Aging process reversed drew a telomere elongation - VIDEO PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 27 January 2015 08:55

Scientists for centuries trying to understand what determines the length of a person's life, and how you can zoom it. genetics examine DNA centenarians, doctors are studying ways to combat age-related diseases, and recently scientists even found an unusual effect of the Sun on the human lifespan. However, the only indisputable fact in biogerontology is the dependence of processes of aging on the state of telomeres - the end portions of chromosomes. Than the latter is larger, the longer and better people will live.

First, scientists have demonstrated that a healthy lifestyle allows you to lengthen the telomeres and thus extend the life of the patient. But now a team of Stanford University has shown how you can use outside medical intervention for the immediate increase in the end portions of chromosomes.

The researchers conducted an experiment in which cultured human cells and increased their telomeres. As a result, a core group of cells longer behaved as a young, multiply inside Petri dishes, while the control group, which did not experience a new technique, quickly began to grow old and wither.

The new technology involves the use of a modified RNA and allows to cultivate more cells for experiments to test drugs. Skin cells with elongated telomeres, scientists were able to divide (into two new cells) are 40 times more time than normal cells are not subjected to therapy. In the case of the muscle cell culture tripled compared to the control group.

In previous studies, scientists found that telomeres in young people have a length equivalent to 8-10 thoUSAnd nucleotides. As they get older and aging, these "caps" are reduced and in some point reach a critical length - that's when the cell stops dividing and dies.

"We have found a new method which allows to lengthen human telomeres at a thoUSAnd nucleotides, which means, in fact, turn back the clock. Our development is important not only for research in biogerontology, but also for biologists around the world who work with cell cultures, because this technique can significantly increase the lifespan of cultured cells, "- says the study's lead author Helen Blau (Helen Blau), professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford.

Modified RNA, which is the main tool of the new technology transfers instructions from DNA in the gene "protein factories" cells. RNA used in the Stanford experiment contained a sequence encoding the catalytic subunit TERT, the active component of natural telomerase (not to be confused with telomeres!).

Telomerase is created in stem cells, including those that are responsible for the development of sperm and ova. This process gives the biological guarantee that the next generation will be provided by healthy cells with a maximum length telomeres. Most other types of cells, however, express a much smaller amount of the enzyme telomerase miraculous.

Stanford scientists developed technology has an important advantage over other potential methods - the method has a temporary effect. At first glance, it seems that this is not a plus, and minus. But the fact is that the uncontrolled division of cells in the human body due to the enormous risk of rapid development of cancer. Blau and her colleagues note in the press release that the progressive and gradual lengthening of telomeres is much safer any other analogues.

Muscle of a patient with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which potentially can be cured with the help of a new technique (photos Wikimedia Commons).

Modified RNA in this case is designed to reduce the immune response of the cell to be treated and allows the TERT-encoding the signal lasts longer than usual. However, the RNA itself disappears after 48 hours, after which lengthened telomeres again begin to decline gradually with each new stage of cell division.

"Our technique has another important advantage. We conducted the experiment was the first case in the history of biomedicine, where the introduction of a modified RNA did not lead to an immune response against telomerase. Thus, unlike other technologies, our is non-immunogenic. Without additional risks, we learned wrapping reverse aging processes that take place over more than ten years in a healthy body "- says Blau, whose article was published in the edition FASEB Journal.

Scientists also reported that the new method can form the basis not only of technology prolong life of healthy people, but also therapies for the treatment of many genetic diseases.

For example, Blau noted that telomere length in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy is much smaller than that of the control group. Thus, scientists using their techniques can grow extra muscle with long telomeres, which help heal heavy illness.



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