Five-hundred years ago, Ponce de Leon combed the swamps of Florida seeking the legendary "fountain of youth." This week, at the 2009 ASBMB Annual Meeting in New Orleans (held in conjunction with Experimental Biology 2009) will feature a range of exciting talks centering on the new molecular "fountain of youth," the genes and pathways that influence lifespan. While the secrets of longevity may still be a long time away, the presentations at ASBMB illustrate that we are at least beginning to understand the intricate connections between diet, metabolism, aging, and disease.
Some of these aging-related presentations include:
Regulation of Obesity, Heart Function, and Lifespan by the Nutrient Sensing TOR Pathway
Sean Michael Oldham, Burnham Institute for Medical Research, La Jolla, CA
(Sun, April 19 3:30 PM - 5:50 PM, Room: 356)
Metabolic balance is a highly regulated process, and genetic and/or diet-induced imbalances (like a high fat diet, HFD) bring about increased susceptibility to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Oldham's group has established a fruit fly model to study the genes and environmental factors responsible for mediating HFD induced obesity. They found that inhibiting the Target of Rapamycin (TOR) pathway, involved in nutrient sensing, can block the detrimental effects of a HFD. They also found that reducing the levels of TOR can mimic a calorie-restricted diet and improve metabolism, heart function and longevity. Thus, in addition to potentially linking HFD-obesity to diabetes and heart disease, TOR might be a central mediator of lifespan.
Conserved Links Between Nutrient Signaling, Translation and Aging
Brian Kennedy, University of Washington, Seattle
(Wed, April 22 8:30 AM - 10:50 AM, Room: 356)
While model organisms like fruit flies have been invaluable in identifying hundreds of genes associated with aging, there is still concern that any increas
|Contact: Nick Zagorski|
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology