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Volume 2 (2002), Pages 618-631
Mini-Review Article

Differential Gene Expression and Aging

Department of Biology, Biosciences Complex, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6, Canada

Received 5 October 2001; Revised 20 December 2001; Accepted 27 December 2002

Copyright © 2002 Laurent�Seroude.


It has been established that an intricate program of gene expression controls progression through the different stages in development. The equally complex biological phenomenon known as aging is genetically determined and environmentally modulated. This review focuses on the genetic component of aging, with a special emphasis on differential gene expression. At least two genetic pathways regulating organism longevity act by modifying gene expression. Many genes are also subjected to age-dependent transcriptional regulation. Some age-related gene expression changes are prevented by caloric restriction, the most robust intervention that slows down the aging process. Manipulating the expression of some age-regulated genes can extend an organism's life span. Remarkably, the activity of many transcription regulatory elements is linked to physiological age as opposed to chronological age, indicating that orderly and tightly controlled regulatory pathways are active during aging.