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Modulation of Atg genes expression in aged rat liver, brain, and kidney by caloric restriction analyzed via single-nucleus/cell RNA sequencing

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journal contribution
posted on 23.06.2022, 18:00 authored by Chuanbin Yang, Siyu Xia, Wei Zhang, Han-Ming Shen, Jigang Wang

Dysregulation of macroautophagy/autophagy has been closely implicated in aging. Caloric restriction (CR) is an effective intervention of aging partially via activation of autophagy. Recently, a high-throughput single-cell RNA-seq technique has been employed to detect the comprehensive transcriptomes of individual cells. However, the transcriptional networks of ATG (autophagy related) genes in the aging process and the modulation of ATG genes expression by CR at the single-cell level have not been elucidated. Here, by performing data analysis of single nucleus/cells RNA sequencing in rats undergoing aging and the modulation by CR, we demonstrate that the transcription patterns of Atg genes in different cell types of rat liver, brain, and kidney are highly heterogeneous. Importantly, CR reversed aging-induced changes of multiple Atg genes across different cell types in the brain, liver, and kidney. In summary, our results, for the first time, provide comprehensive information on Atg gene expression in specific cell types of different organs in a mammal during aging and give novel insight into the protective role of autophagy and CR in aging at the single-cell resolution.

Abbreviations:ATG genes: autophagy-related genes; Atg5: autophagy related 5; Atg7: autophagy related 7; CR: caloric restriction; DEATG: differentially expressed autophagy-related; NAFLD: nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; ScRNA-seq: single-cell RNA sequencing


This work was supported by the Major Nature Science and Technology Program of China for Innovative Drug [2017ZX09101002-001-001-05].