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Sample records for dysfunctional mammalian telomeres

  1. The methylating agent streptozotocin induces persistent telomere dysfunction in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Telomere dysfunction induces metabolic and mitochondrial compromise

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. The meiosis-specific modification of mammalian telomeres.

    PubMed

    Shibuya, Hiroki; Watanabe, Yoshinori

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  8. Postnatal telomere dysfunction induces cardiomyocyte cell-cycle arrest through p21 activation

    PubMed Central

    Aix, Esther; Gutiérrez-Gutiérrez, Óscar; Sánchez-Ferrer, Carlota; Aguado, Tania

    2016-01-01

    The molecular mechanisms that drive mammalian cardiomyocytes out of the cell cycle soon after birth remain largely unknown. Here, we identify telomere dysfunction as a critical physiological signal for cardiomyocyte cell-cycle arrest. We show that telomerase activity and cardiomyocyte telomere length decrease sharply in wild-type mouse hearts after birth, resulting in cardiomyocytes with dysfunctional telomeres and anaphase bridges and positive for the cell-cycle arrest protein p21. We further show that premature telomere dysfunction pushes cardiomyocytes out of the cell cycle. Cardiomyocytes from telomerase-deficient mice with dysfunctional telomeres (G3 Terc−/−) show precocious development of anaphase-bridge formation, p21 up-regulation, and binucleation. In line with these findings, the cardiomyocyte proliferative response after cardiac injury was lost in G3 Terc−/− newborns but rescued in G3 Terc−/−/p21−/− mice. These results reveal telomere dysfunction as a crucial signal for cardiomyocyte cell-cycle arrest after birth and suggest interventions to augment the regeneration capacity of mammalian hearts. PMID:27241915

  9. High Mobility Group A2 protects cancer cells against telomere dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Natarajan, Suchitra; Begum, Farhana; Gim, Jeonga; Wark, Landon; Henderson, Dana; Davie, James R.

    2016-01-01

    The non-histone chromatin binding protein High Mobility Group AT-hook protein 2 (HMGA2) plays important roles in the repair and protection of genomic DNA in embryonic stem cells and cancer cells. Here we show that HMGA2 localizes to mammalian telomeres and enhances telomere stability in cancer cells. We present a novel interaction of HMGA2 with the key shelterin protein TRF2. We found that the linker (L1) region of HMGA2 contributes to this interaction but the ATI-L1-ATII molecular region of HMGA2 is required for strong interaction with TRF2. This interaction was independent of HMGA2 DNA-binding and did not require the TRF2 interacting partner RAP1 but involved the homodimerization and hinge regions of TRF2. HMGA2 retained TRF2 at telomeres and reduced telomere-dysfunction despite induced telomere stress. Silencing of HMGA2 resulted in (i) reduced binding of TRF2 to telomere DNA as observed by ChIP, (ii) increased telomere instability and (iii) the formation of telomere dysfunction-induced foci (TIF). This resulted in increased telomere aggregation, anaphase bridges and micronuclei. HMGA2 prevented ATM-dependent pTRF2T188 phosphorylation and attenuated signaling via the telomere specific ATM-CHK2-CDC25C DNA damage signaling axis. In summary, our data demonstrate a unique and novel role of HMGA2 in telomere protection and promoting telomere stability in cancer cells. This identifies HMGA2 as a new therapeutic target for the destabilization of telomeres in HMGA2+ cancer cells. PMID:26799419

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-27

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-11

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Genetic and environmental factors influencing human diseases with telomere dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Ly, Hinh

    2009-01-01

    Both genetic and environmental factors have been implicated in the mechanism underlying the pathogenesis of serious and fatal forms of human blood disorder (acquired aplastic anemia, AA) and lung disease (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, IPF). We and other researchers have recently shown that naturally occurring mutations in genes encoding the telomere maintenance complex (telomerase) may predispose patients to the development of AA or IPF. Epidemiological data have shown that environmental factors can also cause and/or exacerbate the pathogenesis of these diseases. The exact mechanisms that these germ-line mutations in telomere maintenance genes coupled with environmental insults lead to ineffective hematopoiesis in AA and lung scarring in IPF are not well understood, however. In this article, we provide a summary of evidence for environmental and genetic factors influencing the diseases. These studies provide important insights into the interplay between environmental and genetic factors leading to human diseases with telomere dysfunction. PMID:19684885

  17. 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

  18. Trigeminal star-like platinum complexes induce cancer cell senescence through quadruplex-mediated telomere dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Xiao-Hui; Mu, Ge; Zhong, Yi-Fang; Zhang, Tian-Peng; Cao, Qian; Ji, Liang-Nian; Zhao, Yong; Mao, Zong-Wan

    2016-12-01

    Two trigeminal star-like platinum complexes were synthesized to induce the formation of human telomere G-quadruplex (hTel G4) with extremely high selectivity and affinity. The induced hTel G4 activates strong telomeric DNA damage response (TDDR), resulting in telomere dysfunction and cell senescence.

  19. ATM Inhibition Potentiates Death of Androgen Receptor-inactivated Prostate Cancer Cells with Telomere Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Reddy, Vidyavathi; Wu, Min; Ciavattone, Nicholas; McKenty, Nathan; Menon, Mani; Barrack, Evelyn R.; Reddy, G. Prem-Veer; Kim, Sahn-Ho

    2015-01-01

    Androgen receptor (AR) plays a role in maintaining telomere stability in prostate cancer cells, as AR inactivation induces telomere dysfunction within 3 h. Since telomere dysfunction in other systems is known to activate ATM (ataxia telangiectasia mutated)-mediated DNA damage response (DDR) signaling pathways, we investigated the role of ATM-mediated DDR signaling in AR-inactivated prostate cancer cells. Indeed, the induction of telomere dysfunction in cells treated with AR-antagonists (Casodex or MDV3100) or AR-siRNA was associated with a dramatic increase in phosphorylation (activation) of ATM and its downstream effector Chk2 and the presenceof phosphorylated ATM at telomeres, indicating activation of DDR signaling at telomeres. Moreover, Casodex washout led to the reversal of telomere dysfunction, indicating repair of damaged telomeres. ATM inhibitor blocked ATM phosphorylation, induced PARP cleavage, abrogated cell cycle checkpoint activation and attenuated the formation of γH2AX foci at telomeres in AR-inactivated cells, suggesting that ATM inhibitor induces apoptosis in AR-inactivated cells by blocking the repair of damaged DNA at telomeres. Finally, colony formation assay revealed a dramatic decrease in the survival of cells co-treated with Casodex and ATM inhibitor as compared with those treated with either Casodex or ATM inhibitor alone. These observations indicate that inhibitors of DDR signaling pathways may offer a unique opportunity to enhance the potency of AR-targeted therapies for the treatment of androgen-sensitive as well as castration-resistant prostate cancer. PMID:26336104

  20. ATM Inhibition Potentiates Death of Androgen Receptor-inactivated Prostate Cancer Cells with Telomere Dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Vidyavathi; Wu, Min; Ciavattone, Nicholas; McKenty, Nathan; Menon, Mani; Barrack, Evelyn R; Reddy, G Prem-Veer; Kim, Sahn-Ho

    2015-10-16

    Androgen receptor (AR) plays a role in maintaining telomere stability in prostate cancer cells, as AR inactivation induces telomere dysfunction within 3 h. Since telomere dysfunction in other systems is known to activate ATM (ataxia telangiectasia mutated)-mediated DNA damage response (DDR) signaling pathways, we investigated the role of ATM-mediated DDR signaling in AR-inactivated prostate cancer cells. Indeed, the induction of telomere dysfunction in cells treated with AR-antagonists (Casodex or MDV3100) or AR-siRNA was associated with a dramatic increase in phosphorylation (activation) of ATM and its downstream effector Chk2 and the presenceof phosphorylated ATM at telomeres, indicating activation of DDR signaling at telomeres. Moreover, Casodex washout led to the reversal of telomere dysfunction, indicating repair of damaged telomeres. ATM inhibitor blocked ATM phosphorylation, induced PARP cleavage, abrogated cell cycle checkpoint activation and attenuated the formation of γH2AX foci at telomeres in AR-inactivated cells, suggesting that ATM inhibitor induces apoptosis in AR-inactivated cells by blocking the repair of damaged DNA at telomeres. Finally, colony formation assay revealed a dramatic decrease in the survival of cells co-treated with Casodex and ATM inhibitor as compared with those treated with either Casodex or ATM inhibitor alone. These observations indicate that inhibitors of DDR signaling pathways may offer a unique opportunity to enhance the potency of AR-targeted therapies for the treatment of androgen-sensitive as well as castration-resistant prostate cancer.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    We have shown that E-type cyclins are key regulators of mammalian male meiosis. Depletion of cyclin E2 reduced fertility in male mice due to meiotic defects, involving abnormal pairing and synapsis, unrepaired DNA, and loss of telomere structure. These defects were exacerbated by additional loss of cyclin E1, and complete absence of both E-type cyclins produces a meiotic catastrophe. Here, we investigated the involvement of E-type cyclins in maintaining telomere integrity in male meiosis. Spermatocytes lacking cyclin E2 and one E1 allele (E1+/-E2-/-) displayed a high rate of telomere abnormalities but can progress to pachytene and diplotene stages. We show that their telomeres exhibited an aberrant DNA damage repair response during pachynema and that the shelterin complex proteins TRF2 and RAP2 were significantly decreased in the proximal telomeres. Moreover, the insufficient level of these proteins correlated with an increase of γ-H2AX foci in the affected telomeres and resulted in telomere associations involving TRF1 and telomere detachment in later prophase-I stages. These results suggest that E-type cyclins are key modulators of telomere integrity during meiosis by, at least in part, maintaining the balance of shelterin complex proteins, and uncover a novel role of E-type cyclins in regulating chromosome structure during male meiosis.

  2. Telomere and telomerase biology.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Autophagy-independent senescence and genome instability driven by targeted telomere dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Mar, Florie A; Debnath, Jayanta; Stohr, Bradley A

    2015-01-01

    Telomere dysfunction plays a complex role in tumorigenesis. While dysfunctional telomeres can block the proliferation of incipient cancer clones by inducing replicative senescence, fusion of dysfunctional telomeres can drive genome instability and oncogenic genomic rearrangements. Therefore, it is important to define the regulatory pathways that guide these opposing effects. Recent work has shown that the autophagy pathway regulates both senescence and genome instability in various contexts. Here, we apply models of acute telomere dysfunction to determine whether autophagy modulates the resulting genome instability and senescence responses. While telomere dysfunction rapidly induces autophagic flux in human fibroblast cell lines, inhibition of the autophagy pathway does not have a significant impact upon the transition to senescence, in contrast to what has previously been reported for oncogene-induced senescence. Our results suggest that this difference may be explained by disparities in the development of the senescence-associated secretory phenotype. We also show that chromosome fusions induced by telomere dysfunction are comparable in autophagy-proficient and autophagy-deficient cells. Altogether, our results highlight the complexity of the senescence-autophagy interface and indicate that autophagy induction is unlikely to play a significant role in telomere dysfunction-driven senescence and chromosome fusions.

  4. Complex interactions between the DNA-damage response and mammalian telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Arnoult, Nausica; Karlseder, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Natural chromosome ends resemble double-stranded DNA breaks, but they do not activate a damage response in healthy cells. Telomeres therefore have evolved to solve the ‘end-protection problem’ by inhibiting multiple DNA damage–response pathways. During the past decade, the view of telomeres has progressed from simple caps that hide chromosome ends to complex machineries that have an active role in organizing the genome. Here we focus on mammalian telomeres and summarize and interpret recent discoveries in detail, focusing on how repair pathways are inhibited, how resection and replication are controlled and how these mechanisms govern cell fate during senescence, crisis and transformation. PMID:26581520

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

    PubMed Central

    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. Database URL: TeloPIN database address is http://songyanglab.sysu.edu.cn/telopin. TeloPIN database is freely available to non-commercial use. PMID:25792605

  6. Dual roles of telomere dysfunction in initiation and suppression of tumorigenesis

    SciTech Connect

    Cosme-Blanco, Wilfredo; Chang, Sandy

    2008-06-10

    Human carcinomas arise through the acquisition of genetic changes that endow precursor cancer cells with a critical threshold of cancer-relevant genetic lesions. This complex genomic alterations confer upon precursor cancer cells the ability to grow indefinitely and to metastasize to distant sites. One important mechanism underlying a cell's tumorigenic potential is the status of its telomere. Telomeres are G-rich simple repeat sequences that serve to prevent chromosomal ends from being recognized as DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Dysfunctional telomeres resemble DSBs, leading to the formation of dicentric chromosomes that fuel high degrees of genomic instability. In the setting of an intact p53 pathway, this instability promotes cellular senescence, a potent tumor suppressor mechanism. However, rare cells that stochastically lose p53 function emerge from this sea of genomic instability and progress towards cancer. In this review, we describe the use of mouse models to probe the impact of dysfunctional telomeres on tumor initiation and suppression.

  7. Partial complementation of a DNA ligase I deficiency by DNA ligase III and its impact on cell survival and telomere stability in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Le Chalony, Catherine; Hoffschir, Françoise; Gauthier, Laurent R; Gross, Julia; Biard, Denis S; Boussin, François D; Pennaneach, Vincent

    2012-09-01

    DNA ligase I (LigI) plays a central role in the joining of strand interruptions during replication and repair. In our current study, we provide evidence that DNA ligase III (LigIII) and XRCC1, which form a complex that functions in single-strand break repair, are required for the proliferation of mammalian LigI-depleted cells. We show from our data that in cells with either dysfunctional LigI activity or depleted of this enzyme, both LigIII and XRCC1 are retained on the chromatin and accumulate at replication foci. We also demonstrate that the LigI and LigIII proteins cooperate to inhibit sister chromatid exchanges but that only LigI prevents telomere sister fusions. Taken together, these results suggest that in cells with dysfunctional LigI, LigIII contributes to the ligation of replication intermediates but not to the prevention of telomeric instability.

  8. Glucose substitution prolongs maintenance of energy homeostasis and lifespan of telomere dysfunctional mice

    PubMed Central

    Missios, Pavlos; Zhou, Yuan; Guachalla, Luis Miguel; von Figura, Guido; Wegner, Andre; Chakkarappan, Sundaram Reddy; Binz, Tina; Gompf, Anne; Hartleben, Götz; Burkhalter, Martin D.; Wulff, Veronika; Günes, Cagatay; Sattler, Rui Wang; Song, Zhangfa; Illig, Thomas; Klaus, Susanne; Böhm, Bernhard O.; Wenz, Tina; Hiller, Karsten; Rudolph, K. Lenhard

    2014-01-01

    DNA damage and telomere dysfunction shorten organismal lifespan. Here we show that oral glucose administration at advanced age increases health and lifespan of telomere dysfunctional mice. The study reveals that energy consumption increases in telomere dysfunctional cells resulting in enhanced glucose metabolism both in glycolysis and in the tricarboxylic acid cycle at organismal level. In ageing telomere dysfunctional mice, normal diet provides insufficient amounts of glucose thus leading to impaired energy homeostasis, catabolism, suppression of IGF-1/mTOR signalling, suppression of mitochondrial biogenesis and tissue atrophy. A glucose-enriched diet reverts these defects by activating glycolysis, mitochondrial biogenesis and oxidative glucose metabolism. The beneficial effects of glucose substitution on mitochondrial function and glucose metabolism are blocked by mTOR inhibition but mimicked by IGF-1 application. Together, these results provide the first experimental evidence that telomere dysfunction enhances the requirement of glucose substitution for the maintenance of energy homeostasis and IGF-1/mTOR-dependent mitochondrial biogenesis in ageing tissues. PMID:25233189

  9. Role of telomere dysfunction in cardiac failure in Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Mourkioti, Foteini; Kustan, Jackie; Kraft, Peggy; Day, John W; Zhao, Ming-Ming; Kost-Alimova, Maria; Protopopov, Alexei; DePinho, Ronald A; Bernstein, Daniel; Meeker, Alan K; Blau, Helen M

    2013-08-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), the most common inherited muscular dystrophy of childhood, leads to death due to cardiorespiratory failure. Paradoxically, mdx mice with the same genetic deficiency of dystrophin exhibit minimal cardiac dysfunction, impeding the development of therapies. We postulated that the difference between mdx and DMD might result from differences in telomere lengths in mice and humans. We show here that, like DMD patients, mice that lack dystrophin and have shortened telomeres (mdx/mTR(KO)) develop severe functional cardiac deficits including ventricular dilation, contractile and conductance dysfunction, and accelerated mortality. These cardiac defects are accompanied by telomere erosion, mitochondrial fragmentation and increased oxidative stress. Treatment with antioxidants significantly retards the onset of cardiac dysfunction and death of mdx/mTR(KO) mice. In corroboration, all four of the DMD patients analysed had 45% shorter telomeres in their cardiomyocytes relative to age- and sex-matched controls. We propose that the demands of contraction in the absence of dystrophin coupled with increased oxidative stress conspire to accelerate telomere erosion culminating in cardiac failure and death. These findings provide strong support for a link between telomere length and dystrophin deficiency in the etiology of dilated cardiomyopathy in DMD and suggest preventive interventions.

  10. Switch telomerase to ALT mechanism by inducing telomeric DNA damages and dysfunction of ATRX and DAXX.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-31

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

  11. 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

  12. Sumoylation of RecQ helicase controls the fate of dysfunctional telomeres.

    PubMed

    Rog, Ofer; Miller, Kyle M; Ferreira, Miguel Godinho; Cooper, Julia Promisel

    2009-03-13

    Genome stability depends upon the RecQ helicases, which are conserved from bacteria to man, but little is known about how their myriad activities are regulated. Fission yeast lacking the telomere protein Taz1 (mammalian TRF1/TRF2 ortholog) lose many hallmarks of telomeres, including accurate replication and local protection from DNA repair reactions. Here we show that the RecQ homolog, Rqh1, is sumoylated. Surprisingly, Rqh1 acts on taz1Delta telomeres in a deleterious way, promoting telomere breakage and entanglement. Mutation of Rqh1 sumoylation sites rescues taz1Delta cells from these hazards without dramatically affecting nontelomeric Rqh1 functions. The prominence of Rqh1 in the etiology of several different telomere defects supports the idea that they originate from a common underlying lesion--aberrant processing of the stalled telomeric replication forks that accumulate in the absence of Taz1. Our work underscores the principle that RecQ helicases are "double-edged swords" whose activity, while necessary for maintaining genome-wide stability, must be vigilantly controlled.

  13. The DNA methylation inhibitor induces telomere dysfunction and apoptosis of leukemia cells that is attenuated by telomerase over-expression.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiaolu; Li, Bingnan; de Jonge, Nick; Björkholm, Magnus; Xu, Dawei

    2015-03-10

    DNA methyltransferase inhibitors (DNMTIs) such as 5-azacytidine (5-AZA) have been used for treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and other malignancies. Although inhibiting global/gene-specific DNA methylation is widely accepted as a key mechanism behind DNMTI anti-tumor activity, other mechanisms are likely involved in DNMTI's action. Because telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) plays key roles in cancer through telomere elongation and telomere lengthening-independent activities, and TERT has been shown to confer chemo- or radio-resistance to cancer cells, we determine whether DNMTIs affect telomere function and whether TERT/telomerase interferes with their anti-cancer efficacy. We showed that 5-AZA induced DNA damage and telomere dysfunction in AML cell lines by demonstrating the presence of 53-BP1 foci and the co-localization of 53-BP1 foci with telomere signals, respectively. Telomere dysfunction was coupled with diminished TERT expression, shorter telomere and apoptosis in 5-AZA-treated cells. However, 5-AZA treatment did not lead to changes in the methylation status of subtelomere regions. Down-regulation of TERT expression similarly occurred in primary leukemic cells derived from AML patients exposed to 5-AZA. TERT over-expression significantly attenuated 5-AZA-mediated DNA damage, telomere dysfunction and apoptosis of AML cells. Collectively, 5-AZA mediates the down-regulation of TERT expression, and induces telomere dysfunction, which consequently exerts an anti-tumor activity.

  14. Telomere dysfunction and cell survival: roles for distinct TIN2-containing complexes

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Sahn-ho; Davalos, Albert R.; Heo, Seok-Jin; Rodier, Francis; Zou, Ying; Beausejour, Christian; Kaminker, Patrick; Yannone, Steven M.; Campisi, Judith

    2008-01-01

    Telomeres are maintained by three DNA-binding proteins (telomeric repeat binding factor 1 [TRF1], TRF2, and protector of telomeres 1 [POT1]) and several associated factors. One factor, TRF1-interacting protein 2 (TIN2), binds TRF1 and TRF2 directly and POT1 indirectly. Along with two other proteins, TPP1 and hRap1, these form a soluble complex that may be the core telomere maintenance complex. It is not clear whether subcomplexes also exist in vivo. We provide evidence for two TIN2 subcomplexes with distinct functions in human cells. We isolated these two TIN2 subcomplexes from nuclear lysates of unperturbed cells and cells expressing TIN2 mutants TIN2-13 and TIN2-15C, which cannot bind TRF2 or TRF1, respectively. In cells with wild-type p53 function, TIN2-15C was more potent than TIN2-13 in causing telomere uncapping and eventual growth arrest. In cells lacking p53 function, TIN2-15C was more potent than TIN2-13 in causing telomere dysfunction and cell death. Our findings suggest that distinct TIN2 complexes exist and that TIN2-15C–sensitive subcomplexes are particularly important for cell survival in the absence of functional p53. PMID:18443218

  15. A conserved KASH domain protein associates with telomeres, SUN1, and dynactin during mammalian meiosis

    PubMed Central

    Morimoto, Akihiro; Shibuya, Hiroki; Zhu, Xiaoqiang; Kim, Jihye; Ishiguro, Kei-ichiro; Han, Min

    2012-01-01

    In yeasts and worms, KASH (Klarsicht/ANC-1/Syne/homology) domain and SUN (Sad-1/UNC-84) domain nuclear envelope (NE) proteins play a crucial role in meiotic chromosome movement and homologue pairing. However, although the vertebrate SUN domain protein SUN1 is involved in these processes, its partner has remained identified. Based on subcellular localization screening in mouse spermatocytes, we identified a novel germ cell–specific protein, KASH5, that localized exclusively at telomeres from the leptotene to diplotene stages in both spermatocytes and oocytes. KASH5 possesses hitherto unknown KASH-related sequences that directly interacted with SUN1 and mediated telomere localization. Thus, KASH5 is a mammalian meiosis-specific KASH domain protein. We show that meiotic chromosome movement depended on microtubules and that KASH5 interacted with the microtubule-associated dynein–dynactin complex. These results suggest that KASH5 connects the telomere-associated SUN1 protein to the cytoplasmic force–generating mechanism involved in meiotic chromosome movement. Our study strongly suggests that the meiotic homologue-pairing mechanism mediated by the SUN–KASH NE bridge is highly conserved among eukaryotes. PMID:22826121

  16. Telomere dysfunction and cell survival: Roles for distinct TIN2-containing complexes

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Sahn-ho; Davalos, Albert R.; Heo, Seok-Jin; Rodier, Francis; Zou, Ying; Beausejour, Christian; Kaminker, Patrick; Yannone, Steven M.; Campisi, Judith

    2007-10-02

    Telomeres are maintained by three DNA binding proteins (TRF1, TRF2 and POT1), and several associated factors. One factor, TIN2, binds TRF1 and TRF2 directly and POT1 indirectly. Along with two other proteins, TPP1 and hRap1, these form a soluble complex that may be the core telomere maintenance complex. It is not clear whether sub-complexes also exist in vivo. We provide evidence for two TIN2 sub-complexes with distinct functions in human cells. We isolated these two TIN2 sub-complexes from nuclear lysates of unperturbed cells and cells expressing TIN2 mutants TIN2-13, TIN2-15C, which cannot bind TRF2 or TRF1, respectively. In cells with wild-type p53 function, TIN2-15C was more potent than TIN2-13 in causing telomere uncapping and eventual growth arrest. In cells lacking p53 function, TIN2-15C was more potent than TIN2-13 in causing telomere dysfunction and cell death. Our findings suggest that distinct TIN2 complexes exist, and that TIN2-15C-sensitive subcomplexes are particularly important for cell survival in the absence of functional p53.

  17. Pyridostatin analogues promote telomere dysfunction and long-term growth inhibition in human cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Müller, Sebastian; Sanders, Deborah A; Di Antonio, Marco; Matsis, Stephanos; Riou, Jean-François; Rodriguez, Raphaël; Balasubramanian, Shankar

    2012-08-28

    The synthesis, biophysical and biological evaluation of a series of G-quadruplex interacting small molecules based on a N,N'-bis(quinolinyl)pyridine-2,6-dicarboxamide scaffold is described. The synthetic analogues were evaluated for their ability to stabilize telomeric G-quadruplex DNA, some of which showed very high stabilization potential associated with high selectivity over double-stranded DNA. The compounds exhibited growth arrest of cancer cells with detectable selectivity over normal cells. Long-time growth arrest was accompanied by senescence, where telomeric dysfunction is a predominant mechanism together with the accumulation of restricted DNA damage sites in the genome. Our data emphasize the potential of a senescence-mediated anticancer therapy through the use of G-quadruplex targeting small molecules based on the molecular framework of pyridostatin.

  18. Arsenic trioxide inhibits glioma cell growth through induction of telomerase displacement and telomere dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Ye; Li, Yunqian; Ma, Chengyuan; Song, Yang; Xu, Haiyang; Yu, Hongquan; Xu, Songbai; Mu, Qingchun; Li, Haisong; Chen, Yong; Zhao, Gang

    2016-01-01

    Glioblastomas are resistant to many kinds of treatment, including chemotherapy, radiation and other adjuvant therapies. As2O3 reportedly induces ROS generation in cells, suggesting it may be able to induce telomerase suppression and telomere dysfunction in glioblastoma cells. We show here that As2O3 induces ROS generation as well as telomerase phosphorylation in U87, U251, SHG4 and C6 glioma cells. It also induces translocation of telomerase from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, thereby decreasing total telomerase activity. These effects of As2O3 trigger an extensive DNA damage response at the telomere, which includes up-regulation of ATM, ATR, 53BP1, γ-H2AX and Mer11, in parallel with telomere fusion and 3′-overhang degradation. This ultimately results in induction of p53- and p21-mediated cell apoptosis, G2/M cell cycle arrest and cellular senescence. These results provide new insight into the antitumor effects of As2O3 and can perhaps contribute to solving the problem of glioblastoma treatment resistance. PMID:26871293

  19. Role of progerin-induced telomere dysfunction in HGPS premature cellular senescence.

    PubMed

    Benson, Erica K; Lee, Sam W; Aaronson, Stuart A

    2010-08-01

    Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS) is a premature-aging syndrome caused by a dominant mutation in the gene encoding lamin A, which leads to an aberrantly spliced and processed protein termed progerin. Previous studies have shown that progerin induces early senescence associated with increased DNA-damage signaling and that telomerase extends HGPS cellular lifespan. We demonstrate that telomerase extends HGPS cellular lifespan by decreasing progerin-induced DNA-damage signaling and activation of p53 and Rb pathways that otherwise mediate the onset of premature senescence. We show further that progerin-induced DNA-damage signaling is localized to telomeres and is associated with telomere aggregates and chromosomal aberrations. Telomerase amelioration of DNA-damage signaling is relatively rapid, requires both its catalytic and DNA-binding functions, and correlates in time with the acquisition by HGPS cells of the ability to proliferate. All of these findings establish that HGPS premature cellular senescence results from progerin-induced telomere dysfunction.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Akt Regulates TPP1 Homodimerization and Telomere Protection

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Multiple roles for Mre11 at uncapped telomeres

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2004-10-01

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

  4. G-quadruplex ligand-induced DNA damage response coupled with telomere dysfunction and replication stress in glioma stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Hasegawa, Daiki; Okabe, Sachiko; Okamoto, Keiji; Nakano, Ichiro; Shin-ya, Kazuo; Seimiya, Hiroyuki

    2016-01-01

    Glioblastoma (GBM) is an invariably fatal brain tumor in which a small subpopulation of self-renewable glioma stem cells (GSCs) contributes to tumor propagation and relapse. Targeting GSCs could therefore have a significant clinical impact for GBM. Telomestatin is a naturally-occurring compound that preferentially impairs GSC growth by perturbing transcription and inducing a DNA damage response. Telomestatin stabilizes G-quadruplexes (G4s), which are guanine-rich four-strand nucleic acid structures observed in vitro and in vivo. However, the mechanism underlying the GSC-selective nature of the DNA damage response remains unknown. Here we demonstrate that GSCs are more susceptible to telomestatin-induced telomere dysfunction and replication stress when compared with GSC-derived non-stem glioma cells (NSGCs). Telomestatin induced dissociation of the telomere-capping protein TRF2 from telomeres, leading to telomeric DNA damage in GSCs–but not in NSGCs. BIBR1532, a telomerase catalytic inhibitor, did not preferentially inhibit GSC growth, suggesting that telomestatin promotes telomere dysfunction in a telomerase-independent manner. GSCs and NSGCs had comparable levels of G4s in their nuclei, and both responded to telomestatin with phosphorylation of RPA2 at Ser33–a hallmark of replication stress. However, activation of the checkpoint kinase Chk1, induction of a DNA damage response, and subsequent growth inhibition occurred only in telomestatin-treated GSCs. These observations suggest that telomestatin impairs GSC growth through removal of TRF2 from telomeres and potent activation of the replication stress response pathway. Therefore, a novel G4-directed therapeutic strategy could specifically target cancer stem cells in GBM. PMID:26845351

  5. 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...

  6. The fission yeast MRN complex tethers dysfunctional telomeres for NHEJ repair

    PubMed Central

    Reis, Clara Correia; Batista, Sílvia; Ferreira, Miguel Godinho

    2012-01-01

    Telomeres protect the natural ends of chromosomes from being repaired as deleterious DNA breaks. In fission yeast, absence of Taz1 (homologue of human TRF1 and TRF2) renders telomeres vulnerable to DNA repair. During the G1 phase, when non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) is upregulated, taz1Δ cells undergo telomere fusions with consequent loss of viability. Here, we show that disruption of the fission yeast MRN (Rad23MRE11-Rad50-Nbs1) complex prevents NHEJ at telomeres and, as a result, rescues taz1Δ lethality in G1. Neither Tel1ATM activation nor 5′-end resection was required for telomere fusion. Nuclease activity of Rad32MRE11 was also dispensable for NHEJ. Mutants unable to coordinate metal ions required for nuclease activity were proficient in NHEJ repair. In contrast, Rad32MRE11 mutations that affect binding and/or positioning of DNA ends leaving the nuclease function largely unaffected also impaired NHEJ at telomeres and restored the viability of taz1Δ in G1. Consistently, MRN structural integrity but not nuclease function is also required for NHEJ of independent DNA ends in a novel split-molecule plasmid assay. Thus, MRN acts to tether unlinked DNA ends, allowing for efficient NHEJ. PMID:23188080

  7. Telomere dysfunction and cell survival: roles for distinctTIN2-containing complexes

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Sahn-Ho; Davalos, Albert R.; Heo, Seok-Jin; Rodier, Francis; Beausejour, Christian; Kaminker, Patrick; Campisi, Judith

    2006-11-07

    Telomeres are maintained by three DNA binding proteins, TRF1, TRF2 and POT1, and several associated factors. One factor, TIN2, binds TRF1 and TRF2 directly and POT1 indirectly. These and two other proteins form a soluble complex that may be the core telomere-maintenance complex. It is not clear whether subcomplexes exist or function in vivo. Here, we provide evidence for two TIN2 subcomplexes with distinct functions in human cells. TIN2 ablation by RNA interference caused telomere uncapping and p53-independent cell death in all cells tested. However, we isolated two TIN2 complexes from cell lysates, each selectively sensitive to a TIN2 mutant (TIN2-13, TIN2-15C). In cells with wild-type p53 function, TIN2-15C was more potent than TIN2-13 in causing telomere uncapping and eventual growth arrest. In cells lacking p53 function, TIN215C more than TIN2-13 caused genomic instability and cell death. Thus, TIN2 subcomplexes likely have distinct functions in telomere maintenance, and may provide selective targets for eliminating cells with mutant p53.

  8. Stn1 is critical for telomere maintenance and long-term viability of somatic human cells

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Disruption of telomere maintenance pathways leads to accelerated entry into cellular senescence, a stable proliferative arrest that promotes aging-associated disorders in some mammals. The budding yeast CST complex, comprising Cdc13, Stn1, and Ctc1, is critical for telomere replication, length regulation, and end protection. Although mammalian homologues of CST have been identified recently, their role and function for telomere maintenance in normal somatic human cells are still incompletely understood. Here, we characterize the function of human Stn1 in cultured human fibroblasts and demonstrate its critical role in telomere replication, length regulation, and function. In the absence of high telomerase activity, shRNA-mediated knockdown of hStn1 resulted in aberrant and fragile telomeric structures, stochastic telomere attrition, increased telomere erosion rates, telomere dysfunction, and consequently accelerated entry into cellular senescence. Oxidative stress augmented the defects caused by Stn1 knockdown leading to almost immediate cessation of cell proliferation. In contrast, overexpression of hTERT suppressed some of the defects caused by hStn1 knockdown suggesting that telomerase can partially compensate for hStn1 loss. Our findings reveal a critical role for human Stn1 in telomere length maintenance and function, supporting the model that efficient replication of telomeric repeats is critical for long-term viability of normal somatic mammalian cells. PMID:25684230

  9. Stn1 is critical for telomere maintenance and long-term viability of somatic human cells.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  10. Long G2 accumulates recombination intermediates and disturbs chromosome segregation at dysfunction telomere in Schizosaccharomyces pombe

    SciTech Connect

    Habib, Ahmed G.K.; Masuda, Kenta; Yukawa, Masashi; Tsuchiya, Eiko; Ueno, Masaru

    2015-08-14

    Protection of telomere (Pot1) is a single-stranded telomere binding protein which is essential for chromosome ends protection. Fission yeast Rqh1 is a member of RecQ helicases family which has essential roles in the maintenance of genomic stability and regulation of homologous recombination. Double mutant between fission yeast pot1Δ and rqh1 helicase dead (rqh1-hd) maintains telomere by homologous recombination. In pot1Δ rqh1-hd double mutant, recombination intermediates accumulate near telomere which disturb chromosome segregation and make cells sensitive to microtubule inhibitors thiabendazole (TBZ). Deletion of chk1{sup +} or mutation of its kinase domain shortens the G2 of pot1Δ rqh1-hd double mutant and suppresses both the accumulation of recombination intermediates and the TBZ sensitivity of that double mutant. In this study, we asked whether the long G2 is the reason for the TBZ sensitivity of pot1Δ rqh1-hd double mutant. We found that shortening the G2 of pot1Δ rqh1-hd double mutant by additional mutations of wee1 and mik1 or gain of function mutation of Cdc2 suppresses both the accumulation of recombination intermediates and the TBZ sensitivity of pot1Δ rqh1-hd double mutant. Our results suggest that long G2 of pot1Δ rqh1-hd double mutant may allow time for the accumulation of recombination intermediates which disturb chromosome segregation and make cells sensitive to TBZ. - Ηighlights: • We show link between long G2 and accumulation of toxic recombination intermediates. • Accumulation of recombination intermediates at telomere results in TBZ sensitivity. • Activation of DNA damage checkpoint worsens cells' viability in presence of TBZ.

