New method for treating accelerated aging and heart disease
Scientists at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s Institute of Medical Biology in Singapore found that they could dramatically extend the lifespan of mice with progeria and heart disease, caused by Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy, by reducing the levels of a protein called SUN1. Children with progeria experience accelerated aging and usually die in their early teens from heart attack or stroke. Emery-Dreifuss causes muscle wasting and cardiomyopathy, which weakens the heart and leads to failure. Both diseases are caused by mutations in Lamin A, a protein which provides mechanical support to the nucleus. Lamin A is found in the inner nuclear membrane, along with SUN1. “This is the first time that [the] SUN1 protein has been implicated in diseases linked to Lamin A and it is exciting how basic research has led to a discovery that can potentially have significant impact on us,” Rafidah Abdul Mutalif, one of the main authors of this paper, said.