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  • Resveratrol Stabilizes Bundles Of Genes, Potentially Halts Or Even Reverses An Inherited Disease of Premature Aging And Normal Human Aging Too

    May 4, 2015: by Bill Sardi

    You didn’t read the above headline in any news reports this week.

    Four years ago researchers in Japan reported that the red wine molecule resveratrol maintains and even reverses mutations in a key gene (Werner Syndrome Gene or WRN gene) that is involved in maintenance and repair of DNA and telomeres, the end caps of chromosomes. [Current Aging Science Feb 2011]

    Also, another study published nearly 7 years ago found that resveratrol activates the Sirtuin1 survival gene and stabilizes bundles of human genes, the same gene bundles called chromatin that researchers now link with human aging. [Cancer Cell Oct 7, 2008]

    Evidence resveratrol increases WRN gene protein (WRN = Werner Syndrome Gene)

    But these studies have been long forgotten as researchers now indicate they will pursue development of synthetic anti-aging drugs that stabilize the human genome (library of genes). [Science Daily April 30, 2015]

    Werner syndrome is a premature aging disorder that affects 1 in 200,000 individuals. Individuals with Werner syndrome experience premature greying of hair, cloudy cataracts that impair vision, bone loss and excessive skin wrinkling. A mutation in the WRN gene is identified as the instigating factor in this genetically inherited disease.

    The remarkable story that goes unreported to the public is that a genetically inherited disease such as Werner syndrome could actually be reversed, not by repair of the WRN DNA mutation itself but by production of WRN gene-derived proteins in a process called epigenetic gene expression. That inherited diseases can be biologically erased is not commonly known. [Cell Feb 23, 2007]

    Werner syndrome simply induces earlier gene instability than normal aging. There is not only hope that Werner syndrome can be reversed but that human aging itself can be molecularly thrust into biological retreat. Researchers now say aging “is not a one-way street.” [Aging 2009]

    While all human cells contain nearly identical genetic information, tissues display unique gene expression profiles. If the library of human genes (called the genome) can be stabilized throughout life, namely by increasing the amount of DNA and other proteins which together comprise chromatin found in the nucleus of living cells, super-longevity could be common.

    Stabilization of a particular a type of chromatin called heterochromatin would likely produce prolonged healthspan and lifespan. [Mutation Research Dec 1, 2008; Epigenetics July 2012]

    The bridge between premature aging induced by a mutation in the WRN gene and normal human aging was made when it was found the teeth of six elderly people had less heterochromatin than six young people. The heterochromatin in the six senior adults had become disorganized with advancing age. [Science Magazine  April 30, 2015]

    Difference in chromosomes between (a) 114-year old man and (b) 83-year old man.

    Animals with decreased heterochromatin protein levels exhibit a dramatic shortening of lifespan, whereas increased heterochromatin prolongs lifespan. [PLoS Genetics Jan 26, 2012]

    While aging is a complex process and involves many individual factors, the more interconnected network approach involving bundles of genes may produce a more accurate understanding of the molecular basis of aging. [Aging 2009]

    If humans could stabilize their heterochromatin throughout life it appears a cancer-free lifespan might even be achievable. [Mutation Research Dec 1, 2008]

    Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) contains the instructions a cell uses to build proteins essential to life. The complete supply of DNA is packaged inside the cell as macromolecules called chromosomes; the complete set of chromosomes is called a genome. Each chromosome houses many working units called genes, and each gene sits within tightly coiled DNA strands that are wrapped around eight histones proteins in a package called a nucleosome. Chromatin is the full collection of these nucleosomes. The genome is stored in the cell nucleus.

    The most recent scientific report regarding Werner syndrome and aging was recently reported in Science Magazine. [Science April 30, 2015] -©2015 Bill Sardi,

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