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Current Genomics


ISSN (Print): 1389-2029
ISSN (Online): 1875-5488

Epigenetics of Aging

Author(s): Marta I. Sierra, Agustín F. Fernández and Mario F. Fraga

Volume 16, Issue 6, 2015

Page: [435 - 440] Pages: 6

DOI: 10.2174/1389202916666150817203459

Price: $65


The best-known phenomenon exemplifying epigenetic drift (the alteration of epigenetic patterns during aging) is the gradual decrease of global DNA methylation. Aging cells, different tissue types, as well as a variety of human diseases possess their own distinct DNA methylation profiles, although the functional impact of these is not always clear. DNA methylation appears to be a dynamic tool of transcriptional regulation, with an extra layer of complexity due to the recent discovery of the conversion of 5-methylcytosine into 5-hydroxymethylcytosine. This age-related DNA demethylation is associated with changes in histone modification patterns and, furthermore, we now know that ncRNAs have evolved in eukaryotes as epigenetic regulators of gene expression. In this review, we will discuss current knowledge on how all these epigenetic phenomena are implicated in human aging, and their links with external, internal and stochastic factors which can affect human age-related diseases onset.

Keywords: Aging, Age-related diseases, DNA methylation, Epigenetics, External factors, Histone modifications, Non-coding RNAs.

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