Genomic Signatures of Exceptional Longevity and Negligible Aging in the Long-Lived Red Sea Urchin
63 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2023 Publication Status: Review CompleteMore...
The red sea urchin (Mesocentrotus franciscanus) is one of the earth’s longest living animals, reported to live more than 100 years with indeterminate growth, life-long reproduction, and no increase in mortality rate with age. To understand the genetic underpinnings of longevity and negligible aging, we constructed a chromosome-level assembly of the red sea urchin genome and compared it to that of short-lived sea urchin species. Genome wide syntenic alignments identified chromosome rearrangements that distinguish short- and long-lived species. Expanded gene families in long-lived species play a role in innate immunity, sensory nervous system, and genome stability. An integrated network of genes under positive selection in the red sea urchin were involved in genomic regulation, protein homeostasis, and mitochondrial function. Our results implicated known longevity genes in sea urchin longevity, but also revealed novel molecular signatures that promote long-term maintenance of tissue homeostasis, disease resistance, and negligible aging.
Keywords: Sea urchin, longevity, aging, negligible senescence, comparative genomics, innate immunity, nervous system, Genome stability
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