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Age-related gene expression changes and transcriptome wide association study of physical and cognitive aging traits in the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Carmen Martin-RuizORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© Harris et al. Gene expression is influenced by both genetic variants and the environment. As individuals age, changes in gene expression may be associated with decline in physical and cognitive abilities. We measured transcriptomewide expression levels in lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from members of the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 at mean ages 70 and 76 years. Changes in gene expression levels were identified for 1,741 transcripts in 434 individuals. Gene Ontology enrichment analysis indicated an enrichment of biological processes involved in the immune system. Transcriptome-wide association analysis was performed for eleven cognitive, fitness, and biomedical aging-related traits at age 70 years (N=665 to 781) and with mortality. Transcripts for genes (F2RL3, EMILIN1 and CDC42BPA) previously identified as being differentially methylated or expressed in smoking or smoking-related cancers were overexpressed in smokers compared to non-smokers and the expression of transcripts for genes (HERPUD1, GAB2, FAM167A and GLS) previously associated with stress response, autoimmune disease and cancer were associated with telomere length. No associations between expression levels and other traits, or mortality were identified.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Harris SE, Riggio V, Evenden L, Gilchrist T, McCafferty S, Murphy L, Wrobel N, Taylor AM, Corley J, Pattie A, Cox SR, Martin-Ruiz C, Prendergast J, Starr JM, Marioni RE, Deary IJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Aging

Year: 2017

Volume: 9

Issue: 12

Pages: 2489-2503

Online publication date: 01/12/2017

Acceptance date: 26/11/2017

Date deposited: 16/01/2018

ISSN (print): 1945-4589

Publisher: Impact Journals LLC


DOI: 10.18632/aging.101333


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