Study unmasks regulator of healthy life span

December 17, 2012, Mayo Clinic

A new series of studies in mouse models by Mayo Clinic researchers uncovered that the aging process is characterized by high rates of whole-chromosome losses and gains in various organs, including heart, muscle, kidney and eye, and demonstrate that reducing these rates slows age-related tissue deterioration and promotes a healthier life span. The findings appear in today's online issue of Nature Cell Biology.

"We've known for some time that reduced levels of BubR1 are a hallmark of aging and correspond to age-related conditions, including muscle weakness, and tumor growth," says co-author Jan van Deursen, Ph.D., of Mayo Clinic. "Here we've shown that a high abundance of BubR1, a regulator of during mitosis, preserves genomic integrity and reduces tumors, even in the face of some that promote inaccurate cell division. Our findings suggest that controlling levels of this regulator provides a unique opportunity to extend healthy life span."

Researchers studied two lines of , one with moderate expression of BubR1 and the other with high expression. Outcomes of a series of experiments showed that mice with high expression of the gene were dramatically effective in preventing or limiting age-related disease compared to those with moderate expression and especially to wild type mice.

The findings were significant. Only 33 percent of these high expressing mice developed lung and skin tumors compared to 100 percent of the control group. BubR1 overexpression markedly reduced aneuploidy (a state of having an abnormal number of chromosomes), which causes birth defects. Other results showed these mice were protected from muscle fiber deterioration, that they were better performers in treadmill tests, that they had much reduced levels of renal sclerosis, intestinal fibrosis and tubular atrophy—all signs of aging. They also showed higher cardiac- and resistance to age-related retinal atrophy.

Co-author Darren Baker, Ph.D., of Mayo Clinic, says the findings show BubR1 and its associated regulators are "promising targets for a broad spectrum of aneuploid human cancers and key age-related disorders that dictate human health."

Explore further: Researchers discover tactic to delay age-related disorders

Related Stories

Researchers discover tactic to delay age-related disorders

November 2, 2011
Researchers at Mayo Clinic have shown that eliminating cells that accumulate with age could prevent or delay the onset of age-related disorders and disabilities. The study, performed in mouse models, provides the first evidence ...

Recommended for you

Forces from fluid in the developing lung play an essential role in organ development

January 23, 2018
It is a marvel of nature: during gestation, multiple tissue types cooperate in building the elegantly functional structures of organs, from the brain's folds to the heart's multiple chambers. A recent study by Princeton researchers ...

More surprises about blood development—and a possible lead for making lymphocytes

January 22, 2018
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) have long been regarded as the granddaddy of all blood cells. After we are born, these multipotent cells give rise to all our cell lineages: lymphoid, myeloid and erythroid cells. Hematologists ...

How metal scaffolds enhance the bone healing process

January 22, 2018
A new study shows how mechanically optimized constructs known as titanium-mesh scaffolds can optimize bone regeneration. The induction of bone regeneration is of importance when treating large bone defects. As demonstrated ...

Researchers illustrate how muscle growth inhibitor is activated, could aid in treating ALS

January 19, 2018
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine are part of an international team that has identified how the inactive or latent form of GDF8, a signaling protein also known as myostatin responsible for ...

Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production

January 18, 2018
T cells play a key role in the body's immune response against pathogens. As a new class of therapeutic approaches, T cells are being harnessed to fight cancer, promising more precise, longer-lasting mitigation than traditional, ...

Weight flux alters molecular profile, study finds

January 17, 2018
The human body undergoes dramatic changes during even short periods of weight gain and loss, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.