Scientists have discovered a mechanism that is responsible for the length of telomeres — known aging indicators, which are chromosome tips. Their discovery indicates new opportunities in aging therapy and cancer.
The «garbage» DNA is called so due to the fact that this part of the genome does not encode proteins and therefore is considered useless. Until now, the functions of garbage DNA are not identified and only individual studies in this area gradually represent new arguments in favor of an important role of this part of the genome for a person. The team from the University of Washington studied the nature of the cancer and aging of a person and also found an answer in the garbage DNA.
Scientists have established that in the garbage DNA, the area called VNTR2-1, there is a key to increase the activity of the telomerase gene, which prevents aging in certain types of cells, including reproductive and cancer.
The author of Jiiua Zhu studied the activity of this gene for the last twenty years. Understanding how the telomerase gene is regulated and activated, as well as how its influence only on certain cell types can play a critical role in the process of aging and developing cancer, the scientist explains.
For example, experiments on human cancer cultures and mice models have shown that the absence of VNTR2-1 leads to a shortening telomere and cessation of tumor growth.
«Our results suggest that the sequence of VNTR2-1 contributes to a genetic diversity during aging and cancer development. It is known that cancer genes do not explain all the reasons for the development of the tumor. Now we have received more fun arguments in favor of further studying garbage DNA for a deeper understanding of all mechanisms, «I concluded Zhu.
To date, the telomere length in various cells is called a longevity indicator. Recently scientists from Columbia University
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