Methylation of ELOVL2 gene as a new epigenetic marker of age

Paolo Garagnani, Maria G. Bacalini, Chiara Pirazzini, Davide Gori, Cristina Giuliani, Daniela Mari, Anna M. Di Blasio, Davide Gentilini, Giovanni Vitale, Sebastiano Collino, Serge Rezzi, Gastone Castellani, Miriam Capri, Stefano Salvioli, Claudio Franceschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The discovery of biomarkers able to predict biological age of individuals is a crucial goal in aging research. Recently, researchers' attention has turn toward epigenetic markers of aging. Using the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip on whole blood DNA from a small cohort of 64 subjects of different ages, we identified 3 regions, the CpG islands of ELOVL2, FHL2, and PENK genes, whose methylation level strongly correlates with age. These results were confirmed by the Sequenom's EpiTYPER assay on a larger cohort of 501 subjects from 9 to 99 years, including 7 cord blood samples. Among the 3 genes, ELOVL2 shows a progressive increase in methylation that begins since the very first stage of life (Spearman's correlation coefficient = 0.92) and appears to be a very promising biomarker of aging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1132-1134
Number of pages3
JournalAging Cell
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • Aging
  • Biomarker
  • DNA methylation
  • ELOVL 2
  • FHL 2
  • PENK

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Ageing


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