A Review and Appraisal of the Role of DNA Damage in Aging

A review paper: "Given the central role of DNA in life, and how ageing can be seen as the gradual and irreversible breakdown of living systems, the idea that damage to the DNA is the crucial cause of ageing remains a powerful one. DNA damage and mutations of different types clearly accumulate with age in mammalian tissues. Human progeroid syndromes resulting in what appears to be accelerated ageing have been linked to defects in DNA repair or processing, suggesting that elevated levels of DNA damage can accelerate physiological decline and the development of age-related diseases not limited to cancer. Higher DNA damage may trigger cellular signalling pathways, such as apoptosis, that result in a faster depletion of stem cells, which in turn contributes to accelerated ageing. Genetic manipulations of DNA repair pathways in mice further strengthen this view and also indicate that disruption of specific [repair pathways] is more strongly associated with premature ageing phenotypes. Delaying ageing in mice by decreasing levels of DNA damage, however, has not been achieved yet, perhaps due to the complexity inherent to DNA repair and DNA damage response pathways. Another open question is whether DNA repair optimization is involved in the evolution of species longevity, and we suggest that the way cells from different organisms respond to DNA damage may be crucial in species differences in ageing. Taken together, the data suggest a major role of DNA damage in the modulation of longevity, possibly through effects on cell dysfunction and loss, although understanding how to modify DNA damage repair and response systems to delay ageing remains a crucial challenge."

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21600302

Comments

Also look at Protein Bridges DNA Base and Nucleotide Excision Repair Pathways http://www.als.lbl.gov/als/science/sci_archive/194nucleotide-repair.html where alkyltransferase-like proteins (ATLs) are being revealed as something in connection with failure of cancer treatment. So it would be best to check out a possible way how to keep some DNA repair away from cancer cells.

Posted by: robomoon at May 26th, 2011 4:35 AM

Post a comment; thoughtful, considered opinions are valued. New comments can be edited for a few minutes following submission. Comments incorporating ad hominem attacks, advertising, and other forms of inappropriate behavior are likely to be deleted.

Note that there is a comment feed for those who like to keep up with conversations.