The epigenetic tracks of aging

Biol Chem. 2014 Nov 1;395(11):1307-14. doi: 10.1515/hsz-2014-0180.


Abstract Aging is associated with the deterioration of biological functions, which is either caused by accumulation of random defects or mediated by a controlled process. This article provides an overview of age-associated epigenetic alterations in the histone code, DNA-methylation (DNAm) pattern, and chromatin structure. In particular, age-related DNAm changes are highly reproducible at specific sites in the genome. The DNAm level at few CpGs facilitates estimation of chronological age and there is evidence that such predictions are indicative for biological age. Overall, aging appears to be associated with a tightly regulated epigenetic process, but the underlying mechanism remains to be elucidated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Animals
  • Chromatin / genetics
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA Methylation
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Histones / genetics
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Humans


  • Chromatin
  • Histones
  • DNA