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Aging, Species Lifespan Gene Expression Signatures Overlap

Within mammals, transcriptional signatures of aging are similar to those associated with maximum lifespan, a new study in Nucleic Acids Research reports. Researchers from Osaka Metropolitan University in Japan examined gene expression data from half a dozen tissues from 29 mammals with known — and differing — maximum lifespans, finding overlap between aging- and lifespan-related transcriptomic signatures. Further, both sets of transcriptomic signatures were associated with longer lifespan in BXD mouse strains. The findings suggests to the researchers that some aging-related gene expression changes could be adaptations that extend lifespan and that gene expression patterns associated with a species' collective maximum lifespan could also be associated with extended lifespans within that species. "Our results highlight the importance of focusing on adaptive aspects of aging transcriptome and demonstrate that cross-species genomics can be a powerful approach for understanding adaptive aging transcriptome," the researchers write in their paper. They caution, though, that their analysis focused on gene, rather than protein, expression and that the changes they see could be the result, rather than the cause, of aging or species longevity.

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