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Researchers hope to control a group of mitochondrial proteins that attack and damage other functional cell parts, which leads to age-related diseases

Thomas Nyström, study leader and a researcher in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Gothenburg, and a team of researchers, have discovered that a group of mitochondrial proteins may be responsible for age-related diseases.

Scientists have theorized that the mitochondria, which are the power stations of cells, are responsible for human aging. This theory comes from the fact that mitochondria not only produce the body's energy, but also create harmful byproducts. These byproducts are reactive oxyradicals, and they attack several other parts of the cell. When a cell is attacked, it could become permanently damaged, which forces it to discontinue the operation of important functions. In the theory's conclusion, the lack of certain functional cells over time causes the organism to age.  

Now, Nyström and his colleagues have found that these mitochondrial proteins, called MTC proteins, may play a crucial role in age regulation in humans. The proteins are traditionally apart of mitochondrial protein synthesis, but have other roles that impact genome stability.

"When a certain MTC protein is lacking in the cell, e.g. because of a mutation in the corresponding gene, the other MTC proteins appear to adopt a new function," said Nyström. "They then gain increased significance for the stabilization of the genome and for combating protein damage, which leads to increased lifespan. 

"These studies also show that this MTC-dependent regulation of the rate of aging uses the same signaling pathways that are activated in calorie restriction - something that extends the lifespan of many different organisms, including yeasts, mice and primates. Some of the MTC proteins identified in this study can also be found in the human cell, raising the obvious question of whether they play a similar role in the regulation of our own aging processes."

While previous studies have shown that mitochondrial dysfunctions in cells delay aging in worms, fungi and flies, Nyström hopes to confirm the same in humans by controlling the mitochondrial proteins, which affect the cell's ability to remove the harmful proteins.  

"It is possible that modulating the activity of the MTC proteins could enable us to improve the capacity of the cell to delay the onset of age-related diseases," said Nyström. "These include diseases related to instability of the genome, such as cancer, as well as those related to harmful proteins, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. At the moment this is only speculation, and the precise mechanism underlying the role of the MTC proteins in the aging process is a fascinating question that remains to be answered."

This study was published in Molecular Cell.

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Longevity Kitteh says...
By MrBlastman on 5/12/2011 11:50:03 AM , Rating: 2
"I'm in ur Mitochondrias, stealin ur proteinz!"

Free radicals and excess proteins, eh? I guess I'll keep drinking nearly a gallon of tea a day. It's not like it is hard, tea is good stuff! It doesn't even need to be green tea. Traditional Southern tea (black tea--aka orange peakoke) has nearly as many antioxidants in it.

That is, until they figure out how to do some gene therapy and reduce these bad proteins. What I also liked is the mention of starvation-induced aging-reduction. I've read a bit about this and many claim that living on a reduced calorie diet (where you're basically hungry all the time but eating enough to live normally) does help your body stay in a younger state, longer.

RE: Longevity Kitteh says...
By ClownPuncher on 5/12/2011 12:16:54 PM , Rating: 3
That level of caffeine intake isn't good for your heart! Though, daily tea is good.

RE: Longevity Kitteh says...
By MrBlastman on 5/12/2011 12:24:52 PM , Rating: 2
I drink decaf tea. ;)

RE: Longevity Kitteh says...
By lyeoh on 5/12/2011 1:51:02 PM , Rating: 2
Citation please? So far the studies seem conflicting.
It might be because of genes - good for some and bad for others:

Other factors to consider are the sugar and milk. Sugar is bad for health (sucrose = fructose + glucose and fructose is bad for health), so if you drink coffee without sugar you might do better than if you drank it with sugar. The same applies to tea. Most people drink Japanese green tea plain without sugar or milk. Whereas a lot of people drink "black tea" with sugar and milk. Milk can bind up the "good stuff" in tea (and probably coffee).

There are also reports about milk especially skim milk causing acne.
(since skim milk increases it, to me it suggest that the problem is probably not due to dioxins ;) ).

I'd recommend avoiding stuff that increases your chances of getting acne - if it isn't good for your skin, it probably isn't good for your insides either.

RE: Longevity Kitteh says...
By ClownPuncher on 5/12/2011 1:58:14 PM , Rating: 2
Small amounts of caffeine are fine for most people, a gallon of regular tea a day would have consequences. Caffeine being a stimulant and a diuretic.

Stimulants usually lead to high blood pressure. Ever had a heart attack, or a family member that did? The doctor will always recommend limiting greatly your intake of caffeine.

RE: Longevity Kitteh says...
By Solandri on 5/12/2011 2:04:26 PM , Rating: 2
Sugar is bad for health (sucrose = fructose + glucose and fructose is bad for health)

That's it, science is dead.

You do realize 100% of the energy your body uses to stay alive comes from sugar? Starches and carbohydrates? Broken down into sucrose, which is broken down into glucose and fructose. Fat? Broken down into sucrose, which is broken down into glucose and fructose.
The C6H12O6 at the beginning of that reaction? That's glucose and fructose. All of the energy you body uses comes from that. The only exception is anerobic lactic acid buildup when your cells can't get enough oxygen (this is what causes soreness and stiffness in your muscles when you exercise or work hard). But that's just an energy debt that the body pays back later with, you guessed it, more glucose and fructose.

Too much sugar is bad for your health. But sugar is necessary every moment of every day for you to stay alive. If you don't eat enough of it, your body will cannibalize itself to create more of it.

RE: Longevity Kitteh says...
By ClownPuncher on 5/12/2011 2:14:38 PM , Rating: 2
What you need to know is that each type of sugar is metabolized differently and absorbed into the bloodstream at different rates. Sugars are needed, but the type you consume has a lot to do with it.

Sucrose and refined sugars also increase the risk of heart disease, as sugar in its crystalline form can cause pitting in the arterial walls where plaque can take hold and build up.

RE: Longevity Kitteh says...
By Gurthang on 5/17/2011 11:28:32 AM , Rating: 2
Type is only important in so far as it alters the the rate at which the calories enter the blood stream. Keeping the flow of nutrients and calories down to as close to what you body needs and nothing more for what you are asking of it at any given moment the longer and healthier you will live. Tough good luck with that.

RE: Longevity Kitteh says...
By MrBlastman on 5/12/2011 2:26:09 PM , Rating: 2
Whereas a lot of people drink "black tea" with sugar and milk. Milk can bind up the "good stuff" in tea (and probably coffee).

'Round these parts (Georgia), ya ain't gonna find us 'drinkin our tea with Milk in it. We fought that thar Revolutionary War for a reason! May Francis Marion's memory live on forever!

Leave that blasphemous milky tea to them thar redcoats. Tea is best served sweet with ice in it.

RE: Longevity Kitteh says...
By Azethoth on 5/13/2011 1:25:21 AM , Rating: 2
Wrong hillbilly. Tea is best served Thai style with delicious condensed milk and ice in it.

RE: Longevity Kitteh says...
By ClownPuncher on 5/13/2011 11:12:26 AM , Rating: 3
Tea is best served with tea in it. You people and your "cover up the flavor with sugar" fixation is why you're so fat.

RE: Longevity Kitteh says...
By hughlle on 5/12/2011 2:23:23 PM , Rating: 2
Good to know you know little to nothing about teas :D

RE: Longevity Kitteh says...
By MrBlastman on 5/12/2011 2:36:11 PM , Rating: 3
You're right, I know NOTHING about tea.

Search... is your friend. Try it.

I quote:

"In my lab, we found that green and black tea had identical amounts of polyphenols," he tells WebMD. "We found that both types of tea blocked DNA damage associated with tobacco and other toxic chemicals. In animal studies, tea-drinking rats have less cancer."

While Green Tea might have slightly better antioxidative effects, the difference is not great enough to warrant only drinking Green Tea.

Some even debate that the levels are close to the same...

Is green tea or white tea higher in antioxidants than black tea or other oxidized teas?

No. While it is true that the oxidation processes used to create black tea and oolong tea does result in a lower catechin concentration, the catechins are converted to theaflavins and thearubigins, which are mostly absent from unoxidized teas. The oxidation process changes the relative amounts of catechins vs. theaflavins and thearubigins, but does not necessarily result in a lower total antioxidant content.

Furthermore, a study that examined the antioxidant content of a number of different teas found that the amount of antioxidants (both catechins and theaflavins) varies widely from one tea to the next. It is impossible to generalize about one class of tea, such as black tea, green tea, white, or oolong, having a higher or lower antioxidant content.[2]

So yeah. I know nothing about Tea.

Next time, search before you make such a comment.

RE: Longevity Kitteh says...
RE: Longevity Kitteh says...
By nstott on 5/12/2011 2:57:50 PM , Rating: 2
'U can haz teaz!'

Black tea is made by fermenting tea leaves. Since fermentation involves oxidation, the levels of antioxidants are not as high as in green tea, although there are some similarities. In general, green tea has a higher overall antioxidant capacity:

Of course, good green tea is harder to come by, rather than the stuff that the Asians sweep up off the floor after packaging the good stuff for themselves, put into tea bags, and then ship off to us 'dumb Westerners' (Totally kidding, but it kind of tastes that way).

RE: Longevity Kitteh says...
By ClownPuncher on 5/12/2011 4:18:53 PM , Rating: 2
Try a sencha.

RE: Longevity Kitteh says...
By nstott on 5/12/2011 4:42:35 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, Sencha is good, as are most of the Japanese green teas. Given my connections with Korea, however, I prefer the O'Sulloc Green Teas grown on Jeju Island.

RE: Longevity Kitteh says...
By ddh on 5/14/2011 3:23:01 PM , Rating: 2
I think you are all are bunch of Tea-Leetists. Or at least members of a Tea Party.
I enjoy my humble Red Rose tea at least three times a day. A consistent blend of black teas invented by Theodore Harding Estabrooks the father of pre- blended teas that produce a consistently good quality cup of Black Tea.

And southerners do deserve the credit for the invention of Iced tea.

The Story Of Tea

According to Chinese legend, the story of tea began in 2737 BC. Emperor Shen Nung, who was known as the "Divine Healer", always boiled his water before drinking it. He had observed that those who boiled their water had better health. One afternoon, as he knelt before his boiling water, some leaves from a nearby tree blew into the water. The Emperor noted a delightful aroma and, upon sipping the beverage, proclaimed it heaven sent.

Since this first cup of tea almost five thousand years ago, the popularity of tea has grown to the point that it is now the second most consumed beverage in the world. Only water is more popular. Shortly after Emperor Shen Nung's discovery, tea's popularity spread to Japan and the rest of the Far East. The Dutch first brought tea from China to Europe and America by 1650. In 1669, the East India Company began bringing tea leaves to England, and in 1721, the company was granted a monopoly on all tea imported into the British Empire. Initially, tea was very expensive and available only for royalty and the upper class. At the time, tea prices were $30 to $50 per pound. One pound of tea makes about two hundred tea bags. During the 1800's, tea clippers raced from China to London and other ports. The first clipper to arrive with its cargo fetched the highest prices. Largely because of this new method of speedy transportation, the supply of tea became more plentiful and thus less expensive.

Tea played a dramatic role in the establishment of the United States of America. In 1767, the British Government put a tax on the tea used by American colonists. Protesting "taxation without representation", the colonists did not allow tea to be unloaded. In December 1773, colonists, dressed as American Indians, boarded ships from the East India Company and threw three hundred chests of tea into Boston harbor. The Boston Tea Party, of course, led to American independence.

America was also the birthplace of iced tea. At the Louisiana Purchase Exposition at St. Louis in the summer of 1904, the weather was very hot. A young Englishman named Richard Blechynden was serving hot tea for days with no takers. In desperation, he tried pouring tea into glasses with pieces of ice. The beverage was a hit and iced tea was born.

By Queonda on 5/12/2011 11:32:50 AM , Rating: 2
I thought this is what they've been saying in health food stores for decades...

During the body's natural processes of metabolism, "molecules" (or free radicals) are created which destroy other parts of the cell over time. Which is why you're supposed to drink green tea. Cheers.

RE: Funny
By AnnihilatorX on 5/12/2011 11:57:08 AM , Rating: 2
Yes indeed, but the mechanism in which free radicals are generated are not totally understood, hence this is still ongoing research.

RE: Funny
By delphinus100 on 5/12/2011 12:20:30 PM , Rating: 2
And not all anti-oxidants can reach the mitochondria...

RE: Funny
By JonB on 5/12/2011 3:16:29 PM , Rating: 2
You're supposed to drink whatever the marketers tell you to drink. Green Tea, Nona berries, Acai, mineral water, goat milk, aloe vera juice, etc......

RE: Funny
By Azethoth on 5/13/2011 1:28:33 AM , Rating: 2
I heard some guy in a hot tub say that he knows some woman whose cancer was cured by Nona berries!

The Onion
By therealnickdanger on 5/12/2011 11:53:34 AM , Rating: 4
I love it:

World Death Rate Holding Steady At 100 Percent:

We silly humans and our desire to live forever.

RE: The Onion
By YashBudini on 5/12/2011 12:50:46 PM , Rating: 2
We silly humans and our desire to live forever.

This is being done only to make delaying the retirement age for SS to a much higher number viable. Let's face it, in the future we'll all be having too much fun at our burger flipping jobs to call it quits.

RE: The Onion
By Belegost on 5/12/2011 8:03:22 PM , Rating: 3
Burger flipping job? You think when you get old, you'll be able to find a job flipping burgers?

Silly human, that's what machines are for.

Blocking the city sewers.
By drycrust3 on 5/12/2011 3:59:32 PM , Rating: 2
These byproducts are reactive oxyradicals, and they attack several other parts of the cell.

Maybe the problem isn't that a cell is producing these things that damage it, but that the cell is having trouble getting rid of those damaging chemicals. We all know that if you block up the city sewers you solve the environmental problem of getting rid of that waste, but you will also kill everyone in the city.
If you stop the cells from producing those damaging chemicals, then it may be they will die from starvation or not be able to function or reproduce and repair damage to the body.
My current thinking is that the correct functioning of the kidneys is second only to exhaling for getting rid of waste and healthy living. It may even be arguable that urinating is the most important function to our body's health because that waste is from the cells, unlike a motion which is just processed food that wasn't used.
My current thinking is that since the blood can only carry a limited amount of oxygen, carbon dioxide, minerals, food, waste, etc, so if the level of urea is too high then the bowels can't put food into the blood for the cells, so that cells are starved of food and can't function correctly, and again that cells can only "dump" their waste into the blood when the level of waste in the blood is below a threshold. If cells can't get rid of their waste into the blood stream then, again, they can't function correctly or repair damage, and may even die (which is what this article says).

RE: Blocking the city sewers.
By geddarkstorm on 5/12/2011 5:50:08 PM , Rating: 2
They got rid of one protein, and suddenly the stress response system, the same one Calorie restriction activates, kicked on. Most likely it's a protein acting as an inhibitor of the calorie restriction (metabolic stress) pathways, and or activator of the "bountiful resources" pathways.

Your metabolism shifts its preference and rate of metabolizing food sources based on your calorie balance. Since some food sources like fats generate massive ammounts of oxidation while others like sugar do far less, you can see how changing your body's energy source preference could affect radical production and thus aging rate.

Yet, that's only part of the story. The pathways activated by calorie restriction do a heck of a lot more, including proliferating mitochondria (so the cell does not become fatigued and senescent), upregulating DNA protection and tighter gene control, upregulating expression of antioxidants like SOD and catylase, upregulating detoxification systems, and increasing autophagy which eliminates and recycles damaged proteins and macromolecules. All of this greatly increases the health and robustness of cells, leading to rejuvination.

The science of aging is fascinating, and all starts with metabolism and ends with telomeres.

RE: Blocking the city sewers.
By drycrust3 on 5/13/2011 1:14:23 AM , Rating: 2
you can see how changing your body's energy source preference could affect radical production and thus aging rate.

As I said, my current thinking is that the kidneys are far more important to maintaining a healthy body than is generally acknowledged.
There are only two ways efficient ways the body can get rid of waste: one is via the lungs and the other is via the kidneys. The lungs are OK for waste that is essentially a gas, e.g. carbon dioxide, which means all other waste has to go via the kidneys.

By Skywalker123 on 5/12/2011 11:17:24 PM , Rating: 2
Just ask Jebus to carry more oxygen for you.

By JonB on 5/12/2011 3:12:05 PM , Rating: 2
You've seen the movies. It isn't a mutated virus that is going to get us all, it is Mitochondria that won't let us die and keep pumping out energy.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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