August 23, 2023
In a groundbreaking endeavor, researchers at the University of Rochester have successfully transferred a longevity gene from naked mole rats to mice, resulting in improved health and an extension of the mouse’s lifespan.
Naked mole rats, known for their long lifespans and exceptional resistance to age-related diseases, have long captured the attention of the scientific community. By introducing a specific gene responsible for enhanced cellular repair and protection into mice, the Rochester researchers have opened exciting possibilities for unlocking the secrets of aging and extending human lifespan.
“Our study provides a proof of principle that unique longevity mechanisms that evolved in long-lived mammalian species can be exported to improve the lifespans of other mammals,” says Vera Gorbunova, the Doris Johns Cherry Professor of biology and medicine at Rochester. Gorbunova, along with Andrei Seluanov, a professor of biology, and their colleagues, report in a study published in Nature that they successfully transferred a gene responsible for making high molecular weight hyaluronic acid (HMW-HA) from a naked mole rat to mice. This led to improved health and an approximate 4.4 percent increase in median lifespan for the mice.