Monday, March 17, 2008

Damaged DNA Ages Caenorhabditis Elegans

The linked paper titled Longevity and resistance to stress correlate with DNA repair capacity in Caenorhabditis elegans (Nucleic Acids Research, 2008, Vol. 36, No. 4 1380-1389) which is authored by Moonjung Hyun, Jihyun Lee, Kyungjin Lee, Alfred May, Vilhelm A. Bohr and Byungchan Ahn, argues that a correlation exists between DNA repair capacity and the aging process. The paper notes that effects of the aging process have been associated with diseases caused by an accumulation of damage in cells and tissues. Since DNA encodes structural components and functions found in cells and tissues, the authors thought DNA to be connected with the damage leading to aging. DNA repair of course can prevent damage to DNA. Consequently the aging process linkage was natural. Quoting from the concluding paragraph:


In conclusion, the data presented here demonstrate for the first time that longevity correlates with DNA repair capacity in C. elegans. The results strongly support the hypothesis that DNA damage plays a direct role in the process of aging. In addition, this study demonstrates that C. elegans has an NER-like DNA repair pathway that repairs UV-induced pyrimidine dimers. However, additional studies are needed to determine the exact relationship between specific factors that influence life span, stress resistance and DNA repair capacity in C. elegans.

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