Oct 152017

Caenorhabditis elegans

Researchers Discover a Conserved Pathway that Controls Aging

Investigators at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Health System have identified a new molecular pathway that controls lifespan and healthspan in worms and mammals. In a Nature Communications study published today, researchers showed that worms with excess levels of certain proteins lived longer and healthier than normal worms. In addition, mice with excess levels of these proteins demonstrated a delay in blood vessel dysfunction associated with aging. The study has major implications for our understanding of aging and age-associated disorders.

“We find that by artificially increasing or decreasing the levels of a family of proteins called Kruppel-like transcription factors (KLF), we can actually get these small worms (Caenorhabditis elegans) to live for longer or shorter time periods,” said first author Nelson Hsieh, MD/PhD fellow at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. “Since this same family of proteins also exists in mammals, what is really exciting is that our data suggests the KLFs also have similar effects on aging in mammals, too.”

“The observation that KLF levels decrease with age and that sustained levels of KLFs can prevent the age-associated loss of blood vessel function is intriguing given that vascular dysfunction contributes significantly to diverse age-associated conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, and dementia” added senior author Mukesh K. Jain, MD, Professor, Vice-Dean for Medical Sciences at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Chief Scientific Officer, University Hospitals Health System.

Upon further investigation, the researchers discovered that KLF proteins work by controlling autophagy—a recycling process cells use to clear debris, like misfolded proteins or normal molecular byproducts that build up in old age. Loss of this quality control mechanism is a hallmark of aging.

“As cells age, their ability to perform these functions declines,” say the authors. “This likely leads to an unsustainable accumulation of toxic protein aggregates, which ultimately present an obstacle to cellular survival.” Worms without KLF proteins cannot maintain autophagy and die early.

According to the researchers, the next step will be to study the precise mechanisms underlying how autophagy in cells lining blood vessels contributes to improved blood vessel function. They will also seek strategies to target KLF proteins in humans.

Said Hsieh, “As our population ages, we need to understand what happens to our heart and arteries, as we rely on them to function perfectly later and later on in our lives. Our findings illuminate what can happen during aging, and provide a foundation to designing interventions which slow these processes.”

Learn more: Worms Reveal Secrets of Aging


The Latest on: Aging
  • ‘Aging millennials’ are a thing and Theresa May’s government just made a blatant appeal to them
    on November 22, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    The UK’s Conservative government announced a new budget today, confirming that it will extend the cutoff age for its young person’s discount railcard to 30, from 25. The change will offer 4.5 million more people a 33% discount on rail travel at non ... […]

  • Successful Aging: How to help a loved one manage Alzheimer’s diagnosis, part 2
    on November 22, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    As a continuation from last week — M.K. is frustrated because his mother who has Alzheimer’s disease and a bipolar disorder refuses to take her medication. He is looking for ways to overcome her resistance. He also wants to know if he is genetically ... […]

  • A 60-year-old ninja scales walls and stereotypes about aging
    on November 22, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    WESTBROOK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- When you're used to hitting the gym as hard as Marcia Hilton, hitting 60 is just another excuse to get into better shape. You’ve pumped iron, you’ve ridden your bike, you run around the track. You’ve tried swimming ... […]

  • Norfolk may give the aging Chrysler Hall a $40 million overhaul
    on November 22, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    The city is considering a major renovation of its main performing arts venue, the 45-year-old Chrysler Hall. It would add more seats and restrooms, expand the lobby, improve food and beverage service and upgrade the building’s aging systems. The theater ... […]

  • What went wrong for Mugabe? Most aging dictators don’t get toppled by coups.
    on November 22, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    After 37 years in office, Robert Mugabe’s odds of being removed from power by members of his ruling circle in Zimbabwe were slim. Research on authoritarianism suggests the 93-year-old president was well-positioned to live out his final days in office and ... […]

  • Letter: We need the wisdom of an aging Sen. Hatch
    on November 22, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    We hear the cry of many for the removal of our senior senator, Orrin Hatch. My feelings are that we desperately need some in the Senate who have lived in better times, compared with the years of failing plans promising us a Utopian future. He has witnessed ... […]

  • Novus Anti-Aging Center, Inc. Offers New ED Treatment near LA
    on November 22, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    STUDIO CITY, Calif., Nov. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Novus Anti-Aging Center, Inc., is pleased to announce they now offer GAINSWave™! This breakthrough noninvasive medical therapy uses low-intensity shockwave therapy to enhance sexual performance and to ... […]

  • 'The State of Aging': Retraining the brain when short-term memory fades
    on November 22, 2017 at 7:35 am

    Arizona has long been a destination for older adults, with its pristine retirement communities and warm climate. But aging in America isn't what it used to be. This is Part II of "The State of Aging in the Valley," a series that explores the reality of ... […]

  • Aging in place: A few simple home modifications
    on November 22, 2017 at 5:30 am

    Dear Concerned: There are dozens of small adjustments and simple modifications you can do to help make your mom’s home safer and more fit for aging-in-place, that won’t cost her much if anything at all. Here are some suggestions to get you started. […]

  • This One Veggie May Be the Key to Aging a Lot Slower
    on November 22, 2017 at 4:39 am

    So what exactly do these antioxidants do? They help your cells battle oxidative stress, a form of tissue damage which can cause your cells to become damaged and destabilize, which, in turn, causes the body to age. Oxidative stress also plays a significant ... […]

via Google News and Bing News

Other Interesting Posts

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: