both the catalytic and capping functions of telomerase. In this study, we examined mechanisms underlying telomere uncapping by RHPS4 in uterus carcinoma cells (UXF1138L) with short telomeres and compared the susceptibility of bulk and clonogenic cancer cells to the G-quadruplex ligand. We show that treatment of UXF1138L cells with RHPS4 leads to the displacement of the telomerase catalytic subunit (hTERT) from the nucleus, induction of telomere-initiated DNA-damage signalling and chromosome fusions. We further report that RHPS4 is more potent against cancer cells that grow as colonies in soft agar than cells growing as monolayers. Human cord blood and HEK293T embryonic kidney cell colony forming units, however, were more resistant to RHPS4. RHPS4-treated UXF1138L xenografts had a decreased clonogenicity, showed loss of nuclear hTERT expression and an induction of mitotic abnormalities compared with controls. Although single-agent RHPS4 had limited in vivo efficacy, a combination of RHPS4 with the mitotic spindle poison Taxol caused tumour remissions and further enhancement of telomere dysfunction. PMID:17406367

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

    PubMed

    Kuzyk, Alexandra; Gartner, John; Mai, Sabine

    2016-08-01

    Using 3D telomere quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization, we determined the 3D telomere organization of 74 neuroblastoma tissue samples. Hierarchical cluster analysis of the measured telomere parameters identified three subgroups from our patient cohort. These subgroups have unique telomere profiles based on telomere length and nuclear architecture. Subgroups with higher levels of telomere dysfunction were comprised of tumors with greater numbers of telomeres, telomeric aggregates, and short telomeres (P<.0001). Tumors with greater telomere dysfunction were associated with unfavorable tumor characteristics (greater age at diagnosis, unfavorable histology, higher stage of disease, MYCN amplification, and higher MYCN expression) and poor prognostic risk (P<.001). Subgroups with greater telomere dysfunction also had higher intratumor heterogeneity. MYCN overexpression in two neuroblastoma cell lines with constitutively low MYCN expression induced changes in their telomere profile that were consistent with increased telomere dysfunction; this illustrates a functional relationship between MYCN and 3D telomere organization. This study demonstrates the ability to classify neuroblastomas based on the level of telomere dysfunction, which is a novel approach for this cancer. PMID:27567959

  10. Stress impacts telomere dynamics.

    PubMed

    Kotrschal, Alexander; Ilmonen, Petteri; Penn, Dustin J

    2007-04-22

    Telomeres are DNA-protein complexes at the ends of chromosomes that control genomic integrity but appear to become shorter with age and stress. To test whether stress causes telomere attrition, we exposed the offspring of wild-caught house mice (Mus musculus) to stressful conditions and examined the changes in telomere length over six months. We found that females exposed to males and reproductive stress (either with or without crowding) had significantly shorter telomeres than controls, and males exposed to crowding stress had shorter telomeres than males that were not crowded. Our results indicate that stress alters telomere dynamics, causing attrition and hindering restoration, and these effects are sex dependent. Telomeres may thus provide a biomarker for assessing an individual's cumulative exposure or ability to cope with stressful conditions. PMID:17264051

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

    PubMed

    Maeda, Junko; Yurkon, Charles R; Fujisawa, Hiroshi; Kaneko, Masami; Genet, Stefan C; Roybal, Erica J; Rota, Garrett W; Saffer, Ethan R; Rose, Barbara J; Hanneman, William H; Thamm, Douglas H; Kato, Takamitsu A

    2012-01-01

    Canine osteosarcoma (OSA) is known to present with highly variable and chaotic karyotypes, including hypodiploidy, hyperdiploidy, and increased numbers of metacentric chromosomes. The spectrum of genomic instabilities in canine OSA has significantly augmented the difficulty in clearly defining the biological and clinical significance of the observed cytogenetic abnormalities. In this study, eight canine OSA cell lines were used to investigate telomere fusions by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) using a peptide nucleotide acid probe. We characterized each cell line by classical cytogenetic studies and cellular phenotypes including telomere associated factors and then evaluated correlations from this data. All eight canine OSA cell lines displayed increased abnormal metacentric chromosomes and exhibited numerous telomere fusions and interstitial telomeric signals. Also, as evidence of unstable telomeres, colocalization of γ-H2AX and telomere signals in interphase cells was observed. Each cell line was characterized by a combination of data representing cellular doubling time, DNA content, chromosome number, metacentric chromosome frequency, telomere signal level, cellular radiosensitivity, and DNA-PKcs protein expression level. We have also studied primary cultures from 10 spontaneous canine OSAs. Based on the observation of telomere aberrations in those primary cell cultures, we are reasonably certain that our observations in cell lines are not an artifact of prolonged culture. A correlation between telomere fusions and the other characteristics analyzed in our study could not be identified. However, it is important to note that all of the canine OSA samples exhibiting telomere fusion utilized in our study were telomerase positive. Pending further research regarding telomerase negative canine OSA cell lines, our findings may suggest telomere fusions can potentially serve as a novel marker for canine OSA. PMID:22916246

  12. PML is required for telomere stability in non-neoplastic human cells.

    PubMed

    Marchesini, M; Matocci, R; Tasselli, L; Cambiaghi, V; Orleth, A; Furia, L; Marinelli, C; Lombardi, S; Sammarelli, G; Aversa, F; Minucci, S; Faretta, M; Pelicci, P G; Grignani, F

    2016-04-01

    Telomeres interact with numerous proteins, including components of the shelterin complex, whose alteration, similarly to proliferation-induced telomere shortening, initiates cellular senescence. In tumors, telomere length is maintained by Telomerase activity or by the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres mechanism, whose hallmark is the telomeric localization of the promyelocytic leukemia (PML) protein. Whether PML contributes to telomeres maintenance in normal cells is unknown. We show that in normal human fibroblasts the PML protein associates with few telomeres, preferentially when they are damaged. Proliferation-induced telomere attrition or their damage due to alteration of the shelterin complex enhances the telomeric localization of PML, which is increased in human T-lymphocytes derived from patients genetically deficient in telomerase. In normal fibroblasts, PML depletion induces telomere damage, nuclear and chromosomal abnormalities, and senescence. Expression of the leukemia protein PML/RARα in hematopoietic progenitors displaces PML from telomeres and induces telomere shortening in the bone marrow of pre-leukemic mice. Our work provides a novel view of the physiologic function of PML, which participates in telomeres surveillance in normal cells. Our data further imply that a diminished PML function may contribute to cell senescence, genomic instability, and tumorigenesis. PMID:26119943

  13. 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

  14. Short-term treatment with VEGF receptor inhibitors induces retinopathy of prematurity-like abnormal vascular growth in neonatal rats.

    PubMed

    Nakano, Ayuki; Nakahara, Tsutomu; Mori, Asami; Ushikubo, Hiroko; Sakamoto, Kenji; Ishii, Kunio

    2016-02-01

    Retinal arterial tortuosity and venous dilation are hallmarks of plus disease, which is a severe form of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). In this study, we examined whether short-term interruption of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signals leads to the formation of severe ROP-like abnormal retinal blood vessels. Neonatal rats were treated subcutaneously with the VEGF receptor (VEGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors, KRN633 (1, 5, or 10 mg/kg) or axitinib (10 mg/kg), on postnatal day (P) 7 and P8. The retinal vasculatures were examined on P9, P14, or P21 in retinal whole-mounts stained with an endothelial cell marker. Prevention of vascular growth and regression of some preformed capillaries were observed on P9 in retinas of rats treated with KRN633. However, on P14 and P21, density of capillaries, tortuosity index of arterioles, and diameter of veins significantly increased in KRN633-treated rats, compared to vehicle (0.5% methylcellulose)-treated animals. Similar observations were made with axitinib-treated rats. Expressions of VEGF and VEGFR-2 were enhanced on P14 in KRN633-treated rat retinas. The second round of KRN633 treatment on P11 and P12 completely blocked abnormal retinal vascular growth on P14, but thereafter induced ROP-like abnormal retinal blood vessels by P21. These results suggest that an interruption of normal retinal vascular development in neonatal rats as a result of short-term VEGFR inhibition causes severe ROP-like abnormal retinal vascular growth in a VEGF-dependent manner. Rats treated postnatally with VEGFR inhibitors could serve as an animal model for studying the mechanisms underlying the development of plus disease. PMID:26500193

  15. 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

  16. Telomeric RNAs are essential to maintain telomeres.

    PubMed

    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

  17. 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. PMID:26856307

  18. Plant telomeres and telomerases. A review.

    PubMed

    McKnight, T D; Fitzgerald, M S; Shippen, D E

    1997-11-01

    Barbara McClintock began investigating plant telomeres during the 1930s, but little additional work was done in this area until a telomeric DNA sequence was isolated and characterized from Arabidopsis thaliana in 1988. This sequence, a simple repeat of the heptanucleotide 5'-TTTAGGG-3', has been found in telomeres of almost all plants analyzed. Telomere length in plants, which can be a long as 75 kb or as short as 2 kb, is controlled by both genetic and developmental factors. The major mechanism for synthesis of telomeres is telomerase, a ribonucleoprotein with reverse transcriptase activity. Telomerase expression is highly regulated in both plants and animals. For example, there is little or no detectable expression of telomerase in most vegetative tissues of plants nor in most somatic tissues of animals. In contrast to animals, plants do not specify a germ line until late in development, but telomerase is reactivated during flowering, possibly to ensure that gametes and embryos arising from them inherit fully functional chromosomes. Telomerase is also highly expressed in plant tissue culture cells, as might be expected for cells with an unlimited capacity for proliferation. Despite recent progress in investigating plant telomeres and telomerase at the molecular level, there is still much more to learn, especially concerning the developmental control of telomerase activity. PMID:9467846

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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 (CUGexp) 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 CUGexp/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 CUGexp foci and corrected MBNL-sensitive alternative splicing defects with high efficacy and specificity. The all-LNAs had low impact on the cellular level of CUGexp-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. PMID:25753670

  20. 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…

  1. Telomere replication: poised but puzzling

    PubMed Central

    Sampathi, Shilpa; Chai, Weihang

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Faithful replication of chromosomes is essential for maintaining genome stability. Telomeres, the chromosomal termini, pose quite a challenge to replication machinery due to the complexity in their structures and sequences. Efficient and complete replication of chromosomes is critical to prevent aberrant telomeres as well as to avoid unnecessary loss of telomere DNA. Compelling evidence supports the emerging picture of synergistic actions between DNA replication proteins and telomere protective components in telomere synthesis. This review discusses the actions of various replication and telomere-specific binding proteins that ensure accurate telomere replication and their roles in telomere maintenance and protection. PMID:21122064

  2. 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

  3. 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. PMID:25952108

  4. Enforced telomere elongation increases the sensitivity of human tumour cells to ionizing radiation

    PubMed Central

    Fairlie, Jennifer; Harrington, Lea

    2015-01-01

    More than 85% of all human cancers possess the ability to maintain chromosome ends, or telomeres, by virtue of telomerase activity. Loss of functional telomeres is incompatible with survival, and telomerase inhibition has been established in several model systems to be a tractable target for cancer therapy. As human tumour cells typically maintain short equilibrium telomere lengths, we wondered if enforced telomere elongation would positively or negatively impact cell survival. We found that telomere elongation beyond a certain length significantly decreased cell clonogenic survival after gamma irradiation. Susceptibility to irradiation was dosage-dependent and increased at telomere lengths exceeding 17 kbp despite the fact that all chromosome ends retained telomeric DNA. These data suggest that an optimal telomere length may promote human cancer cell survival in the presence of genotoxic stress. PMID:25484304

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Biology of Telomeres: Importance in Etiology of Esophageal Cancer And As Therapeutic Target

    PubMed Central

    Pal, Jagannath; Gold, Jason S.; Munshi, Nikhil C.; Shammas, Masood A.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose of review The purpose of this review is to highlight the importance of telomeres, the mechanisms implicated in their maintenance, and their role in the etiology as well as the treatment of human esophageal cancer. We will also discuss the role of telomeres in the maintenance/preservation of genomic integrity, the consequences of telomere dysfunction, and the various factors that may affect telomere health in esophageal tissue predisposing it to oncogenesis. Recent findings There has been growing evidence that telomeres, which can be affected by various intrinsic and extrinsic factors, contribute to genomic instability, oncogenesis, as well as proliferation of cancer cells. Summary Telomeres are the protective DNA-protein complexes at chromosome ends. Telomeric DNA undergoes progressive shortening with age leading to cellular senescence and/or apoptosis. If senescence/apoptosis is prevented as a consequence of specific genomic changes, continued proliferation leads to very short (i.e. dysfunctional) telomeres that can potentially cause genomic instability thus increasing the risk for activation of telomere maintenance mechanisms and oncogenesis. Like many other cancers, esophageal cancer cells have short telomeres and elevated telomerase, the enzyme that maintains telomeres in most cancer cells. Homologous recombination, which is implicated in the alternate pathway of telomere elongation, is also elevated in Barrett’s-associated esophageal adenocarcinoma. Evidence from our laboratory indicates that both telomerase and homologous recombination contribute to telomere maintenance, DNA repair, and the ongoing survival of esophageal cancer cells. This indicates that telomere maintenance mechanisms may potentially be targeted to make esophageal cancer cells static. The rate at which telomeres in healthy cells shorten is determined by a number of intrinsic and extrinsic factors, including those associated with lifestyle. Avoidance of factors that may directly or

  8. 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

  9. Telomere Length and the Cancer-Atherosclerosis Trade-Off.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    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

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:19110212

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

    PubMed

    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; Savage, Sharon A

    2014-10-01

    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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Sugioka-Sugiyama, Rie; Sugiyama, Tomoyasu

    2011-03-18

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

  14. 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. PMID:25882681

  15. Computel: Computation of Mean Telomere Length from Whole-Genome Next-Generation Sequencing Data

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25923330

  16. Telomere length in inherited bone marrow failure syndromes.

    PubMed

    Alter, Blanche P; Giri, Neelam; Savage, Sharon A; Rosenberg, Philip S

    2015-01-01

    Telomeres are long DNA repeats and a protein complex at chromosome ends that are essential for genome integrity. Telomeres are very short in patients with dyskeratosis congenita due to germline mutations in telomere biology genes. We compared telomere length in patients with Fanconi anemia, Diamond-Blackfan anemia and Shwachman-Diamond syndrome with telomere length in dyskeratosis congenita. Telomere length was measured in six leukocyte subsets by automated multicolor flow fluorescence in situ hybridization, and age-adjusted using Z-scores (-2.326 = 1(st) percentile) were created. We examined individual data, and used canonical variate analysis for group comparisons and outlier detection. Most dyskeratosis congenita telomere lengths were below the 1(st) percentile, while only 2 Fanconi anemia and one each Diamond-Blackfan anemia and Shwachman-Diamond syndrome were that low. However, Fanconi anemia, Diamond-Blackfan anemia and Shwachman-Diamond syndrome clustered in the bottom half of the normal range. Canonical variate analysis separated dyskeratosis congenita widely from the other three syndromes by the first canonical variable (89.7% of the variance); the second variable (10.0%) separated Diamond-Blackfan anemia, Shwachman-Diamond syndrome, and Fanconi anemia from each other. Overall, unlike in dyskeratosis congenita, telomere lengths in patients with non-dyskeratosis congenita inherited bone marrow failure syndromes were usually in the normal range, albeit shorter than in unaffected individuals. Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: 00027274. PMID:25304614

  17. 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

  18. Telomere length in inherited bone marrow failure syndromes

    PubMed Central

    Alter, Blanche P.; Giri, Neelam; Savage, Sharon A.; Rosenberg, Philip S.

    2015-01-01

    Telomeres are long DNA repeats and a protein complex at chromosome ends that are essential for genome integrity. Telomeres are very short in patients with dyskeratosis congenita due to germline mutations in telomere biology genes. We compared telomere length in patients with Fanconi anemia, Diamond-Blackfan anemia and Shwachman-Diamond syndrome with telomere length in dyskeratosis congenita. Telomere length was measured in six leukocyte subsets by automated multicolor flow fluorescence in situ hybridization, and age-adjusted using Z-scores (−2.326 = 1st percentile) were created. We examined individual data, and used canonical variate analysis for group comparisons and outlier detection. Most dyskeratosis congenita telomere lengths were below the 1st percentile, while only 2 Fanconi anemia and one each Diamond-Blackfan anemia and Shwachman-Diamond syndrome were that low. However, Fanconi anemia, Diamond-Blackfan anemia and Shwachman-Diamond syndrome clustered in the bottom half of the normal range. Canonical variate analysis separated dyskeratosis congenita widely from the other three syndromes by the first canonical variable (89.7% of the variance); the second variable (10.0%) separated Diamond-Blackfan anemia, Shwachman-Diamond syndrome, and Fanconi anemia from each other. Overall, unlike in dyskeratosis congenita, telomere lengths in patients with non-dyskeratosis congenita inherited bone marrow failure syndromes were usually in the normal range, albeit shorter than in unaffected individuals. clinicaltrials.gov identifier: 00027274 PMID:25304614

  19. 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

  20. Bone marrow skeletal stem/progenitor cell defects in dyskeratosis congenita and telomere biology disorders.

    PubMed

    Balakumaran, Arun; Mishra, Prasun J; Pawelczyk, Edyta; Yoshizawa, Sayuri; Sworder, Brian J; Cherman, Natasha; Kuznetsov, Sergei A; Bianco, Paolo; Giri, Neelam; Savage, Sharon A; Merlino, Glenn; Dumitriu, Bogdan; Dunbar, Cynthia E; Young, Neal S; Alter, Blanche P; Robey, Pamela G

    2015-01-29

    Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is an inherited multisystem disorder, characterized by oral leukoplakia, nail dystrophy, and abnormal skin pigmentation, as well as high rates of bone marrow (BM) failure, solid tumors, and other medical problems such as osteopenia. DC and telomere biology disorders (collectively referred to as TBD here) are caused by germline mutations in telomere biology genes leading to very short telomeres and limited proliferative potential of hematopoietic stem cells. We found that skeletal stem cells (SSCs) within the BM stromal cell population (BMSCs, also known as BM-derived mesenchymal stem cells), may contribute to the hematologic phenotype. TBD-BMSCs exhibited reduced clonogenicity, spontaneous differentiation into adipocytes and fibrotic cells, and increased senescence in vitro. Upon in vivo transplantation into mice, TBD-BMSCs failed to form bone or support hematopoiesis, unlike normal BMSCs. TERC reduction (a TBD-associated gene) in normal BMSCs by small interfering TERC-RNA (siTERC-RNA) recapitulated the TBD-BMSC phenotype by reducing proliferation and secondary colony-forming efficiency, and by accelerating senescence in vitro. Microarray profiles of control and siTERC-BMSCs showed decreased hematopoietic factors at the messenger RNA level and decreased secretion of factors at the protein level. These findings are consistent with defects in SSCs/BMSCs contributing to BM failure in TBD. PMID:25499762

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

    PubMed Central

    Webb, Christopher J.; Zakian, Virginia A.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26305931

  2. 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. PMID:25491286

  3. TRF2 Controls Telomeric Nucleosome Organization in a Cell Cycle Phase-Dependent Manner

    PubMed Central

    Galati, Alessandra; Magdinier, Frédérique; Colasanti, Valentina; Bauwens, Serge; Pinte, Sébastien; Ricordy, Ruggero; Giraud-Panis, Marie-Josèphe; Pusch, Miriam Caroline; Savino, Maria

    2012-01-01

    Mammalian telomeres stabilize chromosome ends as a result of their assembly into a peculiar form of chromatin comprising a complex of non-histone proteins named shelterin. TRF2, one of the shelterin components, binds to the duplex part of telomeric DNA and is essential to fold the telomeric chromatin into a protective cap. Although most of the human telomeric DNA is organized into tightly spaced nucleosomes, their role in telomere protection and how they interplay with telomere-specific factors in telomere organization is still unclear. In this study we investigated whether TRF2 can regulate nucleosome assembly at telomeres. By means of chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and Micrococcal Nuclease (MNase) mapping assay, we found that the density of telomeric nucleosomes in human cells was inversely proportional to the dosage of TRF2 at telomeres. This effect was not observed in the G1 phase of the cell cycle but appeared coincident of late or post-replicative events. Moreover, we showed that TRF2 overexpression altered nucleosome spacing at telomeres increasing internucleosomal distance. By means of an in vitro nucleosome assembly system containing purified histones and remodeling factors, we reproduced the short nucleosome spacing found in telomeric chromatin. Importantly, when in vitro assembly was performed in the presence of purified TRF2, nucleosome spacing on a telomeric DNA template increased, in agreement with in vivo MNase mapping. Our results demonstrate that TRF2 negatively regulates the number of nucleosomes at human telomeres by a cell cycle-dependent mechanism that alters internucleosomal distance. These findings raise the intriguing possibility that telomere protection is mediated, at least in part, by the TRF2-dependent regulation of nucleosome organization. PMID:22536324

  4. Alternative lengthening of telomeres and loss of ATRX are frequent events in pleomorphic and dedifferentiated liposarcomas.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jen-Chieh; Jeng, Yung-Ming; Liau, Jau-Yu; Tsai, Jia-Huei; Hsu, Hung-Han; Yang, Ching-Yao

    2015-08-01

    Telomerase activation and alternative lengthening of telomeres are two major mechanisms of telomere length maintenance. Soft tissue sarcomas appear to use the alternative lengthening of telomeres more frequently. Loss of α-thalassemia/mental retardation syndrome X-linked (ATRX) or death domain-associated protein 6 (DAXX) expression has been implicated in the pathogenesis of alternative telomere lengthening in pancreatic endocrine neoplasm and glioma. The mechanism leading to the alternative lengthening of telomeres in liposarcoma remains unknown. Whereas alternative telomere lengthening was determined to be an indicator of poor prognosis in liposarcomas as a whole, its prognostic power has not been verified in any subtype of liposarcoma. In this study, we characterized the status of alternative telomere lengthening and expression of ATRX and DAXX in 111 liposarcomas (28 well-differentiated, 52 dedifferentiated, 20 myxoid or round cell, and 11 pleomorphic liposarcomas) by telomere fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, respectively. Alternative lengthening of telomere was observed in 0% (0/16) of well-differentiated, 30% (14/46) of dedifferentiated, 5% (1/19) of myxoid or round cell, and 80% (8/10) of pleomorphic liposarcomas. Eighteen (16%) and one (1%) tumors were negative for ATRX and DAXX immunostaining, respectively. Remarkably, all cases with loss of either ATRX or DAXX expression had alternative lengthening of telomeres, and 83% (19/23) of tumors that had alternative lengthening of telomeres showed loss of either protein. The correlation between loss of either ATRX or DAXX and alternative telomere lengthening was 100% in dedifferentiated liposarcoma. The presence of alternative telomere lengthening in dedifferentiated liposarcoma suggested poor overall survival (hazard ratio=1.954, P=0.077) and was the most significant indicator of short progression-free survival (hazard ratio=3.119, P=0.003). In conclusion, we found that ATRX loss was

  5. Characterization of telomeres and telomerase expression in Xiphophorus.

    PubMed

    Downs, Kevin P; Shen, Yingjia; Pasquali, Amanda; Beldorth, Ion; Savage, Markita; Gallier, Katelyn; Garcia, Tzintzuni; Booth, Rachell E; Walter, Ronald B

    2012-01-01

    Research investigating telomere lengths and telomerase expression in vertebrates has progressively become important due to the association of these two biological endpoints with cellular aging and cancer in humans. Studies that rely upon the traditional use of laboratory mice have been faced with limitations largely due to inbred mice possessing large telomeres and ubiquitous expression of telomerase. Recently, a number of small fish species have been shown to provide potentially informative models for examining the role of telomeres and telomerase within intact vertebrate animals. Xiphophorus fishes represent a new world live-bearing genus that has not previously been assessed for telomere length or telomerase expression. To add to the knowledge base of telomere and telomerase biology in vertebrates we assessed telomere length and telomerase expression among several species of Xiphophorus. The telomere lengths in several organs (gill, brain, eyes, testis, ovary and liver) in three species (Xiphophorus hellerii, Xiphophorus maculatus, Xiphophorus couchianus) and also in F(1) interspecies hybrids were approximately 2-6 kb. This size was consistent within the same organs of the same species, as well as between species and F(1) hybrids. Despite possessing relatively short telomere lengths compared to humans, the consistency of size among Xiphophorus species and organs may allow experimental detection of telomere shortening. The relative expression of telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) was determined by quantitative real-time PCR. Expression levels of TERT was measured in seven organs (ovary, testis, liver, gill, brain, heart, skin) from X. maculatus, X. hellerii and in control and ultraviolet light (UVB) exposed skin samples from X. maculatus, X. hellerii, and F(1) interspecies hybrids. TERT gene expression was significantly higher in ovary and testis, while all other organs showed low relative TERT expression. Detectable increases in TERT expression were found

  6. 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. PMID:26712234

  7. Telomere length and cardiovascular aging.

    PubMed

    Fyhrquist, Frej; Saijonmaa, Outi

    2012-06-01

    Telomeres are located at the end of chromosomes. They are composed of repetitive TTAGGG tandem repeats and associated proteins of crucial importance for telomere function. Telomeric DNA is shortened by each cell division until a critical length is achieved and the cell enters senescence and eventually apoptosis. Telomeres are therefore considered a 'biological clock' of the cell. Telomerase adds nucleotides to telomeric DNA thereby contributing to telomere maintenance, genomic stability, functions, and proliferative capacity of the cell. In certain rare forms of progeria, point mutations within the telomere lead to accelerated telomere attrition and premature aging. Endogenous factors causing telomere shortening are aging, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) shortening is inhibited by estrogen and endogenous antioxidants. Accelerated telomere attrition is associated with cardiovascular risk factors such as age, gender, obesity, smoking, sedentary life-style, excess alcohol intake, and even mental stress. Cardiovascular (CV) diseases and CV aging are usually but not invariably associated with shorter telomeres than in healthy subjects. LTL appears to be a biomarker of CV aging, reflecting the cumulative burden of endogenous and exogenous factors negatively affecting LTL. Whether accelerated telomere shortening is cause or consequence of CV aging and disease is not clear. PMID:22713142

  8. Telomere sister chromatid exchange in telomerase deficient murine cells

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Yisong; Giannone, Richard J; Liu, Yie

    2005-01-01

    We have recently demonstrated that several types of genomic rearrangements (i.e., telomere sister chromatid exchange (T-SCE), genomic-SCE, or end-to-end fusions) were more often detected in long-term cultured murine telomerase deficient embryonic stem (ES) cells than in freshly prepared murine splenocytes, even through they possessed similar frequencies of critically short telomeres. The high rate of genomic rearrangements in telomerase deficient ES cells, when compared to murine splenocytes, may reflect the cultured cells' gained ability to protect chromosome ends with eroded telomeres allowing them to escape 'end crisis'. However, the possibility that ES cells were more permissive to genomic rearrangements than other cell types or that differences in the microenvironment or genetic background of the animals might consequentially determine the rate of T-SCEs or other genomic rearrangements at critically short telomeres could not be ruled out.

  9. Impact of chemotherapy on telomere-length in sporadic and familial breast cancer patients

    PubMed Central

    Benitez-Buelga, C.; Sanchez-Barroso, L.; Gallardo, M.; Apellániz-Ruiz, María; Inglada-Pérez, L.; Yanowski, K.; Carrillo, J.; Garcia-Estevez, L.; Calvo, I.; Perona, R.; Urioste, M.; Osorio, A.; Blasco, MA.; Rodriguez-Antona, C.; Benitez, J.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Recently, we observed that telomeres of BRCA1/2 mutation carriers were shorter than those of controls or sporadic breast cancer patients, suggesting that mutations in these genes might be responsible for this event. Given the contradictory results reported in the literature, we tested whether other parameters, such as chemotherapy, could be modifying telomere-length. Methods We performed a cross-sectional study measuring leukocyte telomere-length of 266 sporadic breasts cancer patients treated with first-line chemotherapy, with a median follow up of 240 days. Additionally, we performed both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies in a series of 236 familial breast cancer patients that included affected and non-affected BRCA1/2 mutation carriers. We have measured in leukocytes from peripheral blood: The telomere-length, percentage of short telomeres (<3Kb), telomerase activity levels and the annual telomere shortening speed. Results In sporadic cases we found that chemotherapy exerts a transient telomere shortening effect (around 2 years) that varies depending on the drug combination. In familial cases, only patients receiving treatment were associated with telomere shortening but they recovered normal telomere-length after a period of two years. Conclusion Chemotherapy affects telomere-length and should be considered in the studies that correlate telomere-length with disease susceptibility. PMID:25528024

  10. Telomere Rapid Deletion Regulates Telomere Length in Arabidopsis thaliana▿

    PubMed Central

    Watson, J. Matthew; Shippen, Dorothy E.

    2007-01-01

    Telomere length is maintained in species-specific equilibrium primarily through a competition between telomerase-mediated elongation and the loss of terminal DNA through the end-replication problem. Recombinational activities are also capable of both lengthening and shortening telomeres. Here we demonstrate that elongated telomeres in Arabidopsis Ku70 mutants reach a new length set point after three generations. Restoration of wild-type Ku70 in these mutants leads to discrete telomere-shortening events consistent with telomere rapid deletion (TRD). These findings imply that the longer telomere length set point is achieved through competition between overactive telomerase and TRD. Surprisingly, in the absence of telomerase, a subset of elongated telomeres was further lengthened, suggesting that in this background a mechanism of telomerase-independent lengthening of telomeres operates. Unexpectedly, we also found that plants possessing wild-type-length telomeres exhibit TRD when telomerase is inactivated. TRD is stochastic, and all chromosome ends appear to be equally susceptible. The frequency of TRD decreases as telomeres shorten; telomeres less than 2 kb in length are rarely subject to TRD. We conclude that TRD functions as a potent force to regulate telomere length in Arabidopsis. PMID:17189431

  11. High-resolution telomere fluorescence in situ hybridization reveals intriguing anomalies in germ cell tumors.

    PubMed

    Shekhani, Mohammed Talha; Barber, John R; Bezerra, Stephania M; Heaphy, Christopher M; Gonzalez Roibon, Nilda Diana; Taheri, Diana; Reis, Leonardo O; Guner, Gunes; Joshu, Corinne E; Netto, George J; Meeker, Alan K

    2016-08-01

    Testicular germ cell tumor (TGCT) is the most common malignancy of young men. Most patients are completely cured, which distinguishes these from most other malignancies. Orchiectomy specimens (n=76) were evaluated using high-resolution (single-cell discriminative) telomere-specific fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with simultaneous Oct4 immunofluorescence to describe telomere length phenotype in TGCT neoplastic cells. For the first time, the TGCT precursor lesion, germ cell neoplasia in situ (GCNIS) is also evaluated in depth. The intensity of the signals from cancerous cells was compared to the same patient's reference cells-namely, healthy germ cells (defined as "medium" length) and interstitial/somatic cells (defined as "short" telomere length). We observed short telomeres in most GCNIS and pure seminomas (P=.006 and P=.0005, respectively). In contrast, nonseminomas displayed longer telomeres. Lesion-specific telomere lengths were documented in mixed tumor cases. Embryonal carcinoma (EC) demonstrated the longest telomeres. A fraction of EC displays the telomerase-independent alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) phenotype (24% of cases). Loss of ATRX or DAXX nuclear expression was strongly associated with ALT; however, nuclear expression of both proteins was retained in half of ALT-positive ECs. The particular distribution of telomere lengths among TGCT and GCNIS precursors implicate telomeres anomalies in pathogenesis. These results may advise management decisions as well. PMID:27085557

  12. Telomere Restriction Fragment (TRF) Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Mender, Ilgen; Shay, Jerry W.

    2016-01-01

    While telomerase is expressed in ~90% of primary human tumors, most somatic tissue cells except transiently proliferating stem-like cells do not have detectable telomerase activity (Shay and Wright, 1996; Shay and Wright, 2001). Telomeres progressively shorten with each cell division in normal cells, including proliferating stem-like cells, due to the end replication (lagging strand synthesis) problem and other causes such as oxidative damage, therefore all somatic cells have limited cell proliferation capacity (Hayflick limit) (Hayflick and Moorhead, 1961; Olovnikov, 1973). The progressive telomere shortening eventually leads to growth arrest in normal cells, which is known as replicative senescence (Shay et al., 1991). Once telomerase is activated in cancer cells, telomere length is stabilized by the addition of TTAGGG repeats to the end of chromosomes, thus enabling the limitless continuation of cell division (Shay and Wright, 1996; Shay and Wright, 2001). Therefore, the link between aging and cancer can be partially explained by telomere biology. There are many rapid and convenient methods to study telomere biology such as Telomere Restriction Fragment (TRF), Telomere Repeat Amplification Protocol (TRAP) (Mender and Shay, 2015b) and Telomere dysfunction Induced Foci (TIF) analysis (Mender and Shay, 2015a). In this protocol paper we describe Telomere Restriction Fragment (TRF) analysis to determine average telomeric length of cells. Telomeric length can be indirectly measured by a technique called Telomere Restriction Fragment analysis (TRF). This technique is a modified Southern blot, which measures the heterogeneous range of telomere lengths in a cell population using the length distribution of the terminal restriction fragments (Harley et al., 1990; Ouellette et al., 2000). This method can be used in eukaryotic cells. The description below focuses on the measurement of human cancer cells telomere length. The principle of this method relies on the lack of

  13. Telomeres in cancer and ageing

    PubMed Central

    Donate, Luis E.; Blasco, Maria A.

    2011-01-01

    Telomeres protect the chromosome ends from unscheduled DNA repair and degradation. Telomeres are heterochromatic domains composed of repetitive DNA (TTAGGG repeats) bound to an array of specialized proteins. The length of telomere repeats and the integrity of telomere-binding proteins are both important for telomere protection. Furthermore, telomere length and integrity are regulated by a number of epigenetic modifications, thus pointing to higher order control of telomere function. In this regard, we have recently discovered that telomeres are transcribed generating long, non-coding RNAs, which remain associated with the telomeric chromatin and are likely to have important roles in telomere regulation. In the past, we showed that telomere length and the catalytic component of telomerase, Tert, are critical determinants for the mobilization of stem cells. These effects of telomerase and telomere length on stem cell behaviour anticipate the premature ageing and cancer phenotypes of telomerase mutant mice. Recently, we have demonstrated the anti-ageing activity of telomerase by forcing telomerase expression in mice with augmented cancer resistance. Shelterin is the major protein complex bound to mammalian telomeres; however, its potential relevance for cancer and ageing remained unaddressed to date. To this end, we have generated mice conditionally deleted for the shelterin proteins TRF1, TPP1 and Rap1. The study of these mice demonstrates that telomere dysfunction, even if telomeres are of a normal length, is sufficient to produce premature tissue degeneration, acquisition of chromosomal aberrations and initiation of neoplastic lesions. These new mouse models, together with the telomerase-deficient mouse model, are valuable tools for understanding human pathologies produced by telomere dysfunction. PMID:21115533

  14. Telomeres, lifestyle, cancer, and aging

    PubMed Central

    Shammas, Masood A.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose of review There has been growing evidence that lifestyle factors may affect the health and lifespan of an individual by affecting telomere length. The purpose of this review was to highlight the importance of telomeres in human health and aging and to summarize possible lifestyle factors that may affect health and longevity by altering the rate of telomere shortening. Recent findings Recent studies indicate that telomere length, which can be affected by various lifestyle factors, can affect the pace of aging and onset of age-associated diseases. Summary Telomere length shortens with age. Progressive shortening of telomeres leads to senescence, apoptosis, or oncogenic transformation of somatic cells, affecting the health and lifespan of an individual. Shorter telomeres have been associated with increased incidence of diseases and poor survival. The rate of telomere shortening can be either increased or decreased by specific lifestyle factors. Better choice of diet and activities has great potential to reduce the rate of telomere shortening or at least prevent excessive telomere attrition, leading to delayed onset of age-associated diseases and increased lifespan. This review highlights the role of telomeres in aging and describes the lifestyle factors which may affect telomeres, human health, and aging. PMID:21102320

  15. 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…

  16. Telomerase Efficiently Elongates Highly Transcribing Telomeres in Human Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Arora, Rajika; Lorenzi, Luca E.; Azzalin, Claus M.

    2012-01-01

    RNA polymerase II transcribes the physical ends of linear eukaryotic chromosomes into a variety of long non-coding RNA molecules including telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA). Since TERRA discovery, advances have been made in the characterization of TERRA biogenesis and regulation; on the contrary its associated functions remain elusive. Most of the biological roles so far proposed for TERRA are indeed based on in vitro experiments carried out using short TERRA-like RNA oligonucleotides. In particular, it has been suggested that TERRA inhibits telomerase activity. We have exploited two alternative cellular systems to test whether TERRA and/or telomere transcription influence telomerase-mediated telomere elongation in human cancer cells. In cells lacking the two DNA methyltransferases DNMT1 and DNMT3b, TERRA transcription and steady-state levels are greatly increased while telomerase is able to elongate telomeres normally. Similarly, telomerase can efficiently elongate transgenic inducible telomeres whose transcription has been experimentally augmented. Our data challenge the current hypothesis that TERRA functions as a general inhibitor of telomerase and suggest that telomere length homeostasis is maintained independently of TERRA and telomere transcription. PMID:22558207

  17. Ageing and the telomere connection: An intimate relationship with inflammation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jingwen; Rane, Grishma; Dai, Xiaoyun; Shanmugam, Muthu K; Arfuso, Frank; Samy, Ramar Perumal; Lai, Mitchell Kim Peng; Kappei, Dennis; Kumar, Alan Prem; Sethi, Gautam

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres are the heterochromatic repeat regions at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, whose length is considered to be a determinant of biological ageing. Normal ageing itself is associated with telomere shortening. Here, critically short telomeres trigger senescence and eventually cell death. This shortening rate may be further increased by inflammation and oxidative stress and thus affect the ageing process. Apart from shortened or dysfunctional telomeres, cells undergoing senescence are also associated with hyperactivity of the transcription factor NF-κB and overexpression of inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α, IL-6, and IFN-γ in circulating macrophages. Interestingly, telomerase, a reverse transcriptase that elongates telomeres, is involved in modulating NF-κB activity. Furthermore, inflammation and oxidative stress are implicated as pre-disease mechanisms for chronic diseases of ageing such as neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. To date, inflammation and telomere shortening have mostly been studied individually in terms of ageing and the associated disease phenotype. However, the interdependent nature of the two demands a more synergistic approach in understanding the ageing process itself and for developing new therapeutic approaches. In this review, we aim to summarize the intricate association between the various inflammatory molecules and telomeres that together contribute to the ageing process and related diseases. PMID:26616852

  18. Formation of extrachromosomal circles from telomeric DNA in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Sarit; Méchali, Marcel

    2002-12-01

    Instability and plasticity of telomeric DNA, which includes extrachromosomal DNA, are usually correlated with the absence of telomerase and with abnormal growth of mammalian cells. Here, we show the formation of extrachromosomal circular DNA of telomeric repeats (tel-eccDNA) during the development of Xenopus laevis. Tel-eccDNA is double-stranded relaxed circles composed of the vertebrate consensus telomeric repeats [TTAGGG](n). Its size varies from <2 to >20 kb and it comprises up to 10% of the total cellular telomere content of the early embryo (pre-MBT stage). The amount of tel-eccDNA is reduced in later developmental stages and in adult tissues. Using a cell-free system derived from Xenopus egg extracts, we show that tel-eccDNA can be formed de novo from the telomere chromosomal tracts of sperm nuclei and naked DNA in a replication-independent manner. These results reveal an unusual plasticity of telomeric DNA during normal development of Xenopus. PMID:12446568

  19. Centrosome aberrations in human mammary epithelial cells driven by cooperative interactions between p16INK4a deficiency and telomere-dependent genotoxic stress

    PubMed Central

    Domínguez, Daniel; Feijoo, Purificación; Bernal, Aina; Ercilla, Amaia; Agell, Neus; Genescà, Anna; Tusell, Laura

    2015-01-01

    Virtually all human cancers display chromosome instability (CIN), a condition in which chromosomes are gained or lost at a high rate. CIN occurs early in cancer development where it may undermine the advance of the neoplastic disease. With the aim of establishing the mechanisms underlying CIN in cancer, we investigated possible links between telomere-dysfunction and centrosome defects, which were seen to coincide in early in breast carcinogenesis using human mammary epithelial cells (HMECs). In this study, we show that TP53 proficient vHMECs cells develop centrosome aberrations when telomere-dysfunction genotoxic stress is produced in the presence of a defective p16INK4a setting and in parallel with an activation of the DNA damage checkpoint response. These aberrations consist of the accumulation of centrosomes in polyploid vHMECs, plus centriole overduplication in both diploid and polyploid cells, thus reflecting that distinct mechanisms underlie the generation of centrosome aberrations in vHMECs. Transduction of vHMEC with hTERT, which rescued the telomere dysfunction phenotype and consequently reduced DNA damage checkpoint activation, led to a progressive reduction of centrosome aberrations with cell culture, both in diploid and in polyploid vHMECs. Radiation-induced DNA damage also raised centrosome aberrations in vHMEC-hTERT. Collectively, our results, using vHMECs define a model where p16INK4a deficiency along with short dysfunctional telomeres cooperatively engenders centrosome abnormalities before p53 function is compromised. PMID:26318587

  20. Telomere structure and telomerase in health and disease

    PubMed Central

    GOMEZ, DANIEL E.; ARMANDO, ROMINA G.; FARINA, HERNÁN G.; MENNA, PABLO LORENZANO; CERRUDO, CAROLINA S.; GHIRINGHELLI, P. DANIEL; ALONSO, DANIEL F.

    2012-01-01

    Telomerase is the enzyme responsible for maintenance of the length of telomeres by addition of guanine-rich repetitive sequences. Telomerase activity is exhibited in gametes and stem and tumor cells. In human somatic cells, proliferation potential is strictly limited and senescence follows approximately 50–70 cell divisions. In most tumor cells, on the contrary, replication potential is unlimited. The key role in this process of the system of the telomere length maintenance with involvement of telomerase is still poorly studied. Undoubtedly, DNA polymerase is not capable of completely copying DNA at the very ends of chromosomes; therefore, approximately 50 nucleotides are lost during each cell cycle, which results in gradual telomere length shortening. Critically short telomeres cause senescence, following crisis and cell death. However, in tumor cells the system of telomere length maintenance is activated. Much work has been done regarding the complex telomere/telomerase as a unique target, highly specific in cancer cells. Telomeres have additional proteins that regulate the binding of telomerase. Telomerase, also associates with a number of proteins forming the sheltering complex having a central role in telomerase activity. This review focuses on the structure and function of the telomere/telomerase complex and its altered behavior leading to disease, mainly cancer. Although telomerase therapeutics are not approved yet for clinical use, we can assume that based on the promising in vitro and in vivo results and successful clinical trials, it can be predicted that telomerase therapeutics will be utilized soon in the combat against malignancies and degenerative diseases. The active search for modulators is justified, because the telomere/telomerase system is an extremely promising target offering possibilities to decrease or increase the viability of the cell for therapeutic purposes. PMID:22941386

  1. Cytogenetic telomere and telomerase studies in lumbo-sacral chordoma

    SciTech Connect

    Schwartz, H.S.; Dahir, G.A.; Miller, L.K.

    1994-09-01

    Lumbo-sacral chordomas are rare skeletal sarcomas that originate from the remnant notochord. There are approximately 35 lumbo-sacral chordomas reported annually in the U.S.A. The understanding of this rare human cancer is limited to observations of its clinical behavior and embryonic link. We performed chromosome and molecular analyses from five surgically harvested chordomas in an effort to document genetic abnormalities and to further understand its tumor biology. Cytogenetically, four of five patients had entirely normal chromosomes. One patient had several abnormalities seen in one of 100 cells including a translocation with breakpoints at bands 5q13 and 7q22, loss of one X chromosome and an extra chromosome 14. There was no evidence of monosomy X or trisomy 14 seen with interphase in situ hybridization using biotin-labeled alpha satellite chromosome specific probes for chromosome 14/22 and X. Telomere integrity is required to protect termini from illegitimate recombination. Typically telomeric reduction occurs in senescent fibroblasts in vivo aging and several human solid tumors. A telomeric probe (TTAGGG){sub 50} was hybridized to genomic DNA isolated from chordoma cells and digested with Hinf I which allows the telomeric DNA to remain intact. The tumor DNA was paired with leukocyte DNA from age-matched controls and revealed telomere elongation in all four patients studied with molecular genetic techniques. Telomerase activity is required to maintain telomere integrity and is not present in normal somatic cells. It is determined by visualizing the sizes of the electrophoresis gel-separated radioactive telomeric fragments assembled during incubation of cytoplasmic extracts containing telomerase. Telomerase activity was detected when compared with HeLa cells, a positive control. In addition, no telomerase activity was detected from the chordoma patient`s fibroblasts.

  2. 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

  3. The role of telomeres and telomerase in hematologic malignancies and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Telomeres are specific nucleoprotein structures at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. Telomeres and telomere-associated proteins maintain genome stability by protecting the ends of chromosomes from fusion and degradation. In normal somatic cells, the length of the telomeres gradually becomes shortened with cell division. In tumor cells, the shortening of telomeres length is accelerated under the increased proliferation pressure. However, it will be maintained at an extremely short length as the result of activation of telomerase. Significantly shortened telomeres, activation of telomerase, and altered expression of telomere-associated proteins are common features of various hematologic malignancies and are related with progression or chemotherapy resistance in these diseases. In patients who have received hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), the telomere length and the telomerase activity of the engrafted donor cells have a significant influence on HSCT outcomes. Transplantation-related factors should be taken into consideration because of their impacts on telomere homeostasis. As activation of telomerase is widespread in tumor cells, it has been employed as a target point in the treatment of neoplastic hematologic disorders. In this review, the characteristics and roles of telomeres and telomerase both in hematologic malignancies and in HSCT will be summarized. The current status of telomerase-targeted therapies utilized in the treatment of hematologic malignancies will also be reviewed. PMID:25139287

  4. The role of telomeres and telomerase in hematologic malignancies and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Limengmeng; Xiao, Haowen; Zhang, Xing; Wang, Chong; Huang, He

    2014-01-01

    Telomeres are specific nucleoprotein structures at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. Telomeres and telomere-associated proteins maintain genome stability by protecting the ends of chromosomes from fusion and degradation. In normal somatic cells, the length of the telomeres gradually becomes shortened with cell division. In tumor cells, the shortening of telomeres length is accelerated under the increased proliferation pressure. However, it will be maintained at an extremely short length as the result of activation of telomerase. Significantly shortened telomeres, activation of telomerase, and altered expression of telomere-associated proteins are common features of various hematologic malignancies and are related with progression or chemotherapy resistance in these diseases. In patients who have received hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), the telomere length and the telomerase activity of the engrafted donor cells have a significant influence on HSCT outcomes. Transplantation-related factors should be taken into consideration because of their impacts on telomere homeostasis. As activation of telomerase is widespread in tumor cells, it has been employed as a target point in the treatment of neoplastic hematologic disorders. In this review, the characteristics and roles of telomeres and telomerase both in hematologic malignancies and in HSCT will be summarized. The current status of telomerase-targeted therapies utilized in the treatment of hematologic malignancies will also be reviewed. PMID:25139287

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

    PubMed

    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

  6. 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

  7. Telomeres and telomerase as therapeutic targets to prevent and treat age-related diseases

    PubMed Central

    Bär, Christian; Blasco, Maria A.

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres, the protective ends of linear chromosomes, shorten throughout an individual’s lifetime. Telomere shortening is a hallmark of molecular aging and is associated with premature appearance of diseases associated with aging. Here, we discuss the role of telomere shortening as a direct cause for aging and age-related diseases. In particular, we draw attention to the fact that telomere length influences longevity. Furthermore, we discuss intrinsic and environmental factors that can impact on human telomere erosion. Finally, we highlight recent advances in telomerase-based therapeutic strategies for the treatment of diseases associated with extremely short telomeres owing to mutations in telomerase, as well as age-related diseases, and ultimately aging itself. PMID:27081482

  8. Pathways connecting telomeres and p53 in senescence, apoptosis, and cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Artandi, Steven E. . E-mail: sartandi@stanford.edu; Attardi, Laura D. . E-mail: attardi@stanford.edu

    2005-06-10

    The ends of eukaryotic chromosomes are protected by specialized structures termed telomeres that serve in part to prevent the chromosome end from activating a DNA damage response. However, this important function for telomeres in chromosome end protection can be lost as telomeres shorten with cell division in culture or in self-renewing tissues with advancing age. Impaired telomere function leads to induction of a DNA damage response and activation of the tumor suppressor protein p53. p53 serves a critical role in enforcing both senescence and apoptotic responses to dysfunctional telomeres. Loss of p53 creates a permissive environment in which critically short telomeres are inappropriately joined to generate chromosomal end-to-end fusions. These fused chromosomes result in cycles of chromosome fusion-bridge-breakage, which can fuel cancer initiation, especially in epithelial tissues, by facilitating changes in gene copy number.

  9. Positive association of long telomeres with the invasive capacity of hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

    PubMed

    Ko, Eunkyong; Jung, Guhung

    2014-05-01

    Invasion, the representative feature of malignant tumors, leads to an increase in mortality. The malignant liver tumor - hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) - has an enhanced invasive capacity that results in increased patient mortality. Moreover, this enhanced invasive capacity is due to the up-regulation of invasion promoters such as zinc finger protein SNAI1 (Snail) and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), and the down-regulation of invasion suppressor molecules such as E-cadherin. Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT), which encodes the catalytic subunit of telomerase, is highly expressed in a variety of invasive cancers, including HCC. Telomerase activation induces telomere elongation, thereby leading to cell immortalization during malignant tumor progression. However, the relationship between telomere length and invasion is yet to be experimentally corroborated. In this paper, we revealed that invasive HCC cells passing through the Matrigel display significantly longer telomeres than non-invasive HCC cells. Moreover, we established a method that can distinguish and sort cells containing long telomeres and short telomeres. Using this system, we observed that the HCC cells containing long telomeres had a high-level expression of invasion-promoting genes and a low-level expression of invasion-suppressing E-cadherin. Furthermore, HCC cells containing long telomeres exhibited a higher invasive capacity than HCC cells containing short telomeres. Taken together, our findings suggest that long telomeres are positively associated with the invasive capacity of HCC cells and may be a potent target for malignant liver cancer treatment. PMID:24732358

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. Telomere length in Hepatitis C.

    PubMed

    Kitay-Cohen, Y; Goldberg-Bittman, L; Hadary, R; Fejgin, M D; Amiel, A

    2008-11-01

    Telomeres are nucleoprotein structures located at the termini of chromosomes that protect the chromosomes from fusion and degradation. Hepatocyte cell-cycle turnover may be a primary mechanism of telomere shortening in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, inducing fibrosis and cellular senescence. HCV infection has been recognized as potential cause of B-cell lymphoma and hepatocellular carcinoma. The present study sought to assess relative telomere length in leukocytes from patients with chronic HCV infection, patients after eradication of HCV infection (in remission), and healthy controls. A novel method of manual evaluation was applied. Leukocytes derived from 22 patients with chronic HCV infection and age- and sex-matched patients in remission and healthy control subjects were subjected to a fluorescence-in-situ protocol (DAKO) to determine telomere fluorescence intensity and number. The relative, manual, analysis of telomere length was validated against findings on applied spectral imaging (ASI) in a random sample of study and control subjects. Leukocytes from patients with chronic HCV infection had shorter telomeres than leukocytes from patients in remission and healthy controls. On statistical analysis, more cells with low signal intensity on telomere FISH had shorter telomeres whereas more cells with high signal intensity had longer telomeres. The findings were corroborated by the ASI telomere software. Telomere shortening in leukocytes from patients with active HCV infection is probably due to the lower overall telomere level rather than higher cell cycle turnover. Manual evaluation is an accurate and valid method of assessing relative telomere length between patients with chronic HCV infection and healthy subjects. PMID:18992639

  13. 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.

  14. Telomere-telomere interactions and candidate telomere binding protein(s) in mammalian sperm cells.

    PubMed

    Zalensky, A O; Tomilin, N V; Zalenskaya, I A; Teplitz, R L; Bradbury, E M

    1997-04-10

    We have used fluorescent in situ hybridization to localize telomeres within the nuclei of sperm from six mammals (human, rat, mouse, stallion, boar, and bull). In minimally swollen sperm of mouse and rat, most of the telomeres are clustered within a limited area in the posterior part of nuclei. In sperm of other species, telomeres associate into tetrameres and dimers. On swelling of sperm cells with heparin/dithiotriethol, telomere associations disperse, and hybridization signals become smaller in size and their numbers approach or correspond to the number of chromosome ends in a haploid genome. Quantitation of telomere loci indicates that dimeric associations are prominent features of mammalian sperm nuclear architecture. Higher order telomere-telomere interactions and organization develop during meiotic stages of human spermatogenesis. At this stage, telomeres also become associated with the nuclear membrane. In an attempt to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying telomere interactions in sperm, we have identified a novel protein activity that binds to the double-stranded telomeric repeat (TTAGGG)n. Sperm telomere binding protein(s) (STBP) was extracted from human and bull sperm by 0.5 M NaCl. STBP does not bind single-stranded telomeric DNA and is highly specific for single base substitutions in a duplex DNA sequence. Depending on the conditions of binding, we observed the formation of several nucleoprotein complexes. We have shown that there is a transition between complexes, which indicates that the slower migrating complex is a multimer of the higher mobility one. We propose that STBP participates in association between the telomere domains which were microscopically observed in mammalian spermatozoa. PMID:9141618

  15. Telomere Dynamics and Homeostasis in a Transmissible Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Ujvari, Beata; Pearse, Anne-Maree; Taylor, Robyn; Pyecroft, Stephen; Flanagan, Cassandra; Gombert, Sara; Papenfuss, Anthony T.; Madsen, Thomas; Belov, Katherine

    2012-01-01

    Background Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) is a unique clonal cancer that threatens the world's largest carnivorous marsupial, the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) with extinction. This transmissible cancer is passed between individual devils by cell implantation during social interactions. The tumour arose in a Schwann cell of a single devil over 15 years ago and since then has expanded clonally, without showing signs of replicative senescence; in stark contrast to a somatic cell that displays a finite capacity for replication, known as the “Hayflick limit”. Methodology/Principal Findings In the present study we investigate the role of telomere length, measured as Telomere Copy Number (TCN), and telomerase and shelterin gene expression, as well as telomerase activity in maintaining hyperproliferation of Devil Facial Tumour (DFT) cells. Our results show that DFT cells have short telomeres. DFTD TCN does not differ between geographic regions or between strains. However, TCN has increased over time. Unlimited cell proliferation is likely to have been achieved through the observed up-regulation of the catalytic subunit of telomerase (TERT) and concomitant activation of telomerase. Up-regulation of the central component of shelterin, the TRF1-intercating nuclear factor 2 (TINF2) provides DFT a mechanism for telomere length homeostasis. The higher expression of both TERT and TINF2 may also protect DFT cells from genomic instability and enhance tumour proliferation. Conclusions/Significance DFT cells appear to monitor and regulate the length of individual telomeres: i.e. shorter telomeres are elongated by up-regulation of telomerase-related genes; longer telomeres are protected from further elongation by members of the shelterin complex, which may explain the lack of spatial and strain variation in DFT telomere copy number. The observed longitudinal increase in gene expression in DFT tissue samples and telomerase activity in DFT cell lines might indicate a

  16. The association between telomere length and cancer risk in population studies

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Xun; Han, Wei; Xue, Wenjie; Zou, Yuxia; Xie, Cuiwei; Du, Jiangbo; Jin, Guangfu

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres are crucial in the maintenance of chromosome integrity and genomic stability. A series of epidemiological studies have examined the association between telomere length and the risk of cancers, but the findings remain conflicting. We performed literature review and meta-analysis to demonstrate the relationship between telomere length and cancer risk. A total of 23,379 cases and 68,792 controls from 51 publications with 62 population studies were included in this meta-analysis to assess the association between overall cancer or cancer-specific risk and telomere length. General association and dose-response relationship were evaluated based on two and three groups, respectively. The estimates of association were evaluated with odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals by the random-effects or fixed-effects model based on heterogeneity test. We observed a non-significant association between short telomeres and overall risk of cancer. Convincing evidence was observed for the association of short telomeres with an increased risk of gastrointestinal tumor and head and neck cancer. Significant dose-response associations were also observed for gastrointestinal tumor and head and neck cancer. Our findings indicate that telomeres may play diverse roles in different cancers, and short telomeres may be risk factors for the tumors of digestive system. PMID:26915412

  17. Shortened leukocyte telomere length in type 2 diabetes mellitus: genetic polymorphisms in mitochondrial uncoupling proteins and telomeric pathways.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yuling; Ning, Zhixin; Lee, Yvonne; Hambly, Brett D; McLachlan, Craig S

    2016-03-01

    Current debate in type 2 diabetes (T2DM) has focused on shortened leukocyte telomere length (LTL) as the result of a number of possible causes, including polymorphisms in mitochondrial uncoupling proteins (UCPs) leading to oxidative stress, telomere regulatory pathway gene polymorphisms, or as a direct result of associated cardiovascular complications inducing tissue organ inflammation and oxidative stress. There is evidence that a heritable shorter telomere trait is a risk factor for development of T2DM. This review discusses the contribution and balance of genetic regulation of UCPs and telomere pathways in the context of T2DM. We discuss genotypes that are well known to influence the shortening of LTL, in particular OBFC1 and telomerase genotypes such as TERC. Interestingly, the interaction between short telomeres and T2DM risk appears to involve mitochondrial dysfunction as an intermediate process. A hypothesis is presented that genetic heterogeneity within UCPs may directly affect oxidative stress that feeds back to influence the fine balance of telomere regulation, cell cycle regulation and diabetes risk and/or metabolic disease progression. PMID:26951191

  18. Chromosomal mapping of chicken mega-telomere arrays to GGA9, 16, 28 and W using a cytogenomic approach.

    PubMed

    Delany, M E; Gessaro, T M; Rodrigue, K L; Daniels, L M

    2007-01-01

    Four mega-telomere loci were mapped to chicken chromosomes 9, 16, 28, and the W sex chromosome by dual-color fluorescence in situ hybridization using a telomeric sequence probe and BAC clones previously assigned to chicken chromosomes. The in-common features of the mega-telomere chromosomes are that microchromosomes are involved rather than macrochromosomes; in three cases (9, 16, 28) acrocentrics are involved with the mega-telomeres mapping to the p arms. Three of the four chromosomes (9, 16, W) encode tandem repeats which in two cases (9 and 16) involve the ribosomal DNA arrays (the 5S and 18S-5.8S-28S gene repeats, respectively). All involved chromosomes have a typical-sized telomere on the opposite terminus. Intra- and interindividual variation for mega-telomere distribution are discussed in terms of karyotype abnormalities and the potential for mitotic instability of some telomeres. The diversity and distribution of telomere array quantity in the chicken genome should be useful in contributing to research related to telomere length regulation - how and by what mechanism genomes and individual chromosomes establish and maintain distinct sets of telomere array sizes, as well as for future studies related to stability of the chicken genome affecting development, growth, cellular lifespan and disease. An additional impact of this study includes the listing of BAC clones (26 autosomal and six W BACs tested) that were cytogenetically verified; this set of BACs provide a useful tool for future cytogenetic analyses of the microchromosomes. PMID:17675845

  19. Epigenetic maintenance of telomere identity in Drosophila: buckle up for the sperm ride.

    PubMed

    Dubruille, Raphaëlle; Loppin, Benjamin

    2011-04-01

    A critical function of telomeres is to prevent the ligation of chromosome ends by DNA repair enzymes. In most eukaryotes, telomeric DNA consists in large arrays of G-rich tandem repeats that are recognized by DNA binding capping proteins. Drosophila telomeres are unusual as they lack short tandem repeats. However, Drosophila capping proteins can bind chromosome extremities in a DNA sequence-independent manner. This epigenetic protection of fly telomeres has been essentially studied in somatic cells where capping proteins such as HOAP or HP1 are essential in preventing chromosome end-to-end fusions. HipHop and K81 are two recently identified paralogous capping proteins with complementary expression patterns. While HipHop is involved in telomere capping in somatic cells, K81 has specialized in the protection of telomeres in post-meiotic male germ cells. Remarkably, K81 is required for the stabilization of HOAP and HP1 at telomeres during the massive paternal chromatin remodeling that occurs during spermiogenesis and at fertilization. We thus propose that the maintenance of capping proteins at Drosophila sperm telomeres is crucial for the transmission of telomere identity to the diploid zygote. : PMID:21386659

  20. 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.

  1. Diet-related telomere shortening and chromosome stability

    PubMed Central

    Marcon, Francesca; Siniscalchi, Ester; Crebelli, Riccardo; Saieva, Calogero; Sera, Francesco; Fortini, Paola; Simonelli, Valeria; Palli, Domenico

    2012-01-01

    Recent evidences have highlighted an influence of micronutrients in the maintenance of telomere length (TL). In order to explore whether diet-related telomere shortening had any physiological relevance and was accompanied by significant damage in the genome, in the present study, TL was assessed by terminal restriction fragment (TRF) analysis in peripheral blood lymphocytes of 56 healthy subjects for which detailed information on dietary habits was available and data were compared \\with the incidence of nucleoplasmic bridges (NPBs), a marker of chromosomal instability related to telomere dysfunction visualised with the cytokinesis-blocked micronucleus assay. To increase the capability to detect even slight impairment of telomere function, the incidence of NPBs was also evaluated on cells exposed in vitro to ionising radiation. Care was taken to control for potential confounding factors that might influence TL, viz. age, hTERT genotype and smoking status. Data showed that higher consumption of vegetables was related with significantly higher mean TL (P = 0.013); in particular, the analysis of the association between micronutrients and mean TL highlighted a significant role of antioxidant intake, especially beta-carotene, on telomere maintenance (P = 0.004). However, the diet-related telomere shortening did not result in associated increased spontaneous or radiation-induced NPBs. The distribution of TRFs was also analysed and a slight prevalence of radiation-induced NPBs (P = 0.03) was observed in subjects with higher amount of very short TRFs (<2 kb). The relative incidence of very short TRFs was positively associate with ageing (P = 0.008) but unrelated to vegetables consumption and daily intake of micronutrients, suggesting that the degree of telomere erosion related with low dietary intake of antioxidants observed in this study was not so extensive to lead to chromosome instability. PMID:21857007

  2. Telomeric repeat silencing in germ cells is essential for early development in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Morgunova, Valeriya; Akulenko, Natalia; Radion, Elizaveta; Olovnikov, Ivan; Abramov, Yuri; Olenina, Ludmila V.; Shpiz, Sergey; Kopytova, Daria V.; Georgieva, Sofia G.; Kalmykova, Alla

    2015-01-01

    The germline-specific role of telomeres consists of chromosome end elongation and proper chromosome segregation during early developmental stages. Despite the crucial role of telomeres in germ cells, little is known about telomere biology in the germline. We analyzed telomere homeostasis in the Drosophila female germline and early embryos. A novel germline-specific function of deadenylase complex Ccr4-Not in the telomeric transcript surveillance mechanism is reported. Depletion of Ccr4-Not complex components causes strong derepression of the telomeric retroelement HeT-A in the germ cells, accompanied by elongation of the HeT-A poly(A) tail. Dysfunction of transcription factors Woc and Trf2, as well as RNA-binding protein Ars2, also results in the accumulation of excessively polyadenylated HeT-A transcripts in ovaries. Germline knockdowns of Ccr4-Not components, Woc, Trf2 and Ars2, lead to abnormal mitosis in early embryos, characterized by chromosome missegregation, centrosome dysfunction and spindle multipolarity. Moreover, the observed phenotype is accompanied by the accumulation of HeT-A transcripts around the centrosomes in early embryos, suggesting the putative relationship between overexpression of telomeric transcripts and mitotic defects. Our data demonstrate that Ccr4-Not, Woc, Trf2 and Ars2, components of different regulatory pathways, are required for telomere protection in the germline in order to guarantee normal development. PMID:26240377

  3. Differential impact of telomere dysfunction on initiation and progression of hepatocellular carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Farazi, Paraskevi A; Glickman, Jonathan; Jiang, Shan; Yu, Alice; Rudolph, Karl Lenhard; DePinho, Ronald A

    2003-08-15

    Telomere maintenance and telomerase reactivation are near universal features of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), yet the shorter telomeres and highly abnormal cytogenetic profiles of HCC suggest that telomere erosion and dysfunction may be operative during the formative stages of tumorigenesis. Previous studies have established that the cancer-enhancing or suppressing impact of telomere dysfunction is highly dependent on several parameters including cell type, tumor stage, and p53 status. Here, to understand better the pathogenetic role of telomere dysfunction in the initiation and progression in human HCC, we have used three mechanistically distinct liver cancer-prone model systems (urokinase plasminogen activator transgenic mice, carbon tetrachloride exposure, and diethylnistrosamine treatment) in the context of successive generations of telomerase-deficient mice null for the telomerase RNA component, mTERC. Across all of the HCC model systems, telomere dysfunction suppressed both the incidence and growth of HCC lesions, a trend that mirrored the level of intratumoral proliferative arrest and apoptosis. On the histological level, telomere dysfunction was associated with a significant increase in the number of early stage neoplastic lesions and a reciprocal decline in the occurrence of high-grade malignancies. These genetic data in the mouse indicate that telomere dysfunction exerts an opposing role in the initiation versus progression of HCC and provide a framework for understanding the intimate link among chronic liver disease, chromosomal instability, and increased HCC in humans. PMID:12941829

  4. Determinants of telomere attrition over 1 year in healthy older women: stress and health behaviors matter.

    PubMed

    Puterman, E; Lin, J; Krauss, J; Blackburn, E H; Epel, E S

    2015-04-01

    Telomere length, a reliable predictor of disease pathogenesis, can be affected by genetics, chronic stress and health behaviors. Cross-sectionally, highly stressed postmenopausal women have shorter telomeres, but only if they are inactive. However, no studies have prospectively examined telomere length change over a short period, and if rate of attrition is affected by naturalistic factors such as stress and engagement in healthy behaviors, including diet, exercise, and sleep. Here we followed healthy women over 1 year to test if major stressors that occurred over the year predicted telomere shortening, and whether engaging in healthy behaviors during this period mitigates this effect. In 239 postmenopausal, non-smoking, disease-free women, accumulation of major life stressors across a 1-year period predicted telomere attrition over the same period-for every major life stressor that occurred during the year, there was a significantly greater decline in telomere length over the year of 35 bp (P<0.05). Yet, these effects were moderated by health behaviors (interaction B=0.19, P=0.04). Women who maintained relatively higher levels of health behaviors (1 s.d. above the mean) appeared to be protected when exposed to stress. This finding has implications for understanding malleability of telomere length, as well as expectations for possible intervention effects. This is the first study to identify predictors of telomere length change over the short period of a year. PMID:25070535

  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. PMID:27018285

  6. Telomere function in colorectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Frías, Cristina; Morán, Alberto; de Juan, Carmen; Ortega, Paloma; Fernández-Marcelo, Tamara; Sánchez-Pernaute, Andrés; Torres, Antonio José; Díaz-Rubio, Eduardo; Benito, Manuel; Iniesta, Pilar

    2009-10-15

    Colorectal cancer is the third most common form of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the western world. Tumour cells acquire the hallmarks of cancer during the carcinogenic selection process. Cell immortality is one of the principal features acquired during this process which involves the stabilization of telomere length. It is achieved mainly, by telomerase activation. Thus, the discovery of telomeres and telomerase allowed an understanding of the mechanisms by which cells can become immortalized. Different studies have shown that tumour cells have shorter telomeres than nontumour cells and have detected telomerase activity in the majority of tumours. Survival studies have determined that telomere maintenance and telomerase activity are associated with poor prognosis. Taking into account all the results achieved by different groups, quantification and evaluation of telomerase activity and measurement of telomere length may be useful methods for additional biologic and prognostic staging of colorectal carcinoma. PMID:21160767

  7. ALT telomeres get together with nuclear receptors.

    PubMed

    Aeby, Eric; Lingner, Joachim

    2015-02-26

    Nuclear receptors bind chromosome ends in "alternative lengthening of telomeres" (ALT) cancer cells that maintain their ends by homologous recombination instead of telomerase. Marzec et al. now demonstrate that, in ALT cells, nuclear receptors not only trigger distal chromatin associations to mediate telomere-telomere recombination events, but also drive chromosome-internal targeted telomere insertions (TTI). PMID:25723159

  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. PMID:26463668

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. HnRNP A1 phosphorylated by VRK1 stimulates telomerase and its binding to telomeric DNA sequence

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Yoon Ha; Lim, Jong-Kwan; Jeong, Min-Woo; Kim, Kyong-Tai

    2012-01-01

    The telomere integrity is maintained via replication machinery, telomere associated proteins and telomerase. Many telomere associated proteins are regulated in a cell cycle-dependent manner. Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1 (hnRNP A1), a single-stranded oligonucleotide binding protein, is thought to play a pivotal role in telomere maintenance. Here, we identified hnRNP A1 as a novel substrate for vaccinia-related kinase 1 (VRK1), a cell cycle regulating kinase. Phosphorylation by VRK1 potentiates the binding of hnRNP A1 to telomeric ssDNA and telomerase RNA in vitro and enhances its function for telomerase reaction. VRK1 deficiency induces a shortening of telomeres with an abnormal telomere arrangement and activation of DNA-damage signaling in mouse male germ cells. Together, our data suggest that VRK1 is required for telomere maintenance via phosphorylation of hnRNP A1, which regulates proteins associated with the telomere and telomerase RNA. PMID:22740652

  12. The human telomere

    SciTech Connect

    Moyzis, R.K.

    1989-01-01

    An ultimate goal of human genetics is the generation of a complete physical and ''functional'' map of the human genome. Twenty-five percent of human DNA, however, consists of repetitive DNA sequences. These repetitive DNA sequences are thought to arise by many mechanisms, from direct sequence amplification by the unequal recombination of homologous DNA regions to the reverse flow of genetic information. A general outline of the chromosomal organization of these repetitive sequences will be discussed. Our working hypothesis is that certain classes of human repetitive DNA sequences ''encode'' the information necessary for defining long-range genomic structure. Evidence will be presented that the first goal of this research, the identification and cloning of the human telomere, has been achieved. A human repetitive DNA library was constructed from randomly sheared, reassociated, and oligo(G/center dot/C)-tailed DNA, a method that minimizes the potential loss of sequences devoid of a given restriction enzyme site. Sequences too large to clone efficiently in cosmid or /lambda/ vectors, such as centromeric repeats, or telomeric sequences with an end incompatible for cloning, should be present in this library. In order to isolate highly conserved repetitive DNA sequences, this library was screened with radiolabeled hamster Cot50 repetitive DNA. Two clones, containing tandem arrays of the sequence (TTAGGG), were isolated by this method. 30 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  13. Telomeric repeat-containing RNA/G-quadruplex-forming sequences cause genome-wide alteration of gene expression in human cancer cells in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Hirashima, Kyotaro; Seimiya, Hiroyuki

    2015-01-01

    Telomere erosion causes cell mortality, suggesting that longer telomeres enable more cell divisions. In telomerase-positive human cancer cells, however, telomeres are often kept shorter than those of surrounding normal tissues. Recently, we showed that cancer cell telomere elongation represses innate immune genes and promotes their differentiation in vivo. This implies that short telomeres contribute to cancer malignancy, but it is unclear how such genetic repression is caused by elongated telomeres. Here, we report that telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA) induces a genome-wide alteration of gene expression in telomere-elongated cancer cells. Using three different cell lines, we found that telomere elongation up-regulates TERRA signal and down-regulates innate immune genes such as STAT1, ISG15 and OAS3 in vivo. Ectopic TERRA oligonucleotides repressed these genes even in cells with short telomeres under three-dimensional culture conditions. This appeared to occur from the action of G-quadruplexes (G4) in TERRA, because control oligonucleotides had no effect and a nontelomeric G4-forming oligonucleotide phenocopied the TERRA oligonucleotide. Telomere elongation and G4-forming oligonucleotides showed similar gene expression signatures. Most of the commonly suppressed genes were involved in the innate immune system and were up-regulated in various cancers. We propose that TERRA G4 counteracts cancer malignancy by suppressing innate immune genes. PMID:25653161

  14. Rif1 and Exo1 regulate the genomic instability following telomere losses.

    PubMed

    Xue, Yuan; Marvin, Marcus E; Ivanova, Iglika G; Lydall, David; Louis, Edward J; Maringele, Laura

    2016-06-01

    Telomere attrition is linked to cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and aging. This is because telomere losses trigger further genomic modifications, culminating with loss of cell function and malignant transformation. However, factors regulating the transition from cells with short telomeres, to cells with profoundly altered genomes, are little understood. Here, we use budding yeast engineered to lack telomerase and other forms of telomere maintenance, to screen for such factors. We show that initially, different DNA damage checkpoint proteins act together with Exo1 and Mre11 nucleases, to inhibit proliferation of cells undergoing telomere attrition. However, this situation changes when survivors lacking telomeres emerge. Intriguingly, checkpoint pathways become tolerant to loss of telomeres in survivors, yet still alert to new DNA damage. We show that Rif1 is responsible for the checkpoint tolerance and proliferation of these survivors, and that is also important for proliferation of cells with a broken chromosome. In contrast, Exo1 drives extensive genomic modifications in survivors. Thus, the conserved proteins Rif1 and Exo1 are critical for survival and evolution of cells with lost telomeres. PMID:27004475

  15. Telomere shortening correlates with increasing aneuploidy of chromosome 8 in human hepatocellular carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Plentz, Ruben R; Schlegelberger, Brigitte; Flemming, Peer; Gebel, Michael; Kreipe, Hans; Manns, Michael P; Rudolph, K Lenhard; Wilkens, Ludwig

    2005-09-01

    Chromosomal instability (CIN) leads to an increase in aneuploidy and chromosomal aberrations in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Telomere shortening appears as one mechanism fostering the development of CIN. Whether telomere shortening correlates to specific genetic changes that characterize a certain type of cancer has yet to be established. In our recent study, we combined on a cellular level the analysis of hepatocellular telomere fluorescent intensity (TFI) and copy number of chromosome 8-one of the hallmark chromosomal alterations in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We investigated 15 cytological fine-needle biopsies of aneuploid HCC and 5 touch prints of cadaver livers without cancer. Hepatocyte-specific TFI and the measurement of centromere-specific probe for chromosome 8 were both performed by quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization (qFISH) or FISH. Combined analysis of both methods (coFISH) allowed measurement of telomere length and chromosome 8 copy number on a single cell level. We observed that telomere shortening correlates significantly with increasing copy number of chromosome 8 in HCC on the cellular level. Above the level of 5 copies of chromosome 8 per nucleus, no further shortening of telomeres was found, indicating that telomeres had reached a critically short length at this stage of aneuploidy. In conclusion, our study gives direct evidence that telomere shortening is linked to a specific genetic alteration characteristic for human HCC. PMID:16116624

  16. Parallel telomere shortening in multiple body tissues owing to malaria infection.

    PubMed

    Asghar, Muhammad; Palinauskas, Vaidas; Zaghdoudi-Allan, Nadège; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Mukhin, Andrey; Platonova, Elena; Färnert, Anna; Bensch, Staffan; Hasselquist, Dennis

    2016-08-17

    Several studies have shown associations between shorter telomere length in blood and weakened immune function, susceptibility to infections, and increased risk of morbidity and mortality. Recently, we have shown that malaria accelerates telomere attrition in blood cells and shortens lifespan in birds. However, the impact of infections on telomere attrition in different body tissues within an individual is unknown. Here, we tested whether malarial infection leads to parallel telomere shortening in blood and tissue samples from different organs. We experimentally infected siskins (Spinus spinus) with the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium ashfordi, and used real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to measure telomere length in control and experimentally infected siskins. We found that experimentally infected birds showed faster telomere attrition in blood over the course of infection compared with control individuals (repeatedly measured over 105 days post-infection (DPI)). Shorter telomeres were also found in the tissue of all six major organs investigated (liver, lungs, spleen, heart, kidney, and brain) in infected birds compared with controls at 105 DPI. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study showing that an infectious disease results in synchronous telomere shortening in the blood and tissue cells of internal organs within individuals, implying that the infection induces systemic stress. Our results have far-reaching implications for understanding how the short-term effects of an infection can translate into long-term costs, such as organ dysfunction, degenerative diseases, and ageing. PMID:27488651

  17. A 'telomere-associated secretory phenotype' cooperates with BCR-ABL to drive malignant proliferation of leukemic cells.

    PubMed

    Braig, M; Pällmann, N; Preukschas, M; Steinemann, D; Hofmann, W; Gompf, A; Streichert, T; Braunschweig, T; Copland, M; Rudolph, K L; Bokemeyer, C; Koschmieder, S; Schuppert, A; Balabanov, S; Brümmendorf, T H

    2014-10-01

    Telomere biology is frequently associated with disease evolution in human cancer and dysfunctional telomeres have been demonstrated to contribute to genetic instability. In BCR-ABL(+) chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), accelerated telomere shortening has been shown to correlate with leukemia progression, risk score and response to treatment. Here, we demonstrate that proliferation of murine CML-like bone marrow cells strongly depends on telomere maintenance. CML-like cells of telomerase knockout mice with critically short telomeres (CML-iG4) are growth retarded and proliferation is terminally stalled by a robust senescent cell cycle arrest. In sharp contrast, CML-like cells with pre-shortened, but not critically short telomere lengths (CML-G2) grew most rapidly and were found to express a specific 'telomere-associated secretory phenotype', comprising secretion of chemokines, interleukins and other growth factors, thereby potentiating oncogene-driven growth. Moreover, conditioned supernatant of CML-G2 cells markedly enhanced proliferation of CML-WT and pre-senescent CML-iG4 cells. Strikingly, a similar inflammatory mRNA expression pattern was found with disease progression from chronic phase to accelerated phase in CML patients. These findings demonstrate that telomere-induced senescence needs to be bypassed by leukemic cells in order to progress to blast crisis and provide a novel mechanism by which telomere shortening may contribute to disease evolution in CML. PMID:24603533

  18. Effect of short-term physical exercise on foetal heart rate and uterine activity in normal and abnormal pregnancies.

    PubMed

    Rauramo, I

    1987-01-01

    The response of a short-term submaximal bicycle ergometer test on foetal heart rate (FHR) and on uterine activity was studied in 61 pregnant women between pregnancy weeks 32 and 40. 28 of the women had uncomplicated pregnancies, 13 were hypertensive, 11 were diabetic, and 9 had intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy. After exercise, FHR declined in healthy subjects in pregnancy weeks past 35, whereas no significant change was found in such subjects before week 35 of pregnancy. Analysis of variance revealed a difference of FHR between subjects with umcomplicated and pre-eclamptic pregnancies in relation to time (p = 0.021). Exercise induced uterine contractions in hypertensive subjects. Foetal bradycardia was found in 2 healthy, in 2 pre-eclamptic, and in one cholestatic subject. In healthy pregnant women a non-reactive FHR with concomitant reduced FHR variability was found after exercise (P less than 0.01). The FHR variability of patients with pathologic pregnancies was less affected. These results suggest that, after a relatively strenuous short-term exercise, foetuses of mothers with uneventful pregnancies can be at risk of hypoxia in late pregnancy, but the clinical significance remains uncertain. PMID:3435001

  19. Shorter telomere length in peripheral blood leukocytes is associated with childhood autism

    PubMed Central

    Li, Zongchang; Tang, Jinsong; Li, Hong; Chen, Shan; He, Ying; Liao, Yanhui; Wei, Zhen; Wan, Guobin; Xiang, Xi; Xia, Kun; Chen, Xiaogang

    2014-01-01

    Telomeres are protective chromosomal structures that play a key role in preserving genomic stability. Epidemiologic studies have shown that the abnormal telomere length in leukocytes is associated with some mental disorders and age-related diseases. However, the association between leukocyte telomere length and autism has not been investigated. Here we investigated the possible association between relative telomere length (RTL) in peripheral blood leukocytes and childhood autism by using an established real-time polymerase chain reaction method. We observed significantly shorter RTL in patients with childhood autism than in controls (p = 0.006). Individuals with shorter RTL had a significantly increased presence of childhood autism compared with those who had long RTL. In patients, we found that family training interventions have a significant effect on telomere length (P = 0.012), but no correlations between RTL and clinical features (paternal age, maternal age, age of onset, illness of duration, CARS score and ABC score) were observed in this study. These results provided the first evidence that shorter leukocytes telomere length is significantly associated with childhood autism. The molecular mechanism underlying telomere length may be implicated in the development of autism. PMID:25399515

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Genetic Inactivation of ATRX Leads to a Decrease in the Amount of Telomeric Cohesin and Level of Telomere Transcription in Human Glioma Cells.

    PubMed

    Eid, Rita; Demattei, Marie-Véronique; Episkopou, Harikleia; Augé-Gouillou, Corinne; Decottignies, Anabelle; Grandin, Nathalie; Charbonneau, Michel

    2015-08-01

    Mutations in ATRX (alpha thalassemia/mental retardation syndrome X-linked), a chromatin-remodeling protein, are associated with the telomerase-independent ALT (alternative lengthening of telomeres) pathway of telomere maintenance in several types of cancer, including human gliomas. In telomerase-positive glioma cells, we found by immunofluorescence that ATRX localized not far from the chromosome ends but not exactly at the telomere termini. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) experiments confirmed a subtelomeric localization for ATRX, yet short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-mediated genetic inactivation of ATRX failed to trigger the ALT pathway. Cohesin has been recently shown to be part of telomeric chromatin. Here, using ChIP, we showed that genetic inactivation of ATRX provoked diminution in the amount of cohesin in subtelomeric regions of telomerase-positive glioma cells. Inactivation of ATRX also led to diminution in the amount of TERRAs, noncoding RNAs resulting from transcription of telomeric DNA, as well as to a decrease in RNA polymerase II (RNAP II) levels at the telomeres. Our data suggest that ATRX might establish functional interactions with cohesin on telomeric chromatin in order to control TERRA levels and that one or the other or both of these events might be relevant to the triggering of the ALT pathway in cancer cells that exhibit genetic inactivation of ATRX. PMID:26055325

  3. Telomeres and telomere dynamics: relevance to cancers of the gastrointestinal tract

    PubMed Central

    Basu, Nivedita; Skinner, Halcyon G.; Litzelman, Kristin; Vanderboom, Russell; Baichoo, Esha; Boardman, Lisa A.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Aberrations in telomere length and telomere maintenance contribute to cancer development. In this article, we review basic principles of telomere length in normal and tumor tissue and the presence of the two main telomere maintenance pathways as they pertain to GI tract cancer. Peripheral blood telomeres are shorter in patients with many types of GI tract cancers. Telomere length in tumor DNA also appears to shorten early in cancer development. Tumor telomere shortening is often accompanied by telomerase activation to protect genetically damaged DNA from normal cell senescence or apoptosis, allowing immortalized but damaged DNA to persist. Alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) is another mechanism used by cancer to maintain telomere length in cancer cells. Telomerase and ALT activators and inhibitors may become important chemopreventive or chemotherapeutic agents as our understanding of telomere biology, specific telomere related phenotypes, and its relationship to carcinogenesis increases. PMID:24161135

  4. SAMS, a Syndrome of Short Stature, Auditory-Canal Atresia, Mandibular Hypoplasia, and Skeletal Abnormalities Is a Unique Neurocristopathy Caused by Mutations in Goosecoid

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24290375

  5. The first familial case of inherited 2q37.3 interstitial deletion with isolated skeletal abnormalities including brachydactyly type E and short stature.

    PubMed

    Jean-Marçais, Nolwenn; Decamp, Matthieu; Gérard, Marion; Ribault, Virginie; Andrieux, Joris; Kottler, Marie-Laure; Plessis, Ghislaine

    2015-01-01

    Albright hereditary osteodystrophy (AHO)-like syndrome is also known as brachydactyly-mental retardation syndrome (BDMR; OMIM 60040). This disorder includes intellectual disability in all patients, skeletal abnormalities, including brachydactyly E (BDE) in approximately half, obesity, and facial dysmorphism. Patients with 2q37 microdeletion or HDAC4 mutation are defined as having an AHO-like phenotype with normal stimulatory G (Gs) function. HDAC4 is involved in neurological, cardiac, and skeletal function. This paper reports the first familial case of 2q37.3 interstitial deletion affecting two genes, HDAC4 and TWIST2. Patients presented with BDE and short stature without intellectual disability, showing that haploinsufficiency of the HDAC4 critical region may lead to a spectrum of phenotypes, ranging from isolated brachydactyly type E to BDMR. PMID:25402011

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. How do telomeres and NHEJ coexist?

    PubMed Central

    Marcand, Stéphane

    2014-01-01

    The telomeres of eukaryotes are stable open double-strand ends that coexist with nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ), the repair pathway that directly ligates DNA ends generated by double-strand breaks. Since a single end-joining event between 2 telomeres generates a circular chromosome or an unstable dicentric chromosome, NHEJ must be prevented from acting on telomeres. Multiple mechanisms mediated by telomere factors act in synergy to achieve this inhibition. PMID:27308342

  9. Telomere Length Affects the Frequency and Mechanism of Antigenic Variation in Trypanosoma brucei

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:22952449

  10. Transcription regulates telomere dynamics in human cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Arora, Rajika; Brun, Catherine M.; Azzalin, Claus M.

    2012-01-01

    Telomeres are nucleoprotein structures capping the physical ends of linear eukaryotic chromosomes. Although largely heterochromatic, telomeres are transcribed into telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA) molecules by RNA polymerase II. The functions associated with telomere transcription and TERRA remain ill defined. Here we show that the transcriptional activity of human telomeres directly regulates their movement during interphase. We find that chemical inhibition of global transcription dampens telomere motion, while global stimulation promotes it. Likewise, when DNA methyltransferase enzymes are deleted to augment telomere transcription, we observe increased telomere movement. Finally, using a cell line engineered with a unique transcriptionally inducible telomere, we show that transcription of one specific telomere stimulates only its own dynamics without overtly affecting its stability or its length. We reveal a new and unforeseen function for telomere transcription as a regulator of telomere motion, and speculate on the intriguing possibility that transcription-dependent telomere motion sustains the maintenance of functional and dysfunctional telomeres. PMID:22357912

  11. Characterization of the Yeast Telomere Nucleoprotein Core

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Tanya L.; Levy, Daniel L.; Maki-Yonekura, Saori; Yonekura, Koji; Blackburn, Elizabeth H.

    2010-01-01

    At the core of Saccharomyces cerevisiae telomeres is an array of tandem telomeric DNA repeats bound site-specifically by multiple Rap1 molecules. There, Rap1 orchestrates the binding of additional telomere-associated proteins and negatively regulates both telomere fusion and length homeostasis. Using electron microscopy, viscosity, and light scattering measurements, we show that purified Rap1 is a monomer in solution that adopts a ringlike or C shape with a central cavity. Rap1 could orchestrate telomere function by binding multiple telomere array sites through either cooperative or independent mechanisms. To determine the mechanism, we analyze the distribution of Rap1 monomers on defined telomeric DNA arrays. This analysis clearly indicates that Rap1 binds independently to each nonoverlapping site in an array, regardless of the spacing between sites, the total number of sites, the affinity of the sites for Rap1, and over a large concentration range. Previous experiments have not clearly separated the effects of affinity from repeat spacing on telomere function. We clarify these results by testing in vivo the function of defined telomere arrays containing the same Rap1 binding site separated by spacings that were previously defined as low or high activity. We find that Rap1 binding affinity in vitro correlates with the ability of telomeric repeat arrays to regulate telomere length in vivo. We suggest that Rap1 binding to multiple sites in a telomere array does not, by itself, promote formation of a more energetically stabile complex. PMID:20826803

  12. Tel1 and Rad51 are involved in the maintenance of telomeres with capping deficiency

    PubMed Central

    Di Domenico, Enea Gino; Mattarocci, Stefano; Cimino-Reale, Graziella; Parisi, Paola; Cifani, Noemi; D’Ambrosio, Ettore; Zakian, Virginia A.; Ascenzioni, Fiorentina

    2013-01-01

    Vertebrate-like T2AG3 telomeres in tlc1-h yeast consist of short double-stranded regions and long single-stranded overhang (G-tails) and, although based on Tbf1-capping activity, they are capping deficient. Consistent with this idea, we observe Y’ amplification because of homologous recombination, even in the presence of an active telomerase. In these cells, Y’ amplification occurs by different pathways: in Tel1+ tlc1h cells, it is Rad51-dependent, whereas in the absence of Tel1, it depends on Rad50. Generation of telomeric G-tail, which is cell cycle regulated, depends on the MRX (Mre11-Rad50-Xrs2) complex in tlc1h cells or is MRX-independent in tlc1h tel1Δ mutants. Unexpectedly, we observe telomere elongation in tlc1h lacking Rad51 that seems to act as a telomerase competitor for binding to telomeric G-tails. Overall, our results show that Tel1 and Rad51 have multiple roles in the maintenance of vertebrate-like telomeres in yeast, supporting the idea that they may participate to evolutionary conserved telomere protection mechanism/s acting at uncapped telomeres. PMID:23677619

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    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

  15. Inhibition of Telomere Recombination by Inactivation of KEOPS Subunit Cgi121 Promotes Cell Longevity

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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 yku80tel 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. PMID:25822194

  16. Chronic Exercise Modifies Age-Related Telomere Dynamics in a Tissue-Specific Fashion

    PubMed Central

    Ludlow, Andrew T.; Witkowski, Sarah; Marshall, Mallory R.; Wang, Jenny; Lima, Laila C. J.; Guth, Lisa M.; Spangenburg, Espen E.

    2012-01-01

    We evaluated the impact of long-term exercise on telomere dynamics in wild-derived short telomere mice (CAST/Ei) over 1 year. We observed significant telomere shortening in liver and cardiac tissues in sedentary 1-year-old mice compared with young (8 weeks) baseline mice that were attenuated in exercised 1-year-old animals. In contrast, skeletal muscle exhibited significant telomere shortening in exercise mice compared with sedentary and young mice. Telomerase enzyme activity was increased in skeletal muscle of exercise compared with sedentary animals but was similar in cardiac and liver tissues. We observed significant age-related decreases in expression of telomere-related genes that were attenuated by exercise in cardiac and skeletal muscle but not liver. Protein content of TRF1 was significantly increased in plantaris muscle with age. In summary, long-term exercise altered telomere dynamics, slowing age-related decreases in telomere length in cardiac and liver tissue but contributing to shortening in exercised skeletal muscle. PMID:22389464

  17. Spermatozoa telomeres determine telomere length in early embryos and offspring.

    PubMed

    de Frutos, C; López-Cardona, A P; Fonseca Balvís, N; Laguna-Barraza, R; Rizos, D; Gutierrez-Adán, A; Bermejo-Álvarez, P

    2016-01-01

    Offspring telomere length (TL) has been correlated with paternal TL, but the mechanism for this parent of origin-specific inheritance remains unclear. The objective of this study has been to determine the role of spermatozoa TL in embryonic telomere lengthening by using two mouse models showing dimorphism in their spermatozoa TL: Mus musculus vs Mus spretus and old vs young Mus musculus. Mus spretus spermatozoa displayed a shorter TL than Mus musculus. Hybrid offspring exhibited lower TL compared with Mus musculus starting at the two-cell stage, before the onset of telomerase expression. To analyze the role of spermatozoa telomeres in early telomere lengthening, we compared the TL in oocytes, zygotes, two-cell embryos and blastocysts produced by parthenogenesis or by fertilization with Mus musculus or Mus spretus spermatozoa. TL was significantly higher in spermatozoa compared with oocytes, and it increased significantly from the oocyte to the zygote stage in those embryos fertilized with Mus musculus spermatozoa, but not in those fertilized with Mus spretus spermatozoa or produced by parthenogenesis. A further increase was noted from the zygote to the two-cell stage in fertilized Mus musculus embryos, whereas hybrid embryos maintained the oocyte TL. Spermatozoa TL shortened with age in Mus musculus and the offspring from young males showed a significantly higher TL compared with that fathered by old males. These significant differences were already noticeable at the two-cell stage. These results suggest that spermatozoa telomeres act as a guide for telomerase-independent telomere lengthening resulting in differences in TL that persist after birth. PMID:26475708

  18. Expression profile of telomere-associated genes in multiple myeloma

    PubMed Central

    de la Guardia, Rafael Díaz; Catalina, Purificación; Panero, Julieta; Elosua, Carolina; Pulgarin, Andrés; López, María Belén; Ayllón, Verónica; Ligero, Gertrudis; Slavutsky, Irma; Leone, Paola E

    2012-01-01

    To further contribute to the understanding of multiple myeloma, we have focused our research interests on the mechanisms by which tumour plasma cells have a higher survival rate than normal plasma cells. In this article, we study the expression profile of genes involved in the regulation and protection of telomere length, telomerase activity and apoptosis in samples from patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, smouldering multiple myeloma, multiple myeloma (MM) and plasma cell leukaemia (PCL), as well as several human myeloma cell lines (HMCLs). Using conventional cytogenetic and fluorescence in situ hybridization studies, we identified a high number of telomeric associations (TAs). Moreover, telomere length measurements by terminal restriction fragment (TRF) assay showed a shorter mean TRF peak value, with a consistent correlation with the number of TAs. Using gene expression arrays and quantitative PCR we identified the hTERT gene together with 16 other genes directly involved in telomere length maintenance: HSPA9, KRAS, RB1, members of the Small nucleolar ribonucleoproteins family, A/B subfamily of ubiquitously expressed heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins, and 14-3-3 family. The expression levels of these genes were even higher than those in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which have unlimited proliferation capacity. In conclusion, the gene signature suggests that MM tumour cells are able to maintain stable short telomere lengths without exceeding the short critical length, allowing cell divisions to continue. We propose that this could be a mechanism contributing to MM tumour cells expansion in the bone marrow (BM). PMID:22947336

  19. 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 Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21047530

  20. Effect of telomere length on survival in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: an observational study with independent validation

    PubMed Central

    Stuart, Bridget D.; Lee, Joyce S.; Kozlitina, Julia; Noth, Imre; Devine, Megan S.; Glazer, Craig S.; Torres, Fernando; Kaza, Vaidehi; Girod, Carlos E.; Jones, Kirk D.; Elicker, Brett M.; Ma, Shwu-Fan; Vij, Rekha; Collard, Harold R.; Wolters, Paul J.; Garcia, Christine Kim

    2014-01-01

    Background Short telomere lengths are found in a subset of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) patients, but their clinical significance is unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate whether patients with various blood leukocyte telomere lengths had different overall survival. Methods Telomere lengths were measured in 370 genomic DNA samples isolated from peripheral blood collected from patients with interstitial lung disease (149 with IPF) at the time of their initial evaluation. Associations of telomere length with transplant-free survival were determined. Findings were validated in two independent IPF cohorts. Findings Patients with IPF had shorter telomere lengths than controls, but similar telomere lengths when compared to patients with other interstitial lung disease diagnoses after adjusting for age, male sex and ethnicity. Telomere length was independently associated with transplant-free survival time for patients with IPF (HR 0·22 [0·08–0·63], P-value = 0·0048), but not for patients with interstitial lung disease diagnoses other than IPF (HR 0·73 [0·16–3·41], P-value = 0·69). The association between telomere length and IPF survival was independent of age, male sex, forced vital capacity or diffusing capacity of carbon monoxide (and was replicated in two independent IPF cohorts (HR 0·11 [0·03–0·39], P-value 0·00066; HR 0·25 [0·07–0·87], P-value = 0·029). Addition of telomere length to clinical prediction models improved the integrative discrimination index, especially for IPF cohorts with milder disease. Interpretation These findings suggest that shorter leukocyte telomere lengths are associated with worse survival in IPF. Additional studies will be needed to determine clinically relevant thresholds for telomere length and how this biomarker may influence future risk stratification of IPF patients. Furthermore, this study offers mechanistic insight as disease progression in certain IPF patients may be related to aberrant

  1. Shortened telomere length in white matter oligodendrocytes in major depression: potential role of oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Szebeni, Attila; Szebeni, Katalin; DiPeri, Timothy; Chandley, Michelle J; Crawford, Jessica D; Stockmeier, Craig A; Ordway, Gregory A

    2014-10-01

    Telomere shortening is observed in peripheral mononuclear cells from patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Whether this finding and its biological causes impact the health of the brain in MDD is unknown. Brain cells have differing vulnerabilities to biological mechanisms known to play a role in accelerating telomere shortening. Here, two glia cell populations (oligodendrocytes and astrocytes) known to have different vulnerabilities to a key mediator of telomere shortening, oxidative stress, were studied. The two cell populations were separately collected by laser capture micro-dissection of two white matter regions shown previously to demonstrate pathology in MDD patients. Cells were collected from brain donors with MDD at the time of death and age-matched psychiatrically normal control donors (N = 12 donor pairs). Relative telomere lengths in white matter oligodendrocytes, but not astrocytes, from both brain regions were significantly shorter for MDD donors as compared to matched control donors. Gene expression levels of telomerase reverse transcriptase were significantly lower in white matter oligodendrocytes from MDD as compared to control donors. Likewise, the gene expression of oxidative defence enzymes superoxide dismutases (SOD1 and SOD2), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX1) were significantly lower in oligodendrocytes from MDD as compared to control donors. No such gene expression changes were observed in astrocytes from MDD donors. These findings suggest that attenuated oxidative stress defence and deficient telomerase contribute to telomere shortening in oligodendrocytes in MDD, and suggest an aetiological link between telomere shortening and white matter abnormalities previously described in MDD. PMID:24967945

  2. Antioxidants safeguard telomeres in bold chicks

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Sin-Yeon; Velando, Alberto

    2015-01-01

    Telomeres are sensitive to damage induced by oxidative stress, and thus it is expected that dietary antioxidants may support the maintenance of telomere length in animals, particularly those with a fast rate of life (e.g. fast metabolism, activity and growth). We tested experimentally the effect of antioxidant supplements on telomere length during early development in wild gull chicks with natural individual variations in behaviour pattern and growth rate. Proactive chicks had shorter telomeres than reactive chicks, but the penalty for the bold behaviour pattern was reduced by antioxidant supplementation. Chicks growing faster had longer telomeres during early growth, suggesting that inherited quality supports a fast life history. PMID:25948570

  3. Antioxidants safeguard telomeres in bold chicks.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sin-Yeon; Velando, Alberto

    2015-05-01

    Telomeres are sensitive to damage induced by oxidative stress, and thus it is expected that dietary antioxidants may support the maintenance of telomere length in animals, particularly those with a fast rate of life (e.g. fast metabolism, activity and growth). We tested experimentally the effect of antioxidant supplements on telomere length during early development in wild gull chicks with natural individual variations in behaviour pattern and growth rate. Proactive chicks had shorter telomeres than reactive chicks, but the penalty for the bold behaviour pattern was reduced by antioxidant supplementation. Chicks growing faster had longer telomeres during early growth, suggesting that inherited quality supports a fast life history. PMID:25948570

  4. Genetic Variations in Telomere Maintenance, with Implications on Tissue Renewal Capacity and Chronic Disease Pathologies

    PubMed Central

    Trudeau, M.A.

    2011-01-01

    Premature loss of telomere repeats underlies the pathologies of inherited bone marrow failure syndromes. Over the past decade, researchers have mapped genetic lesions responsible for the accelerated loss of telomere repeats. Haploinsufficiencies in the catalytic core components of the telomere maintenance enzyme telomerase, as well as genetic defects in telomerase holoenzyme components responsible for enzyme stability, have been linked to hematopoietic failure pathologies. Frequencies of these disease-associated alleles in human populations are low. Accordingly, the diseases themselves are rare. On the other hand, single nucleotide polymorphisms of telomerase enzyme components are found with much higher frequencies, with several non-synonymous SNP alleles observed in 2–4% of the general population. Importantly, recent advents of molecular diagnostic techniques have uncovered links between telomere length maintenance deficiencies and an increasing number of pathologies unrelated to the hematopoietic system. In these cases, short telomere length correlates to tissue renewal capacities and predicts clinical progression and disease severity. To the authors of this review, these new discoveries imply that even minor genetic defects in telomere maintenance can culminate in the premature failure of tissue compartments with high renewal rates. In this review, we discuss the biology and molecules of telomere maintenance, and the pathologies associated with an accelerated loss of telomeres, along with their etiologies. We also discuss single nucleotide polymorphisms of key telomerase components and their association with tissue renewal deficiency syndromes and other pathologies. We suggest that inter-individual variability in telomere maintenance capacity could play a significant role in chronic inflammatory diseases, and that this is not yet fully appreciated in the translational research of pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine. PMID:21258621

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

    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

  7. 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

  8. Shelterin Protects Chromosome Ends by Compacting Telomeric Chromatin.

    PubMed

    Bandaria, Jigar N; Qin, Peiwu; Berk, Veysel; Chu, Steven; Yildiz, Ahmet

    2016-02-11

    Telomeres, repetitive DNA sequences at chromosome ends, are shielded against the DNA damage response (DDR) by the shelterin complex. To understand how shelterin protects telomere ends, we investigated the structural organization of telomeric chromatin in human cells using super-resolution microscopy. We found that telomeres form compact globular structures through a complex network of interactions between shelterin subunits and telomeric DNA, but not by DNA methylation, histone deacetylation, or histone trimethylation at telomeres and subtelomeric regions. Mutations that abrogate shelterin assembly or removal of individual subunits from telomeres cause up to a 10-fold increase in telomere volume. Decompacted telomeres accumulate DDR signals and become more accessible to telomere-associated proteins. Recompaction of telomeric chromatin using an orthogonal method displaces DDR signals from telomeres. These results reveal the chromatin remodeling activity of shelterin and demonstrate that shelterin-mediated compaction of telomeric chromatin provides robust protection of chromosome ends against the DDR machinery. PMID:26871633

  9. 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. PMID:27173780

  10. Age-Related Declines and Disease-Associated Variation in Immune Cell Telomere Length in a Wild Mammal

    PubMed Central

    Beirne, Christopher; Delahay, Richard; Hares, Michelle; Young, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Immunosenescence, the deterioration of immune system capability with age, may play a key role in mediating age-related declines in whole-organism performance, but the mechanisms that underpin immunosenescence are poorly understood. Biomedical research on humans and laboratory models has documented age and disease related declines in the telomere lengths of leukocytes (‘immune cells’), stimulating interest their having a potentially general role in the emergence of immunosenescent phenotypes. However, it is unknown whether such observations generalise to the immune cell populations of wild vertebrates living under ecologically realistic conditions. Here we examine longitudinal changes in the mean telomere lengths of immune cells in wild European badgers (Meles meles). Our findings provide the first evidence of within-individual age-related declines in immune cell telomere lengths in a wild vertebrate. That the rate of age-related decline in telomere length appears to be steeper within individuals than at the overall population level raises the possibility that individuals with short immune cell telomeres and/or higher rates of immune cell telomere attrition may be selectively lost from this population. We also report evidence suggestive of associations between immune cell telomere length and bovine tuberculosis infection status, with individuals detected at the most advanced stage of infection tending to have shorter immune cell telomeres than disease positive individuals. While male European badgers are larger and show higher rates of annual mortality than females, we found no evidence of a sex difference in either mean telomere length or the average rate of within-individual telomere attrition with age. Our findings lend support to the view that age-related declines in the telomere lengths of immune cells may provide one potentially general mechanism underpinning age-related declines in immunocompetence in natural populations. PMID:25268841

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    Telomeres consist of GC-rich DNA repeats and the "shelterin" protein complex that together protect chromosome ends from fusion and degradation. Telomeres shorten with age due to incomplete end replication and upon exposure to environmental and intrinsic stressors. Exposure to ionizing radiation is known to modulate telomere length. However, the response of telomere length in humans chronically exposed to radiation is poorly understood. Here, we studied relative telomere length (RTL) by IQ-FISH to leukocyte nuclei in a group of 100 workers from the plutonium production facility at the Mayak Production Association (PA) who were chronically exposed to alpha-emitting ((239)Pu) radiation and/or gamma (photon) radiation, and 51 local residents serving as controls, with a similar mean age of about 80 years. We applied generalized linear statistical models adjusted for age at biosampling and the second exposure type on a linear scale and observed an age-dependent telomere length reduction. In those individuals with the lowest exposure, a significant reduction of about 20% RTL was observed, both for external gamma radiation (≤1 Gy) and internal alpha radiation (≤0.05-0.1 Gy to the red bone marrow). In highly exposed individuals (>0.1 Gy alpha, 1-1.5 Gy gamma), the RTL was similar to control. Stratification by gender revealed a significant (∼30%) telomere reduction in low-dose-exposed males, which was absent in females. While the gender differences in RTL may reflect different working conditions, lifestyle and/or telomere biology, absence of a dose response in the highly exposed individuals may reflect selection against cells with short telomeres or induction of telomere-protective effects. Our observations suggest that chronic systemic exposure to radiation leads to variable dose-dependent effects on telomere length. PMID:27340887

  12. 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. PMID:26596989

  13. Cooperative Hybridization of γPNA Miniprobes to a Repeating Sequence Motif and Application to Telomere Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Sureshkumar, Gopalsamy; Ly, Danith H.; Opresko, Patricia L.; Armitage, Bruce A.

    2014-01-01

    GammaPNA oligomers having one or two repeats of the sequence AATCCC were designed to hybridize to DNA having one or more repeats of the complementary TTAGGG sequence found in the human telomere. UV melting curves and surface plasmon resonance experiments demonstrate high affinity and cooperativity for hybridization of these miniprobes to DNA having multiple complementary repeats. Fluorescence spectroscopy for Cy3-labeled miniprobes demonstrate increases in fluorescence intensity for assembling multiple short probes on a DNA target compared with fewer longer probes. The fluorescent γPNA miniprobes were then used to stain telomeres in metaphase chromosomes derived from U2OS cells possessing heterogeneous long telomeres and Jurkat cells harboring homogenous short telomeres. The miniprobes yielded comparable fluorescence intensity to a commercially available PNA 18mer probe in U2OS cells, but significantly brighter fluorescence was observed for telomeres in Jurkat cells. These results suggest that γPNA miniprobes can be effective telomere-staining reagents with applications toward analysis of critically short telomeres, which have been implicated in a range of human diseases. PMID:25115693

  14. TRIP6 and LPP, but not Zyxin, are present at a subset of telomeres in human cells

    PubMed Central

    Sheppard, Samantha A; Savinova, Tatiana

    2011-01-01

    The protection of chromosome ends requires the inhibition of DNA damage responses at telomeres. This inhibition is exerted in great part by the shelterin complex, known to prevent inappropriate ATM and ATR activation. The molecular mechanisms by which shelterin protects telomeres are incompletely understood. Recently, we have implicated for the first time a class of molecules, LIM domain proteins, in telomere protection. This protection occurred through interaction with shelterin, possibly through POT1, and required the pair of LIM proteins TRIP6 and LPP, themselves part of the Zyxin family. The domain similarity between TRIP6, LPP and Zyxin led us to ask whether the latter also interacted with telomeres. Here, we show that there is specificity in the association of LIM proteins with telomeres: Zyxin, despite a high degree of similarity with TRIP6 and LPP, was not detected at telomeres, nor found in a complex with shelterin. TRIP6 and LPP, however, were detected by immunofluorescence at a small subset of telomeres, perhaps those that are critically short. We speculate that specific LIM proteins are part of complex events occurring in the context of the telomere dysfunction response and are possibly at play during the induction of senescence. PMID:21519191

  15. Replication of the results of genome-wide and candidate gene association studies on telomere length in a Korean population

    PubMed Central

    Do, Sook Kyung; Yoo, Seung Soo; Choi, Yi Young; Choi, Jin Eun; Jeon, Hyo-Sung; Lee, Won Kee; Lee, Shin Yup; Lee, Jaehee; Cha, Seung Ick; Kim, Chang Ho; Park, Jae Yong

    2015-01-01

    Background/Aims: A number of genome-wide and candidate gene association studies have identified polymorphisms associated with telomere length in Caucasian populations. This study was conducted to determine the impacts of 17 polymorphisms identified in Caucasians on telomere length in a Korean population. Methods: Ninety-four healthy individuals were enrolled in this study. Relative telomere length of chromosomes from peripheral blood samples was measured using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Results: Two polymorphisms, rs10936599 of MYNN and rs412658 of ZNF676, were found to be associated w ith telomere length (under dominant model, p = 0.04; under recessive model, p = 0.001). Three polymorphisms, rs2853669, rs7705526, and rs2736108, at the TERT locus were also associated with telomere length (under recessive model, p = 0.01, p = 0.02, and p = 0.01, respectively). The genotypes of the five polymorphisms associated with short telomere length were considered bad genotypes; telomere length was significantly decreased with increasing number of bad genotypes (p= 1.7 × 10–5). Conclusions: We have identified polymorphisms associated with telomere length in a Korean population. PMID:26354067

  16. 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

  17. Role of TERRA in the Regulation of Telomere Length

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Caiqin; Zhao, Li; Lu, Shiming

    2015-01-01

    Telomere dysfunction is closely associated with human diseases such as cancer and ageing. Inappropriate changes in telomere length and/or structure result in telomere dysfunction. Telomeres have been considered to be transcriptionally silent, but it was recently demonstrated that mammalian telomeres are transcribed into telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA). TERRA, a long non-coding RNA, participates in the regulation of telomere length, telomerase activity and heterochromatinization. The correct regulation of telomere length may be crucial to telomeric homeostasis and functions. Here, we summarize recent advances in our understanding of the crucial role of TERRA in the maintenance of telomere length, with focus on the variety of mechanisms by which TERRA is involved in the regulation of telomere length. This review aims to enable further understanding of how TERRA-targeted drugs can target telomere-related diseases. PMID:25678850

  18. Telomere shortening leads to an acceleration of synucleinopathy and impaired microglia response in a genetic mouse model.

    PubMed

    Scheffold, Annika; Holtman, Inge R; Dieni, Sandra; Brouwer, Nieske; Katz, Sarah-Fee; Jebaraj, Billy Michael Chelliah; Kahle, Philipp J; Hengerer, Bastian; Lechel, André; Stilgenbauer, Stephan; Boddeke, Erik W G M; Eggen, Bart J L; Rudolph, Karl-Lenhard; Biber, Knut

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson's disease is one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders of the elderly and ageing hence described to be a major risk factor. Telomere shortening as a result of the inability to fully replicate the ends of linear chromosomes is one of the hallmarks of ageing. The role of telomere dysfunction in neurological diseases and the ageing brain is not clarified and there is an ongoing discussion whether telomere shortening is linked to Parkinson's disease. Here we studied a mouse model of Parkinson's disease (Thy-1 [A30P] α-synuclein transgenic mouse model) in the background of telomere shortening (Terc knockout mouse model). α-synuclein transgenic mice with short telomeres (αSYN(tg/tg) G3Terc(-/-)) developed an accelerated disease with significantly decreased survival. This accelerated phenotype of mice with short telomeres was characterized by a declined motor performance and an increased formation of α-synuclein aggregates. Immunohistochemical analysis and mRNA expression studies revealed that the disease end-stage brain stem microglia showed an impaired response in αSYN(tg/tg) G3Terc(-/-) microglia animals. These results provide the first experimental data that telomere shortening accelerates α-synuclein pathology that is linked to limited microglia function in the brainstem. PMID:27550225

  19. Telomere shortening in enterocytes of patients with uncontrolled acute intestinal graft-versus-host disease.

    PubMed

    Hummel, Sebastian; Ventura Ferreira, Mónica S; Heudobler, Daniel; Huber, Elisabeth; Fahrenkamp, Dirk; Gremse, Felix; Schmid, Karin; Müller-Newen, Gerhard; Ziegler, Patrick; Jost, Edgar; Blasco, Maria A; Brümmendorf, Tim H; Holler, Ernst; Beier, Fabian

    2015-11-26

    Acute intestinal graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) refractory to immunosuppressive treatment is a serious complication after allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). The underlying mechanisms of refractory aGVHD of the gut are not fully understood. Although telomere length (TL) reflects the replicative history of a cell, critically short telomeres have been associated with replicative exhaustion and tissue failure. In this study, we demonstrate that enterocytes of patients with refractory intestinal aGVHD show significantly increased proliferation, which translates into significant and critical telomere attrition following HSCT as compared with unaffected patients undergoing HSCT. Calculated telomere loss in aGVHD patients is 190 bp/wk, thereby massively exceeding physiological steady-state TL shortening rates such as in lymphocytes (∼50 bp/y). Our data support the hypothesis that increased compensatory proliferation following continued tissue damage can result in massive telomere loss in enterocytes of aGVHD patients. The present study introduces aGVHD-triggered increased cellular turnover and telomere loss with subsequent replicative exhaustion as a mechanism for refractory gut GVHD that is compatible with the long-term clinical aspect of the disease and provides a basis for stem cell protective therapies in the treatment of aGVHD. PMID:26486788

  20. G-Quadruplex binding enantiomers show chiral selective interactions with human telomere

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jiasi; Chen, Yong; Ren, Jinsong; Zhao, Chuanqi; Qu, Xiaogang

    2014-01-01

    Chiral recognition of DNA molecules is important because DNA chiral transition and its different conformations are involved in a series of important life events. Among them, polymorphic human telomere DNA has attracted great interests in recent years because of its important roles in chromosome structural integrity. In this report, we examine the short-term effect of chiral metallo-supramolecular complex enantiomers treatment on tumor cells, and find that a zinc-finger-like alpha helical chiral metallo-supramolecular complex, [Ni2L3]4+-P enantiomer (NiP), can selectively provoke the rapid telomere uncapping, trigger DNA damage responses at telomere and degradation of G-overhang and the delocalization of telomeric protein from telomeres. Further studies indicate that NiP can induce an acute cellular apoptosis and senescence in cancer cells rather than normal cells. These results are further evidenced by the upregulation of p21 and p16 proteins. Moreover, NiP can cause translocation of hTERT from nuclear to cytoplasm through Tyr 707 phosphorylation. While its enantiomer, [Ni2L3]4+-M (NiM), has no such mentioned effects, these results clearly demonstrate the compound’s chiral selectivity in cancer cells. Our work will shed light on design of chiral anticancer drugs targeting G-quadruplex DNA, and developing telomere and telomerase modulation agents. PMID:24413564

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Quantitative proteomic analysis of human breast epithelial cells with differential telomere length

    SciTech Connect

    Yu, Li-Rong . E-mail: lyu@ncifcrf.gov; Chan, King C.; Tahara, Hidetoshi; Lucas, David A.; Chatterjee, Koushik; Issaq, Haleem J.; Veenstra, Timothy D. . E-mail: veenstra@ncifcrf.gov

    2007-05-18

    Telomeres play important functional roles in cell proliferation, cell cycle regulation, and genetic stability, in which telomere length is critical. In this study, quantitative proteome comparisons for the human breast epithelial cells with short and long telomeres (184-hTERT{sub L} vs. 184-hTERT{sub S} and 90P-hTERT{sub L} vs. 90P-hTERT{sub S}), resulting from transfection of the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) gene, were performed using cleavable isotope-coded affinity tags. More than 2000 proteins were quantified in each comparative experiment, with approximately 77% of the proteins identified in both analyses. In the cells with long telomeres, significant and consistent alterations were observed in metabolism (amino acid, nucleotide, and lipid metabolism), genetic information transmission (transcription and translation regulation, spliceosome and ribosome complexes), and cell signaling. Interestingly, the DNA excision repair pathway is enhanced, while integrin and its ligands are downregulated in the cells with long telomeres. These results may provide valuable information related to telomere functions.

