Longevity-Related Genes Keep Rolling In

The pace has picked up for discovery of longevity-correlated genetic and epigenetic variations in humans; there are too many for each and every new publication to be noted individually here - and we should expect there to be, ultimately, a very great many minor correlations between genes and natural variations in longevity. Here is an example: "The Leiden Longevity Study consists of families that express extended survival across generations, decreased morbidity in middle-age, and beneficial metabolic profiles. To identify which pathways drive this complex phenotype of familial longevity and healthy aging, we performed a genome-wide gene expression study within this cohort to screen for mRNAs whose expression changes with age and associates with longevity. ... The expression of 360 probes was found to change differentially with age in members of the long-lived families [and] we confirmed a nonagenarian specific expression profile for 21 genes out of 25 tested. Since only some of the offspring will have inherited the beneficial longevity profile from their long-lived parents, the contrast between offspring and controls is expected to be weak. Despite this dilution of the longevity effects, reduced expression levels of two genes, ASF1A and IL7R, involved in maintenance of chromatin structure and the immune system, associated with familial longevity already in middle-age. The size of this association increased when controls were compared to a subfraction of the offspring that had the highest probability to age healthily and become long-lived according to beneficial metabolic parameters."

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0027759

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