Motivation: Mean telomere length (MTL) is associated with cancers and age-related diseases, which necessitates identification of genomic and environmental factors that impact telomere length dynamics. Here, we present a pilot genome wide association (GWA) study for MTL in South Asian population using publicly available next generation whole genome sequences (WGS), both for MTL and genotype calculations.
Results: MTL in the studied population was not correlated with age, which is in accordance with previous reports. Further, we identified that individuals with Sikh religion had longer telomeres, which may be the result of complex interaction between genetic background and environmental factors. Finally, we identified 51 MTL-associated SNPs residing in five loci. The top ones were located in ADARB2 gene, which has previously been implicated with extreme old age.
Conclusion: Our results show that WGS data can be used in telomere length studies. In addition, we introduce novel loci implicated in MTL that may be worth considering in further telomere studies.
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
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