You might have heard of scientists turning adult cells (like skin cells) into undifferentiated pluripotent stem cells. However, the team at Stanford lead by Vittorio Sebastiano, Jay Sarkar, and Marco Quarta has found a way to turn adult cells into younger cells. That way, the cells don’t forget their assigned tasks since they maintain their cell type, but have the added advantage of having restored youthful performance.
The company Turn Biotechnologies has been formed out of this exciting scientific breakthrough and we are happy to say we are supporters of this venture. The scientific team just published a scintillating article explaining their findings. Here is their abstract:
Aging is characterized by a gradual loss of function occurring at the molecular, cellular, tissue and organismal levels. At the chromatin level, aging is associated with the progressive accumulation of epigenetic errors that eventually lead to aberrant gene regulation, stem cell exhaustion, senescence, and deregulated cell/tissue homeostasis. The technology of nuclear reprogramming to pluripotency, through over-expression of a small number of transcription factors, can revert both the age and the identity of any cell to that of an embryonic cell by driving epigenetic reprogramming. Recent evidence has shown that transient transgenic reprogramming can ameliorate age-associated hallmarks and extend lifespan in progeroid mice. However, it is unknown how this form of epigenetic rejuvenation would apply to physiologically aged cells and, importantly, how it might translate to human cells. Here we show that transient reprogramming, mediated by transient expression of mRNAs, promotes a rapid reversal of both cellular aging and of epigenetic clock in human fibroblasts and endothelial cells, reduces the inflammatory profile in human chondrocytes, and restores youthful regenerative response to aged, human muscle stem cells, in each case without abolishing cellular identity. Our method, that we named Epigenetic Reprogramming of Aging (ERA), paves the way to a novel, potentially translatable strategy for ex vivo cell rejuvenation treatment. In addition, ERA holds promise for in vivo tissue rejuvenation therapies to reverse the physiological manifestations of aging and the risk for the development of age-related diseases.
We invite you to read the entire paper in the link below!