The epigenome of the newborn babies and the centenarians is different

14 06 2012

An international survey coordinated by Manel Esteller checks how epigenetic marks are degrading over time

Given that injuries epigenetic are reversible, could be to develop drugs that increase life time

What happens in our cells after one hundred years of life?? Do differ at the molecular level a newly born and a Centennial?? Is it changes gradual or sudden?? Is it possible to reverse the aging process?? What are the molecular keys to longevity?? These central issues in biology, Physiology and human medicine have been focus of study by researchers for decades.

Today, the international magazine Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) It publishes a research of international collaboration directed by Manel Esteller, Director of the program in Epigenetics and biology of the Cancer of the Institute of biomedical research of Bellvitge (IDIBELL), Professor of genetics of the University of Barcelona and ICREA researcher, It provides an essential in this field track: the epigenome of the newborn babies and the centenarians is different.

While the genome of all the cells in the human body, irrespective of its appearance and function, is identical, the chemical signals that regulate, known as epigenetic marks, they are specific to each body and each human tissue. I.e., that all our components have the same alphabet (Genome), but the spelling (epigenome) It is different in every part of our Anatomy. The surprising outcome of the work of the Group of Dr. Esteller is that even for a same tissue or organ, the epigenome varies depending on the age of the person.

Representación gráfica de los epigenomas identificados, cuyos círculos interno, medio y externo corresponden respectivamente al individuo de 103 años, al de edad intermedia y al recién nacido.

Graphical representation of the identified epigenomes, whose inner circles, media and external correspond respectively to the individual's 103 years, the middle aged and the newborn.

In the study published in PNAS have been completely sequenced the epigenomes of white blood cells from a newborn, an individual of middle age and a person of 103 years. The results show that the Centennial presents a distorted epigenome that has lost many switches (methyl chemical group), charge off inappropriate gene expression and, on the other hand, the switch of some protective genes is turned off.

"Extending the results to a large group of infants", "individuals located in medium and nonagenarios point or centenarians give us account that every day that passes the epigenome is a progressive process that will twist", says researcher. However, Dr. Esteller stresses that "injury epigenetic", Unlike the genetic, they are reversible and, Therefore, "the modification of patterns of methylation of DNA by dietary changes or the use of drugs could induce an increase in the useful life".

Who we are

Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) It is a research centre created year 2004. Is held by the Hospital Universitario de Bellvitge the Catalan Institute of health, the Catalan Oncology Institute, and the University of Barcelona. Is located in the Biopol 'H L' Hospitalet de Llobregat, and is a member of the Campus of international excellence of the University of Barcelona HUBc.

The article reference:

Heyn H, Li n, Ferreira HJ, Moran S, Pisano DG, A. Gómez, 10 J, Sanchez-Mut JV, Setién F, Carmona FJ, Pucaf AA Sayols S, Pujana MA, Serra-Musach J, Churches-silver I, Formiga F, Fernandez AF, Fraga MF, Heath S, Valencia to, Gut IG, Wang J, Esteller M. The Distinct DNA Methylomes of Newborns and Centenarians. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, DOI10.1073, 2012. [en línea] Barcelona (ESP):, 14 de junio de 2012 [REF. 11 in June of 2012] Available on Internet:



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