Loss of epigenetic information speeds up the aging process
Cell identity is determined by chromatin structures and transcriptional network during cell development. This leads to cells being directed into valleys on the Waddington landscape. For optimal function, cells must maintain their identity by preserving epigenetic information. In the 1990s, Yeast Studies reported that genetics and epigenetics are not equal. This can lead to aging. Other studies have also shown that epigenetic modifications are not only a biomarker, but also a cause for aging in yeasts.
Changes in DNA methylation patterns (DNAme), H3K27me3,H3K9me3,and H3K9me3 are all epigenetic changes that occur with age. There is a pattern to many epigenetic modifications. The reason for the changes in the mammalian genome is still unknown. Yeast provides some clues. DSBs are a major factor in yeast, and their repair requires epigenetic regulators Esa1, Rpd3, Gcn5, Hst1, Sir2, etc. According to the ”RCM hypothesis” and ‘Information Theory of Aging,” aging occurs in eukaryotes due to the loss of transcriptional networks and epigenetic information in response to cellular injury such as a DSB or crash injury.
Cell published a new study that aimed to determine if epigenetic changes were a cause for mammalian ageing.