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New Theory of Aging proposed

senescence aging biomarkers cell death stem cells nucleotides

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#1 Lazarus Long

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 12:37 PM

This is an interesting analysis of cellular senescence that doesn't contradict previous understanding as much as supplement or clarify it; if true and upheld by more research.


Researchers discover new cause of cell aging

July 25, 2019 , University of Southern California
Credit: University of Southern California
New research from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering could be key to our understanding of how the aging process works. The findings potentially pave the way for better cancer treatments and revolutionary new drugs that could vastly improve human health in the twilight years.

The work, from Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Nick Graham and his team in collaboration with Scott Fraser, Provost Professor of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Engineering, and Pin Wang, Zohrab A. Kaprielian Fellow in Engineering, was recently published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

"To drink from the fountain of youth, you have to figure out where the fountain of youth is, and understand what the fountain of youth is doing," Graham said. "We're doing the opposite; we're trying to study the reasons cells age, so that we might be able to design treatments for better aging."

What causes cells to age?

To achieve this, lead author Alireza Delfarah, a graduate student in the Graham lab, focused on senescence, a natural process in which cells permanently stop creating new cells. This process is one of the key causes of age-related decline, manifesting in diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis and heart disease.

"Senescent cells are effectively the opposite of stem cells, which have an unlimited potential for self-renewal or division," Delfarah said. "Senescent cells can never divide again. It's an irreversible state of cell cycle arrest."

The research team discovered that the aging, senescent cells stopped producing a class of chemicals called nucleotides, which are the building blocks of DNA. When they took young cells and forced them to stop producing nucleotides, they became senescent, or aged.

"This means that the production of nucleotides is essential to keep cells young," Delfarah said. "It also means that if we could prevent cells from losing nucleotide synthesis, the cells might age more slowly."

I would be interested in how many of you interpret this study and if valid, its impact on potential avenues for future research and testing. I am most interested in hearing from those of you who have access to the original article and can assess the applied methodology.

Edited by Lazarus Long, 27 July 2019 - 12:51 PM.

#2 William Sterog

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 04:32 PM

Nucleotides like in yeast and animal meat?

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#3 MikeDC

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 07:43 PM

I don’t think this study is relevant. Senescent cells are not normal. The normal ending of cell division is apoptosis. Senescent cells are due to DNA damage, NAD+ depletion and other factors.
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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: senescence, aging, biomarkers, cell death, stem cells, nucleotides

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