  11. Unusual chromatin in human telomeres.

    PubMed Central

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  13. SNMIB/Apollo protects leading-strand telomeres against NHEJ-mediated repair

    PubMed Central

    Lam, Yung C; Akhter, Shamima; Gu, Peili; Ye, Jing; Poulet, Anaïs; Giraud-Panis, Marie-Josèphe; Bailey, Susan M; Gilson, Eric; Legerski, Randy J; Chang, Sandy

    2010-01-01

    Progressive telomere attrition or deficiency of the protective shelterin complex elicits a DNA damage response as a result of a cell's inability to distinguish dysfunctional telomeric ends from DNA double-strand breaks. SNMIB/Apollo is a shelterin-associated protein and a member of the SMN1/PSO2 nuclease family that localizes to telomeres through its interaction with TRF2. Here, we generated SNMIB/Apollo knockout mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) to probe the function of SNMIB/Apollo at mammalian telomeres. SNMIB/Apollo null MEFs exhibit an increased incidence of G2 chromatid-type fusions involving telomeres created by leading-strand DNA synthesis, reflective of a failure to protect these telomeres after DNA replication. Mutations within SNMIB/Apollo's conserved nuclease domain failed to suppress this phenotype, suggesting that its nuclease activity is required to protect leading-strand telomeres. SNMIB/Apollo−/−ATM−/− MEFs display robust telomere fusions when Trf2 is depleted, indicating that ATM is dispensable for repair of uncapped telomeres in this setting. Our data implicate the 5′–3′ exonuclease function of SNM1B/Apollo in the generation of 3′ single-stranded overhangs at newly replicated leading-strand telomeres to protect them from engaging the non-homologous end-joining pathway. PMID:20551906

  14. Chromatin Structure in Telomere Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Galati, Alessandra; Micheli, Emanuela; Cacchione, Stefano

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-11-17

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

  16. Bactericidal antibiotics induce mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative damage in Mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Kalghatgi, Sameer; Spina, Catherine S; Costello, James C; Liesa, Marc; Morones-Ramirez, J Ruben; Slomovic, Shimyn; Molina, Anthony; Shirihai, Orian S; Collins, James J

    2013-07-03

    Prolonged antibiotic treatment can lead to detrimental side effects in patients, including ototoxicity, nephrotoxicity, and tendinopathy, yet the mechanisms underlying the effects of antibiotics in mammalian systems remain unclear. It has been suggested that bactericidal antibiotics induce the formation of toxic reactive oxygen species (ROS) in bacteria. We show that clinically relevant doses of bactericidal antibiotics-quinolones, aminoglycosides, and β-lactams-cause mitochondrial dysfunction and ROS overproduction in mammalian cells. We demonstrate that these bactericidal antibiotic-induced effects lead to oxidative damage to DNA, proteins, and membrane lipids. Mice treated with bactericidal antibiotics exhibited elevated oxidative stress markers in the blood, oxidative tissue damage, and up-regulated expression of key genes involved in antioxidant defense mechanisms, which points to the potential physiological relevance of these antibiotic effects. The deleterious effects of bactericidal antibiotics were alleviated in cell culture and in mice by the administration of the antioxidant N-acetyl-l-cysteine or prevented by preferential use of bacteriostatic antibiotics. This work highlights the role of antibiotics in the production of oxidative tissue damage in mammalian cells and presents strategies to mitigate or prevent the resulting damage, with the goal of improving the safety of antibiotic treatment in people.

  17. Bactericidal Antibiotics Induce Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Oxidative Damage in Mammalian Cells

    PubMed Central

    Costello, James C.; Liesa, Marc; Morones-Ramirez, J Ruben; Slomovic, Shimyn; Molina, Anthony; Shirihai, Orian S.; Collins, James J.

    2013-01-01

    Prolonged antibiotic treatment can lead to detrimental side effects in patients, including ototoxicity, nephrotoxicity, and tendinopathy, yet the mechanisms underlying the effects of antibiotics in mammalian systems remain unclear. It has been suggested that bactericidal antibiotics induce the formation of toxic reactive oxygen species (ROS) in bacteria. We show that clinically relevant doses of bactericidal antibiotics—quinolones, aminoglycosides, and β-lactams—cause mitochondrial dysfunction and ROS overproduction in mammalian cells. We demonstrate that these bactericidal antibiotic–induced effects lead to oxidative damage to DNA, proteins, and membrane lipids. Mice treated with bactericidal antibiotics exhibited elevated oxidative stress markers in the blood, oxidative tissue damage, and up-regulated expression of key genes involved in antioxidant defense mechanisms, which points to the potential physiological relevance of these antibiotic effects. The deleterious effects of bactericidal antibiotics were alleviated in cell culture and in mice by the administration of the antioxidant N-acetyl-L-cysteine or prevented by preferential use of bacteriostatic antibiotics. This work highlights the role of antibiotics in the production of oxidative tissue damage in mammalian cells and presents strategies to mitigate or prevent the resulting damage, with the goal of improving the safety of antibiotic treatment in people. PMID:23825301

  18. Mitochondrial Dysfunction Is the Focus of Quaternary Ammonium Surfactant Toxicity to Mammalian Epithelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Inácio, Ângela S.; Costa, Gabriel N.; Domingues, Neuza S.; Santos, Maria S.; Moreno, António J. M.; Vaz, Winchil L. C.

    2013-01-01

    Surfactants have long been known to have microbicidal action and have been extensively used as antiseptics and disinfectants for a variety of general hygiene and clinical purposes. Among surfactants, quaternary ammonium compounds (QAC) are known to be the most useful antiseptics and disinfectants. However, our previous toxicological studies showed that QAC are also the most toxic surfactants for mammalian cells. An understanding of the mechanisms that underlie QAC toxicity is a crucial first step in their rational use and in the design and development of more effective and safer molecules. We show that QAC-induced toxicity is mediated primarily through mitochondrial dysfunction in mammalian columnar epithelial cell cultures in vitro. Toxic effects begin at sublethal concentrations and are characterized by mitochondrial fragmentation accompanied by decreased cellular energy charge. At very low concentrations, several QAC act on mitochondrial bioenergetics through a common mechanism of action, primarily by inhibiting mitochondrial respiration initiated at complex I and, to a lesser extent, by slowing down coupled ADP phosphorylation. The result is a reduction of cellular energy charge which, when reduced below 50% of its original value, induces apoptosis. The lethal effects are shown to be primarily a result of this process. At higher doses (closer to the critical micellar concentration), QAC induce the complete breakdown of cellular energy charge and necrotic cell death. PMID:23529737

  19. Stop pulling my strings — what telomeres taught us about the DNA damage response

    PubMed Central

    Lazzerini-Denchi, Eros; Sfeir, Agnel

    2017-01-01

    Mammalian cells have evolved specialized mechanisms to sense and repair double-strand breaks (DSBs) to maintain genomic stability. However, in certain cases, the activity of these pathways can lead to aberrant DNA repair, genomic instability and tumorigenesis. One such case is DNA repair at the natural ends of linear chromosomes, known as telomeres, which can lead to chromosome-end fusions. Here, we review data obtained over the past decade and discuss the mechanisms that protect mammalian chromosome ends from the DNA damage response. We also discuss how telomere research has helped to uncover key steps in DSB repair. Last, we summarize how dysfunctional telomeres and the ensuing genomic instability drive the progression of cancer. PMID:27165790

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

    PubMed Central

    Burla, Romina; Carcuro, Mariateresa; Raffa, Grazia D.; Galati, Alessandra; Raimondo, Domenico; Rizzo, Angela; La Torre, Mattia; Micheli, Emanuela; Ciapponi, Laura; Cenci, Giovanni; Cundari, Enrico; Musio, Antonio; Biroccio, Annamaria; Cacchione, Stefano; Gatti, Maurizio; Saggio, Isabella

    2015-01-01

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

  1. ZNF365 promotes stability of fragile sites and telomeres

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-03

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

  3. Mammalian homologues of the Polycomb-group gene Enhancer of zeste mediate gene silencing in Drosophila heterochromatin and at S. cerevisiae telomeres.

    PubMed Central

    Laible, G; Wolf, A; Dorn, R; Reuter, G; Nislow, C; Lebersorger, A; Popkin, D; Pillus, L; Jenuwein, T

    1997-01-01

    Gene silencing is required to stably maintain distinct patterns of gene expression during eukaryotic development and has been correlated with the induction of chromatin domains that restrict gene activity. We describe the isolation of human (EZH2) and mouse (Ezh1) homologues of the Drosophila Polycomb-group (Pc-G) gene Enhancer of zeste [E(z)], a crucial regulator of homeotic gene expression implicated in the assembly of repressive protein complexes in chromatin. Mammalian homologues of E(z) are encoded by two distinct loci in mouse and man, and the two murine Ezh genes display complementary expression profiles during mouse development. The E(z) gene family reveals a striking functional conservation in mediating gene repression in eukaryotic chromatin: extra gene copies of human EZH2 or Drosophila E(z) in transgenic flies enhance position effect variegation of the heterochromatin-associated white gene, and expression of either human EZH2 or murine Ezh1 restores gene repression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutants that are impaired in telomeric silencing. Together, these data provide a functional link between Pc-G-dependent gene repression and inactive chromatin domains, and indicate that silencing mechanism(s) may be broadly conserved in eukaryotes. PMID:9214638

  4. DNA excision repair at telomeres.

    PubMed

    Jia, Pingping; Her, Chengtao; Chai, Weihang

    2015-12-01

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

  5. 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. .

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

    PubMed

    McEachern, Michael J; Haber, James E

    2006-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Telomere neurobiology.

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

  9. Hypothesis: Paralog Formation from Progenitor Proteins and Paralog Mutagenesis Spur the Rapid Evolution of Telomere Binding Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Lustig, Arthur J.

    2016-01-01

    Through elegant studies in fungal cells and complex organisms, we propose a unifying paradigm for the rapid evolution of telomere binding proteins (TBPs) that associate with either (or both) telomeric DNA and telomeric proteins. TBPs protect and regulate telomere structure and function. Four critical factors are involved. First, TBPs that commonly bind to telomeric DNA include the c-Myb binding proteins, OB-fold single-stranded binding proteins, and G-G base paired Hoogsteen structure (G4) binding proteins. Each contributes independently or, in some cases, cooperatively, to provide a minimum level of telomere function. As a result of these minimal requirements and the great abundance of homologs of these motifs in the proteome, DNA telomere-binding activity may be generated more easily than expected. Second, telomere dysfunction gives rise to genome instability, through the elevation of recombination rates, genome ploidy, and the frequency of gene mutations. The formation of paralogs that diverge from their progenitor proteins ultimately can form a high frequency of altered TBPs with altered functions. Third, TBPs that assemble into complexes (e.g., mammalian shelterin) derive benefits from the novel emergent functions. Fourth, a limiting factor in the evolution of TBP complexes is the formation of mutually compatible interaction surfaces amongst the TBPs. These factors may have different degrees of importance in the evolution of different phyla, illustrated by the apparently simpler telomeres in complex plants. Selective pressures that can utilize the mechanisms of paralog formation and mutagenesis to drive TBP evolution along routes dependent on the requisite physiologic changes. PMID:26904098

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. 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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-01

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

  13. How homologous recombination maintains telomere integrity.

    PubMed

    Tacconi, Eliana M C; Tarsounas, Madalena

    2015-06-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Role of calpains in the injury-induced dysfunction and degeneration of the mammalian axon

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Marek

    2013-01-01

    Axonal injury and degeneration, whether primary or secondary, contribute to the morbidity and mortality seen in many acquired and inherited central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS) disorders, such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, cerebral ischemia, neurodegenerative diseases, and peripheral neuropathies. The calpain family of proteases has been mechanistically linked to the dysfunction and degeneration of axons. While the direct mechanisms by which transection, mechanical strain, ischemia, or complement activation trigger intra-axonal calpain activity are likely different, the downstream effects of unregulated calpain activity may be similar in seemingly disparate diseases. In this review, a brief examination of axonal structure is followed by a focused overview of the calpain family. Finally, the mechanisms by which calpains may disrupt the axonal cytoskeleton, transport, and specialized domains (axon initial segment, nodes, and terminals) are discussed. PMID:23969238

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  17. Spontaneous Tumor Development in Bone Marrow Rescued DNA-PKcs3A/3A Mice Due to Dysfunction of Telomere Leading Strand Deprotection

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shichuan; Matsunaga, Shinji; Lin, Yu-Fen; Sishc, Brock; Shang, Zengfu; Sui, Jiangdong; Shih, Hung-Ying; Zhao, Yong; Foreman, Oded; Story, Michael D.; Chen, David J.; Chen, Benjamin PC.

    2015-01-01

    Phosphorylation of the DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) at the Thr2609 cluster is essential for its complete function in DNA repair and tissue stem cell homeostasis. This phenomenon is demonstrated by congenital bone marrow failure occurring in DNA-PKcs3A/3A mutant mice, which require bone marrow transplantation (BMT) to prevent early mortality. Surprisingly, an increased incidence of spontaneous tumors, especially skin cancer, was observed in adult BMT-rescued DNA-PKcs3A/3A mice. Upon further investigation we found that spontaneous γH2AX foci occurred in DNA-PKcs3A/3A skin biopsies and primary keratinocytes and that these foci overlapped with telomeres during mitosis, indicating impairment of telomere replication and maturation. Consistently, we observed significantly elevated frequencies of telomere fusion events in DNA-PKcs3A/3A cells as compared to wild type and DNA-PKcs knockout cells. In addition, a previously identified DNA-PKcs Thr2609Pro mutation, found in breast cancer, also induces a similar impairment of telomere leading end maturation. Taken together, our current analyses indicate that the functional DNA-PKcs T2609 cluster is required to facilitate telomere leading strand maturation and prevention of genomic instability and cancer development. PMID:26616856

  18. Gcn5 and SAGA Regulate Shelterin Protein Turnover and Telomere Maintenance

    PubMed Central

    Atanassov, Boyko S.; Evrard, Yvonne A.; Multani, Asha S.; Zhang, Zhijing; Tora, László; Devys, Didier; Chang, Sandy; Dent, Sharon Y.R.

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY Histone acetyltransferases (HATs) play important roles in gene regulation and DNA repair by influencing the accessibility of chromatin to transcription factors and repair proteins. Here we show that deletion of Gcn5 leads to telomere dysfunction in mouse and human cells. Biochemical studies reveal that depletion of Gcn5 or ubiquitin specific protease 22 (Usp22), which is another bona fide component of the Gcn5-containing SAGA complex, increases ubiquitination and turnover of TRF1, a primary component of the telomeric shelterin complex. Inhibition of the proteasome or over expression of USP22 opposes this effect. The USP22 deubiquitinating module requires association with SAGA complexes for activity, and we find that depletion of Gcn5 compromises this association in mammalian cells. Thus, our results indicate that Gcn5 regulates TRF1 levels through effects on Usp22 activity and SAGA integrity. PMID:19683498

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-07

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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-30

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

  3. Telomere status in chronic lymphocytic leukemia with TP53 disruption

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    In chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), telomere dysfunction is associated with poor outcomes. TP53 is involved in cellular responses to dysfunctional telomeres, and its inactivation is the strongest adverse prognostic factor for CLL. Given the biological relationship between TP53 and telomeres, and their prognostic value, it is important to improve our understanding of the impact of TP53 alterations on telomeres. We performed a comprehensive study of the deletions and mutations of the TP53 gene and telomere parameters, including hTERT and the shelterin complex, in 115 CLL patients. We found that any type of TP53 alteration was associated with very short telomeres and high hTERT expression, independently of other biological CLL features. Patients with disrupted TP53 showed telomere deletions and chromosomal end-to-end fusions in cells with complex karyotypes. TP53 disruption was characterized by downregulation of shelterin genes. Interestingly, low expression of POT1, TPP1 and TIN2 was also found in some patients with wild-type TP53 and had an adverse impact on progression-free survival after standard genotoxic therapy. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that patients with disrupted TP53 have severe telomere dysfunction and high genomic instability. Thus, the telomeric profile could be tested as a biomarker in CLL patients treated with new therapeutic agents. PMID:27486974

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Telomere length alterations unique to invasive lobular carcinoma.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Nandakumar, Jayakrishnan; Cech, Thomas R.

    2013-01-01

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

  7. POT1 and TRF2 Cooperate To Maintain Telomeric Integrity†

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-15

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

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

    PubMed

    Rousseau, Philippe; Autexier, Chantal

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-09-01

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

  11. Conservation of Telomere protein complexes: Shuffling through Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Linger, Benjamin R.; Price, Carolyn M.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-15

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

  15. Telomeres and human reproduction.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Telomeres and immune competency.

    PubMed

    Weng, Nan-ping

    2012-08-01

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

  17. Telomere Length Polymorphisms: A Potential Factor Underlying Increased Risk of Prostate Cancer in African American Men and Familial Prostate Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-12-01

    Defective chromosome segregation and telomere dysfunction in aggressive Wilms ’ tumors . Clinical Cancer Research. 13:6593-6602. 2007. 5. Bechan GI...cell tumors reveals evidence of telomere length heterogeneity and non-telomerase mediated telomere maintenance in tumor subsets. Modern Pathology 20...163A-163A 739 Suppl. 2 Mar. 2007. 4. Meeker AK, Bova GS, Hicks JL, De Marzo AM. Direct in situ analysis of telomere lengths in primary tumors and

  18. Telomere biology: cancer firewall or aging clock?

    PubMed

    Mitteldorf, J J

    2013-09-01

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

  19. 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

  20. DNA damage response at telomeres contributes to lung aging and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

    PubMed

    Birch, Jodie; Anderson, Rhys K; Correia-Melo, Clara; Jurk, Diana; Hewitt, Graeme; Marques, Francisco Madeira; Green, Nicola J; Moisey, Elizabeth; Birrell, Mark A; Belvisi, Maria G; Black, Fiona; Taylor, John J; Fisher, Andrew J; De Soyza, Anthony; Passos, João F

    2015-11-15

    Cellular senescence has been associated with the structural and functional decline observed during physiological lung aging and in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Airway epithelial cells are the first line of defense in the lungs and are important to COPD pathogenesis. However, the mechanisms underlying airway epithelial cell senescence, and particularly the role of telomere dysfunction in this process, are poorly understood. We aimed to investigate telomere dysfunction in airway epithelial cells from patients with COPD, in the aging murine lung and following cigarette smoke exposure. We evaluated colocalization of γ-histone protein 2A.X and telomeres and telomere length in small airway epithelial cells from patients with COPD, during murine lung aging, and following cigarette smoke exposure in vivo and in vitro. We found that telomere-associated DNA damage foci increase in small airway epithelial cells from patients with COPD, without significant telomere shortening detected. With age, telomere-associated foci increase in small airway epithelial cells of the murine lung, which is accelerated by cigarette smoke exposure. Moreover, telomere-associated foci predict age-dependent emphysema, and late-generation Terc null mice, which harbor dysfunctional telomeres, show early-onset emphysema. We found that cigarette smoke accelerates telomere dysfunction via reactive oxygen species in vitro and may be associated with ataxia telangiectasia mutated-dependent secretion of inflammatory cytokines interleukin-6 and -8. We propose that telomeres are highly sensitive to cigarette smoke-induced damage, and telomere dysfunction may underlie decline of lung function observed during aging and in COPD.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. A role for monoubiquitinated FANCD2 at telomeres in ALT cells.

    PubMed

    Fan, Qiang; Zhang, Fan; Barrett, Briana; Ren, Keqin; Andreassen, Paul R

    2009-04-01

    Both Fanconi anemia (FA) and telomere dysfunction are associated with chromosome instability and an increased risk of cancer. Because of these similarities, we have investigated whether there is a relationship between the FA protein, FANCD2 and telomeres. We find that FANCD2 nuclear foci colocalize with telomeres and PML bodies in immortalized telomerase-negative cells. These cells maintain telomeres by alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT). In contrast, FANCD2 does not colocalize with telomeres or PML bodies in cells which express telomerase. Using a siRNA approach we find that FANCA and FANCL, which are components of the FA nuclear core complex, regulate FANCD2 monoubiquitination and the telomeric localization of FANCD2 in ALT cells. Transient depletion of FANCD2, or FANCA, results in a dramatic loss of detectable telomeres in ALT cells but not in telomerase-expressing cells. Furthermore, telomere loss following depletion of these proteins in ALT cells is associated with decreased homologous recombination between telomeres (T-SCE). Thus, the FA pathway has a novel function in ALT telomere maintenance related to DNA repair. ALT telomere maintenance is therefore one mechanism by which monoubiquitinated FANCD2 may promote genetic stability.

  4. Age intrinsic loss of telomere protection via TRF1 reduction in endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Hohensinner, P J; Kaun, C; Buchberger, E; Ebenbauer, B; Demyanets, S; Huk, I; Eppel, W; Maurer, G; Huber, K; Wojta, J

    2016-02-01

    Aging is a major factor predisposing for multiple diseases. Telomeres at the ends of chromosomes protect the integrity of chromosomal DNA. A specialized six-protein complex termed shelterin protects the telomere from unwanted interaction with DNA damage pathways. The aim of our study was to evaluate the integrity of telomeres and the stability of telomere protection during aging in endothelial cells (EC). We describe that aging EC can be characterized by an increased cell size (40%, p=0.02) and increased expression of PAI 1 (4 fold, p=0.02), MCP1 (10 fold, p=0.001) and GMCSF (15 fold, p=0.004). Telomeric state in aging cells is defined by an increased telomere oxidation (27%, p=0.01), reduced telomere length (62%, p=0.02), and increased DNA damage foci formation (5% in young EC versus 16% in aged EC, p=0.003). This telomeric dysfunction is accompanied by a reduction in the shelterin component TRF1 (33% mRNA, p=0.001; 24% protein, p=0.007). Overexpression of TRF1 in aging EC reduced telomere-associated DNA damage foci to 5% (p=0.02) and reduced expression levels of MCP1 (18% reduction, p=0.008). Aged EC have increased telomere damage and an intrinsic loss of telomere protection. Reestablishing telomere integrity could therefore be a target for rejuvenating endothelial cell function.

  5. Telomeres: structures in need of unwinding.

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-10

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-24

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

  7. 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

  8. Telomere Length Is a Determinant of Emphysema Susceptibility

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. The many facets of homologous recombination at telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Claussin, Clémence; Chang, Michael

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Possible contributions of a novel form of synaptic plasticity in Aplysia to reward, memory, and their dysfunctions in mammalian brain.

    PubMed

    Hawkins, Robert D

    2013-09-18

    Recent studies in Aplysia have identified a new variation of synaptic plasticity in which modulatory transmitters enhance spontaneous release of glutamate, which then acts on postsynaptic receptors to recruit mechanisms of intermediate- and long-term plasticity. In this review I suggest the hypothesis that similar plasticity occurs in mammals, where it may contribute to reward, memory, and their dysfunctions in several psychiatric disorders. In Aplysia, spontaneous release is enhanced by activation of presynaptic serotonin receptors, but presynaptic D1 dopamine receptors or nicotinic acetylcholine receptors could play a similar role in mammals. Those receptors enhance spontaneous release of glutamate in hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, prefrontal cortex, ventral tegmental area, and nucleus accumbens. In all of those brain areas, glutamate can activate postsynaptic receptors to elevate Ca(2+) and engage mechanisms of early-phase long-term potentiation (LTP), including AMPA receptor insertion, and of late-phase LTP, including protein synthesis and growth. Thus, presynaptic receptors and spontaneous release may contribute to postsynaptic mechanisms of plasticity in brain regions involved in reward and memory, and could play roles in disorders that affect plasticity in those regions, including addiction, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

  11. Telomeres and human health.

    PubMed

    Bojesen, S E

    2013-11-01

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

  12. Function and dysfunction of mammalian membrane guanylyl cyclase receptors: lessons from genetic mouse models and implications for human diseases.

    PubMed

    Kuhn, Michaela

    2009-01-01

    Besides soluble guanylyl cyclase (GC), the receptor for NO, there are seven plasma membrane forms of guanylyl cyclase (GC) receptors, enzymes that synthesize the second-messenger cyclic GMP (cGMP). All membrane GCs (GC-A to GC-G) share a basic topology, which consists of an extracellular ligand binding domain, a short transmembrane region, and an intracellular domain that contains the catalytic (GC) region. Although the presence of the extracellular domain suggests that all these enzymes function as receptors, specific ligands have been identified for only four of them (GC-A through GC-D). GC-A mediates the endocrine effects of atrial and B-type natriuretic peptides regulating arterial blood pressure and volume homeostasis and also local antihypertrophic and antifibrotic actions in the heart. GC-B, the specific receptor for C-type natriuretic peptide, has a critical role in endochondral ossification. GC-C mediates the effects of guanylin and uroguanylin on intestinal electrolyte and water transport and epithelial cell growth and differentiation. GC-E and GC-F are colocalized within the same photoreceptor cells of the retina and have an important role in phototransduction. Finally, GC-D and GC-G appear to be pseudogenes in the human. In rodents, GC-D is exclusively expressed in the olfactory neuroepithelium, with chemosensory functions. GC-G is the last member of the membrane GC form to be identified. No other mammalian transmembrane GCs are predicted on the basis of gene sequence repositories. In contrast to the other orphan receptor GCs, GC-G has a broad tissue distribution in rodents, including the lung, intestine, kidney, skeletal muscle, and sperm, raising the possibility that there is another yet to be discovered family of cGMP-generating ligands. This chapter reviews the structure and functions of membrane GCs, with special focus on the insights gained to date from genetically modified mice and the role of alterations of these ligand/receptor systems in human

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. Requirement of DDX39 DEAD box RNA helicase for genome integrity and telomere protection.

    PubMed

    Yoo, Hyun Hee; Chung, In Kwon

    2011-08-01

    Human chromosome ends associate with shelterin, a six-protein complex that protects telomeric DNA from being recognized as sites of DNA damage. The shelterin subunit TRF2 has been implicated in the protection of chromosome ends by facilitating their organization into the protective capping structure and by associating with several accessory proteins involved in various DNA transactions. Here we describe the characterization of DDX39 DEAD-box RNA helicase as a novel TRF2-interacting protein. DDX39 directly interacts with the telomeric repeat binding factor homology domain of TRF2 via the FXLXP motif (where X is any amino acid). DDX39 is also found in association with catalytically competent telomerase in cell lysates through an interaction with hTERT but has no effect on telomerase activity. Whereas overexpression of DDX39 in telomerase-positive human cancer cells led to progressive telomere elongation, depletion of endogenous DDX39 by small hairpin RNA (shRNA) resulted in telomere shortening. Furthermore, depletion of DDX39 induced DNA-damage response foci at internal genome as well as telomeres as evidenced by telomere dysfunction-induced foci. Some of the metaphase chromosomes showed no telomeric signal at chromatid ends, suggesting an aberrant telomere structure. Our findings suggest that DDX39, in addition to its role in mRNA splicing and nuclear export, is required for global genome integrity as well as telomere protection and represents a new pathway for telomere maintenance by modulating telomere length homeostasis.

  15. Adipocyte telomere length associates negatively with adipocyte size, whereas adipose tissue telomere length associates negatively with the extent of fibrosis in severely obese women.

    PubMed

    el Bouazzaoui, F; Henneman, P; Thijssen, P; Visser, A; Koning, F; Lips, M A; Janssen, I; Pijl, H; Willems van Dijk, K; van Harmelen, V

    2014-05-01

    Telomere length can be considered as a biological marker for cell proliferation and aging. Obesity is associated with adipocyte hypertrophy and proliferation as well as with shorter telomeres in adipose tissue. As adipose tissue is a mixture of different cell types and the cellular composition of adipose tissue changes with obesity, it is unclear what determines telomere length of whole adipose tissue. We aimed to investigate telomere length in whole adipose tissue and isolated adipocytes in relation to adiposity, adipocyte hypertrophy and adipose tissue inflammation and fibrosis. Telomere length was measured by real-time PCR in visceral adipose tissue, and isolated adipocytes of 21 obese women with a waist ranging from 110 to 147 cm and age from 31 to 61 years. Telomere length in adipocytes was shorter than in whole adipose tissue. Telomere length of adipocytes but not whole adipose tissue correlated negatively with waist and adipocyte size, which was still significant after correction for age. Telomere length of whole adipose tissue associated negatively with fibrosis as determined by collagen content. Thus, in extremely obese individuals, adipocyte telomere length is a marker of adiposity, whereas whole adipose tissue telomere length reflects the extent of fibrosis and may indicate adipose tissue dysfunction.

  16. Extensive telomere erosion is consistent with localised clonal expansions in Barrett’s metaplasia

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Rhiannon E.; Rowson, Jan; Grimstead, Julia W.; Keith, W. Nicol; Jenkins, Gareth J. S.

    2017-01-01

    Barrett’s oesophagus is a premalignant metaplastic condition that predisposes patients to the development of oesophageal adenocarcinoma. However, only a minor fraction of Barrett’s oesophagus patients progress to adenocarcinoma and it is thus essential to determine bio-molecular markers that can predict the progression of this condition. Telomere dysfunction is considered to drive clonal evolution in several tumour types and telomere length analysis provides clinically relevant prognostic and predictive information. The aim of this work was to use high-resolution telomere analysis to examine telomere dynamics in Barrett’s oesophagus. Telomere length analysis of XpYp, 17p, 11q and 9p, chromosome arms that contain key cancer related genes that are known to be subjected to copy number changes in Barrett’s metaplasia, revealed similar profiles at each chromosome end, indicating that no one specific telomere is likely to suffer preferential telomere erosion. Analysis of patient matched tissues (233 samples from 32 patients) sampled from normal squamous oesophagus, Z-line, and 2 cm intervals within Barrett’s metaplasia, plus oesophago-gastric junction, gastric body and antrum, revealed extensive telomere erosion in Barrett’s metaplasia to within the length ranges at which telomere fusion is detected in other tumour types. Telomere erosion was not uniform, with distinct zones displaying more extensive erosion and more homogenous telomere length profiles. These data are consistent with an extensive proliferative history of cells within Barrett’s metaplasia and are indicative of localised clonal growth. The extent of telomere erosion highlights the potential of telomere dysfunction to drive genome instability and clonal evolution in Barrett’s metaplasia. PMID:28362812

  17. Analysis of Telomere-Homologous DNA with Different Conformations Using 2D Agarose Electrophoresis and In-Gel Hybridization.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zepeng; Hu, Qian; Zhao, Yong

    2017-01-01

    In mammalian cells, in addition to double-stranded telomeric DNA at chromosome ends, extra telomere-homologous DNA is present that adopts different conformations, including single-stranded G- or C-rich DNA, extrachromosomal circular DNA (T-circle), and telomeric complex (T-complex) with an unidentified structure. The formation of such telomere-homologous DNA is closely related to telomeric DNA metabolism and chromosome end protection by telomeres. Conventional agarose gel electrophoresis is unable to separate DNA based on conformation. Here, we introduce the method of two-dimensional (2D) agarose electrophoresis in combination with in-gel native/denatured hybridization to determine different conformations formed by telomere-homologous DNA.

  18. A Conserved Motif within RAP1 Plays Diversified Roles in Telomere Protection and Regulation in Different Organisms

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yong; Rai, Rekha; Zhou, Zi-Ren; Kanoh, Junko; Ribeyre, Cyril; Yang, Yuting; Zheng, Hong; Damay, Pascal; Wang, Feng; Tsujii, Hisayo; Hiraoka, Yasushi; Shore, David; Hu, Hong-Yu; Chang, Sandy; Lei, Ming

    2013-01-01

    Repressor activator protein 1 (RAP1) is the most highly conserved telomere protein. It is involved in protecting chromosome ends in fission yeast, promoting gene silencing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae while in Kluyveromyces lactis it is required to repress homology directed recombination (HDR) at telomeres. Since mammalian RAP1 requires TRF2 for stable expression, its role in telomere function has remained obscure. To understand how RAP1 plays such diverse functions at telomeres, we solved the crystal or solution structures of the C-terminal RCT domains of RAP1 from multiple organisms in complex with their respective protein-binding partners. Our comparative structural analysis establishes the RCT domain of RAP1 as an evolutionarily conserved protein-protein interaction module. In mammalian and fission yeast cells, this module interacts with TRF2 and Taz1, respectively, targeting RAP1 to chromosome ends for telomere end protection. While RAP1 repress NHEJ at fission yeast telomeres, at mammalian telomeres it is required to repress HDR. In contrast, S. cerevisiae RAP1 utilizes the RCT domain to recruit Sir3 to telomeres to mediate gene silencing. Together, our results reveal that depending on the organism, the evolutionarily conserved RAP1 RCT motif plays diverse functional roles at telomeres. PMID:21217703

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

    PubMed Central

    Nandakumar, Jayakrishnan; Cech, Thomas R.

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Solving the Telomere Replication Problem

    PubMed Central

    Maestroni, Laetitia; Matmati, Samah; Coulon, Stéphane

    2017-01-01

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

  1. 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…

  2. Telomeres, stem cells, and hematology

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Martínez, Paula; Blasco, Maria A

    2017-04-03

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

  4. RAP1 is essential for silencing telomeric variant surface glycoprotein genes in Trypanosoma brucei.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiaofeng; Figueiredo, Luisa M; Espinal, Amin; Okubo, Eiji; Li, Bibo

    2009-04-03

    Trypanosoma brucei expresses variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) genes in a strictly monoallelic fashion in its mammalian hosts, but it is unclear how this important virulence mechanism is enforced. Telomere position effect, an epigenetic phenomenon, has been proposed to play a critical role in VSG regulation, yet no telomeric protein has been identified whose disruption led to VSG derepression. We now identify tbRAP1 as an intrinsic component of the T. brucei telomere complex and a major regulator for silencing VSG expression sites (ESs). Knockdown of tbRAP1 led to derepression of all VSGs in silent ESs, but not VSGs located elsewhere, and resulted in stronger derepression of genes located within 10 kb from telomeres than genes located further upstream. This graduated silencing pattern suggests that telomere integrity plays a key role in tbRAP1-dependent silencing and VSG regulation.

  5. 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.

  6. The longest telomeres: a general signature of adult stem cell compartments

    PubMed Central

    Flores, Ignacio; Canela, Andres; Vera, Elsa; Tejera, Agueda; Cotsarelis, George; Blasco, María A.

