Hungering for longevity—Salk scientists identify the confluence of aging signals
February 17, 2011
LA JOLLA, CA—Substantial evidence suggests that lifespan is increased if an organism restricts its daily calorie intake, a spartan regime that some say works by just making life seem longer. A team of scientists from the Salk Institute of Biological Studies has discovered a molecular switch flipped by hunger that could not only make longevity more appetizing but identify drug targets for patients with aging-related diseases such as type II diabetes or cancer.
In the February 17, 2011 issue of Nature Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Andrew Dillin, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute early career scientist Reuben Shaw, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory and the Dulbecco Laboratory for Cancer Research, report for the first time that deactivation of a protein called CRTC1 in roundworms increases their lifespan, most likely mediating the effects of calorie restriction.