In spite of a growing body of research and data, human ageing remains a poorly understood process. Over 10 years ago we developed the Human Ageing Genomic Resources (HAGR), a collection of databases and tools for studying the biology and genetics of ageing. Here, we present HAGR’s main functionalities, highlighting new additions and improvements. HAGR consists of six core databases: (i) the GenAge database of ageing-related genes, in turn composed of a dataset of >300 human ageing-related genes and a dataset with >2000 genes associated with ageing or longevity in model organisms; (ii) the AnAge database of animal ageing and longevity, featuring >4000 species; (iii) the GenDR database with >200 genes associated with the life-extending effects of dietary restriction; (iv) the LongevityMap database of human genetic association studies of longevity with >500 entries; (v) the DrugAge database with >400 ageing or longevity-associated drugs or compounds; (vi) the CellAge database with >200 genes associated with cell senescence. All our databases are manually curated by experts and regularly updated to ensure a high quality data. Cross-links across our databases and to external resources help researchers locate and integrate relevant information. HAGR is freely available online (http://genomics.senescence.info/).
The Human Ageing Genomic Resources (HAGR, http://genomics.senescence.info) is a freely available online collection of research databases and tools for the biology and genetics of ageing. HAGR features now several databases with high-quality manually curated data: (i) GenAge, a database of genes associated with ageing in humans and model organisms; (ii) AnAge, an extensive collection of longevity records and complementary traits for >4000 vertebrate species; and (iii) GenDR, a newly incorporated database, containing both gene mutations that interfere with dietary restriction-mediated lifespan extension and consistent gene expression changes induced by dietary restriction. Since its creation about 10 years ago, major efforts have been undertaken to maintain the quality of data in HAGR, while further continuing to develop, improve and extend it. This article briefly describes the content of HAGR and details the major updates since its previous publications, in terms of both structure and content. The completely redesigned interface, more intuitive and more integrative of HAGR resources, is also presented. Altogether, we hope that through its improvements, the current version of HAGR will continue to provide users with the most comprehensive and accessible resources available today in the field of biogerontology.
SummaryAging is a complex, challenging phenomenon that requires multiple, interdisciplinary approaches to unravel its puzzles. To assist basic research on aging, we developed the Human Ageing Genomic Resources (HAGR). This work provides an overview of the databases and tools in HAGR and describes how the gerontology research community can employ them. Several recent changes and improvements to HAGR are also presented. The two centrepieces in HAGR are GenAge and AnAge. GenAge is a gene database featuring genes associated with aging and longevity in model organisms, a curated database of genes potentially associated with human aging, and a list of genes tested for their association with human longevity. A myriad of biological data and information is included for hundreds of genes, making GenAge a reference for research that reflects our current understanding of the genetic basis of aging. GenAge can also serve as a platform for the systems biology of aging, and tools for the visualization of protein-protein interactions are also included. AnAge is a database of aging in animals, featuring over 4000 species, primarily assembled as a resource for comparative and evolutionary studies of aging. Longevity records, developmental and reproductive traits, taxonomic information, basic metabolic characteristics, and key observations related to aging are included in AnAge. Software is also available to aid researchers in the form of Perl modules to automate numerous tasks and as an SPSS script to analyse demographic mortality data. The HAGR are available online at http://genomics.senescence.info.
Background: Cellular senescence, a permanent state of replicative arrest in otherwise proliferating cells, is a hallmark of aging and has been linked to aging-related diseases. Many genes play a role in cellular senescence, yet a comprehensive understanding of its pathways is still lacking. Results: We develop CellAge (http://genomics.senescence.info/cells), a manually curated database of 279 human genes driving cellular senescence, and perform various integrative analyses. Genes inducing cellular senescence tend to be overexpressed with age in human tissues and are significantly overrepresented in anti-longevity and tumor-suppressor genes, while genes inhibiting cellular senescence overlap with pro-longevity and oncogenes. Furthermore, cellular senescence genes are strongly conserved in mammals but not in invertebrates. We also build cellular senescence protein-protein interaction and co-expression networks. Clusters in the networks are enriched for cell cycle and immunological processes. Network topological parameters also reveal novel potential cellular senescence regulators. Using siRNAs, we observe that all 26 candidates tested induce at least one marker of senescence with 13 genes (C9orf40, CDC25A, CDCA4, CKAP2, GTF3C4, HAUS4, IMMT, MCM7, MTHFD2, MYBL2, NEK2, NIPA2, and TCEB3) decreasing cell number, activating p16/p21, and undergoing morphological changes that resemble cellular senescence. Conclusions: Overall, our work provides a benchmark resource for researchers to study cellular senescence, and our systems biology analyses reveal new insights and gene regulators of cellular senescence.
SummaryAging is a major worldwide medical challenge. Not surprisingly, identifying drugs and compounds that extend lifespan in model organisms is a growing research area. Here, we present DrugAge (http://genomics.senescence.info/drugs/), a curated database of lifespan‐extending drugs and compounds. At the time of writing, DrugAge contains 1316 entries featuring 418 different compounds from studies across 27 model organisms, including worms, flies, yeast and mice. Data were manually curated from 324 publications. Using drug–gene interaction data, we also performed a functional enrichment analysis of targets of lifespan‐extending drugs. Enriched terms include various functional categories related to glutathione and antioxidant activity, ion transport and metabolic processes. In addition, we found a modest but significant overlap between targets of lifespan‐extending drugs and known aging‐related genes, suggesting that some but not most aging‐related pathways have been targeted pharmacologically in longevity studies. DrugAge is freely available online for the scientific community and will be an important resource for biogerontologists.
The Gadd45 proteins have been intensively studied, in view of their important role in key cellular processes. Indeed, the Gadd45 proteins stand at the crossroad of the cell fates by controlling the balance between cell (DNA) repair, eliminating (apoptosis) or preventing the expansion of potentially dangerous cells (cell cycle arrest, cellular senescence), and maintaining the stem cell pool. However, the biogerontological aspects have not thus far received sufficient attention. Here we analyzed the pathways and modes of action by which Gadd45 members are involved in aging, longevity and age-related diseases. Because of their pleiotropic action, a decreased inducibility of Gadd45 members may have far-reaching consequences including genome instability, accumulation of DNA damage, and disorders in cellular homeostasis – all of which may eventually contribute to the aging process and age-related disorders (promotion of tumorigenesis, immune disorders, insulin resistance and reduced responsiveness to stress). Most recently, the dGadd45 gene has been identified as a longevity regulator in Drosophila. Although further wide-scale research is warranted, it is becoming increasingly clear that Gadd45s are highly relevant to aging, age-related diseases (ARDs) and to the control of life span, suggesting them as potential therapeutic targets in ARDs and pro-longevity interventions.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is an age-related fatal disease with unknown etiology and no effective treatment. In this study, we show that primary cultures of fibroblasts derived from lung biopsies of IPF patients exhibited (i) accelerated replicative cellular senescence (CS); (ii) high resistance to oxidative-stress-induced cytotoxicity or CS; (iii) a CS-like morphology (even at the proliferative phase); and (iv) rapid accumulation of senescent cells expressing the myofibroblast marker α-SMA. Our findings suggest that CS could serve as a bridge connecting lung aging and its quite frequent outcome -- pulmonary fibrosis, and be an important player in the disease progression. Consequently, targeting senescent cells offers the potential of being a promising therapeutic approach.
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