Life can be five times longer

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Last reviewed: 16.04.2020

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03 March 2020, 11:06

Life expectancy of different organisms can also be different, and this depends on many factors. For decades, scientists have been trying to make progress in extending life span and preventing aging. And over time, humanity does indeed have hope - first of all, thanks to new technologies and, of course, the perseverance of researchers.

A group of scientists from around the world discovered how to extend the life of nematodes by five times. The new method required only a few changes at the gene level.

The standard life period of nematodes is 2-3 weeks, but scientists were able to increase it, and immediately by 500%. By the way, shortly before this, Caenorhabditis elegans managed to double the life span by artificially suppressing DAF-2 gene expression. Sensitive endings encoding this gene are of key importance in the mechanism of the pulse insulin pathway. Life extension of worms by approximately 30% also occurs when the gene activity of another signaling protein substance is inhibited - RSKS-1, which takes part in the rapamycin impulse pathway.

In their new study, scientists tried to influence simultaneously the two pathways detected - insulin and rapamycin. As it was discovered, after the “alteration” of these pathways, a reaction to mitochondrial stress occurred, which contributed to a lengthening of the life period by 4-5 times.

“The sharp increase in efficiency was unbelievable - that is, as if you were expecting“ 1 + 1 = 2, ”but you were getting“ 1 + 1 = 5, "says Jarod Rollins, MD. According to the biologist, this discovery again reminds scientists that aging is not the result of the activity of any particular protein substance or gene, but a consequence of their complex interaction.

Researchers pointed out that inhibition of DAF-2 and RSKS-1 production stimulates the signaling protein GLD-1, which in a chain decreases cytochrome activity and leads to the start of stress mitochondrial defense processes. In addition, protein kinases are stimulated, which favors the switch of the cell to a more energy-efficient operating mode.

It should be noted that the impulse pathways of IIS and TOR are highly conserved, therefore, they practically do not differ even in humans and Caenorhabditis elegans. This point can be used for further research, and most likely this will happen. However, today it’s too early to talk about predictions of prolongation in this way of human life.

More information about the news can be found on the pages of the publication  Cell Reports , as well as in the special publication  MDI Biological Laboratory .

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