Histone methylation makes its mark on longevity

Trends Cell Biol. 2012 Jan;22(1):42-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2011.11.001. Epub 2011 Dec 15.


How long organisms live is not entirely written in their genes. Recent findings reveal that epigenetic factors that regulate histone methylation, a type of chromatin modification, can affect lifespan. The reversible nature of chromatin modifications suggests that therapeutic targeting of chromatin regulators could be used to extend lifespan and healthspan. This review describes the epigenetic regulation of lifespan in diverse model organisms, focusing on the role and mode of action of chromatin regulators that affect two epigenetic marks, trimethylated lysine 4 of histone H3 (H3K4me3) and trimethylated lysine 27 of histone H3 (H3K27me3), in longevity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cellular Senescence
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Longevity*
  • Methylation
  • Phylogeny


  • Chromatin
  • Histones