Intriguing new research shows that it is possible to reverse age-related cellular dysfunction in vivo, specifically age-related vision loss. This suggests that modifying epigenetic expression is a powerful tool to counteract the damage of aging.
The study published in Nature sought to reset the epigenome and DNA methylation patterns by expressing transcription factors, which help turn specific genes “on” or “off”, including OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, and MYC (also known as Yamanaka factors) in cell cultures of old mice. The researchers observed how this affected genes that are altered by the aging process and found that these four transcription factors can reprogram gene expression patterns, including a maintenance of stem cell plasticity, that cause the neurons to function as though they were young again.
This really starts to validate the amazing idea that aging is a programed process that is under the regulation of DNA methylation. Our Methylation, Diet and Lifestyle Program safely and effectively fine tunes methylation and epigenetic expression. While the type of approach studied in this paper is not ready for prime time in humans, it points to the possibility that it can happen in the future.