Telomere Science Library

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Short leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is associated with atherosclerosis in adults and diminished survival in the elderly. The prevailing view is that LTL is associated with accelerated aging since it serves as a biomarker of the cumulative burden of inflammation and oxidative stress during adult life. However LTL dynamics are mainly defined by LTL at birth, which is highly variable, and its age-dependent attrition thereafter, which is rapid during the first 20 years of life. We examined whether...
Published 06/24/2015    Read More...
The purpose of this study was to examine biological and behavioral explanations for gender differences in leukocyte telomere length (LTL), a biomarker of cell aging that has been hypothesized to contribute to women's greater longevity. Data are from a subsample (n = 851) of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, a population-based study of women and men aged 45 to 84. Mediation models were used to examine study hypotheses. We found that women had longer LTL than men, but the gender...
Published 10/25/2014    Read More...
Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) has extended the longevity of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals. However, this has resulted in greater awareness of age-associated diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Accelerated cellular senescence may be responsible, but its magnitude as measured by leukocyte telomere length is unknown and its relationship to HIV-associated COPD has not yet been established. We measured absolute telomere length (aTL) in...
Published 04/17/2015    Read More...
Telomerase is an enzyme that adds repeats of DNA sequences to the ends of chromosomes, thereby preventing their shortening. Telomerase activity is associated with proliferative status of cells, organismal development, and aging. We report an analysis of telomerase activity and telomere length in the honeybee, Apis mellifera. Telomerase activity was found to be regulated in a development and caste-specific manner. During the development of somatic tissues of larval drones and workers, telomerase...
Published 10/21/2015    Read More...
Immunosenescence, the deterioration of immune system capability with age, may play a key role in mediating age-related declines in whole-organism performance, but the mechanisms that underpin immunosenescence are poorly understood. Biomedical research on humans and laboratory models has documented age and disease related declines in the telomere lengths of leukocytes ('immune cells'), stimulating interest their having a potentially general role in the emergence of immunosenescent phenotypes....
Published 09/30/2014    Read More...
Authors: Emily E. Anthes Published: 04/03/2014, Nature PubMed Full Text...
Published 04/03/2014    Read More...
The lifespan of humans has increased drastically over the last decades; considerable effort has been applied to delineate the mechanisms behind aging in order to find strategies for longevity. As the benefits of the gained knowledge might extend to diseases, where accelerated aging is suspected, the role of aging in the systemic autoimmune disease Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is of particular interest. In this review the immunological similarities of SLE and aging are analyzed on three...
Published 08/18/2015    Read More...
University of California, Berkeley In 1984, University of California, Berkeley biology professor Elizabeth Blackburn and then grad student Carol Greider made the discovery that a quarter century later would win them the Nobel Pnze: They identified telomerase as the enzyme that protects the DNA in our chromosomes, in...
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Calorie restriction is known to extend lifespan among organisms by a debating mechanism underlying nitric oxide-driven mitochondrial biogenesis. We report here that nitric oxide generators including artemisinin, sodium nitroprusside, and L-arginine mimics calorie restriction and resembles hydrogen peroxide to initiate the nitric oxide signaling cascades and elicit the global antioxidative responses in mice. The large quantities of antioxidant enzymes are correlated with the low levels of...
Published 03/05/2015    Read More...
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...
Published 04/03/2015    Read More...
Personality traits have been associated with cardiometabolic diseases and mental disorders as well as with longevity. However, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Accelerated cellular aging may play a role in this process. We studied whether personality traits in late adulthood, as defined in the five-factor model (FFM), were associated with a biomarker of cellular vitality, leukocyte telomere length (LTL)....
Published 04/28/2015    Read More...
Stem cells are endowed with the awesome power of self-renewal and multi-lineage differentiation that allows them to be major contributors to tissue homeostasis. Owing to their longevity and self-renewal capacity, they are also faced with a higher risk of genomic damage compared to differentiated cells. Damage on the genome, if not prevented or repaired properly, will threaten the survival of stem cells and culminate in organ failure, premature aging, or cancer formation. It is therefore of...
Published 02/17/2016    Read More...
