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Eur J Hum Genet. 2002 Feb;10(2):119-24.

A centenarian-only approach for assessing gene-gene interaction in human longevity.

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Max-Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.


In this study, we introduce a centenarian-only approach to the assessment of gene-gene interaction that contributes to human longevity. This approach corresponds to the non-traditional case-only method in the genetic study of gene and disease associations. We first describe how the method can be implemented to screen for gene-gene interaction in human longevity. Then we apply the method to centenarian data collected from an Italian centenarian study in order to detect the interactions between the REN gene and the mitochondrial haplotypes. A significant interaction between REN gene allele 10 and the mitochondrial H haplotype, which may favour longevity, was found. Important features of the application in human longevity studies are highlighted and discussed. Since centenarians constitute a special population representing successful ageing, the centenarian-only approach will be an important tool in the search for major genes that contribute to human longevity.

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