Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Aging impacts epigenome in human skeletal muscle

21.11.2013
Buck Institute research involves first genome-wide DNA methylation study in disease-free tissue

Our epigenome is a set of chemical switches that turn parts of our genome off and on at strategic times and locations. These switches help alter the way our cells act and are impacted by environmental factors including diet, exercise and stress.

Research at the Buck Institute reveals that aging also effects the epigenome in human skeletal muscle. The study, appearing on line in Aging Cell, provides a method to study sarcopenia, the degenerative loss of muscle mass that begins in middle age.

The results came from the first genome-wide DNA methylation study in disease-free individuals. DNA methylation involves the addition of a methyl group to the DNA and is involved in a particular layer of epigenetic regulation and genome maintenance. In this study researchers compared DNA methylation in samples of skeletal muscle taken from healthy young (18 - 27 years of age) and older (68 – 89 years of age) males. Buck faculty and lead scientist Simon Melov, PhD, said researchers looked at more than 480,000 sites throughout the genome.

"We identified a suite of epigenetic markers that completely separated the younger from the older individuals – there was a change in the epigenetic fingerprint," said Melov. "Our findings were statistically significant; the chances of that happening are infinitesimal."

Melov said scientists identified about six-thousand sites throughout the genome that were differentially methylated with age and that some of those sites are associated with genes that regulate activity at the neuromuscular junction which connects the nervous system to our muscles. "It's long been suspected that atrophy at this junction is a weak link in sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass we get with age," said Melov. "Maybe this differential methylation causes it. We don't know."

Studying the root causes and development of sarcopenia in humans is problematic; the research would require repeated muscle biopsies taken over time, something that would be hard to collect. Melov says now that the epigenetic markers have been identified in humans, the goal would be to manipulate those sites in laboratory animals. "We would be able to observe function over time and potentially use drugs to alter the rate of DNA methylation at those sites," he said. Melov says changes in DNA methylation are very common in cancer and that the process is more tightly controlled in younger people.

Other Buck Institute researchers involved in the study include Sean Mooney, Jim Flynn and Artem Zykovich. Mark Tarnopolsky, Dan Ogborn, and Lauren McNeil from the McMaster Children's Hospital, Neuromuscular and Neurometabolic Unit in Hamilton, Ontario contributed as did Alan Hubbard, School of Public Health, University of California Berkeley; Mario F. Fraga, Cancer Epigenetics Laboratory, Universidad de Oviedo, Oveido, Spain; and Chad Kerksick, Department of Health, Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM. The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01-LM009722, U54-HG004028, UL1DE019608), The Glenn Foundation for Medical Research, the Buck Trust and Canadian Institutes of Health Research-Institute of Aging.

Citation: "Genome-wide DNA methylation changes with age in disease-free human skeletal muscle," Aging Cell

About the Buck Institute for Research on Aging

The Buck Institute is the U.S.'s first independent research organization devoted to Geroscience – focused on the connection between normal aging and chronic disease. Based in Novato, CA, The Buck is dedicated to extending "Healthspan", the healthy years of human life and does so utilizing a unique interdisciplinary approach involving laboratories studying the mechanisms of aging and those focused on specific diseases. Buck scientists strive to discover new ways of detecting, preventing and treating age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, cancer, cardiovascular disease, macular degeneration, osteoporosis, diabetes and stroke. In their collaborative research, they are supported by the most recent developments in genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics and stem cell technologies.

Kris Rebillot | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.thebuck.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino

16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides

16.07.2018 | Life Sciences

New research calculates capacity of North American forests to sequester carbon

16.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>