    2008-01-01

    Identification of adult stem cells and their location (niches) is of great relevance for regenerative medicine. However, stem cell niches are still poorly defined in most adult tissues. Here, we show that the longest telomeres are a general feature of adult stem cell compartments. Using confocal telomere quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization (telomapping), we find gradients of telomere length within tissues, with the longest telomeres mapping to the known stem cell compartments. In mouse hair follicles, we show that cells with the longest telomeres map to the known stem cell compartments, colocalize with stem cell markers, and behave as stem cells upon treatment with mitogenic stimuli. Using K15-EGFP reporter mice, which mark hair follicle stem cells, we show that GFP-positive cells have the longest telomeres. The stem cell compartments in small intestine, testis, cornea, and brain of the mouse are also enriched in cells with the longest telomeres. This constitutes the description of a novel general property of adult stem cell compartments. Finally, we make the novel finding that telomeres shorten with age in different mouse stem cell compartments, which parallels a decline in stem cell functionality, suggesting that telomere loss may contribute to stem cell dysfunction with age. PMID:18283121

  7. Telomere fusion threshold identifies a poor prognostic subset of breast cancer patients.

    PubMed

    Simpson, K; Jones, R E; Grimstead, J W; Hills, R; Pepper, C; Baird, D M

    2015-06-01

    Telomere dysfunction and fusion can drive genomic instability and clonal evolution in human tumours, including breast cancer. Telomere length is a critical determinant of telomere function and has been evaluated as a prognostic marker in several tumour types, but it has yet to be used in the clinical setting. Here we show that high-resolution telomere length analysis, together with a specific telomere fusion threshold, is highly prognostic for overall survival in a cohort of patients diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast (n = 120). The telomere fusion threshold defined a small subset of patients with an extremely poor clinical outcome, with a median survival of less than 12 months (HR = 21.4 (7.9-57.6), P < 0.0001). Furthermore, this telomere length threshold was independent of ER, PGR, HER2 status, NPI, or grade and was the dominant variable in multivariate analysis. We conclude that the fusogenic telomere length threshold provides a powerful, independent prognostic marker with clinical utility in breast cancer. Larger prospective studies are now required to determine the optimal way to incorporate high-resolution telomere length analysis into multivariate prognostic algorithms for patients diagnosed with breast cancer.

  8. Gradual telomere shortening and increasing chromosomal instability among PanIN grades and normal ductal epithelia with and without cancer in the pancreas.

    PubMed

    Matsuda, Yoko; Ishiwata, Toshiyuki; Izumiyama-Shimomura, Naotaka; Hamayasu, Hideki; Fujiwara, Mutsunori; Tomita, Ken-Ichiro; Hiraishi, Naoki; Nakamura, Ken-Ichi; Ishikawa, Naoshi; Aida, Junko; Takubo, Kaiyo; Arai, Tomio

    2015-01-01

    A large body of evidence supports a key role for telomere dysfunction in carcinogenesis due to the induction of chromosomal instability. To study telomere shortening in precancerous pancreatic lesions, we measured telomere lengths using quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization in the normal pancreatic duct epithelium, pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasias (PanINs), and cancers. The materials employed included surgically resected pancreatic specimens without cancer (n = 33) and with invasive ductal carcinoma (n = 36), as well as control autopsy cases (n = 150). In comparison with normal ducts, telomere length was decreased in PanIN-1, -2 and -3 and cancer. Furthermore, telomeres were shorter in cancer than in PanIN-1 and -2. Telomere length in cancer was not associated with histological type, lesion location, or cancer stage. PanINs with or without cancer showed similar telomere lengths. The incidences of atypical mitosis and anaphase bridges, which are morphological characteristics of chromosomal instability, were negatively correlated with telomere length. The telomeres in normal duct epithelium became shorter with aging, and those in PanINs or cancers were shorter than in age-matched controls, suggesting that telomere shortening occurs even when histological changes are absent. Our data strongly suggest that telomere shortening occurs in the early stages of pancreatic carcinogenesis and progresses with precancerous development. Telomere shortening and chromosomal instability in the duct epithelium might be associated with carcinogenesis of the pancreas. Determination of telomere length in pancreatic ductal lesions may be valuable for accurate detection and risk assessment of pancreatic cancer.

  9. How Telomeres Solve the End-Protection Problem

    PubMed Central

    de Lange, Titia

    2010-01-01

    The ends of eukaryotic chromosomes have the potential to be mistaken for damaged or broken DNA and must therefore be protected from cellular DNA damage response pathways. Otherwise, cells might permanently arrest in the cell cycle, and attempts to “repair” the chromosome ends would have devastating consequences for genome integrity. This end-protection problem is solved by protein-DNA complexes called telomeres. Studies of mammalian cells have recently uncovered the mechanism by which telomeres disguise the chromosome ends. Comparison to unicellular eukaryotes reveals key differences in the DNA damage response systems that inadvertently threaten chromosome ends. Telomeres appear to be tailored to these variations, explaining their variable structure and composition. PMID:19965504

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Telomere shortening leads to earlier age of onset in ALS mice

    PubMed Central

    Linkus, Birgit; Wiesner, Diana; MeΔner, Martina; Karabatsiakis, Alexander; Scheffold, Annika; Rudolph, K. Lenhard; Thal, Dietmar R.; Weishaupt, Jochen H.; Ludolph, Albert C.; Danzer, Karin M.

    2016-01-01

    Telomere shortening has been linked to a variety of neurodegenerative diseases. Recent evidence suggests that reduced telomerase expression results in shorter telomeres in leukocytes from sporadic patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) compared with healthy controls. Here, we have characterized telomere length in microglia, astroglia and neurons in human post mortem brain tissue from ALS patients and healthy controls. Moreover, we studied the consequences of telomerase deletion in a genetic mouse model for ALS. We found a trend towards longer telomeres in microglia in the brains of ALS patients compared to non-neurologic controls. Knockout of telomerase leading to telomere shortening accelerated the ALS phenotype in SOD1G93A–transgenic mice. Our results suggest that telomerase dysfunction might contribute to the age-related risk for ALS. PMID:26978042

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

    PubMed Central

    Eissenberg, Joel C.

    2016-01-01

    On casual inspection, the eukaryotic nucleus is a deceptively simple organelle. Far from being a bag of chromatin, the nucleus is, in some ways, a structural and functional extension of the chromosomes it contains. Recently, interest has intensified in how chromosome compartmentalization and dynamics affect nuclear function. Different studies uncovered functional interactions between chromosomes and the filamentous nuclear meshwork comprised of lamin proteins. Here, we summarize recent research suggesting that telomeres, the capping structures that protect chromosome ends, are stabilized by lamin-binding and that alterations in nuclear lamins lead to defects in telomere compartmentalization, homeostasis and function. Telomere dysfunction contributes to the genomic instability that characterizes aging-related diseases, and might be an important factor in the pathophysiology of lamin-related diseases. PMID:27010504

  14. Role of STN1 and DNA Polymerase α in Telomere Stability and Genome-Wide Replication in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Derboven, Elisa; Ekker, Heinz; Kusenda, Branislav; Bulankova, Petra; Riha, Karel

    2014-01-01

    The CST (Cdc13/CTC1-STN1-TEN1) complex was proposed to have evolved kingdom specific roles in telomere capping and replication. To shed light on its evolutionary conserved function, we examined the effect of STN1 dysfunction on telomere structure in plants. STN1 inactivation in Arabidopsis leads to a progressive loss of telomeric DNA and the onset of telomeric defects depends on the initial telomere size. While EXO1 aggravates defects associated with STN1 dysfunction, it does not contribute to the formation of long G-overhangs. Instead, these G-overhangs arise, at least partially, from telomerase-mediated telomere extension indicating a deficiency in C-strand fill-in synthesis. Analysis of hypomorphic DNA polymerase α mutants revealed that the impaired function of a general replication factor mimics the telomeric defects associated with CST dysfunction. Furthermore, we show that STN1-deficiency hinders re-replication of heterochromatic regions to a similar extent as polymerase α mutations. This comparative analysis of stn1 and pol α mutants suggests that STN1 plays a genome-wide role in DNA replication and that chromosome-end deprotection in stn1 mutants may represent a manifestation of aberrant replication through telomeres. PMID:25299252

  15. Telomere targeting with a novel G-quadruplex-interactive ligand BRACO-19 induces T-loop disassembly and telomerase displacement in human glioblastoma cells

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Guangtong; Liu, Xinrui; Li, Yunqian; Xu, Songbai; Ma, Chengyuan; Wu, Xinmin; Cheng, Ye; Yu, Zhiyun; Zhao, Gang; Chen, Yong

    2016-01-01

    Interference with telomerase and telomere maintenance is emerging as an attractive target for anticancer therapies. Ligand-induced stabilization of G-quadruplex formation by the telomeric DNA 3′-overhang inhibits telomerase from catalyzing telomeric DNA synthesis and from capping telomeric ends, making these ligands good candidates for chemotherapeutic purposes. BRACO-19 is one of the most effective and specific ligand for telomeric G4. It is shown here that BRACO-19 suppresses proliferation and reduces telomerase activity in human glioblastoma cells, paralleled by the displacement of telomerase from nuclear to cytoplasm. Meanwhile, BRACO-19 triggers extensive DNA damage response at telomere, which may result from uncapping and disassembly of telomeric T-loop structure, characterized by the formation of anaphase bridge and telomere fusion, as well as the release of telomere-binding protein from telomere. The resulting dysfunctional telomere ultimately provokes p53 and p21-mediated cell cycle arrest, apoptosis and senescence. Notably, normal primary astrocytes do not respond to the treatment of BRACO-19, suggesting the agent's good selectivity for cancer cells. These results reinforce the notion that G-quadruplex binding compounds can act as broad inhibitors of telomere-related processes and have potential as selective antineoplastic drugs for various tumors including malignant gliomas. PMID:26908447

  16. 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.

  17. Repression of telomere-associated genes by microglia activation in neuropsychiatric disease.

    PubMed

    Kronenberg, Golo; Uhlemann, Ria; Schöner, Johanna; Wegner, Stephanie; Boujon, Valérie; Deigendesch, Nikolas; Endres, Matthias; Gertz, Karen

    2016-11-28

    Microglia senescence may promote neuropsychiatric disease. This prompted us to examine the relationship between microglia activation states and telomere biology. A panel of candidate genes associated with telomere maintenance, mitochondrial biogenesis, and cell-cycle regulation were investigated in M1- and M2-polarized microglia in vitro as well as in MACS-purified CD11b+ microglia/brain macrophages from models of stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and chronic stress. M1 polarization, ischemia, and Alzheimer pathology elicited a strikingly similar transcriptomic profile with, in particular, reduced expression of murine Tert. Our results link classical microglia activation with repression of telomere-associated genes, suggesting a new mechanism underlying microglia dysfunction.

  18. Telomere shortening and metabolic compromise underlie dystrophic cardiomyopathy

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Activation of a LTR-retrotransposon by telomere erosion.

    PubMed

    Scholes, Derek T; Kenny, Alison E; Gamache, Eric R; Mou, Zhongming; Curcio, M Joan

    2003-12-23

    Retrotransposons can facilitate repair of broken chromosomes, and therefore an important question is whether the host can activate retrotransposons in response to chromosomal lesions. Here we show that Ty1 elements, which are LTR-retrotransposons in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, are mobilized when DNA lesions are created by the loss of telomere function. Inactivation of telomerase in yeast results in progressive shortening of telomeric DNA, eventually triggering a DNA-damage checkpoint that arrests cells in G2/M. A fraction of cells, termed survivors, recover from arrest by forming alternative telomere structures. When telomerase is inactivated, Ty1 retrotransposition increases substantially in parallel with telomere erosion and then partially declines when survivors emerge. Retrotransposition is stimulated at the level of Ty1 cDNA synthesis, causing cDNA levels to increase 20-fold or more before survivors form. This response is elicited through a signaling pathway that includes Rad24, Rad17, and Rad9, three components of the DNA-damage checkpoint. Our findings indicate that Ty1 retrotransposons are activated as part of the cellular response to telomere dysfunction.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Getting in (and out of) the loop: regulating higher order telomere structures

    PubMed Central

    Luke-Glaser, Sarah; Poschke, Heiko; Luke, Brian

    2012-01-01

    The DNA at the ends of linear chromosomes (the telomere) folds back onto itself and forms an intramolecular lariat-like structure. Although the telomere loop has been implicated in the protection of chromosome ends from nuclease-mediated resection and unscheduled DNA repair activities, it potentially poses an obstacle to the DNA replication machinery during S-phase. Therefore, the coordinated regulation of telomere loop formation, maintenance, and resolution is required in order to establish a balance between protecting the chromosome ends and promoting their duplication prior to cell division. Until recently, the only factor known to influence telomere looping in human cells was TRF2, a component of the shelterin complex. Recent work in yeast and mouse cells has uncovered additional regulatory factors that affect the loop structure at telomeres. In the following “perspective” we outline what is known about telomere looping and highlight the latest results regarding the regulation of this chromosome end structure. We speculate about how the manipulation of the telomere loop may have therapeutic implications in terms of diseases associated with telomere dysfunction and uncontrolled proliferation. PMID:23226680

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. N-acetyl-seryl-aspartyl-lysyl-proline prevents cardiac remodeling and dysfunction induced by galectin-3, a mammalian adhesion/growth-regulatory lectin

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yun-He; D'Ambrosio, Martin; Liao, Tang-dong; Peng, Hongmei; Rhaleb, Nour-Eddine; Sharma, Umesh; André, Sabine; Gabius, Hans-J.; Carretero, Oscar A.

    2009-01-01

    Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is secreted by activated macrophages. In hypertension, Gal-3 is a marker for hypertrophic hearts prone to develop heart failure. Gal-3 infused in pericardial sac leads to cardiac inflammation, remodeling, and dysfunction. N-acetyl-seryl-aspartyl-lysyl-proline (Ac-SDKP), a naturally occurring tetrapeptide, prevents and reverses inflammation and collagen deposition in the heart in hypertension and heart failure postmyocardial infarction. In the present study, we hypothesize that Ac-SDKP prevents Gal-3-induced cardiac inflammation, remodeling, and dysfunction, and these effects are mediated by the transforming growth factor (TGF)-β/Smad3 signaling pathway. Adult male rats were divided into four groups and received the following intrapericardial infusion for 4 wk: 1) vehicle (saline, n = 8); 2) Ac-SDKP (800 μg·kg−1·day−1, n = 8); 3) Gal-3 (12 μg/day, n = 7); and 4) Ac-SDKP + Gal-3 (n = 7). Left ventricular ejection fraction, cardiac output, and transmitral velocity were measured by echocardiography; inflammatory cell infiltration, cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, and collagen deposition in the heart by histological and immunohistochemical staining; and TGF-β expression and Smad3 phosphorylation by Western blot. We found that, in the left ventricle, Gal-3 1) enhanced macrophage and mast cell infiltration, increased cardiac interstitial and perivascular fibrosis, and causes cardiac hypertrophy; 2) increased TGF-β expression and Smad3 phosphorylation; and 3) decreased negative change in pressure over time response to isoproterenol challenge, ratio of early left ventricular filling phase to atrial contraction phase, and left ventricular ejection fraction. Ac-SDKP partially or completely prevented these effects. We conclude that Ac-SDKP prevents Gal-3-induced cardiac inflammation, fibrosis, hypertrophy, and dysfunction, possibly via inhibition of the TGF-β/Smad3 signaling pathway. PMID:19098114

  6. ATR cooperates with CTC1 and STN1 to maintain telomeres and genome integrity in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Boltz, Kara A; Leehy, Katherine; Song, Xiangyu; Nelson, Andrew D; Shippen, Dorothy E

    2012-04-01

    The CTC1/STN1/TEN1 (CST) complex is an essential constituent of plant and vertebrate telomeres. Here we show that CST and ATR (ataxia telangiectasia mutated [ATM] and Rad3-related) act synergistically to maintain telomere length and genome stability in Arabidopsis. Inactivation of ATR, but not ATM, temporarily rescued severe morphological phenotypes associated with ctc1 or stn1. Unexpectedly, telomere shortening accelerated in plants lacking CST and ATR. In first-generation (G1) ctc1 atr mutants, enhanced telomere attrition was modest, but in G2 ctc1 atr, telomeres shortened precipitously, and this loss coincided with a dramatic decrease in telomerase activity in G2 atr mutants. Zeocin treatment also triggered a reduction in telomerase activity, suggesting that the prolonged absence of ATR leads to a hitherto-unrecognized DNA damage response (DDR). Finally, our data indicate that ATR modulates DDR in CST mutants by limiting chromosome fusions and transcription of DNA repair genes and also by promoting programmed cell death in stem cells. We conclude that the absence of CST in Arabidopsis triggers a multifaceted ATR-dependent response to facilitate maintenance of critically shortened telomeres and eliminate cells with severe telomere dysfunction.

  7. POT1 stimulates RecQ helicases WRN and BLM to unwind telomeric DNA substrates.

    PubMed

    Opresko, Patricia L; Mason, Penelope A; Podell, Elaine R; Lei, Ming; Hickson, Ian D; Cech, Thomas R; Bohr, Vilhelm A

    2005-09-16

    Defects in human RecQ helicases WRN and BLM are responsible for the cancer-prone disorders Werner syndrome and Bloom syndrome. Cellular phenotypes of Werner syndrome and Bloom syndrome, including genomic instability and premature senescence, are consistent with telomere dysfunction. RecQ helicases are proposed to function in dissociating alternative DNA structures during recombination and/or replication at telomeric ends. Here we report that the telomeric single-strand DNA-binding protein, POT1, strongly stimulates WRN and BLM to unwind long telomeric forked duplexes and D-loop structures that are otherwise poor substrates for these helicases. This stimulation is dependent on the presence of telomeric sequence in the duplex regions of the substrates. In contrast, POT1 failed to stimulate a bacterial 3'-5'-helicase. We find that purified POT1 binds to WRN and BLM in vitro and that full-length POT1 (splice variant 1) precipitates a higher amount of endogenous WRN protein, compared with BLM, from the HeLa nuclear extract. We propose roles for the cooperation of POT1 with RecQ helicases WRN and BLM in resolving DNA structures at telomeric ends, in a manner that protects the telomeric 3' tail as it is exposed during unwinding.

  8. Potential Risks in the Paradigm of Basic to Translational Research: A Critical Evaluation of qPCR Telomere Size Techniques

    PubMed Central

    Lustig, Arthur J

    2015-01-01

    Real time qPCR has become the method of choice for rapid large-scale telomere length measurements. Large samples sizes are critical for clinical trials, and epidemiological studies. QPCR has become such routine procedure that it is often used with little critical analysis. With proper controls, the mean telomere size can be derived from the data and even the size can be estimated. But there is a need for more consistent and reliable controls that will provide closer to the actual mean size can be obtained with uniform consensus controls. Although originating at the level of basic telomere research, many researchers less familiar with telomeres often misunderstand the source and significance of the qPCR metric. These include researchers and clinicians who are interested in having a rapid tool to produce exciting results in disease prognostics and diagnostics than in the multiple characteristics of telomeres that form the basis of the measurement. But other characteristics of the non-bimodal and heterogeneous telomeres as well as the complexities of telomere dynamics are not easily related to qPCR mean telomere values. The qPCR metric does not reveal the heterogeneity and dynamics of telomeres. This is a critical issue since mutations in multiple genes including telomerase can cause telomere dysfunction and a loss of repeats. The smallest cellular telomere has been shown to arrest growth of the cell carrying the dysfunction telomere. A goal for the future is a simple method that takes into account the heterogeneity by measuring the highest and lowest values as part of the scheme to compare. In the absence of this technique, Southern blots need to be performed in a subset of qPCR samples for both mean telomere size and the upper and lower extremes of the distribution. Most importantly, there is a need for greater transparency in discussing the limitations of the qPCR data. Given the potentially exciting qPCR telomere size results emerging from clinical studies that

  9. The Telomere/Telomerase System in Chronic Inflammatory Diseases. Cause or Effect?

    PubMed Central

    Kordinas, Vasileios; Ioannidis, Anastasios; Chatzipanagiotou, Stylianos

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres are specialized nucleoprotein structures located at the end of linear chromosomes and telomerase is the enzyme responsible for telomere elongation. Telomerase activity is a key component of many cancer cells responsible for rapid cell division but it has also been found by many laboratories around the world that telomere/telomerase biology is dysfunctional in many other chronic conditions as well. These conditions are characterized by chronic inflammation, a situation mostly overlooked by physicians regarding patient treatment. Among others, these conditions include diabetes, renal failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, etc. Since researchers have in many cases identified the association between telomerase and inflammation but there are still many missing links regarding this correlation, the latest findings about this phenomenon will be discussed by reviewing the literature. Our focus will be describing telomere/telomerase status in chronic diseases under the prism of inflammation, reporting molecular findings where available and proposing possible future approaches. PMID:27598205

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Ergodicity convergence test suggests telomere motion obeys fractional dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kepten, E.; Bronshtein, I.; Garini, Y.

    2011-04-01

    Anomalous diffusion, observed in many biological processes, is a generalized description of a wide variety of processes, all obeying the same law of mean-square displacement. Identifying the basic mechanisms of these observations is important for deducing the nature of the biophysical systems measured. We implement a previously suggested method for distinguishing between fractional Langevin dynamics, fractional Brownian motion, and continuous time random walk based on the ergodic nature of the data. We apply the method together with the recently suggested P-variation test and the displacement correlation to the lately measured dynamics of telomeres in the nucleus of mammalian cells and find strong evidence that the telomeres motion obeys fractional dynamics. The ergodic dynamics are observed experimentally to fit fractional Brownian or Langevin dynamics.

  14. Dicer independent small RNAs associate with telomeric heterochromatin

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Fang; Li, Xiangzhi; Hiew, Samantha; Brady, Hugh; Liu, Yifan; Dou, Yali

    2009-01-01

    Small RNAs play important roles in the establishment and maintenance of heterochromatin structures. We show the presence of telomere specific small RNAs (tel-sRNAs) in mouse embryonic stem cells that are ∼24 nucleotides in length, Dicer-independent, and 2′-O-methylated at the 3′ terminus. The tel-sRNAs are asymmetric with specificity toward telomere G-rich strand, and evolutionarily conserved from protozoan to mammalian cells. Furthermore, tel-sRNAs are up-regulated in cells that carry null mutation of H3K4 methyltransferase MLL (Mll(−/−)) and down-regulated in cells that carry null mutations of histone H3K9 methyltransferase SUV39H (Suv39h1/h2(−/−)), suggesting that they are subject to epigenetic regulation. These results support that tel-sRNAs are heterochromatin associated pi-like small RNAs. PMID:19460867

  15. Telomeres and Telomerase in the Radiation Response: Implications for Instability, Reprograming, and Carcinogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Sishc, Brock J.; Nelson, Christopher B.; McKenna, Miles J.; Battaglia, Christine L. R.; Herndon, Andrea; Idate, Rupa; Liber, Howard L.; Bailey, Susan M.

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Pot1 and Telomere Maintenance

    PubMed Central

    Baumann, Peter; Price, Carolyn

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Visualization and quantitative analysis of extrachromosomal telomere-repeat DNA in individual human cells by Halo-FISH.

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-27

    Current methods for characterizing extrachromosomal nuclear DNA in mammalian cells do not permit single-cell analysis, are often semi-quantitative and frequently biased toward the detection of circular species. To overcome these limitations, we developed Halo-FISH to visualize and quantitatively analyze extrachromosomal DNA in single cells. We demonstrate Halo-FISH by using it to analyze extrachromosomal telomere-repeat (ECTR) in human cells that use the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) pathway(s) to maintain telomere lengths. We find that GM847 and VA13 ALT cells average ∼80 detectable G/C-strand ECTR DNA molecules/nucleus, while U2OS ALT cells average ∼18 molecules/nucleus. In comparison, human primary and telomerase-positive cells contain <5 ECTR DNA molecules/nucleus. ECTR DNA in ALT cells exhibit striking cell-to-cell variations in number (<20 to >300), range widely in length (<1 to >200 kb) and are composed of primarily G- or C-strand telomere-repeat DNA. Halo-FISH enables, for the first time, the simultaneous analysis of ECTR DNA and chromosomal telomeres in a single cell. We find that ECTR DNA comprises ∼15% of telomere-repeat DNA in GM847 and VA13 cells, but <4% in U2OS cells. In addition to its use in ALT cell analysis, Halo-FISH can facilitate the study of a wide variety of extrachromosomal DNA in mammalian cells.

  1. Mutual reinforcement between telomere capping and canonical Wnt signalling in the intestinal stem cell niche

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ting-Lin B.; Chen, Qijun; Deng, Jennifer T.; Jagannathan, Geetha; Tobias, John W.; Schultz, David C.; Wang, Shan; Lengner, Christopher J.; Rustgi, Anil K.; Lynch, John P.; Johnson, F. Brad

    2017-01-01

    Critical telomere shortening (for example, secondary to partial telomerase deficiency in the rare disease dyskeratosis congenita) causes tissue pathology, but underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Mice lacking telomerase (for example, mTR−/− telomerase RNA template mutants) provide a model for investigating pathogenesis. In such mice, after several generations of telomerase deficiency telomeres shorten to the point of uncapping, causing defects most pronounced in high-turnover tissues including intestinal epithelium. Here we show that late-generation mTR−/− mutants experience marked downregulation of Wnt pathway genes in intestinal crypt epithelia, including crypt base columnar stem cells and Paneth cells, and in underlying stroma. The importance of these changes was revealed by rescue of crypt apoptosis and Wnt pathway gene expression upon treatment with Wnt pathway agonists. Rescue was associated with reduced telomere-dysfunction-induced foci and anaphase bridges, indicating improved telomere capping. Thus a mutually reinforcing feedback loop exists between telomere capping and Wnt signalling, and telomere capping can be impacted by extracellular cues in a fashion independent of telomerase. PMID:28303901

  2. 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

  3. Persistent telomere cohesion triggers a prolonged anaphase.

    PubMed

    Kim, Mi Kyung; Smith, Susan

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. The hnRNP A1 homolog Hrb87F/Hrp36 is important for telomere maintenance in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Singh, Anand K; Lakhotia, Subhash C

    2016-06-01

    Unlike the telomerase-dependent mammalian telomeres, HeT-A, TART, and TAHRE (HTT) retroposon arrays regulate Drosophila telomere length. Cap prevents telomeric associations (TAs) and telomeric fusions (TFs). Our results suggest important roles of Hrb87F in telomeric HTT array and cap maintenance in Drosophila. All chromosome arms, except 2L, in Df(3R)Hrb87F homozygotes (Hrb87F-null) displayed significantly elongated telomeres with amplified HTT arrays and high TAs, all of which resolved without damage. Presence of FLAG-tagged Hrb87F (FLAG-Hrb87F) on cap and subtelomeric regions following hsFLAG-Hrb87F transgene expression in Df(3R)Hrb87F homozygotes suppressed TAs without affecting telomere length. A normal X-chromosome telomere expanded within five generations in Hrb87F-null background and displayed high TAs, but not when hsFLAG-Hrb87F was co-expressed. Tel (1) /Gaiano line or HP1 loss-of-function mutant-derived expanded telomeres carry Hrb87F on cap and HTT arrays while Hrb87F-null telomeres have HP1 and HOAP on caps and expanded HTT arrays. ISWI, seen only on cap on normal telomeres, was abundant on Hrb87F-null expanded HTT arrays. Extended telomeres derived from Tel (1) (Gaiano) or HP1-null mutation background interact with those from Hrb87F-null, since while the end association frequency was negligible in Df(3R)Hrb87F/+ nuclei, it increased significantly in co-presence of Tel (1) or HP1-null-based expanded telomere/s. Together, these suggest complex interactions between members of the proteome of telomere so that absence of any key member leads to telomere expansion and/or enhanced TAs/TFs. HTT expansion in Hrb87F-null condition is not developmental but a germline event presumably because absence of Hrb87F in germline may deregulate HTT retroposition/replication leading to telomere elongation.

  6. Telomere dynamics may link stress exposure and ageing across generations.

    PubMed

    Haussmann, Mark F; Heidinger, Britt J

    2015-11-01

    Although exposure to stressors is known to increase disease susceptibility and accelerate ageing, evidence is accumulating that these effects can span more than one generation. Stressors experienced by parents have been reported to negatively influence the longevity of their offspring and even grand offspring. The mechanisms underlying these long-term, cross-generational effects are still poorly understood, but we argue here that telomere dynamics are likely to play an important role. In this review, we begin by surveying the current connections between stress and telomere dynamics. We then lay out the evidence that exposure to stressors in the parental generation influences telomere dynamics in offspring and potentially subsequent generations. We focus on evidence in mammalian and avian studies and highlight several promising areas where our understanding is incomplete and future investigations are critically needed. Understanding the mechanisms that link stress exposure across generations requires interdisciplinary studies and is essential to both the biomedical community seeking to understand how early adversity impacts health span and evolutionary ecologists interested in how changing environmental conditions are likely to influence age-structured population dynamics.

  7. Telomere dynamics may link stress exposure and ageing across generations

    PubMed Central

    Haussmann, Mark F.; Heidinger, Britt J.

    2015-01-01

    Although exposure to stressors is known to increase disease susceptibility and accelerate ageing, evidence is accumulating that these effects can span more than one generation. Stressors experienced by parents have been reported to negatively influence the longevity of their offspring and even grand offspring. The mechanisms underlying these long-term, cross-generational effects are still poorly understood, but we argue here that telomere dynamics are likely to play an important role. In this review, we begin by surveying the current connections between stress and telomere dynamics. We then lay out the evidence that exposure to stressors in the parental generation influences telomere dynamics in offspring and potentially subsequent generations. We focus on evidence in mammalian and avian studies and highlight several promising areas where our understanding is incomplete and future investigations are critically needed. Understanding the mechanisms that link stress exposure across generations requires interdisciplinary studies and is essential to both the biomedical community seeking to understand how early adversity impacts health span and evolutionary ecologists interested in how changing environmental conditions are likely to influence age-structured population dynamics. PMID:26538535

  8. Need telomere maintenance? Call 911.

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-17

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

  9. The terminal DNA structure of mammalian chromosomes.

    PubMed Central

    McElligott, R; Wellinger, R J

    1997-01-01

    In virtually all eukaryotic organisms, telomeric DNA is composed of a variable number of short direct repeats. While the primary sequence of telomeric repeats has been determined for a great variety of species, the actual physical DNA structure at the ends of a bona fide metazoan chromosome with a centromere is unknown. It is shown here that an overhang of the strand forming the 3' ends of the chromosomes, the G-rich strand, is found at mammalian chromosome ends. Moreover, on at least some telomeres, the overhangs are > or = 45 bases long. Such surprisingly long overhangs were present on chromosomes derived from fully transformed tissue culture cells and normal G0-arrested peripheral leukocytes. Thus, irrespective of whether the cells were actively dividing or arrested, a very similar terminal DNA arrangement was found. These data suggest that the ends of mammalian and possibly all vertebrate chromosomes consist of an overhang of the G-rich strand and that these overhangs may be considerably larger than previously anticipated. PMID:9218811

  10. Sister chromatid telomere fusions, but not NHEJ-mediated inter-chromosomal telomere fusions, occur independently of DNA ligases 3 and 4

    PubMed Central

    Liddiard, Kate; Ruis, Brian; Takasugi, Taylor; Harvey, Adam; Ashelford, Kevin E.; Hendrickson, Eric A.; Baird, Duncan M.

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres shorten with each cell division and can ultimately become substrates for nonhomologous end-joining repair, leading to large-scale genomic rearrangements of the kind frequently observed in human cancers. We have characterized more than 1400 telomere fusion events at the single-molecule level, using a combination of high-throughput sequence analysis together with experimentally induced telomeric double-stranded DNA breaks. We show that a single chromosomal dysfunctional telomere can fuse with diverse nontelomeric genomic loci, even in the presence of an otherwise stable genome, and that fusion predominates in coding regions. Fusion frequency was markedly increased in the absence of TP53 checkpoint control and significantly modulated by the cellular capacity for classical, versus alternative, nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ). We observed a striking reduction in inter-chromosomal fusion events in cells lacking DNA ligase 4, in contrast to a remarkably consistent profile of intra-chromosomal fusion in the context of multiple genetic knockouts, including DNA ligase 3 and 4 double-knockouts. We reveal distinct mutational signatures associated with classical NHEJ-mediated inter-chromosomal, as opposed to alternative NHEJ-mediated intra-chromosomal, telomere fusions and evidence for an unanticipated sufficiency of DNA ligase 1 for these intra-chromosomal events. Our findings have implications for mechanisms driving cancer genome evolution. PMID:26941250

  11. Danazol Treatment for Telomere Diseases

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Silva-Sousa, Rute; Casacuberta, Elena

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Xu, Jianing; McEachern, Michael J

    2012-08-01

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

  15. The controversial telomeres of lily plants.

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

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

  16. Super-telomeres in transformed human fibroblasts.

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  17. Telomeres thrown for a loop.

    PubMed

    Haber, James E

    2004-11-19

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

  18. Cloning and molecular characterization of telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) and telomere length analysis of Peromyscus leucopus

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Xin; Ueda, Yasutaka; Kajigaya, Sachiko; Alaks, Glen; Desierto, Marie J; Townsley, Danielle M.; Dumitriu, Bogdan; Chen, Jichun; Lacy, Robert C.; Young, Neal S.

