MTC Proteins, Mitochondria, and Aging

News of another potential way to manipulate mitochondrial function to slow aging: "Mitochondria are the body's energy producers, the power stations inside our cells. Researchers [have] now identified a group of mitochondrial proteins, the absence of which allows other protein groups to stabilise the genome. This could delay the onset of age-related diseases and increase lifespan. ... When a certain MTC protein is lacking in the cell, e.g. because of a mutation in the corresponding gene, the other MTC proteins appear to adopt a new function. They then gain increased significance for the stabilisation of the genome and for combating protein damage, which leads to increased lifespan. These studies also show that this MTC-dependent regulation of the rate of aging uses the same signalling pathways that are activated in calorie restriction - something that extends the lifespan of many different organisms, including yeasts, mice and primates. Some of the MTC proteins identified in this study can also be found in the human cell, raising the obvious question of whether they play a similar role in the regulation of our own aging processes. It is possible that modulating the activity of the MTC proteins could enable us to improve the capacity of the cell to delay the onset of age-related diseases. These include diseases related to instability of the genome, such as cancer, as well as those related to harmful proteins, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. At the moment this is only speculation, and the precise mechanism underlying the role of the MTC proteins in the aging process is a fascinating question that remains to be answered."

Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110510074433.htm

Comments

Hi Reason! Long time no talk. Did you get a chance to read the journal article behind this news story?

What proteins are we talking about?

Mark

Posted by: Mark Patterson at May 28th, 2011 11:06 AM

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