Found a protein that protects the immune system from aging

Researchers from the Institute of Aging. Leibniz - Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI) in Jena showed that

the preservation of the functions of blood stem cells is associated with the normal functioning of the TAZ protein. This discovery explains patchy aging and could potentially help fight age-related changes.

Our blood is constantly being regenerated fromhematopoietic stem cells. However, with age, they lose their functions and their recovery potential decreases. These disorders cause older people to produce fewer lymphocytes (cells of the immune system), making it harder for their bodies to fight off infections.

The division of stem cells during aging. Image: FLI, Björn von Eyss

The Hippo signaling pathway plays a central role intissue regeneration, as well as in the development of cancer, scientists explain. It controls cell division in organs and tissues and ensures that they acquire and maintain the correct size and shape. This signaling pathway inhibits the activity of proteins such as YAP and TAZ, which control the copying of certain DNA genes into messenger RNA (mRNA) during transcription.

The researchers analyzed gene expression inhematopoietic stem cells of young and old mice and tested which genes are activated or deactivated with aging. Researchers have found that genes in cells change with age. In the cells of older mice, the TAZ protein was produced more strongly, activating several hundred genes.

In addition, scientists have shown that stem cellsblood age unevenly, while the "youth" of the cells was associated with the level of the TAZ protein. Researchers have found that it can counteract the gradual loss of stem cell function and protect blood stem cells by rejuvenating them.

The researchers believe that if they canto selectively filter old blood stem cells from younger ones and remove them from the body, this will stimulate the immune system and make it much more active again, as at a young age.

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