Navigation Links
Muscling toward a longer life: Genetic aging pathway identified in flies
Date:10/17/2011

Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have identified a set of genes that act in muscles to modulate aging and resistance to stress in fruit flies.

Scientists have previously found mutations that extend fruit fly lifespan, but this group of genes is distinct because it acts specifically in muscles. The findings could help doctors better understand and treat muscle degeneration in human aging.

The results were published online this week by the journal Developmental Cell.

The senior author is Subhabrata Sanyal, PhD, assistant professor of cell biology at Emory University School of Medicine. The first author of the paper is postdoc Alysia Vrailas-Mortimer. Collaborators from Howard University and the University of Athens contributed to the paper.

Vrailas-Mortimer, Sanyal and colleagues started investigating a pair of genes called "p38 MAP kinase" in fruit flies with the expectation that they could play a role in learning and memory. Along the way, they discovered that mutations in these genes speed up the process of aging and make the flies more sensitive to oxidative stress.

"It was really just dumb luck, because we found a mutant that had almost completely lost gene activity, but had enough activity to be born," Sanyal says.

If both genes are defective in the same fly, the flies die very early. They begin to develop motor problems, becoming unable to fly and climb, a few days after birth. The mutant flies are also more sensitive to heat, being deprived of food and water, and exposure to oxidative stress. The researchers could correct the effects of the mutations by restoring the genes' activity in muscles, but not nerve cells.

"The experiment that made us nervous was when we asked whether having more p38 could increase lifespan," Sanyal says. "You can make flies sick and shorten their lives in a hundred different ways easily, but finding one gene that makes a big change in lifespan is more significant."

Fruit flies normally live about fifty days in Sanyal's laboratory, depending on temperature and conditions. Some strains of fly that overproduce p38 MAP kinase live on average about 75 days, 50 percent longer than regular flies (green line in graph below). For this effect, it is sufficient that p38 is overproduced in muscles only.

Vrailas-Mortimer showed that a protein that protects cells against oxidative stress that is found in mitochondria, superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), is responsible for at least some of p38 MAP kinase's effects on aging. A third gene called MEF2 is also involved, in between p38 MAP kinase and MnSOD. Mitochondria are cells' miniature power plants and are more abundant in muscle.

Giving flies more MnSOD can restore a more normal lifespan to the p38 mutants. Other types of antioxidant enzymes don't rescue lifespan in flies with p38 mutations, the researchers found.

P38, MEF2 and MnSOD's action in muscles distinguishes them from a well-studied genetic circuit regulating aging in the worm C. elegans as well as flies and mice, which appears to work through insulin-like hormone responses in the brain and other tissues. Caloric restriction (consistently eating less), an established way of lengthening lifespan, acts through this insulin-like signaling pathway.

"It may be that oxidative stress is especially important in flies' muscles because flies' energy use is so high," Sanyal says. "The role oxidative stress plays in aging is well-known, so its involvement here was not a surprise. I think what's new here is finding a genetic pathway regulating aging that is specific to muscles and separate from insulin signaling."

Sanyal says he and his team plan to examine what kinds of dietary antioxidants can extend lifespan in flies without p38. They also plan to probe how caloric restriction interacts with p38 deficiency.


'/>"/>

Contact: Holly Korschun
hkorsch@emory.edu
404-727-3990
Emory University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. California Moves Toward Listing BPA as Reproductive Toxin
2. Advance Toward Test for Aggressive Prostate Cancer
3. Chocolate Industry Leaders Sign Agreement, Align on Path Towards Increasing Consumer Availability & Consistency of Beneficial Cocoa Flavanols
4. Fitness Trend Towards Online Personal Training Gets Real-World Weight Loss Results on FitOrbit.com
5. Electronic Health Information Leader Says Physician Practice Redesign is Vital Next Step Towards Safer, More Effective Care Delivery
6. Male batterers consistently overestimate rates of violence toward partners
7. New Research from EBRI: Older Workers Trending Toward More Part-Time Work
8. Miles for Hope’s Moving Towards A Cure(SM) Brain Tumor Walk in Boston Raising Funds for Brain Tumor Vaccine and Massachusetts General Hospital
9. Grassroots Campaign Drives toward Ending Malaria Deaths by 2015
10. PaperFree Florida to help move physicians towards electronic health records
11. SDI Reports: Pharmaceutical Promotion Spending Indicates Trend Toward Electronic and Online Promotion
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Muscling toward a longer life: Genetic aging pathway identified in flies
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... A revolution is underway. ... ambulance transport experience for the millions of people who require these medical transport ... taxi industry through the use of technology. Now, SmartEMS has put forth an ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole ... enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese ... PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to ... a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from ... common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and ... their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work Awards took ... the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses to receive ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, ... out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control ... use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)...  Collagen Matrix, Inc., ("Collagen Matrix") the driving ... collagen and mineral based medical devices for tissue ... Messer has joined the company as Vice ... growing portfolio of oral surgery, neurosurgery, orthopaedic and ... the Collagen Matrix executive team as an accomplished ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... the "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart Skin, Structural ... Structural electronics involves electronic and/or ... protective structures, replacing dumb structures such as vehicle ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... report to their offering. ... The World Market for Companion Diagnostics covers the world market ... the report includes the following: , World ... Region (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 , World IVD ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: