Northeastern Uni. Researchers Discover Protein with Anti-Aging Mechanisms

Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - 11:28

A group of researchers from Northeastern University has discovered a kind of protein which can play a significant role in anti-aging mechanisms important for skin health.

According to the university official website, a team of Northeastern researchers led by Justin Crane, an assistant professor of biology at Northeastern who leads a lab that focuses on these processes, outlined a mechanism that improves the ability of skin cells in aging mice to heal wounds.

The team found that low doses of a protein called interleukin 15 improved the capacity of skin to heal in old mice by mimicking some of the anti-aging benefits of exercise. In the human body, that protein is critical for the process of energizing all cells, and it is found in abundance in people who exercise more.

Scientists do not yet understand the effects of aging on every type of cell involved in skin healing, Crane says, but finding that a single type of protein could take on that process was unexpected. That is because it would be easy to assume that an intricate environment consisting of different layers of cellular dynamics would need several components to recover the ability of skin to heal.

“What we found is a fairly comprehensive rescue, or at least fairly complete with just the one factor,” Crane says. “Either IL-15 is stimulating multiple other processes to go in sort of a domino fashion—which is totally possible—or it’s just a very potent activator of very important pathways.”

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