Investigating the INDY Gene

The I'm Not Dead Yet (INDY) gene is one of the earlier longevity genes discovered by researchers in course of investigating the effects of calorie restriction. Here is a recent update: "It is known that excess calorie consumption leads to obesity, insulin resistance and increased mortality, whereas calorie restriction reduces accumulation of body fat and improves cellular energy balance and insulin action - reversing obesity and type 2 diabetes, delaying the aging process, and prolonging life in primates and many other species. It has also been shown in the past that reduced expression of the so-called 'INDY' gene in D. Melanogaster flies and C. elegans worms promotes longevity in a manner similar to calorie restriction. But until now, the cellular mechanism by which this happens was unknown. [Researchers] generated a mouse with the so-called 'INDY' gene deleted. Loss of the gene altered chemical levels in the cellular signaling network in a way that improved mitochondrial action in the liver, metabolism of fatty acids, and cellular energy transport. Overall, these traits protected the mice from diet-related accumulation of body fat and insulin resistance that evolve, as we age, into type 2 diabetes. Discovering how deletion of the INDY gene would impact mitochondrial metabolism in the liver was key, because that is the main organ where the INDY gene does its work."

Link: http://opac.yale.edu/news/article.aspx?id=8772

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