Researchers described the gene as a "medical and scientific trinity"

NYU School of Medicine researchers have found that the connection between inflammation, accelerated aging and cancer lies in one specific gene.

Robert J. Schneider, PhD, study leader from NYU School of Medicine, along with an NYU team, have found that a single gene, AUF1, is responsible for the correlation between inflammation, accelerated aging and cancer, and can control all three.

For years, it was understood that AUF1 controlled inflammation, and it was also known that there was a connection between inflammation, accelerated aging and cancer. However, the reason for the connection was unknown.

Now, Schneider and his team have figured out this mystery connection. According to the team, the AUF1 gene not only controls inflammatory response, but also activates the enzyme telomerase to repair the ends of chromosomes. This decreases inflammation and prevents rapid aging and cancer development.

"This was certainly an unexpected finding," said Schneider. "It is rather uncommon for one gene to have two very different and very significant functions that tie together control of aging and inflammation. The two, if not regulated properly, can eventually lead to cancer development. It's an exciting scientific find.

"AUF1 is a medical and scientific trinity. Nature has designed a way to simultaneously turn off harmful inflammation and repair our chromosomes, thereby suppressing aging at the cellular level and in the whole animal."

The study was published in the journal Molecular Cell.

Source: e! Science News

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