11 November 2020

Protector of hematopoietic cells

The discovery of protective proteins will slow down aging

Georgy Golovanov, Hi-tech+

A new study by scientists from England and Scotland has revealed a protein that plays an important role in protecting the body's hematopoietic stem cells from damage caused by infections. This discovery may lead to new ways to slow down the aging process.

It is known that hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are located in the bone marrow and produce blood cells and immune cells. When an infection enters the body, they increase production to repel an attack. However, scientists could not understand how GSK protect themselves by working overtime, according to a press release from the University of Edinburgh Scientists discover safeguard that protects blood's ‘Fountain of Youth’.

Article by Mapperley et al. The mRNA m6A reader YTHDF2 suppresses inflammatory pathways and sustains hematopoietic stem cell function published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine – VM.

"We know that inflammatory processes trigger hematopoietic stem cells to rapidly produce immune cells and fight infection," explained Kamil Krank, co–author of the study. "However, these pathways can gradually deplete stem cells or cause them to age prematurely, and it is important to understand how this could be stopped."

In their study , experts from The University of Edinburgh and Queen Mary University of London have identified the protein YTHDF2, which is responsible for this important work. When an infection enters the body, HSC produces many more immune cells, but at the same time inflammatory processes begin that can damage stem cells.

Scientists have found that YTHDF2 regulates the genes that control these inflammatory processes and protects stem cells from premature aging.

In order to investigate the role of YTHDF2, they conducted an experiment on mice with a deficiency of this protein by injecting them with a substance acting as a viral infection. GSK rodents were struck by chronic inflammation, changing the production of various types of blood cells. It is curious that the blood of young mice began to resemble the blood of old ones.

These conclusions are consistent with the previously obtained data from experiments with blood transfusion of young animals to old ones to improve their health and even to slow down the development of Alzheimer's disease. Further studies will determine whether it is possible to slow down aging by manipulating the level of YTHDF2 protein.

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