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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. PMID:26856307

  4. [Telomere Recombination in Normal Mammalian Cells].

    PubMed

    Zhdanova, N S; Rubtsov, N B

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Telomere dysfunction causes alveolar stem cell failure.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-21

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

    Natarajan, Suchitra; Begum, Farhana; Gim, Jeonga; Wark, Landon; Henderson, Dana; Davie, James R; Hombach-Klonisch, Sabine; Klonisch, Thomas

    2016-03-15

    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. Function, replication and structure of the mammalian telomere.

    PubMed

    Broccoli, Dominique

    2004-06-01

    Telomeres are specialized structures at the ends of linear chromosomes that were originally defined functionally based on observations first by Muller (1938) and subsequently by McClintock (1941) that naturally occurring chromosome ends do not behave as double-stranded DNA breaks, in spite of the fact that they are the physical end of a linear, duplex DNA molecule. Double-stranded DNA breaks are highly unstable entities, being susceptible to nucleolytic attack and giving rise to chromosome rearrangements through end-to-end fusions and recombination events. In contrast, telomeres confer stability upon chromosome termini, as evidenced by the fact that chromosomes are extraordinarily stable through multiple cell divisions and even across evolutionary time. This protective function of telomeres is due to the formation of a nucleoprotein complex that sequesters the end of the DNA molecule, rendering it inaccessible to nucleases and recombinases as well as preventing the telomere from activating the DNA damage checkpoint pathways. The capacity of a functional end-protective complex to form is dependent upon maintenance of sufficient telomeric DNA. We have learned a great deal about telomere structure and how this specialized nucleoprotein complex confers stability on chromosome ends since the original observations that defined telomeres were made. This review summarizes our current understanding of mammalian telomere replication, structure and function.

  11. Insertion of a Telomere Repeat Sequence into a Mammalian Gene Causes Chromosome Instability

    PubMed Central

    Kilburn, April E.; Shea, Martin J.; Sargent, R. Geoffrey; Wilson, John H.

    2001-01-01

    Telomere repeat sequences cap the ends of eucaryotic chromosomes and help stabilize them. At interstitial sites, however, they may destabilize chromosomes, as suggested by cytogenetic studies in mammalian cells that correlate interstitial telomere sequence with sites of spontaneous and radiation-induced chromosome rearrangements. In no instance is the length, purity, or orientation of the telomere repeats at these potentially destabilizing interstitial sites known. To determine the effects of a defined interstitial telomere sequence on chromosome instability, as well as other aspects of DNA metabolism, we deposited 800 bp of the functional vertebrate telomere repeat, TTAGGG, in two orientations in the second intron of the adenosine phosphoribosyltransferase (APRT) gene in Chinese hamster ovary cells. In one orientation, the deposited telomere sequence did not interfere with expression of the APRT gene, whereas in the other it reduced mRNA levels slightly. The telomere sequence did not induce chromosome truncation and the seeding of a new telomere at a frequency above the limits of detection. Similarly, the telomere sequence did not alter the rate or distribution of homologous recombination events. The interstitial telomere repeat sequence in both orientations, however, dramatically increased gene rearrangements some 30-fold. Analysis of individual rearrangements confirmed the involvement of the telomere sequence. These studies define the telomere repeat sequence as a destabilizing element in the interior of chromosomes in mammalian cells. PMID:11113187

  12. Paclitaxel stimulates chromosomal fusion and instability in cells with dysfunctional telomeres: Implication in multinucleation and chemosensitization

    SciTech Connect

    Park, Jeong-Eun; Woo, Seon Rang; Kang, Chang-Mo; Juhn, Kyoung-Mi; Ju, Yeun-Jin; Shin, Hyun-Jin; Joo, Hyun-Yoo; Park, Eun Ran; Park, In-chul; Hong, Sung Hee; Hwang, Sang-Gu; Lee, Jung-Kee; Kim, Hae Kwon; Cho, Myung-Haing; Park, Gil Hong; Lee, Kee-Ho

    2011-01-14

    Research highlights: {yields} Paclitaxel serves as a stimulator of chromosomal fusion in cells in which telomeres are dysfunctional. {yields} Typical fusions involve p-arms, but paclitaxel-induced fusions occur between both q- and p-arms. {yields} Paclitaxel-stimulated fusions in cells in which telomeres are dysfunctional evoke prolonged G2/M cell cycle arrest and delay multinucleation. {yields} Upon telomere erosion, paclitaxel promotes chromosomal instability and subsequent apoptosis. {yields} Chromosomal fusion enhances paclitaxel chemosensitivity under telomere dysfunction. -- Abstract: The anticancer effect of paclitaxel is attributable principally to irreversible promotion of microtubule stabilization and is hampered upon development of chemoresistance by tumor cells. Telomere shortening, and eventual telomere erosion, evoke chromosomal instability, resulting in particular cellular responses. Using telomerase-deficient cells derived from mTREC-/-p53-/- mice, here we show that, upon telomere erosion, paclitaxel propagates chromosomal instability by stimulating chromosomal end-to-end fusions and delaying the development of multinucleation. The end-to-end fusions involve both the p- and q-arms in cells in which telomeres are dysfunctional. Paclitaxel-induced chromosomal fusions were accompanied by prolonged G2/M cell cycle arrest, delayed multinucleation, and apoptosis. Telomere dysfunctional cells with mutlinucleation eventually underwent apoptosis. Thus, as telomere erosion proceeds, paclitaxel stimulates chromosomal fusion and instability, and both apoptosis and chemosensitization eventually develop.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Telomere dysfunction in alveolar epithelial cells causes lung remodeling and fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Naikawadi, Ram P.; Disayabutr, Supparerk; Mallavia, Benat; Donne, Matthew L.; Green, Gary; La, Janet L.; Rock, Jason R.; Looney, Mark R.; Wolters, Paul J.

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres are short in type II alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Whether dysfunctional telomeres contribute directly to development of lung fibrosis remains unknown. The objective of this study was to investigate whether telomere dysfunction in type II AECs, mediated by deletion of the telomere shelterin protein TRF1, leads to pulmonary fibrosis in mice (SPC-Cre TRF1fl/fl mice). Deletion of TRF1 in type II AECs for 2 weeks increased γH2AX DNA damage foci, but not histopathologic changes in the lung. Deletion of TRF1 in type II AECs for up to 9 months resulted in short telomeres and lung remodeling characterized by increased numbers of type II AECs, α-smooth muscle actin+ mesenchymal cells, collagen deposition, and accumulation of senescence-associated β-galactosidase+ lung epithelial cells. Deletion of TRF1 in collagen-expressing cells caused pulmonary edema, but not fibrosis. These results demonstrate that prolonged telomere dysfunction in type II AECs, but not collagen-expressing cells, leads to age-dependent lung remodeling and fibrosis. We conclude that telomere dysfunction in type II AECs is sufficient to cause lung fibrosis, and may be a dominant molecular defect causing IPF. SPC-Cre TRF1fl/fl mice will be useful for assessing cellular and molecular mechanisms of lung fibrosis mediated by telomere dysfunction. PMID:27699234

  17. Telomere dysfunction in alveolar epithelial cells causes lung remodeling and fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Naikawadi, Ram P.; Disayabutr, Supparerk; Mallavia, Benat; Donne, Matthew L.; Green, Gary; La, Janet L.; Rock, Jason R.; Looney, Mark R.; Wolters, Paul J.

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres are short in type II alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Whether dysfunctional telomeres contribute directly to development of lung fibrosis remains unknown. The objective of this study was to investigate whether telomere dysfunction in type II AECs, mediated by deletion of the telomere shelterin protein TRF1, leads to pulmonary fibrosis in mice (SPC-Cre TRF1fl/fl mice). Deletion of TRF1 in type II AECs for 2 weeks increased γH2AX DNA damage foci, but not histopathologic changes in the lung. Deletion of TRF1 in type II AECs for up to 9 months resulted in short telomeres and lung remodeling characterized by increased numbers of type II AECs, α-smooth muscle actin+ mesenchymal cells, collagen deposition, and accumulation of senescence-associated β-galactosidase+ lung epithelial cells. Deletion of TRF1 in collagen-expressing cells caused pulmonary edema, but not fibrosis. These results demonstrate that prolonged telomere dysfunction in type II AECs, but not collagen-expressing cells, leads to age-dependent lung remodeling and fibrosis. We conclude that telomere dysfunction in type II AECs is sufficient to cause lung fibrosis, and may be a dominant molecular defect causing IPF. SPC-Cre TRF1fl/fl mice will be useful for assessing cellular and molecular mechanisms of lung fibrosis mediated by telomere dysfunction.

  18. 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

  19. The crosstalk of telomere dysfunction and inflammation through cell-free TERRA containing exosomes.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhuo; Lieberman, Paul M

    2016-08-01

    Telomeric repeats-containing RNA (TERRA) are telomere-derived non-coding RNAs that contribute to telomere function in protecting chromosome ends. We recently identified a cell-free form of TERRA (cfTERRA) enriched in extracellular exosomes. These cfTERRA-containing exosomes stimulate inflammatory cytokines when incubated with immune responsive cells. Here, we report that cfTERRA levels were increased in exosomes during telomere dysfunction induced by the expression of the dominant negative TRF2. The exosomes from these damaged cells also enriched with DNA damage marker γH2AX and fragmented telomere repeat DNA. Purified cfTERRA stimulated inflammatory cytokines, but the intact membrane-associated nucleoprotein complexes produced a more robust cytokine activation. Therefore, we propose cfTERRA-containing exosomes transport a telomere-associated molecular pattern (TAMP) and telomere-specific alarmin from dysfunctional telomeres to the extracellular environment to elicit an inflammatory response. Since cfTERRA can be readily detected in human serum it may provide a useful biomarker for the detection of telomere dysfunction in the early stage of cancers and aging-associated inflammatory disease. PMID:27351774

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

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhuo; Lieberman, Paul M

    2016-08-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Role of TERRA in the Regulation of Telomere Length

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Caiqin; Zhao, Li; Lu, Shiming

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Role of TERRA in the regulation of telomere length.

    PubMed

    Wang, Caiqin; Zhao, Li; Lu, Shiming

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Induction of Telomere Dysfunction Mediated By the Telomerase Substrate Precursor 6-Thio-2’-Deoxyguanosine

    PubMed Central

    Mender, Ilgen; Gryaznov, Sergei; Dikmen, Zeliha G.; Wright, Woodring E.; Shay, Jerry W.

    2014-01-01

    The relationships between telomerase and telomeres represent attractive targets for new anti-cancer agents. Here, we report that the nucleoside analogue 6-thio-2’-deoxyguanosine (6-thio-dG) is recognized by telomerase and is incorporated into de novo synthesized telomeres. This results in modified telomeres, leading to telomere dysfunction, but only in cells expressing telomerase. 6-thio-dG, but not 6-thioguanine, induces telomere dysfunction in telomerase positive human cancer cells and hTERT expressing human fibroblasts, but not in telomerase negative cells. Treatment with 6-thio-dG resulted in rapid cell death for the vast majority of the cancer cell lines tested, whereas normal human fibroblasts and human colonic epithelial cells were largely unaffected. In A549 lung cancer cell-based mouse xenograft studies, 6-thio-dG caused a decrease of the tumor growth rate, superior to that observed with 6-thioguanine treatment. Additionally, 6-thio-dG increased telomere dysfunction in tumor cells in vivo. These results indicate that 6-thio-dG may provide a new telomere-addressed telomerase-dependent anti-cancer approach. PMID:25516420

  5. 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.

  6. Role of Telomere Dysfunction in Cardiac Failure in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2013-01-01

    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/mTRKO) 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 anti-oxidants significantly retards the onset of cardiac dysfunction and death of mdx/mTRKO mice. In corroboration, of four DMD patients analyzed, all 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. PMID:23831727

  7. Sod2 haploinsufficiency does not accelerate aging of telomere dysfunctional mice.

    PubMed

    Guachalla, Luis Miguel; Ju, Zhenyu; Koziel, Rafal; von Figura, Guido; Song, Zhangfa; Fusser, Markus; Epe, Bernd; Jansen-Durr, Pidder; Rudolph, K Lenhard

    2009-03-05

    Telomere shortening represents a causal factor of cellular senescence. At the same time, several lines of evidence indicate a pivotal role of oxidative DNA damage for the aging process in vivo. A causal connection between the two observations was suggested by experiments showing accelerated telomere shorting under conditions of oxidative stress in cultured cells, but has never been studied in vivo. We therefore have analysed whether an increase in mitochondrial derived oxidative stress in response to heterozygous deletion of superoxide dismutase (Sod2(+/-)) would exacerbate aging phenotypes in telomere dysfunctional (mTerc(-/-)) mice. Heterozygous deletion of Sod2 resulted in reduced SOD2 protein levels and increased oxidative stress in aging telomere dysfunctional mice, but this did not lead to an increase in basal levels of oxidative nuclear DNA damage, an accumulation of nuclear DNA breaks, or an increased rate of telomere shortening in the mice. Moreover, heterozygous deletion of Sod2 did not accelerate the depletion of stem cells and the impairment in organ maintenance in aging mTerc(-/-) mice. In agreement with these observations, Sod2 haploinsufficiency did not lead to a further reduction in lifespan of mTerc(-/-) mice. Together, these results indicate that a decrease in SOD2-dependent antioxidant defence does not exacerbate aging in the context of telomere dysfunction.

  8. 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

  9. 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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Telomeres in cancer and ageing

    PubMed Central

    Donate, Luis E.; Blasco, Maria A.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    de Jonge, Nick; Björkholm, Magnus; Xu, Dawei

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25682873

  13. Cells with dysfunctional telomeres are susceptible to reactive oxygen species hydrogen peroxide via generation of multichromosomal fusions and chromosomal fragments bearing telomeres

    SciTech Connect

    Woo, Seon Rang; Park, Jeong-Eun; Juhn, Kyoung-Mi; Ju, Yeun-Jin; Jeong, Jaemin; Kang, Chang-Mo; Yun, Hyun Jin; Yun, Mi Yong; Shin, Hyun-Jin; Joo, Hyun-Yoo; Park, Eun-Ran; Park, In-Chul; Hong, Sung Hee; Hwang, Sang-Gu; Kim, Haekwon; Cho, Myung-Haing; Kim, Sang Hoon; Park, Gil Hong; Lee, Kee-Ho

    2012-01-06

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Under conditions of telomere erosion, cells become extremely sensitive to H{sub 2}O{sub 2}. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Chromosomal regions adjacent to telomeres are cleaved by H{sub 2}O{sub 2} under such conditions. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer H{sub 2}O{sub 2} thus causes multichromosomal fusions and generation of small chromosomal fragments. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer N-acetylcysteine prevents H{sub 2}O{sub 2}-induced chromosomal aberrations. -- Abstract: During genotoxic stress, reactive oxygen species hydrogen peroxide (H{sub 2}O{sub 2}) is a prime mediator of the DNA damage response. Telomeres function both to assist in DNA damage repair and to inhibit chromosomal end-to-end fusion. Here, we show that telomere dysfunction renders cells susceptible to H{sub 2}O{sub 2}, via generation of multichromosomal fusion and chromosomal fragments. H{sub 2}O{sub 2} caused formation of multichromosomal end-to-end fusions involving more than three chromosomes, preferentially when telomeres were erosive. Interestingly, extensive chromosomal fragmentation (yielding small-sized fragments) occurred only in cells exhibiting such multichromosomal fusions. Telomeres were absent from fusion points, being rather present in the small fragments, indicating that H{sub 2}O{sub 2} cleaves chromosomal regions adjacent to telomeres. Restoration of telomere function or addition of the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine prevented development of chromosomal aberrations and rescued the observed hypersensitivity to H{sub 2}O{sub 2}. Thus, chromosomal regions adjacent to telomeres become sensitive to reactive oxygen species hydrogen peroxide when telomeres are dysfunctional, and are cleaved to produce multichromosomal fusions and small chromosomal fragments bearing the telomeres.

  14. Suppression of telomere-binding protein TPP1 resulted in telomere dysfunction and enhanced radiation sensitivity in telomerase-negative osteosarcoma cell line

    SciTech Connect

    Qiang, Weiguang; Wu, Qinqin; Zhou, Fuxiang; Xie, Conghua; Wu, Changping; Zhou, Yunfeng

    2014-03-07

    Highlights: • Down-regulation of TPP1 shortened telomere length in telomerase-negative cells. • Down-regulation of TPP1 induced cell apoptosis in telomerase-negative cells. • Down-regulation of TPP1 increased radiosensitivity in telomerase-negative cells. - Abstract: Mammalian telomeres are protected by the shelterin complex that contains the six core proteins POT1, TPP1, TIN2, TRF1, TRF2 and RAP1. TPP1, formerly known as TINT1, PTOP, and PIP1, is a key factor that regulates telomerase recruitment and activity. In addition to this, TPP1 is required to mediate the shelterin assembly and stabilize telomere. Previous work has found that TPP1 expression was elevated in radioresistant cells and that overexpression of TPP1 led to radioresistance and telomere lengthening in telomerase-positive cells. However, the exact effects and mechanism of TPP1 on radiosensitivity are yet to be precisely defined in the ALT cells. Here we report on the phenotypes of the conditional deletion of TPP1 from the human osteosarcoma U2OS cells using ALT pathway to extend the telomeres.TPP1 deletion resulted in telomere shortening, increased apoptosis and radiation sensitivity enhancement. Together, our findings show that TPP1 plays a vital role in telomere maintenance and protection and establish an intimate relationship between TPP1, telomere and cellular response to ionizing radiation, but likely has the specific mechanism yet to be defined.

  15. In Vitro Properties of the Conserved Mammalian Protein hnRNP D Suggest a Role in Telomere Maintenance

    PubMed Central

    Eversole, Ashley; Maizels, Nancy

    2000-01-01

    Mammalian chromosomes terminate with a 3′ tail which consists of reiterations of the G-rich repeat, d(TTAGGG). The telomeric tail is the primer for replication by telomerase, and it may also invade telomeric duplex DNA to form terminal lariat structures, or T loops. Here we show that the ubiquitous and highly conserved mammalian protein hnRNP D interacts specifically with the G-rich strand of the telomeric repeat. A single gene encodes multiple isoforms of hnRNP D. All isoforms bind comparably to the G-rich strand, and certain isoforms can also bind tightly and specifically to the C-rich telomeric strand. G-rich telomeric sequences readily form structures stabilized by G-G pairing, which can interfere with telomere replication by telomerase. We show that hnRNP D binding to the G-rich strand destabilizes intrastrand G-G pairing and that hnRNP D interacts specifically with telomerase in human cell extracts. This biochemical analysis suggest that hnRNP D could function in vivo to destabilize structures formed by telomeric G-rich tails and facilitate their extension by telomerase. PMID:10891483

  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. The level of telomere dysfunction determines the efficacy of telomerase-based therapeutics in a lung cancer cell line.

    PubMed

    Pantic, Milena; Zimmermann, Stefan; Waller, Cornelius F; Martens, Uwe M

    2005-05-01

    Telomerase is the ribonucleoprotein enzyme that maintains telomeres of eukaryotic chromosomes. Activation of telomerase is a common feature of the majority of human cancers, and inhibition of this enzyme has been proposed as a novel target for cancer therapeutics. Here, we investigated the effects of telomerase inhibition in the non-small cell lung cancer cell line NCI-H460, using a genetic approach by ectopic expression of dominant-negative (DN)-hTERT. Five clones were selected in which telomerase activity was completely abolished. As a result, telomere erosion was observed leading to proliferation arrest after a lag period of 20-28 population doublings. Although overall telomere length was similar between the different clones as measured by quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization (Q-FISH), striking differences were found in telomere length of individual chromosomes. In particular, lack of individual telomeres and formation of end-to-end fusions were variable. Interestingly, this level of individual telomere dysfunction was positively correlated with the remaining life span of the different clones in vitro. In addition, the amount of telomere dysfunction induced by DN-hTERT was twice as high compared to the small molecule telomerase inhibitor BIBR1532, which induced growth arrest after >100 population doublings. Thus, pharmacological strategies that aim at inhibition of telomerase in cancer cells should take into account that not only overall telomere shortening, but rapid induction of a high level telomere dysfunction appears to be the crucial surrogate parameter for the development of future telomerase-based therapeutics.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20605919

  19. 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

  20. Specific telomere dysfunction induced by GRN163L increases radiation sensitivity in breast cancer cells

    SciTech Connect

    Gomez-Millan, Jaime; Goldblatt, Erin M.; Gryaznov, Sergei M.; Mendonca, Marc S.; Herbert, Brittney-Shea . E-mail: brherber@iupui.edu

    2007-03-01

    Purpose: Telomerase is expressed in 80-90% of tumor cells, but is absent in most somatic cells. The absence of telomerase activity results in progressive telomere shortening, leading to cellular senescence or death through deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage signals. In addition, a role for telomerase in DNA damage repair has also been suggested. A specific telomerase inhibitor, GRN163L that is complementary to the template region of the telomerase ribonucleic acid component (hTR). We hypothesized that exposure to GRN163L, either through immediate inhibition of telomerase activity or through eventual telomere shortening and dysfunction, may enhance radiation sensitivity. Our goal was to test whether the treatment with GRN163L enhances sensitivity to irradiation (IR) in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Methods and Materials: The MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells were treated with or without GRN163L for 2-42 days. Inhibition of telomerase activity and shortening of telomeres were confirmed. Cells were then irradiated and clonogenic assays were performed to show cell survival differences. In vivo studies using MDA-MB-231 xenografts were performed to corroborate the in vitro results. Results: We show that cells with shortened telomeres due to GRN163L enhance the effect on IR reducing survival by an additional 30% (p < 0.01). These results are confirmed in vivo, with a significant decrease in tumor growth in mice exposed to GRN163L. Conclusions: We found that GRN163L is a promising adjuvant treatment in combination with radiation therapy that may improve the therapeutic index by enhancing the radiation sensitivity. These studies prompt further investigation as to whether this combination can be applied to other cancers and the clinic.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-22

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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-26

    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.

  4. Puma and p21 represent cooperating checkpoints limiting self-renewal and chromosomal instability of somatic stem cells in response to telomere dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Sperka, Tobias; Song, Zhangfa; Morita, Yohei; Nalapareddy, Kodandaramireddy; Guachalla, Luis Miguel; Lechel, André; Begus-Nahrmann, Yvonne; Burkhalter, Martin D; Mach, Monika; Schlaudraff, Falk; Liss, Birgit; Ju, Zhenyu; Speicher, Michael R; Rudolph, K Lenhard

    2011-12-04

    The tumour suppressor p53 activates Puma-dependent apoptosis and p21-dependent cell-cycle arrest in response to DNA damage. Deletion of p21 improved stem-cell function and organ maintenance in progeroid mice with dysfunctional telomeres, but the function of Puma has not been investigated in this context. Here we show that deletion of Puma improves stem- and progenitor-cell function, organ maintenance and lifespan of telomere-dysfunctional mice. Puma deletion impairs the clearance of stem and progenitor cells that have accumulated DNA damage as a consequence of critically short telomeres. However, further accumulation of DNA damage in these rescued progenitor cells leads to increasing activation of p21. RNA interference experiments show that upregulation of p21 limits proliferation and evolution of chromosomal imbalances of Puma-deficient stem and progenitor cells with dysfunctional telomeres. These results provide experimental evidence that p53-dependent apoptosis and cell-cycle arrest act in cooperating checkpoints limiting tissue maintenance and evolution of chromosomal instability at stem- and progenitor-cell levels in response to telomere dysfunction. Selective inhibition of Puma-dependent apoptosis can result in temporary improvements in maintenance of telomere-dysfunctional organs.

  5. Transient anomalous diffusion of telomeres in the nucleus of mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Bronstein, I; Israel, Y; Kepten, E; Mai, S; Shav-Tal, Y; Barkai, E; Garini, Y

    2009-07-01

    We measured individual trajectories of fluorescently labeled telomeres in the nucleus of eukaryotic cells in the time range of 10(-2)-10(4)sec by combining a few acquisition methods. At short times the motion is subdiffusive with r2 approximately talpha and it changes to normal diffusion at longer times. The short times diffusion may be explained by the reptation model and the transient diffusion is consistent with a model of telomeres that are subject to a local binding mechanism with a wide but finite distribution of waiting times. These findings have important biological implications with respect to the genome organization in the nucleus.

  6. Telomere G-tail Length is a Promising Biomarker Related to White Matter Lesions and Endothelial Dysfunction in Patients With Cardiovascular Risk: A Cross-sectional Study☆

    PubMed Central

    Nezu, Tomohisa; Hosomi, Naohisa; Takahashi, Tetsuya; Anno, Kumiko; Aoki, Shiro; Shimamoto, Akira; Maruyama, Hirofumi; Hayashi, Tomonori; Matsumoto, Masayasu; Tahara, Hidetoshi

    2015-01-01

    Background The telomeric 3′-overhang (G-tail) length is essential for the biological effects of telomere dysfunction in vitro, but the association of length with aging and cardiovascular risk is unclear in humans. We investigated the association between the telomere G-tail length of leukocytes and cardiovascular risk, age-related white matter changes (ARWMCs), and endothelial function. Methods Patients with a history of cerebrovascular disease and comorbidity were enrolled (n = 102; 69 males and 33 females, 70.1 ± 9.2 years). Total telomere and telomere G-tail lengths were measured using a hybridization protection assay. Endothelial function was evaluated by ultrasound assessment of brachial flow-mediated dilation (FMD). Findings Shortened telomere G-tail length was associated with age and Framingham risk score (P = 0.018 and P = 0.012). In addition, telomere G-tail length was positively correlated with FMD values (P = 0.031) and negatively with the severity of ARWMCs (P = 0.002). On multivariate regression analysis, telomere G-tail length was independently associated with FMD values (P = 0.022) and the severity of ARWMCs (P = 0.033), whereas total telomere length was not associated with these indicators. Interpretation Telomere G-tail length is associated with age and vascular risk factors, and might be superior to total telomere length as a marker of endothelial dysfunction and ARWMC severity. PMID:26425704

  7. Conformational variability of recombination R-triplex formed by the mammalian telomeric sequence

    PubMed Central

    Shchyolkina, Anna K.; Kaluzhny, Dmitry N.; Borisova, Olga F.; Arndt-Jovin, Donna J.; Jovin, Thomas M.; Zhurkin, Victor B.

    2016-01-01

    Alignment of three nucleic acids strands, in which the third strand is identical to one of the DNA duplex strands, occurs in various cellular systems. In the case of telomeric t-loops, recognition between the DNA duplex and the homologous single strand is likely to be mediated by proteins through formation of the transient recombination-type R-triplex. Earlier, using 2-aminopurine as a fluorescent reporting base, we evaluated the thermodynamic characteristics of intramolecular R-triplex formed by a mixed nucleotide sequence. Here, we used this approach to explore a propensity of the telomeric TTAGGG repeat to form the R-triplex. The circular dichroism spectral changes detected upon formation of the R-triplex suggest that this process is accompanied by specific conformational changes in DNA, including a local destabilization of the target duplex next to a GGG run revealed by the fluorescence of the reporting 2-aminopurine base. Surprisingly, stability of the R-triplex formed by telomeric sequence depends strikingly on the counter ion, being higher for Na+ than for Li+. Taken together these findings indicate a significant conformational variability of telomeric DNA in the context of recombination-type R-triplex, a phenomenon of possible biological relevance. PMID:26308235

  8. HnRNP A3 binds to and protects mammalian telomeric repeats in vitro

    SciTech Connect

    Tanaka, Etsuko; Fukuda, Hirokazu; Nakashima, Katsuhiko; Tsuchiya, Naoto; Seimiya, Hiroyuki; Nakagama, Hitoshi . E-mail: hnakagam@gan2.res.ncc.go.jp

    2007-06-29

    The biological function of hnRNP family proteins is widely diverse and involved in pre-mRNA processing, transcriptional regulation, recombination, and telomere maintenance. In the course of our study on the elucidation of biological functions of minisatellite DNA, we isolated several nuclear proteins that bind to the mouse minisatellite Pc-1, which consists of a tandem array of d(GGCAG) repeats, from NIH3T3 cells. One of the minisatellite binding proteins, MNBP-A, which binds to a single-stranded G-rich strand of the Pc-1 repeat, was proven identical to the hnRNP A3. Recombinant hnRNP A3 was demonstrated to bind to the single-stranded telomeric d(TTAGGG) repeat with much higher affinity than the d(GGCAG) repeat. Binding of hnRNP A3 to the single-stranded telomeric repeat protected the repeat from nuclease attack, and inhibited both telomerase reaction and DNA synthesis in vitro. These results suggest a possible biological role of hnRNP A3 in the stable maintenance of telomere repeats.

  9. Conformational variability of recombination R-triplex formed by the mammalian telomeric sequence.

    PubMed

    Shchyolkina, Anna K; Kaluzhny, Dmitry N; Borisova, Olga F; Arndt-Jovin, Donna J; Jovin, Thomas M; Zhurkin, Victor B

    2016-06-01

    Alignment of three nucleic acids strands, in which the third strand is identical to one of the DNA duplex strands, occurs in various cellular systems. In the case of telomeric t-loops, recognition between the DNA duplex and the homologous single strand is likely to be mediated by proteins through formation of the transient recombination-type R-triplex. Earlier, using 2-aminopurine as a fluorescent reporting base, we evaluated the thermodynamic characteristics of intramolecular R-triplex formed by a mixed nucleotide sequence. Here, we used this approach to explore a propensity of the telomeric TTAGGG repeat to form the R-triplex. The circular dichroism spectral changes detected upon formation of the R-triplex suggest that this process is accompanied by specific conformational changes in DNA, including a local destabilization of the target duplex next to a GGG run revealed by the fluorescence of the reporting 2-aminopurine base. Surprisingly, stability of the R-triplex formed by telomeric sequence depends strikingly on the counter ion, being higher for Na(+) than for Li(+). Taken together these findings indicate a significant conformational variability of telomeric DNA in the context of recombination-type R-triplex, a phenomenon of possible biological relevance. PMID:26308235

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  11. 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.

  12. A non-canonical function of topoisomerase II in disentangling dysfunctional telomeres.

    PubMed

    Germe, Thomas; Miller, Kyle; Cooper, Julia Promisel

    2009-09-16

    The decatenation activity of topoisomerase II (Top2), which is widely conserved within the eukaryotic domain, is essential for chromosomal segregation in mitosis. It is less clear, however, whether Top2 performs the same function uniformly across the whole genome, and whether all its functions rely on decatenation. In the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, telomeres are bound by Taz1, which promotes smooth replication fork progression through the repetitive telomeric sequences. Hence, replication forks stall at taz1 Delta telomeres. This leads to telomeric entanglements at low temperatures (telomeric entanglements in vivo, independently of catalytic cycle completion. We propose a model for how the clamped enzyme-DNA complex promotes proper chromosomal segregation.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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(+) 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2010-07-01

    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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2010-07-01

    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.

  19. Apollo contributes to G-overhang maintenance and protects leading-end telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Peng; van Overbeek, Megan; Rooney, Sean; de Lange, Titia

    2010-01-01

    SUMMARY Mammalian telomeres contain a single-stranded 3′ overhang that is thought to mediate telomere protection. Here we identify the TRF2-interacting factor Apollo as a nuclease that contributes to the generation/maintenance of this overhang. The function of mouse Apollo was determined using Cre-mediated gene deletion, complementation with Apollo mutants, and the TRF2-F120A mutant that cannot bind Apollo. Cells lacking Apollo activated the ATM kinase at their telomeres in S phase and showed leading-end telomere fusions. These telomere dysfunction phenotypes were accompanied by a reduction in the telomeric overhang signal. The telomeric functions of Apollo required its TRF2-interaction and nuclease motifs. Thus, TRF2 recruits the Apollo nuclease to process telomere ends synthesized by leading-strand DNA synthesis, thereby creating a terminal structure that avoids ATM activation and resists end-joining. These data establish that the telomeric overhang is required for the protection of telomeres from the DNA damage response. PMID:20619712

  20. Telomeric noncoding RNA TERRA is induced by telomere shortening to nucleate telomerase molecules at short telomeres.

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-26

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

  1. Dysfunctional telomeres promote genomic instability and metastasis in the absence of telomerase activity in oncogene induced mammary cancer.

    PubMed

    Bojovic, Bojana; Crowe, David L

    2013-02-01

    Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein that maintains the ends of chromosomes (telomeres). In normal cells lacking telomerase activity, telomeres shorten with each cell division because of the inability to completely synthesize the lagging strand. Critically shortened telomeres elicit DNA damage responses and limit cellular division and lifespan, providing an important tumor suppressor function. Most human cancer cells express telomerase which contributes significantly to the tumor phenotype. In human breast cancer, telomerase expression is predictive of clinical outcomes such as lymph node metastasis and survival. In mouse models of mammary cancer, telomerase expression is also upregulated. Telomerase overexpression resulted in spontaneous mammary tumor development in aged female mice. Increased mammary cancer also was observed when telomerase deficient mice were crossed with p53 null mutant animals. However, the effects of telomerase and telomere length on oncogene driven mammary cancer have not been completely characterized. To address these issues we characterized neu proto-oncogene driven mammary tumor formation in G1 Terc-/- (telomerase deficient with long telomeres), G3 Terc-/- (telomerase deficient with short telomeres), and Terc+/+ mice. Telomerase deficiency reduced the number of mammary tumors and increased tumor latency regardless of telomere length. Decreased tumor formation correlated with increased apoptosis in Terc deficient tumors. Short telomeres dramatically increased lung metastasis which correlated with increased genomic instability, and specific alterations in DNA copy number and gene expression. We concluded that short telomeres promote metastasis in the absence of telomerase activity in neu oncogene driven mammary tumors.

  2. 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

  3. Human RECQL1 participates in telomere maintenance.

    PubMed

    Popuri, Venkateswarlu; Hsu, Joseph; Khadka, Prabhat; Horvath, Kent; Liu, Yie; Croteau, Deborah L; Bohr, Vilhelm A

    2014-05-01

    A variety of human tumors employ alternative and recombination-mediated lengthening for telomere maintenance (ALT). Human RecQ helicases, such as BLM and WRN, can efficiently unwind alternate/secondary structures during telomere replication and/or recombination. Here, we report a novel role for RECQL1, the most abundant human RecQ helicase but functionally least studied, in telomere maintenance. RECQL1 associates with telomeres in ALT cells and actively resolves telomeric D-loops and Holliday junction substrates. RECQL1 physically and functionally interacts with telomere repeat-binding factor 2 that in turn regulates its helicase activity on telomeric substrates. The telomeric single-stranded binding protein, protection of telomeres 1 efficiently stimulates RECQL1 on telomeric substrates containing thymine glycol, a replicative blocking lesion. Loss of RECQL1 results in dysfunctional telomeres, telomere loss and telomere shortening, elevation of telomere sister-chromatid exchanges and increased aphidicolin-induced telomere fragility, indicating a role for RECQL1 in telomere maintenance. Further, our results indicate that RECQL1 may participate in the same pathway as WRN, probably in telomere replication.

  4. Telomere Restriction Fragment (TRF) Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Mender, Ilgen; Shay, Jerry W.

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. The effect of chemotherapeutic agents on telomere length maintenance in breast cancer cell lines.

    PubMed

    Motevalli, Azadeh; Yasaei, Hemad; Virmouni, Sara Anjomani; Slijepcevic, Predrag; Roberts, Terry

    2014-06-01

    Mammalian telomeric DNA consists of tandem repeats of the sequence TTAGGG associated with a specialized set of proteins, known collectively as Shelterin. These telosomal proteins protect the ends of chromosomes against end-to-end fusion and degradation. Short telomeres in breast cancer cells confer telomere dysfunction and this can be related to Shelterin proteins and their level of expression in breast cancer cell lines. This study investigates whether expression of Shelterin and Shelterin-associated proteins are altered, and influence the protection and maintenance of telomeres, in breast cancer cells. 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-CdR) and trichostatin A (TSA) were used in an attempt to reactivate the expression of silenced genes. Our studies have shown that Shelterin and Shelterin-associated genes were down-regulated in breast cancer cell lines; this may be due to epigenetic modification of DNA as the promoter region of POT1 was found to be partially methylated. Shelterin genes expression was up-regulated upon treatment of 21NT breast cancer cells with 5-aza-CdR and TSA. The telomere length of treated 21NT cells was measured by q-PCR showed an increase in telomere length at different time points. Our studies have shown that down-regulation of Shelterin genes is partially due to methylation in some epithelial breast cancer cell lines. Removal of epigenetic silencing results in up-regulation of Shelterin and Shelterin-associated genes which can then lead to telomere length elongation and stability. PMID:24807106

  7. A role for Separase in telomere protection.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-18

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

  8. Mammalian Polymerase Theta Promotes Alternative-NHEJ and Suppresses Recombination

    PubMed Central

    Mateos-Gomez, Pedro A.; Gong, Fade; Nair, Nidhi; Miller, Kyle M.; Lazzerini-Denchi, Eros; Sfeir, Agnel

    2016-01-01

    The alternative nonhomologous end-joining (alt-NHEJ) machinery facilitates a number of genomic rearrangements, some of which can lead to cellular transformation. This error-prone repair pathway is triggered upon telomere de-protection to promote the formation of deleterious chromosome end-to-end fusions1,2,3. Using next-generation sequencing technology, we found that repair by alt-NHEJ yields non-TTAGGG nucleotide insertions at fusion breakpoints of dysfunctional telomeres. Investigating the enzymatic activity responsible for the random insertions enabled us to identify Polymerase theta (Polθ; encoded by PolQ) as a critical alt-NHEJ factor in mammalian cells. PolQ inhibition suppresses alt-NHEJ at dysfunctional telomeres, and hinders chromosomal translocations at non-telomeric loci. In addition, we found that PolQ loss results in increased rates of homology directed repair (HDR), evident by recombination of dysfunctional telomeres and accumulation of Rad51 at double stranded breaks. Lastly, we show that depletion of PolQ has a synergistic impact on cell survival in the absence of BRCA genes, suggesting that the inhibition of this mutagenic polymerase represents a valid therapeutic avenue for tumors carrying mutations in HDR genes. PMID:25642960

  9. 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. .

  10. Suppression of DNA-PK by RNAi has different quantitative effects on telomere dysfunction and mutagenesis in human lymphoblasts treated with gamma rays or HZE particles.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qinming; Williams, Eli S; Askin, Kristin F; Peng, Yuanlin; Bedford, Joel S; Liber, Howard L; Bailey, Susan M

    2005-10-01

    Basic to virtually all relevant biological effects of ionizing radiation is the underlying damage produced in DNA and the subsequent cellular processing of such damage. The damage can be qualitatively different for different kinds of radiations, and the genetics of the biological systems exposed can greatly affect damage processing and ultimate outcome--the biological effect of concern. The accurate repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) is critical for the maintenance of genomic integrity and function. Incorrect repair of such lesions results in chromosomal rearrangements and mutations that can lead to cancer and heritable defects in the progeny of irradiated parents. We have focused on the consequent phenotypic effects of faulty repair by examining connections between cellular radiosensitivity phenotypes relevant for carcinogenesis after exposure to ionizing radiation, and deficiencies in various components of the non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) system. Here we produced deficiencies of individual components of the DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) holoenzyme (Ku86 and the catalytic subunit, DNA-PKcs), both singly and in combination, using RNA interference (RNAi) in human lymphoblastoid cell lines. Exposure of cells exhibiting reduced protein expression to either gamma rays or 1 GeV/nucleon iron particles demonstrated differential effects on telomere dysfunction and mutation frequency as well as differential effects between radiation qualities. PMID:16187756

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    Kuzyk, Alexandra; Gartner, John; Mai, Sabine

    2016-08-01

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

  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. Unconventional secretion of misfolded proteins promotes adaptation to proteasome dysfunction in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jin-Gu; Takahama, Shokichi; Zhang, Guofeng; Tomarev, Stanislav I; Ye, Yihong

    2016-07-01

    To safeguard proteomic integrity, cells rely on the proteasome to degrade aberrant polypeptides, but it is unclear how cells remove defective proteins that have escaped degradation owing to proteasome insufficiency or dysfunction. Here we report a pathway termed misfolding-associated protein secretion, which uses the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated deubiquitylase USP19 to preferentially export aberrant cytosolic proteins. Intriguingly, the catalytic domain of USP19 possesses an unprecedented chaperone activity, allowing recruitment of misfolded proteins to the ER surface for deubiquitylation. Deubiquitylated cargos are encapsulated into ER-associated late endosomes and secreted to the cell exterior. USP19-deficient cells cannot efficiently secrete unwanted proteins, and grow more slowly than wild-type cells following exposure to a proteasome inhibitor. Together, our findings delineate a protein quality control (PQC) pathway that, unlike degradation-based PQC mechanisms, promotes protein homeostasis by exporting misfolded proteins through an unconventional protein secretion process. PMID:27295555

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

    PubMed

    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

    2015-07-27

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Telomerase Activity and Telomere Length in Daphnia

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Telomerase activity and telomere length in Daphnia.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cusanelli, Emilio; Chartrand, Pascal

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hendrickson, Eric A; Baird, Duncan M

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. CTC1 deletion results in defective telomere replication, leading to catastrophic telomere loss and stem cell exhaustion

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Peili; Min, Jin-Na; Wang, Yang; Huang, Chenhui; Peng, Tao; Chai, Weihang; Chang, Sandy

    2012-01-01

    The proper maintenance of telomeres is essential for genome stability. Mammalian telomere maintenance is governed by a number of telomere binding proteins, including the newly identified CTC1–STN1–TEN1 (CST) complex. However, the in vivo functions of mammalian CST remain unclear. To address this question, we conditionally deleted CTC1 from mice. We report here that CTC1 null mice experience rapid onset of global cellular proliferative defects and die prematurely from complete bone marrow failure due to the activation of an ATR-dependent G2/M checkpoint. Acute deletion of CTC1 does not result in telomere deprotection, suggesting that mammalian CST is not involved in capping telomeres. Rather, CTC1 facilitates telomere replication by promoting efficient restart of stalled replication forks. CTC1 deletion results in increased loss of leading C-strand telomeres, catastrophic telomere loss and accumulation of excessive ss telomere DNA. Our data demonstrate an essential role for CTC1 in promoting efficient replication and length maintenance of telomeres. PMID:22531781

  6. A role for Separase in telomere protection

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Structural and functional association of androgen receptor with telomeres in prostate cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Junying; Richardson, Michelle; Reddy, Vidyavathi; Menon, Mani; Barrack, Evelyn R.; Reddy, G. Prem-Veer; Kim, Sahn-Ho

    2013-01-01

    Telomeres protect the ends of linear chromosomes from being recognized as damaged DNA, and telomere stability is required for genome stability. Here we demonstrate that telomere stability in androgen receptor (AR)-positive LNCaP human prostate cancer cells is dependent on AR and androgen, as AR inactivation by AR antagonist bicalutamide (Casodex), AR-knockdown, or androgen-depletion caused telomere dysfunction, and the effect of androgen-depletion or Casodex was blocked by the addition of androgen. Notably, neither actinomycin D nor cycloheximide blocked the DNA damage response to Casodex, indicating that the role of AR in telomere stability is independent of its role in transcription. We also demonstrate that AR is a component of telomeres, as AR-bound chromatin contains telomeric DNA, and telomeric chromatin contains AR. Importantly, AR inactivation by Casodex caused telomere aberrations, including multiple abnormal telomere signals, remindful of a fragile telomere phenotype that has been described previously to result from defective telomere DNA replication. We suggest that AR plays an important role in telomere stability and replication of telomere DNA in prostate cancer cells, and that AR inactivation-mediated telomere dysfunction may contribute to genomic instability and progression of prostate cancer cells. PMID:23363843

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Telomeres and marrow failure.

    PubMed

    Calado, Rodrigo T

    2009-01-01

    Telomeres, repeat sequences at the ends of chromosomes, are protective chromosomal structures highly conserved from primitive organisms to humans. Telomeres inevitably shorten with every cell cycle, and telomere attrition has been hypothesized to be fundamental to normal senescence of cells, tissues, and organisms. Molecular mechanisms have evolved to maintain their length and protective function; telomerase (TERT) is a reverse transcriptase enzyme that uses an RNA molecule (TERC) as the template to elongate the 3' ends of telomeres. Shelterin is a collection of DNA-binding proteins that cover and protect telomeres. The recent discovery of inherited mutations in genes that function to repair telomeres as etiologic in a range of human diseases, which have clinical manifestations in diverse tissues, including the hematopoietic tissue, suggests that defects in telomere repair and protection can cause organ failure. Dyskeratosis congenita is the prototype of telomere diseases; it is characterized by bone marrow failure, mucocutaneous abnormalities, pulmonary fibrosis, liver cirrhosis, and increased susceptibility to cancer, including acute myeloid leukemia. Aplastic anemia, acute myeloid leukemia, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis also are associated with inherited mutations in telomere repair or protection genes. Additionally, telomere defects associate with predisposition to hematologic malignancy and epithelial tumors. Telomere erosion is abnormally rapid in patients with mutations in telomerase genes but also after hematopoietic stem cell transplant, and telomeres are naturally shorter in older individuals-all conditions associated with higher rates of malignant diseases. In human tissue culture, short telomeres produce end-to-end chromosome fusion, nonreciprocal translocations, and aneuploidy.

  18. Telomeres and telomerase.

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Simon R W L; Blackburn, Elizabeth H

    2004-01-01

    Telomeres are the protective DNA-protein complexes found at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. Telomeric DNA consists of tandem repeats of a simple, often G-rich, sequence specified by the action of telomerase, and complete replication of telomeric DNA requires telomerase. Telomerase is a specialized cellular ribonucleoprotein reverse transcriptase. By copying a short template sequence within its intrinsic RNA moiety, telomerase synthesizes the telomeric DNA strand running 5' to 3' towards the distal end of the chromosome, thus extending it. Fusion of a telomere, either with another telomere or with a broken DNA end, generally constitutes a catastrophic event for genomic stability. Telomerase acts to prevent such fusions. The molecular consequences of telomere failure, and the molecular contributors to telomere function, with an emphasis on telomerase, are discussed here. PMID:15065663

  19. Brh2 and Rad51 promote telomere maintenance in Ustilago maydis, a new model system of DNA repair proteins at telomeres.

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

  20. TRF2-RAP1 is required to protect telomeres from engaging in homologous recombination-mediated deletions and fusions.

    PubMed

    Rai, Rekha; Chen, Yong; Lei, Ming; Chang, Sandy

    2016-01-01

    Repressor/activator protein 1 (RAP1) is a highly conserved telomere-interacting protein. Yeast Rap1 protects telomeres from non-homologous end joining (NHEJ), plays important roles in telomere length control and is involved in transcriptional gene regulation. However, a role for mammalian RAP1 in telomere end protection remains controversial. Here we present evidence that mammalian RAP1 is essential to protect telomere from homology directed repair (HDR) of telomeres. RAP1 cooperates with the basic domain of TRF2 (TRF2(B)) to repress PARP1 and SLX4 localization to telomeres. Without RAP1 and TRF2(B), PARP1 and SLX4 HR factors promote rapid telomere resection, resulting in catastrophic telomere loss and the generation of telomere-free chromosome fusions in both mouse and human cells. The RAP1 Myb domain is required to repress both telomere loss and formation of telomere-free fusions. Our results highlight the importance of the RAP1-TRF2 heterodimer in protecting telomeres from inappropriate processing by the HDR pathway. PMID:26941064

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. The Structure of the Mammalian RNase H2 Complex Provides Insight into RNA.NA Hybrid Processing to Prevent Immune Dysfunction

    SciTech Connect

    Shaban, N.; Harvey, S; Perrino, F; Hollis, T

    2010-01-01

    The mammalian RNase H2 ribonuclease complex has a critical function in nucleic acid metabolism to prevent immune activation with likely roles in processing of RNA primers in Okazaki fragments during DNA replication, in removing ribonucleotides misinserted by DNA polymerases, and in eliminating RNA {center_dot} DNA hybrids during cell death. Mammalian RNase H2 is a heterotrimeric complex of the RNase H2A, RNase H2B, and RNase H2C proteins that are all required for proper function and activity. Mutations in the human RNase H2 genes cause Aicardi-Goutieres syndrome. We have determined the crystal structure of the three-protein mouse RNase H2 enzyme complex to better understand the molecular basis of RNase H2 dysfunction in human autoimmunity. The structure reveals the intimately interwoven architecture of RNase H2B and RNase H2C that interface with RNase H2A in a complex ideally suited for nucleic acid binding and hydrolysis coupled to protein-protein interaction motifs that could allow for efficient participation in multiple cellular functions. We have identified four conserved acidic residues in the active site that are necessary for activity and suggest a two-metal ion mechanism of catalysis for RNase H2. An Okazaki fragment has been modeled into the RNase H2 nucleic acid binding site providing insight into the recognition of RNA {center_dot} DNA junctions by the RNase H2. Further structural and biochemical analyses show that some RNase H2 disease-causing mutations likely result in aberrant protein-protein interactions while the RNase H2A subunit-G37S mutation appears to distort the active site accounting for the demonstrated substrate specificity modification.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Telomere and Telomerase Therapeutics in Cancer.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yucheng; Goldkorn, Amir

    2016-01-01

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

  8. DNA-PKcs is critical for telomere capping

    SciTech Connect

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

    2001-04-10

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

  9. 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.

  10. Telomeres, stem cells, senescence, and cancer

    PubMed Central

    Sharpless, Norman E.; DePinho, Ronald A.

    2004-01-01

    Mammalian aging occurs in part because of a decline in the restorative capacity of tissue stem cells. These self-renewing cells are rendered malignant by a small number of oncogenic mutations, and overlapping tumor suppressor mechanisms (e.g., p16INK4a-Rb, ARF-p53, and the telomere) have evolved to ward against this possibility. These beneficial antitumor pathways, however, appear also to limit the stem cell life span, thereby contributing to aging. PMID:14722605

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  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. Single-strand DNA binding protein SSB1 facilitates TERT recruitment to telomeres and maintains telomere G-overhangs

    PubMed Central

    Pandita, Raj K.; Chow, Tracy T.; Udayakumar, Durga; Bain, Amanda L.; Cubeddu, Liza; Hunt, Clayton R.; Shi, Wei; Horikoshi, Nobuo; Zhao, Yong; Wright, Woodring E.; Khanna, Kum Kum; Shay, Jerry W.; Pandita, Tej K.

    2015-01-01

    Proliferating mammalian stem and cancer cells express telomerase (TERT) in an effort to extend chromosomal G-overhangs and maintain telomere ends. Telomerase-expressing cells also have higher levels of the single-stranded DNA binding protein SSB1, which has a critical role in DNA double-strand break repair. Here we report that SSB1 binds specifically to G-strand telomeric DNA in vitro and associates with telomeres in vivo. SSB1 interacted with the TERT catalytic subunit and regulates its interaction with telomeres. Deletion of SSB1 reduced TERT interaction with telomeres and lead to G-overhang loss. While SSB1 was recruited to DSB sites, we found no corresponding change in TERT levels at these sites, implying that SSB1-TERT interaction relied upon a specific chromatin structure or context. Our findings offer an explanation for how telomerase is recruited to telomeres to facilitate G-strand DNA extension, a critical step in maintaining telomere ends and cell viability in all cancer cells. PMID:25589350

  17. Telomere attrition and Chk2 activation in human heart failure

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Hidemasa; Wang, Sam C.; Prahash, Arun; Sano, Motoaki; Moravec, Christine S.; Taffet, George E.; Michael, Lloyd H.; Youker, Keith A.; Entman, Mark L.; Schneider, Michael D.

    2003-01-01

    The “postmitotic” phenotype in adult cardiac muscle exhibits similarities to replicative senescence more generally and constitutes a barrier to effective restorative growth in heart disease. Telomere dysfunction is implicated in senescence and apoptotic signaling but its potential role in heart disorders is unknown. Here, we report that cardiac apoptosis in human heart failure is associated specifically with defective expression of the telomere repeat- binding factor TRF2, telomere shortening, and activation of the DNA damage checkpoint kinase, Chk2. In cultured cardiomyocytes, interference with either TRF2 function or expression triggered telomere erosion and apoptosis, indicating that cell death can occur via this pathway even in postmitotic, noncycling cells; conversely, exogenous TRF2 conferred protection from oxidative stress. In vivo, mechanical stress was sufficient to down-regulate TRF2, shorten telomeres, and activate Chk2 in mouse myocardium, and transgenic expression of telomerase reverse transcriptase conferred protection from all three responses. Together, these data suggest that apoptosis in chronic heart failure is mediated in part by telomere dysfunction and suggest an essential role for TRF2 even in postmitotic cells. PMID:12702777

  18. The role of telomeres and telomerase complex in haematological neoplasia: the length of telomeres as a marker of carcinogenesis and prognosis of disease.

    PubMed

    Gancarcíková, M; Zemanová, Z; Brezinová, J; Berková, A; Vcelíková, S; Smigová, J; Michalová, K

    2010-01-01

    Human telomeres (discovery of telomere structure and function has been recently awarded The Nobel Prize) consist of approximately 5-12 kb of tandem repeated sequences (TTAGGG)n and associated proteins capping chromosome ends which prevent degradation, loss of genetic information, end-to-end fusion, senescence and apoptosis. Due to the end-replication problem, telomere repeats are lost with each cell division, eventually leading to genetic instability and cellular senescence when telomeres become critically short. Stabilization of the telomeric DNA through telomerase activation, unique reverse transcriptase, or activation of the alternative mechanism of telomere maintenance is essential if the cells are to survive and proliferate indefinitely. Telomerase is expressed during early development and remains fully active in specific germline cells, but is undetectable in most normal somatic cells. High level of telomerase activity is detected in almost 90% of human tumours and immortalized cell lines. The hematopoietic compartment may develop genetic instability as a consequence of telomere erosion, resulting in aplastic anaemia (AA) and increased risk of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Genetic instability associated with telomere dysfunction (i.e. short telomeres) is an early event in carcinogenesis. The molecular cytogenetic method telomere/centromere fluorescence in situ hybridization (T/C-FISH) can be used to characterize the telomere length of hematopoietic cells. This review describes recent advances in the molecular characterization of telomere system, the regulation of telomerase activity in cancer pathogenesis and shows that the telomeric length could be a potential clinical marker of hematologic neoplasia and prognosis of disease.

  19. Roles for Histone Acetylation in Regulation of Telomere Elongation and Two-cell State in Mouse ES Cells.

    PubMed

    Dan, Jiameng; Yang, Jiao; Liu, Yifei; Xiao, Andrew; Liu, Lin

    2015-10-01

    Mammalian telomeres and subtelomeres are marked by heterochromatic epigenetic modifications, including repressive DNA methylation and histone methylation (e.g., H3K9me3 and H4K20me3). Loss of these epigenetic marks results in increased rates of telomere recombination and elongation. Other than these repressive epigenetic marks, telomeric and subtelomeric H3 and H4 are underacetylated. Yet, whether histone acetylation also regulates telomere length has not been directly addressed. We thought to test the effects of histone acetylation levels on telomere length using histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor (sodium butyrate, NaB) that mediates histone hyperacetylation and histone acetyltransferase (HAT) inhibitor (C646) that mediates histone hypoacetylation. We show that histone hyperacetylation dramatically elongates telomeres in wild-type ES cells, and only slightly elongates telomeres in Terc(-/-) ES cells, suggesting that Terc is involved in histone acetylation-induced telomere elongation. In contrast, histone hypoacetylation shortens telomeres in both wild-type and Terc(-/-) ES cells. Additionally, histone hyperacetylation activates 2-cell (2C) specific genes including Zscan4, which is involved in telomere recombination and elongation, whereas histone hypoacetylation represses Zscan4 and 2C genes. These data suggest that histone acetylation levels affect the heterochromatic state at telomeres and subtelomeres, and regulate gene expression at subtelomeres, linking histone acetylation to telomere length maintenance.

  20. Responses to telomere erosion in plants.

    PubMed

    Amiard, Simon; Da Ines, Olivier; Gallego, Maria Eugenia; White, Charles I

    2014-01-01

    In striking contrast to animals, plants are able to develop and reproduce in the presence of significant levels of genome damage. This is seen clearly in both the viability of plants carrying knockouts for key recombination and DNA repair genes, which are lethal in vertebrates, and in the impact of telomere dysfunction. Telomerase knockout mice show accelerated ageing and severe developmental phenotypes, with effects on both highly proliferative and on more quiescent tissues, while cell death in Arabidopsis tert mutants is mostly restricted to actively dividing meristematic cells. Through phenotypic and whole-transcriptome RNAseq studies, we present here an analysis of the response of Arabidopsis plants to the continued presence of telomere damage. Comparison of second-generation and seventh-generation tert mutant plants has permitted separation of the effects of the absence of the telomerase enzyme and the ensuing chromosome damage. In addition to identifying a large number of genes affected by telomere damage, many of which are of unknown function, the striking conclusion of this study is the clear difference observed at both cellular and transcriptome levels between the ways in which mammals and plants respond to chronic telomeric damage.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-06-10

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

  2. Direct single-stranded DNA binding by Teb1 mediates the recruitment of Tetrahymena thermophila telomerase to telomeres.

    PubMed

    Upton, Heather E; Hong, Kyungah; Collins, Kathleen

    2014-11-15

    The eukaryotic reverse transcriptase telomerase copies its internal RNA template to synthesize telomeric DNA repeats at chromosome ends in balance with sequence loss during cell proliferation. Previous work has established several factors involved in telomerase recruitment to telomeres in yeast and mammalian cells; however, it remains unclear what determines the association of telomerase with telomeres in other organisms. Here we investigate the cell cycle dependence of telomere binding by each of the seven Tetrahymena thermophila telomerase holoenzyme proteins TERT, p65, Teb1, p50, p75, p45, and p19. We observed coordinate cell cycle-regulated recruitment and release of all of the subunits, including the telomeric-repeat DNA-binding subunit Teb1. Using domain truncation and mutagenesis approaches, we investigated which subunits govern the interaction of telomerase holoenzyme with telomeres. Our results show that Teb1 is critical for telomere interaction of other holoenzyme subunits and demonstrate that high-affinity Teb1 DNA-binding activity is necessary and sufficient for cell cycle-regulated telomere association. Overall, these and additional findings indicate that in the ciliate Tetrahymena, telomerase recruitment to telomeres requires direct binding to single-stranded DNA, unlike the indirect DNA recognition through telomere-bound proteins essential in yeast and mammalian cells.

  3. BRCA1 and CtIP promote alternative non-homologous end-joining at uncapped telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Badie, Sophie; Carlos, Ana Rita; Folio, Cecilia; Okamoto, Keiji; Bouwman, Peter; Jonkers, Jos; Tarsounas, Madalena

    2015-01-01

    Loss of telomere protection occurs during physiological cell senescence and ageing, due to attrition of telomeric repeats and insufficient retention of the telomere-binding factor TRF2. Subsequently formed telomere fusions trigger rampant genomic instability leading to cell death or tumorigenesis. Mechanistically, telomere fusions require either the classical non-homologous end-joining (C-NHEJ) pathway dependent on Ku70/80 and LIG4, or the alternative non-homologous end-joining (A-NHEJ), which relies on PARP1 and LIG3. Here, we show that the tumour suppressor BRCA1, together with its interacting partner CtIP, both acting in end resection, also promotes end-joining of uncapped telomeres. BRCA1 and CtIP do not function in the ATM-dependent telomere damage signalling, nor in telomere overhang removal, which are critical for telomere fusions by C-NHEJ. Instead, BRCA1 and CtIP act in the same pathway as LIG3 to promote joining of de-protected telomeres by A-NHEJ. Our work therefore ascribes novel roles for BRCA1 and CtIP in end-processing and fusion reactions at uncapped telomeres, underlining the complexity of DNA repair pathways that act at chromosome ends lacking protective structures. Moreover, A-NHEJ provides a mechanism of previously unanticipated significance in telomere dysfunction-induced genome instability. PMID:25582120

  4. Strong association between long and heterogeneous telomere length in blood lymphocytes and bladder cancer risk in Egyptian.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hongkun; Wang, Ying; Kota, Krishna K; Kallakury, Bhaskar; Mikhail, Nabiel N; Sayed, Douaa; Mokhtar, Ahmed; Maximous, Doaa; Yassin, Etemad H; Gouda, Iman; Sobitan, Adebiyi; Sun, Bing; Loffredo, Christopher A; Zheng, Yun-Ling

    2015-11-01

    Although it is widely recognized that telomere dysfunction plays an important role in cancer, the relationship between telomere function and bladder cancer risk is not well defined. In a case-control study of bladder cancer in Egypt, we examined relationships between two telomere features and bladder cancer risk. Telomere fluorescent in situ hybridization was used to measure telomere features using short-term cultured blood lymphocytes. Logistic regression was used to estimate the strength of association between telomere features and the risk of urothelial carcinoma of the bladder. High telomere length variation (TLV) across all chromosomal ends was significantly associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer [adjusted odds ratios (OR) = 2.22, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.48-3.35], as was long average telomere length (OR = 3.19, 95% CI = 2.07, 4.91). Further, TLV and average telomere length jointly affected bladder cancer risk: when comparing individuals with long telomere length and high TLV to those with short telomere length and low TLV, the adjusted OR was 14.68 (95% CI: 6.74-31.98). These associations were stronger among individuals who are 60 years of age or younger. In summary, long and heterogeneous telomere length in blood lymphocytes was strongly associated with an increased bladder cancer risk in Egyptian and the association was modulated by age.

  5. TERRA, hnRNP A1, and DNA-PKcs Interactions at Human Telomeres.

    PubMed

    Le, Phuong N; Maranon, David G; Altina, Noelia H; Battaglia, Christine L R; Bailey, Susan M

    2013-01-01

    Maintenance of telomeres, repetitive elements at eukaryotic chromosomal termini, and the end-capping structure and function they provide, are imperative for preserving genome integrity and stability. The discovery that telomeres are transcribed into telomere repeat containing RNA (TERRA) has revolutionized our view of this repetitive, rather unappreciated region of the genome. We have previously shown that the non-homologous end-joining, shelterin associated DNA dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) participates in mammalian telomeric end-capping, exclusively at telomeres created by leading-strand synthesis. Here, we explore potential roles of DNA-PKcs and its phosphorylation target heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1 (hnRNP A1) in the localization of TERRA at human telomeres. Evaluation of co-localized foci utilizing RNA-FISH and three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction strategies provided evidence that both inhibition of DNA-PKcs kinase activity and siRNA depletion of hnRNP A1 result in accumulation of TERRA at individual telomeres; depletion of hnRNP A1 also resulted in increased frequencies of fragile telomeres. These observations are consistent with previous demonstrations that decreased levels of the nonsense RNA-mediated decay factors SMG1 and UPF1 increase TERRA at telomeres and interfere with replication of leading-strand telomeres. We propose that hTR mediated stimulation of DNA-PKcs and subsequent phosphorylation of hnRNP A1 influences the cell cycle dependent distribution of TERRA at telomeres by contributing to the removal of TERRA from telomeres, an action important for progression of S-phase, and thereby facilitating efficient telomere replication and end-capping.

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

    PubMed

    Cohen, Sarit; Méchali, Marcel

    2002-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Watson, J. Matthew; Shippen, Dorothy E.

    2007-01-01

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

  8. Presence of a fragile site and interstitial telomere repeat sequences in a(Y;13) translocation

    SciTech Connect

    Lemieux, N.; Fetni, R.; Boutouil, M.

    1994-09-01

    It has been proposed that the telomere repeat sequences (TTAGGG)n, when present at interstitial chromosomal locations, might promote site-specific fragility and recombinational activity. Nevertheless, in mammalians, only a few indications of such involvement of telomeric sequences have been observed. In this study, we show direct cytological evidence that a de novo interstitial telomere can cause the formation of a novel fragile site. Molecular cytogenetic studies of a de novo (Y;13) translocation, using centromeric and telomeric probes, have revealed the presence of two centromeres and interstitial telomere sequences. A fragile site was also found near the interstitial telomere loci. In this case, high-resolution cytogenetics was complemented by two-color FISH to give accurate information. Furthermore, an analysis with short arm Y chromosome DNA probes was carried out to detect possible deletion in this region, including the ZFY gene which is involved in human spermatogenesis. The Y chromosome appeared to be intact upon cytogenetic and in situ hybridization studies even for the telomeric region. Also, we observed two cells showing a normal karyotype without the Y;13 translocation suggesting the instability of this translocation. This finding shows the importance of telomere repeat sequences in translocations and other chromosome rearrangements. We are currently analyzing additional cases with similar analogies to obtain further insight on the role of telomeres and the dynamics of translocations.

  9. Caenorhabditis elegans POT-1 and POT-2 repress telomere maintenance pathways.

    PubMed

    Shtessel, Ludmila; Lowden, Mia Rochelle; Cheng, Chen; Simon, Matt; Wang, Kyle; Ahmed, Shawn

    2013-02-01

    Telomeres are composed of simple tandem DNA repeats that protect the ends of linear chromosomes from replicative erosion or inappropriate DNA damage response mechanisms. The mammalian Protection Of Telomeres (POT1) protein interacts with single-stranded telomeric DNA and can exert positive and negative effects on telomere length. Of four distinct POT1 homologs in the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, deficiency for POT-1 or POT-2 resulted in progressive telomere elongation that occurred because both proteins negatively regulate telomerase. We created a POT-1::mCherry fusion protein that forms discrete foci at C. elegans telomeres, independent of POT-2, allowing for live analysis of telomere dynamics. Transgenic pot-1::mCherry repressed telomerase in pot-1 mutants. Animals deficient for pot-1, but not pot-2, displayed mildly enhanced telomere erosion rates in the absence of the telomerase reverse transcriptase, trt-1. However, trt-1; pot-1 double mutants exhibited delayed senescence in comparison to trt-1 animals, and senescence was further delayed in trt-1; pot-2; pot-1 triple mutants, some of which survived robustly in the absence of telomerase. Our results indicate that POT-1 and POT-2 play independent roles in suppressing a telomerase-independent telomere maintenance pathway but may function together to repress telomerase.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-15

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

  11. 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…

  12. 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

  13. Lead Exposure Induces Telomere Instability in Human Cells

    PubMed Central

    Pottier, Géraldine; Viau, Muriel; Ricoul, Michelle; Shim, Grace; Bellamy, Marion; Cuceu, Corina; Hempel, William M.; Sabatier, Laure

    2013-01-01

    Lead (Pb) is an important environmental contaminant due to its widespread use over many centuries. While it affects primarily every organ system of the body, the most pernicious effects of Pb are on the central nervous system leading to cognitive and behavioral modification. Despite decades of research, the mechanisms responsible for Pb toxicity remain poorly understood. Recent work has suggested that Pb exposure may have consequences on chromosomal integrity as it was shown that Pb exposure leads to the generation of γH2Ax foci, a well-established biomarker for DNA double stranded break (DSB formation). As the chromosomal localization of γH2Ax foci plays an important role in determining the molecular mechanism responsible for their formation, we examined the localization of Pb-induced foci with respect to telomeres. Indeed, short or dysfunctional telomeres (uncapped or damaged telomeres) may be recognized as DSB by the DNA repair machinery, leading to “telomere-Induced Foci” (TIFs). In the current study, we show that while Pb exposure did not increase intra-chromosomal foci, it significantly induced TIFs, leading in some cases, to chromosomal abnormalities including telomere loss. The evidence suggests that these chromosomal abnormalities are likely due to perturbation of telomere replication, in particular on the lagging DNA strand. We propose a mechanism by which Pb exposure leads to the loss of telomere maintenance. As numerous studies have demonstrated a role for telomere maintenance in brain development and tissue homeostasis, our results suggest a possible mechanism for lead-induced neurotoxicity. PMID:23840724

  14. 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.

  15. RAP1 Is Essential for Silencing Telomeric Variant Surface Glycoprotein Genes in Trypanosoma brucei

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY 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 (TPE), 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. PMID:19345190

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Telomere Attrition Due to Infection

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  19. PML body meets telomere

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Inn; Osterwald, Sarah; Deeg, Katharina I.; Rippe, Karsten

    2012-01-01

    The unlimited proliferation potential of cancer cells requires the maintenance of their telomeres. This is frequently accomplished by reactivation of telomerase. However, in a significant fraction of tumors an alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) mechanism is active. The molecular mechanism of the ALT pathway remains elusive. In particular, the role of characteristic complexes of promyelocytic leukemia nuclear bodies (PML-NBs) with telomeres, the ALT-associated PML-NBs (APBs), is currently under investigation. Here, we review recent findings on the assembly, structure and functions of APBs. It is discussed how genomic aberrations in ALT-positive cancer cells could result in the formation of APBs and in ALT activity. We conclude that they are important functional intermediates in what is considered the canonical ALT pathway and discuss deregulations of cellular pathways that contribute to the emergence of the ALT phenotype. PMID:22572954

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    Gonzalo, Susana; Eissenberg, Joel C

    2016-04-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Replication Timing of Human Telomeres is Conserved during Immortalization and Influenced by Respective Subtelomeres.

    PubMed

    Piqueret-Stephan, Laure; Ricoul, Michelle; Hempel, William M; Sabatier, Laure

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres are specific structures that protect chromosome ends and act as a biological clock, preventing normal cells from replicating indefinitely. Mammalian telomeres are replicated throughout S-phase in a predetermined order. However, the mechanism of this regulation is still unknown. We wished to investigate this phenomenon under physiological conditions in a changing environment, such as the immortalization process to better understand the mechanism for its control. We thus examined the timing of human telomere replication in normal and SV40 immortalized cells, which are cytogenetically very similar to cancer cells. We found that the timing of telomere replication was globally conserved under different conditions during the immortalization process. The timing of telomere replication was conserved despite changes in telomere length due to endogenous telomerase reactivation, in duplicated homologous chromosomes, and in rearranged chromosomes. Importantly, translocated telomeres, possessing their initial subtelomere, retained the replication timing of their homolog, independently of the proportion of the translocated arm, even when the remaining flanking DNA is restricted to its subtelomere, the closest chromosome-specific sequences (inferior to 500 kb). Our observations support the notion that subtelomere regions strongly influence the replication timing of the associated telomere. PMID:27587191

  5. Replication Timing of Human Telomeres is Conserved during Immortalization and Influenced by Respective Subtelomeres

    PubMed Central

    Piqueret-Stephan, Laure; Ricoul, Michelle; Hempel, William M.; Sabatier, Laure

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres are specific structures that protect chromosome ends and act as a biological clock, preventing normal cells from replicating indefinitely. Mammalian telomeres are replicated throughout S-phase in a predetermined order. However, the mechanism of this regulation is still unknown. We wished to investigate this phenomenon under physiological conditions in a changing environment, such as the immortalization process to better understand the mechanism for its control. We thus examined the timing of human telomere replication in normal and SV40 immortalized cells, which are cytogenetically very similar to cancer cells. We found that the timing of telomere replication was globally conserved under different conditions during the immortalization process. The timing of telomere replication was conserved despite changes in telomere length due to endogenous telomerase reactivation, in duplicated homologous chromosomes, and in rearranged chromosomes. Importantly, translocated telomeres, possessing their initial subtelomere, retained the replication timing of their homolog, independently of the proportion of the translocated arm, even when the remaining flanking DNA is restricted to its subtelomere, the closest chromosome-specific sequences (inferior to 500 kb). Our observations support the notion that subtelomere regions strongly influence the replication timing of the associated telomere. PMID:27587191

  6. Telomere length in Hepatitis C.

    PubMed

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

    2008-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-22

    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

  8. Using Centromere Mediated Genome Elimination to Elucidate the Functional Redundancy of Candidate Telomere Binding Proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Fulcher, Nick; Riha, Karel

    2015-01-01

    Proteins that bind to telomeric DNA form the key structural and functional constituents of telomeres. While telomere binding proteins have been described in the majority of organisms, their identity in plants remains unknown. Several protein families containing a telomere binding motif known as the telobox have been previously described in Arabidopsis thaliana. Nonetheless, functional evidence for their involvement at telomeres has not been obtained, likely due to functional redundancy. Here we performed genetic analysis on the TRF-like family consisting of six proteins (TRB1, TRP1, TRFL1, TRFL2, TRFL4, and TRF9) which have previously shown to bind telomeric DNA in vitro. We used haploid genetics to create multiple knock-out plants deficient for all six proteins of this gene family. These plants did not exhibit changes in telomere length, or phenotypes associated with telomere dysfunction. This data demonstrates that this telobox protein family is not involved in telomere maintenance in Arabidopsis. Phylogenetic analysis in major plant lineages revealed early diversification of telobox proteins families indicating that telomere function may be associated with other telobox proteins. PMID:26779251

  9. Diet-related telomere shortening and chromosome stability.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-17

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

  13. The BLM helicase contributes to telomere maintenance through processing of late-replicating intermediate structures

    PubMed Central

    Barefield, Colleen; Karlseder, Jan

    2012-01-01

    Werner’s syndrome (WS) and Bloom’s syndrome (BS) are cancer predisposition disorders caused by loss of function of the RecQ helicases WRN or BLM, respectively. BS and WS are characterized by replication defects, hyperrecombination events and chromosomal aberrations, which are hallmarks of cancer. Inefficient replication of the G-rich telomeric strand contributes to chromosome aberrations in WS cells, demonstrating a link between WRN, telomeres and genomic stability. Herein, we provide evidence that BLM also contributes to chromosome-end maintenance. Telomere defects (TDs) are observed in BLM-deficient cells at an elevated frequency, which is similar to cells lacking a functional WRN helicase. Loss of both helicases exacerbates TDs and chromosome aberrations, indicating that BLM and WRN function independently in telomere maintenance. BLM localization, particularly its recruitment to telomeres, changes in response to replication dysfunction, such as in WRN-deficient cells or after aphidicolin treatment. Exposure to replication challenge causes an increase in decatenated deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) structures and late-replicating intermediates (LRIs), which are visible as BLM-covered ultra-fine bridges (UFBs) in anaphase. A subset of UFBs originates from telomeric DNA and their frequency correlates with telomere replication defects. We propose that the BLM complex contributes to telomere maintenance through its activity in resolving LRIs. PMID:22576367

  14. Telomere elongation chooses TERRA ALTernatives.

    PubMed

    Arora, Rajika; Azzalin, Claus M

    2015-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Apollo, an Artemis-related nuclease, interacts with TRF2 and protects human telomeres in S phase.

    PubMed

    van Overbeek, Megan; de Lange, Titia

    2006-07-11

    Human chromosome ends are protected by shelterin, an abundant six-subunit protein complex that binds specifically to the telomeric-repeat sequences, regulates telomere length, and ensures that chromosome ends do not elicit a DNA-damage response (reviewed in). Using mass spectrometry of proteins associated with the shelterin component Rap1, we identified an SMN1/PSO2 nuclease family member that is closely related to Artemis. We refer to this protein as Apollo and report that Apollo has the ability to localize to telomeres through an interaction with the shelterin component TRF2. Although its low abundance at telomeres indicates that Apollo is not a core component of shelterin, Apollo knockdown with RNAi resulted in senescence and the activation of a DNA-damage signal at telomeres as evidenced by telomere-dysfunction-induced foci (TIFs). The TIFs occurred primarily in S phase, suggesting that Apollo contributes to a processing step associated with the replication of chromosome ends. Furthermore, some of the metaphase chromosomes showed two telomeric signals at single-chromatid ends, suggesting an aberrant telomere structure. We propose that the Artemis-like nuclease Apollo is a shelterin accessory factor required for the protection of telomeres during or after their replication.

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  20. 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

  1. The human telomere

    SciTech Connect

    Moyzis, R.K.

    1989-01-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  4. 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

  5. Telomere biology and telomere diseases: implications for practice and research.

    PubMed

    Young, Neal S

    2010-01-01

    The recent recognition of genetic defects in telomeres and telomere repair in multiple human diseases has practical implications for hematologists and oncologists and their patients; consequences for future clinical research in hematology and other subspecialties; and even importance in the interpretation of animal experiments involving cell propagation. Telomere diseases include constitutional marrow failure as dyskeratosis congenita, some apparently acquired aplastic anemia, myelodysplasia and acute myeloid leukemia; pulmonary fibrosis; and hepatic nodular regenerative hyperplasia and cirrhosis. Accelerated telomere attrition is a likely pathophysiology of cancer arising from chronic inflammation. Telomerase can be modulated by sex hormones, which may explain the activity of androgens in marrow failure. Measurement of telomere length of peripheral blood leukocytes is a simple screening clinical assay. Detection of a mutation in a patient has implications for therapy, prognosis, monitoring, and genetic counseling. For research in hematology and oncology, telomere biology could be assessed as a risk for secondary malignancies and in graft-versus-host disease, for progression in a variety of blood cancers, and as potentially modifiable by hormone replacement strategies.

