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Scientists discover molecule that could reverse cellular aging

Researchers have found that manipulating a single RNA molecule is enough to reverse cellular aging

Date:
January 8, 2018
Source:
Instituto de Medicina Molecular
Summary:
Researchers have found that manipulating a single RNA molecule may be enough to reverse cellular aging.
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Researchers at Instituto de Medicina Molecular (iMM) João Lobo Antunes have found that manipulating a single RNA molecule is enough to reverse cellular ageing.

Throughout time all cells age gradually, contributing to the development of several diseases. Inducing cellular regeneration is one of the strategies used to fight diseases associated with cellular ageing. However, aged cells tend to be highly resistant to any type of manipulation intended to induce regeneration.

Ribonucleic acid, or RNA, is responsible for protein synthesis inside cells. However, a specific type of molecule named non-coding RNA is never translated into protein. In fact, since the mapping of the human genome in 2001 it is known that only about 2% is actually translated into proteins.

Now, the team led by Bruno de Jesus and Maria do Carmo-Fonseca, used a genetically modified mouse model to study cellular ageing and regeneration. They found that cells derived from the skin of old mice produced higher amounts of a long non-coding RNA molecule named Zeb2-NAT when compared to cells from young mice. By reducing the amount of this specific RNA molecule, it was possible to efficiently regenerate old cells.

"These results are an important step to be able to regenerate diseased tissues in older people," said Bruno de Jesus.


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Materials provided by Instituto de Medicina Molecular. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bruno Bernardes de Jesus, Sérgio Pires Marinho, Sara Barros, António Sousa-Franco, Catarina Alves-Vale, Tânia Carvalho, Maria Carmo-Fonseca. Silencing of the lncRNA Zeb2-NAT facilitates reprogramming of aged fibroblasts and safeguards stem cell pluripotency. Nature Communications, 2018; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-01921-6

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Instituto de Medicina Molecular. "Scientists discover molecule that could reverse cellular aging." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 January 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180108101341.htm>.
Instituto de Medicina Molecular. (2018, January 8). Scientists discover molecule that could reverse cellular aging. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180108101341.htm
Instituto de Medicina Molecular. "Scientists discover molecule that could reverse cellular aging." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180108101341.htm (accessed July 23, 2024).

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