It is important to recognize that in general terms aging and cancer are linked.
The incidence of cancer increases with age. Also the processes by which cells deteriorate and age are also involved in the formation of cancer cells.
The sirtuin family of genes, although somewhat controversial, are believed to mediate the aging process. When sirtuin genes are turned on and their proteins transcribed, animals tend to live longer. The way in which sirtuins cause their effect also appears similar to the way caloric restriction also reduced tyhe aging process.
A group of researchers at the NIH have now illustrated a link between sirtuins aging and cancer.
They created a mouse and cell line that had the gene for SIRT2, one of the sirtuins, removed.
These mice , they discovered, had a high frequency of tumor development. They also discovered that sex hormones played a role – male and female mice developed tumors in different tissues. SIRT2-deficient female mice got breast tumors, whereas males without SIRT2 developed several types of gastrointestinal tumors.
SIRT2 now joins SIRT1 and SIRT3 that have previously been found to exhibit tumor-suppressor functioning, suggesting the whole line of genes not only increases lifespan, but also suppresses cancer.
In the cell culture experiments, the researchers found that SIRT2 absent cells became disordered during cell division with evident aberrant chromosomal rearrangement. Eventually these cells divided out of control, much as cancer cells do.
A company called Sirtis is attempting to develop drugs that which activate human sirtuins. Some studies suggest the grape-derived polyphenol compound resveratrol may activate sirtuin as well.
Source (Eureka Alert)