According to a study, telomere lengthening slows the aging process in human cells in culture.
Researcher provided grown human cells a modified RNA that encodes a telomere-extension protein. The ability of cells to proliferate was substantially boosted, producing huge numbers of cells for research.
Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have developed a new process that may rapidly and effectively lengthen human telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that are connected to aging and disease.
Instead of stalling or dying in the lab dish, treated cells act as if they are much younger than untreated cells, reproducing wildly.
Making use of a modified type of RNA, would enhance scientists’ capacity to produce huge quantities of cells for research or medication development, the researchers claim.
Human telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that are connected to telomere length, can now be lengthened swiftly and effectively. Skin cells with lengthened telomeres were able to divide up to 40 times more than untreated cells. The study may suggest fresh approaches to treating diseases brought on by short telomeres.
The protective caps on the extremities of the DNA strands known as chromosomes, which house human genomes, are known as telomeres. Telomeres in young people range in length from 8,000 to 10,000 nucleotides. However, they get shorter with every cell division, and when they get to a certain length, the cell either stops dividing or dies. Because of this internal “clock,” it is challenging to maintain most cells’ growth for more than a few days in a lab.
Rewinding the internal clock
According to Helen Blau, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford and head of the university’s Baxter Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology, “Now we have found a way to lengthen human telomeres by as much as 1,000 nucleotides, turning back the internal clock in these cells by the equivalent of many years of human life.” This significantly expands the amount of cells that can be used for research projects like drug testing or disease modeling.
The study’s findings were published in a publication that was just released in the FASEB Journal. The lead author is Blau, who also holds the Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter Professorship.
Together with Eduard Yakubov, PhD, of the Houston Methodist Research Institute, postdoctoral scholar John Ramunas of Stanford is the lead author on the paper.
Temporary effect is advantageous
Over previous prospective techniques, the newly proposed methodology has a significant advantage: it is transient. The TERT-encoding message will be able to survive a little bit longer than it would with an unmodified message thanks to the changed RNA’s ability to lessen the cell’s immunological reaction to the treatment. But after about 48 hours, it fades away and disappears. After that, with each cell division, the newly lengthened telomeres start to gradually shorten once more.
Possibilities for using therapy
According to Blau, “This novel strategy lead the way toward avoiding or treating illnesses of aging.” Additionally, extremely crippling genetic illnesses linked to telomere shortening could profit from such a potential cure.
When earlier research in her lab revealed that the muscle stem cells of boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy had telomeres that were much shorter than those of boys without the condition, Blau and her colleagues became interested in telomeres. This discovery helps explain the restricted capacity to grow damaged cells in the lab for research as well as how the cells work — or don’t function — in producing new muscle.
The researchers are currently putting their novel method to the test in various cells.
How to strengthen telomeres?
Telomere length is positively associated with the consumption of legumes, nuts, seaweed, fruits, and 100% fruit juice, dairy products, and coffee, whereas it is inversely associated with consumption of alcohol, red meat, or processed meat. You can contact me here to tailor a long term aging plan or read more about telomeres.