Dr. Heidi A. Tissenbaum, a gene expert at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, said this finding may be the mechanism that explains why calorie restriction works to extend life.
The finding is suggestive, but not conclusive, she
added."This could be one way SIR2 functions in calorie restriction, to extend lifespan," Tissenbaum
The broad implications could be new drug targets for treating human obesity and type 2 diabetes, she
It may also lead to a new diet pill, she
said."The two things that work all the time are diet and exercise.I don't think that we will ever be able to take a pill and eat whatever we want," Tissenbaum
In terms of longevity, Tissenbaum
said it's unclear how these genes act in later life.
"We don't know when these genes are active in the adult lifespan.We know how they act in the cell, but we don't know, until we have the data in mice and humans, that if you change one thing you can extend lifespan," Tissenbaum
...SOURCES: Leonard Guarente, Ph.D., professor, biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; Heidi A. Tissenbaum, Ph.D., assistant professor, program in gene function and expression, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester; Ronen Marmorstein, Ph.D., researcher, Wistar Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; June 3, 2004, online edition, Nature