University of Montreal researchers have discovered a novel molecular mechanism that can potentially slows the aging process and may prevent the progression of some cancers. In the March 23 online edition of the prestigious journal Aging Cell, scientists from the University of Montreal explain how they found that the antidiabetic drug metformin reduces the production of inflammatory cytokines that normally activate the immune system, but if overproduced can lead to pathological inflammation, a condition that both damages tissues in aging and favors tumor growth.
Drugs that combat ageing may be available within five years, following landmark work led by an Australian researcher.
The work, published in the March 8 issue of Science, finally proves that a single anti-ageing enzyme in the body can be targeted, with the potential to prevent age-related diseases and extend lifespans.
Scientists at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute have for the first time visualised the molecular changes in a critical cell death protein that force cells to die.
The finding provides important insights into how cell death occurs, and could lead to new classes of medicines that control whether diseased cells live or die.
The ageing process has its roots deep within the cells and molecules that make up our bodies. Experts have previously identified the molecular pathway that react to cell damage and stems the cell’s ability to divide, known as cell senescence.
Scientists at Arizona State University have discovered that older honey bees effectively reverse brain aging when they take on nest responsibilities typically handled by much younger bees. While current research on human age-related dementia focuses on potential new drug treatments, researchers say these findings suggest that social interventions may be used to slow or treat age-related dementia.
Compared to the average three year life span of a common rat, the 10 to 30 year life of the naked mole rat, a subterranean rodent native to East Africa, is impressive. And compared to the human body, the body of this rodent shows little decline due to aging, maintaining high activity, bone health, reproductive capacity, and cognitive ability throughout its lifetime. Now a collaborative of researchers in Israel and the United States is working to uncover the secret to the small mammal’s long ? and active ? lifespan.
Age-associated degeneration is caused, at least in part, by accumulated cellular damage, including DNA damage, but how these types of damage drive aging remains unclear. Dr. Paul Robbins and colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh sought to address this question using a mouse model of DNA repair deficiency. The Robbins team found that DNA damage drives aging, in part, by activating NF-?B, a transcription factor that responds to cellular damage and stress. They report that inhibition of NF-?B reduces oxidative stress, oxidative DNA damage, oxidative protein damage, and cellular senescence induced by oxidative damage. Their data suggest that NF-?B inhibitors can mitigate cellular damage and could provide clinical benefit for degenerative changes caused by aging. Read more
UCLA biochemists have mapped the structure of a key protein?RNA complex that is required for the assembly of telomerase, an enzyme important in both cancer and aging.
The researchers found that a region at the end of the p65 protein that includes a flexible tail is responsible for bending telomerase’s RNA backbone in order to create a scaffold for the assembly of other protein building blocks. Understanding this protein, which is found in a type of single-celled organism that lives in fresh water ponds, may help researchers predict the function of similar proteins in humans and other organisms.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute scientists have determined the three-dimensional structure of two proteins that help keep the body’s clocks in sync. The proteins, CLOCK and BMAL1, bind to each other to regulate the activity of thousands of genes whose expression fluctuates throughout the course of a day. Knowing the structure of the CLOCK:BMAL1 complex will help researchers understand the intricacies of how this regulation is carried out and how mutations in each protein lead the biological clock to go awry.
Scientists discover enzyme that could slow part of the aging process in astronauts — and the elderly
New research published online in the FASEB Journal suggests that a specific enzyme, called 5-lipoxygenase, plays a key role in cell death induced by microgravity environments, and that inhibiting this enzyme will likely help prevent or lessen the severity of immune problems in astronauts caused by spaceflight. Additionally, since space conditions initiate health problems that mimic the aging process on Earth, this discovery may also lead to therapeutics that extend lives by bolstering the immune systems of the elderly.