  6. Changes in telomere length distribution in low-dose X-ray-irradiated human umbilical vein endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Guan, Jing-Zhi; Guan, Wei Ping; Maeda, Toyoki; Makino, Naoki

    2014-11-01

    Ionizing radiation (IR) is known to be a cause of telomere dysfunction in tumor cells; however, very few studies have investigated X-ray-related changes in telomere length and the telomerase activity in normal human cells, such as umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). The loss of a few hundred base pairs from a shortened telomere has been shown to be important with respect to cellular senescence, although it may not be detected according to traditional mean telomere length [assessed as the terminal restriction fragment (TRF)] analyses. In the present study, a continuous time window from irradiation was selected to examine changes in the telomere length, including the mean TRF length, percentage of the telomere length, telomerase activity, apoptotic rate, and survival rate in HUVECs from the first day to the fourth day after the administration of a 0.5-Gy dose of irradiation. The mean TRF length in the irradiated HUVECs showed shorter telomere length in first 3 days, but they were not statistically significant. On the other hand, according to the percentage analysis of the telomere length, a decreasing tendency was noted in the longer telomere lengths (9.4-4.4 kb), with a significant increase in the shortest telomeres (4.4-2.3 kb) among the irradiated cells versus the controls from the first day to the third after irradiation; no significant differences were noted on the fourth day. These results suggest that the shortest telomeres are sensitive to the late stage of radiation damage. The proliferation of irradiated cells was suppressed after IR in contrast to the non-irradiated cells. The apoptotic rate was elevated initially both in IR- and non-IR-cells, but that of IR-cells was maintained at an elevated level thereafter in contrast to that of non-IR-cells decreasing promptly. Therefore, a 0.5-Gy dose of IR induces persistent apoptosis leading to an apparent growth arrest of the normal HUVECs.

  7. Telomere length in peripheral blood leukocytes and lung cancer risk: a large case-control study in Caucasians.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Espiridion, Beatriz; Chen, Meng; Chang, Joe Y; Lu, Charles; Chang, David W; Roth, Jack A; Wu, Xifeng; Gu, Jian

    2014-05-01

    Telomere dysfunction is a crucial event in malignant transformation and tumorigenesis. Telomere length in peripheral blood leukocytes has been associated with lung cancer risk, but the relationship has remained controversial. In this study, we investigated whether the association might be confounded by study of different histological subtypes of lung cancer. We measured relative telomere lengths in patients in a large case-control study of lung cancer and performed stratified analyses according to the two major histologic subtypes [adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)]. Notably, patients with adenocarcinoma had longer telomeres than controls, whereas patients with SCC had shorter telomeres compared with controls. Long telomeres were associated with increased risk of adenocarcinoma, with the highest risk associated with female sex, younger age (<60 years), and lighter smoking (<30 pack-years). In contrast, long telomeres were protective against SCC, particularly in male patients. Our results extend the concept that telomere length affects risk of lung cancer in a manner that differs with histologic subtype.

  8. Telomeres: protecting chromosomes against genome instability

    PubMed Central

    O’Sullivan, Roderick J.; Karlseder, Jan

    2010-01-01

    Preface The natural ends of linear chromosomes require unique genetic and structural adaptations to facilitate the protection of genetic material. This is achieved by the sequestration of the telomeric sequence into a protective nucleoprotein cap that masks the ends from constitutive exposure to the DNA damage response (DDR). When telomeres are unmasked, genome instability arises. Balancing capping requirements with telomere replication and the enzymatic processing steps obligatory for telomere function is a complex problem. Telomeric proteins and their interacting factors create an environment at chromosome ends that inhibits DNA repair there, however, the repair machinery is essential for proper telomere function. PMID:20125188

  9. Genetics and molecular biology of telomeres

    SciTech Connect

    Biessmann, H. ); Mason, J.M. )

    1992-01-01

    For simplicity, we define telomeres as complex structures at the ends of linear chromosomes that perform several cellular functions. Among the functions proposed for telomeres at least two are vital: protection of the chromosome end from degradation and fusion (termed capping) and complete replication of DNA sequences at chromosome ends. Telomeres are also involved in associations with other telomeres and structures within the nucleus, but the functions of these associations are not clearly understood. Although the concept of the telomere was developed, and the term was coined, more than 50 years ago (Muller, 1938), the structure of the telomere and its functions are still not fully understood. 317 refs., 4 figs.

  10. Urinary Dysfunction

    MedlinePlus

    ... PCF Spotlight Glossary African American Men Living with Prostate Cancer Urinary Dysfunction Side Effects Urinary Dysfunction Bowel Dysfunction ... dysfunction is normal following initial therapy for localized prostate cancer. But it’s important to realize that not all ...

  11. 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.

  12. Telomerase abrogates aneuploidy-induced telomere replication stress, senescence and cell depletion

    PubMed Central

    Meena, Jitendra K; Cerutti, Aurora; Beichler, Christine; Morita, Yohei; Bruhn, Christopher; Kumar, Mukesh; Kraus, Johann M; Speicher, Michael R; Wang, Zhao-Qi; Kestler, Hans A; d’Adda di Fagagna, Fabrizio; Günes, Cagatay; Rudolph, Karl Lenhard

    2015-01-01

    The causal role of aneuploidy in cancer initiation remains under debate since mutations of euploidy-controlling genes reduce cell fitness but aneuploidy strongly associates with human cancers. Telomerase activation allows immortal growth by stabilizing telomere length, but its role in aneuploidy survival has not been characterized. Here, we analyze the response of primary human cells and murine hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) to aneuploidy induction and the role of telomeres and the telomerase in this process. The study shows that aneuploidy induces replication stress at telomeres leading to telomeric DNA damage and p53 activation. This results in p53/Rb-dependent, premature senescence of human fibroblast, and in the depletion of hematopoietic cells in telomerase-deficient mice. Endogenous telomerase expression in HSCs and enforced expression of telomerase in human fibroblasts are sufficient to abrogate aneuploidy-induced replication stress at telomeres and the consequent induction of premature senescence and hematopoietic cell depletion. Together, these results identify telomerase as an aneuploidy survival factor in mammalian cells based on its capacity to alleviate telomere replication stress in response to aneuploidy induction. PMID:25820263

  13. Telomeres and longevity: testing an evolutionary hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Haussmann, Mark F; Mauck, Robert A

    2008-01-01

    Identifying mechanisms that underlie variation in adult survivorship provide insight into the evolution of life history strategies and phenotypic variation in longevity. There is accumulating evidence that shortening telomeres, the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes, play an important role in individual variation in longevity. Given that telomeres generally shorten with age, it was surprising to find that in a population of a long-lived seabird, Leach's storm petrel, telomeres appear to lengthen with age. This unique finding suggested that the longest lived individuals are able to elongate telomeres, an interpretation we call the "elongation hypothesis." Alternatively, the "selection hypothesis" states that the longest lived individuals start with the longest telomeres and variation in telomere length decreases with age due to the selective disappearance of individuals with short telomeres. In the same population in which evidence supporting both hypotheses was uncovered, we tested mutually exclusive predictions from the elongation and selection hypotheses by measuring telomere length with the telomere restriction fragment assay in hatchling and old, adult storm petrels. As previously found, adult birds had longer telomeres on average compared with hatchlings. We also found that 3 hatchlings had mean telomere lengths exceeding that of the most extreme old bird, old birds on average had longer initial telomere lengths than hatchlings, and the variance in mean telomere length was significantly greater for hatchlings than for old birds, all predicted by the selection hypothesis. Perhaps more surprisingly, the oldest adults also show little or no accumulation of short telomeres over time, a pattern unknown in other species. Long telomeres are thought to provide a buffer against cellular senescence and be generally indicative of genome stability and overall cell health. In storm petrels, because the progressive accumulation of short telomeres appears negligible

  14. Gradual Telomere Shortening and Increasing Chromosomal Instability among PanIN Grades and Normal Ductal Epithelia with and without Cancer in the Pancreas

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25658358

  15. A mammalian KASH domain protein coupling meiotic chromosomes to the cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Horn, Henning F.; Kim, Dae In; Wright, Graham D.; Wong, Esther Sook Miin; Roux, Kyle J.

    2013-01-01

    Chromosome pairing is an essential meiotic event that ensures faithful haploidization and recombination of the genome. Pairing of homologous chromosomes is facilitated by telomere-led chromosome movements and formation of a meiotic bouquet, where telomeres cluster to one pole of the nucleus. In metazoans, telomere clustering is dynein and microtubule dependent and requires Sun1, an inner nuclear membrane protein. Here we provide a functional analysis of KASH5, a mammalian dynein-binding protein of the outer nuclear membrane that forms a meiotic complex with Sun1. This protein is related to zebrafish futile cycle (Fue), a nuclear envelope (NE) constituent required for pronuclear migration. Mice deficient in this Fue homologue are infertile. Males display meiotic arrest in which pairing of homologous chromosomes fails. These findings demonstrate that telomere attachment to the NE is insufficient to promote pairing and that telomere attachment sites must be coupled to cytoplasmic dynein and the microtubule system to ensure meiotic progression. PMID:24062341

  16. Histone H3.3 maintains genome integrity during mammalian development

    PubMed Central

    Jang, Chuan-Wei; Shibata, Yoichiro; Starmer, Joshua; Yee, Della; Magnuson, Terry

    2015-01-01

    Histone H3.3 is a highly conserved histone H3 replacement variant in metazoans and has been implicated in many important biological processes, including cell differentiation and reprogramming. Germline and somatic mutations in H3.3 genomic incorporation pathway components or in H3.3 encoding genes have been associated with human congenital diseases and cancers, respectively. However, the role of H3.3 in mammalian development remains unclear. To address this question, we generated H3.3-null mouse models through classical genetic approaches. We found that H3.3 plays an essential role in mouse development. Complete depletion of H3.3 leads to developmental retardation and early embryonic lethality. At the cellular level, H3.3 loss triggers cell cycle suppression and cell death. Surprisingly, H3.3 depletion does not dramatically disrupt gene regulation in the developing embryo. Instead, H3.3 depletion causes dysfunction of heterochromatin structures at telomeres, centromeres, and pericentromeric regions of chromosomes, leading to mitotic defects. The resulting karyotypical abnormalities and DNA damage lead to p53 pathway activation. In summary, our results reveal that an important function of H3.3 is to support chromosomal heterochromatic structures, thus maintaining genome integrity during mammalian development. PMID:26159997

  17. Histone H3.3 maintains genome integrity during mammalian development.

    PubMed

    Jang, Chuan-Wei; Shibata, Yoichiro; Starmer, Joshua; Yee, Della; Magnuson, Terry

    2015-07-01

    Histone H3.3 is a highly conserved histone H3 replacement variant in metazoans and has been implicated in many important biological processes, including cell differentiation and reprogramming. Germline and somatic mutations in H3.3 genomic incorporation pathway components or in H3.3 encoding genes have been associated with human congenital diseases and cancers, respectively. However, the role of H3.3 in mammalian development remains unclear. To address this question, we generated H3.3-null mouse models through classical genetic approaches. We found that H3.3 plays an essential role in mouse development. Complete depletion of H3.3 leads to developmental retardation and early embryonic lethality. At the cellular level, H3.3 loss triggers cell cycle suppression and cell death. Surprisingly, H3.3 depletion does not dramatically disrupt gene regulation in the developing embryo. Instead, H3.3 depletion causes dysfunction of heterochromatin structures at telomeres, centromeres, and pericentromeric regions of chromosomes, leading to mitotic defects. The resulting karyotypical abnormalities and DNA damage lead to p53 pathway activation. In summary, our results reveal that an important function of H3.3 is to support chromosomal heterochromatic structures, thus maintaining genome integrity during mammalian development.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-10

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

  20. HipHop interacts with HOAP and HP1 to protect Drosophila telomeres in a sequence-independent manner.

    PubMed

    Gao, Guanjun; Walser, Jean-Claude; Beaucher, Michelle L; Morciano, Patrizia; Wesolowska, Natalia; Chen, Jie; Rong, Yikang S

    2010-02-17

    Telomeres prevent chromosome ends from being repaired as double-strand breaks (DSBs). Telomere identity in Drosophila is determined epigenetically with no sequence either necessary or sufficient. To better understand this sequence-independent capping mechanism, we isolated proteins that interact with the HP1/ORC-associated protein (HOAP) capping protein, and identified HipHop as a subunit of the complex. Loss of one protein destabilizes the other and renders telomeres susceptible to fusion. Both HipHop and HOAP are enriched at telomeres, where they also interact with the conserved HP1 protein. We developed a model telomere lacking repetitive sequences to study the distribution of HipHop, HOAP and HP1 using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP). We discovered that they occupy a broad region >10 kb from the chromosome end and their binding is independent of the underlying DNA sequence. HipHop and HOAP are both rapidly evolving proteins yet their telomeric deposition is under the control of the conserved ATM and Mre11-Rad50-Nbs (MRN) proteins that modulate DNA structures at telomeres and at DSBs. Our characterization of HipHop and HOAP reveals functional analogies between the Drosophila proteins and subunits of the yeast and mammalian capping complexes, implicating conservation in epigenetic capping mechanisms. PMID:20057353

  1. TERRA Expression Levels Do Not Correlate with Telomere Length and Radiation Sensitivity in Human Cancer Cell Lines.

    PubMed

    Smirnova, Alexandra; Gamba, Riccardo; Khoriauli, Lela; Vitelli, Valerio; Nergadze, Solomon G; Giulotto, Elena

    2013-01-01

    Mammalian telomeres are transcribed into long non-coding telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA) molecules that seem to play a role in the maintenance of telomere stability. In human cells, CpG-island promoters drive TERRA transcription and are regulated by methylation. It was suggested that the amount of TERRA may be related to telomere length. To test this hypothesis we measured telomere length and TERRA levels in single clones isolated from five human cell lines: HeLa (cervical carcinoma), BRC-230 (breast cancer), AKG and GK2 (gastric cancers), and GM847 (SV40 immortalized skin fibroblasts). However, these two parameters did not correlate with each other. Moreover, cell survival to γ-rays did not show a significant variation among the clones, suggesting that, in this cellular system, the intra-population variability in telomere length and TERRA levels does not influence sensitivity to ionizing radiation. This conclusion was supported by the observation that in a cell line in which telomeres were greatly elongated by the ectopic expression of telomerase, TERRA expression levels and radiation sensitivity were similar to the parental HeLa cell line.

  2. Histone variant H3.3 provides the heterochromatic H3 lysine 9 tri-methylation mark at telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Udugama, Maheshi; M. Chang, Fiona T.; Chan, F. Lyn; Tang, Michelle C.; Pickett, Hilda A.; R. McGhie, James D.; Mayne, Lynne; Collas, Philippe; Mann, Jeffrey R.; Wong, Lee H.

    2015-01-01

    In addition to being a hallmark at active genes, histone variant H3.3 is deposited by ATRX at repressive chromatin regions, including the telomeres. It is unclear how H3.3 promotes heterochromatin assembly. We show that H3.3 is targeted for K9 trimethylation to establish a heterochromatic state enriched in trimethylated H3.3K9 at telomeres. In H3f3a−/− and H3f3b−/− mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs), H3.3 deficiency results in reduced levels of H3K9me3, H4K20me3 and ATRX at telomeres. The H3f3b−/− cells show increased levels of telomeric damage and sister chromatid exchange (t-SCE) activity when telomeres are compromised by treatment with a G-quadruplex (G4) DNA binding ligand or by ASF1 depletion. Overexpression of wild-type H3.3 (but not a H3.3K9 mutant) in H3f3b−/− cells increases H3K9 trimethylation level at telomeres and represses t-SCE activity induced by a G4 ligand. This study demonstrates the importance of H3.3K9 trimethylation in heterochromatin formation at telomeres. It provides insights into H3.3 function in maintaining integrity of mammalian constitutive heterochromatin, adding to its role in mediating transcription memory in the genome. PMID:26304540

  3. HipHop interacts with HOAP and HP1 to protect Drosophila telomeres in a sequence-independent manner

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Guanjun; Walser, Jean-Claude; Beaucher, Michelle L; Morciano, Patrizia; Wesolowska, Natalia; Chen, Jie; Rong, Yikang S

    2010-01-01

    Telomeres prevent chromosome ends from being repaired as double-strand breaks (DSBs). Telomere identity in Drosophila is determined epigenetically with no sequence either necessary or sufficient. To better understand this sequence-independent capping mechanism, we isolated proteins that interact with the HP1/ORC-associated protein (HOAP) capping protein, and identified HipHop as a subunit of the complex. Loss of one protein destabilizes the other and renders telomeres susceptible to fusion. Both HipHop and HOAP are enriched at telomeres, where they also interact with the conserved HP1 protein. We developed a model telomere lacking repetitive sequences to study the distribution of HipHop, HOAP and HP1 using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP). We discovered that they occupy a broad region >10 kb from the chromosome end and their binding is independent of the underlying DNA sequence. HipHop and HOAP are both rapidly evolving proteins yet their telomeric deposition is under the control of the conserved ATM and Mre11–Rad50–Nbs (MRN) proteins that modulate DNA structures at telomeres and at DSBs. Our characterization of HipHop and HOAP reveals functional analogies between the Drosophila proteins and subunits of the yeast and mammalian capping complexes, implicating conservation in epigenetic capping mechanisms. PMID:20057353

  4. HipHop interacts with HOAP and HP1 to protect Drosophila telomeres in a sequence-independent manner.

    PubMed

    Gao, Guanjun; Walser, Jean-Claude; Beaucher, Michelle L; Morciano, Patrizia; Wesolowska, Natalia; Chen, Jie; Rong, Yikang S

    2010-02-17

    Telomeres prevent chromosome ends from being repaired as double-strand breaks (DSBs). Telomere identity in Drosophila is determined epigenetically with no sequence either necessary or sufficient. To better understand this sequence-independent capping mechanism, we isolated proteins that interact with the HP1/ORC-associated protein (HOAP) capping protein, and identified HipHop as a subunit of the complex. Loss of one protein destabilizes the other and renders telomeres susceptible to fusion. Both HipHop and HOAP are enriched at telomeres, where they also interact with the conserved HP1 protein. We developed a model telomere lacking repetitive sequences to study the distribution of HipHop, HOAP and HP1 using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP). We discovered that they occupy a broad region >10 kb from the chromosome end and their binding is independent of the underlying DNA sequence. HipHop and HOAP are both rapidly evolving proteins yet their telomeric deposition is under the control of the conserved ATM and Mre11-Rad50-Nbs (MRN) proteins that modulate DNA structures at telomeres and at DSBs. Our characterization of HipHop and HOAP reveals functional analogies between the Drosophila proteins and subunits of the yeast and mammalian capping complexes, implicating conservation in epigenetic capping mechanisms.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Acquisition of telomere repeat sequences by transfected DNA integrated at the site of a chromosome break

    SciTech Connect

    Murnane, J.P.; Lohchung Yu )

    1993-02-01

    Rearrangement of the human genome is an important element in both cancer biology and genetic disease. Rearrangements that have been observed include deletions, translocations, chromosome breakage or loss, and gene amplification. Transfection of the DNA into mammalian cells can created instability in the genome. The characterization of DNA rearrangement associated with transfected DNA may provide information about the general mechanisms involved in genomic instability. This genomic instability is an important aspect of tumor cell progression. This research examines chromosome breakage and rearrangement that results in interstitial telomere repeat sequences within the human genome. These sequences could promote genomic instability because short repeat sequences can be recombination hotspots. Also, DNA rearrangements involving telomere repeat sequences can be associated with chromosome breaks. The introduction of telomere repeat sequences at spontaneous or ionizing radiation-induced DNA strand breaks may therefore also be a mechanism of chromosome fragmentation. 52 refs., 7 figs.

  9. Resistance to senescence induction and telomere shortening by a G-quadruplex ligand inhibitor of telomerase.

    PubMed

    Gomez, Dennis; Aouali, Nassera; Renaud, Alexandra; Douarre, Céline; Shin-Ya, Kazuo; Tazi, Jamal; Martinez, Sophie; Trentesaux, Chantal; Morjani, Hamid; Riou, Jean-François

    2003-10-01

    The molecular mechanisms induced by G-quadruplex ligands to trigger senescence in mammalian cells are still unknown, although the critical role of telomerase is highly suspected. JFA2 cells selected for resistance to senescence induced by the G-quadruplex ligand 12459 presented an overexpression of hTERT transcript that correlated to a functional increase in telomerase activity and telomere length. Consistently, treatment with 12459 failed to trigger senescence and telomere shortening in JFA2 cells. Resistant cells also presented cross-resistance for senescence induction to telomestatin, another G-quadruplex ligand from a different series, but not to other anticancer agents, indicating the selectivity of the resistance mechanism. We, thus, provide evidence that telomerase activity and telomere length are key cellular determinants of the resistance to G-quadruplex ligands.

  10. Antioxidants safeguard telomeres in bold chicks

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Sin-Yeon; Velando, Alberto

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Bowel Dysfunction

    MedlinePlus

    ... PCF Spotlight Glossary African American Men Living with Prostate Cancer Bowel Dysfunction Side Effects Urinary Dysfunction Bowel Dysfunction ... rectal worse. Back to Side Effects Print | Understanding Prostate Cancer Research Faces of Prostate Cancer About PCF Take ...

  14. Telomere functions grounding on TERRA firma.

    PubMed

    Azzalin, Claus M; Lingner, Joachim

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Telomere length is inherited with resetting of the telomere set-point.

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

  16. 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. PMID:16539655

  17. 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

  18. 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. 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. 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

  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 thrown for a loop.

    PubMed

    Haber, James E

    2004-11-19

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-22

    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.

  4. 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

  5. Telomeres and Telomerase in Cardiovascular Diseases.

    PubMed

    Yeh, Jih-Kai; Wang, Chao-Yung

    2016-01-01

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

  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

    2016-01-01

    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. Do telomeres adapt to physiological stress? Exploring the effect of exercise on telomere length and telomere-related proteins.

    PubMed

    Ludlow, Andrew T; Ludlow, Lindsay W; Roth, Stephen M

    2013-01-01

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

  8. The PML-associated protein DEK regulates the balance of H3.3 loading on chromatin and is important for telomere integrity

    PubMed Central

    Ivanauskiene, Kristina; Delbarre, Erwan; McGhie, James D.; Küntziger, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Histone variant H3.3 is deposited in chromatin at active sites, telomeres, and pericentric heterochromatin by distinct chaperones, but the mechanisms of regulation and coordination of chaperone-mediated H3.3 loading remain largely unknown. We show here that the chromatin-associated oncoprotein DEK regulates differential HIRA- and DAAX/ATRX-dependent distribution of H3.3 on chromosomes in somatic cells and embryonic stem cells. Live cell imaging studies show that nonnucleosomal H3.3 normally destined to PML nuclear bodies is re-routed to chromatin after depletion of DEK. This results in HIRA-dependent widespread chromatin deposition of H3.3 and H3.3 incorporation in the foci of heterochromatin in a process requiring the DAXX/ATRX complex. In embryonic stem cells, loss of DEK leads to displacement of PML bodies and ATRX from telomeres, redistribution of H3.3 from telomeres to chromosome arms and pericentric heterochromatin, induction of a fragile telomere phenotype, and telomere dysfunction. Our results indicate that DEK is required for proper loading of ATRX and H3.3 on telomeres and for telomeric chromatin architecture. We propose that DEK acts as a “gatekeeper” of chromatin, controlling chromatin integrity by restricting broad access to H3.3 by dedicated chaperones. Our results also suggest that telomere stability relies on mechanisms ensuring proper histone supply and routing. PMID:25049225

  9. The association of telomere length and genetic variation in telomere biology genes.

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

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

  10. Persistent telomere damage induces by-pass of mitosis and tetraploidy

    PubMed Central

    Davoli, Teresa; Denchi, Eros Lazzerini; de Lange, Titia

    2010-01-01

    Tetraploidization has been proposed as an intermediate step toward aneuploidy in human cancer but a general mechanism for the induction of tetraploidy during tumorigenesis is lacking. We report that tetraploidization occurs in p53-deficient cells experiencing a prolonged DNA damage signal due to persistent telomere dysfunction. Live-cell imaging revealed that these cells have an extended G2 due to ATM/ATR- and Chk1/Chk2-mediated inhibition of Cdk1/CyclinB and eventually by-pass mitosis. Despite their lack of mitosis, the cells showed APC/Cdh1-dependent degradation of the replication inhibitor geminin, followed by accumulation of Cdt1, which is required for origin licensing. Cells then entered a second S phase resulting in whole-genome reduplication and tetraploidy. Upon restoration of telomere protection, these tetraploid cells resumed cell division cycles and proliferated. These observations suggest a general mechanism for the induction of tetraploidization in the early stages of tumorigenesis when telomere dysfunction can result from excessive telomere shortening. PMID:20371347

  11. TERRA and the state of the telomere.

    PubMed

    Rippe, Karsten; Luke, Brian

    2015-11-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Telomere hypervariability in Magnaporthe oryzae.

    PubMed

    Farman, Mark L; Kim, Yun-Sik

    2005-05-01

    SUMMARY The gray leaf spot disease of perennial ryegrass and tall fescue is caused by the fungus Magnaporthe oryzae (anamorph = Pyricularia oryzae). A collection of single-copy and repetitive DNA markers was used to investigate genetic diversity among 22 isolates of the gray leaf spot pathogen. The single-copy DNA markers revealed only three polymorphisms among 95 restriction fragments spanning approximately 0.6% of the genome. In addition, Southern hybridization analysis and mating tests revealed that all isolates possessed the MAT1-2 mating-type allele. Fingerprinting of repetitive DNA loci using the Pot2 and MGR583 probes also revealed a high degree of genetic similarity (> 85%) among isolates. These data are consistent with the gray leaf spot pathogens having a recent evolutionary origin. In contrast to the results obtained with probes for internal chromosome loci, a telomere probe revealed that the chromosome ends of the very same isolates are highly divergent, with most isolates sharing less than 20% fingerprint similarity with any other isolate. Telomere mutations arise extremely frequently and changes in telomere fingerprint profiles were readily observed during vegetative growth and among cultures derived from single spores isolated from agar medium and from lesions on perennial ryegrass leaves. PMID:20565657

  14. 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.

  15. Telomeres, tethers and trypanosomes

    PubMed Central

    Field, Mark C.; Horn, David; Alsford, Sam; Koreny, Ludek; Rout, Michael P.

    2012-01-01

    Temporal and spatial organization of the nucleus is critical for the control of transcription, mRNA processing and the assembly of ribosomes. This includes the occupancy of specific territories by mammalian chromosomes, the presence of subnuclear compartments such as the nucleolus and Cajal bodies and the division of chromatin between active and inactive states. These latter are commonly associated with the location of DNA within euchromatin and heterochromatin respectively; critically these distinctions arise through modifications to chromatin-associated proteins, including histones, as well as the preferential localization of heterochromatin at the nuclear periphery. Most research on nuclear organization has focused on metazoa and fungi; however, recent technical advances have made more divergent eukaryotes accessible to study, with some surprising results. For example, the organization of heterochromatin is mediated in metazoan nuclei in large part by lamins, the prototypical intermediate filament proteins. Despite the presence of heterochromatin, detected both biochemically and by EM in most eukaryotic organisms, until this year lamins were thought to be restricted to metazoan taxa, and the proteins comprising the lamina in other lineages were unknown. Recent work indicates the presence of lamin orthologs in amoeba, while trypanosomatids possess a large coiled-coil protein, NUP-1, that performs functions analogous to lamins. These data indicate that the presence of a nuclear lamina is substantially more widespread than previously thought, with major implications for the evolution of eukaryotic gene expression mechanisms. We discuss these and other recent findings on the organization of nuclei in diverse organisms, and the implications of these findings for the evolutionary origin of eukaryotes. PMID:22992703

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-12

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Telomeric 3′ overhangs derive from resection by Exo1 and Apollo and fill-in by POT1b-associated CST

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Peng; Takai, Hiroyuki; de Lange, Titia

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY A 3′ overhang is critical for the protection and maintenance of mammalian telomeres. How these overhangs are generated and whether different processing steps modify telomeres synthesized by leading- and lagging-strand DNA replication was not known. Here we evaluate changes in the telomeric overhangs through the cell cycle and at leading- and lagging-end telomeres in mouse cells lacking relevant genes. Apollo, a nuclease bound to the shelterin subunit TRF2, initiated formation of the 3′ overhang at leading-, but not lagging-end telomeres. Hyper-resection by Apollo was blocked at both ends by the shelterin protein POT1b. Exo1 extensively resected both telomere ends, generating long 3′ overhangs that transiently occurred in S/G2. CST/AAF, a DNA polymeraseα. primase accessory factor related to yeast CST, bound POT1b and shortened the extended overhangs produced by Exo1, most likely through fill-in synthesis. The results establish 3′ overhang formation as a multi-step, shelterin-controlled process that ensures functional telomeric overhangs at all chromosome ends. PMID:22748632

  1. Neil3 and NEIL1 DNA Glycosylases Remove Oxidative Damages from Quadruplex DNA and Exhibit Preferences for Lesions in the Telomeric Sequence Context*

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Jia; Liu, Minmin; Fleming, Aaron M.; Burrows, Cynthia J.; Wallace, Susan S.

    2013-01-01

    The telomeric DNA of vertebrates consists of d(TTAGGG)n tandem repeats, which can form quadruplex DNA structures in vitro and likely in vivo. Despite the fact that the G-rich telomeric DNA is susceptible to oxidation, few biochemical studies of base excision repair in telomeric DNA and quadruplex structures have been done. Here, we show that telomeric DNA containing thymine glycol (Tg), 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine (8-oxoG), guanidinohydantoin (Gh), or spiroiminodihydantoin (Sp) can form quadruplex DNA structures in vitro. We have tested the base excision activities of five mammalian DNA glycosylases (NEIL1, NEIL2, mNeil3, NTH1, and OGG1) on these lesion-containing quadruplex substrates and found that only mNeil3 had excision activity on Tg in quadruplex DNA and that the glycosylase exhibited a strong preference for Tg in the telomeric sequence context. Although Sp and Gh in quadruplex DNA were good substrates for mNeil3 and NEIL1, none of the glycosylases had activity on quadruplex DNA containing 8-oxoG. In addition, NEIL1 but not mNeil3 showed enhanced glycosylase activity on Gh in the telomeric sequence context. These data suggest that one role for Neil3 and NEIL1 is to repair DNA base damages in telomeres in vivo and that Neil3 and Neil1 may function in quadruplex-mediated cellular events, such as gene regulation via removal of damaged bases from quadruplex DNA. PMID:23926102

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Telomere Maintenance Mechanisms in Cancer: Clinical Implications

    PubMed Central

    Reddel, Roger R

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Normal telomere lengths found in cloned cattle.

    PubMed

    Tian, X C; Xu, J; Yang, X

    2000-11-01

    Success of cloning using adult somatic cells has been reported in sheep, mice and cattle. The report that 'Dolly' the sheep, the first clone from an adult mammal, inherited shortened telomeres from her cell donor and that her telomeres were further shortened by the brief culture of donor cells has raised serious scientific and public concerns about the 'genetic age' and potential developmental problems of cloned animals. This observation was challenged by a recent report that showed calves cloned from fetal cells have longer telomeres than their age-matched controls. The question remains whether Dolly's short telomeres were an exception or a general fact, which would differ from the telomeres of fetal-derived clones. PMID:11062462

  8. 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.

  9. Telomere shortening associated with increased genomic complexity in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

    PubMed

    Dos Santos, Patricia; Panero, Julieta; Palau Nagore, Virginia; Stanganelli, Carmen; Bezares, Raimundo F; Slavutsky, Irma

    2015-11-01

    Telomeric dysfunction has been proposed as an emerging prognostic factor in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). We have explored the relationship between telomere length (TL) and chromosome alterations studied by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and conventional cytogenetics in 107 newly diagnosed CLL patients; 61 normal controls were also evaluated. Results were correlated with clinical parameters and outcome. Absolute TL measurement was carried out on DNA samples by real-time quantitative PCR. A significant telomere shortening in patients compared to controls was observed (p = 0.0001). The analysis taking into account FISH risk groups showed shorter TLs in cases with del11q/17p compared to patients with 13q14 deletion as a single alteration (p = 0.0037), no alterations (NA) (p = 0.028), and cases with abnormal karyotypes (p = 0.014). In addition, a significant TL reduction in cases with two or more anomalies with respect to those with NA (p = 0.033) and with one alteration (p = 0.045), and no differences compared to cases with deletions 11q/17p were observed. Patients with only one anomaly did not show statistical differences with respect to controls; meanwhile, a significant TL reduction in cases with two or more aberrations was observed (p = 0.025). The shortest telomeres were associated to 11q/17p deletion with significant differences compared to the remaining groups (p ≤ 0.045). Significantly shorter treatment free survival in patients with two or more alterations compared to those with NA plus one abnormality was observed (p = 0.0006). Our findings support the association between short TL and chromosome alterations in CLL and indicate the importance of telomere dysfunction in driving genomic instability in this pathology.

  10. Multifunctional role of ATM/Tel1 kinase in genome stability: from the DNA damage response to telomere maintenance.

    PubMed

    Di Domenico, Enea Gino; Romano, Elena; Del Porto, Paola; Ascenzioni, Fiorentina

    2014-01-01

    The mammalian protein kinase ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) is a key regulator of the DNA double-strand-break response and belongs to the evolutionary conserved phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase-related protein kinases. ATM deficiency causes ataxia telangiectasia (AT), a genetic disorder that is characterized by premature aging, cerebellar neuropathy, immunodeficiency, and predisposition to cancer. AT cells show defects in the DNA damage-response pathway, cell-cycle control, and telomere maintenance and length regulation. Likewise, in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, haploid strains defective in the TEL1 gene, the ATM ortholog, show chromosomal aberrations and short telomeres. In this review, we outline the complex role of ATM/Tel1 in maintaining genomic stability through its control of numerous aspects of cellular survival. In particular, we describe how ATM/Tel1 participates in the signal transduction pathways elicited by DNA damage and in telomere homeostasis and its importance as a barrier to cancer development.

  11. A single internal telomere tract ensures meiotic spindle formation

    PubMed Central

    Tomita, Kazunori; Bez, Cécile; Fennell, Alex; Cooper, Julia Promisel

    2013-01-01

    Contact between telomeres and the fission yeast spindle pole body during meiotic prophase is crucial for subsequent spindle assembly, but the feature of telomeres that confers their ability to promote spindle formation remains mysterious. Here we show that while strains harbouring circular chromosomes devoid of telomere repeat tracts undergo aberrant meiosis with defective spindles, the insertion of a single internal telomere repeat stretch rescues the spindle defects. Moreover, the telomeric overhang-binding protein Pot1 is dispensable for rescue of spindle formation. Hence, an inherent feature of the double-strand telomeric region endows telomeres with the capacity to promote spindle formation. PMID:23295325

  12. Telomere Length Reprogramming in Embryos and Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, LeRoy G.; Wang, Fang; Liu, Lin; Keefe, David

    2014-01-01

    Telomeres protect and cap linear chromosome ends, yet these genomic buffers erode over an organism's lifespan. Short telomeres have been associated with many age-related conditions in humans, and genetic mutations resulting in short telomeres in humans manifest as syndromes of precocious aging. In women, telomere length limits a fertilized egg's capacity to develop into a healthy embryo. Thus, telomere length must be reset with each subsequent generation. Although telomerase is purportedly responsible for restoring telomere DNA, recent studies have elucidated the role of alternative telomeres lengthening mechanisms in the reprogramming of early embryos and stem cells, which we review here. PMID:24719895

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-01-01

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

  16. Two retrotransposons maintain telomeres in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-03

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    Phylogenetic divergence in Asparagales plants is associated with switches in telomere sequences. The last switch occurred with divergence of the genus Allium (Amaryllidaceae) from the other Allioideae (formerly Alliaceae) genera, resulting in uncharacterized telomeres maintained by an unknown mechanism. To characterize the unknown Allium telomeres, we applied a combination of bioinformatic processing of transcriptomic and genomic data with standard approaches in telomere biology such as BAL31 sensitivity tests, terminal restriction fragment analysis, the telomere repeat amplification protocol (TRAP), and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Using these methods, we characterize the unusual telomeric sequence (CTCGGTTATGGG)n present in Allium species, demonstrate its synthesis by telomerase, and characterize the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) subunit of Allium cepa. Our findings open up the possibility of studying the molecular details of the evolutionary genetic change in Allium telomeres and its possible role in speciation. Experimental studies addressing the implications of this change in terms of the interplay of telomere components may now be designed to shed more light on telomere functions and evolution in general. PMID:26716914

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Extreme variability in the Xp:Yp pseudoautosomal telomere revealed by telomere variant repeat mapping

    SciTech Connect

    Baird, D.M.; Jeffreys A.J.; Royle, N.J.

    1994-09-01

    The presence of telomere variant repeat units in the proximal regions of human telomeres has been demonstrated but the distribution of these repeats and the extent of allelic variation has not been examined. We have developed a PCR based system to assay the distribution of standard (TTAGGG) and variant (TGAGGG, TCAGGG) repeats at the proximal end of the Xp:Yp telomere repeat array. The 1 kb of DNA immediately adjacent to this telomere exhibits a high level of base substitutional polymorphism. In individuals heterozygous for a flanking polymorphism, allele specific primers have been designed to discriminate between the alleles and, in conjunction with a primer complementary to either TTAGGG, TGAGGG or TCAGGG repeats, to determine the distribution of telomere and variant repeat units at the proximal end of an individual telomere. Among the 41 Xp:Yp telomeres mapped to date only 5 are identical and composed solely of (TTAGGG) repeats at the proximal end. The remaining 36 mapped telomeres are all different, although a subset show similarities and are found in association with the same flanking DNA haplotype, suggesting a common ancestry. The telomere variant repeat mapping technique can be used to examine the turnover of these sequences in human populations and in somatic tissues and tumors.

  5. Telomeric DNA in ALT Cells Is Characterized by Free Telomeric Circles and Heterogeneous t-Loops

    PubMed Central

    Cesare, Anthony J.; Griffith, Jack D.

    2004-01-01

    A prerequisite for cellular immortalization in human cells is the elongation of telomeres through the upregulation of telomerase or by the alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) pathway. In this study, telomere structure in multiple ALT cell lines was examined by electron microscopy. Nuclei were isolated from GM847, GM847-Tert, and WI-38 VA13 ALT cells, psoralen photo-cross-linked in situ, and the telomere restriction fragments were purified by gel filtration chromatography. Examination of telomere-enriched fractions revealed frequent extrachromosomal circles, ranging from 0.7 to 56.8 kb. t-loops were also observed, with the loop portion ranging from 0.5 to 70.2 kb. The total length of the loop plus tail of the t-loops corresponded to the telomere restriction fragment length from the ALT cell lines as determined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The presence of extrachromosomal circles containing telomeric DNA was confirmed by two-dimensional pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. These results show that extrachromosomal telomeric DNA circles are present in ALT nuclei and suggest a roll-and-spread mechanism of telomere elongation similar to that seen in previous observations of multiple yeast species. Results presented here also indicate that expression of telomerase in GM847 cells does not affect t-loop or extrachromosomal circle formation. PMID:15509797

  6. 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.

  7. Maternal telomere length inheritance in the king penguin

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Telomeres are emerging as a biomarker for ageing and survival, and are likely important in shaping life-history trade-offs. In particular, telomere length with which one starts in life has been linked to lifelong survival, suggesting that early telomere dynamics are somehow related to life-history trajectories. This result highlights the importance of determining the extent to which telomere length is inherited, as a crucial factor determining early life telomere length. Given the scarcity of species for which telomere length inheritance has been studied, it is pressing to assess the generality of telomere length inheritance patterns. Further, information on how this pattern changes over the course of growth in individuals living under natural conditions should provide some insight on the extent to which environmental constraints also shape telomere dynamics. To fill this gap partly, we followed telomere inheritance in a population of king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus). We tested for paternal and maternal influence on chick initial telomere length (10 days old after hatching), and how these relationships changed with chick age (at 70, 200 and 300 days old). Based on a correlative approach, offspring telomere length was positively associated with maternal telomere length early in life (at 10 days old). However, this relationship was not significant at older ages. These data suggest that telomere length in birds is maternally inherited. Nonetheless, the influence of environmental conditions during growth remained an important factor shaping telomere length, as the maternal link disappeared with chicks' age. PMID:25052413

  8. 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. PMID:25052413

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-11-01

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Diastolic Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Jeong, Euy-Myoung; Dudley, Samuel C.

    2016-01-01

    Despite the growing number of patients affected, the understanding of diastolic dysfunction and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is still poor. Clinical trials, largely based on successful treatments for systolic heart failure, have been disappointing, suggesting that HFpEF has a different pathology to that of systolic dysfunction. In this review, general concepts, epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of diastolic dysfunction are summarized, with an emphasis on new experiments suggesting that oxidative stress plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of at least some forms of the disease. This observation has lead to potential new diagnostics and therapeutics for diastolic dysfunction and heart failure caused by diastolic dysfunction. PMID:25746522

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Plant telomeres and telomerases. A review.

    PubMed

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

    1997-11-01

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

  16. Plant telomeres and telomerases. A review.

    PubMed

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

    1997-11-01

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

  17. Telomeres, NAFLD and Chronic Liver Disease.

    PubMed

    Donati, Benedetta; Valenti, Luca

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Protection of Telomeres 1 Is Required for Telomere Integrity in the Moss Physcomitrella patens[W

    PubMed Central

    Shakirov, Eugene V.; Perroud, Pierre-François; Nelson, Andrew D.; Cannell, Maren E.; Quatrano, Ralph S.; Shippen, Dorothy E.

    2010-01-01

    In vertebrates, the single-stranded telomeric DNA binding protein Protection of Telomeres 1 (POT1) shields chromosome ends and prevents them from eliciting a DNA damage response. By contrast, Arabidopsis thaliana encodes two divergent full-length POT1 paralogs that do not exhibit telomeric DNA binding in vitro and have evolved to mediate telomerase regulation instead of chromosome end protection. To further investigate the role of POT1 in plants, we established the moss Physcomitrella patens as a new model for telomere biology and a counterpoint to Arabidopsis. The sequence and architecture of the telomere tract is similar in P. patens and Arabidopsis, but P. patens harbors only a single-copy POT1 gene. Unlike At POT1 proteins, Pp POT1 efficiently bound single-stranded telomeric DNA in vitro. Deletion of the P. patens POT1 gene resulted in the rapid onset of severe developmental defects and sterility. Although telomerase activity levels were unperturbed, telomeres were substantially shortened, harbored extended G-overhangs, and engaged in end-to-end fusions. We conclude that the telomere capping function of POT1 is conserved in early diverging land plants but is subsequently lost in Arabidopsis. PMID:20515974

  20. 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

  1. [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.

  2. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-10-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. [Gonadal dysfunction].

    PubMed

    Tahara, R; Toma, Y; Yanaihara, T

    1997-11-01

    Function of hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis is an essential factor for the maintenance of regular cycles in mature women. The disturbance of function of those organs causes gonadal dysfunction such as anovulation, amenorrhea and menstrual disorders. Therefore, the correct diagnosis for the assessment of CNS and ovarian function is clinically important to treat the patients those who have an menstrual disorders. In this review, the mechanism of normal gonadal cycles and the diagnostic method and the treatment of gonadal dysfunction are described.

  6. 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

  7. Telomere stability and development of ctc1 mutants are rescued by inhibition of EJ recombination pathways in a telomerase-dependent manner.

    PubMed

    Amiard, Simon; Olivier, Margaux; Allain, Elisabeth; Choi, Kyuha; Smith-Unna, Richard; Henderson, Ian R; White, Charles I; Gallego, Maria Eugenia

    2014-10-29

    The telomeres of linear eukaryotic chromosomes are protected by caps consisting of evolutionarily conserved nucleoprotein complexes. Telomere dysfunction leads to recombination of chromosome ends and this can result in fusions which initiate chromosomal breakage-fusion-bridge cycles, causing genomic instability and potentially cell death or cancer. We hypothesize that in the absence of the recombination pathways implicated in these fusions, deprotected chromosome ends will instead be eroded by nucleases, also leading to the loss of genes and cell death. In this work, we set out to specifically test this hypothesis in the plant, Arabidopsis. Telomere protection in Arabidopsis implicates KU and CST and their absence leads to chromosome fusions, severe genomic instability and dramatic developmental defects. We have analysed the involvement of end-joining recombination pathways in telomere fusions and the consequences of this on genomic instability and growth. Strikingly, the absence of the multiple end-joining pathways eliminates chromosome fusion and restores normal growth and development to cst ku80 mutant plants. It is thus the chromosomal fusions, per se, which are the underlying cause of the severe developmental defects. This rescue is mediated by telomerase-dependent telomere extension, revealing a competition between telomerase and end-joining recombination proteins for access to deprotected telomeres.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Swi1Timeless Prevents Repeat Instability at Fission Yeast Telomeres

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. c-Myc quadruplex-forming sequence Pu-27 induces extensive damage in both telomeric and nontelomeric regions of DNA.

    PubMed

    Islam, Md Ashraful; Thomas, Shelia D; Murty, Vundavalli V; Sedoris, Kara J; Miller, Donald M

    2014-03-21

    Quadruplex-forming DNA sequences are present throughout the eukaryotic genome, including in telomeric DNA. We have shown that the c-Myc promoter quadruplex-forming sequence Pu-27 selectively kills transformed cells (Sedoris, K. C., Thomas, S. D., Clarkson, C. R., Muench, D., Islam, A., Singh, R., and Miller, D. M. (2012) Genomic c-Myc quadruplex DNA selectively kills leukemia. Mol. Cancer Ther. 11, 66-76). In this study, we show that Pu-27 induces profound DNA damage, resulting in striking chromosomal abnormalities in the form of chromatid or chromosomal breaks, radial formation, and telomeric DNA loss, which induces γ-H2AX in U937 cells. Pu-27 down-regulates telomeric shelterin proteins, DNA damage response mediators (RAD17 and RAD50), double-stranded break repair molecule 53BP1, G2 checkpoint regulators (CHK1 and CHK2), and anti-apoptosis gene survivin. Interestingly, there are no changes of DNA repair molecules H2AX, BRCA1, and the telomere maintenance gene, hTERT. ΔB-U937, where U937 cells stably transfected with deleted basic domain of TRF2 is partially sensitive to Pu-27 but exhibits no changes in expression of shelterin proteins. However, there is an up-regulation of CHK1, CHK2, H2AX, BRCA1, and survivin. Telomere dysfunction-induced foci assay revealed co-association of TRF1with γ-H2AX in ATM deficient cells, which are differentially sensitive to Pu-27 than ATM proficient cells. Alt (alternating lengthening of telomere) cells are relatively resistant to Pu-27, but there are no significant changes of telomerase activity in both Alt and non-Alt cells. Lastly, we show that this Pu-27-mediated sensitivity is p53-independent. The data therefore support two conclusions. First, Pu-27 induces DNA damage within both telomeric and nontelomeric regions of the genome. Second, Pu-27-mediated telomeric damage is due, at least in part, to compromise of the telomeric shelterin protein complex.

  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. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Telomere-bound TRF1 and TRF2 stall the replication fork at telomeric repeats

    PubMed Central

    Ohki, Rieko; Ishikawa, Fuyuki

    2004-01-01

    Vertebrate telomeres consist of tandem repeats of T2AG3 and associated proteins including the telomeric DNA-binding proteins, TRF1 and TRF2. It has been proposed that telomeres assume two interswitchable states, the open state that is accessible to various trans-acting factors and the closed state that excludes those factors. TRF1 and TRF2 are believed to promote the formation of the closed state. However, little is known about how those two states influence DNA replication. We analyzed the effects of TRF1 and TRF2 on telomeric replication both in vitro and in vivo. By exploiting the in vitro replication system of linear SV40 DNA, we found that telomeric repeats are a poor replication template. Moreover, the addition of recombinant TRF1 and TRF2 significantly stalled the replication fork progression at telomeric repeats. When TRF1 was overexpressed in HeLa cells, cells with 4N DNA content were accumulated. Furthermore, cytological analyses revealed that the replication focus overlapped with telomere signals at a significantly higher frequency in TRF1-overexpressing cells than in control cells. The results suggest that TRF1 and TRF2 exert inhibitory effects on replication fork progression. PMID:15007108

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Telomerase and telomere length in pulmonary fibrosis.

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  4. Determination of Arabidopsis thaliana telomere length by PCR

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Determination of Arabidopsis thaliana telomere length by PCR.

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-02

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

  8. Determination of Arabidopsis thaliana telomere length by PCR.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Erectile Dysfunction

    MedlinePlus

    ... or vascular problems, will have a more difficult time returning to pre-treatment function. Management of Erectile Dysfunction When a man is sexually aroused, the erectile nerves running alongside the penis stimulate the ... blood to rush in. At the same time, tiny valves at the base of the penis ...

  10. Sensory Dysfunction

    MedlinePlus

    ... to Web version Sensory Dysfunction Overview Why are smell and taste important? Your senses of smell and taste let you fully enjoy the scents ... bitter and sour. Flavor involves both taste and smell. For example, because a person is able to ...

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

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Jin; Munch, Stephan B.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-15

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-24

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

  16. Telomere length and the risk of lung cancer.

    PubMed

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

    2008-07-01

    Telomeres play a key role in the maintenance of chromosome integrity and stability. There is growing evidence that short telomeres induce chromosome instability and thereby promote the development of cancer. We investigated the association of telomere length and the risk of lung cancer. Relative telomere length in peripheral blood lymphocytes was measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction in 243 lung cancer patients and 243 healthy controls that were frequency-matched for age, sex and smoking status. Telomere length was significantly shorter in lung cancer patients than in controls (mean +/- standard deviation: 1.59 +/- 0.75 versus 2.16 +/- 1.10, P < 0.0001). When the subjects were categorized into quartiles based on telomere length, the risk of lung cancer was found to increase as telomere length shortened (P(trend) < 0.0001). In addition, when the median of telomere length was used as the cutoff between long and short telomeres, individuals with short telomeres were at a significantly higher risk of lung cancer than those with long telomeres (adjusted odds ratio = 3.15, 95% confidence interval = 2.12-4.67, P < 0.0001). When the cases were categorized by tumor histology, the effect of short telomere length on the risk of lung cancer was more pronounced in patients with small cell carcinoma than in those with squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma (P = 0.001, test for homogeneity). These findings suggest that shortening of the telomeres may be a risk factor for lung cancer, and therefore, the presence of shortened telomeres may be used as a marker for susceptibility to lung cancer.

