Researchers Discover Gene That Triggers Aging Symptoms

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - 15:50

Researchers from the University at Buffalo has isolated a single gene that controls senescence, the process that stops cells from dividing and contributes to aging symptoms.

Scientists isolated a single gene that controls senescence and found how easily the effect can spread among neighboring cells. That makes the gene a crucial target for future work into anti-aging and cancer therapies, New Atlas reports.

Living cells have a natural limit to the amount of times they can divide, before they stop and become what are known as senescent cells.

The problem is, over time these senescent cells build up in the body, eventually contributing to the physical symptoms we associate with aging, such as increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and cataracts.

On the other hand though, completely halting senescence can lead to cancer, as the cells continue to divide unchecked.

Realizing this mechanism, scientists have been developing ways to clear out these senescent cells, including a new class of drugs known as senolytics. In tests, these drugs have been found to extend the lifespan of mice by up to an impressive 35 percent, and keep them in better health for longer.

For the new study, the Buffalo team set out to catalogue all of the genes involved in senescence, particularly lipid-related genes. Through several experiments, one gene in particular popped up as an outlier: CD36. This gene's activity seems to go into overdrive in senescent cells, so the researchers tested how it was related to the phenomenon.

By ramping up the activity of CD36 in young, healthy cells, the team was able to make them stop dividing far earlier than they normally would. Interestingly, even when only 10 to 15 percent of cells were overexpressing CD36, the effect soon spread to almost every other cell in the petri dish. Even more worryingly, even when those senescent cells were cleared out and brand new ones placed in the same growth medium, the effect still lingered, spreading to the new cells as well.

"What we found was very surprising," says Ekin Atilla-Gokcumen, co-author of the study. "Senescence is a very complex process, and we didn't expect that altering expression of one gene could spark it, or cause the same effect in surrounding cells."

Speeding up the aging process is the exact opposite of what people want out of this kind of research, but the team says that it's important to confirm what role the CD36 gene plays, so future work can target it to try to undo the damage. Of course, that would include making sure we don't swing too far in the other direction and give ourselves cancer.

"Our research identifies CD36 as a candidate for further study. Senescence is a fundamental aspect of being a cell, but there is still a lot that we don't know about it," says Omer Gokcumen, an author of the study. "Senescence seems to have implications for old age and cancer, so understanding it is very important."

The research was published in the journal Molecular Omics.

Source: University of Buffalo

Related News

S & R IAU Researchers Produce Antibody Through Designing New Peptide to Detect Cancers

1397/6/24 16:57

Iranian Researchers Present an Effective Way for Intestine Cancer Treatment

1397/6/24 09:13

Scientists Reverse Aging-Associated Skin Wrinkles & Hair Loss Through Gene Editing

1397/6/14 11:33

Quchan IAU Knowledge-Based Co. Researchers Make Cancer Cell Detection Chip

1397/6/4 11:15

Najafabad IAU Researchers Produce Nanocomposite to Eradicate Cancerous Bone Cells

1397/5/7 12:33

Researchers Targeting Metabolism that Can Defeat Cancer Stem Cells

1397/5/6 14:33

Researchers Create Magnetized Wire to Detect Cancer

1397/4/26 16:03

CNBP Scientists Developed a New Targeted Treatment for Cancer

1397/4/26 12:50

Scientists Discover Potential 'Achilles Heel' in Brain Cancer

1397/4/10 16:34

Deputy of IAU Directorate of Resource Management & Development Visits ISCA News Agency / In Photos

1397/4/3 09:23

Tehran to Host 2018 Help Age Regional Conference on Population Ageing

1397/3/27 14:17

Stephen Hawking, an Award-Winning Physicist and Influential Author Dies Aged 76

1396/12/23 11:26

Madhahib, Islamic Teaching and Research University

1396/10/19 16:03

The Head of Islamic MADHAHIB University Visits ISCA News Agency / In Photos

1396/10/18 13:05

Russia to Send First Astronaut from the UAE

1396/9/8 08:05

The 16th Archaeological Season Starts in Burnt City

1396/8/15 09:41

The 23rd Edition of Press Exhibition and News Agencies Wraps Up in Tehran/ In Photos

1396/8/13 10:53

Director General of IAEA Visits Iran National Museum

1396/8/9 16:24

The 4th Day of 23rd Tehran Press Exhibition / In Photos

1396/8/9 09:08

Int’l Officials on the 23rd Exhibition of Press and News Agencies

1396/8/8 10:41

The Third Day of 23rd Tehran Press Exhibition / In Photos

1396/8/8 09:11

The Second Day of 23rd Tehran Press Exhibition / In Photos

1396/8/6 15:03

23rd Press Exhibition Officially Opens in Tehran

1396/8/6 12:57

139 Countries Will be Powered by 100% Renewable Energy by 2050

1396/6/12 13:47

Verification is not Based on American’s Motivations

1396/6/12 12:34

IAU President Visits ISCA News Agency

1396/5/18 12:09

About the Acting Editor-in-Chief of ISCANews, Hossein Habibzadeh

1396/2/20 03:34

Iranian-American Gas Laser Inventor Dies at Age 89

1395/6/27 14:14

LISA ‘Listens’ to the Universe While in Free-Fall

1395/3/22 12:58

Opinions


Popular News

Latest News