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 July 22, 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 July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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