Posted on Aug 27, 2015, 6 a.m.
Altering RNA helicases doubles lifespan (roundworm model).
A Korean research team has made a breakthrough in decoding the aging process, suggesting insights into how to dramatically slow it down. Mihwa Seo, from the Institute for Basic Science (Korea), and colleagues investigated RNA helicases – a family of enzymes that regulate the function of RNA, in the cells of Caenorhabditis elegans (roundworm). The investigator studied 78 RNA helicases , finding that altering more than 30 RNA helicase genes actually significantly decreased life expectancy. Importantly, they identified that inhibition of HEL-1 promotes longevity . The team posits that HEL-1 may act as a transcription regulator, which control how cells convert DNA to RNA. Writing that: “RNA helicase HEL-1 appears to promote longevity,” the study authors submit that: “a similar mechanism for longevity regulation via an RNA helicase-dependent regulation of FOXO signaling may operate in mammals, including humans.”
Mihwa Seo, Keunhee Seo, Wooseon Hwang, Hee Jung Koo, Jeong-Hoon Hahm, Jae-Seong Yang, et al. “RNA helicase HEL-1 promotes longevity by specifically activating DAF-16/FOXO transcription factor signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 25 June 2015.