Endurance exercises might play role in regulating telomere transcription

August 1, 2016 by Bob Yirka, Medical Xpress report

The age-dependent loss of telomere integrity limits the replicative capacities of our tissues. The study by Diman et al. shows that endurance exercise stimulates telomere transcription into long non-coding RNA molecules with important functions at telomeres. This process, dependent on the AMPK/PGC-1alpha/NRF1 metabolic pathway, is likely to contribute to telomere protection. Credit: Aurélie Diman and Anabelle Decottignies
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers with members from several institutions in Belgium has found that endurance exercise may play a role in the regulation of telomere transcription. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the team describes their study of volunteers exercising, their findings, and what their results might mean for people in general.

Most people know that eating healthy and getting can lead indirectly to a healthier life, but until now, there has not been any evidence that doing so has a direct impact on aging and longevity. In this new effort, the report that they have found evidence of releasing chemical factors that may produce a class of molecules that promote longer telomeres, and by extension, slower aging.

Telomeres are caps of repeat–containing RNA (TERRA) on the ends of chromosomes. Prior research has suggested that telomere length is an indicator of a , or more specifically, of aging. People with longer telomeres generally live longer than average, whereas those with tend to die younger.

To learn more about the connection between exercise and , the researchers asked 10 volunteers to ride a cycle machine for 45 minutes. The researchers took blood samples and muscle biopsies of each volunteer before and directly after exercising, and then again two and a half hours later.

In studying the samples taken after exercise and comparing them to those taken beforehand, the researchers found an increase of precursors to TERRA molecules and a related increase in activation of AMPK, an enzyme that is known to be part of PGC-1 álpha activation (prior research has found that it interacts with NRF1, which is found in telomeres). These findings suggest that such types of exercise activate the process that is believed to be involved in causing telomeres to lengthen, and thus to slow the aging process.

The researchers acknowledge that simply exercising more is not likely to cause people to live longer; however, there are other factors that play a role as well, including diet, heredity and behaviors such as smoking, drug usage or engaging in risky behavior.

Explore further: Researchers find link between impatience and faster aging

Related Stories

Researchers find link between impatience and faster aging

February 23, 2016
A team of researchers with members from the U.S. and Singapore has found that young women who scored as more impatient on a common psychology test, tended to have shorter telomere length than their more patient peers. In ...

Weight loss from bariatric surgery appears to reverse premature aging

July 8, 2016
Weight loss from bariatric surgery appears to reverse the premature aging associated with obesity, according to research presented today at Frontiers in CardioVascular Biology (FCVB) 2016.1 Patients had longer telomeres and ...

New method detects telomere length for research into cancer, aging

June 29, 2016
UT Southwestern Medical Center cell biologists have identified a new method for determining the length of telomeres, the endcaps of chromosomes, which can influence cancer progression and aging.

Study links body fat, weight loss, and chromosome length in breast cancer patients

December 8, 2015
It is well documented that a healthy diet and exercise are key in cancer prevention and management, but the exact mechanism hasn't been clear. Now, Yale Cancer Center researchers have found an explanation in the tiny protective ...

Early exclusive breastfeeding associated with longer telomeres in Latino preschoolers

July 21, 2016
Infants who are exclusively breastfed early in life are more likely by age 4 or 5 to have longer telomeres, the protective bits of DNA that cap the ends of chromosomes in cells. In older adults, shorter telomeres are associated ...

Recommended for you

New inflammation inhibitor discovered

November 16, 2018
A multidisciplinary team of researchers led from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have developed an anti-inflammatory drug molecule with a new mechanism of action. By inhibiting a certain protein, the researchers were able ...

Gut hormone and brown fat interact to tell the brain it's time to stop eating

November 15, 2018
Researchers from Germany and Finland have shown that so-called "brown fat" interacts with the gut hormone secretin in mice to relay nutritional signals about fullness to the brain during a meal. The study, appearing November ...

Brain, muscle cells found lurking in kidney organoids grown in lab

November 15, 2018
Scientists hoping to develop better treatments for kidney disease have turned their attention to growing clusters of kidney cells in the lab. One day, so-called organoids—grown from human stem cells—may help repair damaged ...

How the Tasmanian devil inspired researchers to create 'safe cell' therapies

November 15, 2018
A contagious facial cancer that has ravaged Tasmanian devils in southern Australia isn't the first place one would look to find the key to advancing cell therapies in humans.

Researchers discover important connection between cells in the liver

November 15, 2018
University of Minnesota Medical School researchers have made a discovery which could lead to a new way of thinking about how disease pathogenesis in the liver is regulated, which is important for understanding the condition ...

Precision neuroengineering enables reproduction of complex brain-like functions in vitro

November 14, 2018
One of the most important and surprising traits of the brain is its ability to dynamically reconfigure the connections to process and respond properly to stimuli. Researchers from Tohoku University (Sendai, Japan) and the ...


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.