Journal article Open Access

Estimage: a webserver hub for the computation of methylation age

Di Lena, P.; Sala, C.; Nardini, C.

Methylage is an epigenetic marker of biological age that exploits the correlation between the methyla- tion state of specific CG dinucleotides (CpGs) and chronological age (in years), gestational age (in weeks), cellular age (in cell cycles or as telomere length, in kilobases). Using DNA methylation data, methylage is measurable via the so called epige- netic clocks. Importantly, alterations of the correla- tion between methylage and age (age acceleration or deceleration) have been stably associated with pathological states and occur long before clinical signs of diseases become overt, making epigenetic clocks a potentially disruptive tool in preventive, di- agnostic and also in forensic applications. Neverthe- less, methylage dependency from CpGs selection, mathematical modelling, tissue specificity and age range, still makes the potential of this biomarker limited. In order to enhance model comparisons, in- terchange, availability, robustness and standardiza- tion, we organized a selected set of clocks within a hub webservice, EstimAge (Estimate of methylation Age, http://estimage.iac.rm.cnr.it), which intuitively and informatively enables quick identification, com- putation and comparison of available clocks, with the support of standard statistics.

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