Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Einstein researchers discover gene mutations linked to longer lifespans

06.03.2008
Mutations in genes governing an important cell-signaling pathway influence human longevity, scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have found. Their research is described in the March 4 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The report is the latest finding in the Einstein researchers’ ongoing search for genetic clues to longevity through their study that by now has recruited more than 450 Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jews between the ages of 95 and 110. Descended from a small founder group, Ashkenazi Jews are more genetically uniform than other groups, making it easier to spot gene differences that are present. In 2003, this study resulted in the first two “longevity genes” ever identified—findings that have since been validated by other research.

The present study focused on genes involved in the action of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I), a hormone that in humans is regulated by human growth hormone. Affecting virtually every cell type in the body, IGF-I is crucially important for children’s growth and continues contributing to tissue synthesis into adulthood. The IGF-I cell-signaling pathway is triggered when IGF-I molecules circulating in blood plasma latch onto receptors on the surface of cells, causing a signal to be sent to the cell’s nucleus that may, for example, tell that cell to divide.

Animal research had shown that mutations to genes involved in the IGF-I signaling pathway cause two effects: Affected animals have impaired growth but also longer life spans. So the Einstein scientists reasoned that altered signaling in this pathway might also influence human longevity. To find out, they analyzed IGF-I-related genetic variations in 384 Ashkenazi Jewish centenarians. And since plasma levels of IGF-I do not reflect their levels at a younger age, the researchers also looked at two other groups: the children of these centenarians, and a control group consisting of Ashkenazi Jews the same age as the centenarians’ children but with no family history of longevity.

Remarkably, the female children of the centenarians had IGF-I plasma levels that were 35 percent higher than female controls—perhaps a sign that the body was compensating for a glitch in IGF-I signaling by secreting increased amounts of the hormone. That suspicion was strengthened by two other findings: the daughters of centenarians were 2.5 cm shorter than female controls; and when the researchers analyzed the gene coding for the IGF-I cell-surface receptor molecule to which the IGF-I hormone binds, the receptor genes of centenarians and their daughters were much more likely to have a variety of mutations than were the receptor genes of the controls.

“Our findings suggest that, by interfering with IGF-I signaling, these gene mutations somehow play a role in extending the human life span, as they do in many other organisms,” says Dr. Nir Barzilai, senior author of the study and director of the Institute for Aging Research at Einstein.

Dr. Barzilai notes that a drug that decreases IGF-I action is currently being tested as a cancer treatment and could be useful in delaying aging. “Since the subjects in our study have been exposed to their mutations since conception, it is not clear whether people would need such a therapy throughout life or if it could help people who received it at a later time.”

Karen Gardner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aecom.yu.edu

Further reports about: Ashkenazi IGF-I centenarians hormone longevity mutations receptor

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht RUDN chemist tested a new nanocatalyst for obtaining hydrogen
18.10.2018 | RUDN University

nachricht Dandelion seeds reveal newly discovered form of natural flight
18.10.2018 | University of Edinburgh

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Goodbye, silicon? On the way to new electronic materials with metal-organic networks

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.

Silicon, a so called semiconductor, is currently widely employed for the development of components such as solar cells, LEDs or computer chips. High purity...

Im Focus: Storage & Transport of highly volatile Gases made safer & cheaper by the use of “Kinetic Trapping"

Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles

Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...

Im Focus: Disrupting crystalline order to restore superfluidity

When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.

We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...

Im Focus: Micro energy harvesters for the Internet of Things

Fraunhofer IWS Dresden scientists print electronic layers with polymer ink

Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...

Im Focus: Dynamik einzelner Proteine

Neue Messmethode erlaubt es Forschenden, die Bewegung von Molekülen lange und genau zu verfolgen

Das Zusammenspiel aus Struktur und Dynamik bestimmt die Funktion von Proteinen, den molekularen Werkzeugen der Zelle. Durch Fortschritte in der...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Conference to pave the way for new therapies

17.10.2018 | Event News

Berlin5GWeek: Private industrial networks and temporary 5G connectivity islands

16.10.2018 | Event News

5th International Conference on Cellular Materials (CellMAT), Scientific Programme online

02.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

RUDN chemist tested a new nanocatalyst for obtaining hydrogen

18.10.2018 | Life Sciences

Massive organism is crashing on our watch

18.10.2018 | Earth Sciences

Electrical enhancement: Engineers speed up electrons in semiconductors

18.10.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>