Genes Reveal Clues About People’s Potential Life Expectancy

Summary: Researchers report they are able to predict those who will live longer or die sooner than average based on examining their DNA.

Source: University of Edinburgh.

Scientists say they can predict whether a person can expect to live longer or die sooner than average, by looking at their DNA.

The team has analysed the combined effect of genetic variations that influence lifespan to produce a scoring system.

People who score in the top ten per cent of the population might expect to live up to five years longer than those who score in the lowest ten per cent, they say.

The findings also revealed fresh insights into diseases and the biological mechanisms involved in ageing, the researchers say.

Experts at the University of Edinburgh’s Usher Institute looked at genetic data from more than half a million people alongside records of their parents’ lifespan.

Some 12 areas of the human genome were pinpointed as having a significant impact on lifespan, including five sites that have not been reported before.

The DNA sites with the greatest impact on overall lifespan were those that have previously been linked to fatal illnesses, including heart disease and smoking-related conditions.

Genes that have been linked to other cancers, not directly associated with smoking, did not show up in this study, however.

an old man

The DNA sites with the greatest impact on overall lifespan were those that have previously been linked to fatal illnesses, including heart disease and smoking-related conditions.NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.

This suggests that susceptibility to death caused by these cancers is either a result of rarer genetic differences in affected people, or social and environmental factors.

The researchers had hoped to discover genes that directly influence how quickly people age. They say that if such genes exist, their effects were too small to be detected in this study.

The research, published in the journal eLife, was funded by the UK Medical Research Council and the AXA Research Fund.

Dr Peter Joshi, an AXA Fellow at the University of Edinburgh’s Usher Institute, said: “If we take 100 people at birth, or later, and use our lifespan score to divide them into ten groups, the top group will live five years longer than the bottom on average.”

Paul Timmers, PhD student at the Usher Institute, said “We found genes that affect the brain and the heart are responsible for most of the variation in lifespan.”

About this neuroscience research article

Source: University of Edinburgh
Publisher: Organized by NeuroscienceNews.com.
Image Source: NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.
Original Research: Open access research for “Genomics of 1 million parent lifespans implicates novel pathways and common diseases and distinguishes survival chances” by Paul RHJ Timmers, Ninon Mounier, Kristi Lall, Krista Fischer, Zheng Ning, Xiao Feng, Andrew D Bretherick, David W Clark, M Agbessi, H Ahsan, I Alves, A Andiappan, P Awadalla, A Battle, MJ Bonder, D Boomsma, M Christiansen, A Claringbould, P Deelen, J van Dongen, T Esko, M Favé, L Franke, T Frayling, SA Gharib, G Gibson, G Hemani, R Jansen, A Kalnapenkis, S Kasela, J Kettunen, Y Kim, H Kirsten, P Kovacs, K Krohn, J Kronberg-Guzman, V Kukushkina, Z Kutalik, M Kähönen, B Lee, T Lehtimäki, M Loeffler, U Marigorta, A Metspalu, J van Meurs, L Milani, M Müller-Nurasyid, M Nauck, M Nivard, B Penninx, M Perola, N Pervjakova, B Pierce, J Powell, H Prokisch, BM Psaty, O Raitakari, S Ring, S Ripatti, O Rotzschke, S Ruëger, A Saha, M Scholz, K Schramm, I Seppälä, M Stumvoll, P Sullivan, A Teumer, J Thiery, L Tong, A Tönjes, J Verlouw, PM Visscher, U Võsa, U Völker, H Yaghootkar, J Yang, B Zeng, F Zhang, M Agbessi, H Ahsan, I Alves, A Andiappan, P Awadalla, A Battle, MJ Bonder, D Boomsma, M Christiansen, A Claringbould, P Deelen, J van Dongen, T Esko, M Favé, L Franke, T Frayling, SA Gharib, G Gibson, G Hemani, R Jansen, A Kalnapenkis, S Kasela, J Kettunen, Y Kim, H Kirsten, P Kovacs, K Krohn, J Kronberg-Guzman, V Kukushkina, Z Kutalik, M Kähönen, B Lee, T Lehtimäki, M Loeffler, U Marigorta, A Metspalu, J van Meurs, L Milani, M Müller-Nurasyid, M Nauck, M Nivard, B Penninx, M Perola, N Pervjakova, B Pierce, J Powell, H Prokisch, BM Psaty, O Raitakari, S Ring, S Ripatti, O Rotzschke, S Ruëger, A Saha, M Scholz, K Schramm, I Seppälä, M Stumvoll, P Sullivan, A Teumer, J Thiery, L Tong, A Tönjes, J Verlouw, PM Visscher, U Võsa, U Völker, H Yaghootkar, J Yang, B Zeng, F Zhang, Xia Shen, Tõnu Esko, Zoltán Kutalik, James F Wilson, Peter K Joshi in eLife. Published January 15 2019.
doi:10.7554/eLife.39856

Cite This NeuroscienceNews.com Article

University of Edinburgh”Genes Reveal Clues About People’s Potential Life Expectancy.” NeuroscienceNews. NeuroscienceNews, 19 January 2019.
<http://neurosciencenews.com/genetics-life-expectancy-10586/>.
University of Edinburgh(2019, January 19). Genes Reveal Clues About People’s Potential Life Expectancy. NeuroscienceNews. Retrieved January 19, 2019 from http://neurosciencenews.com/genetics-life-expectancy-10586/
University of Edinburgh”Genes Reveal Clues About People’s Potential Life Expectancy.” http://neurosciencenews.com/genetics-life-expectancy-10586/ (accessed January 19, 2019).

Abstract

Genomics of 1 million parent lifespans implicates novel pathways and common diseases and distinguishes survival chancesy

We use a genome-wide association of 1 million parental lifespans of genotyped subjects and data on mortality risk factors to validate previously unreplicated findings near CDKN2B-AS1, ATXN2/BRAP, FURIN/FES, ZW10, PSORS1C3, and 13q21.31, and identify and replicate novel findings near ABO, ZC3HC1, and IGF2R. We also validate previous findings near 5q33.3/EBF1 and FOXO3, whilst finding contradictory evidence at other loci. Gene set and cell-specific analyses show that expression in foetal brain cells and adult dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is enriched for lifespan variation, as are gene pathways involving lipid proteins and homeostasis, vesicle-mediated transport, and synaptic function. Individual genetic variants that increase dementia, cardiovascular disease, and lung cancer – but not other cancers – explain the most variance. Resulting polygenic scores show a mean lifespan difference of around five years of life across the deciles.

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