Researchers at the Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology at University College of London have found that deletion of a gene called ribosomal S6 protein kinase 1 (S6K1) boosts lifespan in mice.
"What we have shown is that this gene is one that regulates life span and also determines how healthy animals are in middle and late age," said lead researcher Dominic Withers. "Our results demonstrate that S6K1 influences healthy mammalian life span."
Withers and his colleagues conducted an experiment on lab mice where they deleted this knockout gene. The effect on these mice was identical to what could be seen in mammals with low-calorie intake.
"The big implication is that intervening in aging protects against a broad spectrum of aging-related diseases, and there is now a "druggable" pathway providing a means to do this which could be used, in principle, in people," Whiters said.
The details are published in the journal Science.