Dea Slade and Miroslav Radman Universite de Paris-Descartes, Faculte de Medecine, INSERM U1001, 156 Rue de Vaugirard, 75015 Paris, France and Mediterranean Institute for Life Sciences, Mestrovicevo Setaliste bb, 21000 Split, Croatia2
Cellular life is maintained by the activity of a plethora of functions that prevent molecular damage from occurring in the first place and repair damaged DNA, proteins and other damaged cellular constituents. The phenomenon of aging arises from the fact such functions are performed by proteins that are themselves subject to damage by oxidative modifications. In the framework of this project, aging is studied as a process of progressive functional degeneracy of nearly all cellular functions due to diminishing protein activity and decreased precision of protein interactions within the cellular proteome caused by accumulation of oxidative damage.
Healthy longetivity via prevention of age - related diseases: vision and research strategy. If we could prevent molecular damage relevant to cellular aging and death, it is expected that the repair and maintenance systems would work at their best, keeping all other cellular functions at high performance for possibly unlimited time. It sounds like a dream of the eternal youth, which is, however, the reality of germ line and stem cells. But, it is a dream for individual human life: to be effectively 40 or 50 years old at the age 100 or 200!
Two biological clocks determine the destiny of all living species and organisms: (1) The universal clock of genetic change in the germ line, common to all species (evolutionary destiny), and (2) The species-specific somatic clock determining the kinetics of emergence of age-related diseases and death of individual organisms (individual destiny). The cancer clock is part of the species-specific somatic clock. The chemistry of these two biological clocks is not known, and this project proposes to study both of them.
The goal: Our recent research on robust bacteria and animals provides a basis for conceiving extension of healthy life and monitoring of the biological fitness of each individual. A specific biomarker provides for routine bio-gerontometric (BGM) diagnostics of real “biological age”