Russian scientists have extended the life of Drosophila

The gene product D-GADD45 Drosophila provides active longevity and gives hope to mice and men


Duration of human and animal life depends largely on the ability of the body to recognize and correct the DNA damage that inevitably arise over time. This function is performed by specific proteins, including D-GADD45. As shown by the specialists of the Institute of Biology (IB), Komi Science Centre in the work carried out under the direction of Alexei Moskalyova, one of the organizers of the "Science for Life Extension", enhanced synthesis of protein D-GADD45 in the organism Drosophila increases the average and maximum lifespan of flies, and fertility and neuromuscular activity of insect centenarians is not reduced. The work of scientists supported by the program of the Presidium of RAS "Molecular and Cell Biology" and the "Science for Life Extension."

In normal conditions, the life of the adult Drosophila does not exceed two months. At the age of 28 days synthesis intensity D-GADD45 flies increases 2.5-2.9 times, but at the 56 th day is reduced more than 10 times. Thus, upon aging in Drosophila protein level D-GADD45 decreases sharply. Will flies live longer if the protein becomes more? Experts IB Komi SC hybrid working flies in the DNA which was an extra copy of the gene D-GADD45, and the level of the corresponding protein in cells of nervous tissue was 10 times higher in males and 3 times — females as compared with a norm. The average life expectancy hybrid insects as compared with conventional flies increased respectively 6-17 percent and 7 percent, and the maximum — up to 59 percent. The obtained data indicate that excess protein D-GADD45 slows aging.

Researchers have experimented with various Drosophila genetic lines in order to obtain flies with an excess of D-GADD45, and concluded that increased protein synthesis in the nervous system of insects prolongs life regardless of genetic background. It’s enough just to activate an additional copy of the gene D-GADD45 in adult Drosophila. The effect of this activation noticeable in male organism, and therefore they outlive females.

Often, changes in the gene result in reduced reproductive or locomotor activity of animals. In fruit flies, longevity did not happen. Females lay eggs regularly in the amount of no less or even more than normal fruit flies and eggs derived from these viable pupae. Until his death, the mutant flies were cheerful and lively, that is lived not just long, but also active.

As the scientists, active longevity flies with an extra copy of the gene D-GADD45 required to the fact that protein D-GADD45 supports the stability of the genome and eliminate the spontaneous DNA damage.

The scientists plan to expand the research, creating a genetic line of long-living mice with an active gene D-GADD45, and then try and extend human life.

Source of information:

EN Plyusnina, M. Shaposhnikov, AA Moskaliev "Geroprotektivnye activation effects in the nervous system of Drosophila melanogaster gene DNA repair D-GADD45». Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine, 2011, № 9.

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