Over the last 50 years, major improvements have been made in our understanding of the driving forces, both parallel and opposing, that lead to aging and cancer. Many theories on aging first proposed in the 1950s, including those associated with telomere biology, senescence, and adult stem-cell regulation, have since gained support from cumulative experimental evidence. These views suggest that the accumulation of mutations might be a common driver of both aging and cancer. Moreover, some tumor...
Published 12/02/2014    Read More...
Authors: Gretchen G. Vogel Published: 01/23/2015, Science (New York, N.Y.) PubMed Full Text...
Published 01/23/2015    Read More...
Slower rates of aging distinguish humans from our nearest living cousins. Chimpanzees rarely survive their forties while large fractions of women are postmenopausal even in high-mortality hunter-gatherer populations. Cellular and molecular mechanisms for these somatic aging differences remain to be identified, though telomeres might play a role. To find out, we compared telomere lengths across age-matched samples of female chimpanzees and women....
Published 03/15/2014    Read More...
Authors: Robertina R. Giacconi, Marco M. Malavolta, Laura L. Costarelli, Mauro M. Provinciali Published: 09/11/2015, EBioMedicine PubMed Full Text...
Published 09/11/2015    Read More...
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States and aging is a major risk factor for CVD development. One of the major age-related arterial phenotypes thought to be responsible for the development of CVD in older adults is endothelial dysfunction. Endothelial function is modulated by traditional CVD risk factors in young adults, but advancing age is independently associated with the development of vascular endothelial dysfunction. This endothelial dysfunction...
Published 02/02/2015    Read More...
Cellular senescence is the state of permanent inhibition of cell proliferation. Senescent cells are characterized by several features including increased activity of senescence-associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-GAL) and senescenceassociated secretory phenotype (SASP). In vitro, 2 types of senescence have been described. One is telomere-dependent replicative senescence and the second is stress-induced premature senescence (SIPS). Despite some tissue-specific characteristics many kinds of cells,...
Published 10/15/2014    Read More...
Guan JZ, Maeda T, Sugano M, Oyama J, Higuchi Y, Makino N. Mol Cell Biochem. 2007 Oct;304(1-2):353-60 . Telomeres play a role in cellular aging and they may also contribute to the genetic basis of human aging and longevity. A gradual loss of the telomeric repeat sequences has...
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In recent years there has been a large expansion in our understanding of SIRT6 biology including its structure, regulation, biochemical activity, and biological roles. SIRT6 functions as an ADP-ribosylase and NAD(+)-dependent deacylase of both acetyl groups and long-chain fatty-acyl groups. Through these functions SIRT6 impacts upon cellular homeostasis by regulating DNA repair, telomere maintenance, and glucose and lipid metabolism, thus affecting diseases such diabetes, obesity, heart disease,...
Published 01/14/2014    Read More...
Genome maintenance (GM) is an essential defense system against aging and cancer, as both are characterized by increased genome instability. Here, we compared the copy number variation and mutation rate of 518 GM-associated genes in the naked mole rat (NMR), mouse, and human genomes. GM genes appeared to be strongly conserved, with copy number variation in only four genes. Interestingly, we found NMR to have a higher copy number of CEBPG, a regulator of DNA repair, and TINF2, a protector of...
Published 01/28/2015    Read More...
Population studies have demonstrated that telomere length (TL) displays great diversity among different populations. Previously described controversial findings associated longevity with specific mitochondrial DNA haplogroups (hgs) (e.g., J and U). These observations may be influenced by population diversity, geographic location, and/or specific historic background. The aims of this study were to identify a specific hg which correlates with aging in a Latvian populating and to evaluate the...
Published 02/07/2015    Read More...
Authors: Published: 06/15/2015, PLoS genetics PubMed Full Text...
Published 06/15/2015    Read More...
Chronic inflammation negatively impacts all physiological functions, causing an array of degenerative conditions including diabetes; cancer; cardiovascular, osteo-articular, and neurodegenerative diseases; autoimmunity disorders; and aging. In particular, there is a growing knowledge of the role that gene transcription factors play in the inflammatory process. Obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes represent multifactorial conditions resulting from improper balances of hormones and gene...
Published 09/24/2015    Read More...
Human PARP family consists of 17 members of which PARP-1 is a prominent member and plays a key role in DNA repair pathways. It has an N-terminal DNA-binding domain (DBD) encompassing the nuclear localisation signal (NLS), central automodification domain and C-terminal catalytic domain. PARP-1 accounts for majority of poly-(ADP-ribose) polymer synthesis that upon binding to numerous proteins including PARP itself modulates their activity. Reduced PARP-1 activity in ageing human samples and its...
Published 07/31/2014    Read More...
Authors: Surabhi S. Dangi-Garimella Published: 12/31/2014, The American journal of managed care PubMed...
Published 12/31/2014    Read More...
Ageing is a major cause of illness, disease and mortality, mainly due to the shortening of telomeres, resulting in cells undergoing senescence and apoptosis. Increasing autophagy and the levels of antioxidants removes oxidants that cause DNA and telomere damage, thus reducing the rate at which telomeres shorten, resulting in a longer cellular lifespan. Phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) has been shown to increase the lifespan of organisms by upregulating pathways involved in DNA damage...
Published 11/12/2014    Read More...
Telomeres - the protective ends of linear chromosomes - reveal themselves not only as a good proxy in terms of longevity, but more recently also as a marker of healthy ageing in laboratory rodents. Telomere erosion is prevented by the activation of telomerase, an enzyme suspected to be also vital for tissue regeneration and which experimental activation improves health state in mice. One emerging hypothesis is that telomerase activity accounts for the frequently reported positive links between...
Published 01/27/2014    Read More...
Telomeres have recently been suggested to play important role in ageing and are considered to be a reliable ageing biomarkers. The life history theory predicts that costs of reproduction should be expressed in terms of accelerated senescence, and some empirical studies do confirm such presumption. Thus, a link between reproductive effort and telomere dynamics should be anticipated. Recent studies have indeed demonstrated that reproduction may trigger telomere loss, but actual impact of...
Published 09/16/2014    Read More...
Many women now choose to develop their careers before having children. Thus, it is becoming increasingly important to assess a woman's potential for extended fertility and to understand the health consequences of having children at a late age. In particular, there is a striking positive correlation between extended fertility and longevity in women, which poses important implications for medicine, biology, and evolution. In this article we review the diverse epidemiologic evidence for the link...
Published 03/18/2015    Read More...
Leukocyte telomere length is believed to measure cellular aging in humans, and short leukocyte telomere length is associated with increased risks of late onset diseases, including cardiovascular disease, dementia, etc. Many studies have shown that leukocyte telomere length is a heritable trait, and several candidate genes have been identified, including TERT, TERC, OBFC1, and CTC1. Unlike most studies that have focused on genetic causes of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes in...
Published 01/17/2014    Read More...
Authors: Lorna L. Stewart Published: 10/16/2014, Nature PubMed Full Text...
Published 10/16/2014    Read More...
Fine structural details of glycans attached to the conserved N-glycosylation site significantly not only affect function of individual immunoglobulin G (IgG) molecules but also mediate inflammation at the systemic level. By analyzing IgG glycosylation in 5,117 individuals from four European populations, we have revealed very complex patterns of changes in IgG glycosylation with age. Several IgG glycans (including FA2B, FA2G2, and FA2BG2) changed considerably with age and the combination of these...
Published 12/10/2013    Read More...
Chromosomal telomere length shortens with repeated cell divisions. Human leukocyte DNA telomere length (LTL) has been shown to shorten during aging. LTL shortening has correlated with decreased longevity, dementia, and other age-associated processes. Because LTL varies widely between individuals in a given age group, it has been hypothesized to be a marker of biological aging. However, the principal basis for the variation of human LTL has not been established, although various studies have...
Published 06/18/2015    Read More...
Cells challenged with DNA damage activate checkpoints to arrest the cell cycle and allow time for repair. Successful repair coupled to subsequent checkpoint inactivation is referred to as recovery. When DNA damage cannot be repaired, a choice between permanent arrest and cycling in the presence of damage (checkpoint adaptation) must be made. While permanent arrest jeopardizes future lineages, continued proliferation is associated with the risk of genome instability. We demonstrate that...
Published 09/26/2014    Read More...
DNA-damage response and repair are crucial to maintain genetic stability, and are consequently considered central to aging and longevity. Here, we investigate whether this pathway overall associates to longevity, and whether specific sub-processes are more strongly associated with longevity than others. Data were applied on 592 SNPs from 77 genes involved in nine sub-processes: DNA-damage response, base excision repair (BER), nucleotide excision repair, mismatch repair, non-homologous...
Published 02/12/2014    Read More...
Conditions experienced during development and growth are of crucial importance as they can have a significant influence on the optimisation of life histories. Indeed, the ability of an organism to grow fast and achieve a large body size often confers short- and long-term fitness benefits. However, there is good evidence that organisms do not grow at their maximal rates as growth rates seem to have potential costs on subsequent lifespan. There are several potential proximate causes of such a...
Published 12/18/2014    Read More...
Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) A team of researchers from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), headed by CNIO Director Mar-a Blasco, has demonstrated in a pioneering study on mammals that longevity is defined at a molecular level by the length of telomeres. The work-which is published...
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Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) reduces symptoms of depression, anxiety, and fear of recurrence among breast cancer (BC) survivors. However, the effects of MBSR (BC) on telomere length (TL) and telomerase activity (TA), known markers of cellular aging, psychological stress, and disease risk, are not known. This randomized, wait-listed, controlled study, nested within a larger trial, investigated the effects of MBSR (BC) on TL and TA. BC patients (142) with Stages 0-III cancer who had...
Published 01/30/2014    Read More...
DNA double strand break (DSB) is one of the major damages that cause genome instability and cellular aging. The homologous recombination (HR)-mediated repair of DSBs plays an essential role in assurance of genome stability and cell longevity. Telomeres resemble DSBs and are competent for HR. Here we show that in budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae telomere recombination elicits genome instability and accelerates cellular aging. Inactivation of KEOPS subunit Cgi121 specifically inhibits...
Published 03/30/2015    Read More...
Centenarians and their offspring are increasingly considered a useful model to study and characterize the mechanisms underlying healthy aging and longevity. The aim of this project is to compare the prevalence of age-related diseases and telomere length (TL), a marker of biological age and mortality, across five groups of subjects: semisupercentenarians (SSCENT) (105-109years old), centenarians (CENT) (100-104years old), centenarians' offspring (CO), age- and gender-matched offspring of parents...
Published 06/27/2014    Read More...
Human leukocyte telomere length (LTL) decreases with age and shorter LTL has previously been associated with increased prospective mortality. However, it is not clear whether LTL merely marks the health status of an individual by its association with parameters of immune function, for example, or whether telomere shortening also contributes causally to lifespan variation in humans....
Published 01/14/2014    Read More...
Telomeres play a fundamental role in the maintenance of genomic integrity at a cellular level, and average leukocyte telomere length (LTL) has been proposed as a biomarker of organismal aging. However, studies tracking LTL across the entire life course of individuals are lacking. Here, we examined lifelong patterns of variation in LTL among four birth cohorts of female Soay sheep (Ovis aries) that were longitudinally monitored and sampled from birth to death. Over the first 4 months of life,...
Published 11/02/2015    Read More...
Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) ostensibly shortens with age and has been moderately associated with mortality. In humans, these findings have come almost solely from cross-sectional studies. Only recently has LTL shortening within individuals been analyzed in longitudinal studies. Such studies are relevant to establish LTL dynamics as biomarkers of mortality as well as to disentangle the causality of telomeres on aging....
Published 10/22/2013    Read More...
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...
Published 01/23/2015    Read More...
Maternal effects provide a mechanism to adapt offspring phenotype and optimize the mother's fitness to current environmental conditions. Transferring steroids to the yolk is one way mothers can translate environmental information into potential adaptive signals for offspring. However, maternally-derived hormones might also have adverse effects for offspring. For example, recent data in zebra finch chicks suggested that ageing related-processes (i.e. oxidative stress and telomere loss) were...
Published 05/14/2014    Read More...
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...
Published 07/23/2014    Read More...
To examine whether adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with longer telomere length, a biomarker of aging....
Published 12/02/2014    Read More...
Prediabetes increases cardiovascular risk and is associated with excess mortality. In preclinical models, metformin has been shown to exert anti-ageing effects. In this study, we sought to assess whether metformin modulates putative effector longevity programs in prediabetic subjects....
Published 03/24/2015    Read More...
Genetic studies have bestowed insight into the biological mechanisms underlying inter-individual differences in susceptibility to (or resistance to) organisms’ aging. Recent advances in molecular and genetic epidemiology provide tools to explore the genetic sources of the variability in biological aging in humans. To be successful, the genetic study of a complex condition such as aging requires the clear definition of essential traits that can characterize the aging process phenotypically....
Published 04/28/2015    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...
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...
Published 04/30/2014    Read More...
Nutrition and lifestyle, known to modulate aging process and age-related diseases, might also affect telomerase activity. Short and dysfunctional telomeres rather than average telomere length are associated with longevity in animal models, and their rescue by telomerase maybe sufficient to restore cell and organismal viability. Improving telomerase activation in stem cells and potentially in other cells by diet and lifestyle interventions may represent an intriguing way to promote health-span in...
Published 02/17/2016    Read More...
Aging is a multifactorial and tissue-specific process involving diverse alterations regarded as the "hallmarks of aging", which include genomic instability, telomere attrition, epigenetic alterations, loss of proteostasis, deregulated nutrient sensing, mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular senescence, stem cell exhaustion and altered intracellular communication. Virtually all these hallmarks are targeted by dietary olive oil, particularly by virgin olive oil, since many of its beneficial effects...
Published 01/29/2016    Read More...
Evolution of body size is likely to involve trade-offs between body size, growth rate and longevity. Within species, larger body size is associated with faster growth and ageing, and reduced longevity, but the cellular processes driving these relationships are poorly understood. One mechanism that might play a key role in determining optimal body size is the relationship between body size and telomere dynamics. However, we know little about how telomere length is affected when selection for...
Published 12/03/2015    Read More...
Most organisms, including ourselves, are exposed to environmental stressors at various points during life, and responses to such stressors have been optimised by evolution to give the best fitness outcomes. It is expected that environmental change will substantially increase long-term stress exposure in many animal groups in the coming decades. A major challenge for biologists is to understand and predict how this will influence individuals, populations and ecosystems, and over what time scale...
Published 12/19/2013    Read More...
Cellular senescence restricts the proliferative capacity of cells and is accompanied by the production of several proteins, collectively termed the "senescence-messaging secretome" (SMS). As senescent cells accumulate in tissue, local effects of the SMS have been hypothesized to disrupt tissue regenerative capacity. Klotho functions as an aging-suppressor gene, and Klotho-deficient (kl/kl) mice exhibit an accelerated aging-like phenotype that includes a truncated lifespan, arteriosclerosis, and...
Published 04/28/2014    Read More...
Aging is associated with the onset of several diseases in various organ systems; however, different tissues may age differently, rendering some of them dysfunctional sooner than others. Placental membranes (fetal amniochorionic membranes) protect the fetus throughout pregnancy, but their longevity is limited to the duration of pregnancy. The age-associated dysfunction of these membranes is postulated to trigger parturition. Here, we investigated whether cellular senescence-the loss of cell...
Published 03/16/2016    Read More...
Enzymatic activity of Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase (TERT) is important in maintaining the telomere length and has been implicated in cancer and aging related pathology. Since cancer susceptibility as well as longevity of dogs vary between breeds, this study involved sequencing the entire TERT gene of Canis familiaris from DNA samples obtained from forty dogs, with ten dogs each of four breeds: Shih Tzu, Dachshund, Irish Wolfhound, and Newfoundland, each with different life expectancies and...
Published 01/14/2014    Read More...
Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) has been observed to be hereditable and correlated with longevity. However, contrasting results have been reported in different populations on the value of LTL heritability and on how biology of telomeres influences longevity. We investigated whether the variability of genes correlated to telomere maintenance is associated with telomere length and affects longevity in a population from Southern Italy (20-106 years). For this purpose we analyzed thirty-one...
Published 01/29/2015    Read More...
Energy restriction in prenatal life has detrimental effects on later life health and longevity. Studies in rats have shown that the shortening of telomeres in key tissues plays an important role in this association....
Published 07/15/2015    Read More...
The gene variant Pro/Ala (rs1801282) in the PPARγ2 has been associated with lower cardiovascular risk and greater benefit from lifestyle interventions. This polymorphism also seems to be associated with longer lifespan, but no information on telomere length (TL) is available. Our aim was to study the association between the Ala allele and changes in TL in high cardiovascular risk subjects and the potential interaction with a Mediterranean dietary pattern....
Published 11/18/2014    Read More...
Declining health in the oldest-old takes an energy toll for the simple maintenance of body functions. The underlying mechanisms, however, differ in males and females. In females, the declines are explained by loss of muscle mass; but this is not the case in males, in whom they are associated with increased levels of circulating creatine kinase. This relationship raises the possibility that muscle damage rather than muscle loss is the cause of the increased energy demands of unhealthy aging in...
Published 02/26/2016    Read More...
Ageing is characterized by a progressive deterioration of multiple physiological and molecular pathways, which impair organismal performance and increase risks of death with advancing age. Hence, ageing studies must identify physiological and molecular pathways that show signs of age-related deterioration, and test their association with the risk of death and longevity. This approach necessitates longitudinal sampling of the same individuals, and therefore requires a minimally invasive sampling...
Published 09/08/2015    Read More...
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...
Published 12/25/2015    Read More...
The nucleolus is considered to be a stress sensor and rDNA-based regulation of cellular senescence and longevity has been proposed. However, the role of rDNA in the maintenance of genome integrity has not been investigated in detail. Using genomically diverse industrial yeasts as a model and array-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH), we show that chromosome level may be balanced during passages and as a response to alcohol stress that may be associated with changes in rDNA pools....
Published 11/14/2015    Read More...
Stress has been associated with biological aging and numerous age-related diseases. This may be due, in part, to accelerated shortening of telomeres, which are critical genomic structures that cap and protect chromosomal ends. Dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis may indirectly contribute to telomere shortening if an animal reacts too strongly or weakly to a stressor, leading to accelerated biological aging. In this study, outbred Rideau-Arcott sheep were stress challenged with...
Published 01/21/2016    Read More...
The somatic mutation burden in healthy white blood cells (WBCs) is not well known. Based on deep whole-genome sequencing, we estimate that approximately 450 somatic mutations accumulated in the nonrepetitive genome within the healthy blood compartment of a 115-yr-old woman. The detected mutations appear to have been harmless passenger mutations: They were enriched in noncoding, AT-rich regions that are not evolutionarily conserved, and they were depleted for genomic elements where mutations...
Published 04/23/2014    Read More...
The spatiotemporal behavior of chromatin is an important control mechanism of genomic function. Studies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae have broadly contributed to demonstrate the functional importance of nuclear organization. Although in the wild yeast survival depends on their ability to withstand adverse conditions, most of these studies were conducted on cells undergoing exponential growth. In these conditions, as in most eukaryotic cells, silent chromatin that is mainly found at the 32...
Published 09/23/2015    Read More...
Telomere length has been associated with a healthy lifestyle and longevity. However, the effect of increased physical activity on telomere length is still unknown. Therefore, the aim was to study the relationship between changes in physical activity level and sedentary behaviour and changes in telomere length....
Published 09/03/2014    Read More...
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...
Published 02/17/2015    Read More...
Exposure to stressors early in life is associated with faster ageing and reduced longevity. One important mechanism that could underlie these late life effects is increased telomere loss. Telomere length in early post-natal life is an important predictor of subsequent lifespan, but the factors underpinning its variability are poorly understood. Recent human studies have linked stress exposure to increased telomere loss. These studies have of necessity been non-experimental and are consequently...
Published 03/19/2014    Read More...
Mutations accumulate as a result of DNA damage and imperfect DNA repair machinery. In higher eukaryotes the accumulation and spread of mutations is limited in two primary ways: through p53-mediated programmed cell death and cellular senescence mediated by telomeres. Telomeres shorten at every cell division and cell stops dividing once the shortest telomere reaches a critical length. It has been shown that the rate of telomere attrition is accelerated when cells are exposed to DNA damaging...
Published 03/01/2014    Read More...
Reductions in DNA integrity, genome stability, and telomere length are strongly associated with the aging process, age-related diseases as well as the age-related loss of muscle mass. However, in people reaching an age far beyond their statistical life expectancy the prevalence of diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes or dementia, is much lower compared to "averagely" aged humans. These inverse observations in nonagenarians (90-99 years), centenarians (100-109 years) and...
Published 08/28/2015    Read More...
Telomere length has been associated with longevity. As telomere length is partly determined by the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT), we investigated the association between an hTERT polymorphism located in its promoter region ((-) (1327)T/C) and longevity in two cohorts of older adults. Participants from the Kungsholmen project (KP; n = 1,205) and the Swedish National study of Aging and Care in Kungsholmen (SNAC-K; n = 2,764) were followed for an average period of 7.5 years. The...
Published 11/30/2014    Read More...
The elderly population is increasing progressively. Along with this increase the number of age related diseases, such as cardiovascular, neurodegenerative diseases, metabolic impairment and cancer, is also on the rise thereby negatively impacting the burden on health care systems. Telomere shortening and dysfunction results in cellular senescence, an irreversible proliferative arrest that has been suggested to promote organismal aging and disabling age-related diseases. Given that telomerase,...
Published 02/19/2014    Read More...
By maintaining genome integrity, controlling cell proliferation, and regulating tissue homeostasis, telomerase plays a critical role in the pathology of aging and cancer. Telomerase is composed of telomerase RNA, or telomerase RNA component (TERC), which serves as a template for telomeric DNA synthesis, and a catalytic subunit, telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT). The canonical function of TERT is the synthesis of telomeric DNA repeats and the maintenance of telomere length. Recent studies...
Published 04/22/2015    Read More...
Although exposure to stressors is known to increase disease susceptibility and accelerate ageing, evidence is accumulating that these effects can span more than one generation. Stressors experienced by parents have been reported to negatively influence the longevity of their offspring and even grand offspring. The mechanisms underlying these long-term, cross-generational effects are still poorly understood, but we argue here that telomere dynamics are likely to play an important role. In this...
Published 11/05/2015    Read More...
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...
Published 03/10/2015    Read More...
The shortening of telomeres as a causative factor in ageing is a widely discussed hypothesis in ageing research. The study of telomere length and its regenerating enzyme telomerase in the longest-lived non-colonial animal on earth, Arctica islandica, should inform whether the maintenance of telomere length plays a role in reaching the extreme maximum lifespan (MLSP) of >500years in this species. Since longitudinal measurements on living animals cannot be achieved, a cross-sectional analysis of a...
Published 01/03/2014    Read More...
Telomeres are DNA-protein structures that form protective caps at the end of eukaryotic chromosomes. They constitute the safeguards of chromosome degradation and are responsible for maintaining genomic integrity. The multifactorial nature of telomere length (TL) regulation increases the perplexity of studies in the field. TL is characterized by a high variability among individuals (birth and later life) and among species but it is unknown whether this is associated with their lifespan potential....
Published 10/15/2014    Read More...
The Scientist The ends of linear chromosomes have attracted serious scientific study—and Nobel Prizes—since the early 20th century. Called telomeres, these ends serve to protect the coding DNA of the genome. When a cell’s telomeres shorten to critical lengths, the cell senesces. Thus, telomeres dictate a cell’s...
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Authors: Abraham A. Aviv, Jeremy D JD. Kark, Ezra E. Susser Published: 04/03/2015, Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.) PubMed Full Text...
Published 04/03/2015    Read More...
MNS16A, a variable number of tandem repeats polymorphism in the TERT gene, has been suggested to regulate telomerase activity. As telomerase activity has been reported to be related to life-span, we hypothesized that this polymorphism might affect human longevity by controlling the length of the telomere. To test this hypothesis, we collected 446 unrelated pericentenarian individuals (age[Symbol: see text]90, mean 94.45±3.45 years) and 332 normal controls (age 22-53, mean 35.0±12.0 years) from...
Published 09/12/2014    Read More...
Leucocyte telomere length (LTL) is a complex trait associated with ageing and longevity. LTL dynamics are defined by LTL and its age-dependent attrition. Strong, but indirect evidence suggests that LTL at birth and its attrition during childhood largely explains interindividual LTL variation among adults. A number of studies have estimated the heritability of LTL, but none has assessed the heritability of age-dependent LTL attrition....
Published 03/13/2015    Read More...
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...
Published 06/02/2015    Read More...
In a consistently urbanizing world, anthropogenic noise has become almost omnipresent, and there are increasing evidence that high noise levels can have major impacts on wildlife. While the effects of anthropogenic noise exposure on adult animals have been widely studied, surprisingly, there has been little consideration of the effects of noise pollution on developing organisms. Yet, environmental conditions experienced in early life can have dramatic lifelong consequences for fitness. Here, we...
Published 09/19/2015    Read More...
Many of the lifespan-related genes have been identified in eukaryotes ranging from the yeast to human. However, there is limited information available on the longevity genes that are essential for cell proliferation. Here, we investigated whether the essential genes encoding DNA-binding transcription factors modulated the replicative lifespan of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Heterozygous diploid knockout strains for FHL1, RAP1, REB1, and MCM1 genes showed significantly short lifespan. (1)H-nuclear...
Published 05/28/2015    Read More...
Conditions experienced during early life can have profound consequences for both short- and long-term fitness. Variation in the natal environment has been shown to influence survival and reproductive performance of entire cohorts in wild vertebrate populations. Telomere dynamics potentially provide a link between the early environment and long-term fitness outcomes, yet we know little about how the environment can influence telomere dynamics in early life. We found that environmental conditions...
Published 01/23/2015    Read More...
Liver transplantation is used to treat patients with irreversible liver failure from a variety of causes. Long-term survival has been reported, particularly in the paediatric population, with graft survival longer than 20 years now possible. The goal for paediatric liver transplantation is to increase the longevity of grafts to match the normal life expectancy of the child. This paper reviews the literature on the current understanding of ageing of the liver and biomarkers that may predict...
Published 09/28/2014    Read More...
Telomeres, DNA-protein structures at chromosome ends, shorten with age, and telomere length has been linked to age-related diseases and survival. In vitro studies revealed that the shortest telomeres trigger cell senescence, but whether the shortest telomeres are also the best biomarker of ageing is not known. We measured telomeres in erythrocytes of wild common terns Sterna hirundo using terminal restriction fragment analysis. This yields a distribution of telomere lengths for each sample, and...
Published 12/28/2013    Read More...
Background Psychological stress is suggested to accelerate the rate of biological aging. We investigated whether work-related exhaustion, an indicator of prolonged work stress, is associated with accelerated biological aging, as indicated by shorter leukocyte telomeres, that is, the DNA-protein complexes that cap chromosomal ends in cells. Methods We used data...
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Aging is a process that depends on a variety of both external and internal factors. The biological age of a person determines body deterioration and the risk of age-related diseases. Currently, as indicators of biological age are considered different characteristics including average length of telomeres in cells and the level DNA methylation. We propose to combine the two approaches to create a model to assess the biological age of the person. Application of qPCR to determina the length of...
Published 05/29/2015    Read More...
It is often accepted that various factors modulate ageing and longevity in a linear way, a higher/lower level of the factor delaying ageing and/or increasing longevity. However, many examples (e.g. the effects of diet restriction or antioxidants and of telomere attrition) show that this view can be wrong. For instance, mild stress has often positive effects on ageing and longevity, and severe stress opposite effects. The dose-response relationship is thus not linear but has an inverted U-shape....
Published 09/07/2015    Read More...