Researchers unable to find genes significantly associated with extreme longevity
November 13, 2014
Using 17 genomes, researchers were unable to find rare protein-altering variants significantly associated with extreme longevity, according to a study published November 12, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Hinco Gierman from Stanford University and colleagues.
Supercentenarians are the world’s oldest people, living beyond 110 years of age. Seventy-four are alive worldwide; 22 live in the U.S. The authors of this study performed whole-genome sequencing on 17 supercentenarians to explore the genetic basis underlying extreme human longevity.
From this small sample size, the researchers were unable to find rare any protein-altering variants that are significantly associated with extreme longevity compared to control genomes. However, they did find that one supercentenarian carries a variant associated with a heart condition, which had little or no effect on his/her health, as this person lived over 110 years.
Although the authors didn’t find significant association with extreme longevity, the authors have publicly published the genomes, making them available as a resource for future studies on the genetic basis of extreme longevity.