King's College London

Research portal

Glycans Are a Novel Biomarker of Chronological and Biological Ages

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jasminka Kristic, Frano Vuckovic, Cristina Menni, Lucija Klaric, Toma Keser, Ivona Beceheli, Maja Pucic-Bakovic, Mislav Novokmet, Massimo Mangino, Kujtim Thaqi, Pavao Rudan, Natalija Novokmet, Jelena Sarac, Sasa Missoni, Ivana Kolcic, Ozren Polasek, Igor Rudan, Harry Campbell, Caroline Hayward, Yurii Aulchenko & 7 others Ana Valdes, James F Wilson, Olga Gornik, Dragan Primorac, Vlatka Zoldos, Tim Spector, Gordan Lauc

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)779-789
Number of pages11
JournalThe journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences
Volume69
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

King's Authors

Abstract

Fine structural details of glycans attached to the conserved N-glycosylation site significantly not only affect function of individual immunoglobulin G (IgG) molecules but also mediate inflammation at the systemic level. By analyzing IgG glycosylation in 5,117 individuals from four European populations, we have revealed very complex patterns of changes in IgG glycosylation with age. Several IgG glycans (including FA2B, FA2G2, and FA2BG2) changed considerably with age and the combination of these three glycans can explain up to 58% of variance in chronological age, significantly more than other markers of biological age like telomere lengths. The remaining variance in these glycans strongly correlated with physiological parameters associated with biological age. Thus, IgG glycosylation appears to be closely linked with both chronological and biological ages. Considering the important role of IgG glycans in inflammation, and because the observed changes with age promote inflammation, changes in IgG glycosylation also seem to represent a factor contributing to aging.Significance StatementGlycosylation is the key posttranslational mechanism that regulates function of immunoglobulins, with multiple systemic repercussions to the immune system. Our study of IgG glycosylation in 5,117 individuals from four European populations has revealed very extensive and complex changes in IgG glycosylation with age. The combined index composed of only three glycans explained up to 58% of variance in age, considerably more than other biomarkers of age like telomere lengths. The remaining variance in these glycans strongly correlated with physiological parameters associated with biological age; thus, IgG glycosylation appears to be closely linked with both chronological and biological ages. The ability to measure human biological aging using molecular profiling has practical applications for diverse fields such as disease prevention and treatment, or forensics.

View graph of relations

© 2018 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454