Home
http://www.faz.net/-gxb-71ggq
HERAUSGEGEBEN VON WERNER D'INKA, BERTHOLD KOHLER, GÜNTHER NONNENMACHER, HOLGER STELTZNER

Genetik Der molekulare Schlüssel zu einem langen Leben?

Das Alter hat auf unserem Genom selbst keinen Einfluss, dafür beeinflusst das Alter die Interpretation des Erbguts. Dies lässt sich an an weißen Blutkörperchen unterschiedlicher Probanden beobachten.

© Heinz G. Beer Vergrößern An Leukozyten lässt sich die Alterung des Epigenoms beobachten: Erythrozyten (rot eingefärbt), ein Leukozyt (blau eingefärbt) und die Blutgefäßwand (die vertikale Struktur rechts)

What happens to our cells after one hundred years? What is the difference at a molecular level between a newborn and a centenarian? Is it a gradual or a sudden change? Is it possible to reverse the aging process? What are the molecular keys to longevity? These central questions in biology, physiology and human medicine have been the focus of study by researchers for decades.

While the genome of every cell in the human body, regardless of their appearance and function, is identical, chemical signals that regulate it, known as epigenetic marks, are specific to each human tissue and every organ. This means that all our components have the same alphabet (genome), but the spelling (epigenome) is different in every part of our anatomy. The surprising result of the work led by Dr. Esteller is that the epigenome varies depending on the age of the person, even for the same tissue or organ.

Three Samples Of Different Ages

The international journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has published an international collaborative research led by Manel Esteller, director of the Epigenetics and Cancer Biology Program at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), lecturer of Genetics at the University of Barcelona and ICREA researcher, which provides a vital clue in this field: the epigenome of newborns and centenarians is different.

In the study published in PNAS, epigenomes from white blood cells of a newborn, a man of middle age and a person of 103 years have been fully sequenced.

Extending The Results

The results show that the centenary presents a distorted epigenome that has lost many switches (methyl chemical group), put in charge of inappropriate gene expression and, instead, turn off the switch of some protective genes.

„Extending the results to a large group of neonates, individuals at the midpoint and nonagenarians or centenarians we realized that this is an ongoing process in which each passing day goes by twisting the epigenome” explains the researcher. However, Dr. Esteller noted that “epigenetic lesions, unlike genetic ones, are reversible and therefore modifying the patterns of DNA methylation by dietary changes or use of drugs may induce an increase in lifetime.”

 
 ()
   Permalink
 
 
 

Hier können Sie die Rechte an diesem Artikel erwerben

Weitere Empfehlungen
25 Years after All Eyes Are on Germany

Foreign Editor Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger talked recently in the United States about Germany’s Foreign and Security Policy. Speaking at the eve of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, he particularly addressed the transition from a culture of restraint to a culture of responsibility. His conclusion: Grandstanding is over. Mehr Von Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger

08.11.2014, 15:08 Uhr | Politik
Neues Max-Planck-Institut Die DNA der Geschichte

Die Max-Planck-Gesellschaft hat ein Institut für Geschichte und Naturwissenschaften gegründet. Dort soll es um die Anwendbarkeit biologischer Modelle in der Geschichtswisssenschaft gehen. Eine epochale Herausforderung. Mehr Von Jörg Feuchter

13.11.2014, 21:52 Uhr | Feuilleton
Entomologie Das große Krabbeln

Aus den Genomen von 144 ausgewählten Gliedertieren berechnete ein internationales Forscherteam den Stammbaum der Insekten. Mehr

08.11.2014, 16:21 Uhr | Wissen
   Permalink
 Permalink

Veröffentlicht: 02.08.2012, 06:19 Uhr