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

Fast Computation Of Graph Edit Distance

Measuring the similarity between two graphs is a basic operation with many applications. For example, in the fields of chemical […]

Plasmid-Mediated Aminoglycosides Resistance Among Clinical Isolates Of Escherichia Coli

Escherichia coli is a component of the normal bacterial flora of the human digestive tract, but, on the other hand, […]

When Policies Are Not Enough To Protect Us From Air Pollution, Pet Companions Might Be The Next Best Solution

Today, a growing number of countries are battling the rise in both air pollution and childhood hypertension. Often when air […]

Meta-Sulfamoyl N-Hydroxybenzamides As HDAC8-Selective Inhibitors

As a family of epigenetic enzymes, histone deacetylases (HDACs) can catalyze the removal of an acetyl group from N-acetyl lysine […]

How Does Your Childhood Environment Shape Your Preferences As An Adult?

Imagine I stop you on the street and give you the following choice: I can either grab $7 out of […]

Map Of Italy And Greece

When looking at a map of Italy and Greece you can tell both countries are amazingly beautiful with a lot […]

Authentication Of Vanilla Extracts Using Gas Chromatography ‚Äď Vacuum Ultraviolet Spectroscopy

Vanilla is one of the most used flavoring ingredients; however, the production of high-quality vanilla extracts is expensive and therefore […]

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?