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do genes influence epigenetics that influence genes


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There are genes that make proteins that make epigenetic changes to genes (for example genes related to H3K4 and H3K36 de/methylation and H4K16 de/acetylation, TrxG genes).

therefore in the hypothesis that ageing is epigenetic rather than genetic it is still mostly genes that make proteins that make epigenetic changes to genes that are ultimately responsible for some of the epigenetic changes.

therefore ageing would still be genetic in the epigenetic theory of aging; right?


Edited by genekuli
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  • 2 months later...

All I remember from my freshman biology is that aging is caused by the exhaustion of telomeres. So there's a number of N cell divisions each cell line can go by and then it stops dividing, and this is a safeguard against cancer. So, if you want to live old, you should either have few cell divisions (slow metabolism, little food) or long telomeres by genetic heritage.

So, in this sense aging is not a genetic function. It's not like you turn on some aging genes, and therefore, you can't avoid it by methylating the 'aging genes'. However, I may be wrong. There may be some genes that affect the telomerase enzyme and the epigenetic modification of these genes could hinder aging, up to a certain limit. But I'd still say that the number of cell divisions is the most significant factor.

(One thing I hate about biology is that there's an exception to everything and the 'truth' presented in the college textbooks is never the full story. I guess some people find this adorable?)


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  • 3 weeks later...

My mind was blown when I first learned about the epigenetic theory of aging, specifically that in rats we successfully "reversed the clock." I'm not saying that it's 100% true, because I'm not sure, but on some level I think it's going to revolutionize aging and medical science.

But, you're essentially arguing that epigenetics is always just a manifestation of genetics. Which I feel is maybe a little a reductive. We inherit epigenetic patterns from our parents and have our epigenome influenced by the environment as well as our previously existing epigenome. I see what you're saying, but I just don't feel like it captures the breadth of it. 

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