  4. Impact of chemotherapy on telomere length in sporadic and familial breast cancer patients.

    PubMed

    Benitez-Buelga, C; Sanchez-Barroso, L; Gallardo, M; Apellániz-Ruiz, María; Inglada-Pérez, L; Yanowski, K; Carrillo, J; Garcia-Estevez, L; Calvo, I; Perona, R; Urioste, M; Osorio, A; Blasco, M A; Rodriguez-Antona, C; Benitez, J

    2015-01-01

    Recently, we observed that telomeres of BRCA1/2 mutation carriers were shorter than those of controls or sporadic breast cancer patients, suggesting that mutations in these genes might be responsible for this event. Given the contradictory results reported in the literature, we tested whether other parameters, such as chemotherapy, could be modifying telomere length (TL). We performed a cross-sectional study measuring leukocyte TL of 266 sporadic breasts cancer patients treated with first-line chemotherapy, with a median follow-up of 240 days. Additionally, we performed both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies in a series of 236 familial breast cancer patients that included affected and non-affected BRCA1/2 mutation carriers. We have measured in leukocytes from peripheral blood: the TL, percentage of short telomeres (<3 kb), telomerase activity levels and the annual telomere shortening speed. In sporadic cases we found that chemotherapy exerts a transient telomere shortening effect (around 2 years) that varies depending on the drug combination. In familial cases, only patients receiving treatment were associated with telomere shortening but they recovered normal TL after a period of 2 years. Chemotherapy affects TL and should be considered in the studies that correlate TL with disease susceptibility. PMID:25528024

  5. Arsenic exposure, telomere length, and expression of telomere-related genes among Bangladeshi individuals

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Jianjun; Roy, Shantanu; Tong, Lin; Argos, Maria; Jasmine, Farzana; Rahaman, Ronald; Rakibuz-Zaman, Muhammad; Parvez, Faruque; Ahmed, Alauddin; Hore, Samar K; Sarwar, Golam; Slavkovich, Vesna; Yunus, Mohammad; Rahman, Mahfuzar; Baron, John A.; Graziano, Joseph H.; Ahsan, Habibul; Pierce, Brandon L.

    2014-01-01

    Background Inorganic arsenic is a carcinogen whose mode of action may involve telomere dysfunction. Recent epidemiological studies suggest that chronic arsenic exposure is associated with longer telomeres and altered expression of telomere-related genes in peripheral blood. In this study, we evaluated the association of urinary arsenic concentration with expression of telomere-related genes and telomere length in Bangladeshi individuals with a wide range of arsenic exposure through naturally contaminated drinking water. Methods We used linear regression models to estimate associations between urinary arsenic and array-based expression measures for 69 telomere related genes using mononuclear cell RNA samples from 1,799 individuals. Association between arsenic exposure and a qPCR-based telomere length was assessed among 167 individuals. Results Urinary arsenic was possitively associated with expression of WRN, and negatively associated with TERF2, DKC1, TERF2IP and OBFC1 (all P < 0.00035, Bonferroni correction threshold). We detected interaction between urinary arsenic and arsenic metabolism efficiency in relation to expression of WRN (P for interaction = 0.00008). In addition, we observed that very high arsenic exposure was associated with longer telomeres compared to very low exposure (P=0.02). Discussion Our findings suggest that arsenic’s carcinogenic mode of action may involve alteration of telomere maintenance and/or telomere damage. This study extends our knowledge regarding the effect of arsenic on telomere length and expression of telomere-related genes. PMID:25460668

  6. An H2A Histone Isotype, H2ac, Associates with Telomere and Maintains Telomere Integrity

    PubMed Central

    Tzeng, Tsai-Yu; Lin, I-Hsuan; Hsu, Ming-Ta

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres are capped at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes and are composed of TTAGGG repeats bound to the shelterin complex. Here we report that a replication-dependent histone H2A isotype, H2ac, was associated with telomeres in human cells and co-immunoprecipitates with telomere repeat factor 2 (TRF2) and protection of telomeres protein 1 (POT1), whereas other histone H2A isotypes and mutations of H2ac did not bind to telomeres or these two proteins. The amino terminal basic domain of TRF2 was necessary for the association with H2ac and for the recruitment of H2ac to telomeres. Depletion of H2ac led to loss of telomeric repeat sequences, the appearance of dysfunctional telomeres, and chromosomal instability, including chromosomal breaks and anaphase bridges, as well as accumulation of telomere-associated DNA damage factors in H2ac depleted cells. Additionally, knockdown of H2ac elicits an ATM-dependent DNA damage response at telomeres and depletion of XPF protects telomeres against H2ac-deficiency-induced G-strand overhangs loss and DNA damage response, and prevents chromosomal instability. These findings suggest that the H2A isotype, H2ac, plays an essential role in maintaining telomere functional integrity. PMID:27228173

  7. Telomere dysfunction promotes metastasis in a Terc null mouse model of head and neck cancer

    PubMed Central

    Bojovic, Bojana; Crowe, David L.

    2011-01-01

    Squamous cell carcinoma arises from highly proliferative basal layer epithelial cells which normally divide for a short time before detaching from the basement membrane and undergoing terminal differentiation. Basal layer cells in stratified epithelia express the reverse transcriptase known as telomerase. Most human cells do not express telomerase and therefore are subject to loss of telomeric DNA with age due to the inability of lagging strand synthesis to completely replicate chromosomal ends. Late generation telomerase deficient mice exhibit signs of premature aging including reduced function of proliferating cellular compartments. We examined development of squamous cell carcinoma in a telomerase deficient murine background with long and short telomeres. G1 Terc−/− mice (long telomeres) had fewer lymph node metastases which correlated with increased numbers of apoptotic cells in these tumors compared to wild type mice. However, G5 Terc−/− mice with short telomeres had increased metastatic tumor burden similar to wild type mice. This increased metastasis correlated with genomic instability and aneuploidy in tumor cells from G5 Terc−/− mice. A number of similarities with human SCC were noted in the mouse model, and dramatic differences in global gene expression profiles were demonstrated between primary and metastatic tumors. We concluded that telomere shortening promotes metastatic tumor development in a Terc null mouse model of head and neck cancer. PMID:21593138

  8. 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. PMID:26359233

  9. 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

  10. A role for Separase in telomere protection

    PubMed Central

    Cipressa, Francesca; Morciano, Patrizia; Bosso, Giuseppe; Mannini, Linda; Galati, Alessandra; Daniela Raffa, Grazia; Cacchione, Stefano; Musio, Antonio; Cenci, Giovanni

    2016-01-01

    Drosophila telomeres are elongated by transposition of specialized retroelements rather than telomerase activity and are assembled independently of the sequence. Fly telomeres are protected by the terminin complex that localizes and functions exclusively at telomeres and by non-terminin proteins that do not serve telomere-specific functions. We show that mutations in the Drosophila Separase encoding gene Sse lead not only to endoreduplication but also telomeric fusions (TFs), suggesting a role for Sse in telomere capping. We demonstrate that Separase binds terminin proteins and HP1, and that it is enriched at telomeres. Furthermore, we show that loss of Sse strongly reduces HP1 levels, and that HP1 overexpression in Sse mutants suppresses TFs, suggesting that TFs are caused by a HP1 diminution. Finally, we find that siRNA-induced depletion of ESPL1, the Sse human orthologue, causes telomere dysfunction and HP1 level reduction in primary fibroblasts, highlighting a conserved role of Separase in telomere protection. PMID:26778495

  11. The heritability of leucocyte telomere length dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Hjelmborg, Jacob B; Dalgård, Christine; Möller, Soren; Steenstrup, Troels; Kimura, Masayuki; Christensen, Kaare; Kyvik, Kirsten O; Aviv, Abraham

    2015-01-01

    Background Leucocyte telomere length (LTL) is a complex trait associated with ageing and longevity. LTL dynamics are defined by LTL and its age-dependent attrition. Strong, but indirect evidence suggests that LTL at birth and its attrition during childhood largely explains interindividual LTL variation among adults. A number of studies have estimated the heritability of LTL, but none has assessed the heritability of age-dependent LTL attrition. Methods We examined the heritability of LTL dynamics based on a longitudinal evaluation (an average follow-up of 12 years) in 355 monozygotic and 297 dizygotic same-sex twins (aged 19–64 years at baseline). Results Heritability of LTL at baseline was estimated at 64% (95% CI 39% to 83%) with 22% (95% CI 6% to 49%) of shared environmental effects. Heritability of age-dependent LTL attrition rate was estimated at 28% (95% CI 16% to 44%). Individually unique environmental factors, estimated at 72% (95% CI 56% to 84%) affected LTL attrition rate with no indication of shared environmental effects. Conclusions This is the first study that estimated heritability of LTL and also its age-dependent attrition. As LTL attrition is much slower in adults than in children and given that having a long or a short LTL is largely determined before adulthood, our findings suggest that heritability and early life environment are the main determinants of LTL throughout the human life course. Thus, insights into factors that influence LTL at birth and its dynamics during childhood are crucial for understanding the role of telomere genetics in human ageing and longevity. PMID:25770094

  12. Mosaic isodicentric chromosome 9 with triplication (9p22-pter) and no deletion in an abnormal infant presenting with clinical features of trisomy 9; a new type of isodicentric chromosome formation

    SciTech Connect

    Batanian, J.R.; Chen, X.; Grange, D.K.

    1994-09-01

    All human isodicentric chromosomes reported thus far have shown partial or complete deletion of either the short or the long arm of the chromosome. We report a patient who had a complete isodicentric chromosome 9, in which the two long and two short arms have no deletion, but have triplication of the band p22 to pterminal. This abnormality was detected at 10% mosaicism in the blood of an infant with multiple congenital anomalies and clinical features of mosaic trisomy 9. The remaining 90% of metaphases showed one normal 9 and one abnormal monocentric 9 with an inversion triplication of the band 9p22 to 9pterminal. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) using chromosome 9 painting probe (Imagnetics), and all human telomere probe (Oncor) confirmed the nature of these two abnormal 9`s, which were found in two different cell lines. FISH revealed the presence of short arm interstitial telomeric sequences that defined the borders of the extra copy of 9p22-pter. Error of replication, ligation and crossing-over within the 4 sister chromatids of chromosome 9 is the most likely explanation for the formation of this rare type of isodicentric chromosome. Parental blood chromosomes were normal. Skin fibroblast obtained post mortem failed to grow. Therefore, we can not exclude the possibility that a higher than 10% level of mosaicism of the isodicentric 9 could explain the severe clinical presentation of this patient.

  13. A novel mutation in DDR2 causing spondylo-meta-epiphyseal dysplasia with short limbs and abnormal calcifications (SMED-SL) results in defective intra-cellular trafficking

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The rare autosomal genetic disorder, Spondylo-meta-epiphyseal dysplasia with short limbs and abnormal calcifications (SMED-SL), is reported to be caused by missense or splice site mutations in the human discoidin domain receptor 2 (DDR2) gene. Previously our group has established that trafficking defects and loss of ligand binding are the underlying cellular mechanisms of several SMED-SL causing mutations. Here we report the clinical characteristics of two siblings of consanguineous marriage with suspected SMED-SL and identification of a novel disease-causing mutation in the DDR2 gene. Methods Clinical evaluation and radiography were performed to evaluate the patients. All the coding exons and splice sites of the DDR2 gene were sequenced by Sanger sequencing. Subcellular localization of the mutated DDR2 protein was determined by confocal microscopy, deglycosylation assay and Western blotting. DDR2 activity was measured by collagen activation and Western analysis. Results In addition to the typical features of SMED-SL, one of the patients has an eye phenotype including visual impairment due to optic atrophy. DNA sequencing revealed a novel homozygous dinucleotide deletion mutation (c.2468_2469delCT) on exon 18 of the DDR2 gene in both patients. The mutation resulted in a frameshift leading to an amino acid change at position S823 and a predicted premature termination of translation (p.S823Cfs*2). Subcellular localization of the mutant protein was analyzed in mammalian cell lines, and it was found to be largely retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which was further supported by its N-glycosylation profile. In keeping with its cellular mis-localization, the mutant protein was found to be deficient in collagen-induced receptor activation, suggesting protein trafficking defects as the major cellular mechanism underlying the loss of DDR2 function in our patients. Conclusions Our results indicate that the novel mutation results in defective trafficking

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    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-RasG12V-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. PMID:25971796

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26315930

  16. Expression of human protection of telomere 1 correlates with telomere length and radiosensitivity in the human laryngeal cancer Hep-2 cell line

    PubMed Central

    LEI, HAN; FENG, DALI; ZHOU, FUXIANG; XU, HUI; TANG, TIAN; YU, HAIJUN; XIE, CONGHUA; ZHOU, YUNFENG

    2015-01-01

    The close association between telomere length and radiosensitivity has been established by several studies. There is also a hypothesis that telomere length may be regulated by human protection of telomere 1 (hPOT1) in human carcinoma cells. In the present study, the hPOT1 level between the radioresistant Hep-2R cells and the wild-type were compared, and the results showed that the hPOT1 gene was upregulated in the radioresistant Hep-2R cell lines compared with the wild-type. This suggested that the expression level of hPOT1 correlates with radiosensitivity. Additionally, an hPOT1-directed short hairpin (sh)RNA plasmid was constructed and transferred into the Hep-2R cells, which lead to telomere shortening, an increase in apoptosis and markedly decreased growth of the RNAi-Hep-2R cell line. These results demonstrate that hPOT1-directed shRNAs are associated with telomere length and radiosensitivity, and maybe a potent sensitizer for laryngeal cancer radiotherapy. PMID:26622642

  17. Genetic variation in telomere maintenance genes, telomere length, and lung cancer susceptibility

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    Telomeres are responsible for the protection of the chromosome ends and shortened telomere length has been associated with risk of multiple cancers. Genetic variation in telomere related genes may alter cancer risk associated with telomere length. Using lung cancer cases (n = 120) and population-based controls (n = 110) from Xuanwei, China, we analyzed telomere length separately and in conjunction with single nucleotide polymorphisms in the telomere maintenance genes POT1, TERT, and TERF2, which we have previously reported were associated with risk of lung cancer in this study. POT1 rs10244817, TERT rs2075786, and TERF2 rs251796 were significantly associated with lung cancer (ptrend ≤ 0.05). The shortest tertile of telomere length was not significantly associated with risk of lung cancer (OR = 1.58; 95% CI = 0.79 – 3.18) when compared to the longest tertile of telomere length. When stratified by genotype, there was a suggestion of a dose-response relationship between tertiles of telomere length and risk of lung cancer among the POT1 rs10244817 common variant carriers (OR (95%CI) = 1.33 (0.47 – 3.75), 3.30 (1.14 – 9.56), respectively) but not among variant genotype carriers (pinteraction = 0.05). Our findings provide evidence that telomere length and genetic variation in telomere maintenance genes may be associated with risk of lung cancer susceptibility and warrant replication in larger studies. PMID:19285750

  18. Telomeric transcripts stimulate telomere recombination to suppress senescence in cells lacking telomerase.

    PubMed

    Yu, Tai-Yuan; Kao, Yu-wen; Lin, Jing-Jer

    2014-03-01

    In human somatic cells or yeast cells lacking telomerase, telomeres are shortened upon each cell division. This gradual shortening of telomeres eventually leads to senescence. However, a small population of telomerase-deficient cells can survive by bypassing senescence through the activation of alternative recombination pathways to maintain their telomeres. Although genes involved in telomere recombination have been identified, mechanisms that trigger telomere recombination are less known. The THO (suppressor of the transcriptional defects of Hpr1 mutants by overexpression) complex is involved in transcription elongation and mRNA export. Here we demonstrate that mutations in THO complex components can stimulate early senescence and type II telomere recombination in cells lacking telomerase. The accumulation of telomere-associated noncoding telomere repeat-containing RNA (TERRA) is required for the observed telomere effects in THO complex mutants; reduced transcriptional efficiency, or overexpression of RNase H or C(1-3)A RNA can severely impair the type II telomere recombination. The results highlight a unique function for telomere-associated TERRA, in the formation of type II survivors. Moreover, because TERRA is a long noncoding RNA, these results reveal a function for long noncoding RNA in regulating recombination. PMID:24550456

  19. 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. PMID:27134164

  20. Mitochondrial Localization of Telomeric Protein TIN2 Links Telomere Regulation to Metabolic Control

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Liuh-Yow; Zhang, Yi; Zhang, Qinfen; Li, Hongzhi; Luo, Zhenhua; Fang, Hezhi; Kim, Sok Ho; Qin, Li; Yotnda, Patricia; Xu, Jianmin; Tu, Benjamin P.; Bai, Yidong; Songyang, Zhou

    2012-01-01

    Summary Both mitochondria, which are metabolic powerhouses, and telomeres, which help maintain genomic stability, have been implicated in cancer and aging. However, the signaling events that connect these two cellular structures remain poorly understood. Here we report that the canonical telomeric protein TIN2 is also a regulator of metabolism. TIN2 is recruited to telomeres and associates with multiple telomere regulators including TPP1. TPP1 interacts with TIN2 N-terminus, which contains overlapping mitochondrial and telomeric targeting sequences, and controls TIN2 localization. We have found that TIN2 is post-translationally processed in mitochondria, and regulates mitochondria oxidative phosphorylation. Reducing TIN2 expression by RNAi knockdown inhibited glycolysis and reactive oxygen species (ROS) and production, and enhanced ATP levels and oxygen consumption in cancer cells. These results suggest a link between telomeric proteins and metabolic control, providing an additional mechanism by which telomeric proteins regulate cancer and aging. PMID:22885005

  1. Single-cell telomere-length quantification couples telomere length to meristem activity and stem cell development in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-12

    Telomeres are specialized nucleoprotein caps that protect chromosome ends assuring cell division. Single-cell telomere quantification in animals established a critical role for telomerase in stem cells, yet, in plants, telomere-length quantification has been reported only at the organ level. Here, a quantitative analysis of telomere length of single cells in Arabidopsis root apex uncovered a heterogeneous telomere-length distribution of different cell lineages showing the longest telomeres at the stem cells. The defects in meristem and stem cell renewal observed in tert mutants demonstrate that telomere lengthening by TERT sets a replicative limit in the root meristem. Conversely, the long telomeres of the columella cells and the premature stem cell differentiation plt1,2 mutants suggest that differentiation can prevent telomere erosion. Overall, our results indicate that telomere dynamics are coupled to meristem activity and continuous growth, disclosing a critical association between telomere length, stem cell function, and the extended lifespan of plants. PMID:25937286

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. Novel features of telomere biology revealed by the absence of telomeric DNA methylation.

    PubMed

    Vega-Vaquero, Alejandro; Bonora, Giancarlo; Morselli, Marco; Vaquero-Sedas, María I; Rubbi, Liudmilla; Pellegrini, Matteo; Vega-Palas, Miguel A

    2016-08-01

    Cytosine methylation regulates the length and stability of telomeres, which can affect a wide variety of biological features, including cell differentiation, development, or illness. Although it is well established that subtelomeric regions are methylated, the presence of methylated cytosines at telomeres has remained controversial. Here, we have analyzed multiple bisulfite sequencing studies to address the methylation status of Arabidopsis thaliana telomeres. We found that the levels of estimated telomeric DNA methylation varied among studies. Interestingly, we estimated higher levels of telomeric DNA methylation in studies that produced C-rich telomeric strands with lower efficiency. However, these high methylation estimates arose due to experimental limitations of the bisulfite technique. We found a similar phenomenon for mitochondrial DNA: The levels of mitochondrial DNA methylation detected were higher in experiments with lower mitochondrial read production efficiencies. Based on experiments with high telomeric C-rich strand production efficiencies, we concluded that Arabidopsis telomeres are not methylated, which was confirmed by methylation-dependent restriction enzyme analyses. Thus, our studies indicate that telomeres are refractory to de novo DNA methylation by the RNA-directed DNA methylation machinery. This result, together with previously reported data, reveals that subtelomeric DNA methylation controls the homeostasis of telomere length. PMID:27405804

  6. Yeast telomeres exert a position effect on recombination between internal tracts of yeast telomeric DNA

    PubMed Central

    Stavenhagen, Jeffrey B.; Zakian, Virginia A.

    1998-01-01

    In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, proximity to a telomere affects both transcription and replication of adjacent DNA. In this study, we show that telomeres also impose a position effect on mitotic recombination. The rate of recombination between directly repeated tracts of telomeric C1–3A/TG1–3 DNA was reduced severely by proximity to a telomere. In contrast, recombination of two control substrates was not affected by telomere proximity. Thus, unlike position effects on transcription or replication, inhibition of recombination was sequence specific. Moreover, the repression of recombination was not under the same control as transcriptional repression (telomere position effect; TPE), as mutations in genes essential for TPE did not alleviate telomeric repression of recombination. The reduction in recombination between C1–3A/TG1–3 tracts near the telomere was caused by an absence of Rad52p-dependent events as well as a reduction in Rad1p-dependent events. The sequence-specific repression of recombination near the telomere was eliminated in cells that overexpressed the telomere-binding protein Rap1p, a condition that also increased recombination between C1–3A/TG1–3 tracts at internal positions on the chromosome. We propose that the specific inhibition between C1–3A/TG1–3 tracts near the telomere occurs through the action of a telomere-specific end-binding protein that binds to the single-strand TG1–3 tail generated during the processing of recombination intermediates. The recombination inhibitor protein may also block recombination between endogenous telomeres. PMID:9765206

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-10

    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

  8. 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

  9. The Huntington disease locus is most likely within 325 kilobases of the chromosome 4p telomere.

    PubMed Central

    Doggett, N A; Cheng, J F; Smith, C L; Cantor, C R

    1989-01-01

    The genetic defect responsible for Huntington disease was originally localized near the tip of the short arm of chromosome 4 by genetic linkage to the locus D4S10. Several markers closer to Huntington disease have since been isolated, but these all appear to be proximal to the defect. A physical map that extends from the most distal of these loci, D4S90, to the telomere of chromosome 4 was constructed. This map identifies at least two CpG islands as markers for Huntington disease candidate genes and places the most likely location of the Huntington disease defect remarkably close (within 325 kilobases) to the telomere. Images PMID:2557612

  10. Congenital Abnormalities

    MedlinePlus

    ... serious health problems (e.g. Down syndrome ). Single-Gene Abnormalities Sometimes the chromosomes are normal in number, ... blood flow to the fetus impair fetal growth. Alcohol consumption and certain drugs during pregnancy significantly increase ...

  11. Craniofacial Abnormalities

    MedlinePlus

    ... of the skull and face. Craniofacial abnormalities are birth defects of the face or head. Some, like cleft ... palate, are among the most common of all birth defects. Others are very rare. Most of them affect ...

  12. Walking abnormalities

    MedlinePlus

    ... include: Arthritis of the leg or foot joints Conversion disorder (a psychological disorder) Foot problems (such as a ... injuries. For an abnormal gait that occurs with conversion disorder, counseling and support from family members are strongly ...

  13. Chromosome Abnormalities

    MedlinePlus

    ... decade, newer techniques have been developed that allow scientists and doctors to screen for chromosomal abnormalities without using a microscope. These newer methods compare the patient's DNA to a normal DNA ...

  14. Nail abnormalities

    MedlinePlus

    Nail abnormalities are problems with the color, shape, texture, or thickness of the fingernails or toenails. ... Fungus or yeast cause changes in the color, texture, and shape of the nails. Bacterial infection may ...

  15. Two retrotransposons maintain telomeres in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Pardue, M.-L.; Rashkova, S.; Casacuberta, E.; DeBaryshe, P.G.; George, J. A.; Traverse, K.L.

    2005-01-01

    Telomeres across the genus Drosophila are maintained, not by telomerase, but by two non-LTR retrotransposons, HeT-A and TART, that transpose specifically to chromosome ends. Successive transpositions result in long head-to-tail arrays of these elements. Thus Drosophila telomeres, like those produced by telomerase, consist of repeated sequences reverse transcribed from RNA templates. The Drosophila repeats, complete and 5′-truncated copies of HeT-A and TART, are more complex than telomerase repeats; nevertheless these evolutionary variants have functional similarities to the more common telomeres. Like other telomeres, the Drosophila arrays are dynamic, fluctuating around an average length that can be changed by changes in the genetic background. Several proteins that interact with telomeres in other species have been found to have homologues that interact with Drosophila telomeres. Although they have hallmarks of non-LTR retrotransposons, HeT-A and TART appear to have a special relationship to Drosophila. Their Gag proteins are efficiently transported into diploid nuclei where HeT-A Gag recruits TART Gag to chromosome ends. Gags of other non-LTR elements remain predominantly in the cytoplasm. These studies provide intriguing evolutionary links between telomeres and retrotransposable elements. PMID:16132810

  16. 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. . PMID:25917938

  17. 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

  18. Telomere Length in Epidemiology: A Biomarker of Aging, Age-Related Disease, Both, or Neither?

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23302541

  19. 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. PMID:23602876

  20. Selective cytotoxicity and telomere damage in leukemia cells using the telomerase inhibitor BIBR1532.

    PubMed

    El-Daly, Hesham; Kull, Miriam; Zimmermann, Stefan; Pantic, Milena; Waller, Cornelius F; Martens, Uwe M

    2005-02-15

    Telomerase represents an attractive target for a mechanism-based therapeutic approach because its activation has been associated with unlimited proliferation in most cancer cells. Recently, a nonnucleosidic small molecule inhibitor, BIBR1532 (2-[(E)-3-naphtalen-2-yl-but-2-enoylamino]-benzoic acid), has been identified that is highly selective for inhibition of telomerase, resulting in delayed growth arrest of tumor cells. Here we examined the effects of BIBR1532 in different leukemia cell lines as well as in primary cells from patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in short-term culture assays. We observed a dose-dependent direct cytotoxicity in concentrations ranging from 30 to 80 microM. Interestingly, cell death was not dependent on the catalytic activity of telomerase but was delayed in cells with very long telomeres. We observed time-dependent individual telomere erosion, which was associated with loss of telomeric repeat binding factor 2 (TRF2) and increased phosphorylation of p53. Importantly, the proliferative capacity of normal CD34(+) cells from cord blood and leukapheresis samples was not affected by treatment with BIBR1532. We conclude that using this class of telomerase inhibitor at higher concentrations exerts a direct cytotoxic effect on malignant cells of the hematopoietic system, which appears to derive from direct damage of the structure of individual telomeres and must be dissected from telomerase-suppressed overall telomere shortening. PMID:15507522

  1. Alterations of telomere length and DNA methylation in hairdressers: A cross-sectional study.

    PubMed

    Li, Huiqi; Åkerman, Gabriella; Lidén, Carola; Alhamdow, Ayman; Wojdacz, Tomasz K; Broberg, Karin; Albin, Maria

    2016-03-01

    Working as hairdressers has been associated with increased risk for cancer, particularly bladder cancer. To evaluate if current hairdressers have elevated risks of adverse health effects, we measured several biomarkers related to cancer-related DNA alterations. We enrolled 295 hairdressers and 92 non-hairdressers (all female non-smokers) from Stockholm and southern Sweden. Questionnaire data were collected for each participant, including work tasks for the hairdressers. We measured telomere length in peripheral blood leucocytes using quantitative PCR and DNA methylation status of genes relevant for bladder cancer using methylation sensitive high resolution melting analysis. The hairdressers had shorter telomeres (β = -0.069, P = 0.019) compared with non-hairdressers. Shorter telomeres were found in hairdressers up to 32 years old performing hair waving more than once per week as compared with hairdressers in the same age group performing hair waving less often (β = -0.12, P = 0.037). Hair waving was associated with less frequent CDKN2A methylation (odds ratio, OR = 0.19, P = 0.033). Shorter telomeres in hairdressers may indicate a genotoxic effect. Performing hair waving was associated with short telomere length, although the effect was only observed in young hairdressers. No clear patterns were discerned with regard to DNA methylation of bladder cancer-related genes. The observed changes of methylation were not all in the expected direction and warrant further investigation. PMID:26637967

  2. 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. PMID:26586905

  3. 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. PMID:26716914

  4. 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

  5. Telomere length and elevated iron: the influence of phenotype and HFE genotype.

    PubMed

    Mainous, Arch G; Wright, Robert U; Hulihan, Mary M; Twal, Waleed O; McLaren, Christine E; Diaz, Vanessa A; McLaren, Gordon D; Argraves, W Scott; Grant, Althea M

    2013-06-01

    Elevated body iron stores are associated with morbidity and mortality due to oxidative stress. Hereditary hemochromatosis, a common condition caused by HFE gene mutations, can lead to excess iron storage and disease but clinical penetrance of HFE gene mutations is low and many people with elevated iron stores lack HFE mutations. We analyzed data from the Hemochromatosis and Iron Overload Screening Study to assess the relationship among HFE genotype (individuals with either homozygous or compound heterozygous status for C282Y and/or H63D HFE mutations were defined as genotype positive, or G+), elevated iron phenotype (individuals exceeding gender-specific transferrin saturation and serum ferritin threshold levels were considered phenotype positive, or P+), and leukocyte telomere length, a marker of biological aging and cumulative oxidative stress. In unadjusted analyses in comparison to individuals who were G-P-, G+P- were not significantly different (OR 0.74; 95% CI 0.26-2.04), while the G+P+ (OR 2.03; 95% CI 1.15-3.56), and G-P+ (OR 2.24; 95% CI 1.5-3.29) had increased risk of short telomeres (<=25th percentile) rather than long telomeres (>=75th percentile). In analyses adjusting for age, gender, and race/ethnicity, the effect of individuals with elevated iron phenotypes having short telomeres persisted with G+P+ individuals (OR 1.94; 95% CI 1.02-3.72), and G-P+ individuals (OR 2.17; 95% CI 1.39-3.39) being significantly different from the G-P- group. In conclusion, elevated iron phenotype, but not HFE genotype, was associated with shortened telomeres. Further studies will be needed to determine whether telomere length provides a marker for morbidities specifically associated with iron overload. PMID:23512844

  6. HSV-1 Remodels Host Telomeres To Facilitate Viral Replication

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Zhong; Kim, Eui Tae; Vladimirova, Olga; Dheekollu, Jayaraju; Wang, Zhuo; Newhart, Alyshia; Liu, Dongmei; Myers, Jaclyn L.; Hensley, Scott E.; Moffat, Jennifer; Janicki, Susan M.; Fraser, Nigel W.; Knipe, David M.; Weitzman, Matthew D.; Lieberman, Paul M.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Telomeres protect the ends of cellular chromosomes. We show here that infection with herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) results in chromosomal structural aberrations at telomeres and the accumulation of telomere dysfunction-induced DNA damage foci (TIFs). At the molecular level, HSV-1 induces transcription of telomere repeat-containing RNA (TERRA), followed by the proteolytic degradation of the telomere protein TPP1, and loss of the telomere repeat DNA signal. The HSV-1 encoded E3 ubiquitin ligase ICP0 is required for TERRA transcription and facilitates TPP1 degradation. shRNA depletion of TPP1 increases viral replication, arguing that TPP1inhibits viral replication. Viral replication protein ICP8 forms foci that coincide with telomeric proteins and ICP8 null virus failed to degrade telomere DNA signal. These findings suggest that HSV-1 reorganizes telomeres to form ICP8-associated pre-replication foci and promotes viral genomic replication. PMID:25497088

  7. Maternal telomere length inheritance in the king penguin

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25052413

  8. The telomere bouquet regulates meiotic centromere assembly.

    PubMed

    Klutstein, Michael; Fennell, Alex; Fernández-Álvarez, Alfonso; Cooper, Julia Promisel

    2015-04-01

    The role of the conserved meiotic telomere bouquet has been enigmatic for over a century. We showed previously that disruption of the fission yeast bouquet impairs spindle formation in approximately half of meiotic cells. Surprisingly, bouquet-deficient meiocytes with functional spindles harbour chromosomes that fail to achieve spindle attachment. Kinetochore proteins and the centromeric histone H3 variant Cnp1 fail to localize to those centromeres that exhibit spindle attachment defects in the bouquet's absence. The HP1 orthologue Swi6 also fails to bind these centromeres, suggesting that compromised pericentromeric heterochromatin underlies the kinetochore defects. We find that centromeres are prone to disassembly during meiosis, but this is reversed by localization of centromeres to the telomere-proximal microenvironment, which is conducive to heterochromatin formation and centromere reassembly. Accordingly, artificially tethering a centromere to a telomere rescues the tethered centromere but not other centromeres. These results reveal an unanticipated level of control of centromeres by telomeres. PMID:25774833

  9. [Enhanced control of proliferation in telomerized cells].

    PubMed

    Egorov, E E; Moldaver, M V; Vishniakova, Kh S; Terekhov, S M; Dashinimaev, E B; Cheglakov, I B; Toropygin, I Iu; Iarygin, K N; Chumakov, P M; Korochkin, L I; Antonova, G A; Rybalkina, E Iu; Saburina, I N; Burnaevskiĭ, N S; Zelenin, A V

    2007-01-01

    Clones of telomerized fibroblasts of adult human skin have earlier been obtained. It was shown that despite their fast growth in mass cultures, these cells poorly form colonies. Conditioned medium, antioxidants, and reduced partial oxygen pressure enhanced their colony formation, but not to the level characteristic of the initial cells. The conditioned medium of telomerized cells enhanced colony formation to a much greater extent than that of the initial cells. A study of proteome of the telomerized fibroblasts has revealed changes in the activities of tens of genes. A general trend consists in weakening and increased lability of the cytoskeleton and in activation of the mechanisms controlling protein degradation. However, these changes are not very pronounced. During the formation of immortal telomerized cells, selection takes place, which appears to determine changes in the expression of some genes. It was proposed that a decrease in the capacity of telomerized cells for colony formation is due to increased requirements of these cells to cell-cell contacts. The rate of cell growth reached that characteristic of mass cultures only in the largest colonies. In this respect, the telomerized fibroblasts resembled stem cells: they are capable of self-maintenance, but "escape" to differentiation in the absence of the corresponding microenvironment (niche), which is represented by other fibroblasts. Non-dividing cells in the test of colony formation should be regarded as differentiated cells, since they have no features of degradation, preserve their viability, actively move, grow, phagocytized debris, etc. It was also shown that telomerization did not prevent differentiation of myoblasts and human neural stem cells. Thus, the results obtained suggest the existence of normal mechanisms underlying the regulation of proliferation in the telomerized cells, which opens possibilities of their use in cell therapy, especially in the case of autotransplantation to senior people

  10. Reconstructing the in vivo dynamics of hematopoietic stem cells from telomere length distributions

    PubMed Central

    Werner, Benjamin; Beier, Fabian; Hummel, Sebastian; Balabanov, Stefan; Lassay, Lisa; Orlikowsky, Thorsten; Dingli, David; Brümmendorf, Tim H; Traulsen, Arne

    2015-01-01

    We investigate the in vivo patterns of stem cell divisions in the human hematopoietic system throughout life. In particular, we analyze the shape of telomere length distributions underlying stem cell behavior within individuals. Our mathematical model shows that these distributions contain a fingerprint of the progressive telomere loss and the fraction of symmetric cell proliferations. Our predictions are tested against measured telomere length distributions in humans across all ages, collected from lymphocyte and granulocyte sorted telomere length data of 356 healthy individuals, including 47 cord blood and 28 bone marrow samples. We find an increasing stem cell pool during childhood and adolescence and an approximately maintained stem cell population in adults. Furthermore, our method is able to detect individual differences from a single tissue sample, i.e. a single snapshot. Prospectively, this allows us to compare cell proliferation between individuals and identify abnormal stem cell dynamics, which affects the risk of stem cell related diseases. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.08687.001 PMID:26468615

  11. Association between telomere length and chromosome 21 nondisjunction in the oocyte.

    PubMed

    Albizua, I; Rambo-Martin, B L; Allen, E G; He, W; Amin, A S; Sherman, S L

    2015-11-01

    Chromosome 21 nondisjunction in oocytes is the most common cause of trisomy 21, the primary chromosomal abnormality responsible for Down syndrome (DS). This specific type of error is estimated to account for over 90 % of live births with DS, with maternal age being the best known risk factor for chromosome 21 nondisjunction. The loss of telomere length and the concomitant shortening of chromosomes are considered a biological marker for aging. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that mothers who had a maternal nondisjunction error leading to a live birth with DS (n = 404) have shorter telomeres than mothers with live births without DS (n = 42). In effect, our hypothesis suggests that mothers of children with DS will appear "biologically older" as compared to the mothers of euploid children. We applied a quantitative PCR assay to measure the genome-wide relative telomere length to test this hypothesis. The results of our study support the hypothesis that young mothers of DS babies are "biologically older" than mothers of euploid babies in the same age group and supports telomere length as a biomarker of age and hence risk for chromosome nondisjunction. PMID:26407969

  12. 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. PMID:21391375

  13. Telomeres, NAFLD and Chronic Liver Disease

    PubMed Central

    Donati, Benedetta; Valenti, Luca

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres consist of repeat DNA sequences located at the terminal portion of chromosomes that shorten during mitosis, protecting the tips of chromosomes. During chronic degenerative conditions associated with high cell replication rate, progressive telomere attrition is accentuated, favoring senescence and genomic instability. Several lines of evidence suggest that this process is involved in liver disease progression: (a) telomere shortening and alterations in the expression of proteins protecting the telomere are associated with cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma; (b) advanced liver damage is a feature of a spectrum of genetic diseases impairing telomere function, and inactivating germline mutations in the telomerase complex (including human Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase (hTERT) and human Telomerase RNA Component (hTERC)) are enriched in cirrhotic patients independently of the etiology; and (c) experimental models suggest that telomerase protects from liver fibrosis progression. Conversely, reactivation of telomerase occurs during hepatocarcinogenesis, allowing the immortalization of the neoplastic clone. The role of telomere attrition may be particularly relevant in the progression of nonalcoholic fatty liver, an emerging cause of advanced liver disease. Modulation of telomerase or shelterins may be exploited to prevent liver disease progression, and to define specific treatments for different stages of liver disease. PMID:26999107

  14. [Telomere Recombination in Normal Mammalian Cells].

