Secrets of Longevity: The Role of Genes in Extending Life

Discover the Revolutionary Genes Behind Extraordinary Longevity

Longevity

Knowing About Genes for Longevity

Longevity genes are unique because their expression is directly linked to lifespan. For instance, if a pro-longevity gene is overexpressed, it can increase an individual’s lifespan, while underexpression of the same gene may shorten it. Conversely, anti-longevity genes work in the opposite way; their increased expression could lead to a shorter lifespan.

One key gene in human longevity is CISD2, located on a region of the human chromosome associated with lifespan variations. CISD2 is believed to play a critical role in maintaining mitochondrial function, which is essential for cell growth and division.

Examples of Longevity Genes

Scientists have identified various longevity genes across different species, including:

TDRP, MC2R, FBXO25, FBXL21: Associated with longevity in Cane Corso dogs.
FOXO3: Influences longevity in multiple species.
MAP3K5: A kinase signaling gene linked to lifespan.
Insulin/IGF1 Pathway Genes: Variants in this pathway are also connected to longevity.
Additionally, polymorphisms in genes like IGF1R, PON1, APOC3, and PI3K, and the extension in longevity through IIS, are noted in ageing studies.

Factors Affecting Lifespan

Apart from genetics, several other factors influence an animal’s lifespan:

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): Lower metabolic rates per unit mass or cell in larger animals may contribute to longer lifespans.
Body Mass and Temperature: Larger animals generally live longer due to reduced cellular damage.
Diet: Nutrition plays a significant role in lifespan.
Hibernation Ability: Animals capable of hibernation often have extended lifespans.

Genetic Variations in Humans

In humans, common genetic variations linked to long lifespans are found in the APOE, FOXO3, and CETP genes. However, these are not present in all individuals with exceptional longevity. It’s clear that while genetics plays a significant role, it’s not the sole determinant of lifespan.

Ageing and Reproduction

Interestingly, some genes that promote ageing are involved in reproduction, like those encoding yolk proteins. Additionally, the insulin-like INS-7 protein can influence ageing by interacting with the insulin/IGF-1 receptor, affecting lifespan regulation.

The study of longevity genes opens a new window into understanding how life spans are determined and potentially extended. While genetics plays a crucial role, it’s important to remember that lifestyle and environmental factors also significantly impact longevity. As research continues, we may uncover more secrets behind the complex interplay of genes and longevity, bringing us closer to unraveling the mysteries of a longer, healthier life.

References:

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