lizing because of several
apparent similarities in the response of both C. elegans and rats and mice--a
step closer to humans--to low-calorie diets.
As with C. elegans, when rats and mice are fed low calorie diets they live
longer than normal, and the first response they have on the molecular level is a
drop in insulin levels. The equivalent of the daf-2 gene in humans produces the
cell receptor for insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF), which plays a
role in regulating food metabolism. And, just as in C. elegans, the human
insulin receptor acts in signaling cells, amongst other places, prompting second
signals that then effect the behavior of other cells.
"It may be that the signaling cascade prompted by daf-2 in certain cells occurs
in a similar way in the insulin/IGF family of receptors in mammals in response
to caloric restriction," said Kenyon.
If this is the case, she said, it may be that the hormone signaling pathway in
C. elegans hints at a similar process regulating aging in humans. "It may be
that one portion of this pathway is involved in the control of aging, so the
challenge is to figure out which portion that is."
The UCSF research was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Aging.
Page: 1 2 3 Related biology news :1
Contact: Jennifer O'Brien
University of California - San Francisco
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