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It helps you age healthily and improves your quality of life


A gene has been discovered that helps you age healthily and improves quality of life: it has been called Mytho and is common in many species, including…

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A. was discovered The gene that helps you age healthily It improves the quality of life: it was called myth It unites many species, including worms and humans. The University of Padua led the international research, which lasted for nine years. The University of Bologna, the Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine in Pozzuoli and the Superior Institute of Health also contributed to the study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

I study

Experiments conducted on the worm Caenorhabditis Elegans have shown that turning off this gene makes cells age faster, while activating it leads to maintaining good health for a long time. “It was a long and demanding task in which many national and international centers were involved, because when you study the still unknown part of the genome, you start from scratch and the risk of not finding anything interesting is high,” said study coordinator Marko. Sandri is a full professor at the University of Padua. “Most of our genetic code is still unknown, for example more than 5,000 genes that code for proteins out of a total of 20,000 are still completely unknown. “For this reason, in recent years we have used resources and energy to characterize this unexplored part of our DNA.”

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The analysis started from the proteins

Anaïs Franco Romero and Valeria Morbidoni, lead authors of the study, set out from a computational search to identify potential genes involved in the mechanisms that control the quality of proteins and cellular structures. Therefore, the researchers focused on four genes: “We focused on the Metho gene because it appears to have a role in…Autophagy“It is the only mechanism that allows cells to remove molecules and other damaged structures,” Sandri says. “It is a mechanism that is activated under conditions of stress and in many age-related diseases it is caused by its disruption.”

For observing this mechanism, Japanese biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2016.

Methone, the gene that unites humans and worms

Moreover, the gene has been discovered in different animal species, from the worm Caenorhabditis elegans, widely used in genetics laboratories around the world, to humans: «It is a property that surprised us a lot – adds researcher Sandri – for example, the sequence of the gene in… Mice are very similar to that found in humans. This level of conservation suggests that its positive modification could contribute to maintaining the health of the cells and the organism, also because the longest-lived animals have been found to be those with the highest level of activity of this gene.

The study showed that the Mytho gene has an “anti-aging” function not only in C. elegans, but also in mammalian cells and in muscle tissue biopsies from more or less elderly individuals. “Moreover – concludes Sandri – this gene could also be involved in genetic diseases whose causes are not yet known.”

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