Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study of Fruit Fly MicroRNA Unravels Clues to Aging Process

06.02.2014
Diseases like Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s are often associated with aging, but the biological link between the two is less certain. Researchers at Rutgers University–Camden are seeking insight into this connection by studying very small RNA molecules in the common fruit fly.

“As the flies in our experiment age, we’re able to detect specific patterns of microRNAs — which help to regulate genes — when they are bound to specific proteins,” says Ammar Naqvi, a doctoral student in computational and integrative biology at Rutgers–Camden.

Naqvi, a Philadelphia resident, explains that microRNAs are connected to various developmental stages and disease states, and their proper modulation is required for the integrity and maintenance of cells.

The research is being done under the supervision of Andrey Grigoriev, a professor of biology at Rutgers–Camden, and in collaboration with a research team at the University of Pennsylvania. Computational and bioinformatics analysis for the project is performed at Rutgers–Camden.

In flies, microRNAs are “loaded” onto one of two protein complexes known as Ago1 or Ago2, which then guide it to repress gene expression. The team found that as fruit flies age, more microRNAs accumulate on the Ago2 protein complex, and therefore impact age-associated events in the flies.

“We were able to connect the two processes,” Naqvi says. “Studies have shown that there is some change in the microRNA population with age, but no one was sure how they were partitioned with the protein complexes. We observed such partitioning and also an increase in neurodegeneration, which resulted in a shorter lifespan for these flies.”

Grigoriev explains, “Neurodegeneration and aging go hand-in-hand, but we are the first to have shown the details of this change in regulation with aging. This tells us that there are different mechanisms of regulation in different stages of development. Is aging a byproduct of development? I cannot tell you. It’s possible that this could be relevant for other diseases. That’s what we want to find out.”

The study was recently published in a leading journal in the field, Genes and Development.

Naqvi, who is originally from Long Island, New York, received his bachelor’s degree from Rochester Institute of Technology and his master’s degree from George Mason University. He is the recipient of the prestigious Rutgers Presidential Fellowship, annually awarded to select doctoral students throughout the university to help fund research.

Grigoriev, a Medford resident, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute in Russia. He received his doctoral degree in molecular biology from the Institute of Genetics and Selection of Industrial Microorganisms in Russia.

Rutgers–Camden’s Center for Computational and Integrative Biology combines science and math to better understand how biological systems work.

Ed Moorhouse
856-225-6759
ejmoor@camden.rutgers.edu

Ed Moorhouse | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rutgers.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New way to look at cell membranes could change the way we study disease
19.11.2018 | University of Oxford

nachricht Controlling organ growth with light
19.11.2018 | European Molecular Biology Laboratory

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Controlling organ growth with light

19.11.2018 | Life Sciences

New way to look at cell membranes could change the way we study disease

19.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>