HISTONE N-ALPHA-TERMINAL ACETYLATION IN AGING AND CANCER
Epigenetic marks, such as histone modifications, have been implicated in the regulation of the aging process by controlling gene expression in response to environmental stimuli (i.e. diet) and stress signals occurring throughout life. Consequently, undesirable epigenetic alterations have been linked to shortened lifespan and development of age-associated diseases such as cancer. However, the potential reversibility of these epigenetic alterations offers exciting opportunities to delay aging and prevent the manifestation of diseases like cancer. Our group has recently revealed a role for histone N-alpha-terminal acetylation in cellular longevity and carcinogenesis, and ongoing work is aiming to understand the precise molecular mechanisms employed by this histone modification and its associated enzyme NAA40 during aging and cancer. Through these research activities we anticipate to inform strategies for molecular diagnostics as well as new interventions for promoting healthy lifespan and for therapy of age-associated diseases.