Dr. Weeks’ Comment: UNDA remedies help express toxins via biotherapeutic drainage. Now, more recent genetic work identifies the gene “parkin” which substantiates the UNDA approach.
Boosting ‘Cellular Garbage Disposal’ Can Delay the Aging Process
May 6, 2013 ”” UCLA life scientists have identified a gene previously implicated in Parkinson’s disease that can delay the onset of aging and extend the healthy life span of fruit flies. The research, they say, could have important implications for aging and disease in humans. The gene, called parkin, serves at least two vital functions: It marks damaged proteins so that cells can discard them before they become toxic, and it is believed to play a key role in the removal of damaged mitochondria from cells.
“Aging is a major risk factor for the development and progression of many neurodegenerative diseases,” said David Walker, an associate professor of integrative biology and physiology at UCLA and senior author of the research. “We think that our findings shed light on the molecular mechanisms that connect these processes.”
In the research, published today in the early online edition of the journalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Walker and his colleagues show that parkin can modulate the aging process in fruit flies, which typically live less than two months. The researchers increased parkin levels in the cells of the flies and found that this extended their life span by more than 25 percent, compared with a control group that did not receive additional parkin.
“In the control group, the flies are all dead by Day 50,” Walker said. “In the group with parkin overexpressed, almost half of the population is still alive after 50 days. We have manipulated only one of their roughly 15,000 genes, and yet the consequences for the organism are profound.”
“Just by increasing the levels of parkin, they live substantially longer while remaining healthy, active and fertile,” said Anil Rana, a postdoctoral scholar in Walker’s laboratory and lead author of the research. “That is what we want to achieve in aging research — not only to increase their life span but to increase their health span as well.”
Treatments to increase parkin expression may delay the onset and progression of Parkinson’s disease and other age-related diseases, the biologists believe. (If parkin sounds related to Parkinson’s, it is. While the vast majority of people with the disease get it in older age, some who are born with a mutation in the parkin gene develop early-onset, Parkinson’s-like symptoms.)
“Our research may be telling us that parkin could be an important therapeutic target for neurodegenerative diseases and perhaps other diseases of aging,” Walker said. “Instead of studying the diseases of aging one by one — Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes — we believe it may be possible to intervene in the aging process and delay the onset of many of these diseases. We are not there yet, and it …[read more]
- Anil Rana, Michael Rera, and David W. Walker. Parkin overexpression during aging reduces proteotoxicity, alters mitochondrial dynamics, and extends lifespan.PNAS, May 6, 2013 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1216197110