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Rapamycin Alter the DNA Storage in Cell

Researchers found that Rapamycin, a well-known anti-ageing candidate, targets gut cells specifically to alter the way of DNA storage inside these cells, and promotes gut health and longevity. This effect has been observed in flies and mice. The researchers believe this finding will open up new possibilities for targeted therapeutic interventions against aging.

Our genetic material lies in the form of DNA in every cell nucleus of our body cells. In humans, this DNA molecule is two meters long. This is possible because the DNA is specifically stored. To do this, it is wound numerous times around certain proteins known as histones. How tightly the DNA is wound around the histones also determines which genes can be read from our genome.In many species, the amount of histones changes with age. However, it has been unclear whether changes in cellular histone levels could be utilized to improve the aging process in living organisms. The drug Rapamycin recently became one of the most promising anti-aging substances and shows positive effects on health in old age.

This research was carried out by Max Planck Institute for Biology of Aging, the CECAD Cluster of Excellence in Aging Research at the University of Cologne, the University College London and the University of Michigan. Yu-Xuan Lu, a postdoc in the department of Linda Partridge and first author of the study said that anti-ageing candidates turn down the TOR signaling pathway that regulates a wide spectrum of basic cellular activities such as energy, nutritional and stress status. They use Rapamycin to fine-tune the master regulator of cellular metabolism.

Researchers know that histone levels have a critical impact on the aging process. However, we had no idea whether there is a link between the TOR signaling pathway and histone levels, and more importantly, whether histone levels could be a druggable anti-aging target.Researchers found the increased levels of certain histone proteins in a specific gut cell type called enterocytes reduced tumor growth, improved gut health and extended the lifespan of the animals. Similar observations were made in mouse gut enterocytes after anti-aging candidate treatment.

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