A PTEN variant uncouples longevity from impaired fitness in Caenorhabditis elegans with reduced insulin/IGF-1 signaling
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A critical tumour-suppressor protein contributes to healthy ageing, a finding that could lead to new treatments for promoting wellbeing in the elderly.
Biological changes that extend lifespan can sometimes have negative consequences that impact quality of life. For instance, nematode worms with altered insulin signalling tend to live longer but have limited motility, reduced growth and impaired reproduction.
Now, a team co-led by Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) researchers has found that mutations in these worms work in part through the anti-cancer protein PTEN. They also identified a specific amino acid change in PTEN that recalibrates insulin signalling in such a way that longevity-promoting activities are maintained without compromising physiology in any way.
If PTEN serves a similar role in humans, therapies that modulate the protein’s function could help maintain healthy living into old age.
- Nature Communications 12, 5631 (2021). doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-25920-w
|Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), South Korea||0.73|
|Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), South Korea||0.27|