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Protein Link to Long Life

 
  October, 16 2009 4:30
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The mitochondrial protein complex prohibitin promotes longevity in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans by influencing fat metabolism, a Nature  paper suggests.

Prohibitin deficiency shortens the lifespan of otherwise wild-type animals, Marta Artal-Sanz and Nektarios Tavernarakis report. But 'knocking down' prohibitin levels increases the lifespan of worms under dietary restriction.

The authors propose that prohibitin normally promotes longevity by acting as a brake on the worm's energy supply - moderating fat use and energy production. But under adverse external conditions, such as limited nutrient availability, energy demands outstrip supply and life lasts longer without such a 'brake'. It is thought that the protein may have a similar key role in modulating energy metabolism during ageing in mammals.

CONTACT

Nektarios Tavernarakis (Foundation for Research & Technology, Heraklion, Greece)
Email: tavernarakis@imbb.forth.gr

(C) Nature press release.


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