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Genetic and Epigenetic Determinants of Age-Related Traits: New Challenges and Insights

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 May 2024 | Viewed by 3632

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Calabria, 87036 Rende, Italy
Interests: genetics of longevity; mitochondrial contribution to aging and age-related diseases; miRNA as markers of aging

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Calabria, 87036 Rende, Italy
Interests: genetic variability; polymorphisms; aging and longevity; complex traits; telomere; healthy aging; genetic epidemiology; association studies
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Calabria, 87036 Rende, Italy
Interests: genetic component of human longevity; aging and age-related traits; association studies; common variants; human lifespan; healthy aging; late life survival; nonagenarian sampling; genetic epidemiology; genetic data analysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are assisting in the increased life expectancy of the population, parallel to a significant rise in the prevalence of chronic diseases. Over the last decades, genetic and epigenetic alterations were found to underlie changes occurring later in life, including susceptibility to diseases. More recently, multi-omics approaches have significantly steered biomedical research, helping to untangle the complexity of the biological and molecular factors implicated in age-related traits. While all of these foregoing advances are significant, there are still many aspects of this topic, i.e., the combined effects of genetic, epigenetic, and environmental influences, that need to be further investigated.

The aims of this Special Issue are to summarize the current knowledge in the field, suggest new directions for future research, both in humans and model systems, and aim to assess the individual risk of age-related diseases, a topic which will be at the forefront of aging research in the coming decade.

Authors may submit research articles, reviews, and short communications that cover the aforementioned areas, particularly those exploring the interfaces among genetics, epigenetics, and the environment as determinants of age-related traits.

Prof. Dr. Giuseppina Rose
Dr. Paolina Crocco
Dr. Serena Dato
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • genetics
  • epigenetics
  • age-related traits
  • health
  • chronic diseases
  • data integration
  • disease risk
  • aging

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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8 pages, 1044 KiB  
Communication
Decelerated Epigenetic Aging in Long Livers
by Zulfiya G. Guvatova, Anastasiya A. Kobelyatskaya, Elena A. Pudova, Irina V. Tarasova, Anna V. Kudryavtseva, Olga N. Tkacheva, Irina D. Strazhesko and Alexey A. Moskalev
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(23), 16867; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242316867 - 28 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1840
Abstract
Epigenetic aging is a hot topic in the field of aging research. The present study estimated epigenetic age in long-lived individuals, who are currently actively being studied worldwide as an example of successful aging due to their longevity. We used Bekaert’s blood-based age [...] Read more.
Epigenetic aging is a hot topic in the field of aging research. The present study estimated epigenetic age in long-lived individuals, who are currently actively being studied worldwide as an example of successful aging due to their longevity. We used Bekaert’s blood-based age prediction model to estimate the epigenetic age of 50 conditionally “healthy” and 45 frail long-livers over 90 years old. Frailty assessment in long-livers was conducted using the Frailty Index. The control group was composed of 32 healthy individuals aged 20–60 years. The DNA methylation status of 4 CpG sites (ASPA CpG1, PDE4C CpG1, ELOVL2 CpG6, and EDARADD CpG1) included in the epigenetic clock was assessed through pyrosequencing. According to the model calculations, the epigenetic age of long-livers was significantly lower than their chronological age (on average by 21 years) compared with data from the group of people aged 20 to 60 years. This suggests a slowing of epigenetic and potentially biological aging in long livers. At the same time, the obtained results showed no statistically significant differences in delta age (difference between the predicted and chronological age) between “healthy” long livers and long livers with frailty. We also failed to detect sex differences in epigenetic age either in the group of long livers or in the control group. It is possible that the predictive power of epigenetic clocks based on a small number of CpG sites is insufficient to detect such differences. Nevertheless, this study underscores the need for further research on the epigenetic status of centenarians to gain a deeper understanding of the factors contributing to delayed aging in this population. Full article
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Review

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38 pages, 2317 KiB  
Review
Recent Advances in In Vivo Somatic Cell Gene Modification in Newborn Pups
by Shingo Nakamura, Kazunori Morohoshi, Emi Inada, Yoko Sato, Satoshi Watanabe, Issei Saitoh and Masahiro Sato
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(20), 15301; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242015301 - 18 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1530
Abstract
Germline manipulation at the zygote stage using the CRISPR/Cas9 system has been extensively employed for creating genetically modified animals and maintaining established lines. However, this approach requires a long and laborious task. Recently, many researchers have attempted to overcome these limitations by generating [...] Read more.
Germline manipulation at the zygote stage using the CRISPR/Cas9 system has been extensively employed for creating genetically modified animals and maintaining established lines. However, this approach requires a long and laborious task. Recently, many researchers have attempted to overcome these limitations by generating somatic mutations in the adult stage through tail vein injection or local administration of CRISPR reagents, as a new strategy called “in vivo somatic cell genome editing”. This approach does not require manipulation of early embryos or strain maintenance, and it can test the results of genome editing in a short period. The newborn is an ideal stage to perform in vivo somatic cell genome editing because it is immune-privileged, easily accessible, and only a small amount of CRISPR reagents is required to achieve somatic cell genome editing throughout the entire body, owing to its small size. In this review, we summarize in vivo genome engineering strategies that have been successfully demonstrated in newborns. We also report successful in vivo genome editing through the neonatal introduction of genome editing reagents into various sites in newborns (as exemplified by intravenous injection via the facial vein), which will be helpful for creating models for genetic diseases or treating many genetic diseases. Full article
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