Scientists working to unravel the mysteries of aging often focus on mechanisms based on mRNA transcription, however little information is available about how post-transcriptional mechanisms regulate the aging process. Researchers at EPFL recently found that the RNA-binding protein Pumilio2 (PUM2) contributes to the accumulation of defective mitochondria, a key feature of the aging process. PUM2, which is a translation repressor, is induced upon aging and acts as a negative regulator of lifespan.
Targeting this protein in old animals protects against age-related mitochondrial dysfunction. How is this achieved though, and what could this mean for humans?