Back to the Start: Re-activation of Embryonic Genes Leads to Muscle Aging
Developmental genes and pathways strictly regulate embryogenesis. The process is strongly driven by so-called Hox-genes. Now, researchers from the Leibniz Institute on Aging (FLI) in Jena, Germany, can show that one of these genes, Hoxa9, is re-activated in old age. This limits the functionality of muscle stem cells and, hence, the regenerative capacity of skeletal muscle. Ironically, these findings show that the same genes that control embryo-developmental processes also impair regeneration in the elderly. Nonetheless, it is a process which can be rescued by compounds inhibiting the epigenetic activation of Hoxa9; pointing to novel targets for regenerative therapies in aging. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)
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