The researchers were able to spot the mechanisms that could be aimed at with drugs for longevity.
“With this research, we are drilling down to additional layers of regulation, which brings us one step closer to extending healthy human lifespan without the need to dramatically restrict calories or to take drugs that, because they are less selectively targeted, are more likely to cause adverse reactions,” Rollins said.
DR activates adaptive mechanisms in cells. When there are insufficient nutrients, cells use what is available for survival rather than growth and reproduction. This scarcity makes the cells more efficient, and this is a good thing for health.
The MDI Biological Laboratory research confirms theories on the adaptive response induced by DR.
The researchers were able to identify the mechanisms that regulate gene expression at post-transcriptional levels.
By post-transcriptional regulation, reference is to the regulation that takes place when a gene has been “transcribed” or “read” from the DNA in a cell’s nucleus.
The discovery of these mechanisms opens the way for the screening of more effective drugs that could promote a longer healthy lifespan.
“We found that hundreds of genes are being regulated almost solely at the post-transcriptional level,” said Rollins. “These are genes that weren’t previously known to have a role in longevity. This level of regulation can be missed if scientists are looking at the transcriptional level alone.”
The lifespan-extending potential of DR has been shown in a variety of species, ranging from single-cell organisms to primates. This research provides more knowledge of how it works.
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