Researchers discovered a group of anti-aging proteins that can be used to develop innovative treatments for a wide range of diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
The said proteins, also known as Klotho proteins, had been revealed to be powerful anti-aging agents decades ago. Their name is that of the Ancient-Greek goddess that was in charge of the thread of life.
In the late 1990s, a study revealed that lab mice whose Klotho proteins had been genetically altered aged prematurely, had fertility problems, lived shorter, and displayed a series of age-related conditions like skin atrophy, osteoporosis, and arteriosclerosis.
A separate study showed that too many Klotho genes boosted lifespan of rodents by having a beneficial influence on insulin production.
The latest study, form Yale University in New Haven, CT, took an in-depth look at the makeup of these proteins. Study authors were interested to learn what their influence on the human body is. The research team is confident that the new findings could lead to groundbreaking treatments for obesity, diabetes, and cancer.
Anti-Aging Proteins Could Lead to Better Treatments for Diabetes and Cancer
The Klotho group includes two types of proteins – alpha and beta, which are receptors found in specific tissues. These receptors team up with endocrine FGF molecules, which are behind many metabolic processes in the brain, kidneys, and liver.
Klotho proteins and FGFs work so closely together that researchers had long thought that the FGF molecules were behind the anti-aging benefits.
A research paper detailing the findings was published in the journal Nature.
The study shows that the beta-Klotho works with a hormone that gets released during starvation, the FGF21. This hormone promotes weight loss since it stimulates glucose uptake and other metabolic processes.
If FGF21’s activity could be mimicked by medication, it could help cure obesity and diabetes. The recently found metabolic processes could also lead to more effective treatments for bone diseases and liver cancer.
Image Source: Pixabay
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