Metallothionein and the biology of aging

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

Metallothionein (MT) is a low molecular weight protein with anti-apoptotic properties that has been demonstrated to scavenge free radicals in vitro. MT has not been extensively investigated within the context of aging biology. The purpose of this review, therefore, is to discuss findings on MT that are relevant to basic aging mechanisms and to draw attention to the possible role of MT in pro-longevity interventions. MT is one of just a handful of proteins that, when overexpressed, has been demonstrated to increase mouse lifespan. MT also protects against development of obesity in mice provided a high fat diet as well as diet-induced oxidative stress damage. Abundance of MT is responsive to caloric restriction (CR) and inhibition of the insulin/insulin-like signaling (IIS) pathway, and elevated MT gene expression has been observed in tissues from fasted and CR-fed mice, long-lived dwarf mice, worms maintained under CR conditions, and long-lived daf-2 mutant worms. The dysregulation of MT in these systems is likely to have tissue-specific effects on aging outcomes. Further investigation will therefore be needed to understand how MT contributes to the response of invertebrates and mice to CR and the endocrine mutations studied by aging researchers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-145
Number of pages14
JournalAgeing Research Reviews
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Caloric restriction
  • Diet
  • GH
  • IGF-1
  • Longevity
  • MTF-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology
  • Neurology

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