Correlation of Telomere Length and Gene Expression Levels in Single Cell Resolution

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202006052633
Title: Correlation of Telomere Length and Gene Expression Levels in Single Cell Resolution
Author: Pourjamal, Negar
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2020
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202006052633
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/315902
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: perinnöllisyystiede
Genetics
genetik
Abstract: Tiivistelmä – Referat – Abstract Telomeres are cap shaped structures at the very end part of each chromosome that protect DNA from degradation or unwanted chromosome-chromosome attachments. Telomere lengths show considerable heterogeneity in different cells of the same cell population. Reasons for heterogeneitiy and mechanisms inside cells causing them are not fully understood. In this study, we explored the correlation between telomere length and different gene expressions. First, using FACS technique we sorted each single cell into each well of 96-well plate. Second, we used SYBR green based qPCR for telomere length measurement. Third, we used Illumina-seq for sequencing extracted mRNAs. [6] We found a set of genes that were in strong correlation with telomere length, giving opportunity to explore the biological pathways. We compared pathways between different samples and found strong connections between genes involved in viral cycles and immune system with extracted genes that were in high correlation with telomere. We found heterogeneity of telomere lengths and transcriptomes in different cell lines. Telomere related proteins, specifically those involved in shelterin complex, are expressed highly in cancer cell lines and LPS-stimulated monocytes compared to the non-stimulated monocytes. In our study, SLC38A2, PURB, UBR3, SSR1, NCAPH2, AIMP2, PHF21A genes were highly correlated with telomere in mutual way and can therefore be considered as new biomarkers/novel candidates for telomere-related studies. The importance of these genes has been reported in aging/mortality. Concurrent with our findings, a recent report also suggested that NCAPH2 plays role in regulating telomere stability and maintenance through its interaction with TERF. [65] We found new genes in correlation with telomere regulation, and our findings are therefore of high importance in research of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and aging. Further studies are, however, required as our data is limited by small number of samples and inability to properly validate our technique.
Subject: Single cell
telomere length
RNA-sequencing
cancer cell line
normal cell line


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