  17. Telomere Length: A Review of Methods for Measurement

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. KiSS-1 in the mammalian ovary: distribution of kisspeptin in human and marmoset and alterations in KiSS-1 mRNA levels in a rat model of ovulatory dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Gaytán, F; Gaytán, M; Castellano, J M; Romero, M; Roa, J; Aparicio, B; Garrido, N; Sánchez-Criado, J E; Millar, R P; Pellicer, A; Fraser, H M; Tena-Sempere, M

    2009-03-01

    Kisspeptins, the products of the KiSS-1 gene acting via G protein-coupled receptor 54 (GPR54), have recently emerged as pivotal signals in the hypothalamic network triggering the preovulatory surge of gonadotropins and, hence, ovulation. Additional actions of kisspeptins at other levels of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis have been suggested but remain to date scarcely studied. We report herein the pattern of expression of KiSS-1 and GPR54 in the human and nonhuman primate ovary and evaluate changes in ovarian KiSS-1 expression in a rat model of ovulatory dysfunction. KiSS-1 and GPR54 mRNAs were detected in human ovarian tissue and cultured granulosa-lutein cells. In good agreement, kisspeptin immunoreactivity was observed in cyclic human and marmoset ovaries, with prominent signals in the theca layer of growing follicles, corpora lutea, interstitial gland, and ovarian surface epithelium. GPR54 immunoreactivity was also found in human theca and luteal cells. Administration of indomethacin to cyclic female rats disturbed ovulation and resulted in a dramatic drop in ovarian KiSS-1, but not GPR54, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), or progesterone receptor, mRNA levels at the time of ovulation; an effect mimicked by the selective COX-2 inhibitor NS398 and rescued by coadministration of PGE(2). Likewise, the stimulatory effect of human choriogonadotropin on ovarian KiSS-1 expression was partially blunted by indomethacin. In contrast, KiSS-1 mRNA levels remained unaltered in another model of ovulatory failure, i.e., the RU486-treated rat. In summary, we document for the first time the expression of KiSS-1/kisspeptin and GPR54 in the human and nonhuman primate ovary. In addition, we provide evidence for the ability of inhibitors of COX-2, known to disturb follicular rupture and ovulation, to selectively alter the expression of KiSS-1 gene in rat ovary. Altogether, our results are suggestive of a conserved role of local KiSS-1 in the direct control of ovarian functions in

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. A Shared Docking Motif in TRF1 and TRF2 Used for Differential Recruitment of Telomeric Proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Yong; Yang, Yuting; van Overbeek, Megan; Donigian, Jill R.; Baciu, Paul; de Lange, Titia; Lei, Ming

    2008-05-01

    Mammalian telomeres are protected by a six-protein complex: shelterin. Shelterin contains two closely related proteins (TRF1 and TRF2), which recruit various proteins to telomeres. We dissect the interactions of TRF1 and TRF2 with their shared binding partner (TIN2) and other shelterin accessory factors. TRF1 recognizes TIN2 using a conserved molecular surface in its TRF homology (TRFH) domain. However, this same surface does not act as a TIN2 binding site in TRF2, and TIN2 binding to TRF2 is mediated by a region outside the TRFH domain. Instead, the TRFH docking site of TRF2 binds a shelterin accessory factor (Apollo), which does not interact with the TRFH domain of TRF1. Conversely, the TRFH domain of TRF1, but not of TRF2, interacts with another shelterin-associated factor: PinX1.

  2. Significant Correlation of Species Longevity with DNA Double Strand Break-Recognition but not with Telomere Length

    PubMed Central

    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

    Summary 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 (DSB) 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. PMID:19896964

  3. 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.

  4. Telomere length variations in aging and age-related diseases.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Functional characterization of the TERRA transcriptome at damaged telomeres.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-31

    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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  8. 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

  9. 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).

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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 (POT1CP) in two siblings with CP. POT1CP induced a proliferative arrest that could be bypassed by telomerase. POT1CP was expressed at normal levels, bound TPP1 and telomeres, and blocked ATR signaling. POT1CP was defective in regulating telomerase, leading to telomere elongation rather than the telomere shortening observed in other telomeropathies. POT1CP 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). PMID:27013236

  11. The principal role of Ku in telomere length maintenance is promotion of Est1 association with telomeres.

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  12. A hypomorphic mutation reveals a stringent requirement for the ATM checkpoint protein in telomere protection during early cell division in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Morciano, Patrizia; Zhang, Yi; Cenci, Giovanni; Rong, Yikang S

    2013-06-01

    Using Drosophila as a model system, we identified a stringent requirement for the conserved function of Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated (ATM) in telomere protection during early embryonic development. Animals homozygous for a hypomorphic mutation in atm develop normally with minimal telomere dysfunction. However, mutant females produce inviable embryos that succumb to mitotic failure caused by covalent fusions of telomeric DNA. Interestingly, although the atm mutation encodes a premature stop codon, it must not have eliminated the production of the mutant protein, and the mutant protein retains kinase activity upon DNA damage. Moreover, although the embryonic phenotype of this mutation resembles that of hypomorphic mutations in the MRN complex, the function of MRN appears normal in the atm embryos. In contrast, there is a prominent reduction of the level of HipHop, an essential member of the Drosophila capping complex. How ATM functions in telomere protection remains poorly understood. The amenability of Drosophila embryos to molecular and biochemical investigations ensures that this newly identified mutation will facilitate future studies of ATM in telomere maintenance. PMID:23604076

  13. A Hypomorphic Mutation Reveals a Stringent Requirement for the ATM Checkpoint Protein in Telomere Protection During Early Cell Division in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Morciano, Patrizia; Zhang, Yi; Cenci, Giovanni; Rong, Yikang S.

    2013-01-01

    Using Drosophila as a model system, we identified a stringent requirement for the conserved function of Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated (ATM) in telomere protection during early embryonic development. Animals homozygous for a hypomorphic mutation in atm develop normally with minimal telomere dysfunction. However, mutant females produce inviable embryos that succumb to mitotic failure caused by covalent fusions of telomeric DNA. Interestingly, although the atm mutation encodes a premature stop codon, it must not have eliminated the production of the mutant protein, and the mutant protein retains kinase activity upon DNA damage. Moreover, although the embryonic phenotype of this mutation resembles that of hypomorphic mutations in the MRN complex, the function of MRN appears normal in the atm embryos. In contrast, there is a prominent reduction of the level of HipHop, an essential member of the Drosophila capping complex. How ATM functions in telomere protection remains poorly understood. The amenability of Drosophila embryos to molecular and biochemical investigations ensures that this newly identified mutation will facilitate future studies of ATM in telomere maintenance. PMID:23604076

  14. A hypomorphic mutation reveals a stringent requirement for the ATM checkpoint protein in telomere protection during early cell division in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Morciano, Patrizia; Zhang, Yi; Cenci, Giovanni; Rong, Yikang S

    2013-06-21

    Using Drosophila as a model system, we identified a stringent requirement for the conserved function of Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated (ATM) in telomere protection during early embryonic development. Animals homozygous for a hypomorphic mutation in atm develop normally with minimal telomere dysfunction. However, mutant females produce inviable embryos that succumb to mitotic failure caused by covalent fusions of telomeric DNA. Interestingly, although the atm mutation encodes a premature stop codon, it must not have eliminated the production of the mutant protein, and the mutant protein retains kinase activity upon DNA damage. Moreover, although the embryonic phenotype of this mutation resembles that of hypomorphic mutations in the MRN complex, the function of MRN appears normal in the atm embryos. In contrast, there is a prominent reduction of the level of HipHop, an essential member of the Drosophila capping complex. How ATM functions in telomere protection remains poorly understood. The amenability of Drosophila embryos to molecular and biochemical investigations ensures that this newly identified mutation will facilitate future studies of ATM in telomere maintenance.

  15. 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

  16. Telomere maintenance through recruitment of internal genomic regions

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. DNA Repair at Telomeres: Keeping the Ends Intact

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Senescence-Induced Oxidative Stress Causes Endothelial Dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Bhayadia, Raj; Schmidt, Bernhard M W; Melk, Anette; Hömme, Meike

    2016-02-01

    Age is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, suggesting a causal relationship between age-related changes and vascular damage. Endothelial dysfunction is an early pathophysiological hallmark in the development of cardiovascular disease. Senescence, the cellular equivalent of aging, was proposed to be involved in endothelial dysfunction, but functional data showing a causal relationship are missing.Endothelium-dependent vasodilation was measured in aortic rings ex vivo. We investigated aortas from aged C57Bl/6 mice (24-28 months), in which p16 (INK4a) and p19 (ARF) expression, markers of stress-induced senescence, were significantly induced compared to young controls (4-6 months). To reflect telomere shortening in human aging, we investigated aortas from telomerase deficient (Terc(-/-)) mice of generation 3 (G3). Endothelium-dependent vasodilation in aged wildtype and in Terc(-/-) G3 mice was impaired. A combination of the superoxide dismutase mimetic 1-Oxyl-2,2,6, 6-tetramethyl-4-hydroxypiperidine (TEMPOL) and the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase inhibitor apocynin significantly improved endothelium-dependent vasodilation in aged wildtype and Terc(-/-) G3 mice compared to untreated controls. We show that both, aging and senescence induced by telomere shortening, cause endothelial dysfunction that can be restored by antioxidants, indicating a role for oxidative stress. The observation that cellular senescence is a direct signalling event leading to endothelial dysfunction holds the potential to develop new targets for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Maternal and genetic factors determine early life telomere length

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Telomere loss: mitotic clock or genetic time bomb?

    PubMed

    Harley, C B

    1991-01-01

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

  9. SMARCAL1 maintains telomere integrity during DNA replication

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The SMARCAL1 (SWI/SNF related, matrix-associated, actin-dependent, regulator of chromatin, subfamily A-like 1) DNA translocase is one of several related enzymes, including ZRANB3 (zinc finger, RAN-binding domain containing 3) and HLTF (helicase-like transcription factor), that are recruited to stalled replication forks to promote repair and restart replication. These enzymes can perform similar biochemical reactions such as fork reversal; however, genetic studies indicate they must have unique cellular activities. Here, we present data showing that SMARCAL1 has an important function at telomeres, which present an endogenous source of replication stress. SMARCAL1-deficient cells accumulate telomere-associated DNA damage and have greatly elevated levels of extrachromosomal telomere DNA (C-circles). Although these telomere phenotypes are often found in tumor cells using the alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) pathway for telomere elongation, SMARCAL1 deficiency does not yield other ALT phenotypes such as elevated telomere recombination. The activity of SMARCAL1 at telomeres can be separated from its genome-maintenance activity in bulk chromosomal replication because it does not require interaction with replication protein A. Finally, this telomere-maintenance function is not shared by ZRANB3 or HLTF. Our results provide the first identification, to our knowledge, of an endogenous source of replication stress that requires SMARCAL1 for resolution and define differences between members of this class of replication fork-repair enzymes. PMID:26578802

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

    PubMed

    Martens, Dries S; Nawrot, Tim S

    2016-09-01

    Aging is a complex physiological phenomenon. The question why some subjects grow old while remaining free from disease whereas others prematurely die remains largely unanswered. We focus here on the role of air pollution in biological aging. Hallmarks of aging can be grouped into three main categories: genomic instability, telomere attrition, and epigenetic alterations leading to altered mitochondrial function and cellular senescence. At birth, the initial telomere length of a person is largely determined by environmental factors. Telomere length shortens with each cell division and exposure to air pollution as well as low residential greens space exposure is associated with shorter telomere length. Recent studies show that the estimated effects of particulate air pollution exposure on the telomere mitochondrial axis of aging may play an important role in chronic health effects of air pollution. The exposome encompasses all exposures over an entire life. As telomeres can be considered as the cellular memories of exposure to oxidative stress and inflammation, telomere maintenance may be a proxy for assessing the "exposome". If telomeres are causally related to the aging phenotype and environmental air pollution is an important determinant of telomere length, this might provide new avenues for future preventive strategies. PMID:27357566

  11. 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.

  12. DNA sequence analysis of newly formed telomeres in yeast.

    PubMed

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

    1989-01-01

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

  13. Structure of mammalian respiratory complex I.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jiapeng; Vinothkumar, Kutti R; Hirst, Judy

    2016-08-18

    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 mitochondrial membrane. Mammalian complex I (ref. 1) 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 subunits. Knowledge of the structures and functions of the supernumerary subunits is fragmentary. Here we describe a 4.2-Å resolution single-particle electron cryomicroscopy structure of complex I from Bos taurus. We have located and modelled all 45 subunits, including the 31 supernumerary subunits, to provide the entire structure of the mammalian complex. 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-de-active' enzyme transition that occurs during hypoxia. Our structures therefore provide a foundation for understanding complex I assembly and the effects of mutations that cause clinically relevant complex I dysfunctions, give insights into the structural and functional roles of the supernumerary subunits and reveal new information on the mechanism and regulation of catalysis. PMID:27509854

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Telomere position effect (TPE) is the influence of telomeres on subtelomeric epigenetic marks and gene expression. Previous studies suggested that TPE depends on genetic background. As these analyses were performed on different chromosomes, cell types and species, it remains unclear whether TPE represents a chromosome—rather than genetic background-specific regulation. We describe the development of a Linear Human Artificial Chromosome (L-HAC) as a new tool for telomere studies. The L-HAC was generated through the Cre-loxP-mediated addition of telomere ends to an existing circular HAC (C-HAC). As it can be transferred to genetically distinct cell lines and animal models the L-HAC enables the study of TPE in an unprecedented manner. The HAC was relocated to four telomerase-positive cell lines via microcell-mediated chromosome transfer and subsequently to mice via blastocyst injection of L-HAC+-ES-cells. We could show consistent genetic background-dependent adaptation of telomere length and telomere-associated de novo subtelomeric DNA methylation in mouse ES-R1 cells as well as in mice. Expression of the subtelomeric neomycin gene was inversely correlated with telomere length and subtelomeric methylation. We thus provide a new tool for functional telomere studies and provide strong evidence that telomere length, subtelomeric chromatin marks and expression of subtelomeric genes are genetic background dependent. PMID:23066103

  18. Telomere length homeostasis and telomere position effect on a linear human artificial chromosome are dictated by the genetic background.

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

  19. ATRX represses alternative lengthening of telomeres.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-30

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

  20. Telomere length and variation in telomere biology genes in individuals with osteosarcoma.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kimura, Masayuki; Cherkas, Lynn F; Kato, Bernet S; Demissie, Serkalem; Hjelmborg, Jacob B; Brimacombe, Michael; Cupples, Adrienne; Hunkin, Janice L; Gardner, Jefferey P; Lu, Xiaobin; Cao, Xiaojian; Sastrasinh, Malinee; Province, Michael A; Hunt, Steven C; Christensen, Kaare; Levy, Daniel; Spector, Tim D; Aviv, Abraham

    2008-02-01

    Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is a complex genetic trait. It shortens with age and is associated with a host of aging-related disorders. Recent studies have observed that offspring of older fathers have longer LTLs. We explored the relation between paternal age and offspring's LTLs in 4 different cohorts. Moreover, we examined the potential cause of the paternal age on offspring's LTL by delineating telomere parameters in sperm donors. We measured LTL by Southern blots in Caucasian men and women (n=3365), aged 18-94 years, from the Offspring of the Framingham Heart Study (Framingham Offspring), the NHLBI Family Heart Study (NHLBI-Heart), the Longitudinal Study of Aging Danish Twins (Danish Twins), and the UK Adult Twin Registry (UK Twins). Using Southern blots, Q-FISH, and flow-FISH, we also measured telomere parameters in sperm from 46 young (<30 years) and older (>50 years) donors. Paternal age had an independent effect, expressed by a longer LTL in males of the Framingham Offspring and Danish Twins, males and females of the NHLBI-Heart, and females of UK Twins. For every additional year of paternal age, LTL in offspring increased at a magnitude ranging from half to more than twice of the annual attrition in LTL with age. Moreover, sperm telomere length analyses were compatible with the emergence in older men of a subset of sperm with elongated telomeres. Paternal age exerts a considerable effect on the offspring's LTL, a phenomenon which might relate to telomere elongation in sperm from older men. The implications of this effect deserve detailed study. PMID:18282113

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

    PubMed Central

    Chaires, Jonathan B.

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Obesity and weight gain in adulthood and telomere length.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sangmi; Parks, Christine G; DeRoo, Lisa A; Chen, Honglei; Taylor, Jack A; Cawthon, Richard M; Sandler, Dale P

    2009-03-01

    Obesity and weight gain in adulthood are associated with an increased risk of several cancers. Telomeres play a critical role in maintaining genomic integrity and may be involved in carcinogenesis. Using data from 647 women ages 35 to 74 years in the United States and Puerto Rico (2003-2004), we examined the association between current and past anthropometric characteristics and telomere length in blood. In a multivariate linear regression model, higher current body mass index (BMI) and hip circumference were inversely associated with telomere length. Higher BMI in the 30s was associated with shorter telomere length among women ages>or=40 years (Ptrend<0.01). Weight gain since the age 30s (Ptrend=0.07) and weight cycling (Ptrend=0.04) were also inversely associated with telomere length. When current BMI and BMI at ages 30 to 39 years were considered together, the most marked decrease in telomere length was found for women who had overweight or obese BMI at both time points (mean telomere repeat copy number to single-copy gene copy number ratio=1.26; 95% confidence interval, 1.21-1.30) compared with women who had normal BMI at both times (mean telomere repeat copy number to single-copy gene copy number ratio=1.33; 95% confidence interval, 1.30-1.36). These findings support the hypothesis that obesity may accelerate aging, and highlight the importance of maintaining a desirable weight in adulthood.

  4. Assessment of Telomere Length, Phenotype, and DNA Content

    PubMed Central

    Kelesidis, Theodoros; Schmid, Ingrid

    2016-01-01

    Telomere sequences at the end of chromosomes control somatic cell division; therefore, telomere length in a given cell population provides information about its replication potential. This unit describes a method for flow cytometric measurement of telomere length in subpopulations using fluorescence in situ hybridization of fluorescently-labeled probes (Flow-FISH) without prior cell separation. After cells are stained for surface immunofluorescence, antigen-antibody complexes are covalently cross-linked onto cell membranes before FISH with a telomere-specific probe. Cells with long telomeres are included as internal standards. Addition of a DNA dye permits exclusion of proliferating cells during data analysis. DNA ploidy measurements of cells of interest and internal standard are performed on separate aliquots in parallel to Flow-FISH. Telomere fluorescence of G0/1 cells of subpopulations and internal standards obtained from Flow-FISH are normalized for DNA ploidy and telomere length in subsets of interest is expressed as a fraction of the internal standard telomere length. PMID:18770803

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

    Telomeres are regarded as important biomarkers of ageing and serve as useful tools in revealing how stress acts at the cellular level. However, the effects of social and ecological factors on telomere length remain poorly understood, particularly in free-ranging mammals. Here, we investigated the influences of within-group dominance rank and group membership on telomere length in wild adult spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta). We found large effects of both factors; high-ranking hyenas exhibited significantly greater mean telomere length than did subordinate animals, and group membership significantly predicted mean telomere length within high-ranking females. We further inquired whether prey availability mediates the observed effect of group membership on telomere length, but this hypothesis was not supported. Interestingly, adult telomere length was not predicted by age. Our work shows for the first time, to the best of our knowledge, the effects of social rank on telomere length in a wild mammal and enhances our understanding of how social and ecological variables may contribute to organismal senescence. PMID:25716089

  6. Telomere length in Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome.

    PubMed

    Decker, Michelle L; Chavez, Elizabeth; Vulto, Irma; Lansdorp, Peter M

    2009-06-01

    Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS) is a rare premature aging disorder caused by mutations in the gene LMNA, which encodes the nuclear matrix protein lamin A. Previous research has shown that the average telomere length in fibroblasts from HGPS patients is shorter than in age-matched controls. How mutations in lamin A lead to shortened telomere lengths is not known nor is the contribution of individual chromosome ends to the low average length understood. To measure the telomere length of individual chromosomes, we used quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization (Q-FISH). In agreement with previous studies, we found that the average telomere length in HPGS fibroblasts is greatly reduced; however, the telomere length at chromosome ends was variable. In contrast, the telomere length in hematopoietic cells which typically do not express lamin A, was within the normal range for three out of four HGPS patient samples. Our results suggest that mutant lamin A decreases telomere length via a direct effect and that expression of mutant LMNA is necessary for telomere loss in HGPS.

  7. Telomeres, early-life stress and mental illness.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Telomeres, Early-Life Stress and Mental Illness

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Polymerase η suppresses telomere defects induced by DNA damaging agents

    PubMed Central

    Pope-Varsalona, Hannah; Liu, Fu-Jun; Guzik, Lynda; Opresko, Patricia L.

    2014-01-01

    Telomeres at chromosome ends are normally masked from proteins that signal and repair DNA double strand breaks (DSBs). Bulky DNA lesions can cause DSBs if they block DNA replication, unless they are bypassed by translesion (TLS) DNA polymerases. Here, we investigated roles for TLS polymerase η, (polη) in preserving telomeres following acute physical UVC exposure and chronic chemical Cr(VI) exposure, which both induce blocking lesions. We report that polη protects against cytotoxicity and replication stress caused by Cr(VI), similar to results with ultraviolet C light (UVC). Both exposures induce ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related (ATR) kinase and polη accumulation into nuclear foci and localization to individual telomeres, consistent with replication fork stalling at DNA lesions. Polη-deficient cells exhibited greater numbers of telomeres that co-localized with DSB response proteins after exposures. Furthermore, the genotoxic exposures induced telomere aberrations associated with failures in telomere replication that were suppressed by polη. We propose that polη's ability to bypass bulky DNA lesions at telomeres is critical for proper telomere replication following genotoxic exposures. PMID:25355508

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. Telomere Replication Stress Induced by POT1 Inactivation Accelerates Tumorigenesis.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Herpesvirus Genome Integration into Telomeric Repeats of Host Cell Chromosomes.

    PubMed

    Osterrieder, Nikolaus; Wallaschek, Nina; Kaufer, Benedikt B

    2014-11-01

    It is well known that numerous viruses integrate their genetic material into host cell chromosomes. Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) and oncogenic Marek's disease virus (MDV) have been shown to integrate their genomes into host telomeres of latently infected cells. This is unusual for herpesviruses as most maintain their genomes as circular episomes during the quiescent stage of infection. The genomic DNA of HHV-6, MDV, and several other herpesviruses harbors telomeric repeats (TMRs) that are identical to host telomere sequences (TTAGGG). At least in the case of MDV, viral TMRs facilitate integration into host telomeres. Integration of HHV-6 occurs not only in lymphocytes but also in the germline of some individuals, allowing vertical virus transmission. Although the molecular mechanism of telomere integration is poorly understood, the presence of TMRs in a number of herpesviruses suggests it is their default program for genome maintenance during latency and also allows efficient reactivation.

  16. [Telomere lengthening by trichostatin A treatment in cloned pigs].

    PubMed

    Xie, Bing-Teng; Ji, Guang-Zhen; Kong, Qing-Ran; Mao, Jian; Shi, Yong-Qian; Liu, Shi-Chao; Wu, Mei-Ling; Wang, Juan; Liu, Lin; Liu, Zhong-Hua

    2012-12-01

    Telomeres are repeated GC rich sequences at the end of chromosomes, and shorten with each cell division due to DNA end replication problem. Previously, reprogrammed somatic cells of cloned animals display variable telomere elongation. However, it was reported that the cloned animals including Dolly do not reset telomeres and show premature aging. In this study, we investigated telomere function in cloned or transgenic cloned pigs, including the cloned Northeast Min pigs, eGFP, Mx, and PGC1α transgenic cloned pigs, and found that the telomere lengths of cloned pigs were significantly shorter than the nuclear donor adult fibroblasts and age-matched noncloned pigs (P<0.05), indicating that nuclear reprogramming did not restore cellular age of donor cells after somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Trichostatin A (TSA), an inhibitor of histone deacetylase, has proven to enhance the efficiency of nuclear reprogramming in several species. In order to test whether TSA also can effectively enhance reprogramming of telomeres, TSA (40 nmol/L) was used to treat porcine cloned embryos at 1-cell stage for 24 h. Consistent with previous reports, the developmental rate of SCNT embryos to the blastocyst stage was significantly increased compared with those of the control group (16.35% vs. 27.09%, 21.60% vs. 34.90%, P<0.05). Notably, the telomere length of cloned porcine blastocysts was also significantly elongated (P<0.05). Although TSA did not improve the cloning efficiency (1.3% vs. 1.7%, TSA vs. control), the telomere lengths of cloned pig-lets were significantly longer compared with those of the control group and the donor fibroblasts (P<0.05). In conclusion, telomeres have not been effectively restored by SCNT in pigs but TSA can effectively lengthen the telomere lengths of cloned pigs.

  17. [Telomere lengthening by trichostatin A treatment in cloned pigs].

    PubMed

    Xie, Bing-Teng; Ji, Guang-Zhen; Kong, Qing-Ran; Mao, Jian; Shi, Yong-Qian; Liu, Shi-Chao; Wu, Mei-Ling; Wang, Juan; Liu, Lin; Liu, Zhong-Hua

    2012-12-01

    Telomeres are repeated GC rich sequences at the end of chromosomes, and shorten with each cell division due to DNA end replication problem. Previously, reprogrammed somatic cells of cloned animals display variable telomere elongation. However, it was reported that the cloned animals including Dolly do not reset telomeres and show premature aging. In this study, we investigated telomere function in cloned or transgenic cloned pigs, including the cloned Northeast Min pigs, eGFP, Mx, and PGC1α transgenic cloned pigs, and found that the telomere lengths of cloned pigs were significantly shorter than the nuclear donor adult fibroblasts and age-matched noncloned pigs (P<0.05), indicating that nuclear reprogramming did not restore cellular age of donor cells after somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Trichostatin A (TSA), an inhibitor of histone deacetylase, has proven to enhance the efficiency of nuclear reprogramming in several species. In order to test whether TSA also can effectively enhance reprogramming of telomeres, TSA (40 nmol/L) was used to treat porcine cloned embryos at 1-cell stage for 24 h. Consistent with previous reports, the developmental rate of SCNT embryos to the blastocyst stage was significantly increased compared with those of the control group (16.35% vs. 27.09%, 21.60% vs. 34.90%, P<0.05). Notably, the telomere length of cloned porcine blastocysts was also significantly elongated (P<0.05). Although TSA did not improve the cloning efficiency (1.3% vs. 1.7%, TSA vs. control), the telomere lengths of cloned pig-lets were significantly longer compared with those of the control group and the donor fibroblasts (P<0.05). In conclusion, telomeres have not been effectively restored by SCNT in pigs but TSA can effectively lengthen the telomere lengths of cloned pigs. PMID:23262106

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-09-01

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

  19. Higher-order nuclear organization in growth arrest of human mammary epithelial cells: a novel role for telomere-associated protein TIN2

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    Summary 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 occurring during differentiation and growth arrest. Using human mammary epithelial cells 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 1γ. Expression of truncated forms of TIN2 simultaneously prevented the formation of TIN2 domains and relaxed the stringent morphogenesis-induced growth arrest in human mammary epithelial cells. Here we show that a novel extra-telomeric organization of TIN2 is associated with the control of cell proliferation and identify TIN2 as an important regulator of mammary epithelial differentiation. PMID:15741234

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Formation of telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA) foci in highly proliferating mouse cerebellar neuronal progenitors and medulloblastoma.

