A genetic factor that protects you against heart disease during middle age could reduce the odds that youll celebrate your hundredth birthday. Research published in BMC Medical Genetics shows that a genetic trait, which is rarely found in centenarians, is associated with lower cholesterol levels.
The risk of suffering from heart disease is increased by a number of factors, including having high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in your blood. The main component of low-density lipoprotein is apoliprotein(b) whose quality and quantity are related to the quality and expression of the APOB genes you have.
In a previous study, Professor Giovanna De Benedictis found that older, healthy people were most unlikely to carry short versions of a DNA region that neighbours the APOB gene. "This indicates that the short alleles are unfavourable to longevity," she says. In contrast, these short versions are over-represented in healthy, middle-aged adults, indicating that these variants of the APOB gene region play a protective role at this point in your life.
Her group have now analysed both the variability in the DNA surrounding the APOB gene and the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in over 400 healthy volunteers, between the ages of 20 and 102. The aim was to see if there was any link between the two factors.
Their results show that people with short variants of the APOB gene region have significantly lower levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in their blood.
The authors of the study write: "On the whole, the short alleles would be advantageous in adults, by protecting them from high levels of LDL-Cholesterol, while dangerous in the elderly, probably by lowering serum cholesterol below a critical threshold."
In line with these findings, the researchers showed that patients suffering from heart disease as a consequence of having high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were less likely to have one or more short variants of the APOB gene region, compared to healthy volunteers.
"On the whole, the study confirms that genetic risk factors are age-specific and gives possible insights into another paradox of centenarians," write the authors.
This press release is based on the following article:
A study of the average effect of the 3APOB-VNTR polymorphism on lipidemic parameters could explain why the short alleles (<35 repeats) are rare in centenarians.
S Garasto, M Berardelli, F De Rango, V Mari, E Geraco and G De Benedictis
Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator
23.02.2018 | University of Turku
Minimising risks of transplants
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy