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Aging Cell. 2002 Oct;1(1):47-56.

Spatio-temporal analysis of gene expression during aging in Drosophila melanogaster.

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California Institute of Technology, Division of Biology 156-29, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.


The relationship between gene expression and the regulation of longevity is poorly understood. Previous studies focusing on microarray or tissue-specific changes in gene expression as a function of age have provided evidence that gene expression is a dynamic process which is regulated, even late in an organism's lifespan. Using the enhancer-trap technique, a systematic analysis of the spatio-temporal regulation of gene expression in tissues of adult Drosophila is presented. As many as 80% of enhancer traps analysed displayed (some form of) transcriptional change with age. In some cases the rate of change in expression was found to correlate with changes in longevity under various conditions, suggesting that they may be indicators of 'physiological age' and therefore valuable markers for dissecting the aging process. Molecular analysis of enhancer traps that showed increased activity with age was performed to identify candidate genes that may be important in the regulation of longevity; we identified changes in reporters associated with immunity, microtubule organization and muscle function.

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