The ID (inhibitor of differentiation or DNA binding) helix-loop-helix proteins are important mediators of cellular differentiation and proliferation in a variety of cell types through regulation of gene expression. Overexpression of the ID proteins in normal human keratinocytes results in extension of culture lifespan, indicating that these proteins are important for epidermal differentiation. Our hypothesis is that the ID proteins are targets of the retinoic acid signaling pathway in keratinocytes.
Dyskeratosis congenita (DC), an inherited bone marrow failure syndrome, is caused by defects in telomerase. Somatic cells from DC patients have shortened telomeres and clinical symptoms are most pronounced in organs with a high cell turnover, including those involved in hematopoiesis and skin function. We previously identified an autosomal dominant (AD) form of DC that is caused by mutations in the telomerase RNA component (TER).
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.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Telomere length in humans is emerging as a biomarker of aging because its shortening is associated with aging-related diseases and early mortality. However, genetic mechanisms responsible for these associations are not known. Here, in a cohort of Ashkenazi Jewish centenarians, their offspring, and offspring-matched controls, we studied the inheritance and maintenance of telomere length and variations in two major genes associated with telomerase enzyme activity, hTERT and hTERC.
Bile acids are detergent molecules derived from cholesterol in the liver that are important for the metabolism and absorption of lipids in the intestine. Bile acids are also steroid hormones activating specific nuclear receptors and G protein-coupled receptors. Conjugated bile acids are cytoprotective and anticarcinogenic. Bile acid synthesis and bile flow decreases markedly during aging.
Curcumin is a polyphenolic bioactive compound in turmeric. We examined if antioxidant effects of curcumin are associated with lifespan extension in Drosophila. In this experiment, females and males of Drosophila were fed diets either containing no curcumin (C0) or supplemented with curcumin at 0.5 (C1) and 1.0 (C2) mg/g of diet. The levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), enzyme activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), and expression of seven age-related genes in females and males were analyzed.
Nutraceuticals are known to have numerous health and disease preventing properties. Recent studies suggest that extracts containing cranberry may have anti-aging benefits. However, little is known about whether and how cranberry by itself promotes longevity and healthspan in any organism. Here we examined the effect of a cranberry only extract on lifespan and healthspan in Caenorhabditis elegans. Supplementation of the diet with cranberry extract (CBE) increased the lifespan in C. elegans in a concentration-dependent manner. Cranberry also increased tolerance of C.
American Journal of Physiology. Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Aquaporin 11 (AQP11) is a protein channel expressed intracellularly in multiple organs, yet its physiological function is unclear. Aqp11 knockout (KO) mice die early due to malfunction of the kidney, a result of hydropic degeneration of proximal tubule cells. Here we report the generation of liver-specific Aqp11 KO mice, allowing us to study the role of AQP11 protein in liver of mice with normal kidney function. The unchallenged liver-specific Aqp11 KO mice have normal longevity, their livers appeared normal, and the plasma biochemistries revealed only a minor defect in lipid handling.