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Mean telomere length (TL) in blood cells is heritable and has been reported to be associated with risks of several diseases, including cancer. We conducted a meta-analysis of three GWAS for TL (total n=2240) and selected 1629 variants for replication via the "iCOGS" custom genotyping array. All ∼200 000 iCOGS variants were analysed with TL, and those displaying associations in healthy controls (n = 15 065) were further tested in breast cancer cases (n = 11 024). We found a novel TL association (Ptrend < 4 × 10(-10)) at 3p14.4 close to PXK and evidence (Ptrend < 7 × 10(-7)) for TL loci at 6p22.1 (ZNF311) and 20q11.2 (BCL2L1). We additionally confirmed (Ptrend < 5 × 10(-14)) the previously reported loci at 3q26.2 (TERC), 5p15.3 (TERT) and 10q24.3 (OBFC1) and found supportive evidence (Ptrend < 5 × 10(-4)) for the published loci at 2p16.2 (ACYP2), 4q32.2 (NAF1) and 20q13.3 (RTEL1). SNPs tagging these loci explain TL differences of up to 731 bp (corresponding to 18% of total TL in healthy individuals), however, they display little direct evidence for association with breast, ovarian or prostate cancer risks.

Original publication

DOI

10.1093/hmg/ddt355

Type

Journal article

Journal

Hum Mol Genet

Publication Date

15/12/2013

Volume

22

Pages

5056 - 5064

Keywords

Case-Control Studies, Chromosome Mapping, Female, Genetic Loci, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Genome-Wide Association Study, Humans, Male, Neoplasms, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Risk, Telomere, Telomere Homeostasis