A Specific Protein May Reverse Muscle Ageing, Finds Study

The study focuses on the protein NANOG, which has been linked to eternal youth, beauty, and good health.

Ishaan Arora
Written by: Ishaan AroraUpdated at: Nov 25, 2022 12:54 IST
A Specific Protein May Reverse Muscle Ageing, Finds Study

According to a recent study published in Science Advances, increasing protein intake can reverse cellular senescence and aid people suffering from age-related disorders. The study discovered that consuming protein increased the number of muscle stem cells in the muscles of prematurely ageing mice. The research centres around the protein NANOG, which is derived from Tír na nÓg, a place in Irish folklore and is known for eternal youth, beauty, and health.

Findings

The study was conducted by a research team at the University of Buffalo. The team discovered that NANOG was overexpressed in myoblasts, which are embryonic precursors to muscle tissue. Autophagy, energy homeostasis, genomic stability, nuclear integrity, and mitochondrial function are some of the primary characteristics associated with age-related cellular deterioration. 

The researchers conducted the study on prematurely ageing mice and found that the consumption of NANOG increased the number of muscle stem cells and reversed age-related disorders. 

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“Our work focuses on understanding the mechanisms of NANOG’s actions in hopes of discovering druggable targets in signalling or metabolic networks that mimic the anti-ageing effects of NANOG. Ultimately, the work could help lead to new treatments or therapies that help reverse cellular senescence, and aid the many people suffering from age-related disorders,” says the study’s corresponding author Stelios T. Andreadis. 

Cellular Senescence VS Ageing

In layman's terms, cellular senescence refers to a state where a stable cell stops multiplying but remains active for a prolonged time. Senescence cells, stop responding as a result of ageing or chronic disease and obstruct stem cell function and regeneration. Once inactive, the senescence cell starts releasing chemicals that trigger inflammation and contribute to many age-associated pathologies, including cancer, tissue degeneration and inflammatory diseases.

Senescence cells diminish throughout life, whereas ageing refers to the gradual loss of cells over time. Senescence cells rise with ageing, but it also has a significant impact on development and wound healing.

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Cellular Senescence's Impact On Body

The number of senescent cells in a person's body increases with age, but as the immune system deteriorates, senescent cells accumulate and contaminate healthy cells. Senescent cells in the brain also degrade, impairing basic cognitive functions and making learning new things impossible. People with low senescent cells are frequently stressed or ill, and they are frequently found juggling injuries.

Consequently, senescent cells are linked to a wide range of age-associated illnesses, such as cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, stroke, Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, and osteoarthritis. Furthermore, it has been connected to deteriorations in thinking, mobility, and eyesight.

Researchers are also investigating whether senescent skin cells contribute to sagging and wrinkles, as well as whether they are linked to the cytokine storm of inflammation that makes COVID-19 so lethal in the elderly.

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