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Reverse Aging - Lamin A Protein May Hold Key To Fountain of Youth - Anti-Aging Treatment May Stem From Lamin-A Research into HGPS

June 3rd 2006

Reverse Aging - Lamin A Protein May Hold Key To Fountain of Youth - Anti-Aging Treatment May Stem From Lamin-A Research into HGPS

Lamin A Structure

Since Ponce de Leon, we have been looking for the fountain of youth, but now researchers may have found it in the protein lamin.  When people grow old, the walls of the nuclei lose their their perkiness and round shape.  The cells become wrinkled and weak. 

The weakened cell membrane allows damaging agents to get inside the nucleus to the cell’s DNA.  Studies have shown that these agents can cause mutations which lead to physical aging. NCI researchers Paola Scaffidi, PhD, and Tom Misteli, PhD, while studying the cause of  Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome, were able to “reverse” the abnormalities seen in cells by correcting the defects associated with the protein lamin-A.

The study, which appears in the March 6 2005 Nature Medicine, examined the disease called Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS). HGPS is an extremely rare genetic disease that accelerates the aging process to about seven times the normal rate. 


About a year ago, National Institute of Health (NIH) led researchers discovered that the genetic basis for HGPS is a single mutation in the gene encoding lamin A.  Lamin A acts like scaffolding which holds a cell’s nucleus together.

According to an article in the May 19th Issue of The Week, when they block the protein in the cells of elderly people in the lab, the cells plumped back up to their youthful state.  Misteli said "You can take these old cells and make them young again."

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