Exercise training increases telomerase reverse transcriptase gene expression and telomerase activity: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Denham, Joshua ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5804-4960 and Sellami, Maha (2021) Exercise training increases telomerase reverse transcriptase gene expression and telomerase activity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Ageing Research Reviews, 70:101411. ISSN 1568-1637


Telomeres protect genomic stability and shortening is one of the hallmarks of ageing. Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) is the major protein component of telomerase, which elongates telomeres. Given that short telomeres are linked to a host of chronic diseases and the therapeutic potential of telomerase-based therapies as treatments and a strategy to extend lifespan, lifestyle factors that increase TERT gene expression and telomerase activity could attenuate telomere attrition and contribute to healthy biological ageing.

Physical activity and maximal aerobic fitness are associated with telomere maintenance, yet the molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Therefore, the purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to identify the influence of a single bout of exercise and long-term exercise training on TERT expression and telomerase activity. A search of human and rodent trials using the PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct and Embase databases was performed.

Based on findings from the identified and eligible trials, both a single bout of exercise (n; standardised mean difference [95%CI]: 5; SMD: 1.19 [0.41–1.97], p = 0.003) and long-term exercise training (10; 0.31 [0.03–0.60], p = 0.03) up-regulates TERT and telomerase activity in non-cancerous somatic cells. As human and rodent studies were included in the meta-analyses both exhibited heterogeneity (I2 = 55–87%, p < 0.05). Endurance athletes also exhibited increased leukocyte TERT and telomerase activity compared to their inactive counterparts. These findings suggest exercise training as an inexpensive lifestyle factor that increases TERT expression and telomerase activity. Regular exercise training could attenuate telomere attrition through a telomerase-dependent mechanism and ultimately extend health-span and longevity.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 43776
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2021 04:30
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2021 00:03
Uncontrolled Keywords: telomere; biological ageing; senescence; TERT
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110602 Exercise Physiology
06 Biological Sciences > 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology > 060199 Biochemistry and Cell Biology not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420702 Exercise physiology
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3199 Other biological sciences > 319999 Other biological sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arr.2021.101411
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/43776

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only