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To identify common alleles associated with different histotypes of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), we pooled data from multiple genome-wide genotyping projects totaling 25,509 EOC cases and 40,941 controls. We identified nine new susceptibility loci for different EOC histotypes: six for serous EOC histotypes (3q28, 4q32.3, 8q21.11, 10q24.33, 18q11.2 and 22q12.1), two for mucinous EOC (3q22.3 and 9q31.1) and one for endometrioid EOC (5q12.3). We then performed meta-analysis on the results for high-grade serous ovarian cancer with the results from analysis of 31,448 BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers, including 3,887 mutation carriers with EOC. This identified three additional susceptibility loci at 2q13, 8q24.1 and 12q24.31. Integrated analyses of genes and regulatory biofeatures at each locus predicted candidate susceptibility genes, including OBFC1, a new candidate susceptibility gene for low-grade and borderline serous EOC.
PURPOSE - While leukocyte telomere length (TL) has been associated with breast cancer risk, limited information is available regarding the role of genetically-determined TL on breast cancer risk. We investigated whether aggregated TL-associated variants are associated with the risk of breast cancer in 2,865 breast cancer cases and 2,285 controls from the Shanghai Breast Cancer Genetics Study.
METHODS - Six genetic variants, identified through a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of TL in European-ancestry participants, were included in the study. A separate sample [n = 1,536, from the Shanghai Women's Health Study (SWHS), for whom information on both phenotypical leukocyte TL and genetic information was collected] was used to evaluate the association of six variants with TL in Asians. Three genetic risk scores (GRSs), based on the number of alleles associated with shorter TL that each individual carries for the six variants, were derived for the study: un-weighted, internally weighted (from the SWHS), and externally weighted (from the European-ancestry GWAS study), and evaluated for their association with breast cancer risk by applying logistic regression analysis.
RESULTS - Both internally and externally weighted GRSs were significantly associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer (OR 0.83, 95 % CI 0.72-0.95 and OR 0.84, 95 % CI 0.74-0.96, respectively, for tertile 3 vs. tertile 1). Non-genetic risk factors for breast cancer (i.e., age, years of menstruation/reproduction, oral contraceptive usage, and BMI) did not modify the association between GRSs and the risk of breast cancer.
CONCLUSION - Our results suggest that short TL, determined by genetic factors, may be associated with a reduced susceptibility to breast cancer.
In humans, aging is associated with telomere shortening and increased susceptibility to acute kidney injury. Telomerase is essential to maintain telomere length. The fourth generation mice with telomerase deletion have progressive shortening of telomeres. Those mice delayed recovery from ischemia-reperfusion injury, due to an increase in tubule cell senescence and impairment of autophagy, the latter of which may be mediated in part by increased mTOR signaling. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.
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.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) pose a threat to genome stability and are repaired through multiple mechanisms. Rarely, telomerase, the enzyme that maintains telomeres, acts upon a DSB in a mutagenic process termed telomere healing. The probability of telomere addition is increased at specific genomic sequences termed sites of repair-associated telomere addition (SiRTAs). By monitoring repair of an induced DSB, we show that SiRTAs on chromosomes V and IX share a bipartite structure in which a core sequence (Core) is directly targeted by telomerase, while a proximal sequence (Stim) enhances the probability of de novo telomere formation. The Stim and Core sequences are sufficient to confer a high frequency of telomere addition to an ectopic site. Cdc13, a single-stranded DNA binding protein that recruits telomerase to endogenous telomeres, is known to stimulate de novo telomere addition when artificially recruited to an induced DSB. Here we show that the ability of the Stim sequence to enhance de novo telomere addition correlates with its ability to bind Cdc13, indicating that natural sites at which telomere addition occurs at high frequency require binding by Cdc13 to a sequence 20 to 100 bp internal from the site at which telomerase acts to initiate de novo telomere addition.
Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Therapy development for adult diffuse glioma is hindered by incomplete knowledge of somatic glioma driving alterations and suboptimal disease classification. We defined the complete set of genes associated with 1,122 diffuse grade II-III-IV gliomas from The Cancer Genome Atlas and used molecular profiles to improve disease classification, identify molecular correlations, and provide insights into the progression from low- to high-grade disease. Whole-genome sequencing data analysis determined that ATRX but not TERT promoter mutations are associated with increased telomere length. Recent advances in glioma classification based on IDH mutation and 1p/19q co-deletion status were recapitulated through analysis of DNA methylation profiles, which identified clinically relevant molecular subsets. A subtype of IDH mutant glioma was associated with DNA demethylation and poor outcome; a group of IDH-wild-type diffuse glioma showed molecular similarity to pilocytic astrocytoma and relatively favorable survival. Understanding of cohesive disease groups may aid improved clinical outcomes.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Ubiquitin, and components of the ubiquitin-proteasome system, feature extensively in the regulation of gene transcription. Although there are many examples of how ubiquitin controls the activity of transcriptional regulators and coregulators, there are few examples of core components of the transcriptional machinery that are directly controlled by ubiquitin-dependent processes. The budding yeast protein Asr1 is the prototypical member of the RPC (RING, PHD, CBD) family of ubiquitin-ligases, characterized by the presence of amino-terminal RING (really interesting new gene) and PHD (plant homeo domain) fingers and a carboxyl-terminal domain that directly binds the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II (pol II), Rpb1, in response to phosphorylation events tied to the initiation of transcription. Asr1-mediated oligo-ubiquitylation of pol II leads to ejection of two core subunits of the enzyme and is associated with inhibition of polymerase function. Here, we present evidence that Asr1-mediated ubiquitylation of pol II is required for silencing of subtelomeric gene transcription. We show that Asr1 associates with telomere-proximal chromatin and that disruption of the ubiquitin-ligase activity of Asr1--or mutation of ubiquitylation sites within Rpb1--induces transcription of silenced gene sequences. In addition, we report that Asr1 associates with the Ubp3 deubiquitylase and that Asr1 and Ubp3 play antagonistic roles in setting transcription levels from silenced genes. We suggest that control of pol II by nonproteolytic ubiquitylation provides a mechanism to enforce silencing by transient and reversible inhibition of pol II activity at subtelomeric chromatin.
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.
BACKGROUND - Accelerated telomere shortening may cause cancer via chromosomal instability, making it a potentially useful biomarker. However, publications on blood telomere length (BTL) and cancer are inconsistent. We prospectively examined BTL measures over time and cancer incidence.
METHODS - We included 792 Normative Aging Study participants with 1-4 BTL measurements from 1999 to 2012. We used linear mixed-effects models to examine BTL attrition by cancer status (relative to increasing age and decreasing years pre-diagnosis), Cox models for time-dependent associations, and logistic regression for cancer incidence stratified by years between BTL measurement and diagnosis.
FINDINGS - Age-related BTL attrition was faster in cancer cases pre-diagnosis than in cancer-free participants (pdifference = 0.017); all participants had similar age-adjusted BTL 8-14 years pre-diagnosis, followed by decelerated attrition in cancer cases resulting in longer BTL three (p = 0.003) and four (p = 0.012) years pre-diagnosis. Longer time-dependent BTL was associated with prostate cancer (HR = 1.79, p = 0.03), and longer BTL measured ≤ 4 years pre-diagnosis with any (OR = 3.27, p < 0.001) and prostate cancers (OR = 6.87, p < 0.001).
INTERPRETATION - Age-related BTL attrition was faster in cancer cases but their age-adjusted BTL attrition began decelerating as diagnosis approached. This may explain prior inconsistencies and help develop BTL as a cancer detection biomarker.