    PubMed

    Zhdanova, N S; Rubtsov, N B

    2016-01-01

    Two mechanisms of telomere length maintenance are known to date. The first includes the use of a special enzymatic telomerase complex to solve the problems that arise during the replication of linear DNA in a normal diploid and part of tumor cells. Alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT), which is based on the homologous recombination of telomere DNA, represents the second mechanism. Until recently, ALT was assumed to be expressed only in 15-20% of tumors lacking active telomerase and, together with telomerase reactivation represented one of two possibilities to overcome the replicative senescence observed in somatic mammalian cells due to aging or during cell culturing in vitro. Previously described sporadic cases of combinations of the two mechanisms of telomere length maintenance in several cell lines in vitro were attributed to the experimental design rather than to a real biological phenomenon, since active cellular division without active telomerase was considered to be the "gold standard" of ALT. The present review describes the morphological and functional reorganizations of mammalian telomeres observed with ALT activation, as well as recently observed,and well-documented cases of combinations between ALT-like and telomerase-dependent mechanisms in mammalian cells. The possible role of telomere recombination in telomerase-dependent cells is discussed. PMID:27183789

  15. Conventional anticancer therapeutics and telomere maintenance mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Uziel, Orit; Lahav, Meir

    2014-01-01

    The telomere-telomerase system has a unique role in the biology of cancer. Telomere maintenance, mostly affected by the up regulation of telomerase activity, is a prerequisite for perpetuation of malignant cells. This fundamental biologic feature defines telomere maintenance as an attractive therapeutic target for most types of cancer. This review summarizes some critical aspects of telomere biology with special emphasis on the connection to anticancer therapy. In particular, the effects on the telomere - telomerase system of conventional anticancer treatments, including various cytotoxic drugs, targeted biological agents and radiotherapy, and their possible combination with telomerase-directed therapy are discussed. Several potential problems, including side effects and complications inherent to perturbations of telomere biology in normal cells, are also highlighted. In spite of significant progress in this field, there are still several issues that have to be addressed and ultimately resolved in order to obtain a better characterization of the pros and cons of telomerase-directed therapies and, consequently, their clinical relevance. PMID:24975606

  16. Telomeres, NAFLD and Chronic Liver Disease.

    PubMed

    Donati, Benedetta; Valenti, Luca

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres consist of repeat DNA sequences located at the terminal portion of chromosomes that shorten during mitosis, protecting the tips of chromosomes. During chronic degenerative conditions associated with high cell replication rate, progressive telomere attrition is accentuated, favoring senescence and genomic instability. Several lines of evidence suggest that this process is involved in liver disease progression: (a) telomere shortening and alterations in the expression of proteins protecting the telomere are associated with cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma; (b) advanced liver damage is a feature of a spectrum of genetic diseases impairing telomere function, and inactivating germline mutations in the telomerase complex (including human Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase (hTERT) and human Telomerase RNA Component (hTERC)) are enriched in cirrhotic patients independently of the etiology; and (c) experimental models suggest that telomerase protects from liver fibrosis progression. Conversely, reactivation of telomerase occurs during hepatocarcinogenesis, allowing the immortalization of the neoplastic clone. The role of telomere attrition may be particularly relevant in the progression of nonalcoholic fatty liver, an emerging cause of advanced liver disease. Modulation of telomerase or shelterins may be exploited to prevent liver disease progression, and to define specific treatments for different stages of liver disease. PMID:26999107

  17. Isolation of chromatin from dysfunctional telomeres reveals an important role for Ring1b in NHEJ-mediated chromosome fusions.

    PubMed

    Bartocci, Cristina; Diedrich, Jolene K; Ouzounov, Iliana; Li, Julia; Piunti, Andrea; Pasini, Diego; Yates, John R; Lazzerini Denchi, Eros

    2014-05-22

    When telomeres become critically short, DNA damage response factors are recruited at chromosome ends, initiating a cellular response to DNA damage. We performed proteomic isolation of chromatin fragments (PICh) in order to define changes in chromatin composition that occur upon onset of acute telomere dysfunction triggered by depletion of the telomere-associated factor TRF2. This unbiased purification of telomere-associated proteins in functional or dysfunctional conditions revealed the dynamic changes in chromatin composition that take place at telomeres upon DNA damage induction. On the basis of our results, we describe a critical role for the polycomb group protein Ring1b in nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ)-mediated end-to-end chromosome fusions. We show that cells with reduced levels of Ring1b have a reduced ability to repair uncapped telomeric chromatin. Our data represent an unbiased isolation of chromatin undergoing DNA damage and are a valuable resource to map the changes in chromatin composition in response to DNA damage activation. PMID:24813883

  18. Regulation of Telomere Length Requires a Conserved N-Terminal Domain of Rif2 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    PubMed Central

    Kaizer, Hannah; Connelly, Carla J.; Bettridge, Kelsey; Viggiani, Christopher; Greider, Carol W.

    2015-01-01

    The regulation of telomere length equilibrium is essential for cell growth and survival since critically short telomeres signal DNA damage and cell cycle arrest. While the broad principles of length regulation are well established, the molecular mechanism of how these steps occur is not fully understood. We mutagenized the RIF2 gene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae to understand how this protein blocks excess telomere elongation. We identified an N-terminal domain in Rif2 that is essential for length regulation, which we have termed BAT domain for Blocks Addition of Telomeres. Tethering this BAT domain to Rap1 blocked telomere elongation not only in rif2Δ mutants but also in rif1Δ and rap1C-terminal deletion mutants. Mutation of a single amino acid in the BAT domain, phenylalanine at position 8 to alanine, recapitulated the rif2Δ mutant phenotype. Substitution of F8 with tryptophan mimicked the wild-type phenylalanine, suggesting the aromatic amino acid represents a protein interaction site that is essential for telomere length regulation. PMID:26294668

  19. Bottom of the Heap: Having Heavier Competitors Accelerates Early-Life Telomere Loss in the European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris

    PubMed Central

    Nettle, Daniel; Monaghan, Pat; Boner, Winnie; Gillespie, Robert; Bateson, Melissa

    2013-01-01

    Early-life adversity is associated with poorer health and survival in adulthood in humans and other animals. One pathway by which early-life environmental stressors could affect the adult phenotype is via effects on telomere dynamics. Several studies have shown that early-life adversity is associated with relatively short telomeres, but these are often cross-sectional and usually correlational in design. Here, we present a novel experimental system for studying the relationship between early-life adversity and telomere dynamics using a wild bird, the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). We used cross-fostering to experimentally assign sibling chicks to either small or large broods for twelve days of the growth period. We measured telomere length in red blood cells using quantitative PCR near the beginning of the experimental manipulation (4 days old), at the end of the experimental manipulation (15 days old), and once the birds were independent (55 days old). Being in a larger brood slowed growth and retarded wing development and the timing of fledging. We found no evidence that overall brood size affected telomere dynamics. However, the greater the number of competitors above the focal bird in the within-brood size hierarchy, the greater was the telomere loss during the period of the experimental manipulation. The number of competitors below the focal in the hierarchy had no effect. The effect of heavier competitors was still evident when we controlled for the weight of the focal bird at the end of the manipulation, suggesting it was not due to retarded growth per se. Moreover, the impact of early competition on telomeres was still evident at independence, suggesting persistence beyond early life. Our study provides experimental support for the hypothesis that social stress, in this case induced by the presence of a greater number of dominant competitors, accelerates the rate of telomere loss. PMID:24386235

  20. Ku suppresses formation of telomeric circles and alternative telomere lengthening in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Zellinger, Barbara; Akimcheva, Svetlana; Puizina, Jasna; Schirato, Martina; Riha, Karel

    2007-07-01

    Telomeres in mammals and plants are protected by the terminal t loop structure, the formation of which parallels the first steps of intrachromatid homologous recombination (HR). Under some circumstances, cells can also utilize an HR-based mechanism (alternative lengthening of telomeres [ALT]) as a back-up pathway for telomere maintenance. We have found that the Ku70/80 heterodimer, a central nonhomologous end-joining DNA repair factor, inhibits engagement of ALT in Arabidopsis telomerase-negative cells. To further assess HR activities at telomeres, we have developed a sensitive assay for detecting extrachromosomal telomeric circles (t circles) that may arise from t loop resolution and aberrant HR. We show that Ku70/80 specifically inhibits circle formation at telomeres, but not at centromeric and rDNA repeats. Ku inactivation results in increased formation of t circles that represent approximately 4% of total telomeric DNA. However, telomeres in ku mutants are fully functional, indicating that telomerase efficiently heals ongoing terminal deletions arising from excision of the t circles. PMID:17612498

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-19

    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

  3. p53 Prevents Entry into Mitosis with Uncapped Telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Thanasoula, Maria; Escandell, Jose Miguel; Martinez, Paula; Badie, Sophie; Muñoz, Purificacion; Blasco, María A.; Tarsounas, Madalena

    2016-01-01

    Summary Telomeres are protected by capping structures consisting of core protein complexes that bind with sequence specificity to telomeric DNA (reviewed in [1]). In their absence, telomeres trigger a DNA damage response, materialized in accumulation at the telomere of damage response proteins, e.g., phosphorylated histone H2AX (γH2AX), into telomere-dysfunction-induced foci [2, 3]. Telomere uncapping occurs transiently in every cell cycle in G2 [4], following DNA replication, but little is known about how protective structures are reassembled or whether this process is controlled by the cell-cycle surveillance machinery. Here, we report that telomere capping is monitored at the G2/M transition by the p53/p21 damage response pathway. Unlike their wild-type counterparts, human and mouse cells lacking p53 or p21 progress into mitosis prematurely with persisting uncapped telomeres. Furthermore, artificially uncapped telomeres delay mitotic entry in a p53- and p21-dependent manner. Uncapped telomeres that persist in mitotic p53-deficient cells are shorter than average and religate to generate end-to-end fusions. These results suggest that a p53-dependent pathway monitors telomere capping after DNA replication and delays G2/M progression in the presence of unprotected telomeres. This mechanism maintains a cell-cycle stage conducive for capping reactions and prevents progression into stages during which uncapped telomeres are prone to deleterious end fusions. PMID:20226664

  4. Origin of human chromosome 2: An ancestral telomere-telomere fusion

    SciTech Connect

    Ijdo, J.W.; Baldini, A.; Ward, D.C.; Reeders, S.T.; Wells, R.A. )

    1991-10-15

    The authors identified two allelic genomic cosmids from human chromosome 2, c8.1 and c29B, each containing two inverted arrays of the vertebrate telomeric repeat in a head-to-head arrangement, 5{prime}(TTAGGG){sub n}-(CCCTAA){sub m}3{prime}. Sequences flanking this telomeric repeat are characteristic of present-day human pretelomeres. BAL-31 nuclease experiments with yeast artificial chromosome clones of human telomeres and fluorescence in situ hybridization reveal that sequences flanking these inverted repeats hybridize both to band 2q13 and to different, but overlapping, subsets of human chromosome ends. They conclude that the locus cloned in cosmids c8.1 and c29B is the relic of an ancient telomere-telomere fusion and marks the point at which two ancestral ape chromosomes fused to give rise to human chromosome 2.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-22

    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. Three-dimensional Nuclear Telomere Organization in Multiple Myeloma12

    PubMed Central

    Klewes, Ludger; Vallente, Rhea; Dupas, Eric; Brand, Carolin; Grün, Dietrich; Guffei, Amanda; Sathitruangsak, Chirawadee; Awe, Julius A; Kuzyk, Alexandra; Lichtensztejn, Daniel; Tammur, Pille; Ilus, Tiiu; Tamm, Anu; Punab, Mari; Rubinger, Morel; Olujohungbe, Adebayo; Mai, Sabine

    2013-01-01

    Multiple myeloma (MM) is preceded by monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). Up to date, it is difficult to predict an individual's time to disease progression and the treatment response. To examine whether the nuclear telomeric architecture will unravel some of these questions, we carried out. Three-dimensional (3D) telomere analysis on samples from patients diagnosed with MGUS and MM, as well as from patients who went into relapse. Telomere signal intensity, number of telomere aggregates, nuclear volume, and the overall nuclear telomere distribution (a/c ratio) were analyzed. The telomeric profiles allowed for the differentiation of the disease stages. The telomeric profiles of myeloma cells obtained from blood and bone marrow aspirates were identical. Based on this study, we discuss the use of 3D telomere profiling as a potential future tool for risk stratification and personalized treatment decisions. PMID:24466378

  9. SMARCAL1 Resolves Replication Stress at ALT Telomeres.

    PubMed

    Cox, Kelli E; Maréchal, Alexandre; Flynn, Rachel Litman

    2016-02-01

    Cancer cells overcome replicative senescence by exploiting mechanisms of telomere elongation, a process often accomplished by reactivation of the enzyme telomerase. However, a subset of cancer cells lack telomerase activity and rely on the alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) pathway, a recombination-based mechanism of telomere elongation. Although the mechanisms regulating ALT are not fully defined, chronic replication stress at telomeres might prime these fragile regions for recombination. Here, we demonstrate that the replication stress response protein SMARCAL1 is a critical regulator of ALT activity. SMARCAL1 associates with ALT telomeres to resolve replication stress and ensure telomere stability. In the absence of SMARCAL1, persistently stalled replication forks at ALT telomeres deteriorate into DNA double-strand breaks promoting the formation of chromosome fusions. Our studies not only define a role for SMARCAL1 in ALT telomere maintenance, but also demonstrate that resolution of replication stress is a crucial step in the ALT mechanism. PMID:26832416

  10. 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

  11. Swi1Timeless Prevents Repeat Instability at Fission Yeast Telomeres.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  12. Swi1Timeless Prevents Repeat Instability at Fission Yeast Telomeres

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Expression of Telomeres in Astrocytoma WHO Grade 2 to 4: TERRA Level Correlates with Telomere Length, Telomerase Activity, and Advanced Clinical Grade12

    PubMed Central

    Sampl, Sandra; Pramhas, Sibylle; Stern, Christian; Preusser, Matthias; Marosi, Christine; Holzmann, Klaus

    2012-01-01

    Cancer cells bypass replicative senescence, the major barrier to tumor progression, by using telomerase or alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) as telomere maintenance mechanisms (TMMs). Correlation between ALT and patient survival was demonstrated for high-grade astrocytomas. Transcription from subtelomeres produces telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA), a natural inhibitor of telomerase activity (TA). This led us to evaluate correlations of TERRA and TMM with tumor grade and outcome in astrocytoma patients. SYBR Green real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assays for quantitation of total and chromosome 2p and 18p specific TERRA levels were developed. Tumor samples from 46 patients with astrocytoma grade 2 to 4, tissue controls, and cell lines were assessed. TMMs were evaluated by measuring TA and by detecting long telomeres due to ALT. In glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) grade 4, total TERRA levels were similar to cell lines but 14-, 31-, and 313-fold lower compared with grade 3, grade 2, and nonmalignant tissue, respectively. Total TERRA levels differed from chromosomal levels. Low 2p TERRA levels correlated with dense promoter methylation of subtelomeric CpG islands, indicating that TERRA expression in gliomas may be chromosome specific and epigenetically regulated. Total TERRA levels correlated with diagnosis, with low or absent TA and the presence of ALT, and were tentatively associated with favorable patient prognosis in our cohort (P = .06). TA and short telomeres identified a subset of GBM with a median survival of only 14.8 months. TERRA and TA may be prognostic in astrocytic tumors. PMID:22348177

  14. Infliximab Preferentially Induces Clinical Remission and Mucosal Healing in Short Course Crohn's Disease with Luminal Lesions through Balancing Abnormal Immune Response in Gut Mucosa

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Lijuan; Yang, Xuehua; Xia, Lu; Zhong, Jie; Ge, Wensong; Wu, Jianxin; Liu, Hongchun; Liu, Fei; Liu, Zhanju

    2015-01-01

    This study was undertaken to evaluate the efficacy of infliximab (IFX) in treatment of Crohn's disease (CD) patients. 106 CD patients were undergoing treatment with IFX from five hospitals in Shanghai, China. Clinical remission to IFX induction therapy was defined as Crohn's disease activity index (CDAI) < 150. Clinical response was assessed by a decrease in CDAI ≥ 70, and the failure as a CDAI was not significantly changed or increased. Ten weeks after therapy, 61 (57.5%) patients achieved clinical remission, 17 (16.0%) had clinical response, and the remaining 28 (26.4%) were failed. In remission group, significant changes were observed in CDAI, the Simple Endoscopic Score for Crohn's Disease (SES-CD), and serum indexes. Patients with short disease duration (22.2 ± 23.2 months) and luminal lesions showed better effects compared to those with long disease duration (71.0 ± 58.2 months) or stricturing and penetrating lesions. IFX markedly downregulated Th1/Th17-mediated immune response but promoted IL-25 production in intestinal mucosa from remission group. No serious adverse events occurred to terminate treatment. Taken together, our studies demonstrated that IFX is efficacious and safe in inducing clinical remission, promoting mucosal healing, and downregulating Th1/Th17-mediated immune response in short course CD patients with luminal lesions. PMID:25873771

  15. Recombination-Mediated Telomere Maintenance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Is Not Dependent on the Shu Complex

    PubMed Central

    van Mourik, Paula M.; de Jong, Jannie; Agpalo, Danielle; Claussin, Clémence; Rothstein, Rodney; Chang, Michael

    2016-01-01

    In cells lacking telomerase, telomeres shorten progressively during each cell division due to incomplete end-replication. When the telomeres become very short, cells enter a state that blocks cell division, termed senescence. A subset of these cells can overcome senescence and maintain their telomeres using telomerase-independent mechanisms. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, these cells are called ‘survivors’ and are dependent on Rad52-dependent homologous recombination and Pol32-dependent break-induced replication. There are two main types of survivors: type I and type II. The type I survivors require Rad51 and maintain telomeres by amplification of subtelomeric elements, while the type II survivors are Rad51-independent, but require the MRX complex and Sgs1 to amplify the C1–3A/TG1–3 telomeric sequences. Rad52, Pol32, Rad51, and Sgs1 are also important to prevent accelerated senescence, indicating that recombination processes are important at telomeres even before the formation of survivors. The Shu complex, which consists of Shu1, Shu2, Psy3, and Csm2, promotes Rad51-dependent homologous recombination and has been suggested to be important for break-induced replication. It also promotes the formation of recombination intermediates that are processed by the Sgs1-Top3-Rmi1 complex, as mutations in the SHU genes can suppress various sgs1, top3, and rmi1 mutant phenotypes. Given the importance of recombination processes during senescence and survivor formation, and the involvement of the Shu complex in many of the same processes during DNA repair, we hypothesized that the Shu complex may also have functions at telomeres. Surprisingly, we find that this is not the case: the Shu complex does not affect the rate of senescence, does not influence survivor formation, and deletion of SHU1 does not suppress the rapid senescence and type II survivor formation defect of a telomerase-negative sgs1 mutant. Altogether, our data suggest that the Shu complex is not important

  16. RAP1 stimulates single- to double-strand association of yeast telomeric DNA: implications for telomere-telomere interactions.

    PubMed Central

    Gilson, E; Müller, T; Sogo, J; Laroche, T; Gasser, S M

    1994-01-01

    Repressor Activator Protein 1 (RAP1) of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is an abundant nuclear protein implicated in telomere length maintenance, transactivation, and in the establishment of silent chromatin domains. The RAP1 binding site 5' of the yeast HIS4 gene is also a region of hyperrecombination in meiosis. We report here that as RAP1 binds its recognition consensus, it appears to untwist double-stranded DNA, which we detect as the introduction of a negative supercoil in circularization assays. Coincident with the RAP1-dependent untwisting, we observe stimulation of the association of a single-stranded yeast telomeric sequence with its homologous double-stranded sequence in a supercoiled plasmid. This unusual distortion of the DNA double helix by RAP1 may contribute to the RAP1-dependent enhancement of recombination rates and promote non-duplex strand interactions at telomeres. Images PMID:7816621

  17. 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

  18. 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. PMID:26562314

  19. 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. PMID:24326587

  20. 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.

  1. Chronic inflammation induces telomere dysfunction and accelerates ageing in mice

    PubMed Central

    Jurk, Diana; Wilson, Caroline; Passos, João F.; Oakley, Fiona; Correia-Melo, Clara; Greaves, Laura; Saretzki, Gabriele; Fox, Chris; Lawless, Conor; Anderson, Rhys; Hewitt, Graeme; Pender, Sylvia LF; Fullard, Nicola; Nelson, Glyn; Mann, Jelena; van de Sluis, Bart; Mann, Derek A.; von Zglinicki, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Chronic inflammation is associated with normal and pathological ageing. Here we show that chronic, progressive low-grade inflammation induced by knockout of the nfkb1 subunit of the transcription factor NF-κB induces premature ageing in mice. We also show that these mice have reduced regeneration in liver and gut. nfkb1−/− fibroblasts exhibit aggravated cell senescence because of an enhanced autocrine and paracrine feedback through NF-κB, COX-2 and ROS, which stabilizes DNA damage. Preferential accumulation of telomere-dysfunctional senescent cells in nfkb1−/− tissues is blocked by anti-inflammatory or antioxidant treatment of mice, and this rescues tissue regenerative potential. Frequencies of senescent cells in liver and intestinal crypts quantitatively predict mean and maximum lifespan in both short- and long-lived mice cohorts. These data indicate that systemic chronic inflammation can accelerate ageing via ROS-mediated exacerbation of telomere dysfunction and cell senescence in the absence of any other genetic or environmental factor. PMID:24960204

  2. Association between Maternal Symptoms of Sleep Disordered Breathing and Fetal Telomere Length

    PubMed Central

    Salihu, Hamisu M.; King, Lindsey; Patel, Priyanshi; Paothong, Arnut; Pradhan, Anupam; Louis, Judette; Naik, Eknath; Marty, Phillip J.; Whiteman, Valerie

    2015-01-01

    Study Objectives: Our investigation aims to assess the impact of symptoms of maternal sleep-disordered breathing, specifically sleep apnea risk and daytime sleepiness, on fetal leukocyte telomere length. Participants and Setting: Pregnant women were recruited upon hospital delivery admission. Interventions: Sleep exposure outcomes were measured using the Berlin Questionnaire to quantify sleep apnea and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale to measure daytime sleepiness. Participants were classified as “High Risk” or “Low Risk” for sleep apnea based on responses to the Berlin, while “Normal” or “Abnormal” daytime sleepiness was determined based on responses to the Epworth. Design: Neonatal umbilical cord blood samples (N = 67) were collected and genomic DNA was isolated from cord blood leukocytes using Quantitative PCR. A ratio of relative telomere length was derived by telomere repeat copy number and single copy gene copy number (T/S ratio) and used to compare telomere lengths. Bootstrap and ANOVA statistical procedures were employed. Measurements and Results: On the Berlin, 68.7% of participants were classified as Low Risk while 31.3% were classified as High Risk for sleep apnea. According to the Epworth scale, 80.6% were determined to have Normal daytime sleepiness, and 19.4% were found to have Abnormal daytime sleepiness. The T/S ratio among pregnant women at High Risk for sleep apnea was significantly shorter than for those at Low Risk (P value < 0.05), and the T/S ratio among habitual snorers was significantly shorter than among non-habitual snorers (P value < 0.05). Although those with Normal Sleepiness had a longer T/S ratio than those with Abnormal Sleepiness, the difference was not statistically significant. Conclusion: Our results provide the first evidence demonstrating shortened telomere length among fetuses exposed to maternal symptoms of sleep disordered breathing during pregnancy, and suggest sleep disordered breathing as a possible mechanism

  3. Telomere Length Regulation and Telomeric Chromatin Require the Nonsense-Mediated mRNA Decay Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Lew, Jodi E.; Enomoto, Shinichiro; Berman, Judith

    1998-01-01

    Rap1p localization factor 4 (RLF4) is a Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene that was identified in a screen for mutants that affect telomere function and alter the localization of the telomere binding protein Rap1p. In rlf4 mutants, telomeric silencing is reduced and telomere DNA tracts are shorter, indicating that RLF4 is required for both the establishment and/or maintenance of telomeric chromatin and for the control of telomere length. In this paper, we demonstrate that RLF4 is allelic to NMD2/UPF2, a gene required for the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) pathway (Y. Cui, K. W. Hagan, S. Zhang, and S. W. Peltz, Mol. Cell. Biol. 9:423–436, 1995, and F. He and A. Jacobson, Genes Dev. 9:437–454, 1995). The NMD pathway, which requires Nmd2p/Rlf4p together with two other proteins, (Upf1p and Upf3p), targets nonsense messages for degradation in the cytoplasm by the exoribonuclease Xrn1p. Deletion of UPF1 and UPF3 caused telomere-associated defects like those caused by rlf4 mutations, implying that the NMD pathway, rather than an NMD-independent function of Nmd2p/Rlf4p, is required for telomere functions. In addition, telomere length regulation required Xrn1p but not Rat1p, a nuclear exoribonuclease with functional similarity to Xrn1p (A. W. Johnson, Mol. Cell. Biol. 17:6122–6130, 1997). In contrast, telomere-associated defects were not observed in pan2, pan3, or pan2 pan3 strains, which are defective in the intrinsic deadenylation-dependent decay of normal (as opposed to nonsense) mRNAs. Thus, loss of the NMD pathway specifically causes defects at telomeres, demonstrating a physiological requirement for the NMD pathway in normal cell functions. We propose a model in which the NMD pathway regulates the levels of specific mRNAs that are important for telomere functions. PMID:9742129

  4. mRNA deadenylation and telomere disease

    PubMed Central

    Mason, Philip J.; Bessler, Monica

    2015-01-01

    Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is an inherited BM failure disorder that is associated with mutations in genes involved with telomere function and maintenance; however, the genetic cause of many instances of DC remains uncharacterized. In this issue of the JCI, Tummala and colleagues identify mutations in the gene encoding the poly(A)-specific ribonuclease (PARN) in individuals with a severe form of DC in three different families. PARN deficiency resulted in decreased expression of genes required for telomere maintenance and an aberrant DNA damage response, including increased levels of p53. Together, the results of this study support PARN as a DC-associated gene and suggest a potential link between p53 and telomere shortening. PMID:25893598

  5. Urinary antimony and leukocyte telomere length: An analysis of NHANES 1999-2002.

    PubMed

    Scinicariello, Franco; Buser, Melanie C

    2016-10-01

    Telomeres are repetitive DNA sequences (TTAGGG) at the end of chromosomes. Cells with critically short telomeres enter replicative senescence and apoptosis. Several in vitro studies report that antimony causes cell apoptosis in human leukocyte cell lines. The goal of this analysis was to investigate whether there is an association between antimony exposure and leukocyte telomere length (LTL) among US adults aged 20 and older based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2002. We used multivariate linear regression to analyze the association of urinary antimony with LTL. LTL was log-natural transformed and the results were re-transformed and presented as percent differences. After adjustment for potential confounders, individuals in the 3rd and 4th quartiles of urinary antimony had statistically significantly shorter LTL (-4.78%, 95% CI: -8.42,-0.90; and -6.11%, 95% CI: -11.04,-1.00, respectively) compared to the lowest referent quartile, with evidence of a dose-response relationship (p-value for trend =0.03). Shorter LTL with antimony was driven by middle aged (40-59 years) and older (60-85 years) adult groups. The association may be biologically plausible because of reported oxidative stress and apoptosis effects of antimony on blood cells, effects known to shorten telomere length. PMID:27423705

  6. Rif1: A Conserved Regulator of DNA Replication and Repair Hijacked by Telomeres in Yeasts

    PubMed Central

    Mattarocci, Stefano; Hafner, Lukas; Lezaja, Aleksandra; Shyian, Maksym; Shore, David

    2016-01-01

    Rap1-interacting factor 1 (Rif1) was originally identified in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a telomere-binding protein that negatively regulates telomerase-mediated telomere elongation. Although this function is conserved in the distantly related fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, recent studies, both in yeasts and in metazoans, reveal that Rif1 also functions more globally, both in the temporal control of DNA replication and in DNA repair. Rif1 proteins are large and characterized by N-terminal HEAT repeats, predicted to form an elongated alpha-helical structure. In addition, all Rif1 homologs contain two short motifs, abbreviated RVxF/SILK, that are implicated in recruitment of the PP1 (yeast Glc7) phosphatase. In yeasts the RVxF/SILK domains have been shown to play a role in control of DNA replication initiation, at least in part through targeted de-phosphorylation of proteins in the pre-Replication Complex. In human cells Rif1 is recruited to DNA double-strand breaks through an interaction with 53BP1 where it counteracts DNA resection, thus promoting repair by non-homologous end-joining. This function requires the N-terminal HEAT repeat-containing domain. Interestingly, this domain is also implicated in DNA end protection at un-capped telomeres in yeast. We conclude by discussing the deployment of Rif1 at telomeres in yeasts from both an evolutionary perspective and in light of its recently discovered global functions. PMID:27066066

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Shelterin complex and associated factors at human telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Diotti, Raffaella

    2011-01-01

    The processes regulating telomere function have major impacts on fundamental issues in human cancer biology. First, active telomere maintenance is almost always required for full oncogenic transformation of human cells, through cellular immortalization by endowment of an infinite replicative potential. Second, the attrition that telomeres undergo upon replication is responsible for the finite replicative life span of cells in culture, a process called senescence, which is of paramount importance for tumor suppression in vivo. The process of telomere-based senescence is intimately coupled to the induction of a DNA damage response emanating from telomeres, which can be elicited by both the ATM and ATR dependent pathways. At telomeres, the shelterin complex is constituted by a group of six proteins which assembles quantitatively along the telomere tract, and imparts both telomere maintenance and telomere protection. Shelterin is known to regulate the action of telomerase, and to prevent inappropriate DNA damage responses at chromosome ends, mostly through inhibition of ATM and ATR. The roles of shelterin have increasingly been associated with transient interactions with downstream factors that are not associated quantitatively or stably with telomeres. Here, some of the important known interactions between shelterin and these associated factors and their interplay to mediate telomere functions are reviewed. PMID:21738835

  11. Determination of Arabidopsis thaliana telomere length by PCR.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    In humans, telomere length studies have acquired great relevance because the length of telomeres has been related to natural processes like disease, aging and cancer. However, very little is known about the influence of telomere length on the biology of wild type plants. The length of plant telomeres has been usually studied by Terminal Restriction Fragment (TRF) analyses. This technique requires high amounts of tissue, including multiple cell types, which might be the reason why very little is known about the influence of telomere length on plant natural processes. In contrast, many of the human telomere length studies have focused on homogenous cell populations. Most of these studies have been performed by PCR, using telomeric degenerated primers, which allow the determination of telomere length from small amounts of human cells. Here, we have adapted the human PCR procedure to analyze the length of Arabidopsis thaliana telomeres. This PCR approach will facilitate the analysis of telomere length from low amounts of tissue. We have used it to determine that CG and non CG DNA methylation positively regulates Arabidopsis telomere length. PMID:24986269

  12. Determination of Arabidopsis thaliana telomere length by PCR

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    In humans, telomere length studies have acquired great relevance because the length of telomeres has been related to natural processes like disease, aging and cancer. However, very little is known about the influence of telomere length on the biology of wild type plants. The length of plant telomeres has been usually studied by Terminal Restriction Fragment (TRF) analyses. This technique requires high amounts of tissue, including multiple cell types, which might be the reason why very little is known about the influence of telomere length on plant natural processes. In contrast, many of the human telomere length studies have focused on homogenous cell populations. Most of these studies have been performed by PCR, using telomeric degenerated primers, which allow the determination of telomere length from small amounts of human cells. Here, we have adapted the human PCR procedure to analyze the length of Arabidopsis thaliana telomeres. This PCR approach will facilitate the analysis of telomere length from low amounts of tissue. We have used it to determine that CG and non CG DNA methylation positively regulates Arabidopsis telomere length. PMID:24986269

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Does Reproductive Investment Decrease Telomere Length in Menidia menidia?

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Jin; Munch, Stephan B.

    2015-01-01

    Given finite resources, intense investment in one life history trait is expected to reduce investment in others. Although telomere length appears to be strongly tied to age in many taxa, telomere maintenance requires energy. We therefore hypothesize that telomere maintenance may trade off against other life history characters. We used natural variation in laboratory populations of Atlantic silversides (Menidia menidia) to study the relationship between growth, fecundity, life expectancy, and relative telomere length. In keeping with several other studies on fishes, we found no clear dependence of telomere length on age. However, we did find that more fecund fish tended to have both reduced life expectancy and shorter telomeres. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that there is a trade-off between telomere maintenance and reproductive output. PMID:25938489

  16. TERRA promotes telomerase-mediated telomere elongation in Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    Telomerase-mediated telomere elongation provides cell populations with the ability to proliferate indefinitely. Telomerase is capable of recognizing and extending the shortest telomeres in cells; nevertheless, how this mechanism is executed remains unclear. Here, we show that, in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, shortened telomeres are highly transcribed into the evolutionarily conserved long noncoding RNA TERRA A fraction of TERRA produced upon telomere shortening is polyadenylated and largely devoid of telomeric repeats, and furthermore, telomerase physically interacts with this polyadenylated TERRA in vivo We also show that experimentally enhanced transcription of a manipulated telomere promotes its association with telomerase and concomitant elongation. Our data represent the first direct evidence that TERRA stimulates telomerase recruitment and activity at chromosome ends in an organism with human-like telomeres. PMID:27154402

  17. Telomere Length: A Review of Methods for Measurement

    PubMed Central

    Montpetit, Alison J.; Alhareeri, Areej A.; Montpetit, Marty; Starkweather, Angela R.; Elmore, Lynne W.; Filler, Kristin; Mohanraj, Lathika; Burton, Candace W.; Menzies, Victoria S.; Lyon, Debra E.; Collins, Judith B.; Teefey, Joseph M.; Jackson-Cook, Colleen K.

    2014-01-01

    Background The exciting discovery that telomere shortening is associated with many health conditions, and that telomere lengths can be altered in response to social and environmental exposures, has underscored the need for methods to accurately and consistently quantify telomere length. Objectives The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive summary that compares and contrasts the current technologies used to assess telomere length. Discussion Multiple methods have been developed for the study of telomeres. These techniques include quantification of telomere length by terminal restriction fragmentation—which was one of the earliest tools used for length assessment—making it the gold standard in telomere biology. Quantitative-PCR provides the advantage of being able to use smaller amounts of DNA, thereby making it amenable to epidemiology studies involving large numbers of people. An alternative method uses fluorescent probes to quantify not only mean telomere lengths, but also chromosome-specific telomere lengths; however, the downside of this approach is that it can only be used on mitotically active cells. Additional methods that permit assessment of the length of a subset of chromosome-specific telomeres, or the subset of telomeres that demonstrate shortening, are also reviewed. Conclusion Given the increased utility for telomere assessments as a biomarker in physiological, psychological and biobehavioral research, it is important that investigators become familiar with the methodological nuances of the various procedures used for measuring telomere length. This will ensure that they are empowered to select an optimal assessment approach to meet the needs of their study designs. Gaining a better understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of various measurement techniques is important not only in individual studies, but also to further establish the science of telomere associations with biobehavioral phenomena. PMID:24977726

  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. Alternative lengthening of telomeres: recurrent cytogenetic aberrations and chromosome stability under extreme telomere dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Sakellariou, Despoina; Chiourea, Maria; Raftopoulou, Christina; Gagos, Sarantis

    2013-11-01

    Human tumors using the alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) exert high rates of telomere dysfunction. Numerical chromosomal aberrations are very frequent, and structural rearrangements are widely scattered among the genome. This challenging context allows the study of telomere dysfunction-driven chromosomal instability in neoplasia (CIN) in a massive scale. We used molecular cytogenetics to achieve detailed karyotyping in 10 human ALT neoplastic cell lines. We identified 518 clonal recombinant chromosomes affected by 649 structural rearrangements. While all human chromosomes were involved in random or clonal, terminal, or pericentromeric rearrangements and were capable to undergo telomere healing at broken ends, a differential recombinatorial propensity of specific genomic regions was noted. We show that ALT cells undergo epigenetic modifications rendering polycentric chromosomes functionally monocentric, and because of increased terminal recombinogenicity, they generate clonal recombinant chromosomes with interstitial telomeric repeats. Losses of chromosomes 13, X, and 22, gains of 2, 3, 5, and 20, and translocation/deletion events involving several common chromosomal fragile sites (CFSs) were recurrent. Long-term reconstitution of telomerase activity in ALT cells reduced significantly the rates of random ongoing telomeric and pericentromeric CIN. However, the contribution of CFS in overall CIN remained unaffected, suggesting that in ALT cells whole-genome replication stress is not suppressed by telomerase activation. Our results provide novel insights into ALT-driven CIN, unveiling in parallel specific genomic sites that may harbor genes critical for ALT cancerous cell growth. PMID:24339742

  20. Chromosomal localization of 18S rDNA and telomere sequence in the aye-aye, Daubentonia madagascariensis.

    PubMed

    Rakotoarisoa, G; Hirai, Y; Go, Y; Kawamoto, Y; Shima, T; Koyama, N; Randrianjafy, A; Mora, R; Hirai, H

    2000-10-01

    Chromosomal localization of 18S rDNA and telomere sequence was attempted on the chromosomes of the aye-aye (2n = 30) using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and primed in situ labeling (PRINS), respectively. The rDNA was localized at the tip or whole of the short arm of acrocentric chromosomes 13 and 14 in all spreads observed. However, post-FISH silver-nitrate (Ag) staining showed that transcriptional activity of the rRNA genes was variable, particularly in chromosome 14, which was most frequently negative in one homologue carrying the smaller copy number of rDNA. This observation supports, at the molecular cytogenetic level, previous data concerning the relationship between the copy number of rDNA and its trancriptional activity. On the other hand, telomere sequence was localized only at the telomeric region of all chromosomes, the so-called telomere-only pattern, a characteristic similar to that of the greater bushbaby. These data may provide information on the chromosomal evolution of the lemur, because locations of rDNA and telomere sequences frequently offer important clues in reconstruction of karyotype differentiation. PMID:11245223

  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. Expansion of Interstitial Telomeric Sequences in Yeast.

