12 May 2010

Another way to prolong life: arrest arrestin

Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) Aimee Palmitessa and Jeffrey L. Benovic have found that the level of arrestin protein determines the lifespan of roundworms (C.elegans).

The results of this work are published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry on May 14 in the article "Arrestin and the Multi-PDZ Domain-containing Protein MPZ-1 Interact with Phosphatase and Tensin Homolog (PTEN) and Regulate Caenorhabditis elegans Longevity".

According to the head of the work, Professor Benowitz, most of the C.elegans proteins have analogues in the human body, so this finding can clarify a number of issues related to the formation of malignant tumors and human biology in general.

The authors studied G-protein coupled receptors that respond to various hormones, sensory stimuli (light, smell, taste), neurotransmitters, etc. by triggering molecular signaling cascades. These receptors regulate many physiological processes and are the targets of about half of the drugs used in medicine.

Initially, proteins of the arrestin family were identified as proteins that block the activation of G-protein coupled receptors inside cells. The human body contains four types of arrestins, two of which control the work of receptors that respond to visual stimuli, while the rest control the work of almost all other receptors in the body.

The authors removed a single arrestin gene from the genome of nematodes, which led to a 30% increase in the lifespan of these organisms, while a three-fold increase in the expression of this gene reduced it by 30%.

Scientists already know quite a lot of ways to prolong the life of C.elegans, the most famous of which are a decrease in the activity of the receptor for insulin-like growth factors-1 (IGF-1) and a low-calorie diet. However, in their work, the researchers dug a little deeper: they identified two proteins, the interaction with which determines the role of arrestin in the lifespan of nematodes. The human version of one of these proteins, PTEN, is a well–known suppressor of tumor growth, mutations of which underlie the development of various types of cancer.

The authors note that the relationship between PTEN and arrestins in the human body is unclear and plan to study this extremely interesting issue in the future.

Evgeniya Ryabtseva
Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru based on the materials of Thomas Jefferson University: Jefferson Scientists Identify a New Protein Involved in Longevity.


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