MHC class II (MHC-II) genes are regulated by an enhanceosome complex containing two gene-specific transcription factors, regulatory factor X complex (RFX) and CIITA. These factors assemble on a strictly conserved regulatory module (S-X-X2-Y) found immediately upstream of the promoters of all classical and nonclassical MHC-II genes as well as the invariant chain (Ii) gene. To identify new targets of RFX and CIITA, we developed a computational approach based on the unique and highly constrained architecture of the composite S-Y motif. We identified six novel S′-Y′ modules situated far away from the promoters of known human RFX- and CIITA-controlled genes. Four are situated at strategic positions within the MHC-II locus, and two are found within the Ii gene. These S′-Y′ modules function as transcriptional enhancers, are bona fide targets of RFX and CIITA in B cells and IFN-γ-induced cells, and induce broad domains of histone hyperacetylation. These results reveal a hitherto unexpected level of complexity involving long distance control of MHC-II expression by multiple distal regulatory elements.
Posttranslational histone modifications associated with actively expressed genes are generally believed to be introduced primarily by histone-modifying enzymes that are recruited by transcription factors or their associated co-activators. We have performed a comprehensive spatial and temporal analyses of the histone modifications that are deposited upon activation of the MHC class II gene HLA-DRA by the co-activator CIITA. We find that transcription-associated histone modifications are introduced during two sequential phases. The first phase precedes transcription initiation and is characterized exclusively by a rapid increase in histone H4 acetylation over a large upstream domain. All other modifications examined, including the acetylation and methylation of several residues in histone H3, are restricted to short regions situated at or within the 5′ end of the gene and are established during a second phase that is concomitant with ongoing transcription. This second phase is completely abrogated when elongation by RNA polymerase II is blocked. These results provide strong evidence that transcription elongation can play a decisive role in the deposition of histone modification patterns associated with inducible gene activation.
Haematopoiesis in adult animals is maintained by haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), which self-renew and can give rise to all blood cell lineages. The AGM region is an important intra-embryonic site of HSC development and a wealth of evidence indicates that HSCs emerge from the endothelium of the embryonic dorsal aorta and extra-embryonic large arteries. This, however, is a stepwise process that occurs through sequential upregulation of CD41 and CD45 followed by emergence of fully functional definitive HSCs. Although largely dispensable at later stages, the Runx1 transcription factor is crucially important during developmental maturation of HSCs; however, exact points of crucial involvement of Runx1 in this multi-step developmental maturation process remain unclear. Here, we have investigated requirements for Runx1 using a conditional reversible knockout strategy. We report that Runx1 deficiency does not preclude formation of VE-cad+CD45−CD41+ cells, which are phenotypically equivalent to precursors of definitive HSCs (pre-HSC Type I) but blocks transition to the subsequent CD45+ stage (pre-HSC Type II). These data emphasise that developmental progression of HSCs during a very short period of time is regulated by precise stage-specific molecular mechanisms.
The goal of this study was to uncover the influence of professional activity, migration, and gender on dynamics of subjective age and ageing biomarkers. We examined the representatives of investigative types of professions (ITP), 30–75 years old in Russia, (101/62 women), and Russian migrants to the European Union, (101/56 women). ITPs appeared to be ageing slower than statistical standards; men age faster than women; the pre-retirement group (51–65 years old) showed acceleration of relative biological ageing in the Russian sample (women +4.5 years, men +10.7 years) against the EU sample, suggesting a boost of pre-retirement stress in Russia; subjectively, Russian people (51–65 years old) feel close to their chronological age, while EU people perceive themselves far below their calendar age (men—lower by 20.4, women—lower by 10.9 years). The subjective ageing depends on the country of residence, while biological ageing depends on occupation, gender, and negative expectations of retirement.
