Conservation of Longevity Genes

Some core components of metabolism - and, by extension, the rate at which that metabolism damages itself into aging - are very ancient, changing comparatively little as species evolved radically. That's why gerontologists focused on metabolism can obtain useful data from animals as diverse as zebrafish, flies, mice and primates. From EurekAlert!: researcher "have identified 25 genes regulating lifespan in two organisms separated by about 1.5 billion years in evolutionary change. At least 15 of those genes have very similar versions in humans ... Several of the genes that the scientists identified as being involved in aging are also connected to a key nutrient response pathway known as known as the Target of Rapamycin, or TOR. That finding gives more evidence to the theory that calorie intake and nutrient response affect lifespan by altering TOR activity. ... To find these lifespan-controlling genes, the scientists took a genomic approach to comprehensively examine genes that affect aging in yeast and worms. Based on published reports, they first identified 276 genes in C. elegans that affected aging, and then searched for similar genetic sequences in the yeast genome. Of the 25 aging-related genes they found in both worms and yeast, only three had been previously thought to be conserved across many organisms."


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