The underlying theory is that if the healthy portion of an individual’s life span can be extended, it may delay the onset of certain age-related diseases. In the search to understand these molecular processes, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School have 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 appearing in the July 7 advanced online edition of Nature, Heidi A. Tissenbaum, PhD, 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,” said Dr. Tissenbaum. “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.”
To see the effect of DAF-16d/f on life span, lead author Dr. Eun-soo Kwon, a post-doctoral fellow in the Tissenbaum laboratory, increased 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,” said Tissenbuam. “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.”
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,” said Tissenbaum. “We have to explore whether this increased lifespan is of the healthy portion of the lifespan.”
Graduate student Sri Devi Narasimhan and post-doctoral fellow Dr. Kelvin Yen also contributed to this study.About the University of Massachusetts Medical School
Jim Fessenden | EurekAlert!
Multifunctional Platform for the Delivery of Gene Therapeutics
22.01.2018 | Angewandte Chemie International Edition
Charge Order and Electron Localization in a Molecule-Based Solid
22.01.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
22.01.2018 | Life Sciences
22.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
22.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering