Named as the main factor of longevity
An international group of geneticists have found that the duration of human life largely depends on the influence of the environment than on our genes. To such conclusion scientists have come, having defined, how changes with age epigenetic regulation of the genome of twins. Preprint of a study published in the repository bioRxiv.
DNA methylation is one of the factors of human aging. When it comes to the modification of the DNA molecule without changing the nucleotide sequence, which allows to consider this process to epigenetic regulation. To cytosine in the composition СpG dinucleotide (cytosine-guanine) attached methyl group (CH3) that can lead to the suppression of functions of specific genes. It is shown that with age, the methylation pattern of the genome changes. For example activated genes contribute to neurodegeneration, and suppressed the DNA, which prevents atherosclerosis.
It is believed that the pattern of methylation depends on the genetic factors. However, scientists have conducted long-term research that allowed us to determine what proportion of this type of epigenetic regulation is determined by the environment. For this, they used twin method, which was to identify epigenetic differences between twins living in Sweden.