An analysis suggests that the mechanism of aging may be controllable

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According to the analysis of the researchers of ELTE and Semmelweis University, the DNA chain can be switched so that it can reach a state corresponding to a biological age of 5-6 years according to the so-called methylation pattern. The Department of Physics of Complex Systems at Eötvös Loránd University and the Research Group on Statistics and Biological Physics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences analyzed data from a number of public databases on cellular mechanisms whose careful tuning may affect the molecular processes of aging and thus biological age.

The analysis, carried out with the help of researchers from ELTE and Semmelweis University, was published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology, the Press Department of the Faculty of Science of Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE TTK) told MTI on Friday.

As we age, various changes take place in our bodies. For example, young children lose their deciduous teeth and permanent teeth grow in their place. Research in recent decades has shown that this is not just about the wear and tear of the body, the summary reads.

Changes are largely determined by the molecular program in our cells, the central element of which is the DNA chain, that everything that is needed for each transformation, to start and carry out biological processes, is encoded in the DNA chain. As the years go by, the “program codes” stored in different parts of the DNA become active or deactivated. The so-called methylation signals play an important controlling role in these on / off processes. When parts of a DNA strand are methylated, the activity of the genes encoded by that DNA segment changes, triggering or stopping certain biological processes.

Studies have found a very strong correlation between age and methylation pattern; the age can be determined with an accuracy of a few years from the methylation pattern. However, the researchers believe that a close relationship does not necessarily mean a causal relationship.

“For example the the proportion of gray hairs on our heads is strongly correlated with age, but aging is certainly the result of graying, not the other way around. However, methylation has been shown in many cases to have a so-called + epigenetic + control function, ”they pointed out. Therefore, researchers at ELTE and Semmelweis University came up with the idea that the aging process could be influenced by optimally tipping the state of methylation “DNA switches”.

“A DNA strand is not a simple switchboard where individual positions can be linked independently. Processes form a complex interconnected network, if one ticks over, another can switch over. The theoretical results of the researchers show that the DNA chain is a controllable system, and at least there is a theoretical chance that the biological processes in our body can be switched to a methylation state that is a few years younger, ”they write.

According to the first theoretical results, the methylation of the DNA strand can be switched to a stable configuration so that our body can reach a state corresponding to 5-6 years younger biological age according to the methylation pattern. Whether this switching can actually be done will need to be experimentally verified or refuted.


Source: Patika Magazin Online by www.patikamagazin.hu.

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