Is human longevity genetic?

From scientists of the’University College London (UCL) discovered a group of genes that build components of our cells. These genes can potentially act in the extension of human lifespan. In an earlier study, the same group of genes extended the life of fruit flies by 10%. For the first time, scientists have demonstrated the effect of these genes on humans as well.

Dr. Nazif Alic (UCL Institute of Healthy Aging) did a lot of research before. The findings of this research relate to theinhibition of specific genes involved in making proteins in our cells. The process can prolong life in model organisms such as yeast, worms and flies.

The genes concerned are involved in the synthetic protein machinery of our cells. This machinery is essential to our life. But according to scientists, we don’t need its effect as much later in life.

Are these the genes of the paradox of life?

Mr Alic, co-lead author, pointed out that they discovered that theinhibition of these genes can also increase the longevity of people. He explained this situation by the fact that they are more useful early in life before causing problems at the end of life.

Thus, the genes responsible for human longevity are an example of antagonistic pleiotropy. In other words, the genes that shorten our life are selected for evolution if they help us in early life and through our reproductive years.

For the study, the scientists looked at data from previous studies, which looked at more than 11,000 exceptionally long-lived patients. They found that people whoseactivity of specific genes is reduced they tend to to live longer.

A dilemma between longevity and old age disease

These genes are linked to two RNA polymerase enzymes (Pols) which transcribe ribosomal and transfer RNAs, namely Pol I and Pol III, and to the expression of ribosomal protein genes. Specifically, the researchers concluded that the effects of genes were related to their expression in specific organs. The most affected are abdominal fat, liver and skeletal muscle.

On the contrary, thelongevity impact goes beyond mere associations with specific age-related diseases. Dr. Nazif Alic asserts that “ in humans, the loss of function of these genes caused diseases, such as developmental disorders known as ribosomopathies “.


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