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Citation
Larson, K., Yan, S.J., Tsurumi, A., Liu, J., Zhou, J., Gaur, K., Guo, D., Eickbush, T.H., Li, W.X. (2012). Heterochromatin formation promotes longevity and represses ribosomal RNA synthesis.  PLoS Genet. 8(1): e1002473.
FlyBase ID
FBrf0217306
Publication Type
Research paper
Abstract

Organismal aging is influenced by a multitude of intrinsic and extrinsic factors, and heterochromatin loss has been proposed to be one of the causes of aging. However, the role of heterochromatin in animal aging has been controversial. Here we show that heterochromatin formation prolongs lifespan and controls ribosomal RNA synthesis in Drosophila. Animals with decreased heterochromatin levels exhibit a dramatic shortening of lifespan, whereas increasing heterochromatin prolongs lifespan. The changes in lifespan are associated with changes in muscle integrity. Furthermore, we show that heterochromatin levels decrease with normal aging and that heterochromatin formation is essential for silencing rRNA transcription. Loss of epigenetic silencing and loss of stability of the rDNA locus have previously been implicated in aging of yeast. Taken together, these results suggest that epigenetic preservation of genome stability, especially at the rDNA locus, and repression of unnecessary rRNA synthesis, might be an evolutionarily conserved mechanism for prolonging lifespan.

PubMed ID
PubMed Central ID
PMC3266895 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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Secondary IDs
    Language of Publication
    English
    Additional Languages of Abstract
    Parent Publication
    Publication Type
    Journal
    Abbreviation
    PLoS Genet.
    Title
    PLoS Genetics
    Publication Year
    2005-
    ISBN/ISSN
    1553-7404 1553-7390
    Data From Reference
    Aberrations (1)
    Genes (8)