Navigation Links
Einstein researchers discover gene mutations linked to longer lifespans

March 4, 2008 (Bronx, NY) Mutations in genes governing an important cell-signaling pathway influence human longevity, scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have found. Their research is described in the March 4 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The report is the latest finding in the Einstein researchers ongoing search for genetic clues to longevity through their study that by now has recruited more than 450 Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jews between the ages of 95 and 110. Descended from a small founder group, Ashkenazi Jews are more genetically uniform than other groups, making it easier to spot gene differences that are present. In 2003, this study resulted in the first two longevity genes ever identifiedfindings that have since been validated by other research.

The present study focused on genes involved in the action of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I), a hormone that in humans is regulated by human growth hormone. Affecting virtually every cell type in the body, IGF-I is crucially important for childrens growth and continues contributing to tissue synthesis into adulthood. The IGF-I cell-signaling pathway is triggered when IGF-I molecules circulating in blood plasma latch onto receptors on the surface of cells, causing a signal to be sent to the cells nucleus that may, for example, tell that cell to divide.

Animal research had shown that mutations to genes involved in the IGF-I signaling pathway cause two effects: Affected animals have impaired growth but also longer life spans. So the Einstein scientists reasoned that altered signaling in this pathway might also influence human longevity. To find out, they analyzed IGF-I-related genetic variations in 384 Ashkenazi Jewish centenarians. And since plasma levels of IGF-I do not reflect their levels at a younger age, the researchers also looked at two other groups: the children of these centenarians, and a control group consisting of Ashkenazi Jews the same age as the centenarians children but with no family history of longevity.

Remarkably, the female children of the centenarians had IGF-I plasma levels that were 35 percent higher than female controlsperhaps a sign that the body was compensating for a glitch in IGF-I signaling by secreting increased amounts of the hormone. That suspicion was strengthened by two other findings: the daughters of centenarians were 2.5 cm shorter than female controls; and when the researchers analyzed the gene coding for the IGF-I cell-surface receptor molecule to which the IGF-I hormone binds, the receptor genes of centenarians and their daughters were much more likely to have a variety of mutations than were the receptor genes of the controls.

Our findings suggest that, by interfering with IGF-I signaling, these gene mutations somehow play a role in extending the human life span, as they do in many other organisms, says Dr. Nir Barzilai, senior author of the study and director of the Institute for Aging Research at Einstein.

Dr. Barzilai notes that a drug that decreases IGF-I action is currently being tested as a cancer treatment and could be useful in delaying aging. Since the subjects in our study have been exposed to their mutations since conception, it is not clear whether people would need such a therapy throughout life or if it could help people who received it at a later time.


Contact: Karen Gardner
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Related medicine news :

1. NIH awards Einstein multimillion dollar grant to extend studies of exceptional longevity
2. Albert Einstein Healthcare Network Turns to InterviewDirect to Qualify Job Candidates
3. Einstein scientists treat cancer as an infectious disease -- with promising results
4. Testing delays cause severe AIDS complications, Einstein researchers find
5. Sens. Kerry, Boxer and Feinstein call on FDA to Establish Maximum Level for Lead in Lipstick
6. Johnson City Medical Center Begins Offering Einstein Bros. Menu Items at Second On Campus Location
7. Einstein honors Dr. Stanley Nathenson with Marshall S. Horwitz Faculty Prize for Research Excellence
8. Stanford researchers find culprit in aging muscles that heal poorly
9. UCLA researchers identify markers that may predict diabetes in still-healthy people
10. Mayo Clinic researchers discover new diagnostic test for detecting infection in prosthetic joints
11. Bipolar disorder relapses halved by Melbourne researchers
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... , ... October 13, 2015 , ... "My friend's son ... fists into his infected cheeks," said an inventor from Platteville, Colo. "I came up ... problems." , He developed the UNTOUCHABLE to prevent a child from rubbing or scratching ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ProText Kinetic Panel is ... With ProText Kinetic Panel, users can create energetic text animations in any layout without ... the Final Cut Pro X timeline and stylize the text. With intuitive on-screen controls, ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Relay (, a ... announced today a significant contract that will provide its award-winning private messaging solution ... on the growing success of its Relay program, IBX Wire™, which now has ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... of Anik Singal's newly launched "Publish Academy" training course . Singal's new ... opened for enrollment today, and marketers around the Internet are weighing in with ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... T-System and Centegra Health ... 59,000 emergency department visits per year, today announced the successful and rapid deployment ... clinical, operational and financial outcomes. , In less than four days, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... 2015 Families across the country have ... to the pharmaceutical company,s blockbuster anti-nausea drug Zofran ... caused by their fraudulent misrepresentations to prescribing physicians ... pregnant women.   Due to the large number of ... States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , Oct. 13, 2015   Generational Equity , ... businesses, is pleased to announce the acquisition of its ... Largo, Florida , by Meridian Biomedical, ... September 11, 2015. Florida ... --> Florida . To learn more, ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... 13, 2015 According to the ... sponsored by Cardinal Health , achieving both ... diversified pharmacy revenue streams are vital to the ... NCPA Digest affirms that independent community ... in underserved inner city and rural areas," said ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: