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Journal Club October 2018

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The October Journal Club focused on a new study in worms where a combination of compounds acted in synergy to almost double lifespan.

SUMMARY
There is growing interest in pharmacological interventions directly targeting the aging process. Pharmacological interventions against aging should be efficacious when started in adults and, ideally, repurpose existing drugs. We show that dramatic lifespan extension can be achieved by targeting multiple, evolutionarily conserved aging pathways and mechanisms using drug combinations. Using this approach in C. elegans, we were able to slow aging and significantly extend healthy lifespan. To identify the mechanism of these drug synergies, we applied transcriptomics and lipidomics analysis. We found that drug interactions involved the TGF-b pathway and recruited genes related with IGF signaling. daf-2, daf-7, and sbp-1 interact upstream of changes in lipid metabolism, resulting in increased monounsaturated fatty acid content and this is required for healthy lifespan extension. These data suggest that combinations of drugs targeting distinct subsets of the aging gene regulatory network can be leveraged to cause synergistic lifespan benefits.

Link to the research paper: Drug Synergy Slows Aging and Improves Healthspan through IGF and SREBP Lipid Signaling

CategoryJournal club
About the author
Oliver Medvedik

Oliver Medvedik

Oliver Medvedik, Co-founder of Genspace citizen science laboratory in Brooklyn NY, earned his Ph.D. at Harvard Medical School in the Biomedical and Biological Sciences program. As part of his doctoral work he has used single-celled budding yeast as a model system to map the genetic pathways that underlie the processes of aging in more complex organisms, such as humans. Prior to arriving in Boston for his doctoral studies, he has lived most of his life in New York City. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in biology from Hunter College, City University of New York. Since graduating from Harvard, he has worked as a biotechnology consultant, taught molecular biology to numerous undergraduates at Harvard University and mentored two of Harvard’s teams for the international genetically engineered machines competition (IGEM) held annually at M.I.T. Oliver is also the Director of The Maurice Kanbar Center for Biomedical Engineering at the Cooper Union, New York City. The Maurice Kanbar Center for Biomedical Engineering is open to all Cooper Union faculty and students working on bioengineering projects requiring equipment and space for tissue culture, genetic engineering, biomechanics, and related research. Faculty that is currently using the facility are pursuing groundbreaking biomedical research in such fields as biomedical devices, tissue engineering, obstructive sleep apnea biomechanics also collaborating with several major New York City-based hospitals. The Kanbar Center continues to provide space for undergraduate teams participating in the international genetically engineered competition (iGEM) during the summer, as well as space for courses that offer a biological laboratory component.
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