Study: Aging is driven by imbalanced genes – Digital Journal


File photo: A therapy dog ​​visiting an elderly man in a nursing home. — © Karen Graham

Researchers at Northwestern University in the US have overturned new insights into the aging process. Scientists have discovered a mechanism that appears to be true in a variety of animals, including humans.

The new study finds that most changes at the molecular level that occur during aging are associated with gene length (the length of a gene is based on the number of nucleotides it contains). From this starting point, aging is accompanied by a shift in gene activity toward short genes, which are associated with accelerated aging. Therefore, aging can be conceptualized as a subtle imbalancefar from equilibrium. The process requires every cell in the body to put in more effort to function properly.

For the study, Northwestern researchers artificial intelligence used to analyze data from a wide variety of tissues, collected from humans, mice, rats, and killifish. They found that gene length can explain most of the changes at the molecular level that occur during aging.

After extensive studies with rodents, the researchers looked at people and observed changes in human genes between the ages of 30 and 49, between 50 and 69, and then between 70 and older.

This led to three main areas of research:

  1. First, the researchers found that in vertebrates the association of gene length mainly shows a lower relative abundance of long transcripts in aging.
  2. Second, eight antiaging interventions from the National Institute on Aging’s Intervention Evidence Program may counteract this long-lasting association.
  3. Third, it was found that in humans and mice genes with the longest transcripts enrich for genes reported to prolong lifespan, while those with the shortest transcripts are enriched for genes reported to shorten lifespan. Useful.

In essence, longer genes are associated with longer life, and shorter genes are associated with shorter life. The pattern is replicated in many tissues (blood, muscle, bone, and organs, including the liver, heart, intestines, brain, and lungs). These tissues were examined during the course of the study.

Digital magazine previously reported on telomeres and signs of aging. Telomeres are repetitive DNA sequences that cap the end of chromosomes, protecting them from damage. Telomere length is considered an indicator of biological aging, since between 50 and 100 bases of DNA are lost each time a cell replicates. Once telomeres get too short, cells can no longer divide and may even die.

Research findings may lead to medical interventions that slow or even reverse the biological characteristics of aging. A key driver for this would be in relation to the reduction in the prevalence of age-related diseases, such as cognitive decline. Many of the current anti-aging interventions are directed at the symptoms of aging rather than aging itself.

According to lead researcher Thomas Stoeger: “Changes in gene activity are very, very small, and these small changes involve thousands of genes. We found that this change was consistent in different tissues and in different animals. We find it almost everywhere. I find it very elegant that a single, relatively concise principle seems to account for almost all the changes in gene activity that occur in animals as they age.” the investigation has been published in the newspaper Nature Agingtitled “Aging is associated with a systemic length-associated transcriptomic imbalance”.


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