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    In search of finding an anti-aging gene

    Q: What is the Klotho antiaging gene?

    The human genome project was completed without finding an anti-aging gene, much to the disappointment of scientists.  Yet, the search continues for genes that could be modified to influence aging.  One such gene that was discovered in mice is known as the Klotho gene, named after the Greek goddess Klotho who controlled the lives and destinies of humans.  This gene has not been found in humans, but appears to be overexpressed in mice that have an extended lifespan.  This gene codes for many things including a transmembrane protein inhibiting phosphorylation of insulin-like growth factor 1.  The inhibition of insulin binding mimics caloric restriction, which is the only alteration in behavior that has ever been shown to consistently prolong lifespan in mice.  It is hoped that further study into the gene may result in findings that are applicable to humans.

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    Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D.
    Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D., is a consulting professor of dermatology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C. She is investigator, ...


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