Cellular Housekeeping And Longevity

EurekAlert examines advances in our understanding of cellular recycling: "This process of internal house-cleaning in the cell is called autophagy - literally self-eating - and it is now considered the second form of programmed cell death." Like many cellular mechanisms, this turns out to have relevance to cancer and aging. "Laboratory mice with suppressed autophagy also appears to have a higher rate of spontaneous tumors ... Autophagy activity is known to decrease with aging ... Conversely, more autophagy may prolong life. This fits with findings that caloric restriction can extend the life span in rats, since near-starvation triggers more autophagy as the cells recycle parts of themselves for fuel."

Link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-11/uom-ure110104.php

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