Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

University Of Illinois At Chicago Researchers Find "Fountain Of Youth" Gene

Date:
September 25, 2001
Source:
University Of Illinois At Chicago
Summary:
The body's inability to grow new tissue as it ages might be overcome by increasing the activity of a gene known as FoxM1B, according to a study published in the Sept. 25 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

The body's inability to grow new tissue as it ages might be overcome by increasing the activity of a gene known as FoxM1B, according to a study published in the Sept. 25 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

By increasing the activity, or expression, of this gene in aged experimental mice, Robert Costa, professor of molecular genetics at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, and his colleagues were able to restore the regeneration of liver cells to rates of growth typical of young mice.

Because in humans the FoxM1B gene exists not only in the liver but also throughout the body, the researchers believe their discovery might one day be used in gene therapy in the elderly to restore their ability to replace old cells with new ones and rejuvenate worn-out organs. Cells divide normally when stimulated by FoxM1B, making it an ideal candidate for use in therapeutic intervention, according to Costa.

"Ponce de Leon was looking in the wrong place for the fountain of youth," said Costa. "He should have been looking for the FoxM1B gene."

According to Costa, earlier studies had shown that age-related defects in the proliferation of cells found in connective tissue throughout the body are associated with diminished expression of FoxM1B. Defects in cell proliferation lead to chromosomal abnormalities and mutations, which in turn lead to a variety of health problems found in older people, including infections, organ failure, Alzheimer's disease, dementia and an increased incidence of cancer.

In the elderly, cells grow slowly in response to injury and do not proliferate adequately to replenish damaged cells in the skin, hair, muscle and other tissues. As a consequence, injuries take longer to heal, and certain physical changes occur-for example, the skin wrinkles and muscles atrophy.

In the present study, aged mice were fitted with a "promoter" to increase expression of the FoxM1B gene. After undergoing a partial hepatectomy, in which a portion of the liver was removed, the mice rapidly regenerated new tissue, unlike typical aged mice.

The DNA in the regenerating liver cells replicated normally, and cells divided just as they do in the livers of young mice that have been injured. Furthermore, laboratory studies showed that increasing expression of the FoxM1B gene in aged mice restored as well the activity of numerous other genes involved in cell division.

"FoxM1B clearly regulates the expression of a whole network of genes that are required for cells to multiply," said Costa.

Importantly, Costa added, the study indicated that the FoxM1B gene also controls exit from mitosis, that is, the completion of cell division. Without that, cells would be abnormal, failing to divide and retaining too many copies of DNA - defects commonly seen in cancers.

Other scientists involved in the study were Xinhe Wang, from UIC, Elizabeth Quail, a visiting scientist from the University of Western Australia, Nai-Jung Hung, from UIC, Yongjun Tan, from UIC, and Honggang Ye, formerly from UIC and now at the University of Chicago.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health supported the research.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois At Chicago. "University Of Illinois At Chicago Researchers Find "Fountain Of Youth" Gene." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 September 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/09/010925070413.htm>.
University Of Illinois At Chicago. (2001, September 25). University Of Illinois At Chicago Researchers Find "Fountain Of Youth" Gene. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/09/010925070413.htm
University Of Illinois At Chicago. "University Of Illinois At Chicago Researchers Find "Fountain Of Youth" Gene." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/09/010925070413.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) 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:
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