Genetic Biomarkers: Determinant of longevity
The aging process is the root cause of the functional and physiological decline of the body with time. The environment we live and the food we eat, play a considerable role in longevity, where about 20% to 30% of the variation in human lifespan comes down to our genome.
Findings from the new study published recently in the journal cell metabolism revealed the effect of 17 different lifespan-extending interventions on gene activity in mice and the discovery of Genetic Biomarkers of longevity. A biomarker is a measurable indicator which can be used as an indicator of a particular disease state or some other physiological state of an organism.
Already known interventions have been explored that extend the lifespan of various living organisms ranging from Yeast to Mammals, including chemical compounds like rapamycin, genetic interventions like mutations associated with disruption of growth hormone synthesis and diet(low caloric diet).
A group of scientist from Skoltech, Moscow State University and Harvard University claim to identify crucial molecular processes associated with longevity. A specific group of genes were identified whose activity was associated with longevity, serving as biomarkers of lifespan extension.
“In our lab, we subjected mice of different sexes and ages to 8 longevity interventions and analysed gene expression changes induced by the treatments. After aggregating our data with the datasets published by other groups, we obtained the gene activity profiles of 17 interventions. Although in general, the efforts produced by individual treatments turned out to be quite specific, a certain group of genes changed its expression in a similar way in response to different lifespan-extending interventions,” says the first author of the study, Alexander Tyshkovskiy.
The researchers searched for other interventions from already discussed biomarkers. In their work, they identified several such treatments, including chronic hypoxia and other chemical compounds, such as antioxidants like ascorbyl palmitate and the mTOR inhibitors, KU-0063794.
“Currently, we are validating these hits by testing their effect on the mouse lifespan. We hope that our biomarkers will significantly facilitate the search for new longevity interventions and help improve the health span and lifespan in rodents and, in the long-term, in humans,” says Alexander.
Along with their scientific research, the Scientists developed GeNtervention, an application that offers fast and user-friendly tools for examining the associations between the activity of individual genes and longevity.