Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Naked Mole Rats May Hold Clues to Successful Aging

06.03.2009
Naked mole rats resemble pink, wrinkly, saber-toothed sausages and would never win a beauty contest, even among other rodents. But these natives of East Africa are the champs for longevity among rodents, living nine times longer than similar-sized mice. Not only do they have an extraordinarily long lifespan, but they maintain good health for most of it and show remarkable resistance to cancer.

Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio are studying mechanisms that enable the prolonged good health and slowed aging of naked mole rats in their large colony at the university’s Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies. In the March 3 print edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists report on another unusual feature of the animals — tissues of the naked mole rat are remarkably efficient at discarding damaged proteins and thereby maintaining stable, high-quality proteins.

“Naked mole rats don’t show the usual deterioration of aging, such as menopause or decline in brain function,” said paper co-author Rochelle Buffenstein, Ph.D., professor of physiology at the Barshop Institute and one of the world’s leading experts on aging in naked mole rats. “They demonstrate a healthy longevity that all of us would like to emulate.”

In most organisms, proteins are tagged for destruction, and a garbage disposer, called the “proteasome,” picks up the damaged ones and recycles their amino acids for new protein formation. The research team found very low levels of tagged proteins for destruction in naked mole rats, indicating they have better-quality protein as well as more efficient removal of damaged proteins. The result is the damaged ones do not accumulate and cause havoc in cells. “We now believe the level of protein damage in the naked mole rats is not as critical as their ability to dispose of the insults efficiently,” said the paper’s senior author, Asish Chaudhuri, Ph.D., assistant professor of biochemistry at the Barshop Institute.

The scientists compared naked mole rat tissues to those of laboratory mice. The specimens from naked mole rats were far superior at handling stress-induced damaged proteins.

“It’s been suggested that damaged proteins clump into globs that are toxic to cells, and these globs are believed to be very important in age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and Lou Gehrig’s diseases,” said the lead author, Viviana Perez, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow at the Barshop Institute. “Finding a way to emulate the naked mole rats’ ability to effectively dispense of damaged proteins might lead to drugs to treat these diseases one day.”

The researchers’ next step is to determine whether tissues of other animals that are long-lived, such as certain birds, also possess a similar ability to efficiently dispose of damaged proteins. Eventually, tissues from primates and even humans could be studied to test the universality of “this protein-disposing theory,” Dr. Chaudhuri said.

“Understanding how naked mole rats better control protein quality may yield important insights for how we as humans can sustain good health,” Dr. Buffenstein said. “We might also learn something about treating age-associated degenerative diseases. The naked mole rats clearly hold the clues to successful aging.”

More information about the paper:

* Protein stability and resistance to oxidative stress are determinants of longevity in the longest-living rodent, the naked mole rat; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, March 3, 2009; Viviana Perez1,4, Rochelle Buffenstein1,2,4,7, Venkata Masamsetti4, Shanique Leonard4, Adam Salmon4, James Mele2,4, Blazej Andziak7, Ting Yang7, Yael Edrey7, Bertrand Friguet3, Walter Ward2,4, Arlan Richardson1,4,5 and Asish Chaudhuri4,5,6

Departments of Cellular & Structural Biology1, Biochemistry6 and Physiology2, Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies4, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; Geriatric Research, Education & Clinical Center5, South Texas Veterans Health Care System, San Antonio; Laboratoire de Biologie et Biochimie Cellulaire du Vieillissement3, University of Paris; and Department of Biology7, Graduate School of the City University of New York.

About the Health Science Center:

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the leading research institution in South Texas and one of the major health sciences universities in the world. With an operating budget of $668 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $16.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $36 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 25,600 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and other health professionals) serve in their fields, including many in Texas. Health Science Center faculty are international leaders in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, stroke prevention, kidney disease, orthopaedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, dentistry and many other fields.

Will Sansom | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.uthscsa.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Hunting pathogens at full force
22.03.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

nachricht A 155 carat diamond with 92 mm diameter
22.03.2017 | Universität Augsburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Pulverizing electronic waste is green, clean -- and cold

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers hazard a ride in a 'drifting carousel' to understand pulsating stars

22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New gel-like coating beefs up the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>