Genetics vs. entropy: longevity factors suppress the NF-kappaB-driven entropic aging process

Antero Salminen, Kai Kaarniranta
Ageing Research Reviews 2010, 9 (3): 298-314
Molecular studies in model organisms have identified potent longevity genes which can delay the aging process and extend the lifespan. Longevity factors promote stress resistance and cellular survival. It seems that the aging process itself is not genetically programmed but a random process involving the loss of molecular fidelity and subsequent accumulation of waste products. This age-related increase in cellular entropy is compatible with the disposable soma theory of aging. A large array of host defence systems has been linked to the NF-kappaB system which is an ancient signaling pathway specialized to host defence, e.g. functioning in immune system. Emerging evidence demonstrates that the NF-kappaB system is activated during aging. Oxidative stress and DNA damage increase with aging and elicit a sustained activation of the NF-kappaB system which has negative consequences, e.g. chronic inflammatory response, increase in apoptotic resistