The functional VNTR MNS16A of the TERT gene is associated with human longevity in a population of Central Italy.

Authors: Concetti F; Lucarini N; Carpi FM; Di Pietro F; Dato S; Capitani M; Nabissi M; Santoni G; Mignini F; Passarino G; Napolioni V

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Telomerase, encoded by TERT, is the ribonucleoprotein polymerase that maintains telomere ends and it plays a crucial role in cellular senescence. TERT single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been associated both with various malignancies and telomere length (TL). The association of TERT SNPs with longevity remains uncertain and varies with ethnicity. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the functional variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) MNS16A of TERT is associated with longevity. METHODS: MNS16A genotypes have been determined for 1072 unrelated healthy individuals from Central Italy (18-106 years old) divided into three gender-specific age classes defined according to demographic information and accounting for the different survivals between sexes: for men (women), the first class consists of individuals <66 years old (<73 years old), the second class of individuals 66-88 years old (73-91 years old), and the third class of individuals >88 years old (>91 years old). TL was assessed using genomic DNA from whole blood of 72 selected individuals by a multiplex real-time PCR assay. RESULTS: MNS16A appears associated to longevity, showing significant associations in Comparison 2 (Age Class 3 vs. Age Class 2) under both additive (odds ratio [O.R.] 0.749; p=0.019) and dominant (O.R. 0.579; p=0.011) models. The MNS16A*L allele is significantly underrepresented in Age Class 3 (O.R. 0.759; p=0.020) compared to Age Class 2. A significant telomere attrition is reported along the three age classes (p=0.0001), that remains significant only in L*/L* genotype carriers (p=0.002) when the analysis was conducted according to MNS16A genotype. CONCLUSIONS: The TERT MNS16A*L allele appears negatively associated with longevity. The concomitant significant telomere cross sectional attrition rate observed for L*/L* genotype suggests that this polymorphism could influence human longevity by affecting TL.

Keywords: Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; European Continental Ancestry Group/genetics; Female; *Genetic Predisposition to Disease; Humans; Italy; Longevity/*genetics; Male; Middle Aged; Minisatellite Repeats/*genetics; *Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide; Risk Factors; Telomerase/*genetics; Young Adult
Journal: Experimental gerontology
Volume: 48
Issue: 6
Pages: 587-92
Date: April 9, 2013
PMID: 23562826
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Concetti F, Lucarini N, Carpi FM, Di Pietro F, Dato S, Capitani M, Nabissi M, Santoni G, Mignini F, Passarino G, Napolioni V (2013) The functional VNTR MNS16A of the TERT gene is associated with human longevity in a population of Central Italy. Experimental gerontology 48: 587-92.

Longevity Variant Associations (p-value):
  • MNS16A (0.019)

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