Aging-associated alteration of subtelomeric methylation in Parkinson's disease

Toyoki Maeda, Jing Zhi Guan, Jun Ichi Oyama, Yoshihiro Higuchi, Naoki Makino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


A telomere is a repetitive DNA structure capping the chromosomal ends. Telomeres stabilize the chromosome structure and prevent harmful end-to-end recombinations. The telomere length of somatic cells can be determined as the terminal restriction fragment length provided by a genomic Southern blotting analysis, and the telomere length becomes shorter at each mitotic cycle due to an "end-replication problem." Therefore, older somatic cells, which have undergone more mitotic cycles, bear shorter telomeres. This telomere shortening is accelerated by various disease conditions. Parkinson's disease (PD) also yields telomere fragility, thus accelerating the telomere shortening of the circulating leukocytes. This study found that peripheral leukocytes of Japanese PD patients bear fewer short telomeres with constant subtelomeric methylation status in comparison with the healthy controls with increasing short telomeres and also increasing hypomethylated subtelomeres in short telomeres with aging. The correlation between the telomeric attrition and the subtelomeric methylated state in PD is herein discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)949-955
Number of pages7
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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