New target identified for treatment of premature aging disease

LA JOLLA—A stretch of DNA that hops around the human genome plays a role in premature aging disorders, scientists at the Salk Institute and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia have discovered. In people with early aging, or progeria, RNA encoded by this mobile DNA builds up inside cells. What’s more, the scientists found that blocking this RNA reverses the disease in mice.

The findings, published in Science Translational Medicine on August 10, 2022, focus on a piece of RNA known as LINE-1.

Left: Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome cell with signs of premature aging. This cell shows less histone protein (green), which normally helps maintain the cell’s DNA integrity and function. Right: The cell shows less signs of aging when LINE-1 RNA is reduced, and there is more histone protein present.
Left: Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome…
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