Regulation of Age-related Decline by Transcription Factors and Their Crosstalk with the Epigenome

Curr Genomics. 2018 Sep;19(6):464-482. doi: 10.2174/1389202919666180503125850.


Aging is a complex phenomenon, where damage accumulation, increasing deregulation of biological pathways, and loss of cellular homeostasis lead to the decline of organismal functions over time. Interestingly, aging is not entirely a stochastic process and progressing at a constant rate, but it is subject to extensive regulation, in the hands of an elaborate and highly interconnected signaling network. This network can integrate a variety of aging-regulatory stimuli, i.e. fertility, nutrient availability, or diverse stresses, and relay them via signaling cascades into gene regulatory events - mostly of genes that confer stress resistance and thus help protect from damage accumulation and homeostasis loss. Transcription factors have long been perceived as the pivotal nodes in this network. Yet, it is well known that the epigenome substantially influences eukaryotic gene regulation, too. A growing body of work has recently underscored the importance of the epigenome also during aging, where it not only undergoes drastic age-dependent changes but also actively influences the aging process. In this review, we introduce the major signaling pathways that regulate age-related decline and discuss the synergy between transcriptional regulation and the epigenetic landscape.

Keywords: Aging; Chromatin remodeling; Epigenetics; Lifespan; Stress response; Transcripton.

Publication types

  • Review