Telomere shortening in normal human cells causes replicative senescence, a p53-dependent growth arrest state, which is thought to represent an innate defence against tumour progression. However, although it has been postulated that critical telomere loss generates a 'DNA damage' signal, the signalling pathway(s) that alerts cells to short dysfunctional telomeres remains only partially defined.
The sirtuin 1 protein (SIRT1) is a member of the class III NAD+-dependent histone deacetylases, which are also referred to as the 'sirtuins'. The sirtuins and silent information regulator 1 (SIRT1) in particular, are known to play a role in the response to DNA damage, metabolism, longevity and carcinogenesis. SIRT1 regulates different cellular processes such as proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis through deacetylation of important regulatory proteins such as p53, FOXO3a and NFkappaB.
While the eukaryotic genome is the same throughout all somatic cells in an organism, there are specific structures and functions that discern one type of cell from another. These differences are due to the cell's unique gene expression patterns that are determined during cellular differentiation. Interestingly, these cell-specific gene expression patterns can be affected by an organism's environment throughout its lifetime leading to phenotypical changes that have the potential of altering risk of some diseases.
Metabolic homeostasis and interventions that influence nutrient uptake are well-established means to influence lifespan even in higher eukaryotes. Until recently, the molecular mechanisms explaining such an effect remained scantily understood. Sirtuins are a group of protein deacetylases that depend on the metabolic intermediate NAD(+) as a cofactor for their function. For this reason they sense metabolic stress and in turn function at multiple levels to exert proper metabolic adaptation.
It is hypothesized that a common underlying mechanism links multiple neurodegenerative disorders. Here we show that transitional endoplasmic reticulum ATPase (TERA)/valosin-containing protein (VCP)/p97 directly binds to multiple polyglutamine disease proteins (huntingtin, ataxin-1, ataxin-7 and androgen receptor) via polyglutamine sequence. Although normal and mutant polyglutamine proteins interact with TERA/VCP/p97, only mutant proteins affect dynamism of TERA/VCP/p97.
A de novo G608G mutation in LMNA gene leads to Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. Mice lacking the prelamin A-processing metalloprotease, Zmpste24, recapitulate many of the progeroid features of Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. Here we show that A-type lamins interact with SUV39H1, and prelamin A/progerin exhibits enhanced binding capacity to SUV39H1, protecting it from proteasomal degradation and, consequently, increasing H3K9me3 levels. Depletion of Suv39h1 reduces H3K9me3 levels, restores DNA repair capacity and delays senescence in progeroid cells.
The ubiquitin ligase CHIP (carboxyl terminus of Hsp70-interacting protein) regulates protein quality control, and CHIP deletion accelerates aging and reduces the life span in mice. Here, we reveal a mechanism for CHIP's influence on longevity by demonstrating that CHIP stabilizes the sirtuin family member SirT6, a lysine deacetylase/ADP ribosylase involved in DNA repair, metabolism, and longevity.
The Spt-Ada-Gcn5-acetyltransferase (SAGA) chromatin-modifying complex possesses acetyltransferase and deubiquitinase activities. Within this modular complex, Ataxin-7 anchors the deubiquitinase activity to the larger complex. Here we identified and characterized Drosophila Ataxin-7 and found that reduction of Ataxin-7 protein results in loss of components from the SAGA complex.
Elevated LDL-cholesterol is a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease. Thus, proper control of LDL-cholesterol homeostasis is critical for organismal health. Genetic analysis has identified PCSK9 (proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9) as a crucial gene in the regulation of LDL-cholesterol via control of LDL receptor degradation. Although biochemical characteristics and clinical implications of PCSK9 have been extensively investigated, epigenetic regulation of this gene is largely unknown.
There is evidence suggesting that the primary (idiopathic) mental disorders are due to epimutations involving genes that determine the structure of the brain. Although in the past it has been suggested that the genes underlying the primary mental disorders may be unidentifiable, recent developments in neuroscience suggest otherwise. This paper outlines various epigenetic strategies that may help identify the genes underlying these disorders.