A defect in Klotho gene expression in mice accelerates the degeneration of multiple age-sensitive traits. Here, we show that overexpression of Klotho in mice extends life span. Klotho protein functions as a circulating hormone that binds to a cell-surface receptor and represses intracellular signals of insulin and insulin-like growth factor 1 (ICF1), an evolutionarily conserved mechanism for extending life span. Alleviation of aging-like phenotypes in Klotho-deficient mice was observed by perturbing insulin and IGF1 signaling, suggesting that Klotho-mediated inhibition of insulin and ICF1 signaling contributes to its anti-aging properties. Klotho protein may function as an anti-aging hormone in mammals.
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