Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genome Damage Tolerance Extends Lifespan

25.11.2014

The team of scientists led by Prof. Dr. Björn Schumacher at CECAD Cluster of Excellence at the University of Cologne has shown that a longevity assurance program in nematodes increases tolerance to genome damage. DNA damage accumulates with age and results in an aging-associated decrease in tissue function. Defects in DNA repair mechanisms can therefore lead to premature aging and early death of affected patients. The Cologne scientists’ findings open up new perspectives for the treatment of aging-associated diseases.

The genome in every cell is constantly under physical and chemical attack. These attacks can come from outside, such as UV radiation from sunlight, or from inside, like the toxic byproducts of our own metabolism.

DNA damage can interfere already with developmental growth and the invariant gradual accumulation of DNA damage drives the aging process. People born with defects in the DNA repair systems suffer from retarded body growth and succumb to premature aging already during childhood.


How does the body respond when DNA damage cannot be repaired or accumulates with age? Prof. Dr. Björn Schumacher at the CECAD Research Center: “We investigated nematodes with exactly the same genetic defects in DNA repair as patients who suffer from growth retardation and premature aging.

When the nematodes are unable to repair the damaged DNA, they activate a longevity assurance response.” The Cologne-based research team has published their influential results in the current issue of Nature Cell Biology on 2014, November 24.


The longevity assurance program is executed by a worm protein with the name “DAF-16”. DAF-16 normally halts the growth of young animals when food is scarce. This allows larvae to survive for extended periods of starvation. Growth resumes when a food source is found, so offspring can be produced in the nutritious environment. Schumacher’s team has now shown that DAF-16 also responds to DNA damage, though -- in contrast to the starvation program – it drives the young animals’ growth even when DNA damage persists.

A second protein, EGL-27, instructs DAF-16 to promote instead of halt growth. In adult animals DAF-16 allows tissues to retain their function despite persisting DNA damage. The DAF-16 longevity assurance program thus increases tolerance to accumulating DNA defects. In older worms though, DAF-16 no longer responds to DNA damage. The older animals lose their tolerance to DNA damage and with it tissue function as well.

The Cologne scientists hope these results will open up new therapeutic approaches that exploit the natural longevity assurance program to prevent aging-associated diseases triggered by accumulating genome damage with age. Children with inborn genetic disorders who suffer from the effects of DNA defects at an early age could also profit from these therapies.

The research group’s findings are a decisive step forward in realizing the vision of CECAD at the University of Cologne: to understand the molecular basis of aging-associated diseases as a foundation for deriving new therapeutic approaches.

Contact:
Prof. Dr. Björn Schumacher
CECAD Excellence Cluster at the University of Cologne
Telephone +49 221 478-84202
bjoern.schumacher@uni-koeln.de

Astrid Bergmeister MBA
Head CECAD PR & Marketing
Telephone + 49 (0) 221-478 84043
astrid.bergmeister@uk-koeln.de


Weitere Informationen:

http://www.cecad.uni-koeln.de

Astrid Bergmeister | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Single-stranded DNA and RNA origami go live
15.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

nachricht New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists
15.12.2017 | Louisiana State University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>