Telomere Science Library

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about the Nobel-Prize Winning Science of Telomere Biology

Anemia

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Current drugs for myeloproliferative neoplasm-associated myelofibrosis, including Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors, do not induce complete or partial remissions. Imetelstat is a 13-mer lipid-conjugated oligonucleotide that targets the RNA template of human telomerase reverse transcriptase....
Published 09/03/2015    Read More...
Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is a rare hereditary disorder characterized by bone marrow failure, cancer predisposition (11-fold increase compared to general population), ectodermal dysplasia (nail dystrophy, oral leukoplakia, and abnormal skin pigmentation) and other additional somatic abnormalities. A 22-year-old man presented with fever, chills, and a painful throat. Leukoplakia was noted on his tongue and some of his fingers and toe nails were markedly dystrophic. His skin seemed spotted with...
Published 03/01/2015    Read More...
β-Thalassemia/HbE disease is caused by a defective β-globin synthesis that leads to accumulation of excess unbound α-globins, and consequently oxidative stress, ineffective erythropoiesis and chronic anemia. Cell replication and oxidative stress are factors contributing to erosion of telomeres responsible for maintaining genomic stability and cell replication capability. In this study, the rate of telomere shortening in β-thalassemia/HbE patients was compared to the rate of telomere...
Published 01/17/2015    Read More...
Human aging is associated with DNA methylation changes at specific sites in the genome. These epigenetic modifications may be used to track donor age for forensic analysis or to estimate biological age....
Published 02/03/2014    Read More...
Inherited bone marrow failure (IBMF) syndromes are a heterogeneous group of rare hematological disorders characterized by the impairment of hematopoiesis, which harbor specific clinical presentations and pathogenic mechanisms. Some of these syndromes may progress through clonal evolution, myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Most prominent are failures of DNA repair such as Fanconi Anemia and much rarer failure of ribosomal apparatus, e.g., Diamond Blackfan Anemia or...
Published 02/12/2016    Read More...
The use of targeted sequencing and unbiased whole exome sequencing has detected the presence of MDS-related mutations in nearly 20-25% of patients with bonafide AA, with mutations more commonly seen in epigenetic regulators such as DNMT3A, ASXL1 and BCOR. The implications of these mutations and their hierarchical order, especially in the context of predicting evolution to MDS, is still being explored and further data, especially with serial sampling at various time points during the course of...
Published 01/13/2015    Read More...
Telomeres protect chromosome ends and are markers of cellular aging and replicative capacity....
Published 02/11/2015    Read More...
Fanconi anemia (FA) is a rare recessive disorder associated with chromosomal fragility. FA patients are at very high risk of cancers, especially head and neck squamous cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas caused by infection of human papillomaviruses (HPVs). By integrating into the host genome, HPV oncogenes E6 and E7 drive the genomic instability to promote DNA damage and gene mutations necessary for carcinogenesis in FA patients. Furthermore, E6 and E7 oncoproteins not only inhibit p53...
Published 03/17/2015    Read More...
Our understanding of the pathophysiology of aplastic anemia is undergoing significant revision, with implications for diagnosis and treatment. Constitutional and acquired disease is poorly delineated, as lesions in some genetic pathways cause stereotypical childhood syndromes and also act as risk factors for clinical manifestations in adult life. Telomere diseases are a prominent example of this relationship. Accelerated telomere attrition is the result of mutations in telomere repair genes and...
Published 09/18/2014    Read More...
Cerebro-retinal microangiopathy with calcifications and cysts (CRMCC) or Coats plus syndrome is a pleiotropic disorder affecting the eyes, brain, bone and gastrointestinal tract. Its primary pathogenesis involves small vessel obliterative microangiopathy. Recently, autosomal recessively inherited mutations in CTC1 have been reported in CRMCC patients. We herein report an adolescent referred to our hospital following new seizures in a context of an undefined multisystem disorder. Cerebral imaging...
Published 04/02/2015    Read More...
