Aging And Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor Type 1 (PAI-1)


Written by InnovativeResearch on February 7, 2018. Posted in Blog

A recent article in GEN, titled "Gene Variant in Amish a Clue to Better Aging," illustrates how a genetic mutation could provide a better understanding of diseases related to aging.

It all circles back to a protein called plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1, shortened to PAI-1. Lacking this protein creates a life-threatening blood-clotting disorder, as initially observed in an Amish woman decades ago (when she was still a child). Since that time, several others in the community have also been diagnosed with the same unusual bleeding condition and complete PAI-1 deficiency.

How, though, is this related to aging?

PAI-1 has a confirmed link to cardiovascular disease, and further research determined that PAI-1 is also related to cellular senescence (when a cell essentially "sleeps" as a result of cellular damage).

Once these connections were verified — PAI-1 to senescence, senescence to aging — it inevitably led to further research and questions.

Would limiting PAI-1 in an aging adult help to counter the effects of aging and cellular senescence? And could this be done in a way that doesn't result in issues like blood-clotting disorders?

Where the research is going

Researchers are now working on investigational drugs to try and partially inhibit PAI-1 such that benefits are seen (and health problems are not). Early animal tests are proving promising, and researchers are hopeful that this will help them to develop treatments for conditions like chronic kidney disease (which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease), Alzheimer's, diabetes, and fibrotic diseases like systemic sclerosis.

The goal with this research is not to necessarily make people live far longer, but rather to suppress age-related disease so that people would be able to be healthier longer into their life span.

You can read the full article at: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News: Feb 1, 2018 (Vol. 38, No. 3)

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