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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Mar 3;341(1):128-31. Epub 2006 Jan 6.

Telomere length of normal leukocytes is affected by a functional polymorphism of hTERT.

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Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan.


Transcriptional regulation of human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT), a catalytic subunit of telomerase, is essential for telomerase activity associated with telomere length. In this study, we investigated the effects of a (-1327)T/C polymorphism within the hTERT promoter region on the hTERT promoter activity and leukocyte telomere length in normal individuals. The promoter activity in the (-1327)T-sequence was significantly higher than that in the (-1327)C-sequence (p = 0.0004). For leukocyte telomere length, the (-1327)T-allele carriers had significantly longer than the (-1327)T-allele non-carriers (p = 0.0007). Also, there was no age-related shortening in leukocyte telomere length in the (-1327)T/T (p = 0.6633) and (-1327)T/C subjects (p = 0.1691), whereas there was clear age-related telomere shortening in the (-1327)C/C subjects (p = 0.0117). These findings suggest that the functional (-1327)T/C polymorphism of hTERT is associated with leukocyte telomere length in normal individuals.

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