Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Longevity, Cancer And Diet Connected: New Research In Worms Could Apply To Humans

Date:
September 20, 2008
Source:
University of Utah Health Sciences
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a connection between genes that could hold the key to a longer, healthier life. Using worms that share similar genetics to humans, scientists have identified a previously unknown link between two genes -- one associated with aging, the other with certain types of cancer.

Researchers have discovered a connection between genes that could hold the key to a longer, healthier life.

Using worms that share similar genetics to humans, scientists from Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) identified a previously unknown link between two genes- one associated with aging, the other with certain types of cancer. The research also indicates calorie intake can affect how these genes operate, possibly increasing lifespan in animals, an effect which has been previously observed but is not yet fully explained. The paper was recently published in the journal Current Biology.

Scientists studied a gene called TOR, which regulates cell growth and plays a role in the development of cancer. "In C. elegans, the tiny roundworm that our lab studies, as well as some other animals, a loss of TOR has been shown to slow aging. Our work with C. elegans reveals that TOR depends on a second gene called pha4/FoxA to control the aging process," says study co-author Susan Mango, PhD, HCI investigator and professor in the University of Utah Department of Oncological Sciences.

The study also reveals calorie restriction plays a role in how these genes work. "When there's lots of food, TOR gets active, which decreases the action of pha4/FoxA down the line, and that in turn shortens the lifespan of C. elegans," says Mango. "When there's little food, there's little TOR and more pha4/FoxA, and that results in a longer lifespan." In short, a low calorie diet can affect the TOR and pha4/FoxA genes in worms, slowing the progression of aging.

Many organisms have a TOR gene and a gene similar to pha4/FoxA, such as single-cell yeasts, roundworms, and mammals including humans. In mammals, FoxA controls cell metabolism and there is a lot of it in breast and prostate cancers. The findings of this research establish that animals use both genes to sense the amount of food that is available and control the length of lifespan.

Further research will be required to establish whether a similar relationship between these factors can control metabolism, longevity or disease in humans.

Karyn Scheaffer and Dustin Updike are co-authors of the published paper. The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health, Huntsman Cancer Foundation, and the University of Utah Department of Oncological Sciences. Huntsman Cancer Institute core facilities are supported by a Cancer Center Support Grant from the National Cancer Institute; University of Utah core facilities are supported by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Utah Health Sciences. "Longevity, Cancer And Diet Connected: New Research In Worms Could Apply To Humans." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080919142654.htm>.
University of Utah Health Sciences. (2008, September 20). Longevity, Cancer And Diet Connected: New Research In Worms Could Apply To Humans. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080919142654.htm
University of Utah Health Sciences. "Longevity, Cancer And Diet Connected: New Research In Worms Could Apply To Humans." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080919142654.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