UCLA researchers in the Departments of Human Genetics and Biostatistics have combined phenotypic age and DNA methylation patterns to developed a novel biomarker for biological age.
Reacting to an aging population, the global anti-aging market is expected to reach $330 billion by 2022. Accurate biomarkers to determine biological rather than chronological age are essential tools in this market. These biomarkers have the potential to evaluate personal risk based on phenotypic or biological age or to assess anti-aging interventions in real time. Traditionally, clinical biomarkers such as lipid levels or blood pressure have been used. However, in the last 5 years, DNA methylation (DNAm) patterns and other epigenetic markers have had immense effects on mortality and morbidity predictions.
Professor Horvath and coworkers have developed a novel epigenetic biomarker for use in estimating biological or phenotypic age, based on DNAm patterns at 513 specific locations. This biomarker combines clinically measured variables, such as glucose levels or white blood cell count, with DNAm patterns, resulting in an improved phenotypic age estimation compared to previous generations of DNAm biomarkers. The novel DNAm biomarker is more accurate at predicting health span and lifespan than any previous molecular biomarker, and can be correlated to aging-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
Test has been developed. Correlations were discovered between breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Down syndrome, and mortality risk. Offspring of supercentenarians were studied and found to have reduced phenotypic age.
Epigenetic clock, aging, biological age, DNA methylation