Note in Science page
Created Aug 18 08, Updated Sep 27 13 16:38
'Stopping' protein buildup and aging go to comments

Researchers have ‘stopped’ the aging process in an entire organ for the first time

Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City have shown that Chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) could be enhanced to allow mice to continuously degrade and recycle ‘damaged’ proteins that accumulate with old age. The team has previously found that CMA activity declines in aged organisms and has proposed that this failure in cellular clearance could contribute to aging via the accumulation of altered proteins.


image © landesbioscience.com

Genetically manipulating the number of lysosomal receptors for CMA (receptor for ‘damaged’ proteins complexed to hsc70 chaperone) LAMP-2A – to compensate their age related loss, they showed that the livers of old mice with a preserved CMA system worked as well as those in younger animals.

Although this marked functional improvement surpassed our initial predictions, we do not think that a single protein, LAMP-2A, is responsible for the decline in liver function with age. Instead, we argue that our findings support the idea that restoration of one of the cellular quality control mechanisms? in this case, CMA?improves the intracellular milieu (by preventing accumulation of damaged proteins), and this slows down the deterioration of the other quality control mechanisms.
... In conclusion, to our knowledge, this work shows for the first time in vivo that maintenance of proper autophagic activity throughout life span prevents or slows down the functional failure associated with cellular proteotoxicity and accumulation of intracellular damage in aging
Zhang, Cuervo; Nature medecine

While her paper does not show increased survival rates among the mice, le Couteur, who has advised her recently on the research, says Cuervo does have data on improved survival rates which she intends to publish.
Cuervo is now working with pharmaceutical companies to identify drugs that will turn the receptors on, or make them more active. She believes maintaining efficient protein clearance may improve longevity and function in all the body’s tissues.
Discovery article

Cuervo suggested that studies of two dietary systems, the low fat and the calorie restricted diet, are suggesting evidence of a similar nature, that it’s to do with helping cells get rid of spent protein effectively.
Medicalnewstoday article

It looks the failure to remove damaged proteins is one cause, and not just the consequence of aging!

Could it be possible to achieve the same effect across the whole body!? and via drugs (or diet!)?

BBC News link
Nature medecine paper [Restoration of chaperone-mediated autophagy in aging liver improves cellular maintenance and hepatic function]
Nextbigfuture article
Sciencenow article [Long live the liver]
Discovery link
Medicalnewstoday link

Chaperone-mediated autophagy wikipedia page


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