Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Anti-ageing hormone receptors

07.08.2013
A reduced caloric intake increases life expectancy in many species. But how diet prolongs the lives of model organisms such as roundworms has remained a mystery until recently.

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing discovered that a hormone receptor is one of the links between nutrition and life expectancy in the roundworms. The receptor protein NHR-62 increases the lifespan of the animals by twenty per cent if their calorie intake is reduced.


Roundworm C. elegans
Picture: MPI for Biology of Ageing

Another study showed that the hormone receptor NHR-8 affects development into adulthood as well as the maximum lifespan of the worms. Possibly receptors related to these also regulate life expectancy in human beings.

The roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans lives only about 20 days. This makes it an ideal research subject, as the complete lifecycle of the worm can be studied in a short time. Also, the worm consists of less than a thousand cells, and its genetic make-up has been extensively analysed, and contains many genes similar to humans. The scientists in Adam Antebi’s team at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing use Caenorhabditis elegans to find out how hormones influence ageing. They are particularly interested in hormone receptors that reside in the cell nucleus, which regulate the activity of metabolic genes.

Their results indicate that the receptor NHR-62 must be active for reduced dietary intake to fully prolong the life of worms. If NHR-62 is inactive, Caenorhabditis elegans will live 25% longer under dietary restriction than if this receptor is inactive. “It seems that there is an as yet unknown hormone which regulates lifespan using NHR-62. If we can identify this hormone and administer it to the worm, we may prolong its life without having to change its calorie intake”, Antebi explains.

A restricted diet also affects the expression of genes dramatically: out of the approximate 20,000 worm genes, 3,000 change their activity, and 600 of these show a dependence on NHR-62. It follows that there are many other candidates for improving life expectancy. Since humans have receptors similar to NHR-62, so-called HNF-4α, the Max Planck scientists suspect that the hormone receptors may not only control the maximum lifespan of roundworms, but might affect human beings as well.

However, nutrition also affects lifespan in several other ways. Another study by the scientists has shown that worms lacking the hormone receptor NHR-8 will remain longer in a pre-pubertal stage before they reach adulthood. They also die earlier than animals with this receptor. NHR-8 is a nuclear receptor, responsible for the animal’s cholesterol balance. “Without it, the worm cannot produce enough steroid hormones from the cholesterol and therefore reaches sexual maturity later on. In addition, its fatty acid metabolism changes and its life expectancy drops”, explains Antebi. Receptors similar to NHR-8 can be found in human beings too. Conceivably cholesterol metabolism could therefore regulate physical development and affect life expectancy in humans as well.

Original publications:

Title: Dietary Restriction Induced Longevity is Mediated by Nuclear Receptor NHR-62 in Caenorhabditis elegans

Authors: Heestand, B.N., Shen, Y., Liu, W., Magner, D.B., Storm, N., Meharg, C., Habermann, B., and Antebi, A. (2013)

PLoS Genet 9(7): e1003651.

Title: The NHR-8 Nuclear Receptor Regulates Cholesterol and Bile Acid Homeostasis in C. elegans

Authors: Daniel B. Magner, Joshua Wollam, Yidong Shen, Caroline Hoppe, Dongling Li, Christian Latza, Veerle Rottiers, Harald Hutter, Adam Antebi

CellMetabolism, 6 August 2013

Contact:

Public Relations
Sabine Dzuck
Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing, Cologne
Tel.: +49 (0)221 37970-304
E-mail: sabine.dzuck@age.mpg.de
Katharina Möller
Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing, Cologne
Tel.: +49 (0)221 37970-302
E-mail: katharina.moeller@age.mpg.de
Prof. Dr. Adam Antebi
Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing, Cologne
Tel.: +49 (0)221 478-89680
E-mail: antebi@age.mpg.de
Dr. Dan Magner
Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing, Cologne
Tel.: +49 (0)221 478-89682
E-mail: daniel.magner@age.mpg.de

Sabine Dzuck | Max-Planck-Institut
Further information:
http://www.age.mpg.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

nachricht First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>