The present study was primarily undertaken to examine the hypothesis that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations and telomere length may be associated with aplastic anemia (AA). Our study included a single institution analysis of 40 patients presenting with AA first diagnosed at the Affiliated Hospital of Shandong, University of Traditional Chinese Medicine between 2010 and 2013. Bone marrow and oral epithelial samples were collected from patients with AA (n=40) for mtDNA mutation and telomere...
Published 08/13/2014    Read More...
Inherited bone marrow failure syndrome (IBMFS) encompasses a heterogeneous and complex group of genetic disorders characterized by physical malformations, insufficient blood cell production, and increased risk of malignancies. They often have substantial phenotype overlap, and therefore, genotyping is often a critical means of establishing a diagnosis. Current advances in the field of IBMFSs have identified multiple genes associated with IBMFSs and their pathways: genes involved in ribosome...
Published 08/25/2014    Read More...
Dyskeratosis congenita (DKC) is associated with impaired telomere maintenance and with clinical features of premature aging. In this study, we analysed global DNA methylation (DNAm) profiles of DKC patients. Age-associated DNAm changes were not generally accelerated in DKC, but there were significant differences to DNAm patterns of healthy controls, particularly in CpG sites related to an internal promoter region of PR domain containing 8 (PRDM8). Notably, the same genomic region was also...
Published 02/17/2016    Read More...
Randomized clinical trials in pediatric aplastic anemia (AA) are rare and data to guide standards of care are scarce....
Published 11/27/2013    Read More...
Telomere length measurement is an essential test for the diagnosis of telomeropathies, which are caused by excessive telomere erosion. Commonly used methods are terminal restriction fragment (TRF) analysis by Southern blot, fluorescence in situ hybridization coupled with flow cytometry (flow-FISH), and quantitative PCR (qPCR). Although these methods have been used in the clinic, they have not been comprehensively compared. Here, we directly compared the performance of flow-FISH and qPCR to...
Published 11/19/2014    Read More...
Hepatitis-associated aplastic anemia (HAA) is a variant of acquired aplastic anemia (AA) in which immune-mediated bone marrow failure (BMF) develops following an acute episode of seronegative hepatitis. Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is an inherited BMF syndrome characterized by the presence of short telomeres, mucocutaneous abnormalities, and cancer predisposition. While both conditions may cause BMF and hepatic impairment, therapeutic approaches are distinct, making it imperative to establish the...
Published 01/23/2016    Read More...
Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is a rare, progressive, multi-system, inherited disorder of telomere biology, first described in 1906 as the Zinsser-Engman-Cole syndrome. The condition presents with the classic triad of nail dystrophy, reticulate skin pigmentation, and oral leukoplakia. Variable somatic abnormalities may be present; these include pulmonary, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, cerebral, and dental complications. Pancytopenia eventually develops, progressing to bone marrow failure. In...
Published 07/14/2015    Read More...
Autoimmune cytopenia is a frequent manifestation of primary immunodeficiencies. Two siblings presented with Evans syndrome, viral infections, and progressive leukopenia. DNA available from one patient showed a homozygous frameshift mutation in tripeptidyl peptidase II (TPP2) abolishing protein expression. TPP2 is a serine exopeptidase involved in extralysosomal peptide degradation. Its deficiency in mice activates cell death programs and premature senescence. Similar to cells from naïve,...
Published 11/20/2014    Read More...
Aplastic anemia is a heterogeneous disorder of bone marrow failure syndrome. Accumulating evidence indicates that both acquired and congenital aplastic anemia is linked to telomerase activity and telomere length. Chinese herbal medicine Tianshengyuan-1 (TSY-1), a liquid extraction of multiple Chinese herbs, appears to stimulate hematopoiesis in patients with bone marrow deficiencies; however, the exact mechanism of action remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the effect of TSY-1 on...
Published 03/15/2014    Read More...
