Longevity Briefs: In Search of The Master Regulators of Ageing

Posted on 24 November 2020

Longevity briefs provides a short summary of novel research in biology, medicine, or biotechnology that caught the attention of our researchers in Oxford, due to its potential to improve our health, wellbeing, and longevity.

Why is this research important: Ageing is one of the most complex processes in biology. It happens to every cell in our bodies, but the changes that occur during ageing vary between different tissues. It we are to fully understand the ageing process and how to slow it down, we need to study it across different tissues and learn which genes are its most important common regulators.

What did the researchers do: Researchers measured the activity of every one of the thousands of mouse genes in three different tissues: liver, heart, and muscle. They compared this data in adult mice and elderly mice to identify genes and proteins that may be important in controlling the ageing process in different tissues.

Key takeaway(s) from this research: While the manifestations of ageing in terms of gene expression varied from tissue to tissue, researchers were able to identify some transcription factors – proteins that control gene regulation – that were important for ageing in all three tissues. By looking at human data, researchers also found that many of these transcription factors are also present in humans, and had previously been found to be associated with longevity.

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