Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Biologists identify a new clue into cellular aging

08.07.2010
The ability to combat some age-related diseases, such as cancer and diabetes, may rest with scientists unlocking clues about the molecular and cellular processes governing aging.

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
The University of Massachusetts Medical School, one of the fastest growing academic health centers in the country, has built a reputation as a world-class research institution, consistently producing noteworthy advances in clinical and basic research. The Medical School attracts more than $240 million in research funding annually, 80 percent of which comes from federal funding sources. The mission of the Medical School is to advance the health and well-being of the people of the commonwealth and the world through pioneering education, research, public service and health care delivery with its clinical partner, UMass Memorial Health Care. For more information, visit www.umassmed.edu.
Contact: Jim Fessenden
Public Affairs and Publications
508-856-2000; ummsnews@umassmed.edu

Jim Fessenden | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umassmed.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The birth of a new protein
20.10.2017 | University of Arizona

nachricht Building New Moss Factories
20.10.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>