Washington: UCLA life scientists including one of an Indian origin have identified a gene previously implicated in Parkinson`s disease that can delay the onset of ageing and extend the healthy life span of fruit flies. The research, they said, could have important implications for ageing and disease in humans.The gene, called parkin, serves at least two vital functions: It marks damaged proteins so that cells can discard them before they become toxic, and it is believed to play a key role in the removal of damaged mitochondria from cells. "Ageing is a major risk factor for the development and progression of many neurodegenerative diseases. We think that our findings shed light on the molecular mechanisms that connect these processes," said David Walker, an associate professor of integrative biology and physiology at UCLA and senior author of the research.
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