Publishing his work in the prestigious journal Science, David Sinclair of Harvard reports a breakthrough in the development of drugs that can block the aging process.
The article is entitled Evidence for a Common Mechanism of SIRT1 Regulation by Allosteric Activators, and reveals how interaction with a single amino acid in the SIRT1 enzyme is crucial for the ability of drugs that can activate the enzyme.
SIRT1 is an enzyme in the class of molecules called Sirtuins. Significant research shows that activation of sirtuins reduces cellular aging through its interaction with other cellular master switches such as FOXO3a and PGC-1a
“At the cellular level,” explain the authors. “SIRT1 controls DNA repair and apoptosis, circadian clocks, inflammatory pathways, insulin secretion, and mitochondrial biogenesis”
Resveratrol a polyphenol found in red wine and grapes may be a weak natural activator of sirutin and has been linked in some studies with the extension of animal lifespan. Data on these sitruin activators or STACs is inconsistent. “The legitimacy of STACs as direct SIRT1 activators has been widely debated,” write the authors.
In the present study, the researchers developed a sirtuin activation assay. They tested 117 experimental STACs and were able to prove that the enzyme could be directly activated and uncovered the exact molecular mechanism by which this occurred.