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A genome wide exploration of the pleiotropic theory of senescence. Are human disease and senescence the result of natural selection?

AuthorsRodríguez-Pérez, Juan Antonio ; Navarro, Arcadi
Issue DateMar-2015
CitationInaugural Meeting of the International Society of Evolution, Medicine & Public Health (2015)
AbstractHuman senescence has long been a mystery, with no single universally accepted theory accounting for its ultimate evolutionary causes (if indeed these causes exist). Perhaps the most popular of the evolutionary explanations proposed so far ¡s the pleiotropic theory of senescence, suggested by G. Williams in 1957. This theory states that mutations conferring risk for traits that are damaging for the organism late in life (e,g. after the fertile stage) might be maintained in a population if they are advantageous early in life, when they can result in an increased reproduc- tive success.
ln humans, this theory is consistent with evidence coming from certain genes, from specific conditions or from the life-long reproductive patterns of a few animal models. However an exhaustive assessment of the impact of all these pleiotropic effects in the senescence of our species has not yet been carried out.
Using public metadata from Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) we quantified the global extent and evolutionary implicatíons for our species of the kind of early-late age antagonistic pleiotropy predicted by the theory, Our preliminary results are two-fold. First, they reveal some non-trivial antagoistic pleiotropies, that may be relevant to diagnosis and treatment of age-re- lated pathologies. Second, and more interestingly in evolutionary terms, we observe a significant excess of early-late antagonistic pleiotropy
DescriptionTrabajo presentado en la Inaugural Meeting of the International Society of Evolution, Medicine & Public Health (ISEMPH), celebrada en Tempe (Arizona) del 19 al 21 de marzo de 2015.
Appears in Collections:(IBE) Comunicaciones congresos
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