According to the World Health Organization, the population of over 60 will double in the next 30 years in the developed countries, which will enforce a further raise of the retirement age and increase the burden on the healthcare system. Therefore, there is an acute issue of maintaining health and prolonging active working longevity, as well as implementation of early monitoring and prevention of premature aging and age-related disorders to avoid early disability. Traditional indicators of biological age are not always informative and often require extensive and expensive analysis. The study of blood factors is a simple and easily accessible way to assess individual health and supplement the traditional indicators of a person’s biological age with new objective criteria. With age, the processes of growth and development, tissue regeneration and repair decline; they are gradually replaced by enhanced catabolism, inflammatory cell activity, and insulin resistance. The number of senescent cells supporting the inflammatory loop rises; cellular clearance by autophagy and mitophagy slows down, resulting in mitochondrial and cellular damage and dysfunction. Monitoring of circulated blood factors not only reflects these processes, but also allows suggesting medical intervention to prevent or decelerate the development of age-related diseases. We review the age-related blood factors discussed in recent publications, as well as approaches to slowing aging for healthy and active longevity.
Nucleosome depletion at transcription start sites (TSS) has been documented genome-wide in multiple eukaryotic organisms. However, the mechanisms that mediate this nucleosome depletion and its functional impact on transcription remain largely unknown. We have studied these issues at human MHC class II (MHCII) genes. Activation-induced nucleosome free regions (NFR) encompassing the TSS were observed at all MHCII genes. Nucleosome depletion was exceptionally strong, attaining over 250-fold, at the promoter of the prototypical HLA-DRA gene. The NFR was induced primarily by the transcription factor complex that assembles on the conserved promoter-proximal enhancer situated upstream of the TSS. Functional analyses performed in the context of native chromatin demonstrated that displacing the NFR without altering the sequence of the core promoter induced a shift in the position of the TSS. The NFR thus appears to play a critical role in transcription initiation because it directs correct TSS positioning in vivo. Our results provide support for a novel mechanism in transcription initiation whereby the position of the TSS is controlled by nucleosome eviction rather than by promoter sequence.
The article introduces data from the study of the severity of social anxiety caused by the expectation of retirement and subsequent retirement; highlights signs of retirement stress: acceleration of biological aging, the discrepancy of psychological and biological age. It also regards individual-personal factors of biopsychological aging. The article presents the results of an empirical study of the biopsychological age of people – Russians by origin – pursuing intel-lectual professions and living in the European Union and in Russia. All the participants were continuing their research activity and were aged from 32 to 70 years, both living in Russia (n=101, women, 62), and having migrated to the European Union countries (n=101, women 56). Methods of assessing biological age with regard on health indicators, subjective psychological age, as well as the questionnaire of life path were applied. The results showed that in Russian sample the signs of retirement stress are more pronounced: the subjects have an acceleration of biological aging at the age of 51–65 years. The personal strategies for preventing retirement stress and maintaining relative juvenility, typical for the intellectual occupation professionals, were singled out: for men — democratic working conditions, positive attitude, collaborative non-ambitious non-aggressive behaviour; and for women — wellbeing, respectful partnership in the couple, friendly working conditions; multiple changes of place of residence. However, the difference in relative juvenility strategy for residents in Russian and EU was also observed.
Aging of the immune system involves functional changes in individual cell populations, in hematopoietic tissues and at the systemic level. They are mediated by factors produced by circulating cells, niche cells, and at the systemic level. Age-related alterations in the microenvironment of the bone marrow and thymus cause a decrease in the production of naive immune cells and functional immunodeficiencies. Another result of aging and reduced tissue immune surveillance is the accumulation of senescent cells. Some viral infections deplete adaptive immune cells, increasing the risk of autoimmune and immunodeficiency conditions, leading to a general degradation in the specificity and effectiveness of the immune system in old age. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the state-of-the-art application of mass spectrometry, multichannel flow cytometry, and single-cell genetic analysis have provided vast data on the mechanisms of aging of the immune system. These data require systematic analysis and functional verification. In addition, the prediction of age-related complications is a priority task of modern medicine in the context of the increase in the aged population and the risk of premature death during epidemics. In this review, based on the latest data, we discuss the mechanisms of immune aging and highlight some cellular markers as indicators of age-related immune disbalance that increase the risk of senile diseases and infectious complications.
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