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Protein argonaute-2 (EC 3.1.26.n2) (Argonaute2) (hAgo2) (Argonaute RISC catalytic component 2) (Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2C 2) (eIF-2C 2) (eIF2C 2) (PAZ Piwi domain protein) (PPD) (Protein slicer) [EIF2C2]


Profiling of m6A RNA modifications identified an age-associated regulation of AGO2 mRNA stability.

Gene expression is dynamically regulated in a variety of mammalian physiologies. During mammalian aging, there are changes that occur in protein expression that are highly controlled by the regulatory steps in transcription, post-transcription, and post-translation. Although there are global profiles of human transcripts during the aging processes available, the mechanism(s) by which transcripts are differentially expressed between young and old cohorts remains unclear. Here, we report on N6-methyladenosine (m6A) RNA modification profiles of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from young and old cohorts. An m6A RNA profile identified a decrease in overall RNA methylation during the aging process as well as the predominant modification on proteincoding mRNAs. The m6A-modified transcripts tend to be more highly expressed than nonmodified ones. Among the many methylated mRNAs, those of DROSHA and AGO2 were heavily methylated in young PBMCs which coincided with a decreased steady-state level of AGO2 mRNA in the old PBMC cohort. Similarly, downregulation of AGO2 in proliferating human diploid fibroblasts (HDFs) also correlated with a decrease in AGO2 mRNA modifications and steady-state levels. In addition, the overexpression of RNA methyltransferases stabilized AGO2 mRNA but not DROSHA and DICER1 mRNA in HDFs. Moreover, the abundance of miRNAs also changed in the young and old PBMCs which are possibly due to a correlation with AGO2 expression as observed in AGO2-depleted HDFs. Taken together, we uncovered the role of mRNA methylation on the abundance of AGO2 mRNA resulting in the repression of miRNA expression during the process of human aging.

MeSH Terms

  • Adult
  • Aging
  • Argonaute Proteins
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Down-Regulation
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methylation
  • Methyltransferases
  • Middle Aged
  • RNA
  • RNA Stability


  • aging
  • m6A RNA methylation
  • post transcriptional gene regulation

miRNA processing gene polymorphisms, blood DNA methylation age and long-term ambient PM exposure in elderly men.

We tested whether genetic variation in miRNA processing genes modified the association of PM with DNA methylation (DNAm) age. We conducted a repeated measures study based on 552 participants from the Normative Aging Study with multiple visits between 2000 and 2011 (n = 940 visits). Address-level 1-year PM exposures were estimated using the GEOS-chem model. DNAm-age and a panel of 14 SNPs in miRNA processing genes were measured from participant blood samples. In fully adjusted linear mixed-effects models, having at least one copy of the minor rs4961280 [[[AGO2]]] allele was associated with a lower DNAm-age (β = -1.13; 95% CI: -2.26 to -0.002). However, the association of PM with DNAm-age was significantly (P  = 0.01) weaker in homozygous carriers of the major rs4961280 [[[AGO2]]] allele (β = 0.38; 95% CI: -0.20 to 0.96) when compared with all other participants (β = 1.58; 95% CI: 0.76 to 2.39). Our results suggest that miRNA processing impacts DNAm-age relationships. Graphical abstract: miRNA processing AGO2 polymorphism (rs4961280) modifies the association of long-term ambient fine particle exposure with blood DNA methylation age [Formula: see text] The graph depicts lines from a fully adjusted linear regression model with fine particle exposure levels ranging from the tenth to the ninetieth percentile, all other continuous variables held constant at their means, and all other categorical variables held at their most frequent level.

MeSH Terms

  • Aged
  • DNA Methylation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • MicroRNAs
  • Particulate Matter
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide


  • AGO2
  • PM2.5
  • SNPs
  • air pollution
  • epigenetic aging
  • miRNA