University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Biophysical Seminars > From the bush to the bench: a short-lived african fish reveals novel aspects of the genetic control of aging

From the bush to the bench: a short-lived african fish reveals novel aspects of the genetic control of aging

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Priyanka Joshi.

African annual fishes from the genus Nothobranchius are small teleosts that inhabit temporary water bodies subject to annual desiccation due to the alternation of the monsoon seasons and their natural lifespan is of a few months. Nothobranchius furzeri is the vertebrate species with the shortest lifespan recorded in captivity. Its short lifespan is coupled to rapid age-dependent functional decline and expression of cellular and molecular changes comparable to those observed in other vertebrates, including humans. We report a high-quality draft of its genome and extensive studies of RNA -seq that analyzed genome-wide transcript regulation during aging of this species. The analysis of these data provided novel insights in the genetics of vertebrate aging: (i) we revealed that aging-related genes tend to cluster in specific genomic regions, (ii) we performed a longitudinal analysis of gene expression and identified genes coding for complex I of the respiratory chain as predictors of longevity, (iii) we demonstrated that partial pharmacological inhinibition of complex I induces life-extension and rejuvenation of the transcriptome. (iv) we identified genes under positive selection as a response to fast aging, under those, again, respiratory chain was enriched (v) we identified miR-29 as an evolutionary-conserved miRNA that is regulated during aging in multiple species and tissues and (vi) we demonstrated that inhibition of miR-29 in vivo accelerates the expression of aging phenotypes.

This talk is part of the Biophysical Seminars series.

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