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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Analysis of gene expression patterns and chromosomal changes associated with aging.

Age is the largest single risk factor for the development of cancer in mammals. Age-associated chromosomal changes, such as aneuploidy and telomere erosion, may be vitally involved in the initial steps of tumorigenesis. However, changes in gene expression specific for increased aneuploidy with age have not yet been characterized. Here, we address these questions by using a panel of fibroblast cell lines and lymphocyte cultures from young and old age groups. Oligonucleotide microarrays were used to characterize the expression of 14,500 genes. We measured telomere length and analyzed chromosome copy number changes and structural rearrangements by multicolor interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization and 7-fluorochrome multiplex fluorescence in situ hybridization, and we tried to show a relationship between gene expression patterns and chromosomal changes. These analyses revealed a number of genes involved in both the cell cycle and proliferation that are differently expressed in aged cells. More importantly, our data show an association between age-related aneuploidy and the gene expression level of genes involved in centromere and kinetochore function and in the microtubule and spindle assembly apparatus. To verify that some of these genes may also be involved in tumorigenesis, we compared the expression of these genes in chromosomally stable microsatellite instability and chromosomally unstable chromosomal instability colorectal tumor cell lines. Three genes (Notch2, H2AFY2, and CDC5L) showed similar expression differences between microsatellite instability and chromosomal instability cell lines as observed between the young and old cell cultures suggesting that they may play a role in tumorigenesis.[1]


  1. Analysis of gene expression patterns and chromosomal changes associated with aging. Geigl, J.B., Langer, S., Barwisch, S., Pfleghaar, K., Lederer, G., Speicher, M.R. Cancer Res. (2004) [Pubmed]
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