Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is a predictor of aging and a number of age-related diseases. We performed genome-wide association studies of mean LTL in 2632 individuals,with a two-stage replication in 3917 individuals from Chinese populations. To further validate our findings, we get the results of 696 samples from a cohort of European ancestry. We identified two loci associated with LTL that map in telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT; rs2736100, P = 1.93×10−5) on chromosome 5p15.33 and near keratin 80 (KRT80; rs17653722, P = 6.96×10−6) on 12q13.13. In Chinese population each C allele of rs2736100 and T allele of rs17653722 was associated with a longer mean telomere length of 0.026 and 0.059 T/S, respectively, equivalent to about 3 and 7 years of average age-related telomere attrition. Our findings provide new insights into telomere regulatory mechanism and even pathogenesis of age-related diseases.


This is the publisher pdf of Liu Y, Cao L, Li Z, Zhou D, Liu W, et al. (2014) A Genome-Wide Association Study Identifies a Locus on TERT for Mean Telomere Length in Han Chinese. PLoS ONE 9(1): e85043 and is available at: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085043.

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