Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is associated with a number of diseases. In particular, telomeres are short in patients with cardiovascular disease and long in patients with different types of cancer such as melanoma. In our study we identified a novel gene (DCAF4) associated with LTL in the general population. Our finding expands the spectrum of genes involved in the leukocyte telomere maintenance.
We also provided evidence that genes associated with LTL are enriched among genes engaged in melanoma in the general population. The model used in this research may be useful in testing the role of LTL genetics in other human cancers. (By Dr. Massimo Mangino, http://jmg.bmj.com/content/early/2015/01/23/jmedgenet-2014-102681 )