    PubMed

    Deng, Zhong; Wang, Zhuo; Xiang, Chaomei; Molczan, Aliah; Baubet, Valérie; Conejo-Garcia, Jose; Xu, Xiaowei; Lieberman, Paul M; Dahmane, Nadia

    2012-09-15

    Telomeres play crucial roles in the maintenance of genome integrity and control of cellular senescence. Most eukaryotic telomeres can be transcribed to generate a telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA) that persists as a heterogeneous nuclear RNA and can be developmentally regulated. However, the precise function and regulation of TERRA in normal and cancer cell development remains poorly understood. Here, we show that TERRA accumulates in highly proliferating normal and cancer cells, and forms large nuclear foci, which are distinct from previously characterized markers of DNA damage or replication stress. Using a mouse model for medulloblastoma driven by chronic Sonic hedgehog (SHH) signaling, TERRA RNA was detected in tumor, but not adjacent normal cells using both RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and northern blotting. RNA FISH revealed the formation of TERRA foci (TERFs) in the nuclear regions of rapidly proliferating tumor cells. In the normal developing cerebellum, TERRA aggregates could also be detected in highly proliferating zones of progenitor neurons. SHH could enhance TERRA expression in purified granule progenitor cells in vitro, suggesting that proliferation signals contribute to TERRA expression in responsive tissue. TERRA foci did not colocalize with γH2AX foci, promyelocytic leukemia (PML) or Cajal bodies in mouse tumor tissue. We also provide evidence that TERRA is elevated in a variety of human cancers. These findings suggest that elevated TERRA levels reflect a novel early form of telomere regulation during replication stress and cancer cell evolution, and the TERRA RNA aggregates may form a novel nuclear body in highly proliferating mammalian cells.

  3. Telomere binding of checkpoint sensor and DNA repair proteins contributes to maintenance of functional fission yeast telomeres.

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Toru M; Moser, Bettina A; Russell, Paul

    2002-01-01

    Telomeres, the ends of linear chromosomes, are DNA double-strand ends that do not trigger a cell cycle arrest and yet require checkpoint and DNA repair proteins for maintenance. Genetic and biochemical studies in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe were undertaken to understand how checkpoint and DNA repair proteins contribute to telomere maintenance. On the basis of telomere lengths of mutant combinations of various checkpoint-related proteins (Rad1, Rad3, Rad9, Rad17, Rad26, Hus1, Crb2, Chk1, Cds1), Tel1, a telomere-binding protein (Taz1), and DNA repair proteins (Ku70, Rad32), we conclude that Rad3/Rad26 and Tel1/Rad32 represent two pathways required to maintain telomeres and prevent chromosome circularization. Rad1/Rad9/Hus1/Rad17 and Ku70 are two additional epistasis groups, which act in the Rad3/Rad26 pathway. However, Rad3/Rad26 must have additional target(s), as cells lacking Tel1/Rad32, Rad1/Rad9/Hus1/Rad17, and Ku70 groups did not circularize chromosomes. Cells lacking Rad3/Rad26 and Tel1/Rad32 senesced faster than a telomerase trt1Delta mutant, suggesting that these pathways may contribute to telomere protection. Deletion of taz1 did not suppress chromosome circularization in cells lacking Rad3/Rad26 and Tel1/Rad32, also suggesting that two pathways protect telomeres. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses found that Rad3, Rad1, Rad9, Hus1, Rad17, Rad32, and Ku70 associate with telomeres. Thus, checkpoint sensor and DNA repair proteins contribute to telomere maintenance and protection through their association with telomeres. PMID:12196391

  4. Mammalian airborne allergens.

    PubMed

    Aalberse, Rob C

    2014-01-01

    Historically, horse dandruff was a favorite allergen source material. Today, however, allergic symptoms due to airborne mammalian allergens are mostly a result of indoor exposure, be it at home, at work or even at school. The relevance of mammalian allergens in relation to the allergenic activity of house dust extract is briefly discussed in the historical context of two other proposed sources of house dust allergenic activity: mites and Maillard-type lysine-sugar conjugates. Mammalian proteins involved in allergic reactions to airborne dust are largely found in only 2 protein families: lipocalins and secretoglobins (Fel d 1-like proteins), with a relatively minor contribution of serum albumins, cystatins and latherins. Both the lipocalin and the secretoglobin family are very complex. In some instances this results in a blurred separation between important and less important allergenic family members. The past 50 years have provided us with much detailed information on the genomic organization and protein structure of many of these allergens. However, the complex family relations, combined with the wide range of post-translational enzymatic and non-enzymatic modifications, make a proper qualitative and quantitative description of the important mammalian indoor airborne allergens still a significant proteomic challenge. PMID:24925404

  5. Telomere Length as a Quantitative Trait: Genome-Wide Survey and Genetic Mapping of Telomere Length-Control Genes in Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Gatbonton, Tonibelle; Imbesi, Maria; Nelson, Melisa; Akey, Joshua M; Ruderfer, Douglas M; Kruglyak, Leonid; Simon, Julian A; Bedalov, Antonio

    2006-01-01

    Telomere length-variation in deletion strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae was used to identify genes and pathways that regulate telomere length. We found 72 genes that when deleted confer short telomeres, and 80 genes that confer long telomeres relative to those of wild-type yeast. Among identified genes, 88 have not been previously implicated in telomere length control. Genes that regulate telomere length span a variety of functions that can be broadly separated into telomerase-dependent and telomerase-independent pathways. We also found 39 genes that have an important role in telomere maintenance or cell proliferation in the absence of telomerase, including genes that participate in deoxyribonucleotide biosynthesis, sister chromatid cohesion, and vacuolar protein sorting. Given the large number of loci identified, we investigated telomere lengths in 13 wild yeast strains and found substantial natural variation in telomere length among the isolates. Furthermore, we crossed a wild isolate to a laboratory strain and analyzed telomere length in 122 progeny. Genome-wide linkage analysis among these segregants revealed two loci that account for 30%–35% of telomere length-variation between the strains. These findings support a general model of telomere length-variation in outbred populations that results from polymorphisms at a large number of loci. Furthermore, our results laid the foundation for studying genetic determinants of telomere length-variation and their roles in human disease. PMID:16552446

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. FEN1 ensures telomere stability by facilitating replication fork re-initiation.

    PubMed

    Saharia, Abhishek; Teasley, Daniel C; Duxin, Julien P; Dao, Benjamin; Chiappinelli, Katherine B; Stewart, Sheila A

    2010-08-27

    Telomeres are terminal repetitive DNA sequences whose stability requires the coordinated actions of telomere-binding proteins and the DNA replication and repair machinery. Recently, we demonstrated that the DNA replication and repair protein Flap endonuclease 1 (FEN1) is required for replication of lagging strand telomeres. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that FEN1 is required for efficient re-initiation of stalled replication forks. At the telomere, we find that FEN1 depletion results in replicative stress as evidenced by fragile telomere expression and sister telomere loss. We show that FEN1 participation in Okazaki fragment processing is not required for efficient telomere replication. Instead we find that FEN1 gap endonuclease activity, which processes DNA structures resembling stalled replication forks, and the FEN1 interaction with the RecQ helicases are vital for telomere stability. Finally, we find that FEN1 depletion neither impacts cell cycle progression nor in vitro DNA replication through non-telomeric sequences. Our finding that FEN1 is required for efficient replication fork re-initiation strongly suggests that the fragile telomere expression and sister telomere losses observed upon FEN1 depletion are the direct result of replication fork collapse. Together, these findings suggest that other nucleases compensate for FEN1 loss throughout the genome during DNA replication but fail to do so at the telomere. We propose that FEN1 maintains stable telomeres by facilitating replication through the G-rich lagging strand telomere, thereby ensuring high fidelity telomere replication.

  9. Telomere Length Variation in Juvenile Acute Myocardial Infarction

    PubMed Central

    Fornengo, Cristina; Di Gaetano, Cornelia; Ricceri, Fulvio; Guarrera, Simonetta; Critelli, Rossana; Anselmino, Matteo; Piazza, Alberto; Gaita, Fiorenzo; Bergerone, Serena; Matullo, Giuseppe

    2012-01-01

    Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) provides a potential marker of biological age, closely related to the endothelial dysfunction and consequently to the atherosclerotic process. To investigate the relationship between the LTL and the risk of premature acute myocardial infarction and to evaluate the predictive value of LTL on the onset of major cardiovascular events, 199 patients from 18 to 48 years old with first diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction were enrolled and were matched with 190 controls for sex and age (±1 year). Clinical data and coronary artery disease were evaluated at enrollment and at follow up. LTL was measured at enrollment using a quantitative PCR-based method. No significant differences were observed in LTL between cases and controls (p = 0.20) and with the presence of coronary artery disease in patients (p = 0.47). Hypercholesterolemic cases presented LTL significantly longer than cases without hypercholesterolemia (t/s: 0.82±0.16 p = 0.79 and t/s norm: 0.79±0.19 p = 0.01), as confirmed in multivariate regression analysis (p = 0.005, β = 0.09). Furthermore, multivariate regression analysis showed LTL significantly shorter in hypertensive cases than in normotensive cases (p = 0.04, β = −0.07). One hundred seventy-one cases (86%) ended the average follow up of 9±5 years, 92 (54%) presented a major cardiovascular event. At multivariate regression analysis the LTL detected at enrollment did not represent a predictive factor of major cardiovascular events nor it significantly impacted with cumulative events. Based on present cohort of young Italian patients, the LTL did not represent a marker of acute myocardial infarction nor had a predictive role at medium term follow up. PMID:23145125

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  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. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Telomere 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

  15. 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.

  16. Mathematical model of alternative mechanism of telomere length maintenance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  17. Repetitive telomeric sequences in chromosomal translocations involving chromosome 21

    SciTech Connect

    Qu, J.; Dallaire, L.; Fetni, R.

    1994-09-01

    Telomeres perform key functions in maintaining chromosome integrity. In some structural rearrangements the structure and polymorphism in human telomeres may play a significant role. However, of all the telomeric and subtelomeric sequences, only the terminal TTAGGG repeats are believed essential for telomere function. During the course of a study on the role of telomere structure and polymorphism in chromosomal rearrangements observed in families referred for prenatal diagnosis, we studied three cases in which chromosome 21 was involved. Repetitive TTAGGG sequences for all human chromosomes were used as probes (Oncor). Case 1, a de novo cryptic translocation (2;21) was initially identified as monosomy 21 in a child with psychomotor delay and mild dysmorphism. Using a cosmid probe specific for region 21q22.3 and whole chromosome 21 specific painting probe, the long arm of 21 was found on the short arm of chromosome 2 with an interstitial telomere at the breakpoint junction. All the cells were monosomic for 21pter{yields}q21. Case 2 is a familial (19;21) translocation. GTG-banding and FISH with a satellite probe showed no apparent loss of material at the end of either 19q or 21q, with an interstitial telomere at the fusion site of the two intact chromosomes. In case 3, a four generation reciprocal (20;21) translocation, there was no interstitial telomere. The persistence of an interstitial telomere is a relatively rare event which can now be observed with in situ hybridization. Its study may lead to a better understanding of the dynamics of translocations and of chromosome imbalance.

  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. ORNL FISH Telomere Segmentation GUI and Instruction Manual

    2002-12-01

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

  20. ORNL FISH Telomere Segmentation GUI and Instruction Manual

    SciTech Connect

    2002-12-01

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

  1. Time of replication of yeast centromeres and telomeres.

    PubMed

    McCarroll, R M; Fangman, W L

    1988-08-12

    The time of replication of centromeres and telomeres of the yeast S. cerevisiae was determined by performing Meselson-Stahl experiments with synchronized cells. The nine centromeres examined become hybrid in density early in S phase, eliminating the possibility that a delay in the replication of centromeres until mitosis is responsible for sister chromatid adherence and proper chromosome segregation at anaphase. The conserved sequence element Y', present at most telomeres, replicates late in S phase, as do the unique sequences adjacent to five specific telomeres. The early and late replication times of these structural elements may be either essential for their proper function or a consequence of some architectural feature of the chromosome.

  2. Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model for the study of extranuclear functions of mammalian telomerase.

    PubMed

    Simonicova, Lucia; Dudekova, Henrieta; Ferenc, Jaroslav; Prochazkova, Katarina; Nebohacova, Martina; Dusinsky, Roman; Nosek, Jozef; Tomaska, Lubomir

    2015-11-01

    The experimental evidence from the last decade made telomerase a prominent member of a family of moonlighting proteins performing different functions at various cellular loci. However, the study of extratelomeric functions of the catalytic subunit of mammalian telomerase (TERT) is often complicated by the fact that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish them from its role(s) at the chromosomal ends. Here, we present an experimental model for studying the extranuclear function(s) of mammalian telomerase in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We demonstrate that the catalytic subunit of mammalian telomerase protects the yeast cells against oxidative stress and affects the stability of the mitochondrial genome. The advantage of using S. cerevisiae to study of mammalian telomerase is that (1) mammalian TERT does not interfere with its yeast counterpart in the maintenance of telomeres, (2) yeast telomerase is not localized in mitochondria and (3) it does not seem to be involved in the protection of cells against oxidative stress and stabilization of mtDNA. Thus, yeast cells can be used as a 'test tube' for reconstitution of mammalian TERT extranuclear function(s).

  3. Telomere Lengths and Telomerase Activity in Dog Tissues: A Potential Model System to Study Human Telomere and Telomerase Biology

    PubMed Central

    Nasir, Lubna; Devlin, Pauline; Mckevitt, Tom; Rutteman, Gerard; Argyle, David J

    2001-01-01

    Abstract Studies on telomere and telomerase biology are fundamental to the understanding of aging and age-related diseases such as cancer. However, human studies have been hindered by differences in telomere biology between humans and the classical murine animal model system. In this paper, we describe basic studies of telomere length and telomerase activity in canine normal and neoplastic tissues and propose the dog as an alternative model system. Briefly, telomere lengths were measured in normal canine peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), a range of normal canine tissues, and in a panel of naturally occurring soft tissue tumours by terminal restriction fragment (TRF) analysis. Further, telomerase activity was measured in canine cell lines and multiple canine tissues using a combined polymerase chain reaction/enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. TRF analysis in canine PBMCs and tissues demonstrated mean TRF lengths to range between 12 and 23 kbp with heterogeneity in telomere lengths being observed in a range of normal somatic tissues. In soft tissue sarcomas, two subgroups were identified with mean TRFs of 22.2 and 18.2 kbp. Telomerase activity in canine tissue was present in tumour tissue and testis with little or no activity in normal somatic tissues. These results suggest that the dog telomere biology is similar to that in humans and may represent an alternative model system for studying telomere biology and telomerase-targeted anticancer therapies. PMID:11571635

  4. [An homologous recombination strategy to directly clone mammalian telomeres]. Progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Wahl, G.M.

    1994-07-01

    We have pursued three goals over the past year. The first involved determining whether the HARY vector could be used for homologous integration in the human genome. The second was to ascertain whether inserted sequences could be amplified in preference to the endogenous DHFR genes. The third was to determine if the HARY insertion could provide an anchor point for long range restriction mapping. The progress in each goal is described in this report.

  5. Mammalian touch catches up

    PubMed Central

    Walsh, Carolyn M.; Bautista, Diana M.; Lumpkin, Ellen A.

    2015-01-01

    An assortment of touch receptors innervate the skin and encode different tactile features of the environment. Compared with invertebrate touch and other sensory systems, our understanding of the molecular and cellular underpinnings of mammalian touch lags behind. Two recent breakthroughs have accelerated progress. First, an arsenal of cell-type-specific molecular markers allowed the functional and anatomical properties of sensory neurons to be matched, thereby unraveling a cellular code for touch. Such markers have also revealed key roles of non-neuronal cell types, such as Merkel cells and keratinocytes, in touch reception. Second, the discovery of Piezo genes as a new family of mechanically activated channels has fueled the discovery of molecular mechanisms that mediate and mechanotransduction in mammalian touch receptors. PMID:26100741

  6. 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

  7. Rheotaxis guides mammalian sperm

    PubMed Central

    Miki, Kiyoshi; Clapham, David E

    2013-01-01

    Background In sea urchins, spermatozoan motility is altered by chemotactic peptides, giving rise to the assumption that mammalian eggs also emit chemotactic agents that guide spermatozoa through the female reproductive tract to the mature oocyte. Mammalian spermatozoa indeed undergo complex adaptations within the female (the process of capacitation) that are initiated by agents ranging from pH to progesterone, but these factors are not necessarily taxic. Currently, chemotaxis, thermotaxis, and rheotaxis have not been definitively established in mammals. Results Here, we show that positive rheotaxis, the ability of organisms to orient and swim against the flow of surrounding fluid, is a major taxic factor for mouse and human sperm. This flow is generated within 4 hours of sexual stimulation and coitus in female mice; prolactin-triggered oviductal fluid secretion clears the oviduct of debris, lowers viscosity, and generates the stream that guides sperm migration in the oviduct. Rheotaxic movement is demonstrated in capacitated and uncapacitated spermatozoa in low and high viscosity medium. Finally, we show that a unique sperm motion we quantify using the sperm head's rolling rate reflects sperm rotation that generates essential force for positioning the sperm in the stream. Rotation requires CatSper channels, presumably by enabling Ca2+ influx. Conclusions We propose that rheotaxis is a major determinant of sperm guidance over long distances in the mammalian female reproductive tract. Coitus induces fluid flow to guide sperm in the oviduct. Sperm rheotaxis requires rotational motion during CatSper channel-dependent hyperactivated motility. PMID:23453951

  8. Schizosaccharomyces pombe protection of telomeres 1 utilizes alternate binding modes to accommodate different telomeric sequences.

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Segregating YKU80 and TLC1 alleles underlying natural variation in telomere properties in wild yeast.

    PubMed

    Liti, Gianni; Haricharan, Svasti; Cubillos, Francisco A; Tierney, Anna L; Sharp, Sarah; Bertuch, Alison A; Parts, Leopold; Bailes, Elizabeth; Louis, Edward J

    2009-09-01

    In yeast, as in humans, telomere length varies among individuals and is controlled by multiple loci. In a quest to define the extent of variation in telomere length, we screened 112 wild-type Saccharomyces sensu stricto isolates. We found extensive telomere length variation in S. paradoxus isolates. This phenotype correlated with their geographic origin: European strains were observed to have extremely short telomeres (<150 bp), whereas American isolates had telomeres approximately three times as long (>400 bp). Insertions of a URA3 gene near telomeres allowed accurate analysis of individual telomere lengths and telomere position effect (TPE). Crossing the American and European strains resulted in F1 spores with a continuum of telomere lengths consistent with what would be predicted if many quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were involved in length maintenance. Variation in TPE is similarly quantitative but only weakly correlated with telomere length. Genotyping F1 segregants indicated several QTLs associated with telomere length and silencing variation. These QTLs include likely candidate genes but also map to regions where there are no known genes involved in telomeric properties. We detected transgressive segregation for both phenotypes. We validated by reciprocal hemizygosity that YKU80 and TLC1 are telomere-length QTLs in the two S. paradoxus subpopulations. Furthermore, we propose that sequence divergence within the Ku heterodimer generates negative epistasis within one of the allelic combinations (American-YKU70 and European-YKU80) resulting in very short telomeres. PMID:19763176

  11. CpG-island promoters drive transcription of human telomeres

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Telomere sister chromatid exchange in telomerase deficient murine cells

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-11-23

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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Telomere dynamics during aging in polygenic left ventricular hypertrophy.

    PubMed

    Marques, Francine Z; Booth, Scott A; Prestes, Priscilla R; Curl, Claire L; Delbridge, Lea M D; Lewandowski, Paul; Harrap, Stephen B; Charchar, Fadi J

    2016-01-01

    Short telomeres are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Here we studied cardiomyocyte telomere length at key ages during the ontogeny of cardiac hypertrophy and failure in the hypertrophic heart rat (HHR) and compared these with the normal heart rat (NHR) control strain. Key ages corresponded with the pathophysiological sequence beginning with fewer cardiomyocytes (2 days), leading to left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) (13 wk) and subsequently progression to heart failure (38 wk). We measured telomere length, tissue activity of telomerase, mRNA levels of telomerase reverse transcriptase (Tert) and telomerase RNA component (Terc), and expression of the telomeric regulator microRNA miR-34a. Cardiac telomere length was longer in the HHR compared with the control strain at 2 days and 38 wk, but shorter at 13 wk. Neonatal HHR had higher cardiac telomerase activity and expression of Tert and miR-34a. Telomerase activity was not different at 13 or 38 wk. Tert mRNA and Terc RNA were overexpressed at 38 wk, while miR-34a was overexpressed at 13 wk but downregulated at 38 wk. Circulating leukocytes were strongly correlated with cardiac telomere length in the HHR only. The longer neonatal telomeres in HHR are likely to reflect fewer fetal and early postnatal cardiomyocyte cell divisions and explain the reduced total cardiomyocyte complement that predisposes to later hypertrophy and failure. Although shorter telomeres were a feature of cardiac hypertrophy at 13 wk, they were not present at the progression to heart failure at 38 wk.

  18. Telomeres and their possible role in chromosome stabilization

    SciTech Connect

    Day, J.P.; Marder, B.A.; Morgan, W.F. )

    1993-01-01

    The evidence to date generally supports the hypothesis that telomere capping makes chromosome fragments refractory to subsequent rejoining events, but this control may be somewhat relaxed after chromosome breakage. Cell survival requires that the fragments rejoin before metaphase. Unprotected ends such as those produced by DNA damage are subject to degradation, presumably by endogenous cellular exo- and endonucleases. Telomere repeat sequences may be added to broken chromosome ends to protect the ends from further degradation. That telomeric DNA does not always prevent rejoining raises interesting questions as to what constitutes capping, and how rapidly it occurs after DNA damage in relation to chromosome break rejoining. The prevention of degradation and control of rejoining may be mediated by telomere-specific binding proteins, especially the telomere terminal binding protein. Some of these proteins may be involved in scavenging telomeric DNA when the cell senses that chromosomal breaks have occurred. Although chromosome break rejoining is an efficient process in eukaryotic cells, some breaks are never rejoined and can result in terminal delections and chromatid and isochromatid deletions at metaphase. It is unclear why these breaks are not rejoined, but it may be due to one or more of the following: (1) chance: broken chromosomes are separated, do not approach sufficiently close to one another, and are consequently physically unable to rejoin; (2) a large number of added telomere repeat sequences indicating to the cell that the chromosome has an authentic telomere; (3) some other DNA modification event that protects DNA ends from degradation, e.g., folding back of DNA ends to form a hairpin, as has been implicated in VDJ recombination.

  19. Molecular adaptation of telomere associated genes in mammals

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Telomere dynamics in the lower plant Physcomitrella patens.

    PubMed

    Fojtová, Miloslava; Sýkorová, Eva; Najdekrová, Lucie; Polanská, Pavla; Zachová, Dagmar; Vagnerová, Radka; Angelis, Karel J; Fajkus, Jiří

    2015-04-01

    A comparative approach in biology is needed to assess the universality of rules governing this discipline. In plant telomere research, most of the key principles were established based on studies in only single model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. These principles include the absence of telomere shortening during plant development and the corresponding activity of telomerase in dividing (meristem) plant cells. Here we examine these principles in Physcomitrella patens as a representative of lower plants. To follow telomerase expression, we first characterize the gene coding for the telomerase reverse transcriptase subunit PpTERT in P. patens, for which only incomplete prediction has been available so far. In protonema cultures of P. patens, growing by filament apical cell division, the proportion of apical (dividing) cells was quantified and telomere length, telomerase expression and activity were determined. Our results show telomere stability and demonstrate proportionality of telomerase activity and expression with the number of apical cells. In addition, we analyze telomere maintenance in mre11, rad50, nbs1, ku70 and lig4 mutants of P. patens and compare the impact of these mutations in double-strand-break (DSB) repair pathways with earlier observations in corresponding A. thaliana mutants. Telomere phenotypes are absent and DSB repair kinetics is not affected in P. patens mutants for DSB factors involved in non-homologous end joining (NHEJ). This is compliant with the overall dominance of homologous recombination over NHEJ pathways in the moss, contrary to the inverse situation in flowering plants.

  2. Telomere Transcripts Target Telomerase in Human Cancer Cells.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Sexual Dysfunction and Infertility

    MedlinePlus

    ... American Society for Reproductive Medicine Sexual dysfunction and infertility What is sexual dysfunction and how common is ... and 40% of women. For couples dealing with infertility, it is even more common. Often, people ignore ...

  4. 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

  5. Mammalian glycosylation in immunity

    PubMed Central

    Marth, Jamey D.; Grewal, Prabhjit K.

    2009-01-01

    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 of 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. PMID:18846099

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20951653

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  8. Mitochondria and mammalian reproduction.

    PubMed

    Ramalho-Santos, João; Amaral, Sandra

    2013-10-15

    Mitochondria are cellular organelles with crucial roles in ATP synthesis, metabolic integration, reactive oxygen species (ROS) synthesis and management, the regulation of apoptosis (namely via the intrinsic pathway), among many others. Additionally, mitochondria in different organs or cell types may have distinct properties that can decisively influence functional analysis. In terms of the importance of mitochondria in mammalian reproduction, and although there are species-specific differences, these aspects involve both energetic considerations for gametogenesis and fertilization, control of apoptosis to ensure the proper production of viable gametes, and ROS signaling, as well as other emerging aspects. Crucially, mitochondria are the starting point for steroid hormone biosynthesis, given that the conversion of cholesterol to pregnenolone (a common precursor for all steroid hormones) takes place via the activity of the cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage enzyme (P450scc) on the inner mitochondrial membrane. Furthermore, mitochondrial activity in reproduction has to be considered in accordance with the very distinct strategies for gamete production in the male and female. These include distinct gonad morpho-physiologies, different types of steroids that are more prevalent (testosterone, estrogens, progesterone), and, importantly, the very particular timings of gametogenesis. While spermatogenesis is complete and continuous since puberty, producing a seemingly inexhaustible pool of gametes in a fixed environment; oogenesis involves the episodic production of very few gametes in an environment that changes cyclically. These aspects have always to be taken into account when considering the roles of any common element in mammalian reproduction.

