The timing of gene expression defines the particular activity of a single cell or tissue and ensures the proper development of the organism. In higher eukaryotes most genes are “silent,” meaning that they are transcriptionally inert and that this state is heritable. Many changes in gene expression occur during cellular senescence and organismal aging [1, 2]. Although most of these are considered to be downstream effects rather than causes of aging, there is evidence that gene silencing may be important for determining lifespan. This chapter will provide an introduction to mechanisms of gene silencing and discuss how this (and related mechanisms) may influence longevity. There will be particular focus on how the environment and metabolic activity may regulate gene silencing and lifespan.
|Original language||American English|
|Title of host publication||Aging at the Molecular Level|
|Editors||Thomas von Zglinicki|
|State||Published - 2003|
|Name||Biology of Aging and Its Modulation|