The mutation that underlies a rare, inherited accelerated-aging disease and provides key insight into normal human aging has been identified by scientists.
The study highlights the importance of a cellular structure called the "nuclear envelope" in the process of aging.
"Aging is a very complex process which affects most biological functions of an organism but whose molecular basis remains largely unknown," says Dr. Carlos LĒpez-OtĄn from the University of Oviedo in Spain.
"Over the last few years, our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms underlying human aging has benefited from studies of premature-aging syndromes, such as Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria syndrome, that cause the early development of characteristics normally associated with advanced age," he added.
The research has been published by Cell Press online in the American Journal of Human Genetics.