Renée Ruhaak | 24-03-2011 | Glycomics based biomarkers of the rate of aging: Development and applications of high throughput N-glycan analysis

Markers for longevity, which reflect the health condition and predict healthspan are extremely scarce. Such markers are, however, valuable in aging research. Protein N-glycosylation is an important post-translational modification, which has been shown to be altered in several pathological conditions. N-glycosylation patters therefore reflect an individual__s health state, and have therefore the potential to become candidate biomarkers for healthspan. To investigate familial longevity, large sample cohorts are necessary, and since no high-throughput analysis methods were available to facilitate Large scale N-glycan analysis, several methods, comprising HPLC-FL, CGE-LIF and MALDI-MS have been developed. These methods were applied to samples from the Leiden Longevity Study. Several changes in N-glycosylation patterns associated with familial longevity were observed in this thesis. As the predictive value of these markers is rather low, it has to be concluded that multiple markers are needed for the prediction of complex phenotypes like familial longevity. It is anticipated that __ apart from allowing more detailed insight in the processes underlying aging and longevity- the developed methodology will as well be of considerable value to other fields of biomedical research.

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