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Age-related clonal haemopoiesis is associated with increased epigenetic age

By Neil A. Robertson, Ian J Deary, Kristina Kirschner, Riccardo E Marioni, Tamir Chandra

Posted 07 Apr 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/600759 (published DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.07.011)

Age-related clonal haemopoiesis (ARCH) in healthy individuals was initially observed through an increased skewing in X chromosome inactivation. More recently, several groups reported that ARCH is driven by somatic mutations. The most prevalent ARCH mutations are in the DNMT3A and TET2 genes, previously described as drivers of myeloid malignancies. ARCH is associated with an increased risk for haematological cancers. ARCH also confers an increased risk for non-haematological diseases such as cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, and chronic ischemic heart failure, for which age is a main risk factor. Whether ARCH is linked to accelerated ageing has remained unexplored. The most accurate and commonly-used tools to measure age acceleration are epigenetic clocks. They are based on age-related methylation differences at specific CpG sites correlating chronological age accurately with epigenetic age. Deviations from chronological age towards an increased epigenetic age have been associated with increased risk of earlier mortality and age-related morbidities. Here we present evidence of accelerated epigenetic age in individuals with ARCH.

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