Research Papers:

No association between telomere length-related loci and number of cutaneous nevi

Xin Li, Geyu Liang, Mengmeng Du, Immaculata De Vivo and Hongmei Nan _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:82396-82399. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12021

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Xin Li1, Geyu Liang2, Mengmeng Du3, Immaculata De Vivo1,4, Hongmei Nan5

1Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA

2Key Laboratory of Environmental Medicine Engineering, Ministry of Education, School of Public Health, Southeast University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

3Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA

4Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

5Department of Epidemiology, Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, Indiana University, and Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, Indianapolis, IN, USA

Correspondence to:

Hongmei Nan, email: [email protected]

Keywords: telomere length-related loci, melanoma, nevus count, genome-wide association study, genetic score

Received: July 14, 2016     Accepted: September 07, 2016     Published: September 14, 2016


Background: Longer telomeres have been associated both with increased melanoma risk and increased nevus counts. Nevus count is one of the strongest risk factors for melanoma. Recent data showed that a genetic score derived by telomere length-related single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was strongly associated with melanoma risk; however, the relationships between these SNPs and number of cutaneous nevi have not been investigated.

Methods: We evaluated the associations between telomere length-related SNPs reported by previous genome-wide association study (GWAS) and nevus counts among 15,955 participants of European Ancestry in the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

Results: None of the SNPs was associated with nevus counts, nor was the genetic score combining the dosage of alleles related to increased telomere length.

Conclusions: The telomere length-related SNPs identified by published GWAS do not appear to play an important role in nevus formation. Genetic determinants of telomere length reported by GWAS do not explain the observed epidemiologic association between telomere length and nevus counts.

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