ADVERTISEMENT

Antibacterial Drug Increases The Longevity Of Worms

By 2050, 20% of the world’s population will be 60 years old or more. Under this scenario, diseases related to aging will represent an overwhelming public health issue with drastic socio-economic implications. Thus, we are at a critical point to define interventions that can prevent or attenuate the degeneration that inevitably occurs as we age.

Enoxacin is a broad-spectrum fluoroquinolone antibacterial agent and has been used to treat human urinary infections. A recent study published in Redox Biology by scientists from the University of Campinas and the Federal University of São Paulo tested the effect of the drug in the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans, a worm frequently used as a model organism in aging research. On enoxacin, the animals had an 18% increase in median survival time. Worms treated with the drug also moved better, coped better with stress, and were healthier for a longer time.

ADVERTISEMENT

The study found that enoxacin increases lifespan by reducing the levels of the miR-34 microRNA. MicroRNAs are a class of small RNAs that do not code for proteins and are found in the genome of many organisms, including animals and plants. Instead, these small strings of genetic material regulate the expression of many genes in the cell. Interestingly, the authors found that the drug-induced reduction of miR-34 triggered a low-grade stress response in the animals, and this very stress seems to be the cause of the lifespan extension observed in the worms.

This process is called mitohormesis, and, counter-intuitively, it means that some stress can actually be good for the organism. Specifically, the presence of a non-lethal level of oxidative stress leads to the activation of stress-protective genes, which in turn have beneficial health effects. When the worms were treated with an antioxidant, the beneficial effect on longevity was abolished.

This study provides proof-of-concept that fluoroquinolones can be developed into a new class of anti-aging drugs. However, long-term use of antibiotics can have negative consequences, such as the development of resistant bacteria. This is why Marcelo A. Mori and his laboratory are now working on developing enoxacin-like drugs that preserve the longevity-extending effects, without the antibacterial properties. According to them, it will be also interesting to see whether this class of molecules can prolong the life of mammals, including humans.

These findings are described in the article entitled Enoxacin extends lifespan of C. elegans by inhibiting miR-34-5p and promoting mitohormesis, recently published in the journal Redox Biology. This work was conducted by Silas Pinto, Evandro A. De-Souza , Henrique Camara, Ana Paula F. Pinca , and Marcelo A. Mori  from the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) and University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Vitor N. Sato, Rafael C. Ferraz, Diego R. Mazzotti, and Martin Wurtele from the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), Michael T. Lovci, Guilherme Tonon, and Katlin B. Massirer from the University of Campinas (UNICAMP), and Camila M. Lopes-Ramos and Raphael B. Parmigiani from the Hospital Sírio-Libanês.

ADVERTISEMENT

Comment (1)

Comments

READ THIS NEXT

Researchers Find Healthy Mitochondria Can Combat Alzheimer’s

There are many debilitating diseases that afflict humans. We are faced with numerous afflictions that do not have a cure […]

Commonly-Used General Anesthetic Causes Gastrointestinal Tract Motility Complications

Modern general anesthesia was successfully used only one hundred and sixty years ago, but nowadays we can’t imagine surgery operations […]

Polar Bears Are Starving Due To Global Warming, Study Finds

One of the most immediate effects of Global Warming is its negative impact on life in the poles. Carnivores, particularly […]

Poop Transfer ‚Äď Past, Present, And (No) Future

The topic is delicate (although this already is a misnomer), as most people shiver if they are not disgusted hearing […]

On/Off Switching During The Synthesis Of Complex Sugars

Glycosylation is the ubiquitous, highly-regulated process by which carbohydrate is added to proteins and lipids to form glycoconjugates (glycans). These […]

Cursive Handwriting: Tips And Practice Sheets

There can be no doubt that cursive writing is not as popular as it once was. But, if you are […]

A Simple And Accurate Optical Instrument For Characterizing Optical Properties Of A Material

Light is made of electromagnetic waves, which are composed of a time-varying electric field and time-varying magnetic field. The time-varying […]

Science Trends is a popular source of science news and education around the world. We cover everything from solar power cell technology to climate change to cancer research. We help hundreds of thousands of people every month learn about the world we live in and the latest scientific breakthroughs. Want to know more?