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.

Related Articles


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 November 23, 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 November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Around the World Take Flight

Birds Around the World Take Flight

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 22, 2014) An imperial eagle equipped with a camera spreads its wings over London. It's just one of the many birds making headlines in this week's "animal roundup". Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Baby Okapi Born at Houston Zoo

Raw: Baby Okapi Born at Houston Zoo

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) The Houston Zoo released video of a male baby okapi. Okapis, also known as the "forest giraffe", are native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. Video is mute from source. (Nov. 20) 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


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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