Scientific study shows that proteins from moths can slow down metabolism in human cells

By Jurassic JennMay 5, 2024 11:37 AMScience
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Scientific study shows that proteins from moths can slow down metabolism
Scientific study shows that proteins from moths can slow down metabolism. Source: tsn.ua

The study was published in the journal Protein Science. Scientists found out that the proteins of the noctules, among other things, slow down the metabolism of cells. Therefore, it is assumed that they will help slow down the aging process in humans and keep human cells alive for a long period of time. This was reported by SSPDaily.

Who are the silent movers and what is special about their proteins

Tardigrades are microscopic animals that have long been known for their ability to survive in any environment. For example, they were able to withstand cosmic radiation outside the ISS and even freezing. Despite the fact that most of the time, noctules prefer a humid environment, they can survive after complete drying out.

Scientists know that CAHS proteins present in the cytosol and nucleus of cells help them to do so. When these cells dry out, they form a network of gel-like granules and molecules that protects the structure from critical deformation. However, until now, scientists have not been able to understand how this gel is formed and whether it is actually necessary for the protective effect of proteins. The scientists conducted experiments with silent mice by placing them in human cells.

CAHS D proteins were chosen for the study, as they have been shown in various experiments to increase the resistance of cells to drying. Scientists introduced genes responsible for different variants of these proteins into human embryonic kidney cells and then observed what would happen to them after drying. As it turned out, during dehydration, CAHS D condensed into a fibrillar structure, just like in the silent moths. Its presence helped to increase cell survival. However, it was also observed that survival increased when not enough gel was formed.

Subsequent experiments showed that CAHS D proteins have another ability - they slow down cell metabolism. As soon as the cells were returned to the aqueous medium, they were able to dissolve the fibril-condensed proteins, returning the cells to their normal metabolic rate.

Why are foreign proteins useful in the human body?

For some time now, scientists have been considering ways to slow down the metabolism in order to put cells and the body into a state of biostasis, when all vital functions stop but can be restored later. This would help preserve and transplant organs and cells that are used in medicine, for example, for transplantation. In addition, silent proteins will help us understand how to slow down the aging process in humans.

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