Gene therapy may help to slow down aging

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have analyzed the aging process. Scientists found genes that contribute to aging in humans. Among them is the gene KAT7, which has been identified as one of the main targets in reducing cellular aging. It has also been demonstrated that gene therapy can slow down individual aging. The findings were published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

The scientists identified more than 100 new genes contributing to human aging using the CRISPR/Cas9-based genomic screening system. They also confirmed the effectiveness of inactivating each of the 50 major candidate genes in stimulating cellular rejuvenation. Among them was the gene KAT7, which has been identified as one of the main targets in reducing cellular aging. It was found that decreased expression of the KAT7 gene attenuates aging in cells, while overexpression of KAT7 accelerates it.

In the second stage of the study, scientists performed gene therapy on mice and human cell lines. They found that gene editing in animals reduced the share of senescent and pro-inflammatory cells in the liver, decreased the expression of SASP genes associated with senescent cells, lowered factors signaling aging in the circulatory system, and increased the health and longevity of old mice.

The researchers also found that gene therapy of human liver cells reduced hepatocyte aging and decreased the expression of SASP genes, which suggests the potential use of such an intervention in clinical settings for life extension and treatment of age-related diseases.

Jan. 12, 2021, 10:37 a.m.

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