Probably, animals and human beings possess a biochemical vehicle for measuring life span. The key role in this vehicle is played by a short DNA - chronomere. The chronomeric ageing theory, based on tremendous experimental material, has been developed with support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research.
Early in the 70s of the 20th century, Russian researcher Alexy Olovnikov forecast existence of the chromosomes end sequences - telomer, which shorten after each cell division. Aa lot of scientists believe now that telomer shortening leads to cell ageing. However, A.M. Olovnikov is convinced that telomer shortening is only the witness of ageing, and special DNA molecules – chronomeres - are responsible for ageing processes. Chronomeres are located in non-dividing cells of the cerebrum. So far, this is only a hypothesis based on the tremendous experimental material collected by Russian and foreign researches within the recent years.
The chronomere – is a copy of a tiny sector of a chromosome’s DNA. Its length makes, apparently, 10 to15 thousand pairs of nucleotides. The chronomere is covered by proteins and lies in a special cavity, like in a nest, between coils of the chromosome which gave birth to it, the chronomere being tied up with the chromosome by chemical bonds. The chronomere contains several genes, from which a special enzyme (RNA-polymerase) prints short RNA molecules. These RNAs interact with certain chromosome’s genes, influence their activity, and, consequently, affect the entire cell’s activity.
Sergey Komarov | Informnauka
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