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Increased activity of proteins, lengthening telomeres, is associated with accelerated aging and not slowing down as previously thought. To such conclusion the American scientists from University of California, Los Angeles, Boston University, Stanford University and the Institute of aging research at the nonprofit organization Hebrew SeniorLife. Article researchers published in the journal Nature Communications, briefly about it it is told in a press release on EurekAlert!.
Called telomeres end parts of chromosomes that prevent the loss of DNA during cell division. However, each time when mitosis the telomeres shorten, resulting in instability of the genome. Eventually, the cell ceases to divide and dies. It is believed, however, that an enzyme called telomerase, allows you to extend the life of cells, extending the telomerase DNA.
Another marker of aging is methylation, the process of attaching methyl groups to DNA. This can cause the suppression or activation of specific genes. For example, with age, activated the genes that promote neurodegeneration, and suppressed the DNA, which prevents atherosclerosis. The level of methylation can determine the biological age of a person, which does not always coincide with the chronological. People with a large share metilirovannah DNA high risk of premature death.
The researchers assessed the level of methylation at 9907 employees and conducted genome wide Association, in which we study the Association between phenotypic trait — in this case, the proportion metilirovannah DNA and genes in all chromosomes. Were identified SNP is a point mutation affecting a single nucleotide, which was associated with high methylation level. It turned out that one of the loci, which was characterized by SNP data, was the gene TERT, encoding telomerase part.
A point mutation in TERT, associated with high levels of methylation are also associated with long telomeres. According to scientists, this means that anti-aging therapy based on the amplification of telomerase activity, on the contrary, will contribute to aging. Thus, the view that the human body rejuvenation can be achieved by preventing the shortening of the end sections of chromosomes.
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