Copy number variations (CNVs) have been shown to cause numerous diseases, however, their roles in human lifespan remain elusive. In this study, we investigate the association of CNVs with longevity by comparing the Han Chinese genomes of long-lived individuals from 90 to 117 years of age and the middle-aged from 30 to 65. Our data demonstrate that the numbers of CNVs, especially deletions, increase significantly in a direct correlation with longevity. We identify eleven CNVs that strongly associate with longevity; four of them locate in the chromosome bands, 7p11.2, 20q13.33, 19p12 and 8p23.3 and overlap partially with the CNVs identified in long-lived Danish or U.S. populations, while the other seven have not been reported previously. These CNV regions encode nineteen known genes, and some of which have been shown to affect aging-related phenotypes such as the shortening of telomere length (ZNF208), the risk of cancer (FOXA1, LAMA5, ZNF716), and vascular and immune-related diseases (ARHGEF10, TOR2A, SH2D3C). In addition, we found several pathways enriched in long-lived genomes, including FOXA1 and FOXA transcription factor networks involved in regulating aging or age-dependent diseases such as cancer. Thus, our study has identified longevity-associated CNV regions and their affected genes and pathways. Our results suggest that the human genome structures such as CNVs might play an important role in determining a long life in human.
Keywords: Han Chinese; copy number variation; genome association study; long-lived; longevity; middle-aged controls.