Decoupling of DNA Methylation Status and Gene Expression Levels in Aging Individuals

  • Anna Wierczeiko Faculty of Biology and Centre for Computational Sciences, Institute for Developmental Biology and Neurobiology. Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Staudingerweg 9, 55128 Mainz, Germany
  • David Fournier Faculty of Biology and Centre for Computational Sciences, Institute for Developmental Biology and Neurobiology. Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Staudingerweg 9, 55128 Mainz, Germany
  • Hristo Todorov Fresenius Kabi Deutschland GmbH, Else-Kröner-Str. 1, 61352, Bad Homburg, Germany; Faculty of Biology and Centre for Computational Sciences, Institute for Developmental Biology and Neurobiology. Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Staudingerweg 9, 55128 Mainz, Germany
  • Susanne Klingenberg Faculty of Biology and Centre for Computational Sciences, Institute for Developmental Biology and Neurobiology. Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Staudingerweg 9, 55128 Mainz, Germany
  • Kristina Endres Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Untere Zahlbacher Str. 8, 55131 Mainz
  • Susanne Gerber Faculty of Biology and Centre for Computational Sciences, Institute for Developmental Biology and Neurobiology. Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Staudingerweg 9, 55128 Mainz, Germany

Abstract

Aging is a multi-factorial process, where epigenetic factors play one of the major roles in declines of gene expression and organic function. DNA methylation at CpG islands of promoters can directly change the expression of the neighbouring gene mostly through inhibition. Furthermore, it is known that DNA methylation patterns change during aging In our study, we investigated gene regulation through DNA methylation of genes up- and downregulated in long-lived people compared to a younger cohort. Our data revealed that comparatively highly methylated genes were associated with high expression in long-lived people (e.g. over 85). Genes with lower levels of methylation were associated with low expression. These findings might contradict the general model used to associate methylation status with expression. Indeed, we found that methylation in the promoter regions of all investigated genes is rather constant across different age groups, meaning that the disparity between methylation and expression only happens in older people. A potential explanation could be the impact of other epigenetic mechanisms, possibly related to stress.

Published
2018-03-06
How to Cite
WIERCZEIKO, Anna et al. Decoupling of DNA Methylation Status and Gene Expression Levels in Aging Individuals. Genomics and Computational Biology, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 2, p. e100040, mar. 2018. ISSN 2365-7154. Available at: <https://genomicscomputbiol.org/ojs3/GCB/article/view/40>. Date accessed: 25 june 2019. doi: https://doi.org/10.18547/gcb.2018.vol4.iss2.e100040.
Section
Research Articles