MISMIR RNA: Small Molecules and Aging Control

Scientists from the state The University of Campinas (Unicamp) in Brazil have made a breakthrough in understanding the aging process. Their research, focusing on the Caenorhabditis Elegans roundworm, has shed light on how disruptions in RNA transmission between cells of different tissues can lead to a decrease in life expectancy. The findings, published in the Gene journal, provide important insights into aging mechanisms and associated diseases. (source)

It is well-known in science that cells can exchange RNA molecules, similar to how they exchange proteins and metabolites. This process is crucial for intercellular communication and overall bodily function. However, the specific impact of changes in RNA communication on aging has remained unclear. The study led by Professor Marcelo Mori at Unicamp addresses this question.

The research revealed that precise regulation of the communication mechanism is essential for maintaining a healthy life span. The study showed that an increase in tissue’s ability to absorb certain RNA types from the environment can have negative effects on life expectancy. Importantly, the reduction in life expectancy is not only linked to disruptions in inter-tissue communication within an organism but also to enhanced RNA absorption from the surroundings, such as from bacteria in the microbiome.

The study was inspired by the discovery of the RNA interference mechanism, which earned American scientists Andrew Fayer and Craig Mello the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 2006. By introducing dual-use RNA in C. Elegans, the researchers were able to pinpoint genes with precision, showing that this mechanism not only impacts the targeted tissue but can also affect subsequent generations.

/Reports, release notes, official announcements.