Skip to main content

A molecular clue to longevity

Mar. 31, 2017, 8:00 AM

by Laura Daniel

Understanding the processes that regulate aging is crucial to potentially increasing longevity and enhancing quality of life.

Using the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae), Christopher Lord, Ph.D., Ophir Ospovat and Susan Wente, Ph.D., demonstrated that accumulation of tRNA (transfer RNA) in the nucleus increased replicative life span. These results were published this month in the journal RNA.

Transport of material between the nucleus and the cytoplasm occurs through nuclear pore complexes. Nup100, a component of these complexes, is required for the nuclear export of specific mature tRNAs. This was determined by showing these tRNAs accumulate in the nuclei of cells lacking the NUP100 gene.

Protein levels of the transcription factor Gcn4, which regulates signaling pathways that impact life span, are also elevated in cells missing Nup100.

Further experiments will be necessary to define how Nup100 regulates tRNA export and determine the role of Gcn4-mediated signaling in life span regulation in S. cerevisiae and higher organisms.

This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (AG047737, GM051219).

Send suggestions for articles to highlight in Aliquots and any other feedback about the column to aliquots@vanderbilt.edu

Recent Stories from VUMC News and Communications Publications

The first few minutes of Charlie’s life were a blur, as a team of doctors and nurses at VUMC worked to resuscitate him and stabilize his heart rate. He was then transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Hope

The first few minutes of Charlie’s life were a blur, as a team of doctors and nurses at VUMC worked to resuscitate him and stabilize his heart rate. He was then transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Tucked away in a Vanderbilt conference room, 36 adults huddle over Lego pieces. Eleven teams have been assigned to assemble multicolored Legos using the written directions included in the packet. The result should be a Frankenstein figure.

Vanderbilt Nurse

Tucked away in a Vanderbilt conference room, 36 adults huddle over Lego pieces. Eleven teams have been assigned to assemble multicolored Legos using the written directions included in the packet. The result should be a Frankenstein figure.

Marissa Benchea has CF, and she is one of hundreds of thousands of adults not only surviving but thriving with a chronic childhood disease.

Vanderbilt Medicine

Marissa Benchea has CF, and she is one of hundreds of thousands of adults not only surviving but thriving with a chronic childhood disease.

One hundred years ago, multiple “waves” of a deadly flu swept across the world.

Vanderbilt Medicine

One hundred years ago, multiple “waves” of a deadly flu swept across the world.

more