Gene silencing--a new theory of aging

Med Hypotheses. 2003 Apr;60(4):578-83. doi: 10.1016/s0306-9877(03)00050-1.


The aging process involves silencing of the genes through methylation of promoter sequences and the acetylation of histones. This process contributes not only to aging, but also cancer when silencing affects tumor suppressor genes. Antineoplastons work as molecular switches, turning inactive tumor suppressor genes back on through demethylation of the DNA and acetylation of the histones. While they activate tumor suppressor genes, antineoplastons also activate some additional genes silenced during the aging process. Evidence of activation of silenced genes can be pursued by documenting the relationship between 'molecular switches' - DNA-demethylating agents and histone deacetylation inhibitors, genes which are turned on by them, and clinical anti-aging changes.

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA Methylation
  • Gene Silencing*
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical


  • Histones
  • DNA