Recent Progress

Scientists develop a new gene therapy strategy for delaying aging
How many aging-promoting genes are there in the human genome? What are the molecular mechanisms by which these genes regulate aging? Can gene therapy alleviate individual aging? Recently, the researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have shed new light on the regulation of aging....

Researchers reveal a unique cellular strategy in placenta to compensate nutrient deprivation during pregnancy
During pregnancy, the health of the mother and the fetus is dominated by the appropriate allocation of nutrients between the two individuals. Maternal-fetal material exchange predominantly depends on the placenta, which plays critical roles in sensing fetal nutritional demand, modulating maternal supply, and adapting its nutrient transport capacity. Failures in the regulatory network of placental functions lead to serious clinical complications, such as preeclampsia, recurrent miscarriage, and fetal growth restriction (FG......

Researchers Provide Novel Insights into Human Skin Aging
In human, the skin is one of the organs that exhibit early-onset aging-associated dysfunction. As a critical physical barrier, the skin is composed of a variety of cell types including fibroblasts and keratinocytes. Due to its high heterogeneity, it is difficult to accurately reveal the cell type-specific molecular mechanisms of human skin aging, which hinders our understanding of human skin aging and the development of interventions for human skin aging and related diseases....

Researchers reveal that METTL3 counteracts premature aging via m6A-dependent stabilization of MIS12 mRNA
Recently, scientists from the Institute of Zoology and Beijing Institute of Genomics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have collaborated jointly to unveil a novel mechanism of METTL3 as well as m6A in regulating human stem cell senescence. This study entitled “METTL3 counteracts premature aging via m6A-dependent stabilization of MIS12 mRNA” was published online in Nucleic Acids Research on October 9th, 2020. Using including Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) and Werner syndrome (WS), researchers explored the ......

Researchers Reveal a New Role of CLOCK in Promoting Stem Cell Rejuvenation and Cartilage Regeneration by Stabilizing Heterochromatin
Circadian clock is an evolutionarily conserved biological timing system that stabilizes tissue and cellular homeostasis by synchronizing mammalian physiology and behaviors with the external light-dark cycle. Accumulating evidence indicates an inextricable link between the circadian clock and the aging process. Adult stem cell exhaustion or senescence is one of the aging hallmarks and a crucial driving force for human degenerative disorders such as aging-related articular degeneration. However, the role of core circadian c......

UTX Regulates Human Neural Differentiation and Dendritic Morphogenesis
Aberrant neural differentiation and dendritic morphogenesis in neurons are pervasive in many developmental brain disorders. The histone demethylases UTX regulates the dynamic steady-state levels of di-methylation and tri-methylation of histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27), which is believed as a repressive epigenetic mark for maintaining transcriptional gene silencing. Deletion of Utx results in increased anxiety-like behaviors and impaired spatial learning and memory in mice. However, so little is known about the function of UTX......

Model human X chromosome random inactivation using naive human embryonic stem cells
X chromosome inactivation (XCI) is an important epigenetic event during early mammalian development. One of the two X chromosomes is randomly inactivated to ensure that gene expression level is consistent between XX and XY individuals. The X chromosome status in human early embryos is dramatically different from mouse. In addition, neither primed nor naive human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) were able to fully recapitulate X chromosome status in human preimplantation epiblast and they failed to execute random X chromosome ......

Researchers depict genome-wide R-loop landscapes during human stem cell multi-lineage differentiation and reprogramming
Recently, scientists from the Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Tsinghua University and Beijing Institute of Genomics of CAS have worked jointly and systematically characterized R-loops, DNA methylation, histone modifications, and chromatin accessibility in human pluripotent cells and their differentiated derivatives. Notably, they demonstrated a multi-faceted role of R-loops in cell fate determination that may serve as an additional layer of modulation on cell fate memory and cell plasticity.......

Researchers Discover That Overcoming the Genomic Imprinting Barrier Improves Mammal Cloning
Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT, also known as cloning) technology holds great potential in animal production and regenerative medicine. However, the extremely low efficiency and frequently observed abnormalities in cloned embryos limit the development and application of this technology. Although the cloned embryos harbor complete genomic DNA sequence, multiple epigenetic barriers are the limiting factors of cloning efficiency....

Researchers Provide Novel Insight into Primate Islet Aging
As the population ages, the incidence of diabetes in China has risen sharply over the past 30 years. At present, the number of patients with diabetes in China has exceeded 100 million, along with nearly 500 million pre-diabetic adults (impaired glucose tolerance), which poses a serious challenge to the prevention and treatment of aging-related chronic diseases (e.g. diabetes) in China. Aging-related progressive degeneration of pancreatic islet cells contributes to impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes. However, the high......

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