Scientists of the Federal Polytechnic school of Lausanne (Switzerland) have discovered a molecule that may play a key role in the aging process. The suppression activity of this compound may contribute to a significant extension of human life, according to a press release on EurekAlert!.
The researchers studied the link between aging and RNA-binding proteins. The latest to join the molecules of messenger RNA (mRNA), which carries information about the amino acid sequence of cellular proteins from the nucleus, which contains DNA, ribosomes. RNA-binding proteins can interfere with mRNA to participate in the process of translation or, conversely, increase production of different proteins.
Biologists conducted a screening of old cells, to determine which RNA-binding proteins change their activity with age. It turned out that Pumilio2 (PUM2) has increased its activity in older mice. This protein binds to specific recognition sites in mRNA and inhibits the translation process. Scientists have found that this method inhibited the synthesis of protein, called a mitochondrial fission factor (MFF). The high level of the latter is also required for militaryi process of destruction of defective mitochondria and their replacement by new.
The researchers used a technology called CRISPR-Cas9 to suppress the gene encoding PUM2 in cells of calf muscles in rodents. The result of the function of mitochondria from old animals was significantly improved. The same mechanism is available and nematodes, in cells which decrease the content of PUM2 increased the lifespan of worms.
Video, photo All from Russia.