On Chaperone Mediated Autophagy

Maria Konovalenko looks at the work of researcher Ana Cuervo: "the current challenges in the field of aging are two-fold: To continue and complete the molecular dissection of the factors that contribute to aging and to promote the translation of these novel findings into interventions to improve the health-span of the aging human population. ... Dr. Cuervo identified certain defects that lead to decreased activity of chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) with age and how to correct and improve cellular function. Dr. Cuervo theorized that the decrease of autophagy could be a determining factor in why some older organisms are unable to fight off cell abnormalities. Her research looked at the breakdown of the various autophagic pathways as the body ages and if restoring these pathways would jumpstart normal cellular activity. ... CMA is involved in at least 30% of the body's cell degradation processes and upon studying this pathway, Cuervo determined that the LAMP-2A protein acts as a vital receptor in the pathway. In recent experiments, livers in genetically modified mice 22 to 26 months old (the equivalent of octogenarians in human years), that were injected with the LAMP-2A protein, cleaned blood as efficiently as those in animals a quarter their age! By contrast, the livers of normal mice in a control group began to fail."

Link: http://mariakonovalenko.wordpress.com/2010/10/15/expert-on-cellular-and-organ-aging-%E2%80%9Cthe-bodys-ability-to-dispose-of-cell-debris-could-extend-life-%E2%80%9D/

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