“Changes that occur in aging can be diverse and difficult to pin down, and looking simply at one parameter might result in not seeing the whole picture”Scientists attempted to find out more by taking a state of the art integrated approach, analysing not just genomics or proteomics, but a whole range of connected factors. They looked beyond simply measuring what genes were active and what amount of protein was present, to checking things like how proteins were being modified. Research discovered 468 differences in protein abundance between young and old, and a set of 130 proteins that were modified differently with age. The powerful, integrated approach revealed more than any individual data set could. These differences were organ specific The liver is one of the only organs that can undergo significant regeneration, and liver tissue is constantly being turned over. This prevents damage building up, but slow-dividing tissue like the brain is far more vulnerable. It may be better shielded from harm, but any damage sticks around. This meant that the brain had a larger portion of proteins that had been modified by the aging process. These changes were mostly metabolic changes, affecting how the cells use and make energy. The brain changes involved aspects like memory formation and plasticity. The most interesting finding was that all of the changes revolved around protein turnover and formation.
“Our study showed that organs have different aging mechanisms and that aging is largely driven by changes in protein production and turnover. Based on our findings, we would define aging as an organ-specific deterioration of the cellular proteome.”With more powerful analysis of further organs, we’ll gain a much more accurate, and robust picture of the aging process as a whole. We can then hone in on patterns and get to work on fixing them. Read more at Medicalxpress
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