A team of scientists probably have recently discovered a method to reverse the way of ageing, which could facilitate to reduce age-related ailments.
The discovery was made at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), where researchers employed computer simulations to model the way certain molecules communicate with one another.
Through this, they detected an enzyme that may be targeted to backpedal a natural ageing process, known as cellular senescence. In senescence, cells are unable to go through the cell cycle and cease dividing.
The scientists feel that their discovery offer insight into a possible therapeutic method to cure age-related diseases linked with the build-up of senescent cells.
Kwang-Hyun Cho, a professor for the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering at KAIST who led the research, said that their research opens the door for a new generation that considers ageing to be a reversible biological phenomenon, as per Tech Explorist.
In the event of a person’s lifespan, cells are dependent on many factors, including DNA damage and oxidative stress. To shield the body, these cells undergo the process of senescence and exit the cell cycle. This is quite significant as it evades damaged cells from reproducing before turning cancerous.
The shortcoming of this method is that, as more cells become senescent over time, it causes ageing and age-related diseases.
As the new research implies that cellular senescence can be reversed, it is crucial to carry out more work as the present approach may impair the regeneration of cell tissue.
In their research, the scientists analyzed skin fibroblasts. These cells are located in the dermis layer of the skin that regenerate tissue and heal wounds.
By application of technology and algorithms, they designed a model that can simulate the various processes of these cells, and particularly which molecule may be focussed on to reverse cell ageing.
Cho and his team found that blocking one of the molecules, an enzyme called PDK1 signifies that the cells could come out of senescence and re-enter the cell cycle. The cells retained their ability to heal wounded skin without weakening the regeneration of cell tissue.
As the initial experiment was conducted through a computer simulation, the scientists are now scheming to examine real cells.
They anticipate that as the gene which codes for PDK1 is overexpressed in some types of cancer, impeding the enzyme could have anti-ageing and anti-cancer effects, as per Tech Explorist.