Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

MicroRNA Gene That Regulates Lifespan Found By Yale Scientists

Date:
December 24, 2005
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Genes that control the timing of organ formation during development also control timing of aging and death, and provide evidence of a biological timing mechanism for aging, Yale researchers report in the journal Science.

The effects of deleting or over-expressing the lin-4 microRNA on lifespan in C. elegans. Survival curves show that losing lin-4 (blue) causes a short lifespan (50% of wild-type), while extra lin-4 (red) causes an extended lifespan (120% of normal).
Credit: Image courtesy of Yale University

Genes that control the timing of organ formation during development also control timing of aging and death, and provide evidence of a biological timing mechanism for aging, Yale researchers report in the journal Science.

Related Articles


“Although there is a large variation in lifespan from species to species, there are genetic aspects to the processes of development and aging,” said Frank Slack, associate professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and senior author of the paper. “We used the simple, but genetically well-studied, C. elegans worm and found genes that are directly involved in determination of lifespan. Humans have genes that are nearly identical.”

A microRNA and the developmental-timing gene it controls, lin-4 and lin-14, affect patterns of cellular development at very specific stages. Slack’s group found that mutations in these genes alter both the timing of the worm development stages— and the worm lifespan. C. elegans has been the premier model organism for studying the genetics of aging, and an excellent predictor of genes that also control mammalian aging.

To test their functions, they made mutants in both of these genes. Animals with a loss-of-function mutation in lin-4 had a lifespan that was significantly shorter than normal, suggesting that lin-4 prevents premature death. Conversely, over-expressing lin-4 led to a longer lifespan. They also found that a loss–of-function mutation in lin-14, the target of lin-4, caused the opposite effect — a 31 percent longer lifespan.

According to Slack, their results are strong evidence of an “intrinsic biological clock” that runs for aging as well as for normal organ development. Included results showed the developmental programs that these genes regulate are modulated through insulin signaling, demonstrating the connection between insulin-driven metabolism and aging.

“This microRNA is conserved in humans leading to the enticing idea of being able to beneficially affect the results of aging including diseases of aging,” said Slack. Work is under way to identify other microRNAs regulators and genes they target, to determine where they function and whether they behave the same way in mice, and to see if they are altered in human diseases of aging.

Michelle Boehm co-authored this study funded by a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the NIH.

###

Citation: Science: (December 23, 2005)


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "MicroRNA Gene That Regulates Lifespan Found By Yale Scientists." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 December 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051224094102.htm>.
Yale University. (2005, December 24). MicroRNA Gene That Regulates Lifespan Found By Yale Scientists. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051224094102.htm
Yale University. "MicroRNA Gene That Regulates Lifespan Found By Yale Scientists." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051224094102.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said the risk of Ebola becoming an epidemic in the U.S. is essentially zero Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. He also said an Ebola vaccine will be tested in West Africa in the next few months. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) Colorado may have legalized marijuana for recreational use, but the debate around the decision still continues, with a recent - failed - attempt to ban cannabis-infused edibles. Duration: 01:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
British Navy Ship Arrives in Sierra Leone With Ebola Aid

British Navy Ship Arrives in Sierra Leone With Ebola Aid

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) The British ship RFA ARGUS arrived in Sierra Leone to deliver supplies and equipment to help the fight against Ebola. Duration: 00:42 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:

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