Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers find pathways linking caloric restriction to aging process

18.11.2005


Researchers at the University of Washington have found a genetic pathway linking nutrient response and the aging process, they report in the Nov. 18 issue of the journal Science. Scientists have long known that dramatically reducing food intake boosts the lifespan of model organisms such as mice, but the new results point to a possible mechanism through which drastic calorie restriction affects aging.



As scientists learn more about the biochemical processes that affect lifespan, they might one day be able to target those processes to reduce the effects of age-related diseases like heart disease or diabetes.

The UW researchers conducted a genome-wide screen of yeast cells to find which genes, and their corresponding proteins, affect lifespan. Two of the proteins, called Tor1 and Sch9, are signaling molecules that are linked to nutrient uptake in many different organisms. Their results suggest that the same proteins, or very similar ones, may be related to both nutrient response and the aging process in humans.


"The idea is to identify pathways in yeast that are involved in aging, and take them to higher organisms like mice and eventually people," explained Brian Kennedy, assistant professor of biochemistry at the UW School of Medicine and one of the study’s main authors. He collaborated on the project with Matt Kaeberlein, a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Stanley Fields, professor of genome sciences at the UW and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

After finding ten genes that regulate lifespan, the researchers tested two – Tor1 and Sch9 – to confirm their connection to caloric restriction. One test combined caloric restriction with the genetic mutation to Tor1 that reduced signaling on the TOR pathway. They saw lifespan increases in the resulting yeast cells that were about the same as a cell that had just the Tor1 mutation, indicating that the mutation was doing the same thing as caloric restriction.

"The TOR pathway is evolutionarily conserved, meaning it is common to many lifeforms," said Kaeberlein. "We’d like to know if this is the pathway through which caloric restriction affects lifespan. We think this may be why mice live longer with calorie restriction, because of TOR pathway down-regulation."

The two researchers plan to find out that very thing by studying further the TOR pathway in mice. Unlike yeast, though, that gene is essential for mice to live, so they can’t delete the gene entirely. But mice have two copies of the TOR gene, which means the researchers can knock out one copy, essentially cutting activity on the TOR pathway in half. They can then study the lifespan of those mice compared to others, and also look at the progression of age-related conditions in the mutants to see if reducing TOR signaling affects those diseases.

The other signaling protein the researchers found in the yeast study, Sch9, is the yeast version of another signaling protein called AKT, which is found in humans and other mammals. AKT is related to the regulation of the insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) pathways, and has also been found to affect lifespan in other model organisms. "Having this pathway implicated in lifespan is consistent with the theory about insulin/IGF-1 response in animals and humans," explained Kaeberlein. "That theory basically says that high nutrient levels make the organism grow faster and bigger, but also reduce lifespan. This may be one reason why calorie-restricted mice live longer, but are smaller than other mice."

The researchers admit that there might be multiple ways to increase the lifespan of model organisms and humans. However, extreme calorie restriction has been shown to be the one process that affects aging universally. It doesn’t just make the organism live longer overall, it also reduces the debilitating effects of aging and age-related diseases. Calorie-restricted mice don’t just live longer, they live healthier for longer.

"Caloric restriction is acting at the root level of the aging mechanism," said Kennedy. "If we can understand how that works, then maybe you can target the genes or proteins that regulate those processes, and you can alter aging and its effects without reducing caloric intake."

Justin Reedy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.washington.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>