An Introduction to FOXO3A

Singularity Hub provides a popular science introduction to the FOXO3A gene and its role in human longevity: "The past few decades have seen a growing interest in longevity as medicine continues to advance life expectancy. Groups like the Methuselah Foundation (sponsors of the MPrize) are actively seeking technology to extend lifespans. Yet, understanding aging is not an exact science. We do know that genetics, environmental risks/lifestyle, and strong social bonds are all part of what helps someone live longer. Studies of centenarians, however, have suggested that while genetics don’t seem to make a big difference in the early decades of old age, they have a profound effect determining who makes it into extreme old age. Variants in FOXO3A may be one of the key ingredients that help take a healthy 80 year old, and turn her into a healthy 110 year old. ... everyone has a FOXO3A gene. It is the variation in single sections of that gene (single nucleotide polymorphisms) which are important. ... As we better understand which of these SNPs are key for longevity, you'll be able to test for them with personal DNA tests or whole genome sequencing. ... The FOXO3A gene codes for the FOXO3A protein. If we figure out how longevity variants of FOXO3A change the protein (in its form, frequency, etc) we could then produce drugs that replicate that change and give our bodies long life."


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