Hong Kong: A leading ageing expert has teamed up with a biotech firm to prepare a model that can help defeat age-related diseases and increase one's life span in years to come.
The model looks into the stability and stress resistance of certain gene regulatory networks in the human body.
According to professor Robert J. Shmookler Reis, the stability of gene network depends on a few major parameters such as effective gene network connectivity, "effective" genome size and DNA repair rate.
The lifespan can be increased by tuning, or hacking any of these parameters.
In this regard, professor Reis collaborated with the Hong Kong-based drug discovery company called Gero to bring new insights into biology of ageing and age-related diseases.
"In our work, we analyzed the stability of a simple gene network model and found that gene networks describing most common species are inherently unstable," said Dr Peter Fedichev, Gero CSO.
Over time, it undergoes exponential accumulation of gene regulation deviations leading to diseases and death.
"We conjectured that the instability is the cause of ageing. However, should the repair systems be sufficiently effective, the gene network can stabilize so that the damage to the gene regulation can remain constrained along with mortality of the organism," Fedichev said.
The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.
The relation between stresses, stress resistance and ageing demonstrate that damage to gene regulation from stresses encountered even at a very young age can persist for a very long time and influence lifespan.
The authors believe that further research into the relation between gene network stability and ageing will make it possible to create entirely new therapies with potentially strong and lasting effect against age-related diseases and ageing itself.