  9. Interaction of Telomeric Retroelement HeT-A Transcripts and Their Protein Product Gag in Early Embryogenesis of Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Olovnikov, I A; Morgunova, V V; Mironova, A A; Kordyukova, M Y; Radion, E I; Olenkina, O M; Akulenko, N V; Kalmykova, A I

    2016-09-01

    The telomere is a nucleoprotein complex at the ends of linear chromosomes that protects them from fusion and degradation. The telomere consists of telomeric DNA, a protective protein complex and telomeric RNA. Biogenesis of telomeric transcripts in development is still far from being understood. Drosophila telomeres are elongated by a transposition of specialized telomeric retrotransposons that encode proteins. Using transgenic constructs encoding tagged telomeric protein, we found that transcripts of Drosophila telomeric element HeT-A bind Gag-HeT-A protein encoded by these transcripts. Maternal HeT-A transcripts and Gag-HeT-A form ribonucleoprotein granules around centrosomes, centers of microtubule organization, during blastoderm formation, upon disruption of telomere silencing during oogenesis. The specific localization of HeT-A RNA is dependent on microtubules since disruption of microtubules caused delocalization of HeT-A transcripts. This transgenic system is a valuable model for the study of telomeric RNA biogenesis. PMID:27682174

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    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.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Heeg, Steffen

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-09-01

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

  16. Stress and telomere shortening among central Indian conservation refugees.

    PubMed

    Zahran, Sammy; Snodgrass, Jeffrey G; Maranon, David G; Upadhyay, Chakrapani; Granger, Douglas A; Bailey, Susan M

    2015-03-01

    Research links psychosocial stress to premature telomere shortening and accelerated human aging; however, this association has only been demonstrated in so-called "WEIRD" societies (Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic), where stress is typically lower and life expectancies longer. By contrast, we examine stress and telomere shortening in a non-Western setting among a highly stressed population with overall lower life expectancies: poor indigenous people--the Sahariya--who were displaced (between 1998 and 2002) from their ancestral homes in a central Indian wildlife sanctuary. In this setting, we examined adult populations in two representative villages, one relocated to accommodate the introduction of Asiatic lions into the sanctuary (n = 24 individuals), and the other newly isolated in the sanctuary buffer zone after their previous neighbors were moved (n = 22). Our research strategy combined physical stress measures via the salivary analytes cortisol and α-amylase with self-assessments of psychosomatic stress, ethnographic observations, and telomere length assessment [telomere-fluorescence in situ hybridization (TEL-FISH) coupled with 3D imaging of buccal cell nuclei], providing high-resolution data amenable to multilevel statistical analysis. Consistent with expectations, we found significant associations between each of our stress measures--the two salivary analytes and the psychosomatic symptom survey--and telomere length, after adjusting for relevant behavioral, health, and demographic traits. As the first study (to our knowledge) to link stress to telomere length in a non-WEIRD population, our research strengthens the case for stress-induced telomere shortening as a pancultural biomarker of compromised health and aging. PMID:25730846

  17. Genome-wide association study of relative telomere length.

    PubMed

    Prescott, Jennifer; Kraft, Peter; Chasman, Daniel I; Savage, Sharon A; Mirabello, Lisa; Berndt, Sonja I; Weissfeld, Joel L; Han, Jiali; Hayes, Richard B; Chanock, Stephen J; Hunter, David J; De Vivo, Immaculata

    2011-05-10

    Telomere function is essential to maintaining the physical integrity of linear chromosomes and healthy human aging. The probability of forming proper telomere structures depends on the length of the telomeric DNA tract. We attempted to identify common genetic variants associated with log relative telomere length using genome-wide genotyping data on 3,554 individuals from the Nurses' Health Study and the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial that took part in the National Cancer Institute Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility initiative for breast and prostate cancer. After genotyping 64 independent SNPs selected for replication in additional Nurses' Health Study and Women's Genome Health Study participants, we did not identify genome-wide significant loci; however, we replicated the inverse association of log relative telomere length with the minor allele variant [C] of rs16847897 at the TERC locus (per allele β = -0.03, P = 0.003) identified by a previous genome-wide association study. We did not find evidence for an association with variants at the OBFC1 locus or other loci reported to be associated with telomere length. With this sample size we had >80% power to detect β estimates as small as ±0.10 for SNPs with minor allele frequencies of ≥0.15 at genome-wide significance. However, power is greatly reduced for β estimates smaller than ±0.10, such as those for variants at the TERC locus. In general, common genetic variants associated with telomere length homeostasis have been difficult to detect. Potential biological and technical issues are discussed.

  18. 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.

  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. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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. PMID:26799266

  5. Human UPF1 interacts with TPP1 and telomerase and sustains telomere leading-strand replication

    PubMed Central

    Chawla, Raghav; Redon, Sophie; Raftopoulou, Christina; Wischnewski, Harry; Gagos, Sarantis; Azzalin, Claus M

    2011-01-01

    Eukaryotic up-frameshift 1 (UPF1) is a nucleic acid-dependent ATPase and 5′-to-3′ helicase, best characterized for its roles in cytoplasmic RNA quality control. We previously demonstrated that human UPF1 binds to telomeres in vivo and its depletion leads to telomere instability. Here, we show that UPF1 is present at telomeres at least during S and G2/M phases and that UPF1 association with telomeres is stimulated by the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)-related protein kinase ataxia telangiectasia mutated and Rad3-related (ATR) and by telomere elongation. UPF1 physically interacts with the telomeric factor TPP1 and with telomerase. Akin to UPF1 binding to telomeres, this latter interaction is mediated by ATR. Moreover, the ATPase activity of UPF1 is required to prevent the telomeric defects observed upon UPF1 depletion, and these defects stem predominantly from inefficient telomere leading-strand replication. Our results portray a scenario where UPF1 orchestrates crucial aspects of telomere biology, including telomere replication and telomere length homeostasis. PMID:21829167

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Covalent ligation studies on the human telomere quadruplex

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Jianying; Shafer, Richard H.

    2005-01-01

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

  12. Two 22q telomere deletions serendipitously detected by FISH.

    PubMed

    Precht, K S; Lese, C M; Spiro, R P; Huttenlocher, P R; Johnston, K M; Baker, J C; Christian, S L; Kittikamron, K; Ledbetter, D H

    1998-11-01

    Cryptic telomere deletions have been proposed to be a significant cause of idiopathic mental retardation. We present two unrelated subjects, with normal G banding analysis, in whom 22q telomere deletions were serendipitously detected at two different institutions using fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH). Both probands presented with several of the previously described features associated with 22q deletions, including hypotonia, developmental delay, and absence of speech. Our two cases increase the total number of reported 22q telomere deletions to 19, the majority of which were identified by cytogenetic banding analysis. With the limited sensitivity of routine cytogenetic studies (approximately 2-5 Mb), these two new cases suggest that the actual prevalence of 22q telomere deletions may be higher than currently documented. Of additional interest is the phenotypic overlap with Angelman syndrome (AS) as it raises the possibility of a 22q deletion in patients in whom AS has been ruled out. The use of telomeric probes as diagnostic reagents would be useful in determining an accurate prevalence of chromosome 22q deletions and could result in a significantly higher detection rate of subtelomeric rearrangements.

  13. Interactions of TRF2 with model telomeric ends

    SciTech Connect

    Khan, Sheik J.; Yanez, Giscard; Seldeen, Kenneth; Wang, Hongda; Lindsay, Stuart M.; Fletcher, Terace M.

    2007-11-09

    Telomeres are DNA-protein complexes at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, the integrity of which is essential for chromosome stability. An important telomere binding protein, TTAGGG repeat factor 2 (TRF2), is thought to protect telomere ends by remodeling them into T-loops. We show that TRF2 specifically interacts with telomeric ss/ds DNA junctions and binding is sensitive to the sequence of the 3', guanine-strand (G-strand) overhang and double-stranded DNA sequence at the junction. Association of TRF2 with DNA junctions hinders cleavage by exonuclease T. TRF2 interactions with the G-strand overhang do not involve the TRF2 DNA binding domain or the linker region. However, mobility shifts and atomic force microscopy show that the previously uncharacterized linker region is involved in DNA-specific, TRF2 oligomerization. We suggest that T-loop formation at telomere ends involves TRF2 binding to the G-strand overhang and oligomerization through both the known TRFH domain and the linker region.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Mason, J.M.; Biessmann, H.

    1993-12-31

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

  15. Immunosenescence and Rheumatoid Arthritis: Does Telomere Shortening Predict Impending Disease?

    PubMed Central

    Costenbader, Karen H.; Prescott, Jennifer; Zee, Robert Y.; De Vivo, Immaculata

    2011-01-01

    The pathogenesis of RA, a disabling autoimmune disease, is incompletely understood. Early in the development of RA there appears to be loss of immune homeostasis and regulation, and premature immunosenescence. While identification of risk factors and understanding of the phases of RA pathogenesis are advancing, means of accurately predicting an individual’s risk of developing RA are currently lacking. Telomere length has been proposed as a potential new biomarker for the development of RA that could enhance prediction of this serious disease. Studies examining telomere length in relation to RA have found that telomere erosion appears to proceed more rapidly in subjects with RA than in healthy controls, and that telomere lengths are shorter in those with the RA-risk HLA-shared epitope genes. These studies have been small, however, with retrospective or cross-sectional designs. The potential role of telomere shortening as an independent biomarker for future RA risk, perhaps strongly genetically determined by HLA-SE genes, after controlling for known risk factors such as smoking, body mass index and immunosuppressant medication use, as well as systemic inflammation, is an unanswered question. PMID:21575746

  16. Sexual dysfunction in epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Morrell, M J

    1991-01-01

    Sexual dysfunction may arise more frequently in men and women with epilepsy than with other chronic illnesses, manifesting primarily as diminished sexual desire and potency. Studies using retrospective self-report of sexual attitude and behavior find an incidence of sexual dysfunction ranging from 14-66%. Sexual dysfunction may be more common in partial than in generalized epilepsies. Sexual dysfunction in epilepsy may result from a disturbance in social or psychological factors affecting sexual responsiveness. Alternatively, epileptiform discharges may disrupt the function of structures mediating sexual behavior, particularly the limbic cortex, or alter the release of hypothalamic or pituitary hormones. Antiepileptic drugs modulate hormone release from the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and may have direct inhibitory effects on sexual behavior. Evidence both supports and refutes each of these etiologies in the sexual dysfunction seen with epilepsy. Specific evaluation and treatment protocols for patients with sexual dysfunction are available.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Tired Telomeres: poor global sleep quality, perceived stress, and telomere length in immune cell subsets in obese men and women

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2014-01-01

    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

  20. At Short Telomeres Tel1 Directs Early Replication and Phosphorylates Rif1

    PubMed Central

    Sridhar, Akila; Kedziora, Sylwia; Donaldson, Anne D.

    2014-01-01

    The replication time of Saccharomyces cerevisiae telomeres responds to TG1–3 repeat length, with telomeres of normal length replicating late during S phase and short telomeres replicating early. Here we show that Tel1 kinase, which is recruited to short telomeres, specifies their early replication, because we find a tel1Δ mutant has short telomeres that nonetheless replicate late. Consistent with a role for Tel1 in driving early telomere replication, initiation at a replication origin close to an induced short telomere was reduced in tel1Δ cells, in an S phase blocked by hydroxyurea. The telomeric chromatin component Rif1 mediates late replication of normal telomeres and is a potential substrate of Tel1 phosphorylation, so we tested whether Tel1 directs early replication of short telomeres by inactivating Rif1. A strain lacking both Rif1 and Tel1 behaves like a rif1Δ mutant by replicating its telomeres early, implying that Tel1 can counteract the delaying effect of Rif1 to control telomere replication time. Proteomic analyses reveals that in yku70Δ cells that have short telomeres, Rif1 is phosphorylated at Tel1 consensus sequences (S/TQ sites), with phosphorylation of Serine-1308 being completely dependent on Tel1. Replication timing analysis of a strain mutated at these phosphorylation sites, however, suggested that Tel1-mediated phosphorylation of Rif1 is not the sole mechanism of replication timing control at telomeres. Overall, our results reveal two new functions of Tel1 at shortened telomeres: phosphorylation of Rif1, and specification of early replication by counteracting the Rif1-mediated delay in initiation at nearby replication origins. PMID:25329891

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Sugioka-Sugiyama, Rie; Sugiyama, Tomoyasu

    2011-03-18

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

  3. 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

  4. Religious Involvement and Telomere Length in Women Family Caregivers.

    PubMed

    Koenig, Harold G; Nelson, Bruce; Shaw, Sally F; Saxena, Salil; Cohen, Harvey Jay

    2016-01-01

    Telomere length (TL) is an indicator of cellular aging associated with longevity and psychosocial stress. We examine here the relationship between religious involvement and TL in 251 stressed female family caregivers recruited into a 2-site study. Religious involvement, perceived stress, caregiver burden, depressive symptoms, and social support were measured and correlated with TL in whole blood leukocytes. Results indicated a U-shaped relationship between religiosity and TL. Those scoring in the lowest 10% on religiosity tended to have the longest telomeres (5743 bp ± 367 vs. 5595 ± 383, p = 0.069). However, among the 90% of caregivers who were at least somewhat religious, religiosity was significantly and positively related to TL after controlling for covariates (B = 1.74, SE = 0.82, p = 0.034). Whereas nonreligious caregivers have relatively long telomeres, we found a positive relationship between religiosity and TL among those who are at least somewhat religious.

  5. Genome rearrangements caused by interstitial telomeric sequences in yeast

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Production of Engineered Minichromosome Vectors via the Introduction of Telomere Sequences.

    PubMed

    Graham, Nathaniel; Swyers, Nathan; Cody, Jon; McCaw, Morgan; Zhao, Changzeng; Birchler, James A

    2016-01-01

    Artificial minichromosomes are non-integrating vectors capable of stably maintaining transgenes outside of the main chromosome set. The production of minichromosomes relies on telomere-mediated chromosomal truncation, which involves introducing transgenes and telomere sequences concurrently to the cell to truncate an endogenous chromosomal target. Two methods can be utilized; either the telomere sequences can be incorporated into a binary vector for transformation with Agrobacterium tumefaciens, or the telomere sequences can be co-introduced with transgenes during particle bombardment. In this protocol, the methods required to isolate and introduce telomere sequences are presented. Following the methods presented, standard transformation procedures can be followed to produce minichromosome containing plants. PMID:27557682

  7. Regulating telomere length from the inside out: the replication fork model

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Telomere length is regulated around an equilibrium set point. Telomeres shorten during replication and are lengthened by telomerase. Disruption of the length equilibrium leads to disease; thus, it is important to understand the mechanisms that regulate length at the molecular level. The prevailing protein-counting model for regulating telomerase access to elongate the telomere does not explain accumulating evidence of a role of DNA replication in telomere length regulation. Here I present an alternative model: the replication fork model that can explain how passage of a replication fork and regulation of origin firing affect telomere length. PMID:27401551

  8. 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.

  9. Telomere Transcripts Target Telomerase in Human Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Dimensions of religious involvement and leukocyte telomere length.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  11. Is telomere erosion a mechanism of species extinction?

    PubMed

    Stindl, Reinhard

    2004-03-15

    According to the fossil record, 99.9% of all species that have ever lived on Earth have disappeared. However, only about 4% died out during the five mass extinction events, whereas it seems that the majority of species vanished without any signs of significant earthbound or extraterrestrial physical threats. Clearly, biological extinction mechanisms are by far the most important, but they are subject to serious limitations concerning the worldwide disappearance of species. In view of that, species-inherent mechanisms, which could lead to the worldwide destabilization of a population, might be worth reconsideration. Telomeres, the protective caps of chromosome ends, and the enzyme telomerase have been well preserved in plants and animals during evolution. In the absence of telomerase activity, telomeric DNA has been shown to shorten every time a cell divides. The concept of a mitotic clock based on the gradual erosion of telomeres is now generally accepted and has been confirmed in numerous plants and animals. Chromosomal rearrangements are the hallmarks of two completely different biological phenomena, cancer and speciation. In premalignant cells, gradual telomere erosion beyond a critical threshold is a well-known inducer of chromosomal instability. The species clock hypothesis, as presented here, is based on the idea of a tiny loss of mean telomere length per generation. This mechanism would not rapidly endanger the survival of a particular species. Yet, after many thousands of generations, critically short telomeres could lead to the weakening and even the extinction of old species and would simultaneously create the unstable chromosomal environment that might result in the origination of new species.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Association of Telomere Length with Breast Cancer Prognostic Factors

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Does the cryogenic freezing process cause shorter telomeres?

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Edmund C; Ye, Lingling; Silverman, Wayne P

    2012-08-01

    We have observed evidence of increased telomere shortening in short-term T-lymphocyte cultures following freezing and thawing of the original inoculum obtained by ficoll-paque gradient centrifugation, compared to T-lymphocytes that were cultured immediately without freezing and thawing from the same blood sample from 3 female and 3 male adults. Because freezing may have similar effects on other cell types, and because telomere shortening may only manifest its effects after many years or decades, we suggest there is a pressing need for evaluation of the effects of freezing on any cells envisioned for clinical applications, including embryo implantation. PMID:22465657

  16. Mammalian Wax Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Jeffrey B.; Russell, David W.

    2009-01-01

    Wax monoesters are synthesized by the esterification of fatty alcohols and fatty acids. A mammalian enzyme that catalyzes this reaction has not been isolated. We used expression cloning to identify cDNAs encoding a wax synthase in the mouse preputial gland. The wax synthase gene is located on the X chromosome and encodes a member of the acyltransferase family of enzymes that synthesize neutral lipids. Expression of wax synthase in cultured cells led to the formation of wax monoesters from straight chain saturated, unsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty alcohols and acids. Polyisoprenols also were incorporated into wax monoesters by the enzyme. The wax synthase had little or no ability to synthesize cholesteryl esters, diacylglycerols, or triacylglycerols, whereas other acyltransferases, including the acyl-CoA:monoacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 and 2 enzymes and the acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 and 2 enzymes, exhibited modest wax monoester synthesis activities. Confocal light microscopy indicated that the wax synthase was localized in membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum. Wax synthase mRNA was abundant in tissues rich in sebaceous glands such as the preputial gland and eyelid and was present at lower levels in other tissues. Coexpression of cDNAs specifying fatty acyl-CoA reductase 1 and wax synthase led to the synthesis of wax monoesters. The data suggest that wax monoester synthesis in mammals involves a two step biosynthetic pathway catalyzed by fatty acyl-CoA reductase and wax synthase enzymes. PMID:15220349

  17. Mammalian Wax Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Jeffrey B.; Russell, David W.

    2009-01-01

    The conversion of fatty acids to fatty alcohols is required for the synthesis of wax monoesters and ether lipids. The mammalian enzymes that synthesize fatty alcohols have not been identified. Here, an in silico approach was used to discern two putative reductase enzymes designated FAR1 and FAR2. Expression studies in intact cells showed that FAR1 and FAR2 cDNAs encoded isozymes that reduced fatty acids to fatty alcohols. Fatty acyl-CoA esters were the substrate of FAR1, and the enzyme required NADPH as a cofactor. FAR1 preferred saturated and unsaturated fatty acids of 16 or 18 carbons as substrates, whereas FAR2 preferred saturated fatty acids of 16 or 18 carbons. Confocal light microscopy indicated that FAR1 and FAR2 were localized in the peroxisome. The FAR1 mRNA was detected in many mouse tissues with the highest level found in the preputial gland, a modified sebaceous gland. The FAR2 mRNA was more restricted in distribution and most abundant in the eyelid, which contains wax-laden meibomian glands. Both FAR mRNAs were present in the brain, a tissue rich in ether lipids. The data suggest that fatty alcohol synthesis in mammals is accomplished by two fatty acyl-CoA reductase isozymes that are expressed at high levels in tissues known to synthesize wax monoesters and ether lipids. PMID:15220348

  18. Mammalian Gut Immunity

    PubMed Central

    Chassaing, Benoit; Kumar, Manish; Baker, Mark T.; Singh, Vishal; Vijay-Kumar, Matam

    2016-01-01

    The mammalian intestinal tract is the largest immune organ in the body and comprises cells from non-hemopoietic (epithelia, Paneth cells, goblet cells) and hemopoietic (macrophages, dendritic cells, T-cells) origin, and is also a dwelling for trillions of microbes collectively known as the microbiota. The homeostasis of this large microbial biomass is prerequisite to maintain host health by maximizing beneficial symbiotic relationships and minimizing the risks of living in such close proximity. Both microbiota and host immune system communicate with each other to mutually maintain homeostasis in what could be called a “love–hate relationship.” Further, the host innate and adaptive immune arms of the immune system cooperate and compensate each other to maintain the equilibrium of a highly complex gut ecosystem in a stable and stringent fashion. Any imbalance due to innate or adaptive immune deficiency or aberrant immune response may lead to dysbiosis and low-grade to robust gut inflammation, finally resulting in metabolic diseases. PMID:25163502

  19. Drosophila telomeric retrotransposons derived from an ancestral element that was recruited to replace telomerase

    PubMed Central

    Villasante, Alfredo; Abad, José P.; Planelló, Rosario; Méndez-Lago, María; Celniker, Susan E.; de Pablos, Beatriz

    2007-01-01

    Drosophila telomeres do not have arrays of simple telomerase-generated G-rich repeats. Instead, Drosophila maintains its telomeres by occasional transposition of specific non-long terminal repeat (non-LTR) retrotransposons to chromosome ends. The genus Drosophila provides a superb model system for comparative telomere analysis. Here we present an evolutionary study of Drosophila telomeric elements to ascertain the significance of telomeric retrotransposons (TRs) in the maintenance of Drosophila telomeres. PCR and in silico surveys in the sibling species of Drosophila melanogaster and in more distantly related species show that multiple TRs maintain telomeres in Drosophila. In addition to TRs with two open reading frames (ORFs) capable of autonomous transposition, there are deleted telomeric retrotransposons that have lost their ORF2, which we refer to as half telomeric-retrotransposons (HTRs). The phylogenetic relationship among these telomeric elements is congruent with the phylogeny of the species, suggesting that they have been vertically inherited from a common ancestor. Our results suggest that an existing non-LTR retrotransposon was recruited to perform the cellular function of telomere maintenance. PMID:17989257

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  1. Fission Yeast Exo1 and Rqh1-Dna2 Redundantly Contribute to Resection of Uncapped Telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Nanbu, Tomoko; Nguyễn, Luân C.; Habib, Ahmed G. K.; Hirata, Naoya; Ukimori, Shinobu; Tanaka, Daiki; Masuda, Kenta; Takahashi, Katsunori; Yukawa, Masashi; Tsuchiya, Eiko; Ueno, Masaru

    2015-01-01

    The uncapping of telomeres induces a DNA damage response. In Schizosaccharomyces pombe, deletion of pot1+ causes telomere uncapping and rapid telomere resection, resulting in chromosome fusion. Using the nmt-pot1-aid strain, we previously reported that Pot1 shut-off causes telomere loss and chromosome fusion in S. pombe. However, the factors responsible for the resection of uncapped telomeres remain unknown. In this study, we investigated these factors and found that concomitant deletion of rqh1+ and exo1+ alleviated the loss of telomeres following Pot1 shut-off, suggesting that Rqh1 and Exo1 are redundantly involved in the resection of uncapped telomeres. We also investigated the role of Rqh1 helicase activity and found it to be essential for the resection of uncapped telomeres. Moreover, we found that Dna2 and Exo1 function redundantly in the resection of uncapped telomeres. Taken together, these results suggest that Exo1 and Rqh1-Dna2 redundantly contribute to the resection of uncapped telomeres. Therefore, our results demonstrate that nmt-pot1-aid is an important model strain to study the role of helicases and nucleases in the resection of uncapped telomeres and to improve our understanding of DNA double-strand break repair. PMID:26465752

  2. 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.

  3. Restoration of telomeres in human papillomavirus-immortalized human anogenital epithelial cells.

    PubMed Central

    Klingelhutz, A J; Barber, S A; Smith, P P; Dyer, K; McDougall, J K

    1994-01-01

    Loss of telomeres has been hypothesized to be important in cellular senescence and may play a role in carcinogenesis. In this study, we have measured telomere length in association with the immortalization and transformation of human cervical and foreskin epithelial cells by the human papillomavirus type 16 or 18 E6 and E7 open reading frames. By using a telomeric TTAGGG repeat probe, it was shown that the telomeres of precrisis normal and E6-, E7-, and E6/E7-expressing cells gradually shortened with passaging (30 to 100 bp per population doubling). Cells that expressed both E6 and E7 went through a crisis period and gave rise to immortalized lines. In contrast to precrisis cells, E6/E7-immortalized cells generally showed an increase in telomere length as they were passaged in culture, with some later passage lines having telomeres that were similar to or longer than the earliest-passage precrisis cells examined. No consistent association could be made between telomere length and tumorigenicity of cells in nude mice. However, of the three cell lines that grew in vivo, two had long telomeres, thus arguing against the hypothesis that cancer cells favor shortened telomeres. Our results indicate that arrest of telomere shortening may be important in human papillomavirus-associated immortalization and that restoration of telomere length may be advantageous to cells with regard to their ability to proliferate. Images PMID:8289836

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Telomeres represent the repetitive sequences that cap chromosome ends and are essential for their protection. Telomere length is known to be highly heritable and is derived from a homeostatic balance between telomeric lengthening and shortening activities. Specific loci that form the genetic framework underlying telomere length homeostasis, however, are not well understood. To investigate the extent of natural variation of telomere length in Arabidopsis thaliana, we examined 229 worldwide accessions by terminal restriction fragment analysis.