The lifespans of flies and worms are prolonged by limiting the activity of an enzyme common to all animals, finds a UCL-led study.
The enzyme – RNA polymerase III (Pol III) – is present in most cells across all animal species, including humans. While it is known to be essential for making proteins and for cell growth, its involvement in ageing was unexplored until now.
The study, published today in Nature by researchers from UCL, the University of Kent and University of Groningen, found that the survival of yeast cells, and the lifespans of flies and worms were extended by an average of 10% following a modest reduction in Pol III activity in adulthood.
“We’ve uncovered a fundamental role for Pol III in adult flies and worms: its activity negatively impacts stem cell function, gut health and the animal’s survival. When we inhibit its activity, we can improve all these. As Pol III has the same structure and function across species, we think its role in mammals, and humans, warrants investigation as it may lead to important therapies,” said first author, Danny Filer (UCL Institute of Healthy Ageing).
The effects of inhibiting Pol III were found to be comparable to the action of the immune-suppressing drug rapamycin, which has previously been shown to extend the lifespans of mice and many other animals. This discovery will help scientists understand the mechanism of action of drugs, such as rapamycin, that show promise for extending the lifespans of mammals.
“Understandably, there’s a lot of hype around drugs that extend lifespan and promote healthy ageing but very little is known about how they work, which is fundamental knowledge,” explained study co-author Dr Nazif Alic (UCL Institute of Healthy Ageing).
“We now think that Pol III promotes growth and accelerates ageing in response to a signal inhibited by rapamycin, and that inhibiting Pol III is sufficient to result in flies living longer as if they were given rapamycin. If we can investigate this mechanism further and across a wider range of species, we can develop targeted antiaging therapies.”
The team used a range of genetic methods, including insertional mutagenesis and RNA mediated interference, to inhibit Pol III in adults and observe the extension of lifespan. Yeast, flies and worms were used as model organisms as they are not closely related but all contain Pol III.
Inhibiting Pol III in the guts of flies and worms, was sufficient to extend lifespan, and when Pol III was inhibited in flies’ intestinal stem cells alone, they also lived longer.
“It is amazing that we can make one genetic adjustment and positively impact on lifespan and intestinal health, understanding more about the underlying molecules at work here promises new strategies for anti-ageing therapies,” said Dr Jennifer Tullet, University of Kent.
The team now plan on continuing their work on Pol III to understand its function in an adult organism, and hence shed light on how a reduction in its activity can extend lifespan.
Learn more: Lifespan prolonged by inhibiting common enzyme
The Latest on: Aging
[google_news title=”” keyword=”Aging” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
- Putting the Fun Back in Agingon June 9, 2023 at 10:51 am
Rather than waiting for something to come along and tickle our arthritic funny bone, we can use our time-honored wisdom and bring fun back into our lives. The good news is that being more ...
- Is the WHO's 'Active Aging' the Only Healthy Alternative?on June 9, 2023 at 10:24 am
"The WHO's proposal of active aging is a prescriptive, standardized ideology that seems to suggest that being active is the only healthy way to age. However, that's only part of the picture, and a ...
- 9 Best Supplements to Slow Signs of Aging After 40on June 9, 2023 at 8:50 am
A dietitian shares which supplements you can take to slow aging after 40, and gives reasons why these are truly the best ones to take.
- Higher taurine levels help slow aging in animals, new research showson June 9, 2023 at 8:13 am
Scientists report that increasing the nutrient found in protein-rich foods may slow the aging process, leading to longer, healthier lives in animals — and maybe humans, too.
- Anti-Aging Benefits Could Be Found in Bloodon June 9, 2023 at 5:00 am
Putting the benefits of exercise and youth in a pill sounds like the stuff of infomercials. But these researchers may be closer than anyone to harnessing those.
- Daily supplements of amino acid taurine slowed aging in study of lab miceon June 9, 2023 at 2:00 am
An amino acid found in meat, fish and energy drinks might be a key regulator of aging in animals, a new study suggests.
- Amino acid taurine can slow aging in animals, but we don't know if it works in peopleon June 8, 2023 at 12:46 pm
Experiments suggest that taurine, an unusual amino acid, can extend some animals' life spans, but it's unclear if it would work in humans.
- Scientists Discover 'Elixir of Life' That Slows Agingon June 8, 2023 at 11:00 am
In a study published in the journal Science, a team of researchers from around the world looked at the effects of this nutrient on health and lifespan. "This study suggests that taurine could be an ...
- Taurine supplement has anti-aging benefits for animals. Can it be used for humans too?on June 8, 2023 at 11:00 am
A new study shows supplementing taurine slows aging in worms, mice and monkeys. More research is needed to see if people can benefit, too.
- From Energy Drinks to Extending Life? Supplement Slows Aging in Mice and Monkeyson June 8, 2023 at 11:00 am
Taurine helped stave off death in laboratory animals, but researchers cautioned that the supplement is not a magic elixir.
via Google News and Bing News