Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Presence Of Protein Extends Life; Potential Aging Mechanism Found

Date:
November 12, 1997
Source:
Brown University
Summary:
Transgenic flies exposed to warmth produce a brief genetic response that increases their survivability, according to a study in last week's Nature. The finding uncovers a potential aging mechanism.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Scientists have provided direct evidence that a class of proteins plays a role in extending life.

Their study, published in last week's issue of the journal Nature, demonstrates that a brief genetic response to heat stress can increase a fruit fly's life span at normal temperatures. The finding uncovers a potential mechanism for aging because the capacity to moderate stress is a central function to regulating that aging mechanism.

In the study, Marc Tatar and colleagues from the University of Minnesota exposed fly strains to short doses of nonlethal warmth, inducing expression of a protein dubbed hsp70. Flies bred to contain extra copies of hsp70 genes responded to the warmth by producing a lot of hsp70, which substantially increased their life span over a two-week period after heat treatment.

Only a brief, low level of genetic expression was required to obtain a long-term improvement in survival of the flies, said Tatar, now an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Brown University.

Hsp70 is one of the body's many "chaperone" proteins, which promote the proper folding and shaping of other proteins during biological processes. Molecular chaperones, such as hsp70 or "heat-shock proteins," are thought to combat stress-related damage to protein function caused by exposure to heat or cold.

The researchers think fruit flies produce hsp70 after exposure to warmth, because it may re-establish other proteins adversely affected by warming. Hsp70 may also interact with other stress response mechanisms.

Transient but effective levels of hsp70 could be present when stress is routinely encountered, the researchers said. Hsp70 may repair and restore higher-order cell functions, which themselves would otherwise quicken the mechanism responsible for aging.

However, people shouldn't think they will live longer by taking daily doses of heat or by sitting in endless saunas, Tatar said.

"Our bodies tightly regulate hsp70 and other heat-shock proteins, he said. "Although heat, cold and all sorts of stresses can elicit these chaperone proteins, the normal level of stress actually produces the body's optimal amount of heat-shock proteins. So putting your body through a series of minor stresses, such as heat exposure, won't elicit any more of the proteins in the long run. Your body is controlling their threshold levels."

Tartar and colleagues say the findings are a stepping stone to studies aimed at discovering which proteins are the exact targets of heat-shock genes. `We would like to find out why the heat-shock proteins evolved to do what they do," he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Brown University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Brown University. "Presence Of Protein Extends Life; Potential Aging Mechanism Found." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 November 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/11/971112070300.htm>.
Brown University. (1997, November 12). Presence Of Protein Extends Life; Potential Aging Mechanism Found. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/11/971112070300.htm
Brown University. "Presence Of Protein Extends Life; Potential Aging Mechanism Found." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/11/971112070300.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins