NIH intramural study also shows that individual organs are affected differently
By lowering the expression of a single gene, researchers at the National Institutes of Health have extended the average lifespan of a group of mice by about 20 percent — the equivalent of raising the average human lifespan by 16 years, from 79 to 95. The research team targeted a gene called mTOR, which is involved in metabolism and energy balance, and may be connected with the increased lifespan associated with caloric restriction.
A detailed study of these mice revealed that gene-influenced lifespan extension did not affect every tissue and organ the same way. For example, the mice retained better memory and balance as they aged, but their bones deteriorated more quickly than normal.
This study appears in the Aug. 29 edition of Cell Reports.
“While the high extension in lifespan is noteworthy, this study reinforces an important facet of aging; it is not uniform,” said lead researcher Toren Finkel, M.D., Ph.D., at NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). “Rather, similar to circadian rhythms, an animal might have several organ-specific aging clocks that generally work together to govern the aging of the whole organism.”
Finkel, who heads the NHLBI’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology in the Division of Intramural Research, noted that these results may help guide therapies for aging-related diseases that target specific organs, like Alzheimer’s. However, further studies in these mice as well as human cells are needed to identify exactly how aging in these different tissues is connected at the molecular level.
The researchers engineered mice that produce about 25 percent of the normal amount of the mTOR protein, or about the minimum needed for survival. The engineered mTOR mice were a bit smaller than average, but they otherwise appeared normal.
The median lifespan for the mTOR mice was 28.0 months for males and 31.5 months for females, compared to 22.9 months and 26.5 months for normal males and females, respectively. The mTOR mice also had a longer maximal lifespan; seven of the eight longest-lived mice in this study were mTOR mice. This lifespan increase is one of the largest observed in mice so far.
While the genetically modified mTOR mice aged better overall, they showed only selective improvement in specific organs. They generally outperformed normal mice of equivalent age in maze and balance tests, indicating better retention of memory and coordination. Older mTOR mice also retained more muscle strength and posture. However, mTOR mice had a greater loss in bone volume as they aged, and they were more susceptible to infections at old age, suggesting a loss of immune function.
The Latest on: Single gene change
UPV/EHU researchers account for the complex symptoms of Angelman syndrome
on April 19, 2018 at 8:07 am
Thanks to an innovative, experimental design and the state-of-the-art infrastructure of the UPV/EHU's General Proteomics Research Service, they have managed to identify the changes in the ... forthcoming as to how a single gene was capable of creating ... […]
Cold Temp Exposure Causes Epigenetic Changes in Fat Cells
on April 19, 2018 at 7:36 am
The altered JMJD1A then combines with other protein partners to change the epigenetic code on a gene involved in heat production ... future where metabolic disease can be treated by targeting single amino acids. The JMJD1A protein is involved in a wide ... […]
Researchers use CRISPR to edit DNA outside of the cell for the first time
on April 19, 2018 at 7:02 am
Kmiec noted that while some ailments, like sickle cell anemia and Huntington's disease, involve faulty DNA within a single gene, others ... a "cell-free" environment to quickly engineer complex changes to DNA plasmids. "It could be that there is something ... […]
'Cell-free' CRISPR could improve cancer diagnostics, unravel how gene editing works
on April 19, 2018 at 7:00 am
The CRISPR-Cas12a system can also make multiple changes to DNA samples in one pass ... Current CRISPR systems can only make edits on a single gene; down the line, Kmiec's work could lead to a CRISPR therapy that treats diseases like Alzheimer's that ... […]
Innovative device shows promise in capturing and releasing circulating tumor cells
on April 19, 2018 at 6:24 am
Conducting genetic testing on a released single cell could also reveal whether the ... "Genetic tests could be performed on the released CTCs, indicating if the gene therapy is triggering changes in gene expression," says Liu. In other words, such testing ... […]
First gene therapy treatment to stave off childhood degenerative brain disease wins national clinical excellence award
on April 18, 2018 at 5:19 pm
The first gene-replacement therapy for infants with spinal muscular atrophy type 1 (SMA1), a devastating childhood neuromuscular disease ("Single-Dose Gene-Replacement ... including: a dramatic change in the US guideline on the management of high blood ... […]
Monkey studies look encouraging but show there’s still a lot to learn about the gene-editing technology.
on April 11, 2018 at 4:01 am
But since cutting DNA would permanently change someone’s genome ... because each is caused by mutations in a single gene that makes hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout the body. Both diseases could be repaired ... […]
US researchers identify, neutralise gene linked to Alzheimer’s
on April 11, 2018 at 12:49 am
The apoE4 gene creates a protein of the same name, which differs from the apoE3 protein at only one point, but that single change is enough to alter its main structure and function. Scientists have been unclear about why apoE4 is more damaging to brain ... […]
Asia News: Fit for porpoise, gene changes made 'river pig' unique
on April 10, 2018 at 3:24 pm
Previously, finless porpoises were classified as a single species with three sub-species, of which the freshwater Yantze River group was one. The new data showed the three main groups had, in fact, "not shared gene flow ... evidence for changes to genes ... […]
Alzheimer's gene neutralised in human brain for first time
on April 10, 2018 at 7:37 am
The apoE4 gene creates a protein of the same name. The apoE4 protein differs from the apoE3 protein at only one point, but that single change is enough to alter its main structure and, thus, its function, researchers said. Researchers from the Gladstone ... […]
via Google News and Bing News