Figure 6. The aging snowball effect model. (A) In the case of young cells, transcriptional programs are tightly controlled by epigenetic regulators. As a result, balanced cellular protein synthesis and recycling are maintained in the ‘normal healthy state.’ However, transcriptional instability increases concomitantly with age. The accumulation of DNA mutations can trigger the recruitment of chromatin modifiers, which results in abnormal chromatin structure and transcriptional instability. Thus, the ‘aged state’ becomes an imbalanced state wherein cellular protein synthesis and recycling are dysregulated. (B) Aging is the result of accumulated dysregulation and damage that results in a “snowball” effect. Accumulated dysregulation and damage is promoted by upregulated protein synthesis during aging. Upregulated protein synthesis has an increasingly greater impact on cellular aging, similar to a snowball rolling down a hill. Individual aging processes could be affected by targeting protein quality control systems, provided that this is the common aging process.