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Hallmarks of Aging

Understand How Aging Impacts Your Research, One Hallmark at a Time

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An obsession with aging, or more precisely, slowing or reversing the aging process has been a hot topic since the beginning of time. Aging can be defined as a systems-wide decline in organismal function.

Decline occurs as a result of numerous events in the organism and these events can be classified into nine “hallmarks” of aging, as proposed by Lopez-Otin et al. (2013). The biological processes underlying aging are complex. By understanding the hallmarks in greater detail, we can get closer to developing intervention strategies that can make the aging process less of a decline, and more of a recline.

Explore each of
the Hallmarks
to learn more.
Genomic Instability

As cells age, chromosomes lose their stability. Genomic instability is a key hallmark of aging.

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Telomere Attrition

The telomeres get progressively shorter with age, making this a key hallmark.

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Epigenetic Alterations

As cells are exposed to environmental factors, they are subject to changes in their genome through epigenetic mechanisms. Such changes accumulate over time and have been correlated with the decline observed in aging cells.

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Loss of Proteostasis

As cells age, environmental stresses add up and mechanisms responsible for maintaining proper protein composition start to decline. Proteins lose their stability, autophagic processes start to fail, and misfolded proteins accumulate.

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Deregulated Nutrient Sensing

Metabolic activities can put stress on our cells. Too much activity, and changes in nutrient availability and composition cause cells to age faster.

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Mitochondrial Dysfunction

As cells age, their mitochondria start to lose their integrity due to the build-up of oxidative stress. Compromised mitochondrial function leads to a number of events, such as increased apoptosis induction, that correlate with aging.

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Cellular Senescence

Cellular senescence is the point at which our cells stop dividing and growing due to damage or lack of necessary components. As cells age, they lose their ability to actively divide and start to undergo senescence.

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Stem Cell Exhaustion

As we age, stem cells eventually lose their ability to divide. We are unable to replace cells that have migrated, differentiated, or died. As a result, we show outward symbols of aging, such as grey hair.

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Altered Intercellular Communication

Cells, as they age, show an increase in self-preserving signals that result in damage elsewhere. Altered intercellular communication with aging contributes to decline in tissue health.

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