KAIST 생명과학과동창회
  • News & Events
  • News


One More Key to Human Longevity Found After Worm Research

Korean scientists zero in on an enzyme called VRK-1 in roundworm research that can extend their lifespan

It is known that the mitochondria is called the powerhouse of the cell, without which there will be no energy production in the cell, thereby the body too! Along with this mitochondria has its role in other important functions, one crucial role being in aging.

Research has shown that age-related diseases are linked to mitochondrial functioning. Further, it is known that "mild inhibition of mitochondrial respiration" promotes longevity in many species, which means to mildly slow down mitochondria's energy-making process. Thus, the life-span extension compensates for the reduced mitochondrial respiration.

VRK-1 is a nuclear protein that increases worm life span
VRK-1 is a nuclear protein that increases worm life span From the Research Paper

An enzyme called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) that promotes mitochondrial health is also known as anti-aging protein. The same enzyme plays a crucial role in life-span extension by reducing mitochondrial respiration.

Worm Research

Research on roundworms has shown that an enzyme called VRK-1 can extend their lifespan. VRK-1 does this by increasing the level of AMPK resulting in an increase in its activity, promoting longevity through phosphorylation.

This is an important finding in the research of extending human lifespan too.

Korean scientists published a paper this Wednesday in Science Advances, that showed how the lifespan of worms was extended by varying VRK-1 levels.

The Experiment

Roundworms normally have a lifespan of about two to three weeks. But the genetically engineered worms in the experiment, having elevated levels of VRK-1 lived about 23.7 days on average - they lived longer. When they inhibited the function of VRK-1 in other worms, they found that their lives were shortened.

Lab-controlled worms that lived 20.3 days on average, lived only 12.7 days as VRK-1 was inhibited. That is, the worms died sooner.

A senior author of the paper, Seung-Jae Lee, professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology told Inverse that the key to activating longevity was in the anti-aging protein, AMPK, while the key to activating AMPK is VRK-1. The VRK-1 enzyme is found in worms and has its cousin in human cells, that's very similar to it.


Representational Image Pxfuel

"Therefore, it is possible that this mechanism can be applied to promoting human longevity in the future," he added.

Similar patterns were shown in cultured human cells in the experiment, Lee said, showing that the process holds even in complex organisms.

Replicating the study in animals, like mice will show it's likeliness in humans. However, scientists still don't know how exactly the process occurs.


List of Articles
번호 제목 글쓴이 날짜 조회 수
324 정원석 교수님_국내 연구진, 우리 뇌가 계속 일할 수 있는 이유 밝혀 생명과학과 2021.02.26 63
323 서성배 교수님(김진은 석박사통합과정)_2020 대한민국 인재상 수상 생명과학과 2021.02.25 85
322 KAIST-원진 세포치료센터 기부 및 투자 약정 업무협약식 생명과학과 2021.02.22 62
321 허원도 교수님(유다슬이 박사)_제10회 에쓰-오일 우수학위논문상'의 생명과학 분야 대상 수상 생명과학과 2021.02.22 79
320 조병관 교수님_Antibiotic tolerance study paves way for new treatments 생명과학과 2021.02.19 75
319 김진우 교수님, 천주교 서울대교구 생명위원회 제 15회 '생명의 신비상' 수상 생명과학과 2021.02.18 89
318 오병하 교수님_자연에 없는 고감도 단백질 센서 제작 플랫폼 개발 생명과학과 2021.02.08 187
317 김찬혁 교수님_인공지능 이용 면역항암 세포 3차원 분석기술 개발 생명과학과 2021.02.08 140
316 정인경 교수님_KAIST, 전 세계 최대 규모의 3차원 암 게놈 지도 구축 생명과학과 2020.12.29 573
315 정원석 교수님_Astrocytes eat connections to maintain plasticity in adult brains 생명과학과 2020.12.28 621
314 전상용 교수님_Researchers review future directions of nanomedicine development 생명과학과 2020.12.28 350
313 김진우 교수님_생명의 신비상 장려상 수상 생명과학과 2020.12.24 335
312 정현정 교수님_도파민의 성질로 박테리아 생장의 실시간 탐지 기술 개발​ 생명과학과 2020.12.09 594
311 조병관 교수님 _Newly discovered metabolic pathway uses single carbon gases as a feedstock file 생명과학과 2020.11.20 1251
310 [한국의 AI 추격자들] 서범석·백승욱 루닛 창업자 file 생명과학과 2020.10.30 920
309 정원석 교수_ 삼성전자, ‘세계 알츠하이머의 날’ 맞아 연구원 노력 담은 영상 공개 생명과학과 2020.09.21 1588
308 정현정교수_ 커피링 효과로 감염병 신속진단 기술 개발 생명과학과 2020.09.17 1333
307 서경배재단 ‘올해의 신진 과학자’ 조원기 교수 선정 생명과학과 2020.09.16 1344
306 전상용교수님_항암제 표적 단백질을 약물 전달체로 쓴다?​ file 생명과학과 2020.08.26 1372
» 이승재 교수님_One More Key to Human Longevity Found After Worm Research 생명과학과 2020.07.03 2735
Board Pagination Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 17 Next
/ 17