ELG1 is a conserved gene uncovered in a number of genetic screens in yeast aimed at identifying factors important in the maintenance of genome stability. Elg1's activity prevents gross chromosomal rearrangements, maintains proper telomere length regulation, helps repairing DNA damage created by a number of genotoxins and participates in sister chromatid cohesion. Elg1 is evolutionarily conserved, and its mammalian ortholog (also known as ATAD5) is embryonic lethal when lost in mice, acts as a...
Published 11/24/2014    Read More...
Short telomeres are a common defect in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, yet mutations in the telomerase genes account for only a subset of these cases....
Published 05/07/2015    Read More...
Abnormal telomere attrition has been found to be closely related to patients with SAA in recent years. To identify the incidence of telomere attrition in SAA patients and investigate the relationship of telomere length with clinical parameters, SAA patients (n=27) and healthy controls (n=15) were enrolled in this study. Telomere length of PWBCs was significantly shorter in SAA patients than in controls. Analysis of gene expression of Shelterin complex revealed markedly low levels of POT1...
Published 05/06/2014    Read More...
Our genome contains many G-rich sequences, which have the propensity to fold into stable secondary DNA structures called G4 or G-quadruplex structures. These structures have been implicated in cellular processes such as gene regulation and telomere maintenance. However, G4 sequences are prone to mutations particularly upon replication stress or in the absence of specific helicases. To investigate how G-quadruplex structures are resolved during DNA replication, we developed a model system using...
Published 09/05/2014    Read More...
Nonerythroid alpha spectrin (αIISp) interacts in the nucleus with an array of different proteins indicating its involvement in a number of diverse functions. However, the significance of these interactions and their functional importance has been a relatively unexplored area. The best documented role of nuclear αIISp is in DNA repair where it is critical for repair of DNA interstrand cross-links (ICLs), acting as a scaffold recruiting proteins to sites of damage in genomic and telomeric DNA. A...
Published 07/24/2015    Read More...
Authors: Michael M. Heuser, Carola C. Schlarmann, Vera V. Dobbernack, Victoria V. Panagiota, Lutz L. Wiehlmann, Carolin C. Walter, Fabian F. Beier, Patrick P. Ziegler, Haiyang H. Yun, Sofia S. Kade, Aylin A. Kirchner, Liu L. Huang, Christian C. Koenecke, Matthias M. Eder, Tim H TH. Brümmendorf, Martin M. Dugas,...
Published 06/06/2014    Read More...
Hoyeraal-Hreidarsson syndrome is a severe multisystem disorder that is characterized by bone-marrow failure, intrauterine growth retardation, microcephaly, immunodeficiency, and cerebellar atrophy. This rare disease shares clinical features with dyskeratosis congenita and, together, they are recognized as a group of disorders caused by telomere dysfunction. As the genetic background of dyskeratosis congenita or Hoyeraal-Hreidarsson syndrome has expanded rapidly, multiple causative genes and...
Published 06/07/2014    Read More...
Telomeres consist of long nucleotide repeats and a protein complex at chromosome ends essential for chromosome stability. Telomeres shorten with each cell division and thus are markers of cellular age. Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is a cancer-prone inherited bone marrow failure syndrome caused by germ-line mutations in key telomere biology genes that result in extremely short telomeres. The triad of nail dysplasia, abnormal skin pigmentation, and oral leukoplakia is diagnostic of DC but highly...
Published 07/04/2014    Read More...
Aplastic anemia (AA) is a disease characterized by pancytopenia and hypoplastic bone marrow caused by the decrease of hematopoietic stem cells. The pathogenesis of AA is complex and involves an abnormal hematopoietic microenvironment, hematopoietic stem cell/progenitor cell deficiencies and immunity disorders. Survival in severe aplastic anemia (SAA) has markedly improved in the past 4 decades because of advances in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, immunosuppressive and biologic drugs,...
Published 01/12/2014    Read More...
Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein enzyme that is necessary for overcoming telomere shortening in human germ and stem cells. Mutations in telomerase or other telomere-maintenance proteins can lead to diseases characterized by depletion of hematopoietic stem cells and bone marrow failure (BMF). Telomerase localization to telomeres requires an interaction with a region on the surface of the telomere-binding protein TPP1 known as the TEL patch. Here, we identify a family with aplastic anemia and...
Published 09/09/2014    Read More...
Authors: Emma R ER. Drašar, Jie J. Jiang, Kate K. Gardner, Jo J. Howard, Tom T. Vulliamy, Nisha N. Vasavda, Swee Lay SL. Thein Published: 02/14/2014, British journal of haematology PubMed Full Text...
Published 02/14/2014    Read More...
Ageing is the inevitable time-dependent decline in physiological organ function that eventually leads to death. Age is a major risk factor for many of the most common medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. This study reviews currently known hallmarks of ageing and their clinical implications....
Published 01/16/2016    Read More...
Normal human stem cells rely on low levels of active telomerase to sustain their high replicative requirements. Deficiency in telomere maintenance mechanisms leads to the development of premature aging diseases, such as dyskeratosis congenita (DC) and aplastic anemia (AA). Mutations in the unique insertion in fingers domain (IFD) in the human telomerase catalytic subunit (hTERT) have previously been identified and shown to be associated with DC and AA. However, little is known about the...
Published 02/17/2016    Read More...
Acquired aplastic anemia (AAA) is rare disorders caused due to the profound or almost complete bone marrow failure. It is a life threatening hematopoietic stem cells disorder, which is characterized by pancytopenia or complete loss of blood-forming cells. The aim of the present study is to screen for the mutations in telomerase complex genes, and to establish a molecular and hematological profile of Indian sub population....
Published 09/07/2015    Read More...
Understanding how cellular machinery deals with chromosomal genome complexity is an important question because protein bound to DNA may affect various cellular processes of nucleic acid metabolism. DNA helicases are at the forefront of such processes, yet there is only limited knowledge how they remodel protein-DNA complexes and how these mechanisms are regulated. We have determined that representative human RecQ and Fe-S cluster DNA helicases are potently blocked by a protein-DNA interaction....
Published 06/03/2014    Read More...
As a scaffold, SLX4/FANCP interacts with multiple proteins involved in genome integrity. Although not having recognizable catalytic domains, SLX4 participates in diverse genome maintenance pathways by delivering nucleases where they are needed, and promoting their cooperative execution to prevent genomic instabilities. Physiological importance of SLX4 is emphasized by the identification of causative mutations of SLX4 genes in patients diagnosed with Fanconi anemia (FA), a rare recessive genetic...
Published 06/18/2014    Read More...
The significance of paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria (PNH(pos) ) cells and leucocyte subset telomere lengths in paediatric aplastic anaemia (AA) is unknown. Among 22 children receiving immunosuppressive therapy (IST) for AA, 73% (16/22) were PNH(pos) , of whom 94% achieved at least a partial response (PR) to IST; 11/16 (69%) achieved complete response (CR). Only 2/6 (33%) PNH(neg) patients achieved PR. PNH(pos) patients were less likely to fail IST compared to PNH(neg) patients (odds ratio...
Published 11/14/2013    Read More...
Acquired aplastic anemia is an immune-mediated disease characterized by severe defects in stem cell number resulting in hypocellular marrow and peripheral blood cytopenias. Minor paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria populations and a short telomere length were identified as predictive biomarkers of immunosuppressive therapy responsiveness in aplastic anemia. We enrolled 113 aplastic anemia patients (63 boys and 50 girls) in this study to evaluate their response to immunosuppressive therapy. The...
Published 08/27/2015    Read More...
Predicting the response to immunosuppressive therapy could provide useful information to help the clinician define treatment strategies for patients with aplastic anemia. In our current study, we evaluated the relationship between telomere length of lymphocytes at diagnosis and the response to immunosuppressive therapy in 64 children with aplastic anemia, using flow fluorescence in situ hybridization. Median age of patients was ten years (range 1.5-16.2 years). Severity of the disease was...
Published 05/09/2014    Read More...
To investigate genetic subtypes of inherited bone marrow failure syndrome Fanconi anemia (FA) in Sebia. FA-D2 subtype was found to be the most frequent genetic subtype among investigated FA patients; specific observations of FA-D2 phenotype are pointed out....
Published 12/10/2013    Read More...
Rasa3 is a GTPase activating protein of the GAP1 family which targets Ras and Rap1. Ubiquitous Rasa3 catalytic inactivation in mouse results in early embryonic lethality. Here, we show that Rasa3 catalytic inactivation in mouse hematopoietic cells results in a lethal syndrome characterized by severe defects during megakaryopoiesis, thrombocytopenia and a predisposition to develop preleukemia. The main objective of this study was to define the cellular and the molecular mechanisms of terminal...
Published 06/26/2014    Read More...
ELG1 is a conserved gene with important roles in the maintenance of genome stability. Elg1's activity prevents gross chromosomal rearrangements, maintains proper telomere length regulation, helps repairing DNA damage created by a number of genotoxins and participates in sister chromatid cohesion. Elg1 is evolutionarily conserved, and its Fanconi Anemia-related mammalian ortholog (also known as ATAD5) is embryonic lethal when lost in mice and acts as a tumor suppressor in mice and humans. Elg1...
Published 12/15/2015    Read More...
The length of the chromosome ends, telomeres, is widely accepted as a biomarker of aging. However, the dynamic of the relationship between telomere length and hematopoietic parameters in the normal aging process, which is of particular interest with respect to age-related anemia, is not well understood....
Published 01/29/2016    Read More...
Telomere shortening is common in bone marrow failure syndromes such as dyskeratosis congenita (DC), aplastic anemia (AA) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). However, improved knowledge of the lineage-specific consequences of telomere erosion and restoration of telomere length in hematopoietic progenitors is required to advance therapeutic approaches. We have employed a reversible murine model of telomerase deficiency to compare the dependence of erythroid and myeloid lineage differentiation on...
Published 07/02/2015    Read More...
The distinction between acquired aplastic anemia (AA) and hypocellular myelodysplastic syndrome (hMDS) is often difficult, especially nonsevere AA. We postulated that somatic mutations are present in a subset of AA, and predict malignant transformation. From our database, we identified 150 AA patients with no morphological evidence of MDS, who had stored bone marrow (BM) and constitutional DNA. We excluded Fanconi anemia, mutations of telomere maintenance, and a family history of BM failure...
Published 08/18/2014    Read More...
BIBR1532 is a highly specific telomerase inhibitor, although the molecular basis for inhibition is unknown. Here we present the crystal structure of BIBR1532 bound to Tribolium castaneum catalytic subunit of telomerase (tcTERT). BIBR1532 binds to a conserved hydrophobic pocket (FVYL motif) on the outer surface of the thumb domain. The FVYL motif is near TRBD residues that bind the activation domain (CR4/5) of hTER. RNA binding assays show that the human TERT (hTERT) thumb domain binds the P6.1...
Published 09/10/2015    Read More...
AIHA following allogeneic HSCT is appearing more frequently in the literature. It occurs as a result of donor cell-derived antibodies targeting donor red cell antigens. Little guidance exists on the management of such patients, particularly in the pediatric setting. First-line conventional treatment is corticosteroids and/or immunoglobulin therapy with monoclonal antibody therapy reserved for treatment failure. We report our experience of a child refractory to immunoglobulin and steroid therapy...
Published 10/29/2013    Read More...
Aplastic anemia is a fatal bone marrow disorder characterized by peripheral pancytopenia and marrow hypoplasia. The disease can be hereditary or acquired and develops at any stage of life. A subgroup of the inherited form is caused by replicative impairment of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells due to very short telomeres as a result of mutations in telomerase and other telomere components. Abnormal telomere shortening is also described in cases of acquired aplastic anemia, most likely...
