Common variants near TERC are associated with mean telomere length

Journal name:
Nature Genetics
Year published:
Published online
Corrected online

We conducted genome-wide association analyses of mean leukocyte telomere length in 2,917 individuals, with follow-up replication in 9,492 individuals. We identified an association with telomere length on 3q26 (rs12696304, combined P = 3.72 × 10−14) at a locus that includes TERC, which encodes the telomerase RNA component. Each copy of the minor allele of rs12696304 was associated with an ~75-base-pair reduction in mean telomere length, equivalent to ~3.6 years of age-related telomere-length attrition.

Change history

Corrected online 16 April 2010
Dr. Abraham Aviv and Dr. Masayuki Kimura were inadvertently omitted from the author list and the author contribution statement in the version of the manuscript initially published on February 7, 2010. This has been corrected in the online html and PDF.


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Author information

  1. These authors contributed equally to this work.

    • Veryan Codd,
    • Massimo Mangino,
    • Pim van der Harst,
    • Tim Spector &
    • Nilesh J Samani


  1. Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leicester, Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, UK.

    • Veryan Codd,
    • Pim van der Harst,
    • Peter S Braund,
    • Michael Kaiser,
    • Alan J Beveridge,
    • Suzanne Rafelt,
    • Jasbir Moore,
    • Chris Nelson,
    • Alison H Goodall &
    • Nilesh J Samani
  2. Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King's College London, London, UK.

    • Massimo Mangino,
    • Nicole Soranzo,
    • Guangju Zhai,
    • Ana M Valdes &
    • Tim Spector
  3. Department of Cardiology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.

    • Pim van der Harst,
    • Irene Mateo Leach,
    • Rudolf A de Boer,
    • Dirk J van Veldhuisen &
    • Wiek H van Gilst
  4. Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, UK.

    • Nicole Soranzo &
    • Hannah Blackburn
  5. The Center of Human Development and Aging, New Jersey Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey, USA.

    • Masayuki Kimura &
    • Abraham Aviv
  6. Department of Hematology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

    • Willem Ouwehand
  7. Department of Internal Medicine, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.

    • Gerjan Navis
  8. Departments of Health Sciences and Genetics, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK.

    • Paul R Burton,
    • Martin D Tobin &
    • John R Thompson
  9. Leeds Institute of Genetics, Health and Therapeutics, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.

    • Alistair S Hall
  10. A full list of members is provided is provided in the Supplementary Note.

    • Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium


  1. Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium


N.J.S. and T.S. conceived the study. V.C., M.M. and P.v.d.H. designed the laboratory work and conducted the analyses. V.C., P.S.B., M.Kaiser, J.M., I.M.L. and R.A.d.B. undertook the laboratory work. A.J.B. provided bioinformatics support and S.R., C.N. and N.S. undertook statistical support. A.S.H. and N.J.S. recruited and provided samples and data from the BHF Family Heart Study; W.T.C.C.C. and W.O. from the UKBS samples; A.H.G., P.R.B., M.D.T. and N.J.S. from the GRAPHIC study; G.Z., A.M.V., H.B., M.Kimura, A.A. and T.S. from the TwinsUK study; and D.J.v.V., W.H.v.G. and G.N. from the PREVEND Study. J.R.T. oversaw the statistical analysis. The paper was written by V.C., M.M. and N.J.S. All authors contributed to the final version of the manuscript.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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  1. Supplementary Text and Figures (964K)

    Supplementary Figure 1, Supplementary Tables 1–5, Supplementary Methods and Supplementary Note

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