STANFORD UNIVERSITY: No Magic Gene Behind Supercentenarians’ Longevity

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What does it take to live to a 110? If supercentenarians have a magic gene that helps them reach this age, it is lying low. A thorough search for longevity gene variants in 17 supercentenarians – average age 112 (the oldest was 116) – has drawn a blank. Previous studies identified genes coding for proteins that might play an important role in longevity, including insulin-like growth factor-1. Some people have a variant of IGF-1 that becomes less active over time, and this can slow the ageing process. But when Stuart Kim of Stanford University in California and his colleagues compared the genomes of 16 women and one man aged 110 or older with those of 34 people aged 21 to 79, they found no significant differences in IGF-1 or any other gene (PLoS One, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112430). Ironically, one supercentenarian woman had a gene variant known to raise the risk of sudden death through irregular heart rhythms. Nevertheless, Kim thinks genetic differences will be found. “We’re continuing our search with more supercentenarians and more complex analyses,” he says. ( Source: ) For more information or to read the full study, just follow the link below.