What is aging

It is quite well accepted that aging is a progressive, subtle (until it hits you), decline of physiological functions. Your body grows up, your body grows down. What happens, how, and why exactly, are fascinating questions.

Our team works extensively on understanding the basic biology of aging. Why do we age, what happens, and how does it happen? We take the humble perspective that aging is too complex to understand, so our best bet is to study as much of its complexities as possible (using ‘omics’ data) in as simple of a context and setting as possible (model organisms). This ‘systems biology’ approach has led us to pinpoint early causal factors driving aging (protein biogenesis machinery, using transcriptomics and proteomics) [1] and how this links to other longevity mechanisms (mitochondria, using transcriptomics of protein translation fractions of the polysomes) [2]. While those projects were conducted in the lab in yeast, worms, and mice, we also work on longevity pathways in humans with either transcriptomic, metabolomics, or other ‘data-driven’ perspectives [3,4,5].

Curious to know more on what aging is about? Some of these blogs may be of interest to you:

References (* indicates equal contribution and # indicates correspondence). For an extended reference list see the about page.

  1. Janssens GE *, Meinema AC *, González J , Wolters JC , Schmidt A , Guryev V, Bischoff R, Wit EC, Veenhoff LM¶, Heinemann M¶. Protein biogenesis machinery is a driver of replicative aging in yeast.eLife2015;4. doi: 10.7554/elife.08527 *equal contribution, ¶co-correspondence
  2. Molenaars M*, JanssensGE*, Williams EG, Jongejan A, Lan J, Rabot S, Joly F, Moerland PD, Schomakers BV, Lezzerini M, Liu YJ, McCormick MA, Kennedy BK, van Weeghel M, van Kampen AHC, Aebersold R, MacInnes AW, Houtkooper RH. A Conserved Mito-Cytosolic Translational Balance Links Two Longevity Pathways.Cell Metab. 2020 Feb 7. pii: S1550-4131(20)30012-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2020.01.011.
  3. Smits MAJ*, Janssens GE*, Goddijn M, Hamer G, Houtkooper RH, Mastenbroek S. Longevity pathways are associated with human ovarian ageing.Hum Reprod Open.2021; 2021(2): hoab020. Published online 2021 May 16. doi: 10.1093/hropen/hoab020
  4. Janssens GE, Grevendonk L, Perez RZ, Schomakers BV, de Vogel-van den Bosch J, Geurts JMW, van Weeghel M, Schrauwen P, Houtkooper RH & Hoeks J. Healthy aging and muscle function are positively associated with NAD+abundance in humans.Nature Aging 2022. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43587-022-00174-3
  5. Janssens GE#, Houtkooper RH, Hoeks J. NAD+to assess health in aging humans. Aging (Albany NY). 2022 Aug 6;14(15):5962-5963. doi: 10.18632/aging.204220. Epub 2022 Aug 6. PMID: 35939337; PMCID: PMC9417223.