    2015-01-01

    Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) is the catalytic subunit of telomerase complex that regulates telomerase activity to maintain telomere length for all animals with linear chromosomes. As the Mus musculus (MM) laboratory mouse has very long telomeres compared to humans, a potential alternative animal model for telomere research is the Peromyscus leucopus (PL) mouse that has telomere lengths close to the human range and has the wild counterparts for comparison. We report the full TERT coding sequence (pTERT) from PL mice to use in the telomere research. Comparative analysis with eight other mammalian TERTs revealed a pTERT protein considerably homologous to other TERTs and preserved all TERT specific-sequence signatures, yet with some distinctive features. pTERT displayed the highest nucleotide and amino acid sequence homology with hamster TERT. Unlike human but similar to MM mice, pTERT expression was detected in various adult somatic tissues of PL mice, with the highest expression in testes. Four different captive stocks of PL mice and wild-captured PL mice each displayed group-specific average telomere lengths, with the longest and shortest telomeres in inbred and outbred stock mice, respectively. pTERT showed considerable numbers of synonymous and nonsynonymous mutations. A pTERT proximal promoter region cloned was homologous among PL and MM mice and rat, but with species-specific features. From PL mice, we further cloned and characterized ribosomal protein, large, P0 (pRPLP0) to use as an internal control for various assays. Peromyscus mice have been extensively used for various studies, including human diseases, for which pTERT and pRPLP0 would be useful tools. PMID:25962353

  19. Cloning and molecular characterization of telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) and telomere length analysis of Peromyscus leucopus.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xin; Ueda, Yasutaka; Kajigaya, Sachiko; Alaks, Glen; Desierto, Marie J; Townsley, Danielle M; Dumitriu, Bogdan; Chen, Jichun; Lacy, Robert C; Young, Neal S

    2015-08-15

    Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) is the catalytic subunit of telomerase complex that regulates telomerase activity to maintain telomere length for all animals with linear chromosomes. As the Mus musculus (MM) laboratory mouse has very long telomeres compared to humans, a potential alternative animal model for telomere research is the Peromyscus leucopus (PL) mouse that has telomere lengths close to the human range and has the wild counterparts for comparison. We report the full TERT coding sequence (pTERT) from PL mice to use in the telomere research. Comparative analysis with eight other mammalian TERTs revealed a pTERT protein considerably homologous to other TERTs and preserved all TERT specific-sequence signatures, yet with some distinctive features. pTERT displayed the highest nucleotide and amino acid sequence homology with hamster TERT. Unlike human but similar to MM mice, pTERT expression was detected in various adult somatic tissues of PL mice, with the highest expression in testes. Four different captive stocks of PL mice and wild-captured PL mice each displayed group-specific average telomere lengths, with the longest and shortest telomeres in inbred and outbred stock mice, respectively. pTERT showed considerable numbers of synonymous and nonsynonymous mutations. A pTERT proximal promoter region cloned was homologous among PL and MM mice and rat, but with species-specific features. From PL mice, we further cloned and characterized ribosomal protein, large, P0 (pRPLP0) to use as an internal control for various assays. Peromyscus mice have been extensively used for various studies, including human diseases, for which pTERT and pRPLP0 would be useful tools.

  20. 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

  1. Chromosomal distribution of the telomere sequence (TTAGGG)(n) in the Equidae.

    PubMed

    Lear, T L

    2001-01-01

    Telomeres are a class of repetitive DNA sequences that are located at chromosome termini and that act to stabilize the chromosome ends. The rapid karyotypic evolution of the genus Equus has given rise to ten taxa, all with different diploid chromosome numbers. Using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) we localized the mammalian telomere sequence, (TTAGGG)(n), to the chromosomes of nine equid taxa. TTAGGG signal was located at chromosome termini in all species, however additional signal was seen at interstitial sites on some chromosomes in the Burchell's zebra, Equus quagga burchelli, the Hartmann's zebra, Equus zebra hartmannae, and at large heterochromatin-associated regions on the chromosomes of the donkey, Equus asinus. The interstitial signal in the zebras may be a relic of an ancient telomere-telomere fusion and mark the point at which two ancestral chromosomes may have fused. For the donkey, the heterochromatin-associated signal may represent degenerate telomere-like satellite sequences and identify a second type of satellite DNA for this taxon.

  2. Telomeres and Telomerase in Cardiovascular Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Yeh, Jih-Kai; Wang, Chao-Yung

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Three-dimensional telomere architecture of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma: comparison of tumor and normal epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Sunpaweravong, S; Sunpaweravong, P; Sathitruangsak, C; Mai, S

    2016-05-01

    Telomeres are repetitive nucleotide sequences (TTAGGG)n located at the ends of chromosomes that function to preserve chromosomal integrity and prevent terminal end-to-end fusions. Telomere loss or dysfunction results in breakage-bridge-fusion cycles, aneuploidy, gene amplification and chromosomal rearrangements, which can lead to genomic instability and promote carcinogenesis. Evaluating the hypothesis that changes in telomeres contribute to the development of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and to determine whether there are differences between young and old patients, we compared the three-dimensional (3D) nuclear telomere architecture in ESCC tumor cells with that of normal epithelial cells obtained from the same patient. Patients were equally divided by age into two groups, one comprising those less than 45 years of age and the other consisting of those over 80 years of age. Tumor and normal epithelial cells located at least 10 cm from the border of the tumor were biopsied in ESCC patients. Hematoxylin and eosin staining was performed for each sample to confirm and identify the cancer and normal epithelial cells. This study was based on quantitative 3D fluorescence in situ hybridization (Q-FISH), 3D imaging and 3D analysis of paraffin-embedded slides. The 3D telomere architecture data were computer analyzed using 100 nuclei per slide. The following were the main parameters compared: the number of signals (number of telomeres), signal intensity (telomere length), number of telomere aggregates, and nuclear volume. Tumor and normal epithelial samples from 16 patients were compared. The normal epithelial cells had more telomere signals and higher intensities than the tumor cells, with P-values of P < 0.0001 and P = 0.0078, respectively. There were no statistically significant differences in the numbers of telomere aggregates or the nuclear volumes between the tumor and normal epithelial cells. Secondary analyses examined the effects of age on 3D telomere

  4. TRF2 dysfunction elicits DNA damage responses associated with senescence in proliferating neural cells and differentiation of neurons.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Peisu; Furukawa, Katsutoshi; Opresko, Patricia L; Xu, Xiangru; Bohr, Vilhelm A; Mattson, Mark P

    2006-04-01

    Telomeres are specialized structures at the ends of chromosomes that consist of tandem repeats of the DNA sequence TTAGGG and several proteins that protect the DNA and regulate the plasticity of the telomeres. The telomere-associated protein TRF2 (telomeric repeat binding factor 2) is critical for the control of telomere structure and function; TRF2 dysfunction results in the exposure of the telomere ends and activation of ATM (ataxia telangiectasin mutated)-mediated DNA damage response. Recent findings suggest that telomere attrition can cause senescence or apoptosis of mitotic cells, but the function of telomeres in differentiated neurons is unknown. Here, we examined the impact of telomere dysfunction via TRF2 inhibition in neurons (primary embryonic hippocampal neurons) and mitotic neural cells (astrocytes and neuroblastoma cells). We demonstrate that telomere dysfunction induced by adenovirus-mediated expression of dominant-negative TRF2 (DN-TRF2) triggers a DNA damage response involving the formation of nuclear foci containing phosphorylated histone H2AX and activated ATM in each cell type. In mitotic neural cells DN-TRF2 induced activation of both p53 and p21 and senescence (as indicated by an up-regulation of beta-galactosidase). In contrast, in neurons DN-TRF2 increased p21, but neither p53 nor beta-galactosidase was induced. In addition, TRF2 inhibition enhanced the morphological, molecular and biophysical differentiation of hippocampal neurons. These findings demonstrate divergent molecular and physiological responses to telomere dysfunction in mitotic neural cells and neurons, indicate a role for TRF2 in regulating neuronal differentiation, and suggest a potential therapeutic application of inhibition of TRF2 function in the treatment of neural tumors.

  5. Sepsis Induces Telomere Shortening: a Potential Mechanism Responsible for Delayed Pathophysiological Events in Sepsis Survivors?

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, Naara Mendes; Rios, Ester CS; de Lima, Thais Martins; Victorino, Vanessa Jacob; Barbeiro, Hermes; da Silva, Fabiano Pinheiro; Szabo, Csaba; Soriano, Francisco Garcia

    2016-01-01

    Sepsis survivors suffer from additional morbidities, including higher risk of readmissions, nervous system disturbances and cognitive dysfunction, and increased mortality, even several years after the initial episode of sepsis. In many ways, the phenotype of sepsis survivors resembles the phenotype associated with accelerated aging. Since telomere shortening is a hallmark of aging, we investigated whether sepsis also leads to telomere shortening. Male balb/c mice were divided into two groups: the control group received 100 μl of normal saline intraperitoneally (i.p.) and the sepsis group received 15 mg/kg of bacterial lipopolysaccharide i.p. After 48 h, animals were euthanized to collect blood, spleen and kidney. The human component of our study utilized blood samples obtained from patients in the trauma department and samples collected 7 d later in those patients who developed sepsis. Telomere length was measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Since oxidative stress is a known inducer of telomere shortening, thiobarbituric acid–reactive substances and superoxide dismutase activity were analyzed to evaluate oxidative stress burden. Induction of endotoxemia in mice resulted in significant telomere shortening in spleen and kidney. Blood cells from patients who progressed to sepsis also exhibited a statistically significant reduction of telomere length. Endotoxemia in mice also induced an early-onset increase in oxidative stress markers but was not associated with a downregulation of telomerase protein expression. We conclude that endotoxemia and sepsis induce telomere shortening in various tissues and hypothesize that this may contribute to the pathogenesis of the delayed pathophysiological events in sepsis survivors. PMID:27925632

  6. LINE-1 induces hTERT and ensures telomere maintenance in tumour cell lines.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-07

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

  7. The impact of voluntary exercise on relative telomere length in a rat model of developmental stress

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Exposure to early adverse events can result in the development of later psychopathology, and is often associated with cognitive impairment. This may be due to accelerated cell aging, which can be catalogued by attritioned telomeres. Exercise enhances neurogenesis and has been proposed to buffer the effect of psychological stress on telomere length. This study aimed to investigate the impact of early developmental stress and voluntary exercise on telomere length in the ventral hippocampus (VH) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) of the rat. Forty-five male Sprague–Dawley rats were categorised into four groups: maternally separated runners (MSR), maternally separated non-runners (MSnR), non-maternally separated runners (nMSR) and non-maternally separated non-runners (nMSnR). Behavioural analyses were conducted to assess anxiety-like behaviour and memory performance in the rats, after which relative telomere length was measured using qPCR. Results Maternally separated (MS) rats exhibited no significant differences in either anxiety levels or memory performance on the elevated-plus maze and the open field compared to non-maternally separated rats at 49 days of age. Exercised rats displayed increased levels of anxiety on the day that they were removed from the cages with attached running wheels, as well as improved spatial learning and temporal recognition memory compared to non-exercised rats. Exploratory post-hoc analyses revealed that maternally separated non-exercised rats exhibited significantly longer telomere length in the VH compared to those who were not maternally separated; however, exercise appeared to cancel this effect since there was no difference in VH telomere length between maternally separated and non-maternally separated runners. Conclusions The increased telomere length in the VH of maternally separated non-exercised rats may be indicative of reduced cellular proliferation, which could, in turn, indicate hippocampal dysfunction. This effect on

  8. Mammalian pheromones.

    PubMed

    Liberles, Stephen D

    2014-01-01

    Mammalian pheromones control a myriad of innate social behaviors and acutely regulate hormone levels. Responses to pheromones are highly robust, reproducible, and stereotyped and likely involve developmentally predetermined neural circuits. Here, I review several facets of pheromone transduction in mammals, including (a) chemosensory receptors and signaling components of the main olfactory epithelium and vomeronasal organ involved in pheromone detection; (b) pheromone-activated neural circuits subject to sex-specific and state-dependent modulation; and (c) the striking chemical diversity of mammalian pheromones, which range from small, volatile molecules and sulfated steroids to large families of proteins. Finally, I review (d) molecular mechanisms underlying various behavioral and endocrine responses, including modulation of puberty and estrous; control of reproduction, aggression, suckling, and parental behaviors; individual recognition; and distinguishing of own species from predators, competitors, and prey. Deconstruction of pheromone transduction mechanisms provides a critical foundation for understanding how odor response pathways generate instinctive behaviors.

  9. Mammalian Pheromones

    PubMed Central

    Liberles, Stephen D.

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian pheromones control a myriad of innate social behaviors and acutely regulate hormone levels. Responses to pheromones are highly robust, reproducible, and stereotyped and likely involve developmentally predetermined neural circuits. Here, I review several facets of pheromone transduction in mammals, including (a) chemosensory receptors and signaling components of the main olfactory epithelium and vomeronasal organ involved in pheromone detection; (b) pheromone-activated neural circuits subject to sex-specific and state-dependent modulation; and (c) the striking chemical diversity of mammalian pheromones, which range from small, volatile molecules and sulfated steroids to large families of proteins. Finally, I review (d ) molecular mechanisms underlying various behavioral and endocrine responses, including modulation of puberty and estrous; control of reproduction, aggression, suckling, and parental behaviors; individual recognition; and distinguishing of own species from predators, competitors, and prey. Deconstruction of pheromone transduction mechanisms provides a critical foundation for understanding how odor response pathways generate instinctive behaviors. PMID:23988175

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. C. elegans telomeres contain G-strand and C-strand overhangs that are bound by distinct proteins.

    PubMed

    Raices, Marcela; Verdun, Ramiro E; Compton, Sarah A; Haggblom, Candy I; Griffith, Jack D; Dillin, Andrew; Karlseder, Jan

    2008-03-07

    Single-strand extensions of the G strand of telomeres are known to be critical for chromosome-end protection and length regulation. Here, we report that in C. elegans, chromosome termini possess 3' G-strand overhangs as well as 5' C-strand overhangs. C tails are as abundant as G tails and are generated by a well-regulated process. These two classes of overhangs are bound by two single-stranded DNA binding proteins, CeOB1 and CeOB2, which exhibit specificity for G-rich or C-rich telomeric DNA. Strains of worms deleted for CeOB1 have elongated telomeres as well as extended G tails, whereas CeOB2 deficiency leads to telomere-length heterogeneity. Both CeOB1 and CeOB2 contain OB (oligo-saccharide/oligo-nucleotide binding) folds, which exhibit structural similarity to the second and first OB folds of the mammalian telomere binding protein hPOT1, respectively. Our results suggest that C. elegans telomere homeostasis relies on a novel mechanism that involves 5' and 3' single-stranded termini.

  12. Stem cell expansion during carcinogenesis in stem cell-depleted conditional telomeric repeat factor 2 null mutant mice.

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-24

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-21

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

  14. The Role of Telomere Dysfunction in Driving Genomic Instability

    SciTech Connect

    Robert L Ullrich; Susan Bailey

    2008-01-17

    The mechanistic role of radiation-induced genomic instability in radiation carcinogenesis is an attractive hypothesis that remains to be rigorously tested. There are few in vivo studies on which to base judgments, but work in our laboratory with mouse models of radiogenic mammary neoplasia provided the first indications that certain forms of genetically predisposed radiation-induced genomic instability may contribute to tumor development. The central goal of this research project is to more firmly establish the mechanistic basis of this radiation-associated genomic instability and, from this, to assess whether such induced instability might play a major role in tumorigenesis at low doses of low LET radiation. In the case of mouse mammary tumors, susceptibility to induced instability is expressed as an autosomal recessive trait in mammary epithelial cells and is manifest largely as excess chromatid damage. Recently published studies associate this form of instability with DNA repair deficiency, polymorphic variation in the gene encoding DNA-PKcs (Prkdc), and mammary associated susceptibility. The underlying hypothesis being tested in this project is that tumor-associated genomic instability is preferentially expressed in certain recombinogenic genomic domains and that these may be cell lineage/individual-specific.

  15. Unwinding protein complexes in ALTernative telomere maintenance.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharyya, Saumitri; Sandy, April; Groden, Joanna

    2010-01-01

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

  16. 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…

  17. Dynamics of telomeric DNA turnover in yeast.

    PubMed Central

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

    2002-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Interaction theory of mammalian mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Nakada, K; Inoue, K; Hayashi, J

    2001-11-09

    We generated mice with deletion mutant mtDNA by its introduction from somatic cells into mouse zygotes. Expressions of disease phenotypes are limited to tissues expressing mitochondrial dysfunction. Considering that all these mice share the same nuclear background, these observations suggest that accumulation of the mutant mtDNA and resultant expressions of mitochondrial dysfunction are responsible for expression of disease phenotypes. On the other hand, mitochondrial dysfunction and expression of clinical abnormalities were not observed until the mutant mtDNA accumulated predominantly. This protection is due to the presence of extensive and continuous interaction between exogenous mitochondria from cybrids and recipient mitochondria from embryos. Thus, we would like to propose a new hypothesis on mitochondrial biogenesis, interaction theory of mitochondria: mammalian mitochondria exchange genetic contents, and thus lost the individuality and function as a single dynamic cellular unit.

  20. Telomere shortening in leukocyte subpopulations in depression

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Association of telomere length and mitochondrial DNA copy number in a community sample of healthy adults.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    Cellular aging plays a role in longevity and senescence, and has been implicated in medical and psychiatric conditions, including heart disease, cancer, major depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. Telomere shortening and mitochondrial dysfunction are thought to be central to the cellular aging process. The present study examined the association between mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number and telomere length in a sample of medically healthy adults. Participants (total n=392) were divided into 4 groups based on the presence or absence of early life adversity and lifetime psychopathology: No Adversity/No Disorder, n=136; Adversity/No Disorder, n=91; No Adversity/Disorder, n=46; Adversity/Disorder, n=119. Telomere length and mtDNA copy number were measured using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. There was a positive correlation between mtDNA and telomere length in the entire sample (r=0.120, p<0.001) and in each of the four groups of participants (No Adversity/No Disorder, r=0.291, p=0.001; Adversity/No Disorder r=0.279, p=0.007; No Adversity/Disorder r=0.449, p=0.002; Adversity/Disorder, r=0.558, p<0.001). These correlations remained significant when controlling for age, smoking, and body mass index and establish an association between mtDNA and telomere length in a large group of women and men both with and without early adversity and psychopathology, suggesting co-regulation of telomeres and mitochondrial function. The mechanisms underlying this association may be important in the pathophysiology of age-related medical conditions, such as heart disease and cancer, as well as for stress-associated psychiatric disorders.

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

    PubMed

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

    1990-12-25

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-02-07

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

  6. Telomere profiling: toward glioblastoma personalized medicine.

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-15

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

  8. Molecular Cytogenetic Analysis of Telomere Rearrangements

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Christa Lese; Ledbetter, David H.

    2015-01-01

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

  9. MAD2L2 controls DNA repair at telomeres and DNA breaks by inhibiting 5′ end-resection

    PubMed Central

    Segura-Bayona, Sandra; Peuscher, Marieke H.; van der Torre, Jaco; Wevers, Brigitte A.; Orthwein, Alexandre; Durocher, Daniel; Jacobs, Jacqueline J.L.

    2015-01-01

    Appropriate repair of DNA lesions and the inhibition of DNA repair activities at telomeres are critical to prevent genomic instability. By fuelling the generation of genetic alterations and by compromising cell viability, genomic instability is a driving force in cancer and aging1, 2. Here we identify MAD2L2 (also known as MAD2B or REV7) through functional genetic screening as a novel factor controlling DNA repair activities at mammalian telomeres. We show that MAD2L2 accumulates at uncapped telomeres and promotes non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ)-mediated fusion of deprotected chromosome ends and genomic instability. MAD2L2 depletion causes elongated 3′ telomeric overhangs, implying that MAD2L2 inhibits 5′ end-resection. End-resection blocks NHEJ while committing to homology-directed repair (HDR) and is under control of 53BP1, RIF1 and PTIP3. Consistent with MAD2L2 promoting NHEJ-mediated telomere fusion by inhibiting 5′ end-resection, knockdown of the nucleases CTIP or EXO1 partially restores telomere-driven genomic instability in MAD2L2-depleted cells. Control of DNA repair by MAD2L2 is not limited to telomeres. MAD2L2 also accumulates and inhibits end-resection at irradiation (IR)-induced DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and promotes end-joining of DSBs in multiple settings, including during immunoglobulin class switch recombination (CSR). These activities of MAD2L2 depend on ATM kinase activity, RNF8, RNF168, 53BP1 and RIF1, but not on PTIP, REV1 and REV3, the latter two acting with MAD2L2 in translesion synthesis (TLS)4. Together our data establish MAD2L2 as a critical contributor to the control of DNA repair activity by 53BP1 that promotes NHEJ by inhibiting 5′ end-resection downstream of RIF1. PMID:25799990

  10. Orgasmic dysfunction

    MedlinePlus

    Inhibited sexual excitement; Sex - orgasmic dysfunction; Anorgasmia; Sexual dysfunction - orgasmic; Sexual problem - orgasmic ... of knowledge about sexual function Negative feelings about sex (often learned in childhood or teen years) Shyness ...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2002-01-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-19

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

  15. Mammalian sleep

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Staunton, Hugh

    2005-05-01

    This review examines the biological background to the development of ideas on rapid eye movement sleep (REM sleep), so-called paradoxical sleep (PS), and its relation to dreaming. Aspects of the phenomenon which are discussed include physiological changes and their anatomical location, the effects of total and selective sleep deprivation in the human and animal, and REM sleep behavior disorder, the latter with its clinical manifestations in the human. Although dreaming also occurs in other sleep phases (non-REM or NREM sleep), in the human, there is a contingent relation between REM sleep and dreaming. Thus, REM is taken as a marker for dreaming and as REM is distributed ubiquitously throughout the mammalian class, it is suggested that other mammals also dream. It is suggested that the overall function of REM sleep/dreaming is more important than the content of the individual dream; its function is to place the dreamer protagonist/observer on the topographical world. This has importance for the developing infant who needs to develop a sense of self and separateness from the world which it requires to navigate and from which it is separated for long periods in sleep. Dreaming may also serve to maintain a sense of ‘I’ness or “self” in the adult, in whom a fragility of this faculty is revealed in neurological disorders.

  16. The Ctf18 RFC-like complex positions yeast telomeres but does not specify their replication time.

    PubMed

    Hiraga, Shin-ichiro; Robertson, E Douglas; Donaldson, Anne D

    2006-04-05

    Chromosome ends in Saccharomyces cerevisiae are positioned in clusters at the nuclear rim. We report that Ctf18, Ctf8, and Dcc1, the subunits of a Replication Factor C (RFC)-like complex, are essential for the perinuclear positioning of telomeres. In both yeast and mammalian cells, peripheral nuclear positioning of chromatin during G1 phase correlates with late DNA replication. We find that the mislocalized telomeres of ctf18 cells still replicate late, showing that late DNA replication does not require peripheral positioning during G1. The Ku and Sir complexes have been shown to act through separate pathways to position telomeres, but in the absence of Ctf18 neither pathway can act fully to maintain telomere position. Surprisingly CTF18 is not required for Ku or Sir4-mediated peripheral tethering of a nontelomeric chromosome locus. Our results suggest that the Ctf18 RFC-like complex modifies telomeric chromatin to make it competent for normal localization to the nuclear periphery.

  17. Mapping the telomere integrated genome of human herpesvirus 6A and 6B.

    PubMed

    Arbuckle, Jesse H; Pantry, Shara N; Medveczky, Maria M; Prichett, Joshua; Loomis, Kristin S; Ablashi, Dharam; Medveczky, Peter G

    2013-07-20

    Human herpesvirus 6B (HHV-6B) is the causative agent of roseola infantum. HHV-6A and 6B can reactivate in immunosuppressed individuals and are linked with severe inflammatory response, organ rejection and central nervous system diseases. About 0.85% of the US and UK population carries an integrated HHV-6 genome in all nucleated cells through germline transmission. We have previously reported that the HHV-6A genome integrated in telomeres of patients suffering from neurological dysfunction and also in telomeres of tissue culture cells. We now report that HHV-6B also integrates in telomeres during latency. Detailed mapping of the integrated viral genomes demonstrates that a single HHV-6 genome integrates and telomere repeats join the left end of the integrated viral genome. When HEK-293 cells carrying integrated HHV-6A were exposed to the histone deacetylase inhibitor Trichostatin A, circularization and/or formation of concatamers were detected and this assay could be used to distinguish between lytic replication and latency.

  18. 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

  19. Identification of TERRA locus unveils a telomere protection role through association to nearly all chromosomes

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Telomeric RNAs (TERRAs) are UUAGGG repeat-containing RNAs that are transcribed from the subtelomere towards the telomere. The precise genomic origin of TERRA has remained elusive. Using a whole-genome RNA-sequencing approach, we identify novel mouse transcripts arising mainly from the subtelomere of chromosome 18, and to a lesser extend chromosome 9, that resemble TERRA in several key aspects. Those transcripts contain UUAGGG-repeats and are heterogeneous in size, fluctuate in abundance in a TERRA-like manner during the cell cycle, are bound by TERRA RNA-binding proteins and are regulated in a manner similar to TERRA in response to stress and the induction of pluripotency. These transcripts are also found to associate with nearly all chromosome ends and downregulation of the transcripts that originate from chromosome 18 causes a reduction in TERRA abundance. Interestingly, downregulation of either chromosome 18 transcripts or TERRA results in increased number of telomere dysfunction-induced foci, suggesting a protective role at telomeres. PMID:25182072

  20. Mte1 interacts with Mph1 and promotes crossover recombination and telomere maintenance

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Sonia; Altmannova, Veronika; Luke-Glaser, Sarah; Henriksen, Peter; Gallina, Irene; Yang, Xuejiao; Choudhary, Chunaram; Luke, Brian; Krejci, Lumir

    2016-01-01

    Mph1 is a member of the conserved FANCM family of DNA motor proteins that play key roles in genome maintenance processes underlying Fanconi anemia, a cancer predisposition syndrome in humans. Here, we identify Mte1 as a novel interactor of the Mph1 helicase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In vitro, Mte1 (Mph1-associated telomere maintenance protein 1) binds directly to DNA with a preference for branched molecules such as D loops and fork structures. In addition, Mte1 stimulates the helicase and fork regression activities of Mph1 while inhibiting the ability of Mph1 to dissociate recombination intermediates. Deletion of MTE1 reduces crossover recombination and suppresses the sensitivity of mph1Δ mutant cells to replication stress. Mph1 and Mte1 interdependently colocalize at DNA damage-induced foci and dysfunctional telomeres, and MTE1 deletion results in elongated telomeres. Taken together, our data indicate that Mte1 plays a role in regulation of crossover recombination, response to replication stress, and telomere maintenance. PMID:26966248

  1. Significant correlation of species longevity with DNA double strand break recognition but not with telomere length.

    PubMed

    Lorenzini, Antonello; Johnson, F Brad; Oliver, Anthony; Tresini, Maria; Smith, Jasmine S; Hdeib, Mona; Sell, Christian; Cristofalo, Vincent J; Stamato, Thomas D

    2009-01-01

    The identification of the cellular mechanisms responsible for the wide differences in species lifespan remains one of the major unsolved problems of the biology of aging. We measured the capacity of nuclear protein to recognize DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) and telomere length of skin fibroblasts derived from mammalian species that exhibit wide differences in longevity. Our results indicate DNA DSB recognition increases exponentially with longevity. Further, an analysis of the level of Ku80 protein in human, cow, and mouse suggests that Ku levels vary dramatically between species and these levels are strongly correlated with longevity. In contrast mean telomere length appears to decrease with increasing longevity of the species, although not significantly. These findings suggest that an enhanced ability to bind to DNA ends may be important for longevity. A number of possible roles for increased levels of Ku and DNA-PKcs are discussed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-11-08

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Maternal telomere length inheritance in the king penguin.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Portrait of replication stress viewed from telomeres.

    PubMed

    Ishikawa, Fuyuki

    2013-07-01

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

  6. Treating Cancer by Targeting Telomeres and Telomerase

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Telomeric armor: the layers of end protection

    PubMed Central

    Oganesian, Liana; Karlseder, Jan

    2009-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Localization of the modified base J in telomeric VSG gene expression sites of Trypanosoma brucei.

    PubMed

    van Leeuwen, F; Wijsman, E R; Kieft, R; van der Marel, G A; van Boom, J H; Borst, P

    1997-12-01

    African trypanosomes such as Trypanosoma brucei undergo antigenic variation in the bloodstream of their mammalian hosts by regularly changing the variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) gene expressed. The transcribed VSG gene is invariably located in a telomeric expression site. There are multiple expression sites and one way to change the VSG gene expressed is by activating a new site and inactivating the previously active one. The mechanisms that control expression site switching are unknown, but have been suggested to involve epigenetic regulation. We have found previously that VSG genes in silent (but not active) expression sites contain modified restriction endonuclease cleavage sites, and we have presented circumstantial evidence indicating that this is attributable to the presence of a novel modified base beta-D-glucosyl-hydroxymethyluracil, or J. To directly test this, we have generated antisera that specifically recognize J-containing DNA and have used these to determine the precise location of this modified thymine in the telomeric VSG expression sites. By anti J-DNA immunoprecipitations, we found that J is present in telomeric VSG genes in silenced expression sites and not in actively transcribed telomeric VSG genes. J was absent from inactive chromosome-internal VSG genes. DNA modification was also found at the boundaries of expression sites. In the long 50-bp repeat arrays upstream of the promoter and in the telomeric repeat arrays downstream of the VSG gene, J was found both in silent and active expression sites. This suggests that silencing results in a gradient of modification spreading from repetitive DNA flanks into the neighboring expression site sequences. In this paper, we discuss the possible role of J in silencing of expression sites.

  10. Telomeres and the ethics of human cloning.

    PubMed

    Allhoff, Fritz

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  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.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  15. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-04-01

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

  17. Telomere structure and maintenance gene variants and risk of five cancer types.

    PubMed

    Karami, Sara; Han, Younghun; Pande, Mala; Cheng, Iona; Rudd, James; Pierce, Brandon L; Nutter, Ellen L; Schumacher, Fredrick R; Kote-Jarai, Zsofia; Lindstrom, Sara; Witte, John S; Fang, Shenying; Han, Jiali; Kraft, Peter; Hunter, David J; Song, Fengju; Hung, Rayjean J; McKay, James; Gruber, Stephen B; Chanock, Stephen J; Risch, Angela; Shen, Hongbing; Haiman, Christopher A; Boardman, Lisa; Ulrich, Cornelia M; Casey, Graham; Peters, Ulrike; Amin Al Olama, Ali; Berchuck, Andrew; Berndt, Sonja I; Bezieau, Stephane; Brennan, Paul; Brenner, Hermann; Brinton, Louise; Caporaso, Neil; Chan, Andrew T; Chang-Claude, Jenny; Christiani, David C; Cunningham, Julie M; Easton, Douglas; Eeles, Rosalind A; Eisen, Timothy; Gala, Manish; Gallinger, Steven J; Gayther, Simon A; Goode, Ellen L; Grönberg, Henrik; Henderson, Brian E; Houlston, Richard; Joshi, Amit D; Küry, Sébastien; Landi, Mari T; Le Marchand, Loic; Muir, Kenneth; Newcomb, Polly A; Permuth-Wey, Jenny; Pharoah, Paul; Phelan, Catherine; Potter, John D; Ramus, Susan J; Risch, Harvey; Schildkraut, Joellen; Slattery, Martha L; Song, Honglin; Wentzensen, Nicolas; White, Emily; Wiklund, Fredrik; Zanke, Brent W; Sellers, Thomas A; Zheng, Wei; Chatterjee, Nilanjan; Amos, Christopher I; Doherty, Jennifer A

    2016-12-15

    Telomeres cap chromosome ends, protecting them from degradation, double-strand breaks, and end-to-end fusions. Telomeres are maintained by telomerase, a reverse transcriptase encoded by TERT, and an RNA template encoded by TERC. Loci in the TERT and adjoining CLPTM1L region are associated with risk of multiple cancers. We therefore investigated associations between variants in 22 telomere structure and maintenance gene regions and colorectal, breast, prostate, ovarian, and lung cancer risk. We performed subset-based meta-analyses of 204,993 directly-measured and imputed SNPs among 61,851 cancer cases and 74,457 controls of European descent. Independent associations for SNP minor alleles were identified using sequential conditional analysis (with gene-level p value cutoffs ≤3.08 × 10(-5) ). Of the thirteen independent SNPs observed to be associated with cancer risk, novel findings were observed for seven loci. Across the DCLRE1B region, rs974494 and rs12144215 were inversely associated with prostate and lung cancers, and colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers, respectively. Across the TERC region, rs75316749 was positively associated with colorectal, breast, ovarian, and lung cancers. Across the DCLRE1B region, rs974404 and rs12144215 were inversely associated with prostate and lung cancers, and colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers, respectively. Near POT1, rs116895242 was inversely associated with colorectal, ovarian, and lung cancers, and RTEL1 rs34978822 was inversely associated with prostate and lung cancers. The complex association patterns in telomere-related genes across cancer types may provide insight into mechanisms through which telomere dysfunction in different tissues influences cancer risk.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Innate sexuality determines the mechanisms of telomere maintenance.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Multiple facets of TPP1 in telomere maintenance

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Pines, A

    2013-12-01

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    Peska, V; Sýkorová, E; Fajkus, J

    2008-01-01

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

  5. TOR links starvation responses to telomere length maintenance.

    PubMed

    Kupiec, Martin; Weisman, Ronit

    2012-06-15

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

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

    PubMed

    McEachern, M J; Blackburn, E H

    1995-08-03

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

  7. Characterization of Arabidopsis thaliana telomeres isolated in yeast.

    PubMed Central

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Zakian, Virginia A

    2012-07-15

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

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

    PubMed

    Hopfner, Karl-Peter

    2014-06-10

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

  10. The latent cytomegalovirus decreases telomere length by microcompetition

    PubMed Central

    Javaherian, Adrian

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Chromothripsis and kataegis induced by telomere crisis

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Telomere crisis occurs during tumorigenesis when depletion of the telomere reserve leads to frequent telomere fusions. The resulting dicentric chromosomes have been proposed to drive genome instability. Here we examine the fate of dicentric human chromosomes in telomere crisis. We observed that dicentric chromosomes invariably persisted through mitosis and developed into 50-200 μm chromatin bridges connecting the daughter cells. Before their resolution at 3-20 h after anaphase, the chromatin bridges induced nuclear envelope rupture in interphase, accumulated the cytoplasmic 3' nuclease TREX1, and developed RPA-coated single stranded (ss) DNA. CRISPR knockouts showed that TREX1 contributed to the generation of the ssDNA and the resolution of the chromatin bridges. Post-crisis clones showed chromothripsis and kataegis, presumably resulting from DNA repair and APOBEC editing of the fragmented chromatin bridge DNA. We propose that chromothripsis in human cancer may arise through TREX1-mediated fragmentation of dicentric chromosomes formed in telomere crisis. PMID:26687355

  12. Chromothripsis and Kataegis Induced by Telomere Crisis.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-17

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

  13. Erectile dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Shamloul, Rany; Ghanem, Hussein

    2013-01-12

    Erectile dysfunction is a common clinical entity that affects mainly men older than 40 years. In addition to the classical causes of erectile dysfunction, such as diabetes mellitus and hypertension, several common lifestyle factors, such as obesity, limited or an absence of physical exercise, and lower urinary tract symptoms, have been linked to the development of erectile dysfunction. Substantial steps have been taken in the study of the association between erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease. Erectile dysfunction is a strong predictor for coronary artery disease, and cardiovascular assessment of a non-cardiac patient presenting with erectile dysfunction is now recommended. Substantial advances have occurred in the understanding of the pathophysiology of erectile dysfunction that ultimately led to the development of successful oral therapies, namely the phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors. However, oral phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors have limitations, and present research is thus investigating cutting-edge therapeutic strategies including gene and cell-based technologies with the aim of discovering a cure for erectile dysfunction.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Medaka fish exhibits longevity gender gap, a natural drop in estrogen and telomere shortening during aging: a unique model for studying sex-dependent longevity

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    for studying the direct effect of increased estrogen on telomere length and longevity without the breast cancer complications reported in rodents. The findings strongly support the notion that O. latipes is a unique non-mammalian model for validation of estrogenic influence on telomere and longevity in vertebrates. This laboratory model fish is of potential significance for deciphering the ostensibly conserved mechanism(s) of sex-associated longevity in vertebrates. PMID:24364913

  19. Structure of the Drosophila HeT-A transposon: a retrotransposon-like element forming telomeres.

    PubMed

    Danilevskaya, O; Slot, F; Pavlova, M; Pardue, M L

    1994-06-01

    Telomeres of Drosophila appear to be very different from those of other organisms. A transposable element, HeT-A, plays a major role in forming telomeres and may be the sole structural element, since telomerase-generated repeats are not found. HeT-A transposes only to chromosome ends. It appears to be a retrotransposon but has novel structural features, which may be related to its telomere functions. A consensus sequence from cloned HeT-A elements defines an element of approximately 6 kb. The coding region has retrotransposon-like overlapping open reading frames (ORFs) with a -1 frameshift in a sequence resembling the frameshift region of the mammalian HIV-1 retrovirus. Both the HeT-A ORFs contain motifs suggesting RNA binding. HeT-A-specific features include a long non-coding region, 3' of the ORFs, which makes up about half of the element. This region has a regular array of imperfect sequence repeats and ends with oligo(A), marking the end of the element and suggesting a polyadenylated RNA transposition intermediate. This 3' repeat region may have a structural role in heterochromatin. The most distal part of each complete HeT-A on the chromosome, the region 5' of the ORFs, has unusual conserved features, which might produce a terminal structure for the chromosome.

