News

Do people aged 105 and over live longer because they have more efficient DNA repair?

Do people aged 105 and over live longer because they have more efficient DNA repair?
Science
Researchers have found that people who live beyond 105 years tend to have a unique genetic background that makes their bodies more efficient at repairing DNA, according to a study published today in eLife.

advertisement

Garagnani and colleagues, in collaboration with several research groups in Italy and a research team led by Patrick Descombes at Nestlé Research in Lausanne, Switzerland, recruited 81 semi-supercentenarians (those aged 105 years or older) and supercentenarians (those aged 110 years or older) from across the Italian peninsula. They compared these with 36 healthy people matched from the same region who were an average age of 68 years old.

They took blood samples from all the participants and conducted whole-genome sequencing to look for differences in the genes between the older and younger group. They then cross-checked their new results with genetic data from another previously published study which analysed 333 Italian people aged over 100 years old and 358 people aged around 60 years old.

They identified five common genetic changes that were more frequent in the 105+/110+ age groups, between two genes called COA1 and STK17A. When they cross-checked this against the published data, they found the same variants in the people aged over 100. Data acquired from computational analyses predicted that this genetic variability likely modulates the expression of three different genes.

advertisement

The most frequently seen genetic changes were linked to increased activity of the STK17A gene in some tissues. This gene is involved in three areas important to the health of cells: coordinating the cell s response to DNA damage, encouraging damaged cells to undergo programmed cell death and managing the amount of dangerous reactive oxygen species within a cell. These are important processes involved in the initiation and growth of many diseases such as cancer.

The most frequent genetic changes are also linked to reduced activity of the COA1 gene in some tissues. This gene is known to be important for the proper crosstalk between the cell nucleus and mitochondria -- the energy-production factories in our cells whose dysfunction is a key factor in aging.

Additionally, the same region of the genome is linked to an increased expression of BLVRA in some tissues -- a gene that is important to the health of cells due to its role in eliminating dangerous reactive oxygen species.

"Previous studies showed that DNA repair is one of the mechanisms allowing an extended lifespan across species," says Cristina Giuliani, Senior Assistant Professor at the Laboratory of Molecular Anthropology, Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, University of Bologna, and a senior author of the study. "We showed that this is true also within humans, and data suggest that the natural diversity in people reaching the last decades of life are, in part, linked to genetic variability that gives semi-supercentenarians the peculiar capability of efficiently managing cellular damage during their life course."

"This study constitutes the first whole-genome sequencing of extreme longevity at high coverage that allowed us to look at both inherited and naturally occurring genetic changes in older people," says Massimo Delledonne, Full Professor at the University of Verona and a first author of the study.

Materials provided by eLife . Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

eLife. "Do people aged 105 and over live longer because they have more efficient DNA repair?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 May 2021. .

eLife. "Do people aged 105 and over live longer because they have more efficient DNA repair?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/05/210504112619.htm (accessed May 4, 2021).

advertisement

1

Feb. 27, 2019 — The popular view that music enhances creativity has been challenged by researchers who say it has the opposite effect. Psychologists investigated the impact of background music on performance by ...

Feb. 19, 2019 — In a study of mice and human brain tumors researchers searched for new treatments by exploring the reasons why some patients with gliomas live remarkably longer than others. The results suggested ...

Dec. 17, 2017 — Dementia with Lewy bodies has a unique genetic profile, distinct from those of Alzheimer s disease or Parkinson s disease, according to the first large-scale genetic study of this common ...

July 26, 2017 — New research examines how frequently and in what order different aspects of self-reported near-death-experiences occur. By analyzing written first-hand accounts of near-death-experiences, the ...
Read more on sciencedaily.com
News Topics :
RELATED STORIES :
Science
Stem cells can spawn other types of body cells, but they have another striking capabilitythey remain young. Researchers have now harnessed this ability to boost the life spans of mice...
Science
Researchers have developed a 3D map of the gene interactions that play a key role in cardiovascular disease, a study in eLife reports. advertisement The map will help researchers identify...
Science
Researchers have identified molecular signatures of the aging process in mice, publishing their results today in the open access eLife journal. advertisement Aging leads to the decline of major organs and...
Technology
Researchers at the University of California San Diego have laid the groundwork for a potential new type of gene therapy using novel CRISPR based techniques. advertisement Working in fruit flies and...
Science
A new approach to gene editing using the CRISPR/Cas9 system bypasses disease causing mutations in a gene, enabling treatment of genetic diseases linked to a single gene, such as cystic fibrosis,...