RoseTracker| Mitochondria are the power stations inside our cells, the source of human energy. Mitochondria are also the focus of research on aging and preventive medicine.
In an important breakthrough, scientists at Sweden’s University of Gothenburg have identified a group of mitochondrial proteins which when absent, allow other protein groups to stabilise the genome. (Note: the genome is the entirety of an organism’s hereditary information.)
This reality of cell biology could delay the onset of age-related diseases and increase lifespan. The Swedish researchers found that a group of proteins called MTC proteins, which are normally needed for mitochondrial protein synthesis, also have other functions that influence genome stability and the cell’s capacity to remove damaged and harmful proteins.
It is possible that modulating the activity of the MTC proteins could enable us to improve the capacity of the cell to delay the onset of age-related diseases. These include diseases related to instability of the genome, like cancer, as well as those related to harmful proteins, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. At the moment this is only speculation, and the precise mechanism underlying the role of the MTC proteins in the aging process is a fascinating question that remains to be answered.
The researchers note that this MTC-dependent regulation of the rate of aging uses the same signalling pathways that are activated by calorie restriction. Scientists know that calorie restriction extends the lifespan of organisms including yeasts, mice and primates. via Science Daily
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