Integration of Telomere Length Dynamics into Systems Biology Framework: A Review

Gene Regul Syst Bio. 2016 Jun 16;10:35-42. doi: 10.4137/GRSB.S39836. eCollection 2016.


Telomere length dynamics plays a crucial role in regulation of cellular processes and cell fate. In contrast to epidemiological studies revealing the association of telomere length with age, age-related diseases, and cancers, the role of telomeres in regulation of transcriptome and epigenome and the role of genomic variations in telomere lengthening are not extensively analyzed. This is explained by the fact that experimental assays for telomere length measurement are resource consuming, and there are very few studies where high-throughput genomics, transcriptomics, and/or epigenomics experiments have been coupled with telomere length measurements. Recent development of computational approaches for assessment of telomere length from whole genome sequencing data pave a new perspective on integration of telomeres into high-throughput systems biology analysis framework. Herein, we review existing methodologies for telomere length measurement and compare them to computational approaches, as well as discuss their applications in large-scale studies on telomere length dynamics.

Keywords: age-related diseases; cancers; gene expression; telomere length.

Publication types

  • Review