'Pathway' discovery may help delay ageing

Past studies have suggested that low-calorie diets can help slow the process of ageing and improve health in old age. But how it works has so far been a mystery. Now, a team from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US found a molecular pathway which is a key determinant of the ageing process.

The finding, appeared online in the journal Cell, not only helps explain the cascade of events that contributes to ageing, but also provides a rational basis for devising interventions, drugs that may retard ageing and contribute to better health in old age.

“We’re getting closer and closer to a good understanding of how caloric restriction works,” said senior author of the study Tomas A Prolla, a UW-Madison professor of genetics.

“This study is the first direct proof for a mechanism underlying the anti-ageing effects we observe under caloric restriction.”

The new study focuses on an enzyme called Sirt3 — one of a family of enzymes known as sirtuins, which have been implicated in old studies in ageing, gene transcription, programmed cell death and stress resistance under reduced calorie conditions.

Comments (+)