TLDR funds peer review.

These preprints are featured in the VitaDAO Research Newsletter and will be candidates for The Longevist. $VITA bounties will be paid to peer reviewers and a $VITA prize will go to the top reviews.

New | 28 February 2023 | Biorxiv link | Write review

Organism aging occurs at the multicellular level; however, how pro-longevity mechanisms slow down aging in different cell types remains unclear. We generated single-cell transcriptomic atlases across the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans under different pro-longevity conditions ( We found cell-specific, age-related changes across somatic and germ cell types and developed transcriptomic aging clocks for different tissues. These clocks enabled us to determine tissue-specific aging-slowing effects of different pro-longevity mechanisms, and identify major cell types sensitive to these regulations. Additionally, we provided a systemic view of alternative polyadenylation events in different cell types, as well as their cell-type-specific changes during aging and under different pro-longevity conditions. Together, this study provides molecular insights into how aging occurs in different cell types and how they respond to pro-longevity strategies. | Make paid

New | 27 February 2023 | Biorxiv link | Write review

Little is known about tissue specific changes that occur with aging in humans. Using the description of 33 million histological samples we extract thousands of age- and mortality-associated features from text narratives that we call The Human Pathome ( Notably, we can broadly determine when pathological aging starts, indicating a sexual dimorphism with females aging earlier but slower and males aging later but faster. Using machine learning, we employ unsupervised topic-modelling to identify terms and themes that predict age and mortality. As a proof of principle, we cross reference these terms in PubMed to identify nintedanib as a potential aging intervention and show that nintedanib reduces markers of cellular senescence, reduces pro-fibrotic gene pathways in senescent cells and extends the lifespan of fruit flies. Our findings pave the way for expanded exploitation of population datasets towards discovery of novel aging interventions. | Make paid

New | 23 February 2023 | Medrxiv link | Write review

Biological Age (BA) captures physiological deterioration better than chronological age and is amenable to interventions. Blood-based biomarkers have been identified as suitable candidates for BA estimation. This study aims to improve BA estimation using machine learning models and a feature-set of 60 circulating biomarkers available from the UK Biobank (UKBB) (n = 307,000). We implement an Elastic-Net derived Cox model with 25 selected biomarkers to predict mortality risk, which outperforms the well-known blood-biomarker based PhenoAge model, providing a 9.2% relative increase in predictive value. Importantly, we then show that using common clinical assay panels, with few biomarkers, alongside imputation and the model derived on the full set of biomarkers, does not substantially degrade predictive accuracy from the theoretical maximum achievable for the available biomarkers. BA is estimated as the equivalent age within the same-sex population which corresponds to an individuals mortality risk. Values ranged between 20-years younger and 20-years older than individuals chronological age, exposing the magnitude of ageing signals contained in blood markers. Thus, we demonstrate a practical and cost-efficient method of estimating an improved measure of BA, available to the general population. | Make paid

New | 15 February 2023 | Biorxiv link | Write review

DNA hydroxymethylation (5hmC) is the most abundant oxidative derivative of DNA methylation (5mC) and is typically enriched at enhancers and gene bodies of transcriptionally active and tissue-specific genes. Although aberrant genomic 5hmC has been implicated in many age-related diseases, the functional role of the modification in aging remains largely unknown. Here, we report that 5hmC is stably enriched in multiple aged organs. Using the liver and cerebellum as model organs, we show that 5hmC accumulates in gene bodies associated with tissue-specific function and thereby restricts the magnitude of gene expression changes during aging. Mechanistically, we found that 5hmC decreases binding affinity of splicing factors compared to unmodified cytosine and 5mC, and is correlated with age-related alternative splicing events, suggesting RNA splicing as a potential mediator of 5hmCs transcriptionally restrictive function. Furthermore, we show that various age-related contexts, such as prolonged quiescence and senescence, are partially responsible for driving the accumulation of 5hmC with age. We provide evidence that this age-related function is conserved in mouse and human tissues, and further show that the modification is altered by regimens known to modulate lifespan. Our findings reveal that 5hmC is a regulator of tissue-specific function and may play a role in regulating longevity. | Make paid

