Biologists Discovered How To Measure One Of The Cellular Markers Of Aging Accurately
Scientists from Russia have come up with a way to assess the concentration of the substance NAD+ – one of the most important markers of human aging. With its help, it will be possible to quickly and cheaply determine how much+ to eat in the body of each patient. This news was reported by the press service of the Russian Science Foundation (RSF) with reference to an article in the scientific journal Analytical Biochemistry.
"Foreign commercial sets of consumables that can be used to measure the content of NAD+, use enzymes, have several significant disadvantages. They are absent from the formate dehydrogenase used by us, an enzyme that is produced by yeast cells of the species Ogataea parapolymorpha," said Victoria Bunik, a Professor at Moscow State University and Sechenov University and one of the authors of the study.
The concentration of many important biological molecules, including various enzymes, signaling substances, and antibodies, changes significantly as a person ages. By tracking these changes, doctors can determine a person's biological age and assess how quickly they are aging.
For example, five years ago, biologists discovered that as the body ages, the concentration of one of the most important "helper" enzymes, the substance NAD (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide), decreases very much. This compound does not accelerate the reaction itself yet is involved in the transfer of electrons from one molecule to another, helping cells extract energy from nutrients and produce new proteins and the most important "building blocks of life."
Quick and cheap analysis
As Bunik and her colleagues note, it is difficult to observe the concentration of NAD and NAD+, the oxidized form of this biomolecule, because such experiments require quite expensive reagents, as well as specialized equipment and highly qualified personnel.
Russian scientists have found out how such analyses can be made cheaper and easier. The researchers found that they can be performed using an enzyme that produces one of the yeast species, the fungus Ogataea parapolymorpha. It is widely used in the pharmaceutical industry for the production of various synthetic proteins, including insulin and interferons.
This microorganism itself produces molecules of the so-called formate dehydrogenase-an enzyme that uses NAD+ molecules as a "consumable" for the oxidation of formic acid molecules. As a result of this reaction, the NAD is restored. The presence of this substance in the solution can be determined by highlighting it with a laser with a certain wavelength.
Interested in similar properties of formate dehydrogenase, Russian scientists have developed a more stable version of this enzyme, which can only interact with NAD+. Subsequent experiments on rat brain slices have shown that this substance can be used as a very fast and sensitive method for determining the concentration of NAD in blood samples and human cells.
"In addition to the high efficiency and specificity of binding to NAD+ molecules, this enzyme has a high physical and chemical stability. This allows you to use one batch of the drug to measure a large number of different biological samples for a long time, " Bunik concluded.