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Patterns of Gene Expression Linked to Aging

Blockade of transcription factor NF-κB may be key to reversal

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have uncovered patterns in alterations of gene expression and major regulators related to aging with the transcription factor NF-κB most strongly associated with age-dependent changes, according to research released online Nov. 30 in Genes and Development.

Adam S. Adler, of Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, Calif., and colleagues attempted to define age-dependent gene expression across different tissues and organisms utilizing an integrated analysis of microarrays over nine tissue types.

In the study, 365 microarrays predicted 14 motifs as major regulators of age-dependent gene expression in both human and mouse. The transcription factor NF-κB, known to control the expression of target genes involved in inflammation and cell death, was most strongly associated with aging. The scientists were able to reverse characteristics of aging by NF-κB blockade in patches of epidermis in aged mice.

"Here we provide evidence for widespread involvement of NF-κB in mammalian aging, and demonstrate a reversal of many features of aging upon acute blockade of NF-κB in aged skin," the authors write. "These results bode well for the possibility of targeted therapies to reverse features of aging to alleviate age-related pathologies in the elderly," they conclude.

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