New clue into cellular aging identifiedJuly 8th, 2010 - 1:57 pm ICT by ANI
London, July 8 (ANI): Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School have found a new clue about the molecular and cellular processes governing aging.
The discovery could help delay the onset of some age-related diseases, such as cancer and diabetes.
In the search to understand these molecular processes, researchers uncovered an important new DAF-16 isoform - DAF-16d/f - that collaborates with other DAF-16 protein isoforms to regulate longevity.
Part of the insulin signaling pathway, DAF-16 plays a critical role in a number of biological processes in C. elegans, including longevity, lipid metabolism, stress response and development, and is the center of a complex network of genes and proteins.
Previous studies have identified the isoform - a different form of the same protein - DAF-16a as a regulator of longevity; genetically knocking down the DAF-16a isoform shortens C. elegans’ life span.
In a new study, Dr. Heidi A. Tissenbaum, associate professor of molecular medicine, and colleagues in the Program in Gene Function and Expression at UMass Medical School, show that the newly discovered isoform DAF-16d/f works in concert with DAF-16a to promote organismal life span.
“Up until now, research has focused on the DAF-16a and DAF-16b isoforms. What we’re able to show is that DAF-16a alone is insufficient for lifespan regulation. Moving forward, any discussion about the process of aging will have to include this new protein isoform,” Nature quoted Tissenbaum as saying.
To see the effect of DAF-16d/f on life span, lead author Dr. Eun-soo Kwonincreased expression of the DAF-16d/f and DAF-16a in C. elegans.
These studies showed that worms with the overexpressed DAF-16d/f lived longest.
Additional experiments reveal that worms expressing DAF-16d/f were also more tolerant to heat stress during development and store more fat.
Because the DAF-16 gene in C. elegans is homologous to the FOXO gene in mammals, it may provide clues to longevity in humans.
“Understanding the molecular pathways of DAF-16 and other genes will give us insight into aging at both the cellular and organism levels. As we age, at a certain point, something happens that triggers age-related disease. If we can learn what these signals are, it’s possible we can find a way to extend the healthy portion of a person’s life span and potentially delay the onset of age-related diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s,” said Tissenbuam.
The next line of inquiry will explore whether an increase in life span correlates to the health of the worm.
“It’s possible that we’re restoring life span, but we don’t know the effect of doing so. We have to explore whether this increased lifespan is of the healthy portion of the lifespan,” said Tissenbaum.
The study is appearing in the July 7 advanced online edition of Nature. (ANI)
- Aging gene could help alter immunity in humans - Apr 03, 2010
- Scientists identify new longevity protein - May 08, 2010
- New study brings longer life closer to reality - Dec 02, 2010
- A 'spoonful of sugar' may reduce life expectancy - Nov 04, 2009
- Proteins linked with Alzheimer's clump in normal aging - Aug 11, 2010
- New protein involved in longevity identified - May 08, 2010
- New discovery could pave way for anti-aging drugs - Aug 19, 2010
- Common lab dye may be the key to longevity - Mar 31, 2011
- New research paves way for drugs to treat age-related memory loss - May 19, 2010
- Genes that let you live to 100 discovered - May 16, 2010
- Tiny alcohol amounts double worm's life - Jan 22, 2012
- Worms offer clues to declining fertility with age in women - Oct 23, 2010
- Study sheds light on mutations in genetic pathways that extend lifespan in animals - Jun 08, 2009
- Scientists find binary switch that turns 'aging process on and off' - Feb 17, 2011
- 'Longevity' protein may ward off precursor to prostate cancer - Jan 14, 2011
Tags: 16b, biological processes, c elegans, cellular aging, cellular processes, complex network, daf, gene function, genes and proteins, insulin signaling pathway, life span, lipid metabolism, massachusetts medical school, molecular medicine, molecular processes, protein isoform, protein isoforms, stress response, university of massachusetts, university of massachusetts medical school