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

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Mar 3;341(1):128-31. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2005.12.163. Epub 2006 Jan 6.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Genetic Variation / genetics
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • Telomerase / genetics*
  • Telomere / genetics*
  • Transcription, Genetic / genetics*
  • Transcriptional Activation / genetics*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Telomerase