New aging mechanisms revealed


The Discovery of new aging mechanisms was recently published in the journal "Nature" by a research group coordinated by Stefano Piccolo, professor of the Department of Molecular Medicine at the University of Padua and IFOM (Foundation Institute of Molecular Oncology).

Aging is a natural phenomenon accompanied by a progressive decline of various body functions, such as the ability for cells to renew, the accumulation of multiple organ damage, and decay in brain processes. Aging leads to a general condition of fragility and an increased risk of developing diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

But what is the cause of all this? Why do we age?

The study, YAP/TAZ activity in stromal cells prevents aging by controlling cGAS–STING explains that a fundamental cause of aging is the decay of connective tissues, which are responsible for the shape, mechanical support, and protection of many organs. The mechanical properties in cells typical of these supporting tissues, called fibroblasts, progressively decrease while we age. These cells have a well-developed tactile system that cling to a forest of proteins in the shape of cables (or vines) that surrounds them, keeping the entire tissue under a healthy, youthful tension.

The work of Professor Piccolo and his research groups draws a connection between aging and the biomechanics of cells and tissues. The study offers a new perspective on aging, including pharmacological options limiting oncological diseases.