Predicting Progression of Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease by Changes in the Telomeric Epigenome

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Cells, vol.11, no.20, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 20
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/cells11203300
  • Journal Name: Cells
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: polycystic kidney disease, genome integrity, epigenetics, lncRNA, telomere, TERRAs, R-loop, REPEAT-CONTAINING RNA, TERRA, LENGTH
  • Kayseri University Affiliated: No


© 2022 by the authors.Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most common inherited cause of chronic kidney disease with Polycystin (PKD) 1 and 2 gene mutation. However, the intra-familial variability in symptoms further suggests a non-Mendelian contribution to the disease. Our goal was to find a marker to track the epigenetic changes common to rapidly progressing forms of the disease. The risk of ADPKD increases with age, and aging shortens the telomere length (TL). Telomeres are a nucleoprotein structure composed mainly of three complexes, shelterin, CST and RNA-containing telomere repeat (TERRA), which protects the ends of chromosomes from degradation and fusion, and plays a role in maintaining cellular stability and in the repair of telomeric damage. TERRAs are transcribed from telomeric regions and a part of them is engaged in a DNA/RNA hybrid (R-loop) at each chromosome end. We tracked TL and TERRA levels in blood samples of 78 patients and 20 healthy control. Our study demonstrates that TL was shortened and TERRA expression levels in the DNA-attached fraction increased in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney patients with mutations in PKD1 and PKD2 compared to the control group. Moreover, it was observed that the expression of TERRA engaged in the R-loop was higher and the length of telomeres shorter in patients with ADPKD who showed rapid disease progression. Intrafamilial variation in TL and TERRA levels with the same mutation would indicate reliable epigenetic potential biomarkers in disease monitoring.