Epigenetic memory of longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans

Worm
Bérénice A Benayoun, Anne Brunet

Abstract

A recent study by Greer et al. in the nematode C. elegans has shown transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of longevity in the descendants of worms deficient for subunits of a complex responsible for histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation (H3K4me3). In this commentary, we discuss the implications of this epigenetic memory of longevity and the potential mechanisms underlying this phenomenon. The transgenerational inheritance of longevity could result from heritable depletion of H3K4me3 at particular aging-regulating gene loci that would only be progressively replenished. The epigenetic memory of longevity could also be explained by the transgenerational transmission of other molecules, for example other proteins or non-coding RNAs. The discovery of an epigenetic memory of longevity in worms raises the intriguing possibility that environmental cues modulating longevity in ancestors might affect subsequent generations in a non-Mendelian manner. Another remaining intriguing question is whether transgenerational inheritance of longevity also exists in other species, including mammals.

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Citations

Aug 5, 2014·Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology·Michael K Skinner
Jul 9, 2016·Environmental Epigenetics·Mark A Hanson, Michael K Skinner
Mar 14, 2014·Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience·M Mar Gámez-Del-EstalManuel Ruiz-Rubio
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Jan 16, 2015·Current Opinion in Cell Biology·Anita Öst, John Andrew Pospisilik
Jul 29, 2017·Epigenetics & Chromatin·Alexander M VaisermanRandy L Jirtle

Methods Mentioned

BETA
histone acetylation

Related Concepts

Environment
Caenorhabditis elegans
Disease Transmission
Genetic Loci
RNA, Untranslated
Epigenetic Process
Nematodes
Species
Study
Regulation of Cell Aging

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Anthelmintics

Anthelmintics or antihelminthics are a group of antiparasitic drugs that expel parasitic worms (helminths) and other internal parasites from the body by either stunning or killing them and without causing significant damage to the host. Discover the latest research on anthelmintics here.