A new study suggests that the gene that was previously considered as a promising factor for providing longevity may not have enough potential to provide longer lives as believed.
Some of the recent studies have led certain researchers to think that the genes that produce proteins affecting cell metabolism, known as sirtuins, could provide them potential for the development of drugs that would extend a person’s lifespan.
Previous research involving fruit flies and worms suggested that the life can be extended by up to 50% just by boosting sirtuins. Some other researches even suggested that sirtuins contribute to calorie restriction’s life-extending effects. It was also found that resveratrol generally found in red wine could also lead to activation of the proteins.
The impact of these previous results was so strong that researchers from Massachusetts of Institute of Technology and Harvard, to start up a company named Sirtis that would test sirtuin-boosting agents.
But this time, researchers from Institute of Health Ageing, London University claim that the previous claims of several works that sirtuins are linked to longer life in animals was faulty. The reason they gave for the failure of previous studies is that the earlier studies didn’t took into account how longevity is affected by other genes.
The findings of the new research appeared in the paper Nature. Authors said that the effect of sirtuins totally disappeared while reproducing the previous studies involving flies and worms taking other genetic factors affecting longevity into consideration.
The researchers didn’t produce any strong evidence that could confirm that resveratrol activates sirtuin in fruit flies. Moreover, they concluded that sirtuins do not contribute to the calorie restriction’s effect on life-extension. They revealed that doubtful role of sirtuins in longevity encountered while studying lifespan of yeast.