Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The body’s power stations can affect ageing

10.05.2011
Mitochondria are the body’s energy producers, the power stations inside our cells. Researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have now identified a group of mitochondrial proteins, the absence of which allows other protein groups to stabilise the genome. This could delay the onset of age-related diseases and increase lifespan.

Some theories of human ageing suggest that the power generators of the cell, the mitochondria, play a part in the process. In addition to supplying us with energy in a usable form, mitochondria also produce harmful by-products – reactive oxyradicals that attack and damage various cell components.

Eventually these injuries become too much for the cell to cope with, and it loses its capacity to maintain important functions, so the organism starts to age. That’s the theory anyway. Oddly enough, several studies have shown that certain mitochondrial dysfunctions can actually delay ageing, at least in fungi, worms and flies. The underlying mechanisms have yet to be determined.

In a study from the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Gothenburg, published in the journal Molecular Cell, a research team has now identified a group of mitochondrial proteins that are involved in this type of ageing regulation. The researchers found that a group of proteins called MTC proteins, which are normally needed for mitochondrial protein synthesis, also have other functions that influence genome stability and the cell’s capacity to remove damaged and harmful proteins.

“When a certain MTC protein is lacking in the cell, e.g. because of a mutation in the corresponding gene, the other MTC proteins appear to adopt a new function. They then gain increased significance for the stabilisation of the genome and for combating protein damage, which leads to increased lifespan,” says Thomas Nyström of the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology.

He adds, “These studies also show that this MTC-dependent regulation of the rate of ageing uses the same signalling pathways that are activated in calorie restriction – something that extends the lifespan of many different organisms, including yeasts, mice and primates. Some of the MTC proteins identified in this study can also be found in the human cell, raising the obvious question of whether they play a similar role in the regulation of our own ageing processes. It is possible that modulating the activity of the MTC proteins could enable us to improve the capacity of the cell to delay the onset of age-related diseases. These include diseases related to instability of the genome, such as cancer, as well as those related to harmful proteins, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. At the moment this is only speculation, and the precise mechanism underlying the role of the MTC proteins in the ageing process is a fascinating question that remains to be answered.”

The article, Absence of Mitochondrial Translation Control Proteins Extends Life Span by Activating Sirtuin-Dependent Silencing, has been published in the scholarly journal Molecular Cell.

Bibliographic data
Journal: Molecular Cell, Volume 42, Issue 3, 390-400, 6 May 2011
Title: Absence of Mitochondrial Translation Control Proteins Extends Life Span by Activating Sirtuin-Dependent Silencing

Authors: Antonio Caballero, Ana Ugidos, Beidong Liu, David Öling, Kristian Kvint, Xinxin Hao, Cora Mignat, Laurence Nachin, Mikael Molin, Thomas Nyström

Contact:
Thomas Nyström
+46-31- 786 2582 +46-31- 786 2582
thomas.nystrom@cmb.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se
http://www.cell.com/molecular-cell/fulltext/S1097-2765%2811%2900253-X

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>