We all know that aging is one of the major risk factors that can cause various changes in us like heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, etc, which makes the need for anti-aging therapies. Now researchers have developed a new gene therapy to decelerate the aging process.
In a recent study, researchers focused on a protein called SIRT6. The Sirtuin (or SIRT) protein family has been linked to a variety of biological processes such as aging, inflammation, and metabolism. The researchers modified mice to exhibit larger levels of SIRT6 and discovered that they lived longer than control mice. Male mice had a 27 percent increase in a median lifetime and an 11 percent increase in maximum lifetime, while female mice had 15 percent increases in both.
Similar findings were obtained when mice were modified to express more SIRT1 and SIRT6 proteins simultaneously. Males experienced a 25 percent rise in median and 13 percent increase in maximum longevity, while females had a 20 percent rise in median and 15 percent increase in maximum lifetime. SIRT1 stimulation alone showed no effect on lifespan, showing that SIRT6 is responsible for the majority of the work.
SIRT6 seems to protect mice from cancer as well. Throughout much of their lives, engineered mice had substantially reduced tumors, but by the time they died, they had the same number as controlled mice. This suggests that the protein keeps the gene on mice to stay healthier for a longer time, but aging always wins in the end.
SIRT6 appears to replicate the effects of calorie restriction diets, which have been associated with longer lifespans, according to the researchers. The protein appears to aid the body in accessing fat-stored energy during fasting, but reduced levels of SIRT6 in older age decrease this.
According to the researchers, the results were promising for mice. But no one knows how well it can work among human beings and the researchers will keep on investigating it.