Aging is a physiological process with a multitude of underlying processes. It inevitably leads to a drop in physical performance and also affects the overall physiology of the person. It happens not only because of the accumulation of stresses and damages, but it is also dependent on the gene network stability. There are certain important regulators of cellular senescence, and a lot of studies have been conducted on them. Learn more about aging research at Gero.com.
Types of ageing:
- Negligible senescence – there are some species which age negligibly, that is, there is negligible decline in functionality, and mortality does not increase with age. Examples of this would be the naked mole rat, certain turtles. Their gene networks are very stable. They have outstanding response to genotoxic stresses. They have high DNA repair rates and low gene network connectivity.
- Normal ageing – human beings age rapidly and their mortality and morbidity increase with age. This is due to a very unstable gene network. They suffer from gene regulation deviations that lead to diseases and death. They have weak repair mechanisms and that leads to errors and that, in its turn, leads to faster ageing.
Gene network stability
Factors that are required for a network to be stable:
DNA repair mechanisms should be efficient
Connectivity of networks should be slow. Efficiency of proteolysis and heat shock response systems, mediating degradation and refolding of misfolded proteins.
effective genome size
So normally aging humans have unstable networks. This can be tweaked by altering any one component and making it an independent constant. If the repair systems become efficient, gene network can be stabilized and the gene damage can be constrained along with the mortality of the organism.
A model is developed which tries to mimic gene stability in ageing. It illustrates what happens to genes over a period of time. Majority of the genes are in harmony and some of them deviate. Repair mechanisms take care of this deviation. Mechanisms take care of defective proteins like heat shock proteins. When this is all equated, it gives Gompertz law for all the species, both normal ageing and negligible senescence.
Developing more advanced research in the relation between gene network stability and ageing will pave the way to create cures for age related diseases and ageing a possibility. Entirely new therapies can be formulated which could revolutionize the entire concept of ageing in human beings.