Tumor-promoting phorbol esters, like growth factors, elicit pleiotropic responses involving biochemical pathways that lead to different biological responses. Genetic variant cell lines that are resistant to mitogenic, differentiation, or transformation responses to tumor promoters have been valuable tools for understanding the molecular bases of these responses.
Cellular senescence is a state of irreversible cell cycle arrest in which normal cells at the end of their lifespan fail to enter into DNA synthesis upon serum or growth factor stimulation. We examined whether proteins required for G1/S cell cycle progression were irreversibly down-regulated in senescent human fibroblasts. Both the 44- and 42-kDa forms of the MAP-kinase protein were expressed at similar levels in young and senescent cells.
Normal human breast epithelial cells were transfected with expression vectors containing the p53 gene mutated at either codon 143, 175, 248 or 273, or by infection with a recombinant retroviral vector containing the p53 gene mutated at codons 143, 175, 248, or 273. The breast epithelial cells were monitored for extension of in vitro lifespan and immortalization. Expression of some, but not all, p53 mutants resulted in an extension of in vitro lifespan.
P. anserina mutants with impairments in complex IV (COX) of the respiratory chain are characterized by an increase in lifespan. Examples are the nuclear grisea mutant with a moderate lifespan extension (60%) and the immortal extranuclear ex1 mutant. Here we report data demonstrating that in mutant ex1 the level of the alternative oxidase (PaAOX) is significantly higher than in mutant grisea. PaAOX levels appear to be reversely dependent on COX activity.
Human keratinocytes grown in co-culture with fibroblast feeder cells have an extended in vitro lifespan and delayed accumulation of the tumor suppressor protein p16(INK4a) when compared to the same cells grown on tissue culture plastic alone. Previous studies have indicated that human keratinocytes can be immortalized by telomerase activity alone when grown in co-culture with feeder cells, suggesting that loss of the p16(INK4a)/Rb pathway is not required for immortalization.
Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is characterized by the triad of reticulate skin pigmentation, nail dystrophy and leukoplakia. Epidermal atrophy, hair growth defects, bone marrow failure and increased risk of cancer are also common in DC patients. DC is caused by mutations in genes encoding for telomerase complex factors. Although there is an association of epidermal abnormalities with DC, epidermal cells from DC donors have not been previously characterized.
The lengths of human telomeres, which protect chromosome ends from degradation and end fusions, are crucial determinants of cell lifespan. During embryogenesis and in cancer, the telomerase enzyme counteracts telomeric DNA shortening. As shown in cancer cells, human telomerase binds the shelterin component TPP1 at telomeres during the S phase of the cell cycle, and adds ~60 nucleotides in a single round of extension, after which telomerase is turned off by unknown mechanisms.
In animals, longevity (maximal lifespan) is inversely related to mass-specific basal metabolic rates. However, contrary to expectation, in several mammalian taxa, exceptional longevity is associated with high basal metabolic rate, and also fast evolution of mtDNA-coded proteins. The association of these traits was suggested to result from adaptive selection of mutations in mtDNA-coded proteins, which accelerates basal respiration, thus inhibiting the generation of reactive oxygen species that constrain longevity.
Insertions or deletions (indels) of amino acids residues have been recognized as an important source of genetic and structural divergence between paralogous Bcl-2 family members. However, these signature sequences have not so far been extensively investigated amongst orthologous Bcl-2 family proteins. Bcl2l10 is an antiapoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family that has evolved rapidly throughout the vertebrate lineage and which shows conserved abundant expression in eggs and oocytes.
BACKGROUND: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression and play a critical role in development, homeostasis, and disease. Despite their demonstrated roles in age-associated pathologies, little is known about the role of miRNAs in human aging and longevity. RESULTS: We employed massively parallel sequencing technology to identify miRNAs expressed in B-cells from Ashkenazi Jewish centenarians, i.e., those living to a hundred and a human model of exceptional longevity, and younger controls without a family history of longevity.