    PubMed

    Aksenova, Anna Y; Han, Gil; Shishkin, Alexander A; Volkov, Kirill V; Mirkin, Sergei M

    2015-11-24

    Telomeric repeats located within chromosomes are called interstitial telomeric sequences (ITSs). They are polymorphic in length and are likely hotspots for initiation of chromosomal rearrangements that have been linked to human disease. Using our S. cerevisiae system to study repeat-mediated genome instability, we have previously shown that yeast telomeric (Ytel) repeats induce various gross chromosomal rearrangements (GCR) when their G-rich strands serve as the lagging strand template for replication (G orientation). Here, we show that interstitial Ytel repeats in the opposite C orientation prefer to expand rather than cause GCR. A tract of eight Ytel repeats expands at a rate of 4 × 10(-4) per replication, ranking them among the most expansion-prone DNA microsatellites. A candidate-based genetic analysis implicates both post-replication repair and homologous recombination pathways in the expansion process. We propose a model for Ytel repeat expansions and discuss its applications for genome instability and alternative telomere lengthening (ALT). PMID:26586439

  3. A loopy view of telomere evolution

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26539211

  4. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  5. 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

  6. Telomere length in human liver diseases.

    PubMed

    Urabe, Y; Nouso, K; Higashi, T; Nakatsukasa, H; Hino, N; Ashida, K; Kinugasa, N; Yoshida, K; Uematsu, S; Tsuji, T

    1996-10-01

    To determine the role of telomere-mediated gene stability in hepatocarcinogenesis, we examined the telomere length of human liver with or without chronic liver diseases and hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC). The mean telomere restriction fragment (TRF) length of normal liver (n = 13), chronic hepatitis (n = 11), liver cirrhosis (n = 24) and HCC (n = 24) was 7.8 +/- 0.2, 7.1 +/- 0.3, 6.4 +/- 0.2 and 5.2 +/- 0.2 kb, respectively (mean +/- standard error). TRF length decreased with a progression of chronic liver diseases and that in HCC was significantly shorter than that in other chronic liver diseases (p < 0.05). The ratios of TRF length of HCC to that of corresponding surrounding liver of well differentiated (n = 7), moderately differentiated (n = 10) and poorly differentiated (n = 4) HCCs were 0.83 +/- 0.06, 0.75 +/- 0.05 and 0.98 +/- 0.09, respectively. The ratio of poorly differentiated HCC was significantly higher than that of moderately differentiated HCC (p < 0.05). A comparison between the size and telomere length ratio of moderately differentiated HCCs revealed a decrease of the ratio with size until it reached 50 mm in diameter. In contrast, the ratio increased as the size enlarged over 50 mm. These findings suggest that the gene stability of the liver cells mediated by the telomere is reduced as chronic liver disease progresses and that telomerase is activated in poorly differentiated HCC and moderately differentiated HCC over 50 mm in diameter. PMID:8938628

  7. 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. PMID:26525972

  8. Telomere fusion in Drosophila: The role of subtelomeric chromatin.

    PubMed

    Marzullo, Marta; Gatti, Maurizio

    2015-07-01

    Drosophila telomeres are maintained by transposition to chromosome ends of the HeT-A, TART and TAHRE retrotransposons, collectively designated as HTT. Although all Drosophila telomeres terminate with HTT arrays and are capped by the terminin complex, they differ in the type of subtelomeric chromatin. The HTT sequences of YS, YL, XR, and 4L are juxtaposed to constitutive heterochromatin, while the HTTs of the other telomeres are linked to either the TAS repeat-associated chromatin (XL, 2L, 2R, 3L, 3R) or to the specialized 4R chromatin. We found that mutations in pendolino (peo) cause (telomeric fusions) that preferentially involve the heterochromatin-associated telomeres (Ha-telomeres), a telomeric fusion pattern never observed in the other 10 telomere-capping mutants characterized so far. Peo, is homologous to the E2 variant ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes and is required for DNA replication. Our analyses lead us to hypothesize that DNA replication in Peo-depleted cells results in specific fusigenic lesions concentrated in Ha-telomeres. These data provide the first demonstration that subtelomeres can affect telomere fusion. PMID:26786804

  9. Interchromosomal Homology Searches Drive Directional ALT Telomere Movement and Synapsis

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Nam Woo; Dilley, Robert L.; Lampson, Michael A.; Greenberg, Roger A.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Telomere length maintenance is a requisite feature of cellular immortalization and a hallmark of human cancer. While most human cancers express telomerase activity, approximately 10-15% employ a recombination-dependent telomere maintenance pathway known as Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) that is characterized by multi-telomere clusters and associated promyelocytic leukemia protein bodies. Here, we show that a DNA double-strand break (DSB) response at ALT telomeres triggers long-range movement and clustering between chromosome termini, resulting in homology-directed telomere synthesis. Damaged telomeres initiate increased random surveillance of nuclear space before displaying rapid directional movement and association with recipient telomeres over micron-range distances. This phenomenon required Rad51 and the Hop2-Mnd1 heterodimer, which are essential for homologous chromosome synapsis during meiosis. These findings implicate a specialized homology searching mechanism in ALT dependent telomere maintenance and provide a molecular basis underlying the preference for recombination between non- sister telomeres during ALT. PMID:25259924

  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. PMID:26014050

  11. 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

  12. Detection of cryptic chromosomal abnormalities in unexplained mental retardation: a general strategy using hypervariable subtelomeric DNA polymorphisms.

    PubMed Central

    Wilkie, A O

    1993-01-01

    Given the availability of DNA from both parents, unusual segregation of hypervariable DNA polymorphisms (HVPs) in the offspring may be attributable to deletion, unbalanced chromosomal translocation, or uniparental disomy. The telomeric regions of chromosomes are rich in both genes and hypervariable minisatellite sequences and may also be particularly prone to cryptic breakage events. Here I describe and analyze a general approach to the detection of subtelomeric abnormalities and uniparental disomy in patients with unexplained mental retardation. With 29 available polymorphic systems, approximately 50%-70% of these abnormalities could currently be detected. Development of subtelomeric HVPs physically localized with respect to their telomeres should provide a valuable resource in routine diagnostics. PMID:8352277

  13. 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

  14. Chromosome abnormalities in glioma

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Y.S.; Ramsay, D.A.; Fan, Y.S.

    1994-09-01

    Cytogenetic studies were performed in 25 patients with gliomas. An interesting finding was a seemingly identical abnormality, an extra band on the tip of the short arm of chromosome 1, add(1)(p36), in two cases. The abnormality was present in all cells from a patient with a glioblastoma and in 27% of the tumor cells from a patient with a recurrent irradiated anaplastic astrocytoma; in the latter case, 7 unrelated abnormal clones were identified except 4 of those clones shared a common change, -Y. Three similar cases have been described previously. In a patient with pleomorphic astrocytoma, the band 1q42 in both homologues of chromosome 1 was involved in two different rearrangements. A review of the literature revealed that deletion of the long arm of chromosome 1 including 1q42 often occurs in glioma. This may indicate a possible tumor suppressor gene in this region. Cytogenetic follow-up studies were carried out in two patients and emergence of unrelated clones were noted in both. A total of 124 clonal breakpoints were identified in the 25 patients. The breakpoints which occurred three times or more were: 1p36, 1p22, 1q21, 1q25, 3q21, 7q32, 8q22, 9q22, 16q22, and 22q13.

  15. Leukocyte telomere length predicts overall survival in hepatocellular carcinoma treated with transarterial chemoembolization.

    PubMed

    Liu, Han-Qiang; An, Jia-Ze; Liu, Juan; Yang, Ye-Fa; Zhang, Hong-Xin; Zhao, Bin-Yu; Li, Ji-Bin; Yang, Hu-Shan; Chen, Zhi-Nan; Xing, Jin-Liang

    2012-05-01

    Previous studies have reported that telomere length in peripheral blood leukocytes can predict the clinical outcome of several cancers. However, whether leukocyte telomere length is associated with the prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains to be determined. In this study, relative telomere length (RTL) in peripheral blood leukocytes was measured using a real-time PCR-based method for 269 HCC patients treated with transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) from two independent hospitals. The association between RTL and the overall survival (OS) of HCC was analyzed. The immunological function of the HCC patients with different leukocyte RTLs was evaluated. Multivariate analyses indicated that long leukocyte RTL was significantly associated with poor OS of HCC patients, with a hazard ratio of 2.04 (95% confidence interval, 1.46-2.86; P < 0.001). Kaplan-Meier analyses showed a significant difference of median survival time between patients with long and short RTL (log rank P < 0.001). Fluorescence-activated cell sorting analyses showed that the long RTL group had a significantly increased percentage of CD4(+)CD25(+)FOXP3(+) Treg in CD4(+) T cells compared with short RTL group (P = 0.002). In conclusion, our results suggest that leukocyte RTL may serve as an independent prognostic marker for HCC patients treated with TACE. PMID:22318909

  16. 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.

  17. RNA-template dependent de novo telomere addition.

    PubMed

    Fuhrmann, Gloria; Jönsson, Franziska; Weil, Patrick Philipp; Postberg, Jan; Lipps, Hans J

    2016-08-01

    De novo addition of telomeric sequences can occur at broken chromosomes and must be well controlled, which is essential during programmed DNA reorganization processes. In ciliated protozoa an extreme form of DNA-reorganization is observed during macronuclear differentiation after sexual reproduction leading to the elimination of specific parts of the germline genome. Regulating these processes involves small noncoding RNAs, but in addition DNA-reordering, excision and amplification require RNA templates deriving from the parental macronucleus. We show that these putative RNA templates can carry telomeric repeats. Microinjection of RNA templates carrying modified telomeres into the developing macronucleus leads to modified telomeres in vegetative cells, providing strong evidence, that de novo addition of telomeres depends on a telomere-containing transcript from the parental macronucleus. PMID:26786510

  18. DNA Repair at Telomeres: Keeping the Ends Intact

    PubMed Central

    Webb, Christopher J.; Wu, Yun; Zakian, Virginia A.

    2013-01-01

    The molecular era of telomere biology began with the discovery that telomeres usually consist of G-rich simple repeats and end with 3′ single-stranded tails. Enormous progress has been made in identifying the mechanisms that maintain and replenish telomeric DNA and the proteins that protect them from degradation, fusions, and checkpoint activation. Although telomeres in different organisms (or even in the same organism under different conditions) are maintained by different mechanisms, the disparate processes have the common goals of repairing defects caused by semiconservative replication through G-rich DNA, countering the shortening caused by incomplete replication, and postreplication regeneration of G tails. In addition, standard DNA repair mechanisms must be suppressed or modified at telomeres to prevent their being recognized and processed as DNA double-strand breaks. Here, we discuss the players and processes that maintain and regenerate telomere structure. PMID:23732473

  19. Telomere maintenance through recruitment of internal genomic regions.

    PubMed

    Seo, Beomseok; Kim, Chuna; Hills, Mark; Sung, Sanghyun; Kim, Hyesook; Kim, Eunkyeong; Lim, Daisy S; Oh, Hyun-Seok; Choi, Rachael Mi Jung; Chun, Jongsik; Shim, Jaegal; Lee, Junho

    2015-01-01

    Cells surviving crisis are often tumorigenic and their telomeres are commonly maintained through the reactivation of telomerase. However, surviving cells occasionally activate a recombination-based mechanism called alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT). Here we establish stably maintained survivors in telomerase-deleted Caenorhabditis elegans that escape from sterility by activating ALT. ALT survivors trans-duplicate an internal genomic region, which is already cis-duplicated to chromosome ends, across the telomeres of all chromosomes. These 'Template for ALT' (TALT) regions consist of a block of genomic DNA flanked by telomere-like sequences, and are different between two genetic background. We establish a model that an ancestral duplication of a donor TALT region to a proximal telomere region forms a genomic reservoir ready to be incorporated into telomeres on ALT activation. PMID:26382656

  20. Telomerase activity and telomere length in human hepatocellular carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Huang, G T; Lee, H S; Chen, C H; Chiou, L L; Lin, Y W; Lee, C Z; Chen, D S; Sheu, J C

    1998-11-01

    Telomerase activity is activated and telomere length altered in various types of cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). A total of 39 HCC tissues and the corresponding non-tumour livers were analysed and correlated with clinical parameters. Telomere length was determined by terminal restriction fragment assay, and telomerase activity was assayed by telomeric repeat amplification protocol. Telomerase activity was positive in 24 of the 39 tumour tissues (1.15-285.13 total product generated (TPG) units) and in six of the 39 non-tumour liver tissues (1.05-1.73 TPG units). In the 28 cases analysed for telomere length, telomere length was shortened in 11 cases, lengthened in six cases, and unaltered in 11 cases compared with non-tumour tissues. Neither telomere length nor telomerase activity was correlated to any clinical parameters. PMID:10023320

  1. Telomere shortening in neurological disorders: an abundance of unanswered questions.

    PubMed

    Eitan, Erez; Hutchison, Emmette R; Mattson, Mark P

    2014-05-01

    Telomeres, ribonucleoprotein complexes that cap eukaryotic chromosomes, typically shorten in leukocytes with aging. Aging is a primary risk factor for neurodegenerative disease (ND), and a common assumption has arisen that leukocyte telomere length (LTL) can serve as a predictor of neurological disease. However, the evidence for shorter LTL in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's patients is inconsistent. The diverse causes of telomere shortening may explain variability in LTL between studies and individuals. Additional research is needed to determine whether neuronal and glial telomeres shorten during aging and in neurodegenerative disorders, if and how LTL is related to brain cell telomere shortening, and whether telomere shortening plays a causal role in or exacerbates neurological disorders. PMID:24698125

  2. Telomere Shortening in Neurological Disorders: An Abundance of Unanswered Questions

    PubMed Central

    Eitan, Erez; Hutchison, Emmette R.; Mattson, Mark P.

    2014-01-01

    Telomeres, ribonucleoprotein complexes that cap eukaryotic chromosomes, typically shorten in leukocytes with aging. Aging is a primary risk factor for neurodegenerative disease (ND), and a common assumption has arisen that leukocyte telomere length (LTL) can serve as a predictor of neurological disease. However, the evidence for shorter LTL in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients is inconsistent. The diverse causes of telomere shortening may explain variability in LTL between studies and individuals. Additional research is needed to determine whether neuronal and glial telomeres shorten during aging and in neurodegenerative disorders, if and how LTL is related to brain cell telomere shortening, and whether telomere shortening plays a causal role in or exacerbates neurological disorders. PMID:24698125

  3. Telomeric Repeats Facilitate CENP-ACnp1 Incorporation via Telomere Binding Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Castillo, Araceli G.; Pidoux, Alison L.; Catania, Sandra; Durand-Dubief, Mickaël; Choi, Eun Shik; Hamilton, Georgina; Ekwall, Karl; Allshire, Robin C.

    2013-01-01

    The histone H3 variant, CENP-A, is normally assembled upon canonical centromeric sequences, but there is no apparent obligate coupling of sequence and assembly, suggesting that centromere location can be epigenetically determined. To explore the tolerances and constraints on CENP-A deposition we investigated whether certain locations are favoured when additional CENP-ACnp1 is present in fission yeast cells. Our analyses show that additional CENP-ACnp1 accumulates within and close to heterochromatic centromeric outer repeats, and over regions adjacent to rDNA and telomeres. The use of minichromosome derivatives with unique DNA sequences internal to chromosome ends shows that telomeres are sufficient to direct CENP-ACnp1 deposition. However, chromosome ends are not required as CENP-ACnp1 deposition also occurs at telomere repeats inserted at an internal locus and correlates with the presence of H3K9 methylation near these repeats. The Ccq1 protein, which is known to bind telomere repeats and recruit telomerase, was found to be required to induce H3K9 methylation and thus promote the incorporation of CENP-ACnp1 near telomere repeats. These analyses demonstrate that at non-centromeric chromosomal locations the presence of heterochromatin influences the sites at which CENP-A is incorporated into chromatin and, thus, potentially the location of centromeres. PMID:23936074

  4. Telomeric repeats facilitate CENP-A(Cnp1) incorporation via telomere binding proteins.

    PubMed

    Castillo, Araceli G; Pidoux, Alison L; Catania, Sandra; Durand-Dubief, Mickaël; Choi, Eun Shik; Hamilton, Georgina; Ekwall, Karl; Allshire, Robin C

    2013-01-01

    The histone H3 variant, CENP-A, is normally assembled upon canonical centromeric sequences, but there is no apparent obligate coupling of sequence and assembly, suggesting that centromere location can be epigenetically determined. To explore the tolerances and constraints on CENP-A deposition we investigated whether certain locations are favoured when additional CENP-A(Cnp1) is present in fission yeast cells. Our analyses show that additional CENP-A(Cnp1) accumulates within and close to heterochromatic centromeric outer repeats, and over regions adjacent to rDNA and telomeres. The use of minichromosome derivatives with unique DNA sequences internal to chromosome ends shows that telomeres are sufficient to direct CENP-A(Cnp1) deposition. However, chromosome ends are not required as CENP-A(Cnp1) deposition also occurs at telomere repeats inserted at an internal locus and correlates with the presence of H3K9 methylation near these repeats. The Ccq1 protein, which is known to bind telomere repeats and recruit telomerase, was found to be required to induce H3K9 methylation and thus promote the incorporation of CENP-A(Cnp1) near telomere repeats. These analyses demonstrate that at non-centromeric chromosomal locations the presence of heterochromatin influences the sites at which CENP-A is incorporated into chromatin and, thus, potentially the location of centromeres. PMID:23936074

  5. 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.

  6. Telomere Length in Peripheral Blood Leukocytes Is Associated with Severity of Biliary Atresia

    PubMed Central

    Udomsinprasert, Wanvisa; Poovorawan, Yong; Chongsrisawat, Voranush; Vejchapipat, Paisarn; Zhan, Dong; Honsawek, Sittisak

    2015-01-01

    Objective The purpose of this study was to investigate the association of telomere length in peripheral blood leukocytes with the severity of biliary atresia (BA). Methods One hundred and fourteen BA patients and 114 age-matched healthy controls were enrolled. Relative telomere length (RTL) was assessed using a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Multivariate regression analysis was used to estimate RTL as an independent risk factor of BA. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was used to calculate the accuracy of biomarkers in the prediction of liver cirrhosis. Results BA patients had significantly shorter telomeres than healthy controls (p < 0.0001). The RTL in BA patients with jaundice was considerably lower than that of patients without jaundice (p = 0.005). Moreover, RTL was markedly shorter in patients with cirrhosis (F4), as compared to patients with mild fibrosis (F2) and non-fibrosis (F0-F1, p < 0.0001). Logistic regression analysis indicated that short RTL was associated with a higher risk of liver cirrhosis in BA. Tertile analysis showed a dose-response effect for this association (p trend < 0.0001). Additionally, RTL in BA children revealed a negative correlation with age (r = -0.50, p < 0.001). We noted an association between reduction of RTL and liver stiffness scores, adjusted for age and gender (b = -0.01, p < 0.0001). Short RTL can be employed to distinguish cirrhosis patients from non-cirrhosis patients (AUC = 0.78). Further analysis showed a linear correlation between leukocyte RTL and liver RTL in BA patients (r = 0.83, p < 0.001). Conclusion The findings of this study provide evidence that telomere shortening is associated with an elevated risk of liver cirrhosis in BA. PMID:26230851

  7. The Role of Telomeres and Telomerase in Cancer Research

    PubMed Central

    Stewart, Sheila A.

    2010-01-01

    The fourth AACR Special Conference on The Role of Telomeres and Telomerase in Cancer Research was held February 27–March 2, 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas. The meeting was organized to bring together those interested in the basic molecular mechanisms that govern telomere dynamics and stability with those interested in the clinical implications of telomere dysfunction and the use of telomeres and telomerase as therapeutic targets. The meeting was extremely successful as evidenced by the attendance and quality of the presentations. Indeed, several important themes emerged including 1) the intricate connection between the DNA replication and repair machineries in basic telomere replication and stability; 2) the complex interplay between the telomere-specific shelterin components and DNA repair proteins; 3) the non-telomeric functions of TERT in numerous cell types including stem cells; 4) a growing appreciation for the connection that exists between telomere maintenance deficiency states and diverse conditions such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and hematopoietic malignancies; and 5) the successful progression of agents targeting telomerase directly and immunologically to Phase III clinical trials. Evident at the meeting was the vibrant energy that permeates the telomere field and the important biological and medical findings that it continues to yield. PMID:20841475

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:27357566

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

    PubMed

    Cukusic Kalajzic, Andrea; Vidacek, Nikolina Skrobot; Huzak, Miljenko; Ivankovic, Milena; Rubelj, Ivica

    2014-01-01

    Structural and functional analysis of telomeres is very important for understanding basic biological functions such as genome stability, cell growth control, senescence and aging. Recently, serious concerns have been raised regarding the reliability of current telomere measurement methods such as Southern blot and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Since telomere length is associated with age related pathologies, including cardiovascular disease and cancer, both at the individual and population level, accurate interpretation of measured results is a necessity. The telomere Q-PNA-FISH technique has been widely used in these studies as well as in commercial analysis for the general population. A hallmark of telomere Q-PNA-FISH is the wide variation among telomere signals which has a major impact on obtained results. In the present study we introduce a specific mathematical and statistical analysis of sister telomere signals during cell culture senescence which enabled us to identify high regularity in their variations. This phenomenon explains the reproducibility of results observed in numerous telomere studies when the Q-PNA-FISH technique is used. In addition, we discuss the molecular mechanisms which probably underlie the observed telomere behavior. PMID:24643066

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:26578802

  13. CGGBP1 phosphorylation constitutes a telomere-protection signal

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Umashankar; Maturi, Varun; Jones, Rhiannon E; Paulsson, Ylva; Baird, Duncan M; Westermark, Bengt

    2014-01-01

    The shelterin proteins are required for telomere integrity. Shelterin dysfunction can lead to initiation of unwarranted DNA damage and repair pathways at chromosomal termini. Interestingly, many shelterin accessory proteins are involved in DNA damage signaling and repair. We demonstrate here that in normal human fibroblasts, telomeric ends are protected by phosphorylation of CGG triplet repeat-binding protein 1 (CGGBP1) at serine 164 (S164). We show that serine 164 is a major phosphorylation site on CGGBP1 with important functions. We provide evidence that one of the kinases that can phosphorylate S164 CGGBP1 is ATR. Overexpression of S164A phospho-deficient CGGBP1 exerted a dominant-negative effect, causing telomeric dysfunction, accelerated telomere shortening, enhanced fusion of telomeres, and crisis. However, overexpression of wild-type or phospho-mimicking S164E CGGBP1 did not cause these effects. This telomere damage was associated with reduced binding of the shelterin protein POT1 to telomeric DNA. Our results suggest that CGGBP1 phosphorylation at S164 is a novel telomere protection signal, which can affect telomere-protective function of the shelterin complex. PMID:24196442

  14. Maternal and genetic factors determine early life telomere length

    PubMed Central

    Asghar, Muhammad; Bensch, Staffan; Tarka, Maja; Hansson, Bengt; Hasselquist, Dennis

    2015-01-01

    In a broad range of species—including humans—it has been demonstrated that telomere length declines throughout life and that it may be involved in cell and organismal senescence. This potential link to ageing and thus to fitness has triggered recent interest in understanding how variation in telomere length is inherited and maintained. However, previous studies suffer from two main drawbacks that limit the possibility of understanding the relative importance of genetic, parental and environmental influences on telomere length variation. These studies have been based on (i) telomere lengths measured at different time points in different individuals, despite the fact that telomere length changes over life, and (ii) parent–offspring regression techniques, which do not enable differentiation between genetic and parental components of inheritance. To overcome these drawbacks, in our study of a songbird, the great reed warbler, we have analysed telomere length measured early in life in both parents and offspring and applied statistical models (so-called ‘animal models') that are based on long-term pedigree data. Our results showed a significant heritability of telomere length on the maternal but not on the paternal side, and that the mother's age was positively correlated with their offspring's telomere length. Furthermore, the pedigree-based analyses revealed a significant heritability and an equally large maternal effect. Our study demonstrates strong maternal influence on telomere length and future studies now need to elucidate possible underlying factors, including which types of maternal effects are involved. PMID:25621325

  15. 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. PMID:25617465

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

    PubMed Central

    Watson, Hannah; Bolton, Mark; Monaghan, Pat

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT 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. PMID:25617465

  17. Telomere and Telomerase Therapeutics in Cancer.

    PubMed

    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

  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. Isolation of telomere DNA from Neurospora crassa.

    PubMed Central

    Schechtman, M G

    1987-01-01

    The most distal known gene on Neurospora crassa linkage group VR, his-6, was cloned. A genomic walk resulted in isolation of the telomere at VR. It was obtained from a library in which the endmost nucleotides of the chromosome had not been removed by nuclease treatment before being cloned, and mapping indicates that the entire chromosome end has probably been cloned. Sequences homologous to the terminal 2.5 kilobases of DNA from VR from these Oak Ridge N. crassa strains are found at other sites in the genome. To characterize these sites, I crossed an Oak Ridge-derived his-6 strain with a wild-type strain of different genetic background (Mauriceville) and characterized the hybridization patterns seen in the progeny. It appears that the sequences homologous to the VR terminus are found at genetically different sites in the two parental strains, and no hybridization to the VR telomere from Mauriceville was detected. The other genomic copies identified in the Oak Ridge parent were not telomeres. I suggest that any repeating sequence blocks found immediately adjacent to the VR terminus in Oak Ridge strains must be small and that the repeating element identified in that background may be an N. crassa transposable element integrated near the the chromosome end at VR. Images PMID:2890097

  20. ATRX represses alternative lengthening of telomeres.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-30

    The unlimited proliferation of cancer cells requires a mechanism to prevent telomere shortening. Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) is an homologous recombination-mediated mechanism of telomere elongation used in tumors, including osteosarcomas, soft tissue sarcoma subtypes, and glial brain tumors. Mutations in the ATRX/DAXX chromatin remodeling complex have been reported in tumors and cell lines that use the ALT mechanism, suggesting that ATRX may be an ALT repressor. We show here that knockout or knockdown of ATRX in mortal cells or immortal telomerase-positive cells is insufficient to activate ALT. Notably, however, in SV40-transformed mortal fibroblasts ATRX loss results in either a significant increase in the proportion of cell lines activating ALT (instead of telomerase) or in a significant decrease in the time prior to ALT activation. These data indicate that loss of ATRX function cooperates with one or more as-yet unidentified genetic or epigenetic alterations to activate ALT. Moreover, transient ATRX expression in ALT-positive/ATRX-negative cells represses ALT activity. These data provide the first direct, functional evidence that ATRX represses ALT. PMID:26001292

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

    PubMed

    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

    2016-09-01

    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. 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

  3. Human telomeric G-quadruplex: thermodynamic and kinetic studies of telomeric quadruplex stability

    PubMed Central

    Chaires, Jonathan B.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Thermodynamic and kinetic studies complement high-resolution structures of G-quadruplexes. Such studies are essential for a thorough understanding of the mechanisms that govern quadruplex folding and conformational changes in quadruplexes. This perspective article reviews representative thermodynamic and kinetic studies of the folding of human telomeric quadruplex structures. Published thermodynamic data vary widely and are inconsistent. Possible reasons for these inconsistencies are discussed. The key issue of whether or not such folding reactions are a simple two-state process is examined. A tentative energy balance for the folding of telomeric quadruplexes in Na+ and K+ solution, and for conformational transition between these forms will be presented. PMID:19951355

  4. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Campisi, Judith; Lupu, Ruth

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26318724

  6. Evolution of Telomeres in Schizosaccharomyces pombe and Its Possible Relationship to the Diversification of Telomere Binding Proteins.

    PubMed

    Sepsiova, Regina; Necasova, Ivona; Willcox, Smaranda; Prochazkova, Katarina; Gorilak, Peter; Nosek, Jozef; Hofr, Ctirad; Griffith, Jack D; Tomaska, Lubomir

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres of nuclear chromosomes are usually composed of an array of tandemly repeated sequences that are recognized by specific Myb domain containing DNA-binding proteins (telomere-binding proteins, TBPs). Whereas in many eukaryotes the length and sequence of the telomeric repeat is relatively conserved, telomeric sequences in various yeasts are highly variable. Schizosaccharomyces pombe provides an excellent model for investigation of co-evolution of telomeres and TBPs. First, telomeric repeats of S. pombe differ from the canonical mammalian type TTAGGG sequence. Second, S. pombe telomeres exhibit a high degree of intratelomeric heterogeneity. Third, S. pombe contains all types of known TBPs (Rap1p [a version unable to bind DNA], Tay1p/Teb1p, and Taz1p) that are employed by various yeast species to protect their telomeres. With the aim of reconstructing evolutionary paths leading to a separation of roles between Teb1p and Taz1p, we performed a comparative analysis of the DNA-binding properties of both proteins using combined qualitative and quantitative biochemical approaches. Visualization of DNA-protein complexes by electron microscopy revealed qualitative differences of binding of Teb1p and Taz1p to mammalian type and fission yeast telomeres. Fluorescence anisotropy analysis quantified the binding affinity of Teb1p and Taz1p to three different DNA substrates. Additionally, we carried out electrophoretic mobility shift assays using mammalian type telomeres and native substrates (telomeric repeats, histone-box sequences) as well as their mutated versions. We observed relative DNA sequence binding flexibility of Taz1p and higher binding stringency of Teb1p when both proteins were compared directly to each other. These properties may have driven replacement of Teb1p by Taz1p as the TBP in fission yeast. PMID:27101289

  7. Evolution of Telomeres in Schizosaccharomyces pombe and Its Possible Relationship to the Diversification of Telomere Binding Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Sepsiova, Regina; Necasova, Ivona; Willcox, Smaranda; Prochazkova, Katarina; Gorilak, Peter; Nosek, Jozef; Hofr, Ctirad; Griffith, Jack D.

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres of nuclear chromosomes are usually composed of an array of tandemly repeated sequences that are recognized by specific Myb domain containing DNA-binding proteins (telomere-binding proteins, TBPs). Whereas in many eukaryotes the length and sequence of the telomeric repeat is relatively conserved, telomeric sequences in various yeasts are highly variable. Schizosaccharomyces pombe provides an excellent model for investigation of co-evolution of telomeres and TBPs. First, telomeric repeats of S. pombe differ from the canonical mammalian type TTAGGG sequence. Second, S. pombe telomeres exhibit a high degree of intratelomeric heterogeneity. Third, S. pombe contains all types of known TBPs (Rap1p [a version unable to bind DNA], Tay1p/Teb1p, and Taz1p) that are employed by various yeast species to protect their telomeres. With the aim of reconstructing evolutionary paths leading to a separation of roles between Teb1p and Taz1p, we performed a comparative analysis of the DNA-binding properties of both proteins using combined qualitative and quantitative biochemical approaches. Visualization of DNA-protein complexes by electron microscopy revealed qualitative differences of binding of Teb1p and Taz1p to mammalian type and fission yeast telomeres. Fluorescence anisotropy analysis quantified the binding affinity of Teb1p and Taz1p to three different DNA substrates. Additionally, we carried out electrophoretic mobility shift assays using mammalian type telomeres and native substrates (telomeric repeats, histone-box sequences) as well as their mutated versions. We observed relative DNA sequence binding flexibility of Taz1p and higher binding stringency of Teb1p when both proteins were compared directly to each other. These properties may have driven replacement of Teb1p by Taz1p as the TBP in fission yeast. PMID:27101289

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Telomere Dynamics in Human Cells Reprogrammed to Pluripotency

    PubMed Central

    Suhr, Steven T.; Chang, Eun Ah; Rodriguez, Ramon M.; Wang, Kai; Ross, Pablo J.; Beyhan, Zeki; Murthy, Shashanka; Cibelli, Jose B.

    2009-01-01

    Background Human induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSCs) have enormous potential in the development of cellular models of human disease and represent a potential source of autologous cells and tissues for therapeutic use. A question remains as to the biological age of IPSCs, in particular when isolated from older subjects. Studies of cloned animals indicate that somatic cells reprogrammed to pluripotency variably display telomere elongation, a common indicator of cell “rejuvenation.” Methodology/Principal Findings We examined telomere lengths in human skin fibroblasts isolated from younger and older subjects, fibroblasts converted to IPSCs, and IPSCs redifferentiated through teratoma formation and explant culture. In IPSCs analyzed at passage five (P5), telomeres were significantly elongated in 6/7 lines by >40% and approximated telomere lengths in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). In cell lines derived from three IPSC-teratoma explants cultured to P5, two displayed telomeres shortened to lengths similar to input fibroblasts while the third line retained elongated telomeres. Conclusions/Significance While these results reveal some heterogeneity in the reprogramming process with respect to telomere length, human somatic cells reprogrammed to pluripotency generally displayed elongated telomeres that suggest that they will not age prematurely when isolated from subjects of essentially any age. PMID:19956585

  11. A role for heterochromatin protein 1γ at human telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Canudas, Silvia; Houghtaling, Benjamin R.; Bhanot, Monica; Sasa, Ghadir; Savage, Sharon A.; Bertuch, Alison A.; Smith, Susan

    2011-01-01

    Human telomere function is mediated by shelterin, a six-subunit complex that is required for telomere replication, protection, and cohesion. TIN2, the central component of shelterin, has binding sites to three subunits: TRF1, TRF2, and TPP1. Here we identify a fourth partner, heterochromatin protein 1γ (HP1γ), that binds to a conserved canonical HP1-binding motif, PXVXL, in the C-terminal domain of TIN2. We show that HP1γ localizes to telomeres in S phase, where it is required to establish/maintain cohesion. We further demonstrate that the HP1-binding site in TIN2 is required for sister telomere cohesion and can impact telomere length maintenance by telomerase. Remarkably, the PTVML HP1-binding site is embedded in the recently identified cluster of mutations in TIN2 that gives rise to dyskeratosis congenita (DC), an inherited bone marrow failure syndrome caused by defects in telomere maintenance. We show that DC-associated mutations in TIN2 abrogate binding to HP1γ and that DC patient cells are defective in sister telomere cohesion. Our data indicate a novel requirement for HP1γ in the establishment/maintenance of cohesion at human telomeres and, furthermore, may provide insight into the mechanism of pathogenesis in TIN2-mediated DC. PMID:21865325

  12. 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. PMID:25716089

  13. Telomeres, Early-Life Stress and Mental Illness

    PubMed Central

    Ridout, Samuel J.; Ridout, Kathryn K.; Kao, Hung-Teh; Carpenter, Linda L.; Philip, Noah S.; Tyrka, Audrey R.; Price, Lawrence H.

    2015-01-01

    Telomeres are structures of tandem TTAGGG repeats at the ends of chromosomes which preserve the encoding DNA by serving as a disposable brake to terminate DNA duplication during chromosome replication. In this process, the telomere itself shortens with each cell division, and can consequently be thought of as a cellular “clock” reflecting the age of a cell and the time until senescence. Telomere shortening, and changes in levels of telomerase, the enzyme that maintains telomeres, occur in the context of certain somatic diseases and in response to selected physical stressors. Emerging evidence indicates that telomeres shorten with exposure to psychosocial stress (including early-life stress [ELS]), and perhaps in association with some psychiatric disorders. These discoveries suggest that telomere shortening might be a useful biomarker for the overall stress response of an organism to various pathogenic conditions. In this regard, telomeres and their response to both somatic and psychiatric illness could serve as a unifying biomarker of stress response that crosses the brain/body distinction often made in medicine. Prospective studies will help to clarify whether this biomarker has broad utility in psychiatry and medicine in the evaluation of responses to psychosocial stressors. The possibility that telomere shortening can be slowed or reversed by psychiatric and psychosocial interventions could represent an opportunity for developing novel preventative and therapeutic approaches. PMID:25832516

  14. 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

  15. 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. PMID:25999120

  16. Assembly of telomeric chromatin to create ALTernative endings.

    PubMed

    O'Sullivan, Roderick J; Almouzni, Genevieve

    2014-11-01

    Circumvention of the telomere length-dependent mechanisms that control the upper boundaries of cellular proliferation is necessary for the unlimited growth of cancer. Most cancer cells achieve cellular immortality by up-regulating the expression of telomerase to extend and maintain their telomere length. However, a small but significant number of cancers do so via the exchange of telomeric DNA between chromosomes in a pathway termed alternative lengthening of telomeres, or ALT. Although it remains to be clarified why a cell chooses the ALT pathway and how ALT is initiated, recently identified mutations in factors that shape the chromatin and epigenetic landscape of ALT telomeres are shedding light on these mechanisms. In this review, we examine these recent findings and integrate them into the current models of the ALT mechanism. PMID:25172551

  17. 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.

  18. Telomere dysfunction drives aberrant hematopoietic differentiation and Myelodysplastic Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    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; Gomez, Irene Ganan; 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.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY 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. PMID:25965571

  19. Keeping It in the Family: ATRX Loss Promotes Persistent Sister Telomere Cohesion in ALT Cancer Cells.

    PubMed

    Roake, Caitlin M; Artandi, Steven E

    2015-09-14

    In this issue of Cancer Cell, Ramamoorthy and Smith report that cancer cells that maintain their chromosome ends through alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) display persistent sister telomere cohesion. This delayed resolution of sister telomere cohesion depends upon the loss of ATRX and its histone-sequestering function and is associated with increased recombination between sister telomeres. PMID:26373274

  20. 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...

  1. 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. PMID:27064212

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

    PubMed

    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

  3. 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

  4. GENOMIC ANALYSIS OF A 1 MB REGION NEAR THE TELOMERE OF HESSIAN FLY CHROMOSOME X2 AND AVIRULENCE GENE VH13

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chromosome walking and FISH were utilized to identify a contig of 50 BAC clones near the telomere of the short arm of Hessian fly chromosome X2 and near the avirulence gene vH13. These clones enabled us to correlate physical and genetic distance in this region of the Hessian fly genome. Sequence da...

  5. Correlation of Chromosomal Instability, Telomere Length and Telomere Maintenance in Microsatellite Stable Rectal Cancer: A Molecular Subclass of Rectal Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Boardman, Lisa A.; Johnson, Ruth A.; Viker, Kimberly B.; Hafner, Kari A.; Jenkins, Robert B.; Riegert-Johnson, Douglas L.; Smyrk, Thomas C.; Litzelman, Kristin; Seo, Songwon; Gangnon, Ronald E.; Engelman, Corinne D.; Rider, David N.; Vanderboom, Russell J.; Thibodeau, Stephen N.; Petersen, Gloria M.; Skinner, Halcyon G.

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Colorectal cancer (CRC) tumor DNA is characterized by chromosomal damage termed chromosomal instability (CIN) and excessively shortened telomeres. Up to 80% of CRC is microsatellite stable (MSS) and is historically considered to be chromosomally unstable (CIN+). However, tumor phenotyping depicts some MSS CRC with little or no genetic changes, thus being chromosomally stable (CIN-). MSS CIN- tumors have not been assessed for telomere attrition. Experimental Design MSS rectal cancers from patients ≤50 years old with Stage II (B2 or higher) or Stage III disease were assessed for CIN, telomere length and telomere maintenance mechanism (telomerase activation [TA]; alternative lengthening of telomeres [ALT]). Relative telomere length was measured by qPCR in somatic epithelial and cancer DNA. TA was measured with the TRAPeze assay, and tumors were evaluated for the presence of C-circles indicative of ALT. p53 mutation status was assessed in all available samples. DNA copy number changes were evaluated with Spectral Genomics aCGH. Results Tumors were classified as chromosomally stable (CIN-) and chromosomally instable (CIN+) by degree of DNA copy number changes. CIN- tumors (35%; n=6) had fewer copy number changes (<17% of their clones with DNA copy number changes) than CIN+ tumors (65%; n=13) which had high levels of copy number changes in 20% to 49% of clones. Telomere lengths were longer in CIN- compared to CIN+ tumors (p=0.0066) and in those in which telomerase was not activated (p=0.004). Tumors exhibiting activation of telomerase had shorter tumor telomeres (p=0.0040); and tended to be CIN+ (p=0.0949). Conclusions MSS rectal cancer appears to represent a heterogeneous group of tumors that may be categorized both on the basis of CIN status and telomere maintenance mechanism. MSS CIN- rectal cancers appear to have longer telomeres than those of MSS CIN+ rectal cancers and to utilize ALT rather than activation of telomerase. PMID:24278232

  6. Telomeres Cluster De Novo before the Initiation of Synapsis: A Three-dimensional Spatial Analysis of Telomere Positions before and during Meiotic Prophase

    PubMed Central

    Bass, Hank W.; Marshall, Wallace F.; Sedat, John W.; Agard, David A.; Cande, W. Zacheus

    1997-01-01

    We have analyzed the progressive changes in the spatial distribution of telomeres during meiosis using three-dimensional, high resolution fluorescence microscopy. Fixed meiotic cells of maize (Zea mays L.) were subjected to in situ hybridization under conditions that preserved chromosome structure, allowing identification of stage-dependent changes in telomere arrangements. We found that nuclei at the last somatic prophase before meiosis exhibit a nonrandom, polarized chromosome organization resulting in a loose grouping of telomeres. Quantitative measurements on the spatial arrangements of telomeres revealed that, as cells passed through premeiotic interphase and into leptotene, there was an increase in the frequency of large telomere-to-telomere distances and a decrease in the bias toward peripheral localization of telomeres. By leptotene, there was no obvious evidence of telomere grouping, and the large, singular nucleolus was internally located, nearly concentric with the nucleus. At the end of leptotene, telomeres clustered de novo at the nuclear periphery, coincident with a displacement of the nucleolus to one side. The telomere cluster persisted throughout zygotene and into early pachytene. The nucleolus was adjacent to the cluster at zygotene. At the pachytene stage, telomeres rearranged again by dispersing throughout the nuclear periphery. The stagedependent changes in telomere arrangements are suggestive of specific, active telomere-associated motility processes with meiotic functions. Thus, the formation of the cluster itself is an early event in the nuclear reorganizations associated with meiosis and may reflect a control point in the initiation of synapsis or crossing over. PMID:9105032

  7. P66SHC deletion improves fertility and progeric phenotype of late-generation TERC-deficient mice but not their short lifespan.

    PubMed

    Giorgio, Marco; Stendardo, Massimo; Migliaccio, Enrica; Pelicci, Pier Giuseppe

    2016-06-01

    Oxidative stress and telomere attrition are considered the driving factors of aging. As oxidative damage to telomeric DNA favors the erosion of chromosome ends and, in turn, telomere shortening increases the sensitivity to pro-oxidants, these two factors may trigger a detrimental vicious cycle. To check whether limiting oxidative stress slows down telomere shortening and related progeria, we have investigated the effect of p66SHC deletion, which has been shown to reduce oxidative stress and mitochondrial apoptosis, on late-generation TERC (telomerase RNA component)-deficient mice having short telomeres and reduced lifespan. Double mutant (TERC(-/-) p66SHC(-/-) ) mice were generated, and their telomere length, fertility, and lifespan investigated in different generations. Results revealed that p66SHC deletion partially rescues sterility and weight loss, as well as organ atrophy, of TERC-deficient mice, but not their short lifespan and telomere erosion. Therefore, our data suggest that p66SHC-mediated oxidative stress and telomere shortening synergize in some tissues (including testes) to accelerate aging; however, early mortality of late-generation mice seems to be independent of any link between p66SHC-mediated oxidative stress and telomere attrition. PMID:26968134

  8. 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

  9. Replication factor C recognizes 5'-phosphate ends of telomeres.

    PubMed

    Uchiumi, F; Ohta, T; Tanuma, S

    1996-12-01

    Telomere structure is suggested to be important for chromosome and cell integrity and thereby for cell senescence and immortality. In a search for cDNA encoding proteins that bind specifically to telomere repeat sequences, we used random primer-labeled telomere probes to screen a lambda gt11 Jurkat cDNA library. The clone obtained encodes the central region of the large subunit of replication factor C (RFC), a known activator of DNA polymerase delta. Electrophoretic mobility shift analyses of the binding ability of RFC-glutathione S-transferase (GST) fusion protein to telomere probes revealed that RFC recognizes preferentially 5'-phosphoryl (P) groups but not 3'-hydroxyl (OH) groups at the ends of double-stranded telomere repeats. This structure-specific binding of RFC is supported by the observations that it binds to 3'-OH/5'-P ends in telomere repeats produced by DNase gamma, but not to those produced by 3'-P/5'-OH ends for DNase alpha. These findings suggest a novel function for RFC in telomere stability or turnover. PMID:8954124

  10. Telomere analysis by fluorescence in situ hybridization and flow cytometry.

    PubMed Central

    Hultdin, M; Grönlund, E; Norrback, K; Eriksson-Lindström, E; Just, T; Roos, G

    1998-01-01

    Determination of telomere length is traditionally performed by Southern blotting and densitometry, giving a mean telomere restriction fragment (TRF) value for the total cell population studied. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) of telomere repeats has been used to calculate telomere length, a method called quantitative (Q)-FISH. We here present a quantitative flow cytometric approach, Q-FISHFCM, for evaluation of telomere length distribution in individual cells based on in situ hybridization using a fluorescein-labeled peptide nucleic acid (PNA) (CCCTAA)3probe and DNA staining with propidium iodide. A simple and rapid protocol with results within 30 h was developed giving high reproducibility. One important feature of the protocol was the use of an internal cell line control, giving an automatic compensation for potential differences in the hybridization steps. This protocol was tested successfully on cell lines and clinical samples from bone marrow, blood, lymph nodes and tonsils. A significant correlation was found between Southern blotting and Q-FISHFCMtelomere length values ( P = 0.002). The mean sub-telomeric DNA length of the tested cell lines and clinical samples was estimated to be 3.2 kbp. With the Q-FISHFCMmethod the fluorescence signal could be determined in different cell cycle phases, indicating that in human cells the vast majority of telomeric DNA is replicated early in S phase. PMID:9685479

  11. 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. PMID:26028466

  12. 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 Ss; 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. PMID:27216158

  13. MicroRNA396-Targeted SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE Is Required to Repress Flowering and Is Related to the Development of Abnormal Flower Symptoms by the Phyllody Symptoms1 Effector.

    PubMed

    Yang, Chiao-Yin; Huang, Yu-Hsin; Lin, Chan-Pin; Lin, Yen-Yu; Hsu, Hao-Chun; Wang, Chun-Neng; Liu, Li-Yu Daisy; Shen, Bing-Nan; Lin, Shih-Shun

    2015-08-01

    Leafy flowers are the major symptoms of peanut witches' broom (PnWB) phytoplasma infection in Catharanthus roseus. The orthologs of the phyllody symptoms1 (PHYL1) effector of PnWB from other species of phytoplasma can trigger the proteasomal degradation of several MADS box transcription factors, resulting in leafy flower formation. In contrast, the flowering negative regulator gene SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE (SVP) was up-regulated in PnWB-infected C. roseus plants, but most microRNA (miRNA) genes had repressed expression. Coincidentally, transgenic Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) plants expressing the PHYL1 gene of PnWB (PHYL1 plants), which show leafy flower phenotypes, up-regulate SVP of Arabidopsis (AtSVP) but repress a putative regulatory miRNA of AtSVP, miR396. However, the mechanism by which PHYL1 regulates AtSVP and miR396 is unknown, and the evidence of miR396-mediated AtSVP degradation is lacking. Here, we show that miR396 triggers AtSVP messenger RNA (mRNA) decay using genetic approaches, a reporter assay, and high-throughput degradome profiles. Genetic evidence indicates that PHYL1 plants and atmir396a-1 mutants have higher AtSVP accumulation, whereas the transgenic plants overexpressing MIR396 display lower AtSVP expression. The reporter assay indicated that target-site mutation results in decreasing the miR396-mediated repression efficiency. Moreover, degradome profiles revealed that miR396 triggers AtSVP mRNA decay rather than miRNA-mediated cleavage, implying that AtSVP caused miR396-mediated translation inhibition. We hypothesize that PHYL1 directly or indirectly interferes with miR396-mediated AtSVP mRNA decay and synergizes with other effects (e.g. MADS box transcription factor degradation), resulting in abnormal flower formation. We anticipate our findings to be a starting point for studying the posttranscriptional regulation of PHYL1 effectors in symptom development. PMID:26103992

  14. A Model of Canine Leukocyte Telomere Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Benetos, Athanase; Kimura, Masayuki; Labat, Carlos; Buchoff, Gerald M.; Huber, Shell; Labat, Laura; Lu, Xiaobin; Aviv, Abraham

    2011-01-01

    Summary Recent studies have found associations of leukocyte telomere length (TL) with diseases of aging and with longevity. However, it is unknown whether birth leukocyte TL or its age-dependent attrition— the two factors that determine leukocyte TL dynamics— explains these associations, since acquiring this information entails monitoring individuals over their entire life course. We tested in dogs a model of leukocyte TL dynamics, based on the following premises: (i) TL is synchronized among somatic tissues; (ii) TL in skeletal muscle, which is largely post-mitotic, is a measure of TL in early development; (iii) the difference between TL in leukocytes and muscle (ΔLMTL) is the extent of leukocyte TL shortening since early development. Using this model, we observed in 83 dogs (ages 4–42 months) no significant change with age in TLs of skeletal muscle and a shorter TL in leukocytes than in skeletal muscle (P<0.0001). Age explained 43% of the variation in ΔLMTL (P<0.00001) but only 6% of the variation in leukocyte TL (P=0.035) among dogs. Accordingly, muscle TL and ΔLMTL provide the two essential factors of leukocyte TL dynamics in the individual dog. When applied to humans, the partition of the contribution of leukocyte TL during early development versus telomere shortening afterward might provide information about whether the individual’s longevity is calibrated to either one or both factors that define leukocyte TL dynamics. PMID:21917112

  15. 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. PMID:25266121

  16. 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.

  17. A cloned DNA segment from the telomeric region of human chromosome 4p is not detectably rearranged in Huntington disease patients.

    PubMed Central

    Pritchard, C; Casher, D; Bull, L; Cox, D R; Myers, R M

    1990-01-01

    Genetic linkage studies have mapped the Huntington disease (HD) mutation to the distal region of the short arm of human chromosome 4. Analysis of recombination events in this region has produced contradictory locations for HD. One possible location is in the region distal to the D4S90 marker, which is located within 300 kilobases of the telomere. Other crossover events predict a more centromeric position for HD. Here we analyze the telomeric region of 4p in detail. Cloned DNA segments were derived from this region by utilizing a radiation-induced somatic cell hybrid as a source of DNA combined with preparative pulsed-field gel electrophoresis to enrich for the telomeric fraction. Additional DNA was obtained by using the cloned segments as multiple start points for cosmid walks. This strategy proved to be an effective method for cloning 250 kilobases of DNA in the region telomeric to D4S90. Hybridization analysis with the cloned DNA did not provide any evidence for the presence of rearrangements of 100 base pairs or greater in the DNA of individuals affected with HD. We also found no change in the size or structure of the 4p telomere in these samples. Images PMID:2144903

  18. A cloned DNA segment from the telomeric region of human chromosome 4p is not detectably rearranged in Huntington disease patients.

    PubMed

    Pritchard, C; Casher, D; Bull, L; Cox, D R; Myers, R M

    1990-09-01

    Genetic linkage studies have mapped the Huntington disease (HD) mutation to the distal region of the short arm of human chromosome 4. Analysis of recombination events in this region has produced contradictory locations for HD. One possible location is in the region distal to the D4S90 marker, which is located within 300 kilobases of the telomere. Other crossover events predict a more centromeric position for HD. Here we analyze the telomeric region of 4p in detail. Cloned DNA segments were derived from this region by utilizing a radiation-induced somatic cell hybrid as a source of DNA combined with preparative pulsed-field gel electrophoresis to enrich for the telomeric fraction. Additional DNA was obtained by using the cloned segments as multiple start points for cosmid walks. This strategy proved to be an effective method for cloning 250 kilobases of DNA in the region telomeric to D4S90. Hybridization analysis with the cloned DNA did not provide any evidence for the presence of rearrangements of 100 base pairs or greater in the DNA of individuals affected with HD. We also found no change in the size or structure of the 4p telomere in these samples. PMID:2144903

  19. ORNL FISH Telomere Segmentation GUI and Instruction Manual

    2002-12-01

    The ORNL FISH Telomere Segmentation GUI takes images of cellular chromosomes and telomeres obtained through Fluorescent in-situ Hybridization and automatically labels the pixels that belong to the chromosomes and telomeres, which are cellular structures of interest to cancer researchers. The process of labeling the pixels is called segmentation. The resulting segmentation can be edited through the use of an extensive graphical user-interface or GUI, saved, and exported to a data file suitable for use withmore » data analysis programs such as Microsoft Excel.« less

  20. Telomere dysfunction and Tumor Suppression-the Senescence Connection

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Yibin; Chan, Suzanne; Chang, Sandy

    2013-01-01

    Long lived organisms such as humans have evolved several intrinsic tumor suppressor mechanisms to combat the slew of oncogenic somatic mutations that constantly arise in proliferating stem cell compartments. One of these anti-cancer barriers is the telomere, a specialized nucleoprotein that caps the ends of eukaryotic chromosome. Impaired telomere function activates the canonical DNA damage response pathway that engages p53 to initiate apoptosis or replicative senescence. Here, we discuss how p53-dependent senescence induced by dysfunctional telomeres may be as potent as apoptosis in suppressing tumorigenesis in vivo. PMID:18500246

  1. 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 ...

  2. Urine - abnormal color

    MedlinePlus

    ... straw-yellow. Abnormally colored urine may be cloudy, dark, or blood-colored. Causes Abnormal urine color may ... red blood cells, or mucus in the urine. Dark brown but clear urine is a sign of ...

  3. 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

  4. Nuclear-receptor-mediated telomere insertion leads to genome instability in ALT cancers.

    PubMed

    Marzec, Paulina; Armenise, Claudia; Pérot, Gaëlle; Roumelioti, Fani-Marlen; Basyuk, Eugenia; Gagos, Sarantis; Chibon, Frédéric; Déjardin, Jérôme

    2015-02-26

    The breakage-fusion-bridge cycle is a classical mechanism of telomere-driven genome instability in which dysfunctional telomeres are fused to other chromosomal extremities, creating dicentric chromosomes that eventually break at mitosis. Here, we uncover a distinct pathway of telomere-driven genome instability, specifically occurring in cells that maintain telomeres with the alternative lengthening of telomeres mechanism. We show that, in these cells, telomeric DNA is added to multiple discrete sites throughout the genome, corresponding to regions regulated by NR2C/F transcription factors. These proteins drive local telomere DNA addition by recruiting telomeric chromatin. This mechanism, which we name targeted telomere insertion (TTI), generates potential common fragile sites that destabilize the genome. We propose that TTI driven by NR2C/F proteins contributes to the formation of complex karyotypes in ALT tumors. PMID:25723166

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

    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

  6. 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

  7. CpG-island promoters drive transcription of human telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Nergadze, Solomon G.; Farnung, Benjamin O.; Wischnewski, Harry; Khoriauli, Lela; Vitelli, Valerio; Chawla, Raghav; Giulotto, Elena; Azzalin, Claus M.

    2009-01-01

    The longstanding dogma that telomeres, the heterochromatic extremities of linear eukaryotic chromosomes, are transcriptionally silent was overturned by the discovery that DNA-dependent RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) transcribes telomeric DNA into telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA). Here, we show that CpG dinucleotide-rich DNA islands, shared among multiple human chromosome ends, promote transcription of TERRA molecules. TERRA promoters sustain cellular expression of reporter genes, are located immediately upstream of TERRA transcription start sites, and are bound by active RNAPII in vivo. Finally, the identified promoter CpG dinucleotides are methylated in vivo, and cytosine methylation negatively regulates TERRA abundance. The existence of subtelomeric promoters, driving TERRA transcription from independent chromosome ends, supports the idea that TERRA exerts fundamental functions in the context of telomere biology. PMID:19850908

  8. The molecular genetics of the telomere biology disorders.

    PubMed

    Bertuch, Alison A

    2016-08-01

    The importance of telomere function for human health is exemplified by a collection of Mendelian disorders referred to as the telomere biology disorders (TBDs), telomeropathies, or syndromes of telomere shortening. Collectively, the TBDs cover a spectrum of conditions from multisystem disease presenting in infancy to isolated disease presentations in adulthood, most notably idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Eleven genes have been found mutated in the TBDs to date, each of which is linked to some aspect of telomere maintenance. This review summarizes the molecular defects that result from mutations in these genes, highlighting recent advances, including the addition of PARN to the TBD gene family and the discovery of heterozygous mutations in RTEL1 as a cause of familial pulmonary fibrosis. PMID:26400640

  9. Mutations in Ran system affected telomere silencing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    SciTech Connect

    Hayashi, Naoyuki Kobayashi, Masahiko; Shimizu, Hiroko; Yamamoto, Ken-ichi; Murakami, Seishi; Nishimoto, Takeharu

    2007-11-23

    The Ran GTPase system regulates the direction and timing of several cellular events, such as nuclear-cytosolic transport, centrosome formation, and nuclear envelope assembly in telophase. To gain insight into the Ran system's involvement in chromatin formation, we investigated gene silencing at the telomere in several mutants of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which had defects in genes involved in the Ran system. A mutation of the RanGAP gene, rna1-1, caused reduced silencing at the telomere, and partial disruption of the nuclear Ran binding factor, yrb2-{delta}2, increased this silencing. The reduced telomere silencing in rna1-1 cells was suppressed by a high dosage of the SIR3 gene or the SIT4 gene. Furthermore, hyperphosphorylated Sir3 protein accumulated in the rna1-1 mutant. These results suggest that RanGAP is required for the heterochromatin structure at the telomere in budding yeast.

  10. 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

  11. Telomere Fragment Induced Amnion Cell Senescence: A Contributor to Parturition?

    PubMed Central

    Polettini, Jossimara; Behnia, Faranak; Taylor, Brandie D.; Saade, George R.; Taylor, Robert N.; Menon, Ramkumar

    2015-01-01

    Oxidative stress (OS)-induced senescence of the amniochorion has been associated with parturition at term. We investigated whether telomere fragments shed into the amniotic fluid (AF) correlated with labor status and tested if exogenous telomere fragments (T-oligos) could induce human and murine amnion cell senescence. In a cross-sectional clinical study, AF telomere fragment concentrations quantitated by a validated real-time PCR assay were higher in women in labor at term compared to those not in labor. In vitro treatment of primary human amnion epithelial cells with 40 μM T-oligos ([TTAGGG]2) that mimic telomere fragments, activated p38MAPK, produced senescence-associated (SA) β-gal staining and increased interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 production compared to cells treated with complementary DNA sequences (Cont-oligos, [AATCCC]2). T-oligos injected into the uteri of pregnant CD1 mice on day 14 of gestation, led to increased p38MAPK, SA-β-gal (SA β-gal) staining in murine amniotic sacs and higher AF IL-8 levels on day 18, compared to saline treated controls. In summary, term labor AF samples had higher telomere fragments than term not in labor AF. In vitro and in situ telomere fragments increased human and murine amnion p38MAPK, senescence and inflammatory cytokines. We propose that telomere fragments released from senescent fetal cells are indicative of fetal cell aging. Based on our data, these telomere fragments cause oxidative stress associated damages to the term amniotic sac and force them to release other DAMPS, which, in turn, provide a sterile immune response that may be one of the many inflammatory signals required to initiate parturition at term. PMID:26397719

  12. [Telomeres and telomerase as targeted therapies in cancer treatment].

    PubMed

    Souiden, Y; Bouraoui, A; Chaieb, K; Mahdouani, K

    2010-09-01

    Advances in chromosome dynamics have increased our understanding of the significant role of telomeres and telomerase in cancer. Telomerase is expressed in almost all cancer cells but is inactive in most normal somatic cells. Therefore, telomerase is an important target for the design of therapeutic agents that might have minimal side effects. Herein, we evaluate current approaches to telomerase/telomere-targeted therapy, discuss the benefits and disadvantages, and speculate on the future direction of telomerase inhibitors as cancer therapeutics. PMID:20663741

  13. Molecular adaptation of telomere associated genes in mammals

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Placental mammals display a huge range of life history traits, including size, longevity, metabolic rate and germ line generation time. Although a number of general trends have been proposed between these traits, there are exceptions that warrant further investigation. Species such as naked mole rat, human and certain bat species all exhibit extreme longevity with respect to body size. It has long been established that telomeres and telomere maintenance have a clear role in ageing but it has not yet been established whether there is evidence for adaptation in telomere maintenance proteins that could account for increased longevity in these species. Results Here we carry out a molecular investigation of selective pressure variation, specifically focusing on telomere associated genes across placental mammals. In general we observe a large number of instances of positive selection acting on telomere genes. Although these signatures of selection overall are not significantly correlated with either longevity or body size we do identify positive selection in the microbat species Myotis lucifugus in functionally important regions of the telomere maintenance genes DKC1 and TERT, and in naked mole rat in the DNA repair gene BRCA1. Conclusion These results demonstrate the multifarious selective pressures acting across the mammal phylogeny driving lineage-specific adaptations of telomere associated genes. Our results show that regardless of the longevity of a species, these proteins have evolved under positive selection thereby removing increased longevity as the single selective force driving this rapid rate of evolution. However, evidence of molecular adaptations specific to naked mole rat and Myotis lucifugus highlight functionally significant regions in genes that may alter the way in which telomeres are regulated and maintained in these longer-lived species. PMID:24237966

  14. Telomere uncapping at the crossroad between cell cycle arrest and carcinogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Gobbini, Elisa; Trovesi, Camilla; Cassani, Corinne; Longhese, Maria Pia

    2014-01-01

    Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes that protect the natural ends of chromosomes from fusion and degradation and prevent them eliciting a checkpoint response. This protective function, which is called telomere capping, is largely mediated by telomere-binding proteins that suppress checkpoint activation and DNA repair activities. Telomere dysfunction through progressive shortening or removal of capping proteins leads to a checkpoint-mediated block of cell proliferation, which acts as a cancer-suppressor mechanism. However, genetic alterations that inactivate the checkpoint can lead to further telomere erosion and increased genomic instability that, coupled with the activation of mechanisms to restabilize telomeres, can drive the oncogenic process. PMID:27308311

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Telomere mean length in patients with diabetic retinopathy

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Rupali; Gupta, Amod; Thungapathra, M.; Bansal, Reema

    2015-01-01

    Telomere regression has been shown to be associated with several complex disorders like diabetes mellitus, cancer, cataract etc. Diabetic retinopathy develops as a complication of chronic hyperglycemia leading to increased oxidative stress that may potentially lead to shortening of telomeres. We sought to determine whether there is any association between telomere mean length (TML) of peripheral blood monocytes with the presence and severity of diabetic retinopathy. The study involved 120 subjects, comprising 27 non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) without any diabetic retinopathy (NDR), 45 NIDDM subjects with non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR), 12 NIDDM subjects with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) and 36 healthy controls. Determination of TML of the study subjects was performed by Southern hybridization using telomere probe. Among the biochemical parameters, HBA1c showed a negative correlation with shortened telomeres in the PDR subjects. However, telomere length was positively correlated with high density lipo protein (HDL) in the control subjects. The control group had significantly greater TML as compared to the rest of the groups and the NDR subjects with NPDR and PDR had substantially decreased TML than the NIDDM subjects without retinopathy. PMID:26670612

  18. Human Rap1 modulates TRF2 attraction to telomeric DNA.

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-11

    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

  19. 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

  20. Telomere Transcripts Target Telomerase in Human Cancer Cells.

    PubMed

    Kreilmeier, Theresa; Mejri, Doris; Hauck, Marlene; Kleiter, Miriam; Holzmann, Klaus

    2016-01-01

    Long non-coding transcripts from telomeres, called telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA), were identified as blocking telomerase activity (TA), a telomere maintenance mechanism (TMM), in tumors. We expressed recombinant TERRA transcripts in tumor cell lines with TA and with alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) to study effects on TMM and cell growth. Adeno- and lentivirus constructs (AV and LV) were established for transient and stable expression of approximately 130 units of telomere hexanucleotide repeats under control of cytomegalovirus (CMV) and human RNase P RNA H1 (hH1) promoters with and without polyadenylation, respectively. Six human tumor cell lines either using telomerase or ALT were infected and analyzed for TA levels. Pre-infection cells using telomerase had 1%-3% of the TERRA expression levels of ALT cells. AV and LV expression of recombinant TERRA in telomerase positive cells showed a 1.3-2.6 fold increase in TERRA levels, and a decrease in TA of 25%-58%. Dominant-negative or small hairpin RNA (shRNA) viral expression against human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) results in senescence, not induced by TERRA expression. Population doubling time, cell viability and TL (telomere length) were not impacted by ectopic TERRA expression. Clonal growth was reduced by TERRA expression in TA but not ALT cell lines. ALT cells were not affected by treatments applied. Established cell models and tools may be used to better understand the role of TERRA in the cell, especially for targeting telomerase. PMID:27537914

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  3. 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

  4. Specific Localization of the Drosophila Telomere Transposon Proteins and RNAs, Give Insight in Their Behavior, Control and Telomere Biology in This Organism

    PubMed Central

    López-Panadès, Elisenda; Gavis, Elizabeth R.; Casacuberta, Elena

    2015-01-01

    Drosophila telomeres constitute a remarkable exception to the telomerase mechanism. Although maintaining the same cytological and functional properties as telomerase maintain telomeres, Drosophila telomeres embed the telomere retrotransposons whose specific and highly regulated terminal transposition maintains the appropriate telomere length in this organism. Nevertheless, our current understanding of how the mechanism of the retrotransposon telomere works and which features are shared with the telomerase system is very limited. We report for the first time a detailed study of the localization of the main components that constitute the telomeres in Drosophila, HeT-A and TART RNAs and proteins. Our results in wild type and mutant strains reveal localizations of HeT-A Gag and TART Pol that give insight in the behavior of the telomere retrotransposons and their control. We find that TART Pol and HeT-A Gag only co-localize at the telomeres during the interphase of cells undergoing mitotic cycles. In addition, unexpected protein and RNA localizations with a well-defined pattern in cells such as the ovarian border cells and nurse cells, suggest possible strategies for the telomere transposons to reach the oocyte, and/or additional functions that might be important for the correct development of the organism. Finally, we have been able to visualize the telomere RNAs at different ovarian stages of development in wild type and mutant lines, demonstrating their presence in spite of being tightly regulated by the piRNA mechanism. PMID:26068215

  5. Telomere-Binding Protein TPP1 Modulates Telomere Homeostasis and Confers Radioresistance to Human Colorectal Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Liu; Yang, Xiaoxi; Zhong, Juan; Li, Zheng; Yang, Hui; Lei, Han; Yu, Haijun; Liao, ZhengKai; Zhou, Fuxiang; Xie, Conghua; Zhou, Yunfeng

    2013-01-01

    Background Radiotherapy is one of the major therapeutic strategies in cancer treatment. The telomere-binding protein TPP1 is an important component of the shelterin complex at mammalian telomeres. Our previous reports showed that TPP1 expression was elevated in radioresistant cells, but the exact effects and mechanisms of TPP1 on radiosensitivity is unclear. Principal Findings In this study, we found that elevated TPP1 expression significantly correlated with radioresistance and longer telomere length in human colorectal cancer cell lines. Moreover, TPP1 overexpression showed lengthened telomere length and a significant decrease of radiosensitivity to X-rays. TPP1 mediated radioresistance was correlated with a decreased apoptosis rate after IR exposure. Furthermore, TPP1 overexpression showed prolonged G2/M arrest mediated by ATM/ATR-Chk1 signal pathway after IR exposure. Moreover, TPP1 overexpression accelerated the repair kinetics of total DNA damage and telomere dysfunction induced by ionizing radiation. Conclusions We demonstrated that elevated expressions of TPP1 in human colorectal cancer cells could protect telomere from DNA damage and confer radioresistance. These results suggested that TPP1 may be a potential target in the radiotherapy of colorectal cancer. PMID:24260532

  6. Meiotic Telomere Protein Ndj1p Is Required for Meiosis-Specific Telomere Distribution, Bouquet Formation and Efficient Homologue Pairing

    PubMed Central

    Trelles-Sticken, Edgar; Dresser, Michael E.; Scherthan, Harry

    2000-01-01

    We have investigated the requirements for NDJ1 in meiotic telomere redistribution and clustering in synchronized cultures of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. On induction of wild-type meiosis, telomeres disperse from premeiotic aggregates over the nuclear periphery, and then cluster near the spindle pole body (bouquet arrangement) before dispersing again. In ndj1Δ meiocytes, telomeres are scattered throughout the nucleus and fail to form perinuclear meiosis-specific distribution patterns, suggesting that Ndj1p may function to tether meiotic telomeres to the nuclear periphery. Since ndj1Δ meiocytes fail to cluster their telomeres at any prophase stage, Ndj1p is the first protein shown to be required for bouquet formation in a synaptic organism. Analysis of homologue pairing by two-color fluorescence in situ hybridization with cosmid probes to regions on III, IX, and XI revealed that disruption of bouquet formation is associated with a significant delay (>2 h) of homologue pairing. An increased and persistent fraction of ndj1Δ meiocytes with Zip1p polycomplexes suggests that chromosome polarization is important for synapsis progression. Thus, our observations support the hypothesis that meiotic telomere clustering contributes to efficient homologue alignment and synaptic pairing. Under naturally occurring conditions, bouquet formation may allow for rapid sporulation and confer a selective advantage. PMID:11018056

  7. The Presence of Telomere Fusion in Sporadic Colon Cancer Independently of Disease Stage, TP53/KRAS Mutation Status, Mean Telomere Length, and Telomerase Activity

    PubMed Central

    Tanaka, Hiromi; Beam, Matthew J.; Caruana, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    Defects in telomere maintenance can result in telomere fusions that likely play a causative role in carcinogenesis by promoting genomic instability. However, this proposition remains to be fully understood in human colon carcinogenesis. In the present study, the temporal sequence of telomere dysfunction dynamics was delineated by analyzing telomere fusion, telomere length, telomerase activity, hotspot mutations in KRAS or BRAF, and TP53 of tissue samples obtained from 18 colon cancer patients. Our results revealed that both the deficiency of p53 and the shortening of mean telomere length were not necessary for producing telomere fusions in colon tissue. In five cases, telomere fusion was observed even in tissue adjacent to cancerous lesions, suggesting that genomic instability is initiated in pathologically non-cancerous lesions. The extent of mean telomere attrition increased with lymph node invasiveness of tumors, implying that mean telomere shortening correlates with colon cancer progression. Telomerase activity was relatively higher in most cancer tissues containing mutation(s) in KRAS or BRAF and/or TP53 compared to those without these hotspot mutations, suggesting that telomerase could become fully active at the late stage of colon cancer development. Interestingly, the majority of telomere fusion junctions in colon cancer appeared to be a chromatid-type containing chromosome 7q or 12q. In sum, this meticulous correlative study not only highlights the concept that telomere fusion is present in the early stages of cancer regardless of TP53/KRAS mutation status, mean telomere length, and telomerase activity, but also provides additional insights targeting key telomere fusion junctions which may have significant implications for colon cancer diagnoses. PMID:25379018

  8. Tooth - abnormal shape

    MedlinePlus

    Hutchinson incisors; Abnormal tooth shape; Peg teeth; Mulberry teeth; Conical teeth ... The appearance of normal teeth varies, especially the molars. ... conditions. Specific diseases can affect tooth shape, tooth ...

  9. Tooth - abnormal shape

    MedlinePlus

    Hutchinson incisors; Abnormal tooth shape; Peg teeth; Mulberry teeth; Conical teeth ... from many different conditions. Specific diseases can affect tooth shape, tooth color, time of appearance, or absence ...

  10. Social Isolation Shortens Telomeres in African Grey Parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus)

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24705445

  11. Loss of ATRX Suppresses Resolution of Telomere Cohesion to Control Recombination in ALT Cancer Cells.

    PubMed

    Ramamoorthy, Mahesh; Smith, Susan

    2015-09-14

    The chromatin-remodeler ATRX is frequently lost in cancer cells that use ALT (alternative lengthening of telomeres) for telomere maintenance, but its function in telomere recombination is unknown. Here we show that loss of ATRX suppresses the timely resolution of sister telomere cohesion that normally occurs prior to mitosis. In the absence of ATRX, the histone variant macroH2A1.1 binds to the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase tankyrase 1, preventing it from localizing to telomeres and resolving cohesion. The resulting persistent telomere cohesion promotes recombination between sister telomeres, while it suppresses inappropriate recombination between non-sisters. Forced resolution of sister telomere cohesion induces excessive recombination between non-homologs, genomic instability, and impaired cell growth, indicating the ATRX-macroH2A1.1-tankyrase axis as a potential therapeutic target in ALT tumors. PMID:26373281

  12. Variations in telomere maintenance and the role of telomerase inhibition in gastrointestinal cancer

    PubMed Central

    Heeg, Steffen

    2015-01-01

    Immortalization is an important step toward the malignant transformation of human cells and is critically dependent upon telomere maintenance. There are two known mechanisms to maintain human telomeres. The process of telomere maintenance is either mediated through activation of the enzyme telomerase or through an alternative mechanism of telomere lengthening called ALT. While 85% of all human tumors show reactivation of telomerase, the remaining 15% are able to maintain telomeres via ALT. The therapeutic potential of telomerase inhibitors is currently investigated in a variety of human cancers. Gastrointestinal tumors are highly dependent on telomerase as a mechanism of telomere maintenance, rendering telomeres as well as telomerase potential targets for cancer therapy. This article focuses on the molecular mechanisms of telomere biology and telomerase activation in gastrointestinal cancers and reviews strategies of telomerase inhibition and their potential therapeutic use in these tumor entities. PMID:26675332

  13. 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

  14. TERT promoter mutations and long telomere length predict poor survival and radiotherapy resistance in gliomas

    PubMed Central

    Qu, Yiping; Wang, Maode; Cui, Bo; Ji, Meiju; Shi, Bingyin; Hou, Peng

    2016-01-01

    Increasing evidences have implicated somatic gain-of-function mutations at the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) promoter as one of the major mechanisms that promote transcriptional activation of TERT and subsequently maintain telomere length in human cancers including glioma. To investigate the prognostic value of these mutations and telomere length, individually and their coexistence, in gliomas, we analyzed two somatic mutations C228T and C250T in the TERT promoter, relative telomere length (RTL), IDH1 mutation and MGMT methylation in 389 glioma patients, and explored their associations with patient characteristics and clinical outcomes. Our data showed that C228T and C250T mutations were found in 17.0% (66 of 389) and 11.8% (46 of 389) of gliomas, respectively, and these two mutations were mutually exclusive in this cancer. Moreover, they were significantly associated with WHO grade. We also found that the RTL was significant longer in gliomas than in meningiomas and normal brain tissues (Median, 0.89 vs. 0.44 and 0.50; P < 0.001), and demonstrated that the RTL was strongly correlated with tumor recurrence. Importantly, TERT promoter mutations or long RTL caused a significantly poorer survival than TERT wild-type or short RTL. Coexisting TERT promoter mutations and long RTL were more commonly associated with poor patient survival than they were individually. Notably, the patients with TERT promoter mutations particularly C228T or long RTL were resistant to radiotherapy. Collectively, TERT promoter mutations and long RTL are not only prognostic factors for poor clinical outcomes, but also the predictors of radiotherapy resistance in gliomas. PMID:26556853

  15. 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

  16. 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

    2015-03-01

    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

  17. Progressive telomere shortening and telomerase reactivation during hepatocellular carcinogenesis.

    PubMed

    Miura, N; Horikawa, I; Nishimoto, A; Ohmura, H; Ito, H; Hirohashi, S; Shay, J W; Oshimura, M

    1997-01-01

    Telomeres shorten progressively with age in normal somatic cells in culture and in vivo. The maintenance of telomere length is assumed to be an obligatory step in the progression and immortalization of most human tumor cells. To understand the role of telomere dynamics in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), we examined the length of terminal restriction fragment (TRF), as an indicator for telomere length, in HCC and surrounding tissues with chronic active hepatitis (CAH) or liver cirrhosis (LC). The study was performed in 12 hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody-positive, 12 hepatitis B virus (HBV) antigen-positive tissues, and 4 tissue samples from virus-negative patients with HCC. The peak TRFs in all 3 types of HCC were significantly shorter than those of the surrounding tissues (i.e., LC or CAH). TRFs examined in one patient with atypical adenomatous hyperplasia (AAH) also was shortened. Thus, progressive TRF shortening occurs from normal to CAH to LC to HCC(AAH). Telomerase, an enzyme that adds repeated telomere sequences onto the chromosome ends and stabilizes telomere length in immortal cells, also was examined in tissues and detected in high levels almost exclusively in HCCs. Interestingly, the intensity of telomerase activity in the AAH case was similar to that of HCC. In addition, the telomerase activity of biopsy samples with a fine 21-gauge needle also was examined in 10 HCCs, 2 adenomatous hyperplasias (AHs), 2 LCs, and 2 CAHs. We found strong telomerase activity in all the HCCs and surprisingly in the 2 cases that were pathologically diagnosed as AH. Thus, the findings strongly suggest that persistent cell proliferation or rapid cell turnover through damage of hepatic cells result in a process of multistep hepatocellular carcinogenesis. Thus, progressive shortening of telomeres and the activation of telomerase may be a useful marker for the early detection of malignant progression in liver disease. PMID:9062581

  18. 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

  19. A retrospective examination of mean relative telomere length in the Tasmanian Familial Hematological Malignancies Study

    PubMed Central

    BLACKBURN, NICHOLAS B.; CHARLESWORTH, JAC C.; MARTHICK, JAMES R.; TEGG, ELIZABETH M.; MARSDEN, KATHERINE A.; SRIKANTH, VELANDAI; BLANGERO, JOHN; LOWENTHAL, RAY M.; FOOTE, SIMON J.; DICKINSON, JOANNE L.

