Y chromosome and aging

In many species, including humans, males live shorter than females. Recent research has unveiled the chronic deterioration of chromatin structure, and in particular the loss of heterochromatin, as a main driver of aging at the cellular level. Males often contain substantially more heterochromatic DNA than females, due to the presence of a large, repeat-rich Y chromosome. We are studying the link between sex-specific survivorship and sex-specific chromatin changes during the lifespan of an individual.

melanogaster_hetOld males lose heterochromatin more rapidly than females.

Repeats become derepressed more in males.

agingFlies with more Y chromosomes live shorter.

 

Relevant publications:

Brown E, Nguyen AH, Bachtrog D (2020) The Y chromosome may contribute to sex-specific aging in Drosophila. in press. bioRxiv 156042; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/156042

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