April 2017

Bio-Synthesis Newsletter - April 2017

A BNA probe for telomeres

A BNA probe for telomeresTelomeres DNA is located at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes where they protect them from degradation and DNA repair activities. Telomeric DNA is made up of tandem sequence repeats. During aging, the length of telomeres declines in dividing cells. This shortening is associated with aging and the development of cancer. The length of telomeres is an indicator for the aging process. Now researchers at UTSW Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, have developed a method that allows measuring telomere length. A universal bridged nucleic acid (BNA) modified priming probe was used for the development of this method.

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NAD+ regulates protein-protein interaction during aging

NAD+ regulates protein-protein interaction during agingThe oxidized form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) maybe a major factor in aging and the development of age-related diseases. As mice and humans age, NAD+ concentrations in cells decline. However, increased concentrations of NAD+ in yeast, flies, and mice were found to delay aging in these species. Li et al., in 2017, report that NAD+ binds to the "Nucleoside Diphosphate-Linked Moiety X (Nudix) homology domain" (NHD) of “deleted in breast cancer 1 (DBC1) protein. The binding of NAD+ to the NHD of DBC1 prevents the protein from inhibiting poly(adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase (PARP1). PARP1 is a critical DNA repair protein. Therefore NAD+ regulates these protein-protein interactions. It is now thought that optimal levels of NAD+ in mammalian cells may protect against cancer, radiation, and aging.

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Why butter is good for you!

Why butter is good for you!Many dairy products contain the fatty acid, butyric acid, including milk and butter. In butter, butyric acid exists as a triglyceride in concentrations between 3 to 4 %. Sodium butyrate, the sodium salt of butyric acid, is known to be an epigenetic modifier since it is a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor. Sodium butyrate exhibits many beneficial effects in humans including anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects as demonstrated in a rat ischemic model of stroke. In the rat model, sodium butyrate reduced the risk of infarct and showed a neuroprotective effect. Also, in an earlier study, sodium butyrate in combination with epigallocatechin gallate, a polyphenol found in green tea, appears to induce apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in colorectal cancer cells. Butyric acid inhibits HDACs and induces apoptosis and G1 phase cell cycle arrest in glioma cells. Hence, for humans, it is beneficial to eat butter and drink green tea.

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A FOXO4 retro-inverso peptide reverses aging

A FOXO4 retro-inverso peptide reverses agingA recent study showed that a designed FOXO4 peptide interferes with FOXO4-p53 interaction thereby selectively inducing apoptosis in senescence cells. In mice, this reversed the effects of chemotoxicity and aging. The FOXO4 peptide is a cell-permeable D-retro inverso isoform of a FOXO4 peptide selected from p53-interaction domain present in FOXO4. After acute stress and natural aging, irreparable cellular damage accumulates in cells. Senescence means “to grow old.” Gradual deterioration of functions or aging of cells leads to senescence cells which are thought to impair tissue function. Genetic clearance of senescence cells leads to a delay of features observed during aging. This recent study suggests that signs of aging could be reversed.

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Bisphenol A and prostate cancer

Bisphenol A and prostate cancerChronic and developmental exposure to bisphenol A increases the risk of prostate cancer in humans and animal models. Bisphenol A also has negative effects on neural development in embryos. What is the cause for this? An international research group recently reported that bisphenol A and its analogs affect centrosome amplification. In the study, during exposure to biphenol A and its analogs, a change in microtubule dynamics was observed leading to the disruption of centrosome function and microtubule organization in the cells. Bisphenol A acts as an endocrine-disrupting chemical that mimics estrogen. The chemical is present in polycarbonate plastic products from which it leaks into the near environment.

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