Journal article

Increased cell-to-cell variation in gene expression in ageing mouse heart.

Rumana Bahar, Claudia H Hartmann, Karl A Rodriguez, Ashley D Denny, Rita A Busuttil, Martijn ET Dollé, R Brent Calder, Gary B Chisholm, Brad H Pollock, Christoph A Klein, Jan Vijg

Nature | Published : 2006


The accumulation of somatic DNA damage has been implicated as a cause of ageing in metazoa. One possible mechanism by which increased DNA damage could lead to cellular degeneration and death is by stochastic deregulation of gene expression. Here we directly test for increased transcriptional noise in aged tissue by dissociating single cardiomyocytes from fresh heart samples of both young and old mice, followed by global mRNA amplification and quantification of mRNA levels in a panel of housekeeping and heart-specific genes. Although gene expression levels already varied among cardiomyocytes from young heart, this heterogeneity was significantly elevated at old age. We had demonstrated previo..

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