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Proposition of A New Concept "Redox-stress Response Capacity (RRC)" Gives Insight into Substantive Characteristic of Aging

Author: Update time: 2017-02-27

Aging is considered a major risk factor for many diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases. So anti-aging or healthy aging is a significant scientific question need to solve. Aging is tightly associated with redox events. Most studies about redox and aging are focused on the static status of redox and oxidative stress is regarded as damage effect. There has been little research investigating different dynamic responses to redox challenge between young and old organisms.

New research by Prof. CHEN Chang of the Institute of Biophysics (IBP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has proposed a new concept "Redox-stress Response Capacity (RRC)" and demonstrated that decay of this dynamic capacity is the substantive characteristic of aging. The study, entitled “Decay of Redox-stress Response Capacity is a substantive characteristic in aging: revising the redox theory of aging”, was published online in Redox Biology, on Dec. 28, 2016. 

In their study, using C. elegans and human fibroblast senescence cells as models, they compared the differential response to oxidative challenge between the young and the old. The results showed that compared with the old worms or senescent cells, the young could generate more ROS to activate Erk and Akt signal pathways in response to redox stress. Moreover, the young individuals could induce more antioxidant enzymes through promoting the translocation of NRF2 to maintain the redox homeostasis. On the other side, the young worms or cells also showed better ability to degrade the oxidative damaged proteins through up-regulating chaperone expression and improving the proteasome activity.  

Based on the results, they proposed the new concept RRC, which includes the ability to generate ROS/RNS to activate cellular signaling, the ability to activate the antioxidant system and the ability to degrade the damaged proteins. This is the first comprehensive description of response capacity to redox stress and also the first direct scientific evidence to show the essential difference between young and old. Different from the traditional redox theory of aging, in which ROS is considered as a marker indicative of the degree of aging, their findings demonstrate the decay of RRC is a substantive characteristic of aging. This study provides a new understand of the redox theory of aging and a new strategy to delay aging or promote health aging. 

Prof. CHEN Chang (IBP) is the corresponding author. MENG Jiao is the first author of this paper. This work was also supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, National Key Research and Development Program, and the "Personalized Medicines——Molecular Signature-based Drug Discovery and Development", Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. 


The model of Redox-stress Response Capacity (Image by IBP) 


CHEN Chang

Institute of Biophysics


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