Reprogramming of Adult Cells?
Anti-aging research has been conducted for decades, very little progress has been made due to the vast complexities of the aging process. Many theories of aging have been proposed, as well as the development of large labs focused on longevity research such as Altos Labs funded by Jeff Bezos.
Research surrounding the reprogramming of adult cells to revert back to stem cells has been shown to turn back time and was the basis for the Nobel Prize won and shared by Kyoto University biologist Shinya Yamanaka. The Yamanaka factors (YFs) consist of Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc, a group of protein transcription factors that play a vital role in the creation of induced pluripotent stem cells. These factors have been delivered to animals using an adenovirus viral vector delivery system and showed restoration to the animal’s epigenome. Genetically modified mice that express these factors during adulthood also showed signs of reversing specific aging symptoms.
A new study, by David Sinclair, tested the Information Theory of aging, which theorizes that our bodies age because of the cumulative loss of epigenetic markers. His group genetically engineered a mouse strain that activates an enzyme that cuts the mice’s DNA at 20 sites causing rapid aging and health deterioration in young mice. The group then delivered the YFs and demonstrated that the mice’s muscles, kidneys, and retinas reversed some of their epigenetic changes induced by the DNA breaks. The Sinclair findings confirm that the YFs allow for the possibility of epigenome-targeting therapies which may increase human longevity. This study is at the forefront of epigenome anti-aging technology, demonstrating the ability to stop or reverse aging in mice, ultimately making a significant leap forward in our quest for immortality.