New insights into cell aging and neurodegenerative diseases

New insights into cell aging and neurodegenerative diseases

Discovery of extremely long-lived proteins may provide insight into cell aging and neurodegenerative diseases

Salk researchers find that the adult brain contains proteins that last a lifetime

La Jolla—One of the big mysteries in biology is why cells age. Now scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies report that they have discovered a weakness in a component of brain cells that may explain how the aging process occurs in the brain.

The scientists discovered that certain proteins, called extremely long-lived proteins (ELLPs), which are found on the surface of the nucleus of neurons, have a remarkably long lifespan.

While the lifespan of most proteins totals two days or less, the Salk Institute researchers identified ELLPs in the rat brain that were over one year of age, a finding they reported today in Science.

The Salk scientists are the first to discover an essential intracellular machine whose components include proteins of this age. Their results suggest the proteins last an entire lifetime, without being replaced.

The scientists discovered that certain proteins, called extremely long-lived proteins (ELLPs), which are found on the surface of the nucleus of neurons, have a remarkably long lifespan.

While the lifespan of most proteins in the human body totals two days or less, the Salk Institute researchers identified ELLPs that are over one year of age, a finding they reported today in Science.

The Salk scientists are the first to discover an essential intracellular machine whose components include proteins of this age. Their results suggest the proteins last an entire lifetime, without being replaced.

For more information visit: 0