  20. Cross-Species Interaction between Rapidly Evolving Telomere-Specific Drosophila Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Vedelek, Balázs; Blastyák, András; Boros, Imre M.

    2015-01-01

    Telomere integrity in Drosophila melanogaster is maintained by a putative multisubunit complex called terminin that is believed to act in analogy to the mammalian shelterin complex in protecting chromosome ends from being recognized as sites of DNA damage. The five proteins supposed to form the terminin complex are HP1-ORC associated protein, HP1-HOAP interacting protein, Verrocchio, Drosophila Telomere Loss/Modigliani and Heterochromatic Protein 1. Four of these proteins evolve rapidly within the Drosophila genus. The accelerated evolution of terminin components may indicate the involvement of these proteins in the process by which new species arise, as the resulting divergence of terminin proteins might prevent hybrid formation, thus driving speciation. However, terminin is not an experimentally proven entity, and no biochemical studies have been performed to investigate its assembly and action in detail. Motivated by these facts in order to initiate biochemical studies on terminin function, we attempted to reconstitute terminin by co-expressing its subunits in bacteria and investigated the possible role of the fast-evolving parts of terminin components in complex assembly. Our results suggest formation of stable subcomplexes of terminin, but not of the whole complex in vitro. We found that the accelerated evolution is restricted to definable regions of terminin components, and that the divergence of D. melanogaster Drosophila Telomere Loss and D. yakuba Verrocchio proteins does not preclude their stable interaction. PMID:26566042

  1. Cross-Species Interaction between Rapidly Evolving Telomere-Specific Drosophila Proteins.

    PubMed

    Vedelek, Balázs; Blastyák, András; Boros, Imre M

    2015-01-01

    Telomere integrity in Drosophila melanogaster is maintained by a putative multisubunit complex called terminin that is believed to act in analogy to the mammalian shelterin complex in protecting chromosome ends from being recognized as sites of DNA damage. The five proteins supposed to form the terminin complex are HP1-ORC associated protein, HP1-HOAP interacting protein, Verrocchio, Drosophila Telomere Loss/Modigliani and Heterochromatic Protein 1. Four of these proteins evolve rapidly within the Drosophila genus. The accelerated evolution of terminin components may indicate the involvement of these proteins in the process by which new species arise, as the resulting divergence of terminin proteins might prevent hybrid formation, thus driving speciation. However, terminin is not an experimentally proven entity, and no biochemical studies have been performed to investigate its assembly and action in detail. Motivated by these facts in order to initiate biochemical studies on terminin function, we attempted to reconstitute terminin by co-expressing its subunits in bacteria and investigated the possible role of the fast-evolving parts of terminin components in complex assembly. Our results suggest formation of stable subcomplexes of terminin, but not of the whole complex in vitro. We found that the accelerated evolution is restricted to definable regions of terminin components, and that the divergence of D. melanogaster Drosophila Telomere Loss and D. yakuba Verrocchio proteins does not preclude their stable interaction.

  2. Tetrafluoroethylene telomerization initiated by benzoyl peroxide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  3. Relative telomere lengths in tumor and normal mucosa are related to disease progression and chromosome instability profiles in colorectal cancer

    PubMed Central

    Jorissen, Robert N.; Hampson, Debbie; Ghosh, Anil; Sengupta, Neel; Thaha, Mohamed; Ahmed, Shafi; Kirwan, Michael; Aleva, Floor; Propper, David; Feakins, Roger M.; Vulliamy, Tom; Elwood, Ngaire J.; Tian, Pei; Ward, Robyn L.; Hawkins, Nicholas J.; Xu, Zheng-Zhou; Molloy, Peter L.; Jones, Ian T.; Croxford, Matthew; Gibbs, Peter; Silver, Andrew; Sieber, Oliver M.

    2016-01-01

    Telomeric dysfunction is linked to colorectal cancer (CRC) initiation. However, the relationship of normal tissue and tumor telomere lengths with CRC progression, molecular features and prognosis is unclear. Here, we measured relative telomere length (RTL) by real-time quantitative PCR in 90 adenomas (aRTL), 419 stage I-IV CRCs (cRTL) and adjacent normal mucosa (nRTL). Age-adjusted RTL was analyzed against germline variants in telomere biology genes, chromosome instability (CIN), microsatellite instability (MSI), CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), TP53, KRAS, BRAF mutations and clinical outcomes. In 509 adenoma or CRC patients, nRTL decreased with advancing age. Female gender, proximal location and the TERT rs2736100 G allele were independently associated with longer age-adjusted nRTL. Adenomas and carcinomas exhibited telomere shortening in 79% and 67% and lengthening in 7% and 15% of cases. Age-adjusted nRTL and cRTL were independently associated with tumor stage, decreasing from adenoma to stage III and leveling out or increasing from stage III to IV, respectively. Cancer MSI, CIMP, TP53, KRAS and BRAF status were not related to nRTL or cRTL. Near-tetraploid CRCs exhibited significantly longer cRTLs than CIN- and aneuploidy CRCs, while cRTL was significantly shorter in CRCs with larger numbers of chromosome breaks. Age-adjusted nRTL, cRTL or cRTL:nRTL ratios were not associated with disease-free or overall survival in stage II/III CRC. Taken together, our data show that both normal mucosa and tumor RTL are independently associated with CRC progression, and highlight divergent associations of CRC telomere length with tumor CIN profiles. PMID:27167335

  4. Relative telomere lengths in tumor and normal mucosa are related to disease progression and chromosome instability profiles in colorectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Suraweera, Nirosha; Mouradov, Dmitri; Li, Shan; Jorissen, Robert N; Hampson, Debbie; Ghosh, Anil; Sengupta, Neel; Thaha, Mohamed; Ahmed, Shafi; Kirwan, Michael; Aleva, Floor; Propper, David; Feakins, Roger M; Vulliamy, Tom; Elwood, Ngaire J; Tian, Pei; Ward, Robyn L; Hawkins, Nicholas J; Xu, Zheng-Zhou; Molloy, Peter L; Jones, Ian T; Croxford, Matthew; Gibbs, Peter; Silver, Andrew; Sieber, Oliver M

    2016-06-14

    Telomeric dysfunction is linked to colorectal cancer (CRC) initiation. However, the relationship of normal tissue and tumor telomere lengths with CRC progression, molecular features and prognosis is unclear. Here, we measured relative telomere length (RTL) by real-time quantitative PCR in 90 adenomas (aRTL), 419 stage I-IV CRCs (cRTL) and adjacent normal mucosa (nRTL). Age-adjusted RTL was analyzed against germline variants in telomere biology genes, chromosome instability (CIN), microsatellite instability (MSI), CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), TP53, KRAS, BRAF mutations and clinical outcomes. In 509 adenoma or CRC patients, nRTL decreased with advancing age. Female gender, proximal location and the TERT rs2736100 G allele were independently associated with longer age-adjusted nRTL. Adenomas and carcinomas exhibited telomere shortening in 79% and 67% and lengthening in 7% and 15% of cases. Age-adjusted nRTL and cRTL were independently associated with tumor stage, decreasing from adenoma to stage III and leveling out or increasing from stage III to IV, respectively. Cancer MSI, CIMP, TP53, KRAS and BRAF status were not related to nRTL or cRTL. Near-tetraploid CRCs exhibited significantly longer cRTLs than CIN- and aneuploidy CRCs, while cRTL was significantly shorter in CRCs with larger numbers of chromosome breaks. Age-adjusted nRTL, cRTL or cRTL:nRTL ratios were not associated with disease-free or overall survival in stage II/III CRC. Taken together, our data show that both normal mucosa and tumor RTL are independently associated with CRC progression, and highlight divergent associations of CRC telomere length with tumor CIN profiles.

  5. Essential role of the Cdk2 activator RingoA in meiotic telomere tethering to the nuclear envelope

    PubMed Central

    Mikolcevic, Petra; Isoda, Michitaka; Shibuya, Hiroki; del Barco Barrantes, Ivan; Igea, Ana; Suja, José A.; Shackleton, Sue; Watanabe, Yoshinori; Nebreda, Angel R.

    2016-01-01

    Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) play key roles in cell cycle regulation. Genetic analysis in mice has revealed an essential role for Cdk2 in meiosis, which renders Cdk2 knockout (KO) mice sterile. Here we show that mice deficient in RingoA, an atypical activator of Cdk1 and Cdk2 that has no amino acid sequence homology to cyclins, are sterile and display meiotic defects virtually identical to those observed in Cdk2 KO mice including non-homologous chromosome pairing, unrepaired double-strand breaks, undetectable sex-body and pachytene arrest. Interestingly, RingoA is required for Cdk2 targeting to telomeres and RingoA KO spermatocytes display severely affected telomere tethering as well as impaired distribution of Sun1, a protein essential for the attachment of telomeres to the nuclear envelope. Our results identify RingoA as an important activator of Cdk2 at meiotic telomeres, and provide genetic evidence for a physiological function of mammalian Cdk2 that is not dependent on cyclins. PMID:27025256

  6. Telomere length and genetic anticipation in Lynch syndrome.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Erectile Dysfunction

    MedlinePlus

    ... or other heart problems take medications that contain nitrates to help the blood flow better to the ... erectile dysfunction can affect the way that the nitrates work—and cause blood pressure to drop to ...

  12. Erectile dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Yafi, Faysal A.; Jenkins, Lawrence; Albersen, Maarten; Corona, Giovanni; Isidori, Andrea M.; Goldfarb, Shari; Maggi, Mario; Nelson, Christian J.; Parish, Sharon; Salonia, Andrea; Tan, Ronny; Mulhall, John P.; Hellstrom, Wayne J. G.

    2016-01-01

    Erectile dysfunction is a multidimensional but common male sexual dysfunction that involves an alteration in any of the components of the erectile response, including organic, relational and psychological. Roles for nonendocrine (neurogenic, vasculogenic and iatrogenic) and endocrine pathways have been proposed. Owing to its strong association with metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease, cardiac assessment may be warranted in men with symptoms of erectile dysfunction. Minimally invasive interventions to relieve the symptoms of erectile dysfunction include lifestyle modifications, oral drugs, injected vasodilator agents and vacuum erection devices. Surgical therapies are reserved for the subset of patients who have contraindications to these nonsurgical interventions, those who experience adverse effects from (or are refractory to) medical therapy and those who also have penile fibrosis or penile vascular insufficiency. Erectile dysfunction can have deleterious effects on a man’s quality of life; most patients have symptoms of depression and anxiety related to sexual performance. These symptoms, in turn, affect his partner’s sexual experience and the couple’s quality of life. This Primer highlights numerous aspects of erectile dysfunction, summarizes new treatment targets and ongoing preclinical studies that evaluate new pharmacotherapies, and covers the topic of regenerative medicine, which represents the future of sexual medicine. PMID:27188339

  13. A loopy view of telomere evolution.

    PubMed

    de Lange, Titia

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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...

  15. In vitro aging of rat lung cells. Downregulation of telomerase activity and continuous decrease of telomere length are not incompatible with malignant transformation.

    PubMed

    Petitot, Fabrice; Lebeau, Jérôme; Dano, Laurent; Lectard, Bruno; Altmeyer, Sandrine; Levalois, Céline; Chevillard, Sylvie

    2003-05-15

    Most normal mammalian somatic cells cultivated in vitro enter replicative senescence after a finite number of divisions, as a consequence of the progressive shortening of telomeres during proliferation that reflects one aspect of organism/cellular aging. The situation appears more complex in rodent cells due to physiological telomerase expression in most somatic normal tissues, great telomere length, and the difficulties of finding suitable in vitro culture conditions. To study in vitro aging of rat lung epithelial cells, we have developed primary culture conditions adapted to rat fresh lung explants and have studied for 1 year (50 passages) the changes in cellular proliferation and mortality, genetic instability, telomerase activity, telomere length, and tumorigenic potential. We have observed an absence of senescence and/or crisis, a transient genetic instability, the persistence of a differentiated Clara cell phenotype, a steady decrease in telomerase activity followed by a low residual activity together with a continuous decrease in telomere length, a constant rate of proliferation, and the acquisition of tumorigenic potential. The bypass of the growth arrest and the acquisition of long-term growth properties could be explained by the loss of p16(INK4a) expression, the ARF/p53 pathway not being altered. In conclusion, these results clearly indicate that, in rat lung epithelial cells, in vitro transformation and acquisition of tumorigenic properties can occur even if the telomere length is still decreasing and telomerase activity remains downregulated.

  16. Telomere-Mitochondrion Links Contribute to Induction of Senescence in MCF-7 Cells after Carbon-Ion Irradiation.

    PubMed

    Miao, Guo-Ying; Zhou, Xin; Zhang, Xin; Xie, Yi; Sun, Chao; Liu, Yang; Gan, Lu; Zhang, Hong

    2016-01-01

    The effects of carbon-ion irradiation on cancer cell telomere function have not been comprehensively studied. In our previous report cancer cells with telomere dysfunction were more sensitive to carbon-ion irradiation, but the underlying mechanisms remained unclear. Here we found that telomerase activity was suppressed by carbon-ion irradiation via hTERT down-regulation. Inhibition of telomere activity by MST-312 further increased cancer cell radiosensitivity to carbon-ion radiation. hTERT suppression caused by either carbon-ion irradiation or MST-312 impaired mitochondrial function, as indicated by decreased membrane potential, mtDNA copy number, mitochondrial mass, total ATP levels and elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS). PGC-1α expression was repressed after carbion-ion irradiation, and hTERT inhibition by MST-312 could further exacerbate this effect. Lowering the mitochondrial ROS level by MitoTEMPO could partially counteract the induction of cellular senescence induced by carbon-ion radiation and MST-312 incubation. Taken together, the current data suggest that telomere-mitochondrion links play a role in the induction of senescence in MCF-7 cells after carbon-ion irradiation.

  17. 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.

  18. Functional characterization of the TERRA transcriptome at damaged telomeres

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Telomere deprotection occurs during tumorigenesis and aging upon telomere shortening or loss of the telomeric shelterin component TRF2. Deprotected telomeres undergo changes in chromatin structure and elicit a DNA damage response (DDR) that leads to cellular senescence. The telomeric long noncoding RNA TERRA has been implicated in modulating the structure and processing of deprotected telomeres. Here, we characterize the human TERRA transcriptome at normal and TRF2-depleted telomeres and demonstrate that TERRA upregulation is occurring upon depletion of TRF2 at all transcribed telomeres. TRF2 represses TERRA transcription through its homodimerization domain, which was previously shown to induce chromatin compaction and to prevent the early steps of DDR activation. We show that TERRA associates with SUV39H1 H3K9 histone methyltransferase, which promotes accumulation of H3K9me3 at damaged telomeres and end-to-end fusions. Altogether our data elucidate the TERRA landscape and defines critical roles for this RNA in the telomeric DNA damage response. PMID:25359189

  19. 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

  20. Erectile dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Wylie, Kevan

    2008-01-01

    Erectile dysfunction is a common problem affecting sexual function in men. Approximately one in 10 men over the age of 40 is affected by this condition and the incidence is age related. Erectile dysfunction is a sentinel marker for several reversible conditions including peripheral and coronary vascular disease, hypertension and diabetes mellitus. Endothelial dysfunction is a common factor between the disease states. Concurrent conditions such as depression, late-onset hypogonadism, Peyronie's disease and lower urinary tract symptoms may significantly worsen erectile function, other sexual and relationship issues and penis dysmorphophobia. A focused physical examination and baseline laboratory investigations are mandatory. Management consists of initiating modifiable lifestyle changes, psychological and psychosexual/couples interventions and pharmacological and other interventions. In combination and with treatment of concurrent comorbid states, these interventions will often bring about successful resolution of symptoms and avoid the need for surgical interventions.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  3. Gustatory dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Maheswaran, T.; Abikshyeet, P.; Sitra, G.; Gokulanathan, S.; Vaithiyanadane, V.; Jeelani, S.

    2014-01-01

    Tastes in humans provide a vital tool for screening soluble chemicals for food evaluation, selection, and avoidance of potentially toxic substances. Taste or gustatory dysfunctions are implicated in loss of appetite, unintended weight loss, malnutrition, and reduced quality of life. Dental practitioners are often the first clinicians to be presented with complaints about taste dysfunction. This brief review provides a summary of the common causes of taste disorders, problems associated with assessing taste function in a clinical setting and management options available to the dental practitioner. PMID:25210380

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Harari, Yaniv; Kupiec, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Telomeres are specialized DNA-protein structures at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. Telomeres are essential for chromosomal stability and integrity, as they prevent chromosome ends from being recognized as double strand breaks. In rapidly proliferating cells, telomeric DNA is synthesized by the enzyme telomerase, which copies a short template sequence within its own RNA moiety, thus helping to solve the “end-replication problem”, in which information is lost at the ends of chromosomes with each DNA replication cycle. The basic mechanisms of telomere length, structure and function maintenance are conserved among eukaryotes. Studies in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae have been instrumental in deciphering the basic aspects of telomere biology. In the last decade, technical advances, such as the availability of mutant collections, have allowed carrying out systematic genome-wide screens for mutants affecting various aspects of telomere biology. In this review we summarize these efforts, and the insights that this Systems Biology approach has produced so far.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. HPV-16 E7 reveals a link between DNA replication stress, fanconi anemia D2 protein, and alternative lengthening of telomere-associated promyelocytic leukemia bodies.

    PubMed

    Spardy, Nicole; Duensing, Anette; Hoskins, Elizabeth E; Wells, Susanne I; Duensing, Stefan

    2008-12-01

    Expression of the high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV-16) E7 oncoprotein extends the life span of primary human keratinocytes and partially restores telomere length in the absence of telomerase. The molecular basis of this activity is incompletely understood. Here, we show that HPV-16 E7 induces an increased formation of alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT)-associated promyelocytic leukemia bodies (APBs) in early passage primary human keratinocytes as well as HPV-negative tumor cells. This activity was found to require sequences of HPV-16 E7 involved in degradation of the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein as well as regions in the COOH terminus. HPV-16 E7-induced APBs contained ssDNA and several proteins that are involved in the response to DNA replication stress, most notably the Fanconi anemia D2 protein (FANCD2) as well as BRCA2 and MUS81. In line with these results, we found that FANCD2-containing APBs form in an ATR-dependent manner in HPV-16 E7-expressing cells. To directly show a role of FANCD2 in ALT, we provide evidence that knockdown of FANCD2 rapidly causes telomere dysfunction in cells that rely on ALT to maintain telomeres. Taken together, our results suggest a novel link between replication stress and recombination-based telomere maintenance that may play a role in HPV-16 E7-mediated extension of host cell life span and immortalization.

  8. Erectile dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Introduction Erectile dysfunction may affect 30% to 50% of men aged 40 to 70 years, with age, smoking, and obesity being the main risk factors, although 20% of cases have psychological causes. Methods and outcomes We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of phosphodiesterase inhibitors in men with erectile dysfunction of any cause? What are the effects of phosphodiesterase inhibitors on erectile dysfunction in men with diabetes, with cardiovascular disease, with spinal cord injury, and with prostate cancer or undergoing prostatectomy? What are the effects of drug treatments other than phosphodiesterase inhibitors in men with erectile dysfunction of any cause? What are the effects of devices, psychological/behavioural treatments, and alternative treatments in men with erectile dysfunction of any cause? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to August 2009 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Results We found 81 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions. Conclusions In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: alprostadil (intracavernosal, intraurethral, topical), cognitive behavioural therapy, ginseng, papaverine, papaverine plus phentolamine (bimix), papaverine plus phentolamine plus alprostadil (trimix), penile prostheses, phosphodiesterase inhibitors (sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil), psychosexual counselling, vacuum devices, and yohimbine. PMID:21711956

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

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, Leslie A.; Boeke, Jef D.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Chiodi, Ilaria; Mondello, Chiara

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Role of the ESCRT Complexes in Telomere Biology

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Eukaryotic chromosomal ends are protected by telomeres from fusion, degradation, and unwanted double-strand break repair events. Therefore, telomeres preserve genome stability and integrity. Telomere length can be maintained by telomerase, which is expressed in most human primary tumors but is not expressed in the majority of somatic cells. Thus, telomerase may be a highly relevant anticancer drug target. Genome-wide studies in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae identified a set of genes associated with telomere length maintenance (TLM genes). Among the tlm mutants with short telomeres, we found a strong enrichment for those affecting vacuolar and endosomal traffic (particularly the endosomal sorting complex required for transport [ESCRT] pathway). Here, we present our results from investigating the surprising link between telomere shortening and the ESCRT machinery. Our data show that the whole ESCRT system is required to safeguard proper telomere length maintenance. We propose a model of impaired end resection resulting in too little telomeric overhang, such that Cdc13 binding is prevented, precluding either telomerase recruitment or telomeric overhang protection. PMID:27834202

  13. Role of the ESCRT Complexes in Telomere Biology.

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-08

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1988-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Telomere and TRF1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Association between Snoring and Leukocyte Telomere Length

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. End Joining at Caenorhabditis elegans Telomeres

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-06-14

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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    Background Telomeres cap chromosome ends and protect the genome. We studied individual telomeres in live human cancer cells. In capturing telomere motions using quantitative imaging to acquire complete high-resolution three-dimensional datasets every second for 200 seconds, telomere dynamics were systematically analyzed. Results The motility of individual telomeres within the same cancer cell nucleus was widely heterogeneous. One class of internal heterochromatic regions of chromosomes analyzed moved more uniformly and showed less motion and heterogeneity than telomeres. The single telomere analyses in cancer cells revealed that shorter telomeres showed more motion, and the more rapid telomere motions were energy dependent. Experimentally increasing bulk telomere length dampened telomere motion. In contrast, telomere uncapping, but not a DNA damaging agent, methyl methanesulfonate, significantly increased telomere motion. Conclusion New methods for seconds-scale, four-dimensional, live cell microscopic imaging and data analysis, allowing systematic tracking of individual telomeres in live cells, have defined a previously undescribed form of telomere behavior in human cells, in which the degree of telomere motion was dependent upon telomere length and functionality. PMID:19014413

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

    PubMed Central

    McEachern, M J; Hicks, J B

    1993-01-01

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

  7. Telomere variability in the monocotyledonous plant order Asparagales.

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    Bianchi, Alessandro; Shore, David

    2006-03-24

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Krejci, Katerina; Stentoft, Jesper; Koch, Jørn

    1999-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Alterations of telomere length in human brain tumors.

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

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

  16. Memory Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Matthews, Brandy R.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose of Review: This article highlights the dissociable human memory systems of episodic, semantic, and procedural memory in the context of neurologic illnesses known to adversely affect specific neuroanatomic structures relevant to each memory system. Recent Findings: Advances in functional neuroimaging and refinement of neuropsychological and bedside assessment tools continue to support a model of multiple memory systems that are distinct yet complementary and to support the potential for one system to be engaged as a compensatory strategy when a counterpart system fails. Summary: Episodic memory, the ability to recall personal episodes, is the subtype of memory most often perceived as dysfunctional by patients and informants. Medial temporal lobe structures, especially the hippocampal formation and associated cortical and subcortical structures, are most often associated with episodic memory loss. Episodic memory dysfunction may present acutely, as in concussion; transiently, as in transient global amnesia (TGA); subacutely, as in thiamine deficiency; or chronically, as in Alzheimer disease. Semantic memory refers to acquired knowledge about the world. Anterior and inferior temporal lobe structures are most often associated with semantic memory loss. The semantic variant of primary progressive aphasia (svPPA) is the paradigmatic disorder resulting in predominant semantic memory dysfunction. Working memory, associated with frontal lobe function, is the active maintenance of information in the mind that can be potentially manipulated to complete goal-directed tasks. Procedural memory, the ability to learn skills that become automatic, involves the basal ganglia, cerebellum, and supplementary motor cortex. Parkinson disease and related disorders result in procedural memory deficits. Most memory concerns warrant bedside cognitive or neuropsychological evaluation and neuroimaging to assess for specific neuropathologies and guide treatment. PMID:26039844

  17. 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...

  18. Structure of mammalian respiratory complex I

    PubMed Central

    Hirst, Judy

    2016-01-01

    Complex I (NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase), one of the largest membrane-bound enzymes in the cell, powers ATP synthesis in mammalian mitochondria by using the reducing potential of NADH to drive protons across the inner membrane. Mammalian complex I1 contains 45 subunits, comprising 14 core subunits that house the catalytic machinery and are conserved from bacteria to humans, and a mammalian-specific cohort of 31 supernumerary subunits1,2. Knowledge about the structures and functions of the supernumerary subunits is fragmentary. Here, we describe a 4.2 Å resolution single-particle cryoEM structure of complex I from Bos taurus. We locate and model all 45 subunits to provide the entire structure of the mammalian complex. Furthermore, computational sorting of the particles identified different structural classes, related by subtle domain movements, which reveal conformationally-dynamic regions and match biochemical descriptions of the ‘active-to-deactive’ enzyme transition that occurs during hypoxia3,4. Thus, our structures provide a foundation for understanding complex I assembly5 and the effects of mutations that cause clinically-relevant complex I dysfunctions6, insights into the structural and functional roles of the supernumerary subunits, and new information on the mechanism and regulation of catalysis. PMID:27509854

  19. Erectile dysfunction.

    PubMed

    McMahon, C G

    2014-01-01

    In the past 30 years, advances in basic science have been instrumental in the evolution of the male sexual health treatment paradigm from a psychosexual model to a new model, which includes oral and intracavernosal injection pharmacotherapy, vacuum constriction devices and penile prostheses for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. This progress has coincided with an increased understanding of the nature of male sexual health problems, and epidemiological data that confirm that these problems are widely prevalent and the source of considerable morbidity, both for individuals and within relationships.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Weiss, Hanna; Scherthan, Harry

    2002-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Characterization and organization of DNA sequences adjacent to the human telomere associated repeat (TTAGGG)n.

    PubMed Central

    Weber, B; Collins, C; Robbins, C; Magenis, R E; Delaney, A D; Gray, J W; Hayden, M R

    1990-01-01

    We present a strategy for the cloning of DNA sequences adjacent to the tandemly repeated DNA sequence (TTAGGG)n. Sequence analysis of 14 independently isolated clones revealed the presence of non-repetitive sequences immediately adjacent to or flanked by blocks of the simple repeat (TTAGGG)n. In addition, we provide sequence information on two previously undescribed tandemly repeated sequences, including a 9 bp repeat and a modification of the (TTAGGG)n repeat. Using different mapping approaches six sub-clones, free of the TTAGGG repeat, were assigned to a single human chromosome. Moreover, in situ hybridization mapped one of these subclones, G2 - 1H, definitively to the telomeric band on chromosome 4q. However, Bal 31 insensitivity suggests a location in a more subterminal region. All the (TTAGGG)n-adjacent unique sequences tested are highly conserved among primates but are not present in other mammalian species. Identification and mapping of TTAGGG-adjacent sequences will provide a refined insight into the genomic organization of the (TTAGGG)n repeat. The isolation of chromosome specific TTAGGG-adjacent sequences from subtelomeric regions of all human chromosomes will serve as important end points for the genetic maps and will be useful for the molecular characterization of chromosomal rearrangements involving telomeres. Images PMID:2356126

  4. 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

  5. Executive Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Rabinovici, Gil D.; Stephens, Melanie L.; Possin, Katherine L.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose of Review: Executive functions represent a constellation of cognitive abilities that drive goal-oriented behavior and are critical to the ability to adapt to an ever-changing world. This article provides a clinically oriented approach to classifying, localizing, diagnosing, and treating disorders of executive function, which are pervasive in clinical practice. Recent Findings: Executive functions can be split into four distinct components: working memory, inhibition, set shifting, and fluency. These components may be differentially affected in individual patients and act together to guide higher-order cognitive constructs such as planning and organization. Specific bedside and neuropsychological tests can be applied to evaluate components of executive function. While dysexecutive syndromes were first described in patients with frontal lesions, intact executive functioning relies on distributed neural networks that include not only the prefrontal cortex, but also the parietal cortex, basal ganglia, thalamus, and cerebellum. Executive dysfunction arises from injury to any of these regions, their white matter connections, or neurotransmitter systems. Dysexecutive symptoms therefore occur in most neurodegenerative diseases and in many other neurologic, psychiatric, and systemic illnesses. Management approaches are patient specific and should focus on treatment of the underlying cause in parallel with maximizing patient function and safety via occupational therapy and rehabilitation. Summary: Executive dysfunction is extremely common in patients with neurologic disorders. Diagnosis and treatment hinge on familiarity with the clinical components and neuroanatomic correlates of these complex, high-order cognitive processes. PMID:26039846

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Higher order nuclear organization in growth arrest of humanmammary epithelial cells: A novel role for telomere-associated proteinTIN2

    SciTech Connect

    Kaminker, Patrick; Plachot, Cedric; Kim, Sahn-Ho; Chung, Peter; Crippen, Danielle; Petersen, Ole W.; Bissell, Mina J.; Campisi, Judith; Lelievre, Sophie A.

    2004-12-15

    Nuclear organization, such as the formation of specific nuclear subdomains, is generally thought to be involved in the control of cellular phenotype; however, there are relatively few specific examples of how mammalian nuclei organize during radical changes in phenotype, such as those which occur during differentiation and growth arrest. Using human mammary epithelial cells (HMECs) in which growth arrest is essential for morphological differentiation, we show that the arrest of cell proliferation is accompanied by a reorganization of the telomere-associated protein, TIN2, into one to three large nuclear subdomains. The large TIN2 domains do not contain telomeres and occur concomitant with the continued presence of TIN2 at telomeres. The TIN2 domains were sensitive to DNAse, but not RNAse, occurred frequently, but not exclusively near nucleoli, and overlapped often with dense domains containing heterochromatin protein l{gamma}. Expression of truncated forms of TIN2 simultaneously prevented the formation of TIN2 domains and relaxed the stringent morphogenesis-induced growth arrest in HMECs. Our findings reveal a novel extra-telomeric organization of TIN2 associated with the control of cell proliferation and identify TIN2 as an important regulator of mammary epithelial differentiation.

  9. Werner Syndrome-specific induced pluripotent stem cells: recovery of telomere function by reprogramming

    PubMed Central

    Shimamoto, Akira; Yokote, Koutaro; Tahara, Hidetoshi

    2015-01-01

    Werner syndrome (WS) is a rare human autosomal recessive premature aging disorder characterized by early onset of aging-associated diseases, chromosomal instability, and cancer predisposition. The function of the DNA helicase encoded by WRN, the gene responsible for WS, has been studied extensively. WRN helicase is involved in the maintenance of chromosome integrity through DNA replication, repair, and recombination by interacting with a variety of proteins associated with DNA repair and telomere maintenance. The accelerated aging associated with WS is reportedly caused by telomere dysfunction, and the underlying mechanism of the disease is yet to be elucidated. Although it was reported that the life expectancy for patients with WS has improved over the last two decades, definitive therapy for these patients has not seen much development. Severe symptoms of the disease, such as leg ulcers, cause a significant decline in the quality of life in patients with WS. Therefore, the establishment of new therapeutic strategies for the disease is of utmost importance. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can be established by the introduction of several pluripotency genes, including Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-myc into differentiated cells. iPSCs have the potential to differentiate into a variety of cell types that constitute the human body, and possess infinite proliferative capacity. Recent studies have reported the generation of iPSCs from the cells of patients with WS, and they have concluded that reprogramming represses premature senescence phenotypes in these cells. In this review, we summarize the findings of WS patient-specific iPSCs (WS iPSCs) and focus on the roles of telomere and telomerase in the maintenance of these cells. Finally, we discuss the potential use of WS iPSCs for clinical applications. PMID:25688260

  10. 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

  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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    We have reported telomere attrition in β and α cells of the pancreas in elderly patients with type 2 diabetes, but it has not been explored how the telomere lengths of these islet cells change according to age in normal subjects. To examine the telomere lengths of β and α cells in individuals without diabetes across a wide range of ages, we conducted measurement of the telomere lengths of human pancreatic β and α cells obtained from 104 autopsied subjects without diabetes ranging in age from 0 to 100 years. As an index of telomere lengths, the normalized telomere-centromere ratio (NTCR) was determined for β (NTCRβ) and α (NTCRα) cells by quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization (Q-FISH). We found NTCRβ and NTCRα showed almost the same levels and both decreased according to age (p < 0.001 for both). NTCRs decreased more rapidly with age and were more widely distributed (p = 0.036 for NTCRβ, p < 0.001 for NTCRα) in subjects under 18 years of age than in subjects over 18 years. There was a positive correlation between NTCRβ and NTCRα only among adult subjects (p < 0.001). In conclusion, the telomeres of β and α cells become shortened with normal aging process.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1995-01-01

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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

  17. Telomere length, genetic variants and risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck in Southeast Chinese

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Yayun; Yu, Chengxiao; Miao, Limin; Wang, Lihua; Xu, Chongquan; Xue, Wenjie; Du, Jiangbo; Yuan, Hua; Dai, Juncheng; Jin, Guangfu; Hu, Zhibin; Ma, Hongxia; Shen, Hongbing

    2016-01-01

    Telomere dysfunction participates in malignant transformation and tumorigenesis. Previous studies have explored the associations between telomere length (TL) and cancer susceptibility; however, the findings are inconclusive. The associations between genetic variants and TL have been verified by quite a few genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Yet, to date, there was no published study on the relationship between TL, related genetic variants and susceptibility to squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) in Chinese. Hence, we detected relative telomere length (RTL) by using quantitative PCR and genotyped seven selected single nucleotide polymorphisms by TaqMan allelic discrimination assay in 510 SCCHN cases and 913 controls in southeast Chinese. The results showed that RTL was significantly associated with SCCHN risk [(adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.19, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.08–1.32, P = 0.001]. Furthermore, among seven selected SNPs, only G allele of rs2736100 related to RTL in Caucasians was significantly associated with both the decreased RTL (P = 0.002) and the increased susceptibility to SCCHN in Chinese (additive model: adjusted OR = 1.17, 95%CI = 1.00–1.38, P = 0.049). These findings provide evidence that shortened TL is a risk factor for SCCHN, and genetic variants can contribute to both TL and the susceptibility to SCCHN in southeast Chinese population. PMID:26857734

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    A growing body of research demonstrates that individuals diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) are characterized by shortened telomere length, which has been posited to underlie the association between depression and increased instances of medical illness. The temporal nature of the relation between MDD and shortened telomere length, however, is not clear. Importantly, both MDD and telomere length have been associated independently with high levels of stress, implicating dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and anomalous levels of cortisol secretion in this relation. Despite these associations, no study has assessed telomere length or its relation with HPA-axis activity in individuals at risk for depression, before the onset of disorder. In the present study, we assessed cortisol levels in response to a laboratory stressor and telomere length in 97 healthy young daughters of mothers either with recurrent episodes of depression (i.e., daughters at familial risk for depression) or with no history of psychopathology. We found that daughters of depressed mothers had shorter telomeres than did daughters of never-depressed mothers and, further, that shorter telomeres were associated with greater cortisol reactivity to stress. This study is the first to demonstrate that children at familial risk of developing MDD are characterized by accelerated biological aging, operationalized as shortened telomere length, before they had experienced an onset of depression; this may predispose them to develop not only MDD but also other age-related medical illnesses. It is critical, therefore, that we attempt to identify and distinguish genetic and environmental mechanisms that contribute to telomere shortening.

  19. Mathematical model of alternative mechanism of telomere length maintenance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  20. Longitudinal changes of telomere length and epigenetic age related to traumatic stress and post-traumatic stress disorder.

    PubMed

    Boks, Marco P; van Mierlo, Hans C; Rutten, Bart P F; Radstake, Timothy R D J; De Witte, Lot; Geuze, Elbert; Horvath, Steve; Schalkwyk, Leonard C; Vinkers, Christiaan H; Broen, Jasper C A; Vermetten, Eric

    2015-01-01

    confound the results. Overall, in this longitudinal study of military personnel deployed to Afghanistan we show an acceleration of ageing by trauma. However, development of PTSD symptoms was associated with telomere lengthening and reversed epigenetic ageing. These findings warrant further study of a perhaps dysfunctional compensatory cellular ageing reversal in PTSD.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Weinert, Ted

    2005-12-01

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

  3. Telomeres and Telomerase: From Discovery to Clinical Trials

    PubMed Central

    Corey, David R.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Nasir, Lubna

    2008-02-01

    In recent years in human oncology the enzyme telomerase has emerged as an ideal target for cancer therapy. This has led to the assessment of telomerase in cancers in companion animals, mainly dogs and these studies confirm that in dogs, like humans, telomere maintenance by telomerase is the primary mechanism by which cancer cells overcome their mortality and extend their lifespan. This review aims to provide an introduction to the biology of telomeres and telomerase and to discuss some of the telomere/telomerase directed therapeutic methodologies currently under development which may be of benefit to the canine cancer patient.

  5. Tandem isomerization/telomerization of long chain dienes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Super-resolution optical microscopy study of telomere structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  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. Mammalian development in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ronca, April E.

    2003-01-01

    Life on Earth, and thus the reproductive and ontogenetic processes of all extant species and their ancestors, evolved under the constant influence of the Earth's l g gravitational field. These considerations raise important questions about the ability of mammals to reproduce and develop in space. In this chapter, I review the current state of our knowledge of spaceflight effects on developing mammals. Recent studies are revealing the first insights into how the space environment affects critical phases of mammalian reproduction and development, viz., those events surrounding fertilization, embryogenesis, pregnancy, birth, postnatal maturation and parental care. This review emphasizes fetal and early postnatal life, the developmental epochs for which the greatest amounts of mammalian spaceflight data have been amassed. The maternal-offspring system, the coordinated aggregate of mother and young comprising mammalian development, is of primary importance during these early, formative developmental phases. The existing research supports the view that biologically meaningful interactions between mothers and offspring are changed in the weightlessness of space. These changes may, in turn, cloud interpretations of spaceflight effects on developing offspring. Whereas studies of mid-pregnant rats in space have been extraordinarily successful, studies of young rat litters launched at 9 days of postnatal age or earlier, have been encumbered with problems related to the design of in-flight caging and compromised maternal-offspring interactions. Possibilities for mammalian birth in space, an event that has not yet transpired, are considered. In the aggregate, the results indicate a strong need for new studies of mammalian reproduction and development in space. Habitat development and systematic ground-based testing are important prerequisites to future research with young postnatal rodents in space. Together, the findings support the view that the environment within which young

  12. Mammalian development in space.

    PubMed

    Ronca, April E

    2003-01-01

    Life on Earth, and thus the reproductive and ontogenetic processes of all extant species and their ancestors, evolved under the constant influence of the Earth's l g gravitational field. These considerations raise important questions about the ability of mammals to reproduce and develop in space. In this chapter, I review the current state of our knowledge of spaceflight effects on developing mammals. Recent studies are revealing the first insights into how the space environment affects critical phases of mammalian reproduction and development, viz., those events surrounding fertilization, embryogenesis, pregnancy, birth, postnatal maturation and parental care. This review emphasizes fetal and early postnatal life, the developmental epochs for which the greatest amounts of mammalian spaceflight data have been amassed. The maternal-offspring system, the coordinated aggregate of mother and young comprising mammalian development, is of primary importance during these early, formative developmental phases. The existing research supports the view that biologically meaningful interactions between mothers and offspring are changed in the weightlessness of space. These changes may, in turn, cloud interpretations of spaceflight effects on developing offspring. Whereas studies of mid-pregnant rats in space have been extraordinarily successful, studies of young rat litters launched at 9 days of postnatal age or earlier, have been encumbered with problems related to the design of in-flight caging and compromised maternal-offspring interactions. Possibilities for mammalian birth in space, an event that has not yet transpired, are considered. In the aggregate, the results indicate a strong need for new studies of mammalian reproduction and development in space. Habitat development and systematic ground-based testing are important prerequisites to future research with young postnatal rodents in space. Together, the findings support the view that the environment within which young

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-01

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

  15. Estimating telomere length from whole genome sequence data.

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  16. Estimating telomere length from whole genome sequence data

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Telomere Recombination Accelerates Cellular Aging in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

    The 2009 Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine was awarded to Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider and Jack K. Szostak for their work on telomeres and telomerase. This prize acknowledges their pionneering discoveries on chromosomal extremities. Telomeres are the nucleoproteic complexes that may be found at the ends of linear chromosomes. They are essential for genomic stability and are involved in aging and tumorogenesis.

  19. Family dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Hayaki, Chie; Anno, Kozo; Shibata, Mao; Iwaki, Rie; Kawata, Hiroshi; Sudo, Nobuyuki; Hosoi, Masako

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Previous studies have shown differences in the psychosocial factors related to chronic localized pain (CLP) and chronic widespread pain (CWP). However, no studies have done an evaluation of differences between CLP and CWP from the viewpoint of family functioning. We did a cross-sectional study in a tertiary care setting to investigate possible differences in the relation of CWP and CLP to family functioning. Patients with CLP (N = 126) or CWP (N = 75) were assessed for family functioning by the Family Assessment Device (FAD) and a comparison was done. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate associations of family functioning subscales with pain status (CWP vs CLP), controlling for demographic variables, pain variables; pain duration, pain ratings, pain disability, and psychological factors; depression, anxiety, and catastrophizing. The odds ratios (ORs) for the presence of CWP were calculated. Compared to patients with CLP, patients with CWP showed a lower functional status for Roles and Affective Involvement. The ORs for CWP were significantly higher in lower functioning Roles (OR: 2.38, 95% CI: 1.21–4.65) and Affective Involvement (OR: 2.86, 95% CI: 1.56–5.24) after adjusting for demographic variables. The significant association of CWP to Roles and Affective Involvement remained after controlling for the pain variables and psychological factors. This study shows that the families of patients with CWP have poorer family functioning than those with CLP. Our findings suggest that early identification and interventions for the family dysfunction of chronic pain patients are important to the treatment and prevention of CWP. PMID:27930535

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    1996-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-02

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1993-01-01

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

  6. Telomere attrition induces a DNA double-strand break damage signal that reactivates p53 transcription in HTLV-I leukemic cells.

    PubMed

    Datta, A; Nicot, C

    2008-02-14

    Persistent inhibition of telomerase induces a severe telomere shortening in human T-cell leukemia virus type-1-infected cells which signals a DNA double-strand break damage response, formation of telomere dysfunction-induced foci and activates the ATM pathway. In turn, activation of ATM and its downstream effectors led to an increased phosphorylation and acetylation on specific residues of p53 known to be involved in transcriptional activation. Disruption of Mdm2-p53 complexes coupled with increased proteasomal degradation of MDMX further enhanced reactivation of p53 transcription, ultimately leading to senescence of tumor cells. Induction of senescence in these T-cells was associated with an increased expression of p21, p16 and activation of GSK3beta. Our results support the cancer-aging model and demonstrate that the halt of aging in cancer cells can be reversed through reactivation of p53.

  7. Disease mutant analysis identifies a new function of DAXX in telomerase regulation and telomere maintenance

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Mengfan; Li, Yujing; Zhang, Yi; Chen, Yuxi; Huang, Wenjun; Wang, Dan; Zaug, Arthur J.; Liu, Dan; Zhao, Yong; Cech, Thomas R.; Ma, Wenbin; Songyang, Zhou

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Most human cancers depend on the telomerase to maintain telomeres; however, about 10% of cancers are telomerase negative and utilize the alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) mechanism. Mutations in the DAXX gene have been found frequently in both telomerase-positive and ALT cells, and how DAXX mutations contribute to cancers remains unclear. We report here that endogenous DAXX can localize to Cajal bodies, associate with the telomerase and regulate telomerase targeting to telomeres. Furthermore, disease mutations that are located in different regions of DAXX differentially impact on its ability to interact with its binding partners and its targeting to Cajal bodies and telomeres. In addition, DAXX knockdown by RNA interference led to reduced telomerase targeting to telomeres and telomere shortening. These findings collectively support a DAXX-centric pathway for telomere maintenance, where DAXX interaction with the telomerase regulates telomerase assembly in Cajal bodies and telomerase targeting to telomeres. PMID:25416818

  8. Spatiotemporal analysis with a genetically encoded fluorescent RNA probe reveals TERRA function around telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Yamada, Toshimichi; Yoshimura, Hideaki; Shimada, Rintaro; Hattori, Mitsuru; Eguchi, Masatoshi; Fujiwara, Takahiro K.; Kusumi, Akihiro; Ozawa, Takeaki

    2016-01-01

    Telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA) controls the structure and length of telomeres through interactions with numerous telomere-binding proteins. However, little is known about the mechanism by which TERRA regulates the accessibility of the proteins to telomeres, mainly because of the lack of spatiotemporal information of TERRA and its-interacting proteins. We developed a fluorescent probe to visualize endogenous TERRA to investigate its dynamics in living cells. Single-particle fluorescence imaging revealed that TERRA accumulated in a telomere-neighboring region and trapped diffusive heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1 (hnRNPA1), thereby inhibiting hnRNPA1 localization to the telomere. These results suggest that TERRA regulates binding of hnRNPA1 to the telomere in a region surrounding the telomere, leading to a deeper understanding of the mechanism of TERRA function. PMID:27958374

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

    Hoyeraal-Hreidarsson (HH) syndrome is a multisystem genetic disorder characterized by very short telomeres and considered a clinically severe variant of dyskeratosis congenita. The main cause of mortality, usually in early childhood, is bone marrow failure. Mutations in several telomere biology genes have been reported to cause HH in about 60% of the HH patients, but the genetic defects in the rest of the patients are still unknown. Understanding the aetiology of HH and its diverse manifestations is challenging because of the complexity of telomere biology and the multiple telomeric and non-telomeric functions played by telomere-associated proteins in processes such as telomere replication, telomere protection, DNA damage response and ribosome and spliceosome assembly. Here we review the known clinical complications, molecular defects and germline mutations associated with HH, and elucidate possible mechanistic explanations and remaining questions in our understanding of the disease.

  10. Human telomere biology: A contributory and interactive factor in aging, disease risks, and protection.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Elizabeth H; Epel, Elissa S; Lin, Jue

    2015-12-04

    Telomeres are the protective end-complexes at the termini of eukaryotic chromosomes. Telomere attrition can lead to potentially maladaptive cellular changes, block cell division, and interfere with tissue replenishment. Recent advances in the understanding of human disease processes have clarified the roles of telomere biology, especially in diseases of human aging and in some aging-related processes. Greater overall telomere attrition predicts mortality and aging-related diseases in inherited telomere syndrome patients, and also in general human cohorts. However, genetically caused variations in telomere maintenance either raise or lower risks and progression of cancers, in a highly cancer type-specific fashion. Telomere maintenance is determined by genetic factors and is also cumulatively shaped by nongenetic influences throughout human life; both can interact. These and other recent findings highlight both causal and potentiating roles for telomere attrition in human diseases.

  11. Social isolation shortens telomeres in African Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus).

    PubMed

    Aydinonat, Denise; Penn, Dustin J; Smith, Steve; Moodley, Yoshan; Hoelzl, Franz; Knauer, Felix; Schwarzenberger, Franz

    2014-01-01

    Telomeres, the caps of eukaryotic chromosomes, control chromosome stability and cellular senescence, but aging and exposure to chronic stress are suspected to cause attrition of telomere length. We investigated the effect of social isolation on telomere length in the highly social and intelligent African Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus). Our study population consisted of single-housed (n = 26) and pair-housed (n = 19) captive individuals between 0.75 to 45 years of age. Relative telomere length of erythrocyte DNA was measured by quantitative real-time PCR. We found that telomere length declined with age (p<0.001), and socially isolated parrots had significantly shorter telomeres compared to pair-housed birds (p<0.001) - even among birds of similar ages. Our findings provide the first evidence that social isolation affects telomere length, which supports the hypothesis that telomeres provide a biomarker indicating exposure to chronic stress.

  12. Tiptoeing to chromosome tips: facts, promises and perils of today's human telomere biology.

    PubMed Central

    Fajkus, J; Simícková, M; Maláska, J

    2002-01-01

    The past decade has witnessed an explosion of knowledge concerning the structure and function of chromosome terminal structures-telomeres. Today's telomere research has advanced from a pure descriptive approach of DNA and protein components to an elementary understanding of telomere metabolism, and now to promising applications in medicine. These applications include 'passive' ones, among which the use of analysis of telomeres and telomerase (a cellular reverse transcriptase that synthesizes telomeres) for cancer diagnostics is the best known. The 'active' applications involve targeted downregulation or upregulation of telomere synthesis, either to mortalize immortal cancer cells, or to rejuvenate mortal somatic cells and tissues for cellular transplantations, respectively. This article reviews the basic data on structure and function of human telomeres and telomerase, as well as both passive and active applications of human telomere biology. PMID:12028791

  13. Specific DNA replication mutations affect telomere length in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed Central

    Adams, A K; Holm, C

    1996-01-01

    To investigate the relationship between the DNA replication apparatus and the control of telomere length, we examined the effects of several DNA replication mutations on telomere length in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We report that a mutation in the structural gene for the large subunit of DNA replication factor C (cdc44/rfc1) causes striking increases in telomere length. A similar effect is seen with mutations in only one other DNA replication gene: the structural gene for DNA polymerase alpha (cdc17/pol1) (M.J. Carson and L. Hartwell, Cell 42:249-257, 1985). For both genes, the telomere elongation phenotype is allele specific and appears to correlate with the penetrance of the mutations. Furthermore, fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis reveals that those alleles that cause elongation also exhibit a slowing of DNA replication. To determine whether elongation is mediated by telomerase or by slippage of the DNA polymerase, we created cdc17-1 mutants carrying deletions of the gene encoding the RNA component of telomerase (TLC1). cdc17-1 strains that would normally undergo telomere elongation failed to do so in the absence of telomerase activity. This result implies that telomere elongation in cdc17-1 mutants is mediated by the action of telomerase. Since DNA replication involves transfer of the nascent strand from polymerase alpha to replication factor C (T. Tsurimoto and B. Stillman, J. Biol. Chem. 266:1950-1960, 1991; T. Tsurimoto and B. Stillman, J. Biol. Chem. 266:1961-1968, 1991; S. Waga and B. Stillman, Nature [London] 369:207-212, 1994), one possibility is that this step affects the regulation of telomere length. PMID:8756617

  14. Telomeres and telomerase: Pharmacological targets for new anticancer strategies?

    PubMed

    Pendino, F; Tarkanyi, I; Dudognon, C; Hillion, J; Lanotte, M; Aradi, J; Ségal-Bendirdjian, E

    2006-03-01

    Telomeres are located at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. Human telomerase, a cellular reverse transcriptase, is a ribonucleoprotein enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis and extension of telomeric DNA. It is composed of at least, a template RNA component (hTR; human Telomerase RNA) and a catalytic subunit, the telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT). The absence of telomerase is associated with telomere shortening and aging of somatic cells, while high telomerase activity is observed in over 85% of human cancer cells, strongly indicating its key role during tumorigenesis. Several details regarding telomere structure and telomerase regulation have already been elucidated, providing new targets for therapeutic exploitation. Further support for anti-telomerase approaches comes from recent studies indicating that telomerase is endowed of additional functions in the control of growth and survival of tumor cells that do not depend only on the ability of this enzyme to maintain telomere length. This observation suggests that inhibiting telomerase or its synthesis may have additional anti-proliferative and apoptosis inducing effect, independently of the reduction of telomere length during cell divisions. This article reviews the basic information about the biology of telomeres and telomerase and attempts to present various approaches that are currently under investigation to inhibit its expression and its activity. We summarize herein distinct anti-telomerase approaches like antisense strategies, reverse transcriptase inhibitors, and G-quadruplex interacting agents, and also review molecules targeting hTERT expression, such as retinoids and evaluate them for their therapeutic potential. "They conceive a certain theory, and everything has to fit into that theory. If one little fact will not fit it, they throw it aside. But it is always the facts that will not fit in that are significant". "Death on the Nile". Agatha Christie.

  15. Alternative lengthening of telomeres does exist in various canine sarcomas.

    PubMed

    Kreilmeier, Theresa; Sampl, Sandra; Deloria, Abigail J; Walter, Ingrid; Reifinger, Martin; Hauck, Marlene; Borst, Luke B; Holzmann, Klaus; Kleiter, Miriam

    2017-03-01

    Alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) is a telomere maintenance mechanism (TMM) found in some human tumors such as sarcomas. Canine tumors are not characterized for ALT and the study aim was to identify if the ALT phenotype exists in canine sarcomas. Sixty-four canine sarcoma samples (20 snap-frozen, 44 FFPE) as well as six canine sarcoma cell lines were screened for ALT by C-circle assay. ALT was further evaluated by measuring telomere length via qPCR and telomere restriction-fragments including pulsed-field electrophoresis. ALT-associated proteins were validated by immunohistochemistry. Further, telomerase activity (TA) and gene expression were analyzed by TRAP and qPCR. DNA from 20 human neuroblastomas and 8 sarcoma cell lines served as comparative controls. ALT was detected in 9.4% (6/64) canine sarcomas including aggressive subtypes as hemangiosarcoma, osteosarcoma, and histiocytic sarcoma. C-circle levels were comparable with human ALT-positive controls. All ALT tumors demonstrated loss of ATRX expression and 5/6 showed strong p53 expression. TA was detected in 93% (14/15) snap-frozen samples including a sarcoma with ALT activity. This tumor showed long heterogeneous telomeres, and a high level of colocalization of DAXX with telomeres. One sarcoma was ALT and TA negative. All canine and human sarcoma cell lines were ALT negative. In this study, we demonstrated that canine sarcomas use ALT. As in humans, ALT was identified in aggressive sarcomas subtypes and coexisted with TA in one tumor. Overall, canine sarcomas seem to share many similarities with their human counterparts and appear an attractive model for comparative telomere research. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  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

    2015-03-03

    Research links psychosocial stress to premature telomere shortening and accelerated human aging; however, this association has only been demonstrated in so-called "WEIRD" societies (Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic), where stress is typically lower and life expectancies longer. By contrast, we examine stress and telomere shortening in a non-Western setting among a highly stressed population with overall lower life expectancies: poor indigenous people--the Sahariya--who were displaced (between 1998 and 2002) from their ancestral homes in a central Indian wildlife sanctuary. In this setting, we examined adult populations in two representative villages, one relocated to accommodate the introduction of Asiatic lions into the sanctuary (n = 24 individuals), and the other newly isolated in the sanctuary buffer zone after their previous neighbors were moved (n = 22). Our research strategy combined physical stress measures via the salivary analytes cortisol and α-amylase with self-assessments of psychosomatic stress, ethnographic observations, and telomere length assessment [telomere-fluorescence in situ hybridization (TEL-FISH) coupled with 3D imaging of buccal cell nuclei], providing high-resolution data amenable to multilevel statistical analysis. Consistent with expectations, we found significant associations between each of our stress measures--the two salivary analytes and the psychosomatic symptom survey--and telomere length, after adjusting for relevant behavioral, health, and demographic traits. As the first study (to our knowledge) to link stress to telomere length in a non-WEIRD population, our research strengthens the case for stress-induced telomere shortening as a pancultural biomarker of compromised health and aging.

  17. Genetic and epigenetic trends in telomere research: a novel way in immunoepigenetics.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  18. The OB-fold domain 1 of human POT1 recognizes both telomeric and non-telomeric DNA motifs

    PubMed Central

    Kolar, Carol; Yan, Ying; Borgstahl, Gloria E.O.; Ouellette, Michel M.

    2015-01-01

    The POT1 protein plays a critical role in telomere protection and telomerase regulation. POT1 binds single-stranded 5’-TTAGGGTTAG-3’ and forms a dimer with the TPP1 protein. The dimer is recruited to telomeres, either directly or as part of the Shelterin complex. Human POT1 contains two Oligonucleotide/Oligosaccharide Binding (OB) fold domains, OB1 and OB2, which make physical contact with the DNA. OB1 recognizes 5’-TTAGGG whereas OB2 binds to the downstream TTAG-3’. Studies of POT1 proteins from other species have shown that some of these proteins are able to recognize a broader variety of DNA ligands than expected. To explore this possibility in humans, we have used SELEX to reexamine the sequence-specificity of the protein. Using human POT1 as a selection matrix, high-affinity DNA ligands were selected from a pool of randomized single-stranded oligonucleotides. After six successive rounds of selection, two classes of high-affinity targets were obtained. The first class was composed of oligonucleotides containing a cognate POT1 binding sites (5’-TTAGGGTTAG-3’). The second and more abundant class was made of molecules that carried a novel non-telomeric consensus: 5’-TNCANNAGKKKTTAGG-3’ (where K=G/T and N=any base). Binding studies showed that these non-telomeric sites were made of an OB1-binding motif (TTAGG) and a non-telomeric motif (NT motif), with the two motifs recognized by distinct regions of the OB1 domain. POT1 interacted with these non-telomeric binding sites with high affinity and specificity, even when bound to its dimerization partner TPP1. This intrinsic ability of POT1 to recognize NT motifs raises the possibility that the protein may fulfill additional functions at certain non-telomeric locations of the genome, in perhaps gene transcription, replication, or repair. PMID:25934589

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Mao, Pingsu; Liu, Jingfan; Zhang, Zepeng; Zhang, Hong; Liu, Haiying; Gao, Song; Rong, Yikang S.; Zhao, Yong

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres prevent chromosome ends from being recognized as double-stranded breaks (DSBs). Meanwhile, G/C-rich repetitive telomeric DNA is susceptible to attack by DNA-damaging agents. How cells balance the need to protect DNA ends and the need to repair DNA lesions in telomeres is unknown. Here we show that telomeric DSBs are efficiently repaired in proliferating cells, but are irreparable in stress-induced and replicatively senescent cells. Using the CRISPR-Cas9 technique, we specifically induce DSBs at telomeric or subtelomeric regions. We find that DSB repair (DSBR) at subtelomeres occurs in an error-prone manner resulting in small deletions, suggestive of NHEJ. However, DSBR in telomeres involves ‘telomere-clustering', 3′-protruding C-rich telomeric ssDNA, and HR between sister-chromatid or interchromosomal telomeres. DSBR in telomeres is suppressed by deletion or inhibition of Rad51. These findings reveal proliferation-dependent DSBR in telomeres and suggest that telomeric HR, which is normally constitutively suppressed, is activated in the context of DSBR. PMID:27396625

  1. The DDR at telomeres lacking intact shelterin does not require substantial chromatin decompaction.

    PubMed

    Timashev, Leonid A; Babcock, Hazen; Zhuang, Xiaowei; de Lange, Titia

    2017-03-15

    Telomeres are protected by shelterin, a six-subunit protein complex that represses the DNA damage response (DDR) at chromosome ends. Extensive data suggest that TRF2 in shelterin remodels telomeres into the t-loop structure, thereby hiding telomere ends from double-stranded break repair and ATM signaling, whereas POT1 represses ATR signaling by excluding RPA. An alternative protection mechanism was suggested recently by which shelterin subunits TRF1, TRF2, and TIN2 mediate telomeric chromatin compaction, which was proposed to minimize access of DDR factors. We performed superresolution imaging of telomeres in mouse cells after conditional deletion of TRF1, TRF2, or both, the latter of which results in the complete loss of shelterin. Upon removal of TRF1 or TRF2, we observed only minor changes in the telomere volume in most of our experiments. Upon codeletion of TRF1 and TRF2, the telomere volume increased by varying amounts, but even those samples exhibiting small changes in telomere volume showed DDR at nearly all telomeres. Upon shelterin removal, telomeres underwent 53BP1-dependent clustering, potentially explaining at least in part the apparent increase in telomere volume. Furthermore, chromatin accessibility, as determined by ATAC-seq (assay for transposase-accessible chromatin [ATAC] with high-throughput sequencing), was not substantially altered by shelterin removal. These results suggest that the DDR induced by shelterin removal does not require substantial telomere decompaction.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  3. NAP-1, Nucleosome assembly protein 1, a histone chaperone involved in Drosophila telomeres.

    PubMed

    López-Panadès, Elisenda; Casacuberta, Elena

    2016-03-01

    Telomere elongation is a function that all eukaryote cells must accomplish in order to guarantee, first, the stability of the end of the chromosomes and second, to protect the genetic information from the inevitable terminal erosion. The targeted transposition of the telomere transposons HeT-A, TART and TAHRE perform this function in Drosophila, while the telomerase mechanism elongates the telomeres in most eukaryotes. In order to integrate telomere maintenance together with cell cycle and metabolism, different components of the cell interact, regulate, and control the proteins involved in telomere elongation. Different partners of the telomerase mechanism have already been described, but in contrast, very few proteins have been related with assisting the telomere transposons of Drosophila. Here, we describe for the first time, the implication of NAP-1 (Nucleosome assembly protein 1), a histone chaperone that has been involved in nuclear transport, transcription regulation, and chromatin remodeling, in telomere biology. We find that Nap-1 and HeT-A Gag, one of the major components of the Drosophila telomeres, are part of the same protein complex. We also demonstrate that their close interaction is necessary to guarantee telomere stability in dividing cells. We further show that NAP-1 regulates the transcription of the HeT-A retrotransposon, pointing to a positive regulatory role of NAP-1 in telomere expression. All these results facilitate the understanding of the transposon telomere maintenance mechanism, as well as the integration of telomere biology with the rest of the cell metabolism.

  4. Age-related arterial telomere uncapping and senescence is greater in women compared with men.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Telomere uncapping increases with advancing age in human arteries and this telomere uncapping is associated with increased markers of senescence, independent of mean telomere length. However, whether there are sex specific differences in arterial telomere uncapping is unknown. We found that telomere uncapping (serine 139 phosphorylated histone γ-H2A.X in telomeres) in arteries was ~2.5 fold greater in post-menopausal women (n=17, 63±2 years) compared with pre-menopausal women (n=11, 30±2 years, p=0.02), while there was only a trend towards greater telomere uncapping in older men (n=26, 66±2 years) compared with young men (n=11, 31±2, p=0.11). Senescence markers, p53 bound to the p21 gene promoter and p21 gene expression, were 3-4 fold greater in post-menopausal compared with pre-menopausal women (p=0.01-0.02), but only 1.5-2 fold greater in older compared with young men (p=0.02-0.08). Blood glucose was related to telomere uncapping in women, while systolic blood pressure, pulse pressure and serum creatinine were related to telomere uncapping in men. Mean arterial telomere length decreased similarly in women and men with age (p<0.01). Thus, the age-related increase in arterial telomere uncapping and senescence is greater in women than men, despite similar age-related reductions in mean telomere length in both sexes.

  5. Older adults with higher income or marriage have longer telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Yen, Yung-Chieh; Lung, For-Wey

    2013-01-01

    Background: telomere length has been used to represent biological ageing and is found to be associated with various physiological, psychological and social factors. Objective: to explore the effects of income and marriage on leucocyte telomere length in a representative sample of older adults. Design and subjects: cross-sectional analysis among 298 adults, aged 65–74, randomly selected from the community by census. Methods: telomere length was measured by quantitative PCR. Participants provided information on sociodemographics, physical illness and completed questionnaires rating mental state and perceived neighbourhood experience. Results: telomere length was negatively associated with lower income [coefficient −0.141 (95% CI: −0.244 to −0.020), P = 0.021] and positively associated with the marital status [coefficient 0.111 (95% CI: −0.008 to 0.234), P = 0.067] when controlling for gender, age, educational level, physical diseases (including diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, cerebrovascular disease and Parkinson's disease), depressive symptoms, minor mental symptoms, cognitive impairment and perceived neighbourhood experience (including social support, perceived security and public facilities). Conclusions: these results indicate that older adults with higher income or being married have longer telomeres when other sociodemographics, physical diseases, mental status and neighbourhood experience are adjusted. PMID:22951603

  6. Developmental control of telomere lengths and telomerase activity in plants.

    PubMed Central

    Riha, K; Fajkus, J; Siroky, J; Vyskot, B

    1998-01-01

    Telomere lengths and telomerase activity were studied during the development of a model dioecious plant, Melandrium album (syn Silene latifolia). Telomeric DNA consisted of Arabidopsis-type TTTAGGG tandem repeats. The terminal positions of these repeats were confirmed by both Bal31 exonuclease degradation and in situ hybridization. Analysis of terminal restriction fragments in different tissues and ontogenetic stages showed that telomere lengths are stabilized precisely and do not change during plant growth and development. Telomerase activity tested by using a semiquantitative telomerase repeat amplification protocol correlated with cell proliferation in the tissues analyzed. Highest activity was found in germinating seedlings and root tips, whereas we observed a 100-fold decrease in telomerase activity in leaves and no activity in quiescent seeds. Telomerase also was found in mature pollen grains. Telomerase activity in tissues containing dividing cells and telomere length stability during development suggest their precise control during plant ontogenesis; however, the telomere length regulation mechanism could be unbalanced during in vitro dedifferentiation. PMID:9761795

  7. 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.

  8. Telomere maintenance in liquid crystalline chromosomes of dinoflagellates.

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

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

  9. 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

  10. A Biobehavioral Perspective on Telomere Length and the Exposome

    PubMed Central

    Lyon, Debra E.; Starkweather, Angela R.; Montpetit, Alison; Menzies, Victoria; Jallo, Nancy

    2017-01-01

    A major objective of biobehavioral research is defining the mechanisms that underlie linkages among behavior, biology, health, and disease. The genomic revolution has demonstrated the importance of studying the role of the environment in (epi)genetic mechanisms. The idea that interactions between environment and genetics influence health outcomes is a central concept of the exposome, a measure of environmental exposures throughout a lifetime. Research suggests that telomere length (TL) and biologic factors involved in telomere stability may provide an understanding of the effects of gene–environment interaction on disease risk. Telomeres, thus, have become important biomarkers for aging as well as for stress-related disease. However, incorporating telomeres into biobehavioral research requires consideration of several aspects of the exposome. Internal and external modifiable and nonmodifiable exposures have the potential to influence TL. Future research utilizing the concept of the exposome will provide meaningful findings related to exposure sources as well as dosage and duration across the life span that influence telomere biology and disease occurrence. Such findings can be translated into clinical practice and may provide a basis for personalized disease prevention and treatment approaches. PMID:25199652

  11. Mammalian glycosylation in immunity.

    PubMed

    Marth, Jamey D; Grewal, Prabhjit K

    2008-11-01

    Glycosylation produces a diverse and abundant repertoire of glycans, which are collectively known as the glycome. Glycans are one of the four fundamental macromolecular components of all cells, and are highly regulated in the immune system. Their diversity reflects their multiple biological functions that encompass ligands for proteinaceous receptors known as lectins. Since the discovery that selectins and their glycan ligands are important for the regulation of leukocyte trafficking, it has been shown that additional features of the vertebrate immune system are also controlled by endogenous cellular glycosylation. This Review focuses on the emerging immunological roles of the mammalian glycome.

  12. Chromosome Number Reduction in Eremothecium coryli by Two Telomere-to-Telomere Fusions

    PubMed Central

    Wendland, Jürgen; Walther, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    The genus Eremothecium belongs to the Saccharomyces complex of pre-whole-genome duplication (WGD) yeasts and contains both dimorphic and filamentous species. We established the 9.1-Mb draft genome of Eremothecium coryli, which encodes 4,682 genes, 186 tRNA genes, and harbors several Ty3 transposons as well as more than 60 remnants of transposition events (LTRs). The initial de novo assembly resulted in 19 scaffolds, which were assembled based on synteny to other Eremothecium genomes into six chromosomes. Interestingly, we identified eight E. coryli loci that bear centromeres in the closely related species E. cymbalariae. Two of these E. coryli loci, CEN1 and CEN8, however, lack conserved DNA elements and did not convey centromere function in a plasmid stability assay. Correspondingly, using a comparative genomics approach we identified two telomere-to-telomere fusion events in E. coryli as the cause of chromosome number reduction from eight to six chromosomes. Finally, with the genome sequences of E. coryli, E. cymbalariae, and Ashbya gossypii a reconstruction of three complete chromosomes of an Eremothecium ancestor revealed that E. coryli is more syntenic to this ancestor than the other Eremothecium species. PMID:24803574

  13. 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

  14. Ku Binding on Telomeres Occurs at Sites Distal from the Physical Chromosome Ends

    PubMed Central

    Pasquier, Emeline

    2016-01-01

    The Ku complex binds non-specifically to DNA breaks and ensures repair via NHEJ. However, Ku is also known to bind directly to telomeric DNA ends and its presence there is associated with telomere capping, but avoiding NHEJ. How the complex discriminates between a DNA break and a telomeric extremity remains unknown. Our results using a tagged Ku complex, or a chromosome end capturing method, in budding yeast show that yKu association with telomeres can occur at sites distant from the physical end, on sub-telomeric elements, as well as on interstitial telomeric repeats. Consistent with previous studies, our results also show that yKu associates with telomeres in two distinct and independent ways: either via protein-protein interactions between Yku80 and Sir4 or via direct DNA binding. Importantly, yKu associates with the new sites reported here via both modes. Therefore, in sir4Δ cells, telomere bound yKu molecules must have loaded from a DNA-end near the transition of non-telomeric to telomeric repeat sequences. Such ends may have been one sided DNA breaks that occur as a consequence of stalled replication forks on or near telomeric repeat DNA. Altogether, the results predict a new model for yKu function at telomeres that involves yKu binding at one-sided DNA breaks caused by replication stalling. On telomere proximal chromatin, this binding is not followed by initiation of non-homologous end-joining, but rather by break-induced replication or repeat elongation by telomerase. After repair, the yKu-distal portion of telomeres is bound by Rap1, which in turn reduces the potential for yKu to mediate NHEJ. These results thus propose a solution to a long-standing conundrum, namely how to accommodate the apparently conflicting functions of Ku on telomeres. PMID:27930670

  15. [Effects of lead and selenium on telomere binding protein Rap1p, telomerase and telomeric DNA in Saccharomyces cerevisiae].

    PubMed

    Cui, Qing-Hua; Tang, Chia-Chun; Huang, You-Guo

    2002-03-01

    The effects on S.cerevisiae telomere binding protein Rap1p, telomerase and telomeric DNA by the lead (Pb), the selenium (Se) and Pb + Se were tested respectively in this study. Compared with the control S.cerevisiae after 100 gene rations, the mean telomere length shortened, Rap1p concentration was significantly lower and the secondary structure of Rap1p was disturbed, the telomerase activity was reduced in Pb treated cells. In Se treated cells, telomere length was significantly longer, and telomerase activity expressed higher. The concentration and secondary structure of Rap1p were similar to that of the control. Further more, the viability of Pb treated cells were significantly reduced while cells undergone other three treatments were similar and normal. These results suggest that Pb could damage Rap1p, reduce telomerase activity, resulting in the telomer length shortening and cell death. On the other hand, Se could protect and repair the damage in Rap1p and telomere caused by Pb to some extent.

  16. The yeast telomere-binding protein RAP1 binds to and promotes the formation of DNA quadruplexes in telomeric DNA.

    PubMed Central

    Giraldo, R; Rhodes, D

    1994-01-01

    The protein RAP1 is essential for the maintenance of the telomeres of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and binds in vitro to multiple sites found within the TG1-3 telomeric repeats. We show here that, in addition to its known binding activity for double-stranded DNA, RAP1 binds sequence-specifically to the GT-strands. This indicates that RAP1 is the protein that binds to the telomeric terminal GT-tails. Furthermore, we have found that RAP1 binds to and promotes the formation of G-tetrads, i.e. DNA quadruplexes, in GT-strand oligonucleotides at nanomolar concentrations. The formation of DNA quadruplexes appears to involve the intermolecular association of GT-strands. The minimal DNA-binding domain of RAP1 (DBD) binds only to double-stranded DNA, so that the novel DNA-binding activity we have found involves regions of the protein located outside of the DBD. The finding that a telomeric protein promotes the formation of G-tetrads argues for the use of DNA quadruplexes in telomere association. Images PMID:8194531

  17. Mammalian sperm morphometry.

    PubMed Central

    Gage, M J

    1998-01-01

    Understanding the adaptive significance of sperm form and function has been a challenge to biologists because sperm are highly specialized cells operating at a microscopic level in a complex environment. A fruitful course of investigation has been to use the comparative approach. This comparative study attempts to address some fundamental questions of the evolution of mammalian sperm morphometry. Data on sperm morphometry for 445 mammalian species were collated from published sources. I use contemporary phylogenetic analysis to control for the inherent non-independence of species and explore relationships between the morphometric dimensions of the three essential spermatozoal components: head, mid-piece and flagellum. Energy for flagellar action is metabolized by the mitochondrial-dense mid-piece and these combine to propel the sperm head, carrying the male haplotype, to the ovum. I therefore search for evolutionary associations between sperm morphometry and body mass, karyotype and the duration of oestrus. In contrast to previous findings, there is no inverse correlation between body weight and sperm length. Sperm mid-piece and flagellum lengths are positively associated with both head length and area, and the slopes of these relationships are discussed. Flagellum length is positively associated with mid-piece length but, in contrast to previous research and after phylogenetic control, I find no relationship between flagellum length and the volume of the mitochondrial sheath. Sperm head dimensions are not related to either genome mass or chromosome number, and there are no relationships between sperm morphometry and the duration of oestrus. PMID:9474794

  18. Telomeres and lifestyle factors: roles in cellular aging.

    PubMed

    Lin, Jue; Epel, Elissa; Blackburn, Elizabeth

    2012-02-01

    Recent research has demonstrated that telomere maintenance might be a key integrating point for the cumulative effects of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors on aging and aging-related diseases. It is timely to 'take stock' of where this work has led the field. This review summarizes studies that have examined associations between lifestyle factors and telomere length and telomerase activity. In most of the studies described in this chapter, telomere length was measured in leukocytes (LTL) or peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), taken from blood draws from the study subjects. Much of this chapter focuses on psychological stress, a widespread factor often intimately tied in with lifestyle or behavioral factors that in turn are related to risks of clinical diseases. Together, these findings suggest that cellular aging is linked to a range of influences, with an individual's life events and lifestyle parameters playing significant roles. Lastly, we propose possible biochemical mechanisms that mediate these associations and discuss future directions.

  19. Dual-tagging system for the affinity purification of mammalian protein complexes

    SciTech Connect

    Giannone, Richard J; McDonald, W Hayes; Hurst, Gregory {Greg} B; Huang, Ying; Wu, Jun; Liu, Yie; Wang, Yisong

    2007-01-01

    Although affinity purification coupled with mass spectrometry (MS) provides a powerful tool to study protein-protein interactions, this strategy has encountered numerous difficulties when adapted to mammalian cells. Here we describe a Gateway{reg_sign}-compatible dual-tag affinity purification system that integrates regulatable expression, tetracysteine motifs, and various combinations of affinity tags to facilitate the cloning, detection, and purification of bait proteins and their interacting partners. Utilizing the human telomere binding protein TRF2 as a benchmark, we demonstrate bait protein recoveries upwards of approximately 16% from as little as 1-7 x 10{sup 7} cells and successfully identify known TRF2 interacting proteins, suggesting that our dual-tag affinity purification approach is a capable new tool for expanding the capacity to explore mammalian proteomic networks.

  20. 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

  1. Mitosis, double strand break repair, and telomeres: a view from the end: how telomeres and the DNA damage response cooperate during mitosis to maintain genome stability.

    PubMed

    Cesare, Anthony J

    2014-11-01

    Double strand break (DSB) repair is suppressed during mitosis because RNF8 and downstream DNA damage response (DDR) factors, including 53BP1, do not localize to mitotic chromatin. Discovery of the mitotic kinase-dependent mechanism that inhibits DSB repair during cell division was recently reported. It was shown that restoring mitotic DSB repair was detrimental, resulting in repair dependent genome instability and covalent telomere fusions. The telomere DDR that occurs naturally during cellular aging and in cancer is known to be refractory to G2/M checkpoint activation. Such DDR-positive telomeres, and those that occur as part of the telomere-dependent prolonged mitotic arrest checkpoint, normally pass through mitosis without covalent ligation, but result in cell growth arrest in G1 phase. The discovery that suppressing DSB repair during mitosis may function primarily to protect DDR-positive telomeres from fusing during cell division reinforces the unique cooperation between telomeres and the DDR to mediate tumor suppression.

  2. Shorter leukocyte telomere length in patients at ultra high risk for psychosis.

    PubMed

    Maurya, Pawan Kumar; Rizzo, Lucas Bortolotto; Xavier, Gabriela; Tempaku, Priscila Farias; Zeni-Graiff, Maiara; Santoro, Marcos L; Mazzotti, Diego Robles; Zugman, André; Pan, Pedro; Noto, Cristiano; Maes, Michael; Asevedo, Elson; Mansur, Rodrigo B; Cunha, Graccielle R; Gadelha, Ary; Bressan, Rodrigo A; Belangero, Sintia Iole; Brietzke, Elisa

    2017-03-05

    Telomere length attrition has been demonstrated in schizophrenia but not in individuals in ultra high risk (UHR) for psychosis. The present study aimed to compare the leukocyte telomere length (TL) between patients at UHR for psychosis and healthy controls (HC). Twenty-two participants with UHR and 88 HC were enrolled in this study. Telomere lengths were determined using a multiplex qPCR assay. After adjustment for age, sex, ethnicity, and education, patients in UHR, compared with HC groups, had shorter telomere length (RR: 0.929, p=0.031). Shorter leukocyte telomere length in UHR could represent early signs of accelerated aging in this population.

  3. 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

  4. Telomere length differences between subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue in humans

    SciTech Connect

    Lakowa, Nicole; Trieu, Nhu; Flehmig, Gesine; Lohmann, Tobias; Schön, Michael R.; Dietrich, Arne; Zeplin, Philip Helge; Langer, Stefan; Stumvoll, Michael; Blüher, Matthias; Klöting, Nora

    2015-02-13

    Adipocyte hypertrophy and hyperplasia have been shown to be associated with shorter telomere length, which may reflect aging, altered cell proliferation and adipose tissue (AT) dysfunction. In individuals with obesity, differences in fat distribution and AT cellular composition may contribute to obesity related metabolic diseases. Here, we tested the hypotheses that telomere lengths (TL) are different between: (1) abdominal subcutaneous and omental fat depots, (2) superficial and deep abdominal subcutaneous AT (SAT), and (3) adipocytes and cells of the stromal vascular fraction (SVF). We further asked whether AT TL is related to age, anthropometric and metabolic traits. TL was analyzed by quantitative PCR in total human genomic DNA isolated from paired subcutaneous and visceral AT of 47 lean and 50 obese individuals. In subgroups, we analyzed TL in isolated small and large adipocytes and SVF cells. We find significantly shorter TL in subcutaneous compared to visceral AT (P < 0.001) which is consistent in men and subgroups of lean and obese, and individuals with or without type 2 diabetes (T2D). Shorter TL in SAT is entirely due to shorter TL in the SVF compared to visceral AT (P < 0.01). SAT TL is most strongly correlated with age (r = −0.205, P < 0.05) and independently of age with HbA1c (r = −0.5, P < 0.05). We found significant TL differences between superficial SAT of lean and obese as well as between individuals with our without T2D, but not between the two layers of SAT. Our data indicate that fat depot differences in TL mainly reflect shorter TL of SVF cells. In addition, we found an age and BMI-independent relationship between shorter TL and HbA1c suggesting that chronic hyperglycemia may impair the regenerative capacity of AT more strongly than obesity alone. - Highlights: • Telomere lengths (TL) differ between fat depots mainly due to different lengths in SVF. • TL is not associated with gender, BMI and T2D. • The tendency for

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Malaria parasites possess a telomere repeat-binding protein that shares ancestry with transcription factor IIIA.

    PubMed

    Bertschi, Nicole L; Toenhake, Christa G; Zou, Angela; Niederwieser, Igor; Henderson, Rob; Moes, Suzette; Jenoe, Paul; Parkinson, John; Bartfai, Richard; Voss, Till S

    2017-03-13

    Telomere repeat-binding factors (TRFs) are essential components of the molecular machinery that regulates telomere function. TRFs are widely conserved across eukaryotes and bind duplex telomere repeats via a characteristic MYB-type domain. Here, we identified the telomere repeat-binding protein PfTRZ in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, a member of the Alveolate phylum for which TRFs have not been described so far. PfTRZ lacks an MYB domain and binds telomere repeats via a C2H2-type zinc finger domain instead. In vivo, PfTRZ binds with high specificity to the telomeric tract and to interstitial telomere repeats upstream of subtelomeric virulence genes. Conditional depletion experiments revealed that PfTRZ regulates telomere length homeostasis and is required for efficient cell cycle progression. Intriguingly, we found that PfTRZ also binds to and regulates the expression of 5S rDNA genes. Combined with detailed phylogenetic analyses, our findings identified PfTRZ as a remote functional homologue of the basic transcription factor TFIIIA, which acquired a new function in telomere maintenance early in the apicomplexan lineage. Our work sheds unexpected new light on the evolution of telomere repeat-binding proteins and paves the way for dissecting the presumably divergent mechanisms regulating telomere functionality in one of the most deadly human pathogens.

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

    PubMed

    Nersisyan, Lilit; Arakelyan, Arsen

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Trochet, Delphine; Mergui, Xénia; Ivkovic, Ivana; Porreca, Rosa Maria; Gerbault-Seureau, Michèle; Sidibe, Assitan; Richard, Florence; Londono-Vallejo, Arturo; Perret, Martine; Aujard, Fabienne; Riou, Jean-François

    2015-06-01

    Telomere erosion leading to replicative senescence has been well documented in human and anthropoid primates, and provides a clue against tumorigenesis. In contrast, other mammals, such as laboratory mice, with short lifespan and low body weight mass have different telomere biology without replicative senescence. We analyzed telomere biology in the grey mouse lemur, a small prosimian model with a relative long lifespan currently used in ageing research. We report an average telomere length by telomere restriction fragment (TRF) among the longest reported so far for a primate species (25-30 kb), but without detectable overall telomere shortening with ageing on blood samples. However, we demonstrate using universal STELA (Single Telomere Length Amplification) the existence of short telomeres, the increase of which, while correlating with ageing might be related to another mechanism than replicative senescence. We also found a low stringency of telomerase restriction in tissues and an ease to immortalize fibroblasts in vitro upon spontaneous telomerase activation. Finally, we describe the first grey mouse lemur cancer cell line showing a dramatic telomere shortening and high telomerase activity associated with polyploidy. Our overall results suggest that telomere biology in grey mouse lemur is an exception among primates, with at best a physiologically limited replicative telomere ageing and closest to that observed in small rodents.

  12. Lagomorphs (rabbits, pikas and hares) do not use telomere-directed replicative aging in vitro.

    PubMed

    Forsyth, Nicholas R; Elder, Frederick F B; Shay, Jerry W; Wright, Woodring E

    2005-01-01

    Telomere shortening is used for replicative aging in primates and ungulates but not rodents. We examined telomere biology in rabbits to expand the comparative biology of telomere-directed replicative senescence within mammals. The order Lagomorpha consists of two families; Leporidae and Ochotonidae. We examined telomere biology in species representing three leporid genera (European White Rabbit, Black-tailed Jack Rabbit, and Swamp Rabbit) and the monotypic ochotonid genus (North American Pika). Of the leporids one species was a laboratory strain and the others were wild caught. The leporids neither exhibited cellular senescence after sustained periods in culture nor displayed detectable telomerase activity. Continued culture was possible because of their extremely long telomeric arrays. Immunofluorescence showed robust telomere signals at chromosome ends and significant internal chromosomal staining in some instances. Pika was unique in displaying endogenous telomerase activity throughout time in culture. These results show that it is unlikely that lagomorphs use telomere shortening and replicative senescence as a tumor protective mechanism.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Webb, Christopher J; Zakian, Virginia A

    2015-09-08

    The stem terminus element (STE), which was discovered 13 y ago in human telomerase RNA, is required for telomerase activity, yet its mode of action is unknown. We report that the Schizosaccharomyces pombe telomerase RNA, TER1 (telomerase RNA 1), also contains a STE, which is essential for telomere maintenance. Cells expressing a partial loss-of-function TER1 STE allele maintained short stable telomeres by a recombination-independent mechanism. Remarkably, the mutant telomere sequence was different from that of wild-type cells. Generation of the altered sequence is explained by reverse transcription into the template boundary element, demonstrating that the STE helps maintain template boundary element function. The altered telomeres bound less Pot1 (protection of telomeres 1) and Taz1 (telomere-associated in Schizosaccharomyces pombe 1) in vivo. Thus, the S. pombe STE, although distant from the template, ensures proper telomere sequence, which in turn promotes proper assembly of the shelterin complex.

  16. Characterization of single stranded telomeric DNA-binding proteins in cultured soybean (Glycine max) cells.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Chian; Kwon, Kisang; Chung, In Kwon; Kim, Soon Young; Cho, Myeon Haeng; Kang, Bin Goo

    2004-06-30

    We have identified and characterized a protein factor in soybean (Glycine max) nuclear extracts that binds to plant single stranded telomeric DNA repeats. A single DNA-protein complex was detected in gel retardation assays using synthetic telomeres and nuclear extracts. The protein forming this complex was designated soy-bean (Glycine max) single stranded telomeric DNA-binding protein (Gm-STBP). Gm-STBP binds to single stranded telomeric DNA containing more than two repeats. It does not bind to Tetrahymena, human or mutated plant telomere sequences, and its binding activity is not affected by RNase treatment. Gm-STBP activity gradually decreased after suspension cultures entered stationary phase. A slower migrating band was formed with extracts of earlier and later phases of soybean suspension cultures. Our findings suggest that binding of Gm-STBP to plant single stranded telomeric DNA may play a role in the proper functioning of telomeres during development.

  17. Telomere dynamics rather than age predict life expectancy in the wild

    PubMed Central

    Bize, Pierre; Criscuolo, François; Metcalfe, Neil B.; Nasir, Lubna; Monaghan, Pat

    2009-01-01

    Despite accumulating evidence from in vitro studies that cellular senescence is linked to telomere dynamics, how this relates to whole-organism senescence and longevity is poorly understood and controversial. Using data on telomere length in red blood cells and long-term survival from wild Alpine swifts of a range of ages, we report that the telomere length and the rate of telomere loss are predictive of life expectancy, and that slow erosion of relatively long telomeres is associated with the highest survival probabilities. Importantly, because telomere dynamics, rather than chronological age, predict life expectancy, our study provides good evidence for a mechanistic link between telomere erosion and reduced organism longevity under natural conditions, chronological age itself possibly not becoming a significant predictor until very old ages beyond those in our sample. PMID:19324831

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-30

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

  19. An improved general approach for cloning and characterizing telomeres: the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi as model organism.

    PubMed

    Chiurillo, Miguel Angel; Santos, Marcia R M; Franco Da Silveira, Jose; Ramírez, Jose Luis

    2002-07-10

    We here describe a general strategy for cloning and characterizing telomeric and sub-telomeric regions of the human protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. The use of a bacterial artificial chromosome vector and a telomeric adaptor produced stable telomeric recombinant clones with inserts ranging from 5 to 25 kb. Analysis of these recombinants provided unique landmarks for chromosomal mapping and sequencing and enabled us to derive a more accurate picture of T. cruzi telomeric organization.

  20. The mammalian blastocyst.

    PubMed

    Frankenberg, Stephen R; de Barros, Flavia R O; Rossant, Janet; Renfree, Marilyn B

    2016-01-01

    The blastocyst is a mammalian invention that carries the embryo from cleavage to gastrulation. For such a simple structure, it exhibits remarkable diversity in its mode of formation, morphology, longevity, and intimacy with the uterine endometrium. This review explores this diversity in the light of the evolution of viviparity, comparing the three main groups of mammals: monotremes, marsupials, and eutherians. The principal drivers in blastocyst evolution were loss of yolk coupled with evolution of the placenta. An important outcome of blastocyst development is differentiation of two extraembryonic lineages (trophoblast and hypoblast) that contribute to the placenta. While in many species trophoblast segregation is often coupled with blastocyst formation, in marsupials and at least some Afrotherians, these events do not coincide. Thus, many questions regarding the conservation of molecular mechanisms controlling these events are of great interest but currently unresolved. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

  1. Dynamics of telomere length in different age groups in a Latvian population.

    PubMed

    Zole, Egija; Pliss, Liana; Ranka, Renate; Krumina, Astrida; Baumanis, Viesturs

    2013-12-01

    The shortening of telomeres with ageing is a well-documented observation; however, the reported number of nucleotides in telomeres varies between different laboratories and studies. Such variability is likely caused by ethnic differences between the populations studied. Until now, there were no studies that investigated the variability of telomere length in a senescent Latvian population of the most common mitochondrial haplogroups, defined as H (45%), U (25%), Y chromosomal N1c (40%) and R1a1 (40%). Telomere length was determined in 121 individuals in different age groups, including a control group containing individuals of 20-40 years old and groups of individuals between 60-70 years old, 71-80 years old, 81-90 years old, and above 90 years old. Telomere length was determined using the Southern blot telomeric restriction fragment assay (TRF). Decreased telomere length with ageing was confirmed, but a comparison of centenarians and individuals between 60-90 years of age did not demonstrate a significant difference in telomere length. However, significant variability in telomere length was observed in the control group, indicating probable rapid telomere shortening in some individuals that could lead up to development of health status decline appearing with ageing. Telomere length measured in mononuclear blood cells (MNC) was compared with the telomere length measured in whole peripheral white blood cells (WBC) using TRF. Telomere length in MNC was longer than in WBC for the control group with individuals 20 to 40 years old; in contrast, for the group of individuals aged 65 to 85 years old, measured telomere length was shorter in MNC when compared to WBC.

  2. Telomere length and incident atrial fibrillation – data of the PREVEND cohort

    PubMed Central

    Siland, Joylene E.; Geelhoed, Bastiaan; van Gelder, Isabelle C.; van der Harst, Pim; Rienstra, Michiel

    2017-01-01

    Background The incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) increases with age. Telomere length is considered a marker of biological ageing. We investigated the association between leukocyte telomere length and incident AF in the Dutch Prevention of Renal and Vascular End-stage Disease (PREVEND) study. Methods We included 7775 individuals without prevalent AF, and with leukocyte telomere length measured. Mean telomere length was determined by a monochrome multiplex quantitative polymerase chain reaction-based assay. Results Mean age of our cohort was 49±13 years, and 50% were men. During a mean follow-up of 11.4±2.9 years incident AF was detected in 367 (4.7%) individuals. Telomere length was shorter in individuals developing incident AF compared to those without AF (p = 0.013). Incident AF was inversely related to the telomere length. In the quartile with the longest telomere length 68 (3.5%) individuals developed AF, in the shortest telomere length quartile 100 (5.1%) individuals (p = 0.032). Telomere length was associated with incident AF in the second shortest telomere length quartile using the longest telomere length quartile as reference (hazard ratio 1.64; 95% CI 1.02–2.66; p = 0.043). After including age or AF risk factors, the relation between telomere length and incident AF was no longer significant. We found a significant interaction of age, male sex, systolic blood pressure, BMI, heart failure, and myocardial infarction with telomere length for the association with incident AF. Conclusions We found that shorter leukocyte telomere length is not independently associated with incident AF in a community-based cohort. PMID:28158257

  3. Sumoylation in Synaptic Function and Dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Schorova, Lenka; Martin, Stéphane

    2016-01-01

    Sumoylation has recently emerged as a key post-translational modification involved in many, if not all, biological processes. Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier (SUMO) polypeptides are covalently attached to specific lysine residues of target proteins through a dedicated enzymatic pathway. Disruption of the SUMO enzymatic pathway in the developing brain leads to lethality indicating that this process exerts a central role during embryonic and post-natal development. However, little is still known regarding how this highly dynamic protein modification is regulated in the mammalian brain despite an increasing number of data implicating sumoylated substrates in synapse formation, synaptic communication and plasticity. The aim of this review is therefore to briefly describe the enzymatic SUMO pathway and to give an overview of our current knowledge on the function and dysfunction of protein sumoylation at the mammalian synapse.

  4. Sumoylation in Synaptic Function and Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Schorova, Lenka; Martin, Stéphane

    2016-01-01

    Sumoylation has recently emerged as a key post-translational modification involved in many, if not all, biological processes. Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier (SUMO) polypeptides are covalently attached to specific lysine residues of target proteins through a dedicated enzymatic pathway. Disruption of the SUMO enzymatic pathway in the developing brain leads to lethality indicating that this process exerts a central role during embryonic and post-natal development. However, little is still known regarding how this highly dynamic protein modification is regulated in the mammalian brain despite an increasing number of data implicating sumoylated substrates in synapse formation, synaptic communication and plasticity. The aim of this review is therefore to briefly describe the enzymatic SUMO pathway and to give an overview of our current knowledge on the function and dysfunction of protein sumoylation at the mammalian synapse. PMID:27199730

  5. Human regulator of telomere elongation helicase 1 (RTEL1) is required for the nuclear and cytoplasmic trafficking of pre-U2 RNA

    PubMed Central

    Schertzer, Michael; Jouravleva, Karina; Perderiset, Mylene; Dingli, Florent; Loew, Damarys; Le Guen, Tangui; Bardoni, Barbara; de Villartay, Jean-Pierre; Revy, Patrick; Londoño-Vallejo, Arturo

    2015-01-01

    Hoyeraal-Hreidarsson syndrome (HHS) is a severe form of Dyskeratosis congenita characterized by developmental defects, bone marrow failure and immunodeficiency and has been associated with telomere dysfunction. Recently, mutations in Regulator of Telomere ELongation helicase 1 (RTEL1), a helicase first identified in Mus musculus as being responsible for the maintenance of long telomeres, have been identified in several HHS patients. Here we show that RTEL1 is required for the export and the correct cytoplasmic trafficking of the small nuclear (sn) RNA pre-U2, a component of the major spliceosome complex. RTEL1-HHS cells show abnormal subcellular partitioning of pre-U2, defects in the recycling of ribonucleotide proteins (RNP) in the cytoplasm and splicing defects. While most of these phenotypes can be suppressed by re-expressing the wild-type protein in RTEL1-HHS cells, expression of RTEL1 mutated variants in immortalized cells provokes cytoplasmic mislocalizations of pre-U2 and other RNP components, as well as splicing defects, thus phenocopying RTEL1-HHS cellular defects. Strikingly, expression of a cytoplasmic form of RTEL1 is sufficient to correct RNP mislocalizations both in RTEL1–HHS cells and in cells expressing nuclear mutated forms of RTEL1. This work unravels completely unanticipated roles for RTEL1 in RNP trafficking and strongly suggests that defects in RNP biogenesis pathways contribute to the pathology of HHS. PMID:25628358

  6. Test anxiety and telomere length: Academic stress in adolescents may not cause rapid telomere erosion.

    PubMed

    Zou, Yaru; Leong, Waiian; Yao, Mingling; Hu, Xuefei; Lu, Sixiao; Zhu, Xiaowei; Chen, Lianxiang; Tong, Jianjing; Shi, Jingyi; Gilson, Eric; Ye, Jing; Lu, Yiming

    2017-01-22

    Academic stress (AS) is one of the most important health problems experienced by students, but no biomarker of the potential psychological or physical problems associated with AS has yet been identified. As several cross-sectional studies have shown that psychiatric conditions accelerate aging and shorten telomere length (TL), we explored whether AS affected TL.Between June 2014 and July 2014, we recruited 200 junior high school students with imminent final examinations for participation in this study. The students were divided into three subgroups (mild, moderate, and severe anxiety) using the Sarason Test Anxiety Scale (TAS). Saliva samples were collected for TL measurement via quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR).Students from both a specialized and a general school suffered from anxiety (p > 0.05). A total 35% had severe anxiety (score: 26.09±3.87), 33% had moderate anxiety (16.98±2.64), and 32% had mild anxiety (7.89±1.92). The TAS values differed significantly (p < 0.05) among the three subgroups, but the TLs of saliva cells differed only slightly (p > 0.05): 1.14±0.46 for those with severe anxiety, 1.02±0.40 for those with moderate anxiety, and 1.12±0.45 for those with mild anxiety.Previous reports have found that AS is very common in Asian adolescents. We found no immediate telomere shortening in adolescents with AS. Longitudinal observations are required to determine if TL is affected by AS.

  7. Breast Cancer in Three Dimensions: Revealing Telomere Dysfunction in Breast Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-09-01

    goiter locus maps to chromosome 14q but does not account for familial non-medullary thyroid cancer. Am J Hum Genet, 61: 1123-1130, 1997. 30...disease, multinodular goiter , non-medullary thyroid carcinoma and alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. Am J Med Genet.72: 30-33, 1997. 4. Liede A, Tonin PN...Goldgar DE, Romeo G, Houlston RS, Narod SA, Stratton MR and Foulkes WD: A familial non-toxic multinodular thyroid goiter locus maps to chromosome 14q

  8. Traffic noise exposure affects telomere length in nestling house sparrows

    PubMed Central

    Meillère, Alizée; Brischoux, François; Ribout, Cécile; Angelier, Frédéric

    2015-01-01

    In a consistently urbanizing world, anthropogenic noise has become almost omnipresent, and there are increasing evidence that high noise levels can have major impacts on wildlife. While the effects of anthropogenic noise exposure on adult animals have been widely studied, surprisingly, there has been little consideration of the effects of noise pollution on developing organisms. Yet, environmental conditions experienced in early life can have dramatic lifelong consequences for fitness. Here, we experimentally manipulated the acoustic environment of free-living house sparrows (Passer domesticus) breeding in nest boxes. We focused on the impact of such disturbance on nestlings’ telomere length and fledging success, as telomeres (the protective ends of chromosomes) appear to be a promising predictor of longevity. We showed that despite the absence of any obvious immediate consequences (growth and fledging success), nestlings reared under traffic noise exposure exhibited reduced telomere lengths compared with their unexposed neighbours. Although the mechanisms responsible for this effect remain to be determined, our results provide the first experimental evidence that noise alone can affect a wild vertebrate's early-life telomere length. This suggests that noise exposure may entail important costs for developing organisms. PMID:26382074

  9. Impact of Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate on Newborn Leukocyte Telomere Length

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Han; Zhou, Guangdi; Chen, Qian; Ouyang, Fengxiu; Little, Julian; Zhang, Jun; Chen, Dan

    2017-01-01

    The newborn setting of leukocyte telomere length (LTL) likely has important implications for telomere dynamics over the lifespan. However, its determinants are poorly understood. Hormones play an important role during pregnancy and delivery. We hypothesized that exposure to hormones may impact the fetal telomere biology system. To test this hypothesis, cortisol, estradiol, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were measured in cord blood of 821 newborns from a prospective study. After accounting for the effects of potential determinants of newborn LTL, a 10-fold increase in DHEAS concentration was associated with a 0.021 increase in T/S ratio of newborn LTL (95% confidence interval: 0.009–0.034, P = 0.0008). For newborns who fell in the lowest quartile of DHEAS level, the mean newborn LTL was estimated to be approximately 2.0% shorter than the newborns in the highest DHEAS concentration quartile (P = 0.0014). However, no association was found between newborn LTL and cortisol or estradiol. As expected, newborns with higher ROS level (ROS > 260 mol/L) had lower LTL compared to that with lower ROS level (ROS ≤ 260 mol/L) (P = 0.007). There was also an inverse relationship between DHEAS and ROS (P < 1×10−4). Our findings suggest that exposure to DHEAS may exert a “programming” effect on the newborn telomere biology system. PMID:28186106

  10. Extensive telomere repeat arrays in mouse are hypervariable.

    PubMed Central

    Starling, J A; Maule, J; Hastie, N D; Allshire, R C

    1990-01-01

    In this study we have analysed mouse telomeres by Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE). A number of specific restriction fragments hybridising to a (TTA-GGG)4 probe in the size range 50-150kb can be detected. These fragments are devoid of sites for most restriction enzymes suggesting that they comprise simple repeats; we argue that most of these are likely to be (TTAGGG)n. Each discrete fragment corresponds to the telomere of an individual chromosome and segregates as a Mendelian character. However, new size variants are being generated in the germ line at very high rates such that inbred mice are heterozygous at all telomeres analysable. In addition we show that specific small (approximately 4-12kb) fragments can be cleaved within some terminal arrays by the restriction enzyme MnII which recognises 5'(N7)GAGG3'. Like the complete telomere-repeat arrays (TRA's) these fragments form new variants at high rates and possibly by the same process. We speculate on the mechanisms that may be involved. Images PMID:2175882

  11. The Association of Telomere Length With Family Violence and Disruption

    PubMed Central

    Mabile, Emily; Brett, Zoë H.; Esteves, Kyle; Jones, Edward; Shirtcliff, Elizabeth A.; Theall, Katherine P.

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: To enhance the understanding of biological mechanisms connecting early adversity and negative health, we examine the association between family interpersonal violence and disruption and telomere length in youth. These specific exposures were selected because of their established links with negative health consequences across the life-course. METHODS: Children, age 5 to 15, were recruited from the greater New Orleans area, and exposure to family disruption and violence was assessed through caregiver report. Telomere length, from buccal cell DNA (buccal telomere length [bTL]), was determined by using monochrome multiplex quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The association between bTL and adversity exposure was tested (n = 80). RESULTS: Cumulative exposure to interpersonal violence and family disruption was correlated with bTL. Controlling for other sociodemographic factors, bTL was significantly shorter in children with higher exposure to family violence and disruption. Witnessing family violence exerted a particularly potent impact. A significant gender interaction was found (β = −0.0086, SE = 0.0031, z test= −2.79, P = .0053) and analysis revealed the effect only in girls. CONCLUSIONS: bTL is a molecular biomarker of adversity and allostatic load that is detectable in childhood. The present results extend previous studies by demonstrating that telomeres are sensitive to adversity within the overarching family domain. These findings suggest that the family ecology may be an important target for interventions to reduce the biological impact of adversity in the lives of children. PMID:24936002

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-09-01

    right) yes 12 19 63% 0 1 0 0 4 0% 9 (left) Fibroadenoma 9 (right) Fibrocystic changes 10 (left) yes 3 22 14% 0 3 0 0 5 0% 10 (right) yes 6 18 33...E, Kanada N, Jibiki K, et al. Reduction of telomeric length and c-erbB-2 gene amplification in human breast cancer, fibroadenoma , and gynecomastia

  13. Traffic noise exposure affects telomere length in nestling house sparrows.

    PubMed

    Meillère, Alizée; Brischoux, François; Ribout, Cécile; Angelier, Frédéric

    2015-09-01

    In a consistently urbanizing world, anthropogenic noise has become almost omnipresent, and there are increasing evidence that high noise levels can have major impacts on wildlife. While the effects of anthropogenic noise exposure on adult animals have been widely studied, surprisingly, there has been little consideration of the effects of noise pollution on developing organisms. Yet, environmental conditions experienced in early life can have dramatic lifelong consequences for fitness. Here, we experimentally manipulated the acoustic environment of free-living house sparrows (Passer domesticus) breeding in nest boxes. We focused on the impact of such disturbance on nestlings' telomere length and fledging success, as telomeres (the protective ends of chromosomes) appear to be a promising predictor of longevity. We showed that despite the absence of any obvious immediate consequences (growth and fledging success), nestlings reared under traffic noise exposure exhibited reduced telomere lengths compared with their unexposed neighbours. Although the mechanisms responsible for this effect remain to be determined, our results provide the first experimental evidence that noise alone can affect a wild vertebrate's early-life telomere length. This suggests that noise exposure may entail important costs for developing organisms.