Published 02/22/2016    Read More...
The pathophysiology of severe aplastic anemia (SAA) is immune-mediated destruction of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs). Most patients respond to immunosuppressive therapies, but a minority transform to myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML), frequently associated with monosomy 7 (-7). Thirteen SAA patients were analyzed for acquired mutations in myeloid cells at the time of evolution to -7, and all had a dominant HSPC clone bearing specific acquired...
Published 11/18/2014    Read More...
Aplastic anemia is a disease in which the hematopoietic stem cell fails to adequately produce peripheral blood cells, causing pancytopenia. In some cases of acquired aplastic anemia and in inherited type of aplastic anemia, dyskeratosis congenita, telomere biology gene mutations and telomere shortening are etiologic. Telomere erosion hampers the ability of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells to adequately replicate, clinically resulting in bone marrow failure. Additionally, telomerase...
Published 07/04/2014    Read More...
Authors: Ayman A. Saad, Shin S. Mineishi, Racquel R. Innis-Shelton Published: 02/11/2015, JAMA PubMed Full Text...
Published 02/11/2015    Read More...
Telomeres are long DNA repeats and a protein complex at chromosome ends that are essential for genome integrity. Telomeres are very short in patients with dyskeratosis congenita due to germline mutations in telomere biology genes. We compared telomere length in patients with Fanconi anemia, Diamond-Blackfan anemia and Shwachman-Diamond syndrome with telomere length in dyskeratosis congenita. Telomere length was measured in six leukocyte subsets by automated multicolor flow fluorescence in situ...
Published 10/10/2014    Read More...
Telomeres maintain chromosome stability and cell replicative capacity. Telomere shortening occurs concomitant with aging. Short telomeres are associated with some diseases, such as dyskeratosis congenita, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and aplastic anemia. Telomeres are longer in pluripotent stem cells than in somatic cells and lengthen significantly during preimplantation development. Furthermore, telomere elongation during somatic cell reprogramming is of great importance in the acquisition of...
Published 06/30/2014    Read More...
By John Gever, Senior Editor, MedPage Today Published: September 21, 2010 Reviewed by Zalman S. Agus, MD; Emeritus Professor University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Dorothy Caputo, MA, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, Nurse Planner Shortened telomeres in peripheral blood leukocytes may predict relapse, malignant progression, and poorer survival in patients with...
Published     Read More...
The ERCC1 and ERCC4 genes encode the two subunits of the ERCC1-XPF nuclease. This enzyme plays an important role in repair of DNA damage and in maintaining genomic stability. ERCC1-XPF nuclease nicks DNA specifically at junctions between double-stranded and single-stranded DNA, when the single-strand is oriented 5' to 3' away from a junction. ERCC1-XPF is a core component of nucleotide excision repair and also plays a role in interstrand crosslink repair, some pathways of double-strand break...
Published 06/12/2015    Read More...
There is an increasing number of inherited disorders in which excessive telomere shortening underlies the molecular defect, with dyskeratosis congenita (DC) being the archetypal short telomere syndrome. DC is classically described as a mucocutaneous triad of oral leukoplakia, nail dystrophy and abnormal skin pigmentation. However, excessive telomere shortening can affect almost any organ system, so the clinical manifestations are protean, including developmental delay, cerebellar hypoplasia,...
Published 04/10/2016    Read More...
Authors: D D. Jain, A A AA. Malik, A A. Kumar, B K BK. Malik, V V. Raina Published: 03/17/2014, International journal of laboratory hematology PubMed Full Text...
Published 03/17/2014    Read More...
Authors: H H. Schrezenmeier, S S. Körper, B B. Höchsmann Published: 11/25/2014, Deutsche medizinische Wochenschrift (1946) PubMed Full Text...
Published 11/25/2014    Read More...
To investigate the change in telomere length and TERC and TERT mutations in peripheral blood leukocytes of children with chronic aplastic anemia (CAA)....
Published 04/22/2014    Read More...