Suh Y, Atzmon G, Cho MO, Hwang D, Liu B, Leahy DJ, Barzilai N, Cohen P.Functionally significant insulin-like growth factor I receptor mutations in centenarians. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Mar 4;105(9):3438-42. PubMed.
06 Mar 2008
Only one in 10,000 people gets to be serenaded with the “Happy Birthday” song for the 100th time. For some of them, reaching that magic number may have more to do with genetics than clean living.
This week……researchers led by Nir Barzilai and Pinchas Cohen at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, report that mutations in the insulin-like growth factor receptor are overrepresented in a cohort of centenarians. The finding suggests that toning down this signaling pathway might become one ticket to longevity in humans.
…..author(s) Yousin Suh and colleagues assembled and analyzed a genetically homogenous group of people with family histories of extreme longevity. The cohort comprised 384 Ashkenazi Jews (286 women, 98 men) with an average age of 97.7 years, and age- and sex-matched controls without a family history of long life.
The researchers found that female offspring of the centenarians who had long-lived relatives have significantly higher serum IGF1 than offspring from age-matched controls ………
With this in mind, Suh and colleagues screened for mutations in the IGF1 pathway genes. They found no difference in the IGF gene itself, but substantial polymorphisms in the IGF1 receptor (IGF1R) gene, ………… they found nine centenarians who carried either one of the mutations (Arg-407-His, or Ala-37-Thr). ……………. all had significantly higher plasma levels of the growth factor ….. and while it is not clear if any of these centenarians are free of dementia, they were required to be living independently at age 95 to qualify for the study.