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Alternative splicing in aging and longevity


Alternative pre-mRNA splicing increases the complexity of the proteome that can be generated from the available genomic coding sequences. Dysregulation of the splicing process has been implicated in a vast repertoire of diseases. However, splicing has recently been linked to both the aging process itself and pro-longevity interventions. This review focuses on recent research towards defining RNA splicing as a new hallmark of aging. We highlight dysfunctional alternative splicing events that contribute to the aging phenotype across multiple species, along with recent efforts toward deciphering mechanistic roles for RNA splicing in the regulation of aging and longevity. Further, we discuss recent research demonstrating a direct requirement for specific splicing factors in pro-longevity interventions, and specifically how nutrient signaling pathways interface to splicing factor regulation and downstream splicing targets. Finally, we review the emerging potential of using splicing profiles as a predictor of biological age and life expectancy. Understanding the role of RNA splicing components and downstream targets altered in aging may provide opportunities to develop therapeutics and ultimately extend healthy lifespan in humans.

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We acknowledge Funding from NIA/NIH R01AG051954 and AFAR/Glenn Foundation for Medical Research Breakthroughs in Gerontology Award. P.H. is supported by NIH/NIA Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health Related Research R01AG051954-02S1. C.H. is funded by Charles A. King Trust Postdoctoral Fellowship. Figures are created with We thank the Mair lab members for comments and helpful discussion on the manuscript.

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Correspondence to William B. Mair.

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Bhadra, M., Howell, P., Dutta, S. et al. Alternative splicing in aging and longevity. Hum Genet 139, 357–369 (2020).

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