Xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes (XME) mediate the body’s response to potentially harmful compounds of exogenous/endogenous origin to which individuals are exposed during their lifetime. Aging adversely affects such responses, making the elderly more susceptible to toxics. Of note, XME genetic variability was found to impact the ability to cope with xenobiotics and, consequently, disease predisposition. We hypothesized that the variability of these genes influencing the interaction with the exposome could affect the individual chance of becoming long-lived. We tested this hypothesis by screening a cohort of 1112 individuals aged 20–108 years for 35 variants in 23 XME genes. Four variants in different genes (CYP2B6/rs3745274-G/T, CYP3A5/rs776746-G/A, COMT/rs4680-G/A and ABCC2/rs2273697-G/A) differently impacted the longevity phenotype. In particular, the highest impact was observed in the age group 65–89 years, known to have the highest incidence of age-related diseases. In fact, genetic variability of these genes we found to account for 7.7% of the chance to survive beyond the age of 89 years. Results presented herein confirm that XME genes, by mediating the dynamic and the complex gene–environment interactions, can affect the possibility to reach advanced ages, pointing to them as novel genes for future studies on genetic determinants for age-related traits.
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