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Discov Med. 2010 Sep;10(52):225-33.

Epigenetic regulation of aging.

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  • 1Department of Endocrinology and Nutrition Service, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, Oviedo, 33006, Spain.


Aging is one of the most challenging and unresolved problems in biology owing to its highly complex nature. Public interest in aging has increased not only because all of us can expect to live to a ripe old age but also because we wish to avoid those age-related changes that lead to physical invalidity or other diseases (cancer, depression) and may ultimately cause social isolation. Aging is a process of genetic and epigenetic interactions at all biological levels, where epigenetics has an important function in determining the phenotypic differences that arise. Epigenetics also plays a key role in the development of diseases associated with aging and explains the relationship between an individual's genetic background, the environment, aging, and disease. DNA plasticity is mediated in part by the epigenetic changes that lead the role of a cell, and can be passed on to future generations. Epigenetics establishes the idea that our health can be affected not only by the interplay of our genes and environment but also by the inherited effects of our ancestors' genes and environment.

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