Tuesday, July 27, 2010


quick search on boston globe for the word produces links to cure for diabetes, memory loss, alzheimers, even "secret of youth".   in addition to Monday's article http://www.boston.com/business/healthcare/articles/2010/07/26/biologist_cites_progress_on_alzheimers/

Results for "sirtuin" from Local Search
In Lab, Seeking Secret of Youth Chemical Abundant In Red Wine Appears To Slow Aging In Study  (Archive fee)
...particularly ferocious guardian is an enzyme known as sirtuin. Sinclair explained thatsirtuin works like a traffic cop, directing other enzymes...survival, and defense. But, he wondered, what if sirtuin could be armed so that it would provide an even...
By: Smith, Stephen|Date: Aug 25, 2003
Age-old woes, new tactic
...Harvard lifespan conference centered on sirtuin modulators, which appear to provide the...Japanese knotweed, is the best-known sirtuin modulator. Many scientists speculate...is not the only drug maker developing sirtuin modulators. Elixir Pharmaceuticals Inc...
By: Mark Baard|Date: Oct 19, 2009
Massachusetts General Hospital
6 matches
When food intake stops, enzyme turns off production of fats, cholesterol - Massachusetts General
...fat diet with an agent that increases sirtuin activity suppressed the expression of...species of animals. Drugs that stimulate sirtuin activity are currently being investigated...diabetes and related conditions. "Sirtuin activators could strengthen SIRT1 functions...
Mostoslavsky Lab - Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
...Research Fellow (1) A Postdoctoral Research Fellow position is available to study the molecular function of the mammalian Sirtuin proteins, focusing on the role of SIRT6 in the metabolic response against genotoxic stress. The candidate is expected to...
2 matches
Protein linked to aging may boost memory and learning ability
...memory. Potential drugs that enhance plasticity by boosting sirtuin activity could help patients with neurological disorders such as...actions in more detail, and are also investigating whether sirtuin genes other than SIRT1 influence memory and learning. Comments...
Team reports genetic link between aging, neurodegenerative disorders
...Memory and Harvard Medical School report that one particular sirtuin-producing gene is a link between aging and human neurodegenerative...diseases. The SIR2 (silent information regulator) gene and sirtuin, the enzyme it produces, promote longevity in a variety of...
Harvard Medical School
1 match
Harvard Medical School - WebWeekly
...Thing Happened on the Way to the Fornix” Student Scene: Faking Science February 6, 2006 In Focus: Loss of Sirtuin Protein Seen to Cut Life Short Spotlight: • ‘FREDDIE’ Honors DFCI Video • The Second Year Show: “A Funny Thing...
Boston University Medical Campus
1 match
Postdoctoral Openings » Division of Graduate Medical Sciences » BUMC
...disease. Current research program includes exploring the role of AMP-activated protein kinase, NAD-dependent deacetylase, Sirtuin (SIRT1), sterol-regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs) in the control of energy metabolism, diabetes and atherosclerosis...
Innovation Economy
1 match
Innovation Economy: November 2007
...is now trying to follow suit. But the crucial difference is that Sirtris is still very much pursuing drugs based on the sirtuin work of local researchers like Harvard's David Sinclair, while Elixir has in-licensed a diabetes drug already approved...


Shukong Ou said...


Biologist cites progress on Alzheimer’s
Age-slowing protein seems to benefit mice
By Karen Weintraub, Globe Correspondent | July 26, 2010
A leading antiaging researcher, Leonard Guarente, believes he has found a potential new approach for treating Alzheimer’s disease.

For more than 15 years, the MIT biology professor has been researching proteins called sirtuins, which slow an animal’s aging clock during times of scarcity — stalling the animal at a younger and more fertile stage until food becomes more plentiful and reproductive success is more likely.

Drug companies, including Cambridge-based Sirtris Pharmaceuticals Inc., a subsidiary of GlaxoSmithKline PLC, have been developing medications for diabetes and metabolic disorders based on this idea.

In a paper published in the current issue of the journal Cell, Guarente and several students have shown that amping up one of the sirtuins, known as SIRT1, appears to treat Alzheimer’s in mice.

Guarente, who cochairs Sirtris’s scientific advisory board, said his paper suggests that companies like Sirtris should be investigating whether sirtuins could be used against Alzheimer’s in people.

“This would give us another completely new shot on goal, so I hope drug companies do try to develop such drugs,’’ he said. “Neurodegenerative diseases are now on the table.’’

SIRT1 is also involved in learning and memory, according to two other recent papers.

One was published in Nature earlier this month, led by MIT neuroscientist Li-Huei Tsai, and the other in the current issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, led by University of Southern California biochemist Valter D. Longo (and including another Sirtris scientific advisory board cochairman, Harvard’s David Sinclair).

“The Guarente and Tsai lab provided some very interesting mechanisms, confirming that SIRT1 can affect pathways implicated in learning and memory,’’ Longo said via e-mail. But “I think we need more papers and clinical trials to know’’ whether SIRT1 will be a good target for drug development.

Sirtris’s chief executive, George P. Vlasuk, confirmed last week that he is excited about exploring SIRT1’s potential role in the brain.

“Our work on developing compounds that can activate SIRT1 hopefully will be useful in treating Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative disorders,’’ he said, emphasizing that the research is still a long way from helping patients.

Guarente and other antiaging researchers have long suspected that many diseases of aging would yield to the same mechanism, allowing longer, healthier lives — because that’s what seems to happen in animals.

Shukong Ou said...

Eating a very-low-calorie diet has been proven to substantially extend life in several species, including mice, rats, and monkeys, allowing them a shorter period of decline at the end of a longer life.
It has not yet been shown to work in people.
Alzheimer’s disease is said to affect as many as one-third of Americans over 80 and is expected to grow dramatically as the population ages.
In Alzheimer’s, brain cells are killed, and the leading suspected culprit is a build-up of protein fragments, called beta-amyloid plaques, between nerve cells. As these plaques accumulate over years or decades, patients lose their ability to remember and to perform the tasks of daily life. The disease is fatal.
Guarente’s research showed that increasing SIRT1 in the brains of mice reduced production of these plaques; decreasing it led to more plaque build-up.
His lab work also suggested that activating SIRT1 might help neurons protect themselves from damage, though this finding is more preliminary, said Michael Wolfe, a Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital neurology professor. He was not involved in the research and co-wrote an invited review of it for the journal Cell.
Wolfe praised Guarente’s paper, saying it “tells us something important about basic biology.’’
Instead of the sirtuins that Sirtris works with, Wolfe said, the paper should encourage drug companies to look at another protein called retinoic acid receptor-beta, or RAR-beta.
RAR-beta, which Guarente showed is involved in the chain of events triggered by increased SIRT1, is similar to the active ingredient in the acne medication Accutane, Wolfe said. Accutane has some potentially dangerous side effects that would make it an unlikely Alzheimer’s drug, he said, but an enterprising company could explore a more targeted agent that activated RAR-beta.
It will be a long road from the new SIRT1 findings to any medications for people with Alzheimer’s, said Dr. Howard Fillit, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, a charity devoted to accelerating drug development.
“These are very interesting science findings in mice,’’ Fillit said in an e-mail.
But scientists have been able to cure genetically modified mice with features related to Alzheimer’s disease 150 to 200 times, “and we still don’t have a drug for human beings to take.’’
Weintraub can be reached at [email protected].