Identified genetic markers related to lower longevity

This is the largest set of genetic markers associated with life ever discovered. Likewise, it is estimated that a person who inherits a life shortening version of one of these single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) may die up to seven months earlier.

Researchers at the Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine (Iumsp) in Switzerland, led by Professor Zoltan Kutalik, have identified 16 genetic markers that could be involved in decreasing people's longevity. Our socioeconomic status or diet are some of the main responsible for the amount of years lived, however, about 20 or 30 percent of the variation in life is due to the genome.

In this way, researchers have pointed out that changes in certain locations of the DNA sequence, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), could hold some of the keys to longevity. So far only two impacts have been found in the genome, but in the new research, after analyzing data from 116,279 individuals and analyzing 2.3 million human SNPs, 16 SNPs have been found.

"In our approach, we have priorized changes in DNA that are known to be linked to age-related diseases in order to scan the genome more efficiently.This is the largest set of genetic markers associated with life never discovered" said Kutalik.

It is estimated that approximately 1 in 10 people have some configurations of these markers that shorten their life in more than a year, compared to the average population. In addition, a person who inherits a life shortening version of one of these SNPs may die up to seven months earlier. In particular, the discovered SNPs, combined with gene expression data, allowed scientists to identify that the lower brain expression of three genes neighboring the SNPs (RBM6, SULT1A1 and Chrna5, involved in nicotine dependence) was unexpectedly linked to Increase in life expectancy. Therefore, these three genes could act as biomarkers of longevity, that is, a survival beyond 85-100 years. To support this hypothesis, scientists have shown that mice with a lower level of brain expression of RBM6 live substantially longer.

This study, which is part of the AgingX Project, supported by the Swiss Initiative on Systems Biology, brings together the mechanisms of human aging and longevity, while proposing an innovative computational framework to improve the power of genetic research on diseases.

Source: Al Día. Infomed
Available at: