CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Nov. 11, 2003) — For years scientists have suspected that both longevity and low cholesterol are closely linked to genetics. This suspicion proves accurate in a new study to be published this week online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which shows genetic variation in a gene known for playing a key role in lipoprotein production also appears to be significantly overrepresented in centenarians.
The study, co-authored by Whitehead Institute scientist Mark Daly, surveyed a large stretch of chromosome 4 taken from a group of 653 people 98 years and older and compared the findings with another group of individuals under 50. The study establishes that centenarians have a higher incidence of the genetic variant (which is reported to downregulate the gene) and confirms that more severe mutations confer even greater longevity.
Bard J. Geesaman, Erica Benson, Stephanie J. Brewster, Louis M. Kunkel, Hélène Blanché, Gilles Thomas, Thomas T. Perls, Mark J. Daly, and Annibale A. Puca
Haplotype-based identification of a microsomal transfer protein marker associated with the human lifespan
PNAS published November 13, 2003, 10.1073/pnas.1936249100 ( Genetics )
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