RNA In Aging Research

Via EurekAlert and the Ellison Medical Foundation, a look at one small slice of the aging research community: "We found that genes that regulate the timing of events during C. elegans development also regulate timing of aging and death during adulthood ... Consistent with the lifespan analysis, mutants he studied were stress-sensitive and aged prematurely. Since some of these genes coded for small non-coding RNAs called microRNAs, his work provided some of the best evidence for a novel role for microRNAs in aging, and opened the potential of using microRNAs to regulate human health during aging. ... Our work has revealed unexpected connections between RNA misfolding, radiation damage repair and autoimmune disease. ... Damaged RNAs have often been detected in the brains of aging animals and patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. However, because the cellular pathways for recognizing and degrading these RNAs are unknown, it has not been possible to determine whether RNA damage contributes to aging or to age-related diseases. ... Knowing how RNA damage contributes to aging or to neurodegeneration could be of broad importance for designing therapeutics that slow the aging process."

Link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-02/yu-yrn022807.php

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