Researchers have discovered a molecule that plays a key role in the aging process.
In the study, researchers focused on finding the connection between RNA-binding proteins and aging. For a start, they scanned the bodies of older animals in order to find RNA-binding proteins that change during aging. In the result, it was found that the protein Pumilio2 (PUM2) increases its activity in older mice.
This protein binds to specific recognition sites in mRNA and inhibits the translation process. Scientists have found that this method inhibited the synthesis of protein, called a mitochondrial fission factor (MFF). The high level of the latter is also required for militaryi process of destruction of defective mitochondria and their replacement by new.
Suppressing the activity of PUM2 in mice, the researchers noticed improvement in mitochondria from older animals. In addition, such processes have been observed in nematodes, which allowed to extend the life of worms.