Scientists have found a small molecule that can be used to extend the lifespan of mammalian cells. The research reported in the July issue of Nature Chemical Biology showed that the synthetic organic molecule CGK733 blocks the machinery that senses DNA damage.
All cells face an inevitable death as they age. On this path, cells may become senescent, where they stay alive but stop dividing. In looking for chemicals that can help cells beat senescence, Tae Kook Kim and colleagues screened a library of synthetic compounds for those that could stimulate growth and other visual signs they could help cells overcome this state. They found that CGK733 could extend the lifetime of cultured cells by about 20 doublings and could actually rescue cells that were already senescent. To do this, CGK733 blocks the checkpoint involved in sensing and slowing down cells in response to DNA damage.
By blocking a natural event that leads to senescence, CGK733 confers life-saving and life-extending properties on mammalian cells.
Tae Kook Kim, (Kusung-dong, Daejeon, Korea)
Abstract available online.
(C) Nature Chemical Biology press release.
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