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Journal Club May 2019 – AGE Breakers


Hosted by Dr. Oliver Medvedik, the May edition of Journal Club will focus on the recent publication by the Spiegel Lab at Yale University where two forms of advanced glycation end products were successfully cleaved. We already discussed this important breakthrough in our article – Reversal of Two Advanced Glycation End Products Achieved. Now we will be taking a deeper look at the data during the journal club.

This live show will be streamed to our Facebook page at 13:00 EDT on the 28th of May and is supported thanks to our monthly patrons – The Lifespan Heroes.

Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are a heterogeneous group of molecules that emerge from the condensation of sugars and proteins via the Maillard reaction. Despite a significant number of studies showing strong associations between AGEs and the pathologies of aging‐related illnesses, it has been a challenge to establish AGEs as causal agents primarily due to the lack of tools in reversing AGE modifications at the molecular level. Here, we show that MnmC, an enzyme involved in a bacterial tRNA‐modification pathway, is capable of reversing the AGEs carboxyethyl‐lysine (CEL) and carboxymethyl‐lysine (CML) back to their native lysine structure. Combining structural homology analysis, site‐directed mutagenesis, and protein domain dissection studies, we generated a variant of MnmC with improved catalytic properties against CEL in free amino acid form. We show that this enzyme variant is also active on a CEL‐modified peptidomimetic and an AGE‐containing peptide that has been established as an authentic ligand of the receptor for AGEs (RAGE). Our data demonstrate that MnmC variants are promising lead catalysts toward the development of AGE‐reversal tools and a better understanding of AGE biology.


Kim, N. Y., Goddard, T. N., Sohn, S., Spiegel, D. A., & Crawford, J. (2019). Biocatalytic Reversal of Advanced Glycation End Product Modification. ChemBioChem.

About the author

Steve Hill

Steve serves on the LEAF Board of Directors and is the Editor in Chief, coordinating the daily news articles and social media content of the organization. He is an active journalist in the aging research and biotechnology field and has to date written over 500 articles on the topic as well as attending various medical industry conferences. In 2019 he was listed in the top 100 journalists covering biomedicine and longevity research in the industry report – Top-100 Journalists covering advanced biomedicine and longevity created by the Aging Analytics Agency. His work has been featured in H+ magazine, Psychology Today, Singularity Weblog, Standpoint Magazine, and, Keep me Prime, and New Economy Magazine. Steve has a background in project management and administration which has helped him to build a united team for effective fundraising and content creation, while his additional knowledge of biology and statistical data analysis allows him to carefully assess and coordinate the scientific groups involved in the project. In 2015 he led the Major Mouse Testing Program (MMTP) for the International Longevity Alliance and in 2016 helped the team of the SENS Research Foundation to reach their goal for the OncoSENS campaign for cancer research.
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