GWAS of epigenetic aging rates in blood reveals a critical role for TERT.
Lu AT., Xue L., Salfati EL., Chen BH., Ferrucci L., Levy D., Joehanes R., Murabito JM., Kiel DP., Tsai P-C., Yet I., Bell JT., Mangino M., Tanaka T., McRae AF., Marioni RE., Visscher PM., Wray NR., Deary IJ., Levine ME., Quach A., Assimes T., Tsao PS., Absher D., Stewart JD., Li Y., Reiner AP., Hou L., Baccarelli AA., Whitsel EA., Aviv A., Cardona A., Day FR., Wareham NJ., Perry JRB., Ong KK., Raj K., Lunetta KL., Horvath S.
DNA methylation age is an accurate biomarker of chronological age and predicts lifespan, but its underlying molecular mechanisms are unknown. In this genome-wide association study of 9907 individuals, we find gene variants mapping to five loci associated with intrinsic epigenetic age acceleration (IEAA) and gene variants in three loci associated with extrinsic epigenetic age acceleration (EEAA). Mendelian randomization analysis suggests causal influences of menarche and menopause on IEAA and lipoproteins on IEAA and EEAA. Variants associated with longer leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in the telomerase reverse transcriptase gene (TERT) paradoxically confer higher IEAA (P