  14. Rearrangements of highly polymorphic regions near telomeres of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed Central

    Horowitz, H; Thorburn, P; Haber, J E

    1984-01-01

    We have examined the mitotic and meiotic properties of telomeric regions in various laboratory strains of yeast. Using a sequence (Y probe) derived from a cloned yeast telomere (J. Szostak and E. Blackburn, Cell 29:245-255, 1982), we found that various strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae show extensive polymorphisms of restriction endonuclease fragment length. Some of the variation in the lengths of telomeric fragments appears to be under the control of a small number of genes. When DNA from various strains was digested with endonuclease KpnI, nearly all of the fragments homologous to the Y probe were found to be of different size. The pattern of fragments in different strains was extremely variable, with a greater degree of polymorphism than that observed for fragments containing the mobile TY1 element. Tetrad analysis of haploid meiotic segregants from diploids heterozygous for many different Y-homologous KpnI fragments revealed that most of them exhibited Mendelian (2:0) segregation. However, only a small proportion of these fragments displayed the obligate 2:2 parental segregation expected of simple allelic variants at the same chromosome end. From the segregations of these fragments, we concluded that some yeast telomeres lack a Y-homologous sequence and that the chromosome arms containing a Y-homologous sequence are different among various yeast strains. Regions near yeast telomeres frequently undergo rearrangement. Among eight tetrads from three different diploids, we have found three novel Y-homologous restriction fragments that appear to have arisen during meiosis. In all three cases, the appearance of a new fragment was accompanied by the loss of another band. In one of these cases, the rearrangement leading to a novel fragment arose in an isogenic diploid, in which both homologous chromosomes should have been identical. Among these same tetrads we also found examples of apparent mitotic gene conversions and mitotic recombination involving telemetric

  15. Genomic Organization of the Drosophila Telomere RetrotransposableElements

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-10-16

    The emerging sequence of the heterochromatic portion of the Drosophila melanogaster genome, with the most recent update of euchromatic sequence, gives the first genome-wide view of the chromosomal distribution of the telomeric retrotransposons, HeT-A, TART, and Tahre. As expected, these elements are entirely excluded from euchromatin, although sequence fragments of HeT-A and TART 3 untranslated regions are found in nontelomeric heterochromatin on the Y chromosome. The proximal ends of HeT-A/TART arrays appear to be a transition zone because only here do other transposable elements mix in the array. The sharp distinction between the distribution of telomeric elements and that of other transposable elements suggests that chromatin structure is important in telomere element localization. Measurements reported here show (1) D. melanogaster telomeres are very long, in the size range reported for inbred mouse strains (averaging 46 kb per chromosome end in Drosophila stock 2057). As in organisms with telomerase, their length varies depending on genotype. There is also slight under-replication in polytene nuclei. (2) Surprisingly, the relationship between the number of HeT-A and TART elements is not stochastic but is strongly correlated across stocks, supporting the idea that the two elements are interdependent. Although currently assembled portions of the HeT-A/TART arrays are from the most-proximal part of long arrays, {approx}61% of the total HeT-A sequence in these regions consists of intact, potentially active elements with little evidence of sequence decay, making it likely that the content of the telomere arrays turns over more extensively than has been thought.

  16. 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

  17. Beyond Telomerase: Telomere Instability as a Novel Target for Cancer Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Fadri-Moskwik, Maria; Zhou, Qing; Chai, Weihang

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres are areas of heterochromatin composed of TTAGGG repeats located at the ends of linear chromosomes. They play a critical role in keeping genome stable and preventing premature aging diseases and the development of cancer. Characterizing mechanisms of telomere maintenance and understanding how their deregulation contributes to human diseases are therefore important for developing novel therapies. A key mechanism driving telomere maintenance and replicative immortality in cancer cells is telomere elongation by telomerase, and many emerging potential telomere-based therapies have focused on targeting telomerase components. By contrast, recent studies on telomere maintenance mechanism suggest that disrupting telomere stability by interfering with alternative mechanisms of telomere synthesis or protection may also yield new strategies for the treatment of cancer. This review will focus on emerging regulators of telomere synthesis or maintenance, such as G4 telomeric DNA, the CST complex, the t-loop, and shelterins, and discuss their potential as targets for anti-cancer chemotherapeutic intervention in the future. PMID:27123041

  18. Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase-telomere association correlates with redox status in Trypanosoma cruzi.

    PubMed

    Pariona-Llanos, Ricardo; Pavani, Raphael Souza; Reis, Marcelo; Noël, Vincent; Silber, Ariel Mariano; Armelin, Hugo Aguirre; Cano, Maria Isabel Nogueira; Elias, Maria Carolina

    2015-01-01

    Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) is a classical metabolic enzyme involved in energy production and plays a role in additional nuclear functions, including transcriptional control, recognition of misincorporated nucleotides in DNA and maintenance of telomere structure. Here, we show that the recombinant protein T. cruzi GAPDH (rTcGAPDH) binds single-stranded telomeric DNA. We demonstrate that the binding of GAPDH to telomeric DNA correlates with the balance between oxidized and reduced forms of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotides (NAD+/NADH). We observed that GAPDH-telomere association and NAD+/NADH balance changed throughout the T. cruzi life cycle. For example, in replicative epimastigote forms of T. cruzi, which show similar intracellular concentrations of NAD+ and NADH, GAPDH binds to telomeric DNA in vivo and this binding activity is inhibited by exogenous NAD+. In contrast, in the T. cruzi non-proliferative trypomastigote forms, which show higher NAD+ concentration, GAPDH was absent from telomeres. In addition, NAD+ abolishes physical interaction between recombinant GAPDH and synthetic telomere oligonucleotide in a cell free system, mimicking exogenous NAD+ that reduces GAPDH-telomere interaction in vivo. We propose that the balance in the NAD+/NADH ratio during T. cruzi life cycle homeostatically regulates GAPDH telomere association, suggesting that in trypanosomes redox status locally modulates GAPDH association with telomeric DNA.

  19. Glyceraldehyde 3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase-Telomere Association Correlates with Redox Status in Trypanosoma cruzi

    PubMed Central

    Pariona-Llanos, Ricardo; Pavani, Raphael Souza; Reis, Marcelo; Noël, Vincent; Silber, Ariel Mariano; Armelin, Hugo Aguirre; Cano, Maria Isabel Nogueira; Elias, Maria Carolina

    2015-01-01

    Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) is a classical metabolic enzyme involved in energy production and plays a role in additional nuclear functions, including transcriptional control, recognition of misincorporated nucleotides in DNA and maintenance of telomere structure. Here, we show that the recombinant protein T. cruzi GAPDH (rTcGAPDH) binds single-stranded telomeric DNA. We demonstrate that the binding of GAPDH to telomeric DNA correlates with the balance between oxidized and reduced forms of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotides (NAD+/NADH). We observed that GAPDH-telomere association and NAD+/NADH balance changed throughout the T. cruzi life cycle. For example, in replicative epimastigote forms of T. cruzi, which show similar intracellular concentrations of NAD+ and NADH, GAPDH binds to telomeric DNA in vivo and this binding activity is inhibited by exogenous NAD+. In contrast, in the T. cruzi non-proliferative trypomastigote forms, which show higher NAD+ concentration, GAPDH was absent from telomeres. In addition, NAD+ abolishes physical interaction between recombinant GAPDH and synthetic telomere oligonucleotide in a cell free system, mimicking exogenous NAD+ that reduces GAPDH-telomere interaction in vivo. We propose that the balance in the NAD+/NADH ratio during T. cruzi life cycle homeostatically regulates GAPDH telomere association, suggesting that in trypanosomes redox status locally modulates GAPDH association with telomeric DNA. PMID:25775131

  20. 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.

  1. Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering Based in Situ Hybridization Strategy for Telomere Length Assessment.

    PubMed

    Zong, Shenfei; Chen, Chen; Wang, Zhuyuan; Zhang, Yizhi; Cui, Yiping

    2016-02-23

    Assessing telomere length is of vital importance since telomere length is closely related with several fatal diseases such as atherosclerosis and cancer. Here, we present a strategy to assess/measure telomere length, that is, surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) based in situ hybridization (SISH). The SISH method uses two kinds of SERS nanoprobes to hybridize in situ with telomeres and centromeres, respectively. The telomere specific SERS nanoprobe is called the Telo-probe, while the centromere specific SERS nanoprobe is called the Centro-probe. They are composed of metal nanoparticles (NPs), Raman reporter molecules and specially designed DNA strands. With longer telomeres, more Telo-probes will hybridize with them, resulting in a stronger SERS signal. To exclude possible influence of the SERS intensity by external factors (such as the nanoprobe concentration, the cell number or different batches of nanoprobes), centromeres are used as the inner control, which can be recognized by Centro-probes. Telomere length is evaluated using a redefined telomere-to-centromere ratio (T/C ratio). The calculation method for T/C ratio in SISH method is more reliable than that in fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). In addition, unlike FISH method, the SISH method is insensitive to autofluorescence. Moreover, SISH method can be used to analyze single telomeres. These features make SISH an excellent alternative strategy for telomere length measurement.

  2. Loss of telomeric DNA during aging of normal and trisomy 21 human lymphocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Vaziri, H.; Uchida, I.; Lan Wei; Harley, C.B. ); Schaechter, F.; Cohen, D. ); Xiaoming Zhu; Effros, R. )

    1993-04-01

    The telomere hypothesis of cellular aging proposes that loss of telomeric DNA (TTAGGG) from human chromosomes may ultimately cause cell-cycle exit during replicative senescence. Since lymphocytes have a limited replicative capacity and since blood cells were previously shown to lose telomeric DNA during aging in vivo, the authors wished to determine (a) whether accelerated telomere loss is associated with the premature immunosenescence of lymphocytes in individuals with Down syndrome (DS) and (b) whether telomeric DNA is also lost during aging of lymphocytes in vitro. To investigate the effects of aging and trisomy 21 on telomere loss in vivo, genomic DNA was isolated from peripheral blood lymphocytes of 140 individuals (age 0--107 years), including 21 DS patients (age 0--45 years). Digestion with restriction enzymes HinfI and RsaI generated terminal restriction fragments (TRFs), which were detected by Southern analysis using a telomere-specific probe ([sup 32]P-(C[sub 3]TA[sub 2])[sub 3]). The rate of telomere loss was calculated from the decrease in mean TRF length, as a function of donor age. DS patients showed a significantly higher rate of telomere loss with donor age (133 [+-] 15 bp/year) compared with age-matched controls (41 [+-] 7.7 bp/year) (P < .0005), suggesting that accelerated telomere loss is a biomarker of premature immunosenescence of DS patients and that it may play a role in this process. Telomere loss during aging in vitro was calculated for lymphocytes from four normal individuals, grown in culture for 10--30 population doublings. The rate of telomere loss was [approximately]120 bp/cell doubling, comparable to that seen in other somatic cells. Moreover, telomere lengths of lymphocytes from centenarians and from older DS patients were similar to those of senescent lymphocytes in culture, which suggests that replicative senescence could partially account for aging of the immune system in DS patients and in elderly individuals. 31 refs., 3 figs.

  3. Time Lapse to Colorectal Cancer: Telomere Dynamics Define the Malignant Potential of Polyps

    PubMed Central

    Druliner, Brooke R; Ruan, Xiaoyang; Johnson, Ruth; Grill, Diane; O'Brien, Daniel; Lai, Tsung-Po; Rashtak, Shahrooz; Felmlee-Devine, Donna; Washechek-Aletto, Jill; Malykh, Andrei; Smyrk, Thomas; Oberg, Ann; Liu, Hongfang; Shay, Jerry W; Ahlquist, David A; Boardman, Lisa A

    2016-01-01

    Objective: Whereas few adenomas become cancer, most colorectal cancers arise from adenomas. Telomere length is a recognized biomarker in multiple cancers, and telomere maintenance mechanisms (TMM) are exploited by malignant cells. We sought to determine whether telomere length and TMM distinguish cancer-associated adenomas from those that are cancer-free. Methods: Tissues were identified as cancer-adjacent polyp (CAP)—residual adenoma contiguous with cancer—and cancer-free polyp (CFP)—adenomas without malignancy. Telomere length, TMM, and expression were measured in 102 tissues including peripheral blood leukocytes (PBLs), normal colon epithelium, adenoma, and cancer (in CAP cases) from 31 patients. Telomere length was measured in a separate cohort of 342 PBL from CAP and CFP patients. Results: The mean differences in telomere length between normal and adenoma were greater in CAP than in CFP cases, P=0.001; telomere length in PBL was 91.7 bp greater in CAP than in CFP, P=0.007. Each 100 bp telomere increase was associated with a 1.14 (1.04–1.26) increased odds of being a CAP, P=0.0063. The polyp tissue from CAP patients had shorter telomeres and higher Telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) expression compared with polyps from CFP patients, P=0.05. There was a greater degree of alternative lengthening of telomere (ALT) level difference in CFP polyps than in CAP polyps. The polyp telomere lengths of aggressive CAPs were significantly different from the polyps of non-aggressive CAPs, P=0.01. Conclusions: Adenomas that progress to cancer exhibit distinct telomere length and TMM profiles. We report for the first time that PBL telomeres differ in patients with polyps that become malignant, and therefore may have clinical value in adenoma risk assessment and management. PMID:27584834

  4. Mammalian clock output mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Kalsbeek, Andries; Yi, Chun-Xia; Cailotto, Cathy; la Fleur, Susanne E; Fliers, Eric; Buijs, Ruud M

    2011-06-30

    In mammals many behaviours (e.g. sleep-wake, feeding) as well as physiological (e.g. body temperature, blood pressure) and endocrine (e.g. plasma corticosterone concentration) events display a 24 h rhythmicity. These 24 h rhythms are induced by a timing system that is composed of central and peripheral clocks. The highly co-ordinated output of the hypothalamic biological clock not only controls the daily rhythm in sleep-wake (or feeding-fasting) behaviour, but also exerts a direct control over many aspects of hormone release and energy metabolism. First, we present the anatomical connections used by the mammalian biological clock to enforce its endogenous rhythmicity on the rest of the body, especially the neuro-endocrine and energy homoeostatic systems. Subsequently, we review a number of physiological experiments investigating the functional significance of this neuro-anatomical substrate. Together, this overview of experimental data reveals a highly specialized organization of connections between the hypothalamic pacemaker and neuro-endocrine system as well as the pre-sympathetic and pre-parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system.

  5. The Mammalian Septin Interactome

    PubMed Central

    Neubauer, Katharina; Zieger, Barbara

    2017-01-01

    Septins are GTP-binding and membrane-interacting proteins with a highly conserved domain structure involved in various cellular processes, including cytoskeleton organization, cytokinesis, and membrane dynamics. To date, 13 different septin genes have been identified in mammals (SEPT1 to SEPT12 and SEPT14), which can be classified into four distinct subgroups based on the sequence homology of their domain structure (SEPT2, SEPT3, SEPT6, and SEPT7 subgroup). The family members of these subgroups have a strong affinity for other septins and form apolar tri-, hexa-, or octameric complexes consisting of multiple septin polypeptides. The first characterized core complex is the hetero-trimer SEPT2-6-7. Within these complexes single septins can be exchanged in a subgroup-specific manner. Hexamers contain SEPT2 and SEPT6 subgroup members and SEPT7 in two copies each whereas the octamers additionally comprise two SEPT9 subgroup septins. The various isoforms seem to determine the function and regulation of the septin complex. Septins self-assemble into higher-order structures, including filaments and rings in orders, which are typical for different cell types. Misregulation of septins leads to human diseases such as neurodegenerative and bleeding disorders. In non-dividing cells such as neuronal tissue and platelets septins have been associated with exocytosis. However, many mechanistic details and roles attributed to septins are poorly understood. We describe here some important mammalian septin interactions with a special focus on the clinically relevant septin interactions. PMID:28224124

  6. Three-dimensional quantitative imaging of telomeres in buccal cells identifies mild, moderate, and severe Alzheimer's disease patients.

    PubMed

    Mathur, Shubha; Glogowska, Aleksandra; McAvoy, Elizabeth; Righolt, Christiaan; Rutherford, Jaclyn; Willing, Cornelia; Banik, Upama; Ruthirakuhan, Myuri; Mai, Sabine; Garcia, Angeles

    2014-01-01

    Using three-dimensional (3D) telomeric analysis of buccal cells of 82 Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and cognitively normal age and gender-matched controls, we have for the first time examined changes in the 3D nuclear telomeric architecture of buccal cells among levels of AD severity based on five 3D parameters: i) telomere length, ii) telomere number, iii) telomere aggregation, iv) nuclear volume, and v) a/c ratio, a measure of spatial telomere distribution. Our data indicate that matched controls have significantly different 3D telomere profiles compared to mild, moderate, and severe AD patients (p < 0.0001). Distinct profiles were also evident for each AD severity group. An increase in telomere number and aggregation concomitant with a decrease in telomere length from normal to severe AD defines the individual stages of the disease (p < 0.0001).

  7. Tpz1 controls a telomerase-nonextendible telomeric state and coordinates switching to an extendible state via Ccq1.

    PubMed

    Jun, Hyun-Ik; Liu, Jinqiang; Jeong, Heetae; Kim, Jin-Kwang; Qiao, Feng

    2013-09-01

    Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes comprising telomeric DNA repeats bound by the multiprotein shelterin complex. A dynamic binary switch between telomerase-extendible and telomerase-nonextendible telomeric states determines telomere length homeostasis. However, the molecular nature of the nonextendible state is largely unknown. Here, we show that, in fission yeast, Tpz1 (the ortholog of human TPP1)-mediated complete linkage within the shelterin complex, bridging telomeric dsDNA to ssDNA, controls the telomerase-nonextendible state. Disruption of this linkage leads to unregulated telomere elongation while still retaining the shelterin components on telomeres. Therefore, the linkage within the shelterin components, rather than the individual shelterin components per se, defines the telomerase-nonextendible state. Furthermore, epistasis analyses reveal that Tpz1 also participates in the activation of telomeres to the extendible state via its interaction with Ccq1. Our results suggest critical regulatory roles of Tpz1 in the telomere binary switch.

  8. Breast primary epithelial cells that escape p16-dependent stasis enter a telomere-driven crisis state.

    PubMed

    Feijoo, Purificación; Terradas, Mariona; Soler, David; Domínguez, Daniel; Tusell, Laura; Genescà, Anna

    2016-01-13

    instability phenotype. Essentially, our data show that contrary to what was previously suggested, improved culture conditions to propagate in vitro mammary epithelial cells with some luminal characteristics do not prevent stress-induced senescence. This barrier is overcome by spontaneous methylation of the p16 (INK4a) promoter, allowing the proliferation of cells with telomere dysfunction and ensuing chromosome instability.

  9. Cell Cycle Regulated Phosphorylation of the Telomere-Associated Protein TIN2

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Shuqun; Counter, Christopher M.

    2013-01-01

    The protein TIN2 is a member of telomere-binding protein complex that serves to cap and protect mammalian chromosome ends. As a number of proteins in this complex are phosphorylated in a cell cycle-dependent manner, we investigated whether TIN2 is modified by phosphorylation as well. We performed phospho-proteomic analysis of human TIN2, and identified two phosphorylated residues, serines 295 and 330. We demonstrated that both these sites were phosphorylated during mitosis in human cells, as detected by Phos-tag reagent and phosphorylation-specific antibodies. Phosphorylation of serines 295 and 330 appeared to be mediated, at least in part, by the mitotic kinase RSK2. Specifically, phosphorylation of TIN2 at both these residues was increased upon expression of RSK2 and reduced by an inhibitor of the RSK family of kinases. Moreover, RSK2 phosphorylated TIN2 in vitro. The identification of these specifically timed post-translational events during the cell cycle suggests a potential mitotic regulation of TIN2 by phosphorylation. PMID:23977114

  10. A Rosetta stone of mammalian genetics.

    PubMed

    Nadeau, J H; Grant, P L; Mankala, S; Reiner, A H; Richardson, J E; Eppig, J T

    1995-01-26

    The Mammalian Comparative Database provides genetic maps of mammalian species. Comparative maps are valuable aids for predicting linkages, developing animal models and studying genome organization and evolution.

  11. Stem Cells in Mammalian Gonads.

    PubMed

    Wu, Ji; Ding, Xinbao; Wang, Jian

    Stem cells have great value in clinical application because of their ability to self-renew and their potential to differentiate into many different cell types. Mammalian gonads, including testes for males and ovaries for females, are composed of germline and somatic cells. In male mammals, spermatogonial stem cells maintain spermatogenesis which occurs continuously in adult testis. Likewise, a growing body of evidence demonstrated that female germline stem cells could be found in mammalian ovaries. Meanwhile, prior studies have shown that somatic stem cells exist in both testes and ovaries. In this chapter, we focus on mammalian gonad stem cells and discuss their characteristics as well as differentiation potentials.

  12. The Telomere Binding Protein Cdc13 and the Single-Stranded DNA Binding Protein RPA Protect Telomeric DNA from Resection by Exonucleases.

    PubMed

    Greetham, Matthew; Skordalakes, Emmanuel; Lydall, David; Connolly, Bernard A

    2015-09-25

    The telomere is present at the ends of all eukaryotic chromosomes and usually consists of repetitive TG-rich DNA that terminates in a single-stranded 3' TG extension and a 5' CA-rich recessed strand. A biochemical assay that allows the in vitro observation of exonuclease-catalyzed degradation (resection) of telomeres has been developed. The approach uses an oligodeoxynucleotide that folds to a stem-loop with a TG-rich double-stranded region and a 3' single-stranded extension, typical of telomeres. Cdc13, the major component of the telomere-specific CST complex, strongly protects the recessed strand from the 5'→3' exonuclease activity of the model exonuclease from bacteriophage λ. The isolated DNA binding domain of Cdc13 is less effective at shielding telomeres. Protection is specific, not being observed in control DNA lacking the specific TG-rich telomere sequence. RPA, the eukaryotic single-stranded DNA binding protein, also inhibits telomere resection. However, this protein is non-specific, equally hindering the degradation of non-telomere controls.

  13. Maturation of the mammalian secretome

    PubMed Central

    Simpson, Jeremy C; Mateos, Alvaro; Pepperkok, Rainer

    2007-01-01

    A recent use of quantitative proteomics to determine the constituents of the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex is discussed in the light of other available methodologies for cataloging the proteins associated with the mammalian secretory pathway. PMID:17472737

  14. Mammalian DNA Repair. Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    2003-01-24

    The Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Mammalian DNA Repair was held at Harbortown Resort, Ventura Beach, CA. Emphasis was placed on current unpublished research and discussion of the future target areas in this field.

  15. L-carnosine reduces telomere damage and shortening rate in cultured normal fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Shao, Lan; Li, Qing-Huan; Tan, Zheng

    2004-11-12

    Telomere is the repetitive DNA sequence at the end of chromosomes, which shortens progressively with cell division and limits the replicative potential of normal human somatic cells. L-carnosine, a naturally occurring dipeptide, has been reported to delay the replicative senescence, and extend the lifespan of cultured human diploid fibroblasts. In this work, we studied the effect of carnosine on the telomeric DNA of cultured human fetal lung fibroblast cells. Cells continuously grown in 20 mM carnosine exhibited a slower telomere shortening rate and extended lifespan in population doublings. When kept in a long-term nonproliferating state, they accumulated much less damages in the telomeric DNA when cultured in the presence of carnosine. We suggest that the reduction in telomere shortening rate and damages in telomeric DNA made an important contribution to the life-extension effect of carnosine.

  16. Telomere analysis of platyhelminths and acanthocephalans by FISH and Southern hybridization.

    PubMed

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

    2009-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Dreesen, Oliver; Cross, George A M

    2006-12-01

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

  18. Aloe L.--a second plant family without (TTTAGGG)n telomeres.

    PubMed

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

    2000-06-01

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

  19. Telomere shortening in diaphragm and tibialis anterior muscles of aged mdx mice.

    PubMed

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

    2007-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Stanley, Susan E; Armanios, Mary

    2015-08-01

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

  1. Human Telomeres Are Hypersensitive to UV-Induced DNA Damage and Refractory to Repair

    PubMed Central

    Rochette, Patrick J.; Brash, Douglas E.

    2010-01-01

    Telomeric repeats preserve genome integrity by stabilizing chromosomes, a function that appears to be important for both cancer and aging. In view of this critical role in genomic integrity, the telomere's own integrity should be of paramount importance to the cell. Ultraviolet light (UV), the preeminent risk factor in skin cancer development, induces mainly cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPD) which are both mutagenic and lethal. The human telomeric repeat unit (5′TTAGGG/CCCTAA3′) is nearly optimal for acquiring UV-induced CPD, which form at dipyrimidine sites. We developed a ChIP–based technique, immunoprecipitation of DNA damage (IPoD), to simultaneously study DNA damage and repair in the telomere and in the coding regions of p53, 28S rDNA, and mitochondrial DNA. We find that human telomeres in vivo are 7-fold hypersensitive to UV-induced DNA damage. In double-stranded oligonucleotides, this hypersensitivity is a property of both telomeric and non-telomeric repeats; in a series of telomeric repeat oligonucleotides, a phase change conferring UV-sensitivity occurs above 4 repeats. Furthermore, CPD removal in the telomere is almost absent, matching the rate in mitochondria known to lack nucleotide excision repair. Cells containing persistent high levels of telomeric CPDs nevertheless proliferate, and chronic UV irradiation of cells does not accelerate telomere shortening. Telomeres are therefore unique in at least three respects: their biophysical UV sensitivity, their prevention of excision repair, and their tolerance of unrepaired lesions. Utilizing a lesion-tolerance strategy rather than repair would prevent double-strand breaks at closely-opposed excision repair sites on opposite strands of a damage-hypersensitive repeat. PMID:20442874

  2. The Analysis of Pendolino (peo) Mutants Reveals Differences in the Fusigenic Potential among Drosophila Telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Marzullo, Marta; Raffa, Grazia D.; Morciano, Patrizia; Raimondo, Domenico; Burla, Romina; Saggio, Isabella; Gatti, Maurizio

    2015-01-01

    Drosophila telomeres are sequence-independent structures that are maintained by transposition to chromosome ends of three specialized retroelements (HeT-A, TART and TAHRE; collectively designated as HTT) rather than telomerase activity. Fly telomeres are protected by the terminin complex (HOAP-HipHop-Moi-Ver) that localizes and functions exclusively at telomeres and by non-terminin proteins that do not serve telomere-specific functions. Although all Drosophila telomeres terminate with HTT arrays and are capped by terminin, they differ in the type of subtelomeric chromatin; the Y, XR, and 4L HTT are juxtaposed to constitutive heterochromatin, while the XL, 2L, 2R, 3L and 3R HTT are linked to the TAS repetitive sequences; the 4R HTT is associated with a chromatin that has features common to both euchromatin and heterochromatin. Here we show that mutations in pendolino (peo) cause telomeric fusions (TFs). The analysis of several peo mutant combinations showed that these TFs preferentially involve the Y, XR and 4th chromosome telomeres, a TF pattern never observed in the other 10 telomere-capping mutants so far characterized. peo encodes a non-terminin protein homologous to the E2 variant ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes. The Peo protein directly interacts with the terminin components, but peo mutations do not affect telomeric localization of HOAP, Moi, Ver and HP1a, suggesting that the peo-dependent telomere fusion phenotype is not due to loss of terminin from chromosome ends. peo mutants are also defective in DNA replication and PCNA recruitment. However, our results suggest that general defects in DNA replication are unable to induce TFs in Drosophila cells. We thus hypothesize that DNA replication in Peo-depleted cells results in specific fusigenic lesions concentrated in heterochromatin-associated telomeres. Alternatively, it is possible that Peo plays a dual function being independently required for DNA replication and telomere capping. PMID:26110638

  3. Genetically predicted longer telomere length is associated with increased risk of B-cell lymphoma subtypes.

    PubMed

    Machiela, Mitchell J; Lan, Qing; Slager, Susan L; Vermeulen, Roel C H; Teras, Lauren R; Camp, Nicola J; Cerhan, James R; Spinelli, John J; Wang, Sophia S; Nieters, Alexandra; Vijai, Joseph; Yeager, Meredith; Wang, Zhaoming; Ghesquières, Hervé; McKay, James; Conde, Lucia; de Bakker, Paul I W; Cox, David G; Burdett, Laurie; Monnereau, Alain; Flowers, Christopher R; De Roos, Anneclaire J; Brooks-Wilson, Angela R; Giles, Graham G; Melbye, Mads; Gu, Jian; Jackson, Rebecca D; Kane, Eleanor; Purdue, Mark P; Vajdic, Claire M; Albanes, Demetrius; Kelly, Rachel S; Zucca, Mariagrazia; Bertrand, Kimberly A; Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, Anne; Lawrence, Charles; Hutchinson, Amy; Zhi, Degui; Habermann, Thomas M; Link, Brian K; Novak, Anne J; Dogan, Ahmet; Asmann, Yan W; Liebow, Mark; Thompson, Carrie A; Ansell, Stephen M; Witzig, Thomas E; Tilly, Hervé; Haioun, Corinne; Molina, Thierry J; Hjalgrim, Henrik; Glimelius, Bengt; Adami, Hans-Olov; Roos, Göran; Bracci, Paige M; Riby, Jacques; Smith, Martyn T; Holly, Elizabeth A; Cozen, Wendy; Hartge, Patricia; Morton, Lindsay M; Severson, Richard K; Tinker, Lesley F; North, Kari E; Becker, Nikolaus; Benavente, Yolanda; Boffetta, Paolo; Brennan, Paul; Foretova, Lenka; Maynadie, Marc; Staines, Anthony; Lightfoot, Tracy; Crouch, Simon; Smith, Alex; Roman, Eve; Diver, W Ryan; Offit, Kenneth; Zelenetz, Andrew; Klein, Robert J; Villano, Danylo J; Zheng, Tongzhang; Zhang, Yawei; Holford, Theodore R; Turner, Jenny; Southey, Melissa C; Clavel, Jacqueline; Virtamo, Jarmo; Weinstein, Stephanie; Riboli, Elio; Vineis, Paolo; Kaaks, Rudolph; Boeing, Heiner; Tjønneland, Anne; Angelucci, Emanuele; Di Lollo, Simonetta; Rais, Marco; De Vivo, Immaculata; Giovannucci, Edward; Kraft, Peter; Huang, Jinyan; Ma, Baoshan; Ye, Yuanqing; Chiu, Brian C H; Liang, Liming; Park, Ju-Hyun; Chung, Charles C; Weisenburger, Dennis D; Fraumeni, Joseph F; Salles, Gilles; Glenn, Martha; Cannon-Albright, Lisa; Curtin, Karen; Wu, Xifeng; Smedby, Karin E; de Sanjose, Silvia; Skibola, Christine F; Berndt, Sonja I; Birmann, Brenda M; Chanock, Stephen J; Rothman, Nathaniel

    2016-04-15

    Evidence from a small number of studies suggests that longer telomere length measured in peripheral leukocytes is associated with an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). However, these studies may be biased by reverse causation, confounded by unmeasured environmental exposures and might miss time points for which prospective telomere measurement would best reveal a relationship between telomere length and NHL risk. We performed an analysis of genetically inferred telomere length and NHL risk in a study of 10 102 NHL cases of the four most common B-cell histologic types and 9562 controls using a genetic risk score (GRS) comprising nine telomere length-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms. This approach uses existing genotype data and estimates telomere length by weighing the number of telomere length-associated variant alleles an individual carries with the published change in kb of telomere length. The analysis of the telomere length GRS resulted in an association between longer telomere length and increased NHL risk [four B-cell histologic types combined; odds ratio (OR) = 1.49, 95% CI 1.22-1.82,P-value = 8.5 × 10(-5)]. Subtype-specific analyses indicated that chronic lymphocytic leukemia or small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL) was the principal NHL subtype contributing to this association (OR = 2.60, 95% CI 1.93-3.51,P-value = 4.0 × 10(-10)). Significant interactions were observed across strata of sex for CLL/SLL and marginal zone lymphoma subtypes as well as age for the follicular lymphoma subtype. Our results indicate that a genetic background that favors longer telomere length may increase NHL risk, particularly risk of CLL/SLL, and are consistent with earlier studies relating longer telomere length with increased NHL risk.

  4. Investigation of telomere lengths measurement by quantitative real-time PCR to predict age.

    PubMed

    Hewakapuge, Sudinna; van Oorschot, Roland A H; Lewandowski, Paul; Baindur-Hudson, Swati

    2008-09-01

    Currently DNA profiling methods only compare a suspect's DNA with DNA left at the crime scene. When there is no suspect, it would be useful for the police to be able to predict what the person of interest looks like by analysing the DNA left behind in a crime scene. Determination of the age of the suspect is an important factor in creating an identikit. Human somatic cells gradually lose telomeric repeats with age. This study investigated if one could use a correlation between telomere length and age, to predict the age of an individual from their DNA. Telomere length, in buccal cells, of 167 individuals aged between 1 and 96 years old was measured using real-time quantitative PCR. Telomere length decreased with age (r=-0.185, P<0.05) and the age of an individual could be roughly determined by the following formula: (age=relative telomere length -1.5/-0.005). The regression (R(2)) value between telomere length and age was approximately 0.04, which is too low to be use for forensics. The causes for the presence of large variation in telomere lengths in the population were further investigated. The age prediction accuracies were low even after dividing samples into non-related Caucasians, males and females (5%, 9% and 1%, respectively). Mean telomere lengths of eight age groups representing each decade of life showed non-linear decrease in telomere length with age. There were variations in telomere lengths even among similarly aged individuals aged 26 years old (n=10) and age 54 years old (n=9). Therefore, telomere length measurement by real-time quantitative PCR cannot be used to predict age of a person, due to the presence of large inter-individual variations in telomere lengths.