Friday, April 23, 2010

Genomes association to Aging

A deeper understanding of our biological system is proving that genomics are playing an omnipresent role in aging. The human genome sequence decrypts more or less everything within the body. The major variations in genomes and their expressions can, if better understood, be used to tweak up age.

Variation in genomes

Genomes and their association to aging have previously been supplemented with more findings. A recent study on genome-wide association study (GWAS) conducted on centenarians by Boston University, found 150 “single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs)” genetic transcriptions, associated with longevity. The most important longevity genes having a close link with aging pathways were APOE, CTNNA3, IL7 (immune system), CDKN2B (tumor suppressor), SORCS1, SORCS2 (Alzheimer’s disease) and TOMM40.

An additional study proved that senior athletes having these longevity genes had a lesser risk of attaining major diseases. This includes breast cancer, prostate cancer, coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, heart attack and macular degeneration. Nonetheless, genes correlated to longevity are not necessarily related to genes promoting a health lifespan.

More Findings

There is a substantial difference between the genomic expression of young and old organism. For centenarians there was apparently a high expression of miRNAs in livers (miRNA-200c, miRNA-141, and miRNA-31). According to another study conducted on worms, the genome expression altered much with age.

Yet, these findings appeared odd. A third study showed that protein product was relaxed in translational control during aging. It was suggested that this change in protein expression could produce proteotoxicity. Looking further into how the biological network declines with age through a network analysis approach was conducted in another research. The “AGEMAP” (Atlas of Gene Expression in
Mouse Aging Project) was scrutinized to compare protein expression in mice of 16 months and of 24 months. It was suggested that the gene expression network had a gradual loss in integrity as aging occurs.

An explanation to this genome balance could be that if less transcription is present, the network edges of genes disappears. This accounts for the alteration of genes through aging.


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