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A Fundamental Mechanism of Ageing is Unlocked


The protein ANC-1/Nesprin 2 is found on the outer membrane of all cell nuclei, and it has been found to be involved in neurodegenerative diseases, myocardial diseases, and cancer in humans. Researchers at the IMBB-ITE have uncovered a new molecular mechanism that regulates aging and reproduction, contributing decisively to the protection and long-term maintenance of the structure and function of the cell nucleus.

As stated in a press release from the ITE, "recent research at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB) of the Institute of Technology and Research (ITE), the results of which are published today in the reputable international scientific journal Nature Aging, sheds light for the first time on a fundamental mechanism for controlling aging and reproductive viability." Dr. Margarita Elena Papandreou and Dr. Georgios Konstantinidis of the IMBB, with the support of their colleagues, have identified the protein ANC-1/Nesprin 2 as a key regulator of the aging and reproductive process. The researchers found that ANC-1/Nesprin 2 is involved in maintaining the structural integrity of the cell nucleus and in the regulation of gene expression during aging and reproduction. By studying the effects of the protein on different model organisms, the researchers were able to demonstrate its key role in the regulation of aging and reproduction.


ANC-1 (also known as Nesprin 2) is a protein that belongs to the Nesprin family of proteins. The Nesprins are large cytoskeletal proteins that are localized to the nuclear envelope, which is a double-membraned structure that surrounds the nucleus in eukaryotic cells. The Nesprins are thought to play a role in linking the nucleus to the cytoskeleton and the extracellular matrix. ANC-1 is a particularly large member of the Nesprin family, with a molecular weight of around 350-400 kDa. It is composed of a series of discrete structural domains, including a spectrin-like repeat domain, a central rod domain, and a C-terminal SUN domain. The SUN domain is a type of protein-binding domain that is found in many proteins involved in nuclear envelope dynamics.

ANC-1 is expressed in many different tissues and cell types, including muscle, brain, and heart. In muscle cells, it has been shown to play a role in maintaining the structural integrity of the nuclear envelope and in regulating muscle contraction. In the brain, it has been implicated in the development and function of neural progenitor cells, and in the heart, it has been shown to be involved in the regulation of cardiac muscle contraction.

There is ongoing research into the potential roles of ANC-1 in various diseases, including muscle disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. However, much is still unknown about the precise functions of this protein and its potential as a therapeutic target.


There is evidence that Nesprin 2 plays a role in nuclear autophagy. For example, studies have shown that Nesprin 2 is required for the proper targeting of autophagosomes to the nucleus, and that the knockdown of Nesprin 2 results in impaired nuclear autophagy. Additionally, Nesprin 2 has been shown to interact with autophagy-related proteins, suggesting that it may be involved in the regulation of autophagy in the nucleus.


Overall, the relationship between nuclear autophagy and Nesprin 2 was complex and not fully understood. Further research was needed to fully understand the role of Nesprin 2 in this process and how it may be involved in the regulation of nuclear autophagy. However, this research sheds light in this key process.

Nuclear autophagy is a process in which the cell's own machinery is used to degrade and recycle components of the nucleus. Autophagy is a general term for a group of processes by which cells recycle their own components, and it is a vital part of maintaining cell homeostasis. Nuclear autophagy specifically refers to the degradation and recycling of components of the nucleus, which is the central organelle in eukaryotic cells that houses the genetic material (DNA) and plays a key role in gene expression and regulation.

Nuclear autophagy occurs through a process called macroautophagy, which involves the formation of a double-membraned structure called an autophagosome. The autophagosome encloses the targeted components of the nucleus and then fuses with a lysosome, which is a cell organelle that contains hydrolytic enzymes that can break down and recycle the contents of the autophagosome.

Nuclear autophagy has been shown to play a role in various processes within the cell, including the removal of damaged or superfluous DNA, the removal of damaged or misfolded proteins, and the regulation of gene expression. Dysregulation of nuclear autophagy has been linked to a number of diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders and cancer. The study has important implications for understanding the underlying mechanisms of aging and reproductive aging and for the development of therapies to treat age-related diseases. The findings may also have implications for understanding the underlying causes of cancer and for the development of cancer therapies.


References:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s43587-022-00327-4

https://journals.biologists.com/jcs/article/121/11/1887/30061/Nesprin-2-Giant-NUANCE-maintains-nuclear-envelope


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