Scientists study enzymes as keys to longer lives

Scientists at Sirtris Pharmaceuticals and Harvard University are shedding more light on new ways to fight aging, research they say could lead to longer, healthier life.

The scientists, including Sirtris co-founder David Sinclair, reported in the journal Cell details of how a calorie-restrictive diet activates key enzymes that protect cells in lab animals.

The study focused on a group of enzymes, known as sirtuins, which provide a key link between metabolism and lifespan. It provided more evidence for the idea that a low-calorie diet – or a pill that would mimic its effects – activates these life-extending enzymes. Sirtris already has a drug – a concentrated form of resveratrol, which is found in red wine.

The drug, called SRT501, now in clinical trials, activates the first of the human body’s seven sirtuins.Yesterday’s discovery establishes a link between activating two other sirtuins, SIRT3 and SIRT4, and protecting cells from death and damage.

Source:  Boston Herald

Update:  Sirtris stock shares rise after study

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