Genetics: The sweet life

    Hum. Mol. Genet. doi:10.1093/hmg/ddn137 (2008).

    Different versions of the gene that encodes insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) are associated with how long men — but not women — live, researchers have found.

    Insulin metabolism had previously been linked to the lifespans of organisms commonly used in laboratory research. Jonathan Prince of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden and his colleagues now report that human males with one copy of a certain version of IDE and one copy of a different version make higher than usual amounts of IDE RNA and produce more insulin when they fast. These men also tended to die younger than those carrying two copies of the IDE variant.

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    Genetics: The sweet life. Nature 453, 567 (2008).

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