    2015-01-01

    Telomere length has a biological link to cancer, with excessive telomere shortening leading to genetic instability and resultant malignant transformation. Telomere length is heritable and genetic variants determining telomere length have been identified. Telomere biology has been implicated in the development of hematological malignancies (HMs), therefore, closer examination of telomere length in HMs may provide further insight into genetic etiology of disease development and support for telomere length as a prognostic factor in HMs. We retrospectively examined mean relative telomere length in the Tasmanian Familial Hematological Malignancies Study using a quantitative PCR method on genomic DNA from peripheral blood samples. Fifty-five familial HM cases, 191 unaffected relatives of familial HM cases and 75 non-familial HM cases were compared with 758 population controls. Variance components modeling was employed to identify factors influencing variation in telomere length. Overall, HM cases had shorter mean relative telomere length (P=2.9×10−6) and this was observed across both familial and non-familial HM cases (P=2.2×10−4 and 2.2×10−5, respectively) as well as additional subgroupings of HM cases according to broad subtypes. Mean relative telomere length was also significantly heritable (62.6%; P=4.7×10−5) in the HM families in the present study. We present new evidence of significantly shorter mean relative telomere length in both familial and non-familial HM cases from the same population adding further support to the potential use of telomere length as a prognostic factor in HMs. Whether telomere shortening is the cause of or the result of HMs is yet to be determined, but as telomere length was found to be highly heritable in our HM families this suggests that genetics driving the variation in telomere length is related to HM disease risk. PMID:25351806

  20. Telomeric G-Tail Length and Hospitalization for Cardiovascular Events in Hemodialysis Patients

    PubMed Central

    Hirashio, Shuma; Nakashima, Ayumu; Doi, Shigehiro; Anno, Kumiko; Aoki, Eriko; Shimamoto, Akira; Yorioka, Noriaki; Kohno, Nobuoki; Masaki, Takao

    2014-01-01

    Background and objectives Telomeric G-tails play a pivotal role in maintaining the intramolecular loop structure of telomeres. Previous in vitro studies have suggested that the erosion of telomeric G-tails triggers cellular senescence, leading to organ dysfunction and atherosclerosis. The authors recently established a method to measure telomeric G-tail length using a hybridization protection assay. Using this method, this study investigated whether telomeric G-tail length could be used as a novel predictor for future cardiovascular events in hemodialysis patients. Design, setting, participants, & measurements A prospective observational study was performed involving a cohort of 203 Japanese hemodialysis patients to examine the lengths of telomeric G-tails and total telomeres and subsequent cardiovascular events during a median follow-up period of 48 months. The lengths of telomeric G-tails and total telomeres were also measured in 203 participants who did not have CKD and who were age- and sex-matched to hemodialysis patients. Results The lengths of telomeric G-tails and total telomeres were significantly shorter in hemodialysis patients than in control subjects. Telomeric G-tails, but not total telomeres, were independently and negatively associated with clinical history of cardiovascular disease. During follow-up, 80 cardiovascular events occurred. Total telomere length did not predict cardiovascular events. However, the length of telomeric G-tails was associated with new-onset cardiovascular events (hazard ratio per log luminescence signals, 0.12; 95% confidence interval, 0.12 to 0.50) that persisted after adjustment for age, sex, diabetes mellitus, clinical history of cardiovascular disease, inflammation, use of vitamin D, and serum levels of phosphate and intact parathyroid hormone. Conclusions Longer telomeric G-tail length is associated with a lower risk of future cardiovascular events in hemodialysis patients. PMID:25237070

  1. 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.

  2. Telomere damage induced by the G-quadruplex ligand RHPS4 has an antitumor effect

    PubMed Central

    Salvati, Erica; Leonetti, Carlo; Rizzo, Angela; Scarsella, Marco; Mottolese, Marcella; Galati, Rossella; Sperduti, Isabella; Stevens, Malcolm F.G.; D’Incalci, Maurizio; Blasco, Maria; Chiorino, Giovanna; Bauwens, Serge; Horard, Béatrice; Gilson, Eric; Stoppacciaro, Antonella; Zupi, Gabriella; Biroccio, Annamaria

    2007-01-01

    Functional telomeres are required for the replicability of cancer cells. The G-rich strand of telomeric DNA can fold into a 4-stranded structure known as the G-quadruplex (G4), whose stabilization alters telomere function limiting cancer cell growth. Therefore, the G4 ligand RHPS4 may possess antitumor activity. Here, we show that RHPS4 triggers a rapid and potent DNA damage response at telomeres in human transformed fibroblasts and melanoma cells, characterized by the formation of several telomeric foci containing phosphorylated DNA damage response factors γ-H2AX, RAD17, and 53BP1. This was dependent on DNA repair enzyme ATR, correlated with delocalization of the protective telomeric DNA–binding protein POT1, and was antagonized by overexpression of POT1 or TRF2. In mice, RHPS4 exerted its antitumor effect on xenografts of human tumor cells of different histotype by telomere injury and tumor cell apoptosis. Tumor inhibition was accompanied by a strong DNA damage response, and tumors overexpressing POT1 or TRF2 were resistant to RHPS4 treatment. These data provide evidence that RHPS4 is a telomere damage inducer and that telomere disruption selectively triggered in malignant cells results in a high therapeutic index in mice. They also define a functional link between telomere damage and antitumor activity and reveal the key role of telomere-protective factors TRF2 and POT1 in response to this anti-telomere strategy. PMID:17932567

  3. 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. PMID:26970083

  4. Alternative end joining, clonal evolution, and escape from a telomere-driven crisis

    PubMed Central

    Hendrickson, Eric A; Baird, Duncan M

    2015-01-01

    Telomere dysfunction and fusion play key roles in driving genomic instability and clonal evolution in many tumor types. We have recently described a role for DNA ligase III (LIG3) in facilitating the escape of cells from crisis induced by telomere dysfunction. Our data indicate that LIG3-mediated telomere fusion is important in facilitating clonal evolution. PMID:27308409

  5. Homologous recombination-dependent repair of telomeric DSBs in proliferating human cells.

    PubMed

    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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:15861304

  10. Covalent ligation studies on the human telomere quadruplex

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Jianying; Shafer, Richard H.

    2005-01-01

    Recent X-ray crystallographic studies on the human telomere sequence d[AGGG(TTAGGG)3] revealed a unimolecular, parallel quadruplex structure in the presence of potassium ions, while earlier NMR results in the presence of sodium ions indicated a unimolecular, antiparallel quadruplex. In an effort to identify and isolate the parallel form in solution, we have successfully ligated into circular products the single-stranded human telomere and several modified human telomere sequences in potassium-containing solutions. Using these sequences with one or two terminal phosphates, we have made chemically ligated products via creation of an additional loop. Circular products have been identified by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, enzymatic digestion with exonuclease VII and electrospray mass spectrometry in negative ion mode. Optimum pH for the ligation reaction of the human telomere sequence ranges from 4.5 to 6.0. Several buffers were also examined, with MES yielding the greatest ligation efficiency. Human telomere sequences with two phosphate groups, one each at the 3′ and 5′ ends, were more efficient at ligation, via pyrophosphate bond formation, than the corresponding sequences with only one phosphate group, at the 5′ end. Circular dichroism spectra showed that the ligation product was derived from an antiparallel, single-stranded guanine quadruplex rather than a parallel single-stranded guanine quadruplex structure. PMID:15933211

  11. Telomere shortening in the colonial coral Acropora digitifera during development.

    PubMed

    Tsuta, Hiroki; Shinzato, Chuya; Satoh, Nori; Hidaka, Michio

    2014-03-01

    To test whether telomere length can be used in estimating the age of colonial corals, we used terminal restriction fragment (TRF) length analysis to compare the telomere lengths of the coral Acropora digitifera at three developmental stages: sperm, planula larvae, and polyps of adult colonies. We also compared the mean TRF lengths between branches at the center and periphery of tabular colonies of A. digitifera. A significant difference was observed in the mean TRF lengths in sperm, planulae, and polyps. The mean TRF length was longest in sperm and shortest in polyps from adult colonies. These results suggest that telomere length decreases during coral development and may be useful for estimating coral age. However, the mean TRF length of branches at the center of a table-form colony tended to be longer than that of peripheral branches, although this difference was not statistically significant. This suggests that both the chronological age of polyps and cell proliferation rate influence telomere length in polyps, and that estimating coral age based on telomere length is not a simple endeavor. PMID:24601774

  12. 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

  13. Internal genomic regions mobilized for telomere maintenance in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Kim, Chuna; Sung, Sanghyun; Lee, Junho

    2016-01-01

    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

  14. Transposition as a mechanism for maintaining telomere length in Drosophila

    SciTech Connect

    Mason, J.M.; Biessmann, H.

    1993-12-31

    Telomeres are structures at the termini of linear chromosomes that serve to maintain the stability of those ends. Several functions have been attributed to telomeres, at least two of these are vital. The vital functions are (a) to {open_quotes}cap{close_quotes} the natural chromosome ends in order to distinguish them from broken ends and, thus, to protect them from recombination, repair, and degradation, and (b) to maintain chromosome length by periodic elongation and, thus, to counteract the inability of DNA polymerases to replicate linear chromosomes completely. While very little is known about capping, the mechanisms of telomere elongation in a number of organisms are being elucidated. Several models for elongation have been proposed. Recent evidence suggests that two of these may operate in different organisms or under different conditions. In many species elongation is accomplished by the interaction of two telomeric DNA repeats. The repeating unit is generally 6-8 basepairs (bp) long and guanine-rich on one strand. The sequence of the repeating unit is evolutionarily conserved, being very similar in ciliated protozoa, flowering plants and vertebrates. The second component is an enzyme, telomerase, that adds more copies of the repeating unit at the terminus. Telomerase resembles reverse transcriptases in structure and carries an associated RNA that is used as a template for the telomere extension.

  15. Flap Endonuclease 1 Limits Telomere Fragility on the Leading Strand*

    PubMed Central

    Teasley, Daniel C.; Parajuli, Shankar; Nguyen, Mai; Moore, Hayley R.; Alspach, Elise; Lock, Ying Jie; Honaker, Yuchi; Saharia, Abhishek; Piwnica-Worms, Helen; Stewart, Sheila A.

    2015-01-01

    The existence of redundant replication and repair systems that ensure genome stability underscores the importance of faithful DNA replication. Nowhere is this complexity more evident than in challenging DNA templates, including highly repetitive or transcribed sequences. Here, we demonstrate that flap endonuclease 1 (FEN1), a canonical lagging strand DNA replication protein, is required for normal, complete leading strand replication at telomeres. We find that the loss of FEN1 nuclease activity, but not DNA repair activities, results in leading strand-specific telomere fragility. Furthermore, we show that FEN1 depletion-induced telomere fragility is increased by RNA polymerase II inhibition and is rescued by ectopic RNase H1 expression. These data suggest that FEN1 limits leading strand-specific telomere fragility by processing RNA:DNA hybrid/flap intermediates that arise from co-directional collisions occurring between the replisome and RNA polymerase. Our data reveal the first molecular mechanism for leading strand-specific telomere fragility and the first known role for FEN1 in leading strand DNA replication. Because FEN1 mutations have been identified in human cancers, our findings raise the possibility that unresolved RNA:DNA hybrid structures contribute to the genomic instability associated with cancer. PMID:25922071

  16. Mechanical unfolding of human telomere G-quadruplex DNA probed by integrated fluorescence and magnetic tweezers spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Long, Xi; Parks, Joseph W; Bagshaw, Clive R; Stone, Michael D

    2013-02-01

    Single-molecule techniques facilitate analysis of mechanical transitions within nucleic acids and proteins. Here, we describe an integrated fluorescence and magnetic tweezers instrument that permits detection of nanometer-scale DNA structural rearrangements together with the application of a wide range of stretching forces to individual DNA molecules. We have analyzed the force-dependent equilibrium and rate constants for telomere DNA G-quadruplex (GQ) folding and unfolding, and have determined the location of the transition state barrier along the well-defined DNA-stretching reaction coordinate. Our results reveal the mechanical unfolding pathway of the telomere DNA GQ is characterized by a short distance (<1 nm) to the transition state for the unfolding reaction. This mechanical unfolding response reflects a critical contribution of long-range interactions to the global stability of the GQ fold, and suggests that telomere-associated proteins need only disrupt a few base pairs to destabilize GQ structures. Comparison of the GQ unfolded state with a single-stranded polyT DNA revealed the unfolded GQ exhibits a compacted non-native conformation reminiscent of the protein molten globule. We expect the capacity to interrogate macromolecular structural transitions with high spatial resolution under conditions of low forces will have broad application in analyses of nucleic acid and protein folding. PMID:23303789

  17. 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.

  18. Genome-wide meta-analysis points to CTC1 and ZNF676 as genes regulating telomere homeostasis in humans

    PubMed Central

    Mangino, Massimo; Hwang, Shih-Jen; Spector, Timothy D.; Hunt, Steven C.; Kimura, Masayuki; Fitzpatrick, Annette L.; Christiansen, Lene; Petersen, Inge; Elbers, Clara C.; Harris, Tamara; Chen, Wei; Srinivasan, Sathanur R.; Kark, Jeremy D.; Benetos, Athanase; El Shamieh, Said; Visvikis-Siest, Sophie; Christensen, Kaare; Berenson, Gerald S.; Valdes, Ana M.; Viñuela, Ana; Garcia, Melissa; Arnett, Donna K.; Broeckel, Ulrich; Province, Michael A.; Pankow, James S.; Kammerer, Candace; Liu, Yongmei; Nalls, Michael; Tishkoff, Sarah; Thomas, Fridtjof; Ziv, Elad; Psaty, Bruce M.; Bis, Joshua C.; Rotter, Jerome I.; Taylor, Kent D.; Smith, Erin; Schork, Nicholas J.; Levy, Daniel; Aviv, Abraham

    2012-01-01

    Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is associated with a number of common age-related diseases and is a heritable trait. Previous genome-wide association studies (GWASs) identified two loci on chromosomes 3q26.2 (TERC) and 10q24.33 (OBFC1) that are associated with the inter-individual LTL variation. We performed a meta-analysis of 9190 individuals from six independent GWAS and validated our findings in 2226 individuals from four additional studies. We confirmed previously reported associations with OBFC1 (rs9419958 P = 9.1 × 10−11) and with the telomerase RNA component TERC (rs1317082, P = 1.1 × 10−8). We also identified two novel genomic regions associated with LTL variation that map near a conserved telomere maintenance complex component 1 (CTC1; rs3027234, P = 3.6 × 10−8) on chromosome17p13.1 and zinc finger protein 676 (ZNF676; rs412658, P = 3.3 × 10−8) on 19p12. The minor allele of rs3027234 was associated with both shorter LTL and lower expression of CTC1. Our findings are consistent with the recent observations that point mutations in CTC1 cause short telomeres in both Arabidopsis and humans affected by a rare Mendelian syndrome. Overall, our results provide novel insights into the genetic architecture of inter-individual LTL variation in the general population. PMID:23001564

  19. Aminoglycoside binding to Oxytricha Nova Telomeric DNA

    PubMed Central

    Ranjan, Nihar; Andreasen, Katrine F.; Kumar, Sunil; Hyde-volpe, David; Arya, Dev P.

    2012-01-01

    Telomeric DNA sequences have been at the center stage of drug design for cancer treatment in recent years. The ability of these DNA structures to form four stranded nucleic acid structures, called G-quadruplexes, has been perceived as target for inhibiting telomerase activity vital for the longevity of cancer cells. Being highly diverse in structural forms, these G-quadruplexes are subjects of detailed studies of ligand–DNA interactions of different classes, which will pave the way for logical design of more potent ligands in future. The binding of aminoglycosides were investigated with Oxytricha Nova quadruplex forming DNA sequence (GGGGTTTTGGGG)2. Isothermal Titration calorimetry (ITC) determined ligand to quadruplex binding ratio shows 1:1 neomycin:quadruplex binding with association constants (Ka ) ~ 105M−1 while paromomycin was found to have a two-fold weaker affinity than neomycin. The CD titration experiments with neomycin resulted in minimal changes in the CD signal. FID assays, performed to determine the minimum concentration required to displace half of the fluorescent probe bound, showed neomycin as the best of the all aminoglycosides studied for quadruplex binding. Initial NMR footprint suggests that ligand-DNA interactions occur in the wide groove of the quadruplex. Computational docking studies also indicate that aminoglycosides bind in the wide groove of the quadruplex. PMID:20886815

  20. 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

  1. Comprehensive screening of alternative lengthening of telomeres phenotype and loss of ATRX expression in sarcomas.

    PubMed

    Liau, Jau-Yu; Lee, Jen-Chieh; Tsai, Jia-Huei; Yang, Ching-Yao; Liu, Tsung-Lin; Ke, Zhi-Long; Hsu, Hung-Han; Jeng, Yung-Ming

    2015-12-01

    According to cytogenetic aberrations, sarcomas can be categorized as complex or simple karyotype tumors. Alternative lengthening of telomeres is a telomere-maintenance mechanism common in sarcomas. Recently, this mechanism was found to be associated with loss of either α-thalassemia/mental retardation syndrome X-linked (ATRX) or death domain-associated (DAXX) protein. We previously reported that alternative lengthening of telomeres and loss of ATRX expression were common in leiomyosarcoma, angiosarcoma, pleomorphic liposarcoma, and dedifferentiated liposarcoma. In the present study, we screened an additional 245 sarcomas of other types to determine the prevalence of alternative lengthening of telomeres, loss of ATRX/DAXX expression, and their relationship. Undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcomas were frequently alternative lengthening of telomeres positive (65%) and loss of ATRX was seen in approximately half of the alternative lengthening of telomeres-positive tumors. Nineteen of 25 myxofibrosarcomas were alternative lengthening of telomeres-positive, but only one was ATRX deficient. Three of 15 radiation-associated sarcomas were alternative lengthening of telomeres positive, but none of them was ATRX deficient. Alternative lengthening of telomeres and/or loss of ATRX were uncommon in malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors, gastrointestinal stromal tumors, and embryonal rhabdomyosarcomas. By contrast, none of the 71 gene fusion-associated sarcomas was ATRX deficient or alternative lengthening of telomeres positive. All tumors exhibited preserved DAXX expression. Combining our previous studies and this study, a total of 384 sarcomas with complex karyotypes were examined, 83 of which were ATRX deficient (22%). By telomere-specific fluorescence in situ hybridization, 45% (138/308) were alternative lengthening of telomeres positive, 55% (76/138) of which were ATRX deficient. Loss of ATRX was highly associated with alternative lengthening of telomeres (P<0.001). We

  2. Tying up loose ends: telomeres, genomic instability and lamins.

    PubMed

    Gonzalo, Susana; Eissenberg, Joel C

    2016-04-01

    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

  3. Genome rearrangements caused by interstitial telomeric sequences in yeast

    PubMed Central

    Aksenova, Anna Y.; Greenwell, Patricia W.; Dominska, Margaret; Shishkin, Alexander A.; Kim, Jane C.; Petes, Thomas D.; Mirkin, Sergei M.

    2013-01-01

    Interstitial telomeric sequences (ITSs) are present in many eukaryotic genomes and are linked to genome instabilities and disease in humans. The mechanisms responsible for ITS-mediated genome instability are not understood in molecular detail. Here, we use a model Saccharomyces cerevisiae system to characterize genome instability mediated by yeast telomeric (Ytel) repeats embedded within an intron of a reporter gene inside a yeast chromosome. We observed a very high rate of small insertions and deletions within the repeats. We also found frequent gross chromosome rearrangements, including deletions, duplications, inversions, translocations, and formation of acentric minichromosomes. The inversions are a unique class of chromosome rearrangement involving an interaction between the ITS and the true telomere of the chromosome. Because we previously found that Ytel repeats cause strong replication fork stalling, we suggest that formation of double-stranded DNA breaks within the Ytel sequences might be responsible for these gross chromosome rearrangements. PMID:24191060

  4. Dimensions of religious involvement and leukocyte telomere length.

    PubMed

    Hill, Terrence D; Ellison, Christopher G; Burdette, Amy M; Taylor, John; Friedman, Katherine L

    2016-08-01

    Although numerous studies suggest that religious involvement is associated with a wide range of favorable health outcomes, it is unclear whether this general pattern extends to cellular aging. In this paper, we tested whether leukocyte telomere length varies according to several dimensions of religious involvement. We used cross-sectional data from the Nashville Stress and Health Study (2011-2014), a large probability sample of 1252 black and white adults aged 22 to 69 living in Davidson County, TN, USA. Leukocyte telomere length was measured using the monochrome multiplex quantitative polymerase chain reaction method with albumin as the single-copy reference sequence. Dimensions of religious involvement included religiosity, religious support, and religious coping. Our multivariate analyses showed that religiosity (an index of religious attendance, prayer frequency, and religious identity) was positively associated with leukocyte telomere length, even with adjustments for religious support, religious coping, age, gender, race, education, employment status, income, financial strain, stressful life events, marital status, family support, friend support, depressive symptoms, smoking, heavy drinking, and allostatic load. Unlike religiosity, religious support and religious coping were unrelated to leukocyte telomere length across models. Depressive symptoms, smoking, heavy drinking, and allostatic load failed to explain any of the association between religiosity and telomere length. To our knowledge, this is the first population-based study to link religious involvement and cellular aging. Although our data suggest that adults who frequently attend religious services, pray with regularity, and consider themselves to be religious tend to exhibit longer telomeres than those who attend and pray less frequently and do not consider themselves to be religious, additional research is needed to establish the mechanisms underlying this association. PMID:27174242

  5. Telomere Transcripts Target Telomerase in Human Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Kreilmeier, Theresa; Mejri, Doris; Hauck, Marlene; Kleiter, Miriam; Holzmann, Klaus

    2016-01-01

    Long non-coding transcripts from telomeres, called telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA), were identified as blocking telomerase activity (TA), a telomere maintenance mechanism (TMM), in tumors. We expressed recombinant TERRA transcripts in tumor cell lines with TA and with alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) to study effects on TMM and cell growth. Adeno- and lentivirus constructs (AV and LV) were established for transient and stable expression of approximately 130 units of telomere hexanucleotide repeats under control of cytomegalovirus (CMV) and human RNase P RNA H1 (hH1) promoters with and without polyadenylation, respectively. Six human tumor cell lines either using telomerase or ALT were infected and analyzed for TA levels. Pre-infection cells using telomerase had 1%–3% of the TERRA expression levels of ALT cells. AV and LV expression of recombinant TERRA in telomerase positive cells showed a 1.3–2.6 fold increase in TERRA levels, and a decrease in TA of 25%–58%. Dominant-negative or small hairpin RNA (shRNA) viral expression against human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) results in senescence, not induced by TERRA expression. Population doubling time, cell viability and TL (telomere length) were not impacted by ectopic TERRA expression. Clonal growth was reduced by TERRA expression in TA but not ALT cell lines. ALT cells were not affected by treatments applied. Established cell models and tools may be used to better understand the role of TERRA in the cell, especially for targeting telomerase. PMID:27537914

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Telomerized presenescent osteoblasts prevent bone mass loss in vivo.

    PubMed

    Yudoh, K; Nishioka, K

    2004-06-01

    Previously, we showed that human osteoblasts expressing the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) gene exhibited specific survival advantages--the result of breaching the replicative senescence barrier and maintaining the phenotypic and functional properties of primary osteoblasts in vitro over the total replicative capacity of primary osteoblasts. We postulated that rejuvenated osteoblasts may have a potential to correct bone loss or osteopenia in age-related osteoporotic diseases. In the present study, we studied whether telomerized presenescent osteoblasts prevent bone mass loss in vivo. After obtaining the informed consent from a patient with osteoarthritis who underwent the arthroplastic knee surgery, osteoblastic cells were isolated from donor bone sample. We transfected the gene encoding hTERT into human osteoblastic cells. Human bone fragments from a donor were incubated with human hTERT-transfected presenescent (in vitro aged) osteoblasts or mock-transfected presenescent osteoblasts in culture medium containing Matrigel. We subcutaneously implanted human bone fragments with telomerized presenescent osteoblasts or primary presenescent osteoblasts as three-dimensional Matrigel xenografts in severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice (each group: six mice) and analyzed the grafts at 6 weeks after implantation. We also determined whether telomerized osteoblasts affect the bone-forming capacity in vivo, using a well-established mouse transplantation model in which ceramic hydroxyapatite/tricalcium phosphate particles are used as carrier vehicle. Telomerized presenescent osteoblasts were rejuvenated, and maintained the functional properties of young osteoblasts in vitro. Bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD) were measured by ash weight and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, respectively. Whereas BMC and BMD of human bone fragments, which were inoculated with aged osteoblasts in SCID mice, decreased with time, telomerized

  9. New prospects for targeting telomerase beyond the telomere.

    PubMed

    Arndt, Greg M; MacKenzie, Karen L

    2016-08-01

    Telomerase activity is responsible for the maintenance of chromosome end structures (telomeres) and cancer cell immortality in most human malignancies, making telomerase an attractive therapeutic target. The rationale for targeting components of the telomerase holoenzyme has been strengthened by accumulating evidence indicating that these molecules have extra-telomeric functions in tumour cell survival and proliferation. This Review discusses current knowledge of the biogenesis, structure and multiple functions of telomerase-associated molecules intertwined with recent advances in drug discovery approaches. We also describe the fertile ground available for the pursuit of next-generation small-molecule inhibitors of telomerase. PMID:27339602

  10. 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.

  11. Association of Telomere Length with Breast Cancer Prognostic Factors

    PubMed Central

    Têtu, Bernard; Maunsell, Elizabeth; Poirier, Brigitte; Montoni, Alicia; Rochette, Patrick J.; Diorio, Caroline

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Telomere length, a marker of cell aging, seems to be affected by the same factors thought to be associated with breast cancer prognosis. Objective To examine associations of peripheral blood cell-measured telomere length with traditional and potential prognostic factors in breast cancer patients. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of data collected before surgery from 162 breast cancer patients recruited consecutively between 01/2011 and 05/2012, at a breast cancer reference center. Data on the main lifestyle factors (smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity) were collected using standardized questionnaires. Anthropometric factors were measured. Tumor biological characteristics were extracted from pathology reports. Telomere length was measured using a highly reproducible quantitative PCR method in peripheral white blood cells. Spearman partial rank-order correlations and multivariate general linear models were used to evaluate relationships between telomere length and prognostic factors. Results Telomere length was positively associated with total physical activity (rs = 0.17, P = 0.033; Ptrend = 0.069), occupational physical activity (rs = 0.15, P = 0.054; Ptrend = 0.054) and transportation-related physical activity (rs = 0.19, P = 0.019; P = 0.005). Among post-menopausal women, telomere length remained positively associated with total physical activity (rs = 0.27, P = 0.016; Ptrend = 0.054) and occupational physical activity (rs = 0.26, P = 0.021; Ptrend = 0.056) and was only associated with transportation-related physical activity among pre-menopausal women (rs = 0.27, P = 0.015; P = 0.004). No association was observed between telomere length and recreational or household activities, other lifestyle factors or traditional prognostic factors. Conclusions Telomeres are longer in more active breast cancer patients. Since white blood cells are involved in anticancer immune responses, these findings suggest that even regular low

  12. "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)

  13. Abnormal Uterine Bleeding

    MedlinePlus

    ... Abnormal uterine bleeding is any bleeding from the uterus (through your vagina) other than your normal monthly ... or fibroids (small and large growths) in the uterus can also cause bleeding. Rarely, a thyroid problem, ...

  14. Abnormal Uterine Bleeding FAQ

    MedlinePlus

    ... as cancer of the uterus, cervix, or vagina • Polycystic ovary syndrome How is abnormal bleeding diagnosed? Your health care ... before the fetus can survive outside the uterus. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A condition characterized by two of the following ...

  15. Genetic Architecture of Natural Variation of Telomere Length in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Fulcher, Nick; Teubenbacher, Astrid; Kerdaffrec, Envel; Farlow, Ashley; Nordborg, Magnus; Riha, Karel

    2015-01-01

    Telomeres represent the repetitive sequences that cap chromosome ends and are essential for their protection. Telomere length is known to be highly heritable and is derived from a homeostatic balance between telomeric lengthening and shortening activities. Specific loci that form the genetic framework underlying telomere length homeostasis, however, are not well understood. To investigate the extent of natural variation of telomere length in Arabidopsis thaliana, we examined 229 worldwide accessions by terminal restriction fragment analysis. The results showed a wide range of telomere lengths that are specific to individual accessions. To identify loci that are responsible for this variation, we adopted a quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping approach with multiple recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations. A doubled haploid RIL population was first produced using centromere-mediated genome elimination between accessions with long (Pro-0) and intermediate (Col-0) telomere lengths. Composite interval mapping analysis of this population along with two established RIL populations (Ler-2/Cvi-0 and Est-1/Col-0) revealed a number of shared and unique QTL. QTL detected in the Ler-2/Cvi-0 population were examined using near isogenic lines that confirmed causative regions on chromosomes 1 and 2. In conclusion, this work describes the extent of natural variation of telomere length in A. thaliana, identifies a network of QTL that influence telomere length homeostasis, examines telomere length dynamics in plants with hybrid backgrounds, and shows the effects of two identified regions on telomere length regulation. PMID:25488978

  16. TeloPIN: a database of telomeric proteins interaction network in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Luo, Zhenhua; Dai, Zhiming; Xie, Xiaowei; Feng, Xuyang; Liu, Dan; Songyang, Zhou; Xiong, Yuanyan

    2015-01-01

    Interaction network surrounding telomeres has been intensively studied during the past two decades. However, no specific resource by integrating telomere interaction information data is currently available. To facilitate the understanding of the molecular interaction network by which telomeres are associated with biological process and diseases, we have developed TeloPIN (Telomeric Proteins Interaction Network) database (http://songyanglab.sysu.edu.cn/telopin/), a novel database that points to provide comprehensive information on protein-protein, protein-DNA and protein-RNA interaction of telomeres. TeloPIN database contains four types of interaction data, including (i) protein--protein interaction (PPI) data, (ii) telomeric proteins ChIP-seq data, (iii) telomere-associated proteins data and (iv) telomeric repeat-containing RNAs (TERRA)-interacting proteins data. By analyzing these four types of interaction data, we found that 358 and 199 proteins have more than one type of interaction information in human and mouse cells, respectively. We also developed table browser and TeloChIP genome browser to help researchers with better integrated visualization of interaction data from different studies. The current release of TeloPIN database includes 1111 PPI, eight telomeric protein ChIP-seq data sets, 1391 telomere-associated proteins and 183 TERRA-interacting proteins from 92 independent studies in mammalian cells. The interaction information provided by TeloPIN database will greatly expand our knowledge of telomeric proteins interaction network. PMID:25792605

  17. 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

  18. Accelerated telomere attrition in children and teenagers with α1-antitrypsin deficiency.

    PubMed

    Escribano, Amparo; Pastor, Sara; Reula, Ana; Castillo, Silvia; Vicente, Silvia; Sanz, Francisco; Casas, Francisco; Torres, María; Fernández-Fabrellas, Estrella; Codoñer-Franch, Pilar; Dasí, Francisco

    2016-08-01

    Numerous studies have shown that oxidative stress accelerates telomere shortening in several lung pathologies. Since oxidative stress is involved in the pathophysiology of α1-antitrypsin deficiency (AATD), we hypothesised that telomere shortening would be accelerated in AATD patients. This study aimed to assess telomere length in AATD patients and to study its association with α1-antitrypsin phenotypes.Telomere length, telomerase activity, telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) expression and biomarkers of oxidative stress were measured in 62 children and teenagers (aged 2-18 years) diagnosed with AATD and 18 controls (aged 3-16 years).Our results show that intermediate-risk (MZ; SZ) and high-risk (ZZ) AATD patients have significantly shorter telomeres and increased oxidative stress than controls. Correlation studies indicate that telomere length was related to oxidative stress markers in AATD patients. Multiple hypothesis testing revealed an association between telomere length, telomerase activity, hTERT expression and AATD phenotypes; high-risk patients showed shorter telomeres, lower hTERT expression and decreased telomerase activity than intermediate-risk and low-risk patients.AATD patients show evidence of increased oxidative stress leading to telomere attrition. An association between telomere and α1-antitrypsin phenotypes is observed suggesting that telomere length could be a promising biomarker for AATD disease progression. PMID:27390278

  19. Genetic architecture of natural variation of telomere length in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Fulcher, Nick; Teubenbacher, Astrid; Kerdaffrec, Envel; Farlow, Ashley; Nordborg, Magnus; Riha, Karel

    2015-02-01

    Telomeres represent the repetitive sequences that cap chromosome ends and are essential for their protection. Telomere length is known to be highly heritable and is derived from a homeostatic balance between telomeric lengthening and shortening activities. Specific loci that form the genetic framework underlying telomere length homeostasis, however, are not well understood. To investigate the extent of natural variation of telomere length in Arabidopsis thaliana, we examined 229 worldwide accessions by terminal restriction fragment analysis. The results showed a wide range of telomere lengths that are specific to individual accessions. To identify loci that are responsible for this variation, we adopted a quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping approach with multiple recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations. A doubled haploid RIL population was first produced using centromere-mediated genome elimination between accessions with long (Pro-0) and intermediate (Col-0) telomere lengths. Composite interval mapping analysis of this population along with two established RIL populations (Ler-2/Cvi-0 and Est-1/Col-0) revealed a number of shared and unique QTL. QTL detected in the Ler-2/Cvi-0 population were examined using near isogenic lines that confirmed causative regions on chromosomes 1 and 2. In conclusion, this work describes the extent of natural variation of telomere length in A. thaliana, identifies a network of QTL that influence telomere length homeostasis, examines telomere length dynamics in plants with hybrid backgrounds, and shows the effects of two identified regions on telomere length regulation. PMID:25488978

  20. Hepatocellular telomere shortening correlates with chromosomal instability and the development of human hepatoma.

    PubMed

    Plentz, Ruben R; Caselitz, Martin; Bleck, Joerg S; Gebel, Michael; Flemming, Peer; Kubicka, Stefan; Manns, Michael P; Rudolph, K Lenhard

    2004-07-01

    The telomere hypothesis of cancer initiation indicates that telomere shortening initiates cancer by induction of chromosomal instability. To test whether this hypothesis applies to human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), we analyzed the telomere length of hepatocytes in cytological smears of fine-needle biopsies of liver tumors from patients with cirrhosis (n = 39). The tumors consisted of 24 HCC and 15 regenerative nodules as diagnosed by combined histological and cytological diagnostics. In addition, we analyzed the telomere length of hepatocytes in HCC and surrounding noncancerous liver tissue within individual patients in another cohort of 10 patients with cirrhosis. Telomere length analysis of hepatocytes was correlated with tumor pathology and ploidy grade of the tumors, which was analyzed by cytophotometry. Telomeres were significantly shortened in hepatocytes of HCC compared to hepatocytes in regenerative nodules or surrounding noncancerous liver tissue. Hepatocyte telomere shortening in HCC was independent of the patient's age. There was no overlap in mean telomere lengths of individual samples when comparing HCC with regenerative nodules or noncancerous surrounding liver. Within the HCC group, telomeres were significantly shorter in hepatocytes of aneuploid tumors compared to diploid tumors. In conclusion, our data suggest that the telomere hypothesis of cancer initiation applies to human HCC and that cell type-specific telomere length analysis might indicate the risk of HCC development. PMID:15239089

  1. Targeting the telomere and shelterin complex for cancer therapy: current views and future perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Bilsland, Alan E; Cairney, Claire J; Nicol Keith, W

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Aberrant telomere homeostasis is essential for cell immortality, enabling cells to evade telomere dependent senescence. Disruption of telomere structure and function in cancer cells is highly toxic as shown by detailed pre-clinical evaluation of telomerase inhibitors. Under telomerase inhibition, cells must divide sufficiently frequently to allow one or more telomeres to shorten to an unprotected length. Functioning telomeres are disguised from the DNA damage machinery by DNA remodelling and other activities of the telomere binding complex shelterin. Direct interference with shelterin has been shown to result in cell killing and small molecules directly targeting telomere DNA also have anti-tumour effects partially dependent on shelterin disruption. However, shelterin components have not generally been regarded as therapeutic targets in their own right. In this review, we explore the possibilities for therapeutic targeting of the shelterin complex. PMID:21199331

  2. Getting it done at the ends: Pif1 family DNA helicases and telomeres.

    PubMed

    Geronimo, Carly L; Zakian, Virginia A

    2016-08-01

    It is widely appreciated that the ends of linear DNA molecules cannot be fully replicated by the conventional replication apparatus. Less well known is that semi-conservative replication of telomeric DNA also presents problems for DNA replication. These problems likely arise from the atypical chromatin structure of telomeres, the GC-richness of telomeric DNA that makes it prone to forming DNA secondary structures, and from RNA-DNA hybrids, formed by transcripts of one or both DNA strands. Given the different aspects of telomeres that complicate their replication, it is not surprising that multiple DNA helicases promote replication of telomeric DNA. This review focuses on one such class of DNA helicases, the Pif1 family of 5'-3' DNA helicases. In budding and fission yeasts, Pif1 family helicases impact both telomerase-mediated and semi-conservative replication of telomeric DNA as well as recombination-mediated telomere lengthening. PMID:27233114

  3. 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. PMID:24091626