The breakthrough could be “basis for a new generation of anti-degeneration drugs."
The use of stem cells does not in itself solve the problem of aging, said in an interview with RIA Novosti chief geriatrician of the Ministry of health of Russian Federation, doctor of medical Sciences, Director of the Russian gerontological scientific clinical center Olga Tkacheva.
Every cell and every organism ages sooner or later. But why is this so? Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg have now discovered for the first time a protein that represents a central switching point in the aging process. It controls the life span of an individual - from the fly to the human being. This opens up new possibilities for developing therapies against age-related diseases.
Scientists have long known that restricting calories can fend off physiological signs of aging, with studies in fruit flies, roundworms, rodents and even people showing that chronically slashing intake by about a third can reap myriad health benefits and, in some cases, extend lifespan.
Researchers from several institutions, including, UCLA, Boston University, Stanford University and the Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife, analyzed blood samples from nearly 10,000 people to find that genetic markers in the gene responsible for keeping telomeres (tips of chromosomes) youthfully longer, did not translate into a younger biologic age as measured by changes in proteins coating the DNA. This study was recently published in the journal Nature Communications.
Results from study led by Brown University researchers illustrate that Sirt4, also found in humans, may be an important factor in age-related metabolic decline and healthy lifespan.