+1 vote | 14 February 2023 | Biorxiv link | Write review

Decreased insulin-mTOR signaling enables exceptional longevity in the nematode C. elegans by activating geroprotective transcription factors, including DAF-16, SKN-1 and HSF-1. Few studies have examined whether and how increased insulin-mTOR may actively drive organismic aging. Here we show that an agonist insulin INS-7 is drastically over-produced and causes shortened lifespan in lpd-3 mutants, a C. elegans model of human Alkuraya-Ku[c]inskas syndrome. Lipidomic profiling reveals marked increase in the abundance of hexaceramide species in lpd-3 mutants, consistent with up-regulation of the genes encoding biosynthetic enzymes for hexaceramides, including HYL-1 (Homolog of Yeast Longevity). Reducing HYL-1 activity decreases INS-7 levels and rescues the shortened lifespan of lpd-3 mutants through InsR/DAF-2 and mTOR/LET-363. We propose that increased insulin signaling exhibits late-life antagonistic pleiotropy and shortens lifespans through sphingolipid-hexaceramide and mTOR regulatory pathways. | Make paid

New | 6 February 2023 | Biorxiv link | Write review

Senescence is a cellular aging-related process triggered by different stresses and characterized by the secretion of various inflammatory factors referred to as the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Here, we present evidence that the inflammasome sensor, NLRP1, is a key mediator of senescence induced by irradiation both in vitro and in vivo. The NLRP1 inflammasome promotes senescence by regulating the expression of p16, p21, p53, and SASP in Gasdermin D (GSDMD)-dependent manner as these responses are reduced in conditions of NLRP1 insufficiency or GSDMD inhibition. Mechanistically, the NLRP1 inflammasome is activated downstream of the cytosolic DNA sensor cGMP-AMP (cGAMP) synthase (cGAS) in response to genomic damage. These findings provide a rationale for inhibiting the NLRP1 inflammasome-GSDMD axis to treat senescence-driven disorders. | Make paid

+1 vote | 30 January 2023 | Biorxiv link | Write review

The accumulation of senescent cells promotes aging, but a molecular mechanism that senescent cells use to evade immune clearance and accumulate remains to be elucidated. Here, we report that p16-positive senescent cells upregulate the immune checkpoint protein programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) to accumulate in aging and chronic inflammation. p16-mediated inhibition of CDK4/6 promotes PD-L1 stability in senescent cells via the downregulation of ubiquitin-dependent degradation. p16 expression in infiltrating macrophages induces an immunosuppressive environment that can contribute to an increased burden of senescent cells. Treatment with immunostimulatory anti-PD-L1 antibody enhances the cytotoxic T cell activity and leads to the elimination of p16, PD-L1-positive cells. Our study uncovers a molecular mechanism of p16-dependent regulation of PD-L1 protein stability in senescent cells and reveals the potential of PD-L1 as a target for treating senescence-mediated age-associated diseases. | Make paid

+2 vote | 26 January 2023 | Biorxiv link | Write review

Altered mitochondrial function is tightly linked to lifespan regulation, but underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we report the chronological and replicative lifespan variation across 168 yeast knock-out strains, each lacking a single nuclear-coded mitochondrial gene, including 144 genes with human homologs, many associated with diseases. We dissected the signatures of observed lifespan differences by analyzing profiles of each strain's proteome, lipidome, and metabolome under fermentative and respiratory culture conditions, which correspond to the metabolic states of replicative and chronologically aging cells, respectively. Examination of the relationships among extended longevity phenotypes, protein, and metabolite levels revealed that although many of these nuclear-encoded mitochondrial genes carry out different functions, their inhibition attenuates a common mechanism that controls cytosolic ribosomal protein abundance, actin dynamics, and proteasome function to regulate lifespan. The principles of lifespan control learned through this work may be applicable to the regulation of lifespan in more complex organisms, since many aspects of mitochondrial function are highly conserved among eukaryotes. | Make paid

+1 vote | 24 January 2023 | Biorxiv link | Write review

The risk of dying tends to increase with age, but this trend is far from universal. For humans, mortality is high during infancy, declines during juvenile development, and increases during adulthood. For other species, mortality never increases, or even continuously declines with age, which has been interpreted as absent- or reverse-aging. We developed a mathematical model that suggests an alternative interpretation. The model describes the age-dependence of mortality as the sum of two opposite processes. The mortality risk due to physiological decline increases monotonously with age. But old individuals gain survival benefits through processes like growth and learning. This simple model fits mortality dynamics for all human age classes and for species across the tree of life. Simulations revealed an unexpected complexity by which learning impacts the evolution of aging. An ability to learn initially accelerated the evolution of slower aging but constrained the slowest possible rate of aging that can evolve. This constraint occurs when learning reduces mortality during the reproductive period to near negligible levels and thereby eliminates selection for a further slow-down of aging. In conclusion, learning accelerates the evolution of slower aging, but obstructs the evolution of negligible senescence for species with strong learning-associated survival benefits. | Make paid

+3 vote | 16 January 2023 | Biorxiv link | Write review

The geroscience hypothesis states that a therapy that prevents the underlying aging process should prevent multiple aging related diseases. The mTOR (mechanistic target of rapamycin)/insulin and NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) pathways are two of the most validated aging pathways. Yet, its largely unclear how they might talk to each other in aging. In genome-wide CRISPRa screening with a novel class of N-O-Methyl-propanamide-containing compounds we named BIOIO-1001, we identified lipid metabolism centering on SIRT3 as a point of intersection of the mTOR/insulin and NAD+ pathways. In vivo testing indicated that BIOIO-1001 reduced high fat, high sugar diet-induced metabolic derangements, inflammation, and fibrosis, each being characteristic of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). An unbiased screen of patient datasets suggested a potential link between the anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic effects of BIOIO-1001 in NASH models to those in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Directed experiments subsequently determined that BIOIO-1001 was protective in both sporadic and familial ALS models. Both NASH and ALS have no treatments and suffer from a lack of convenient biomarkers to monitor therapeutic efficacy. A potential strength in considering BIOIO-1001 as a therapy is that the blood biomarker that it modulates, namely plasma triglycerides, can be conveniently used to screen patients for responders. More conceptually, to our knowledge BIOIO-1001 is a first therapy that fits the geroscience hypothesis by acting on multiple core aging pathways and that can alleviate multiple conditions after they have set in. Brief SummaryThese studies characterize a novel gerotherapy, BIOIO-1001, that identifies lipid metabolism as an intersection of the mTOR and NAD+ pathways. | Make paid

+1 vote | 7 January 2023 | Biorxiv link | Write review

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) functions as a second messenger to signal metabolic distress through highly compartmentalized production in mitochondria. The dynamics of ROS generation and diffusion between mitochondrial compartments and into the cytosol govern oxidative stress responses and pathology, though our understanding of these processes remains limited. Here, we couple the H2O2 biosensor, HyPer7, with optogenetic stimulation of the ROS-generating protein KillerRed targeted into multiple mitochondrial microdomains. Single mitochondrial photogeneration of H2O2 demonstrates the spatiotemporal dynamics of ROS diffusion and transient hyperfusion of mitochondria due to ROS. Measurement of microdomain-specific H2O2 diffusion kinetics reveals directionally selective diffusion through mitochondrial microdomains. All-optical generation and detection of physiologically-relevant concentrations of H2O2 between mitochondrial compartments provide a map of mitochondrial H2O2 diffusion dynamics in situ. These kinetic details of spatiotemporal ROS dynamics and inter-mitochondrial spreading forms a framework to understand the role of ROS in health and disease. | Make paid

+5 vote | 4 January 2023 | Biorxiv link | Write review

Aging is a complex process best characterized as the chronic dysregulation of cellular processes leading to deteriorated tissue and organ function. While aging cannot currently be prevented, its impact on lifespan and healthspan in the elderly can potentially be minimized by interventions that aim to return these cellular processes to optimal function. Recent studies have demonstrated that partial reprogramming using the Yamanaka factors (or a subset; OCT4, SOX2, and KLF4; OSK) can reverse age-related changes in vitro and in vivo. However, it is still unknown whether the Yamanaka factors (or a subset) are capable of extending the lifespan of aged wild type mice. Here, we show that systemically delivered AAVs, encoding an inducible OSK system, in 124-week-old mice extends the median remaining lifespan by 109% over wild-type controls and enhances several health parameters. Importantly, we observed a significant improvement in frailty scores indicating that we were able to improve the healthspan along with increasing the lifespan. Furthermore, in human keratinocytes expressing exogenous OSK, we observed significant epigenetic markers of age-reversal, suggesting a potential reregulation of genetic networks to a younger, potentially healthier state. Together, these results may have important implications for the development of partial reprogramming interventions to reverse age-associated diseases in the elderly. | Make paid