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Mutations in mitochondrial DNA (as opposed to nuclear DNA), are thought to be an important driver of aging. Aubrey has had this perspective for many years, and SENS has been funding research to basically get mitochondrial genes copied to the nucleus, where they are less likely to get damaged by the free radicals generated in mitochondria. Once manufactured in the nucleus, the proteins expressed by these genes can then be imported into mitochondria where they are needed.


It's proven to be a difficult challenge, to put it mildly. But two days ago Aubrey announced at the Rejuvenation Biotechnology Conference (RB2016), that the team SENS has been sponsoring succeeded getting a paper accepted to a journal (Nucleic Acid Research) documenting their recent success. Specifically, the team was able to get two (of the 13) mitochondrial genes simultaneously expressed in the nucleus and functioning properly. That's about all the details Aubrey gave in the short video below. 


Perhaps Michael knows more and can share with us an update?!


Great to see progress!





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This is really quite excellent news, capping off several years of maturing the approach and finding ways to unambiguously prove it. In addition to being a very substantial advance in its own narrow right and in rescuing a null mutation in a never-before-rescued gene, it is the most robust demonstration to date of the allotopic expression strategy for any gene (putting "backup copies" of mitochondrially-encoded genes into the nucleus so that the mitochondria can continue to be equipped with proteins that are needed to carry on functioning). This should help to energize the field, as all the previous cases left significant doubts in some people's mind that the mutation in the cells had really been rescued by the replacement.


I can't add much detail to what's already been released, as the result is under peer review and leaking too many details can prejudice publication. But if you haven't seen it, check out the mitoSENS team's triumphant announcement (scroll down the 05-18-2016 update by Matthew ("Oki") O'Connor) to the crowdfunding campaign's supporters who stepped up to specifically help push this project over the last wall. It's a rare event: it's hard to explain to people how their regular, monthly contributions to the Foundation helped us solve one little sub-problem in each of three projects that month, but this was a decisive milestone for the science and the Research Center's scientists that could be clearly explained and celebrated by all.

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