All mammals progress through similar physiological stages throughout life, from early development to puberty, aging, and death. Yet, the extent to which this conserved physiology reflects underlying genomic events is unclear. Here, we map the common methylation changes experienced by mammalian genomes as they age, focusing on comparison of humans with dogs, an emerging model of aging. Using oligo-capture sequencing, we characterize methylomes of 104 Labrador retrievers spanning a 16-year age range, achieving >150× coverage within mammalian syntenic blocks. Comparison with human methylomes reveals a nonlinear relationship that translates dog-to-human years and aligns the timing of major physiological milestones between the two species, with extension to mice. Conserved changes center on developmental gene networks, which are sufficient to translate age and the effects of anti-aging interventions across multiple mammals. These results establish methylation not only as a diagnostic age readout but also as a cross-species translator of physiological aging milestones.
Keywords: aging; canine; dog; epigenetic aging; epigenetic clock; epigenetics; epigenome; evolution; methylation; methylome.
Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.