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Ageing Res Rev. 2002 Jun;1(3):313-26.

Regulation of lifespan by histone deacetylase.

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Neurogenetics Branch (MSC 1250), Building 10, Room 3B12, NINDS, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Aging is a universal biological phenomenon in eukaryotes, but why and how we age still remain mysterious. It would be of great biological interest and practical importance if we could uncover the molecular mechanism of aging, and find a way to delay the aging process while maintaining physical and mental strengths of youth. Histone deacetylases (HDACs) such as SIR2 and RPD3 are known to be involved in the extension of lifespan in yeast and Caenorhabditis elegans. An inhibitor of HDACs, phenylbutyrate, also can significantly increase the lifespan of Drosophila, without diminution of locomotor vigor, resistance to stress, or reproductive ability. Treatment for a limited period, either early or late in adult life, is also effective. Alteration in the pattern of gene expression, including induction or repression of numerous genes involved in longevity by changing the level and the pattern of histone acetylation may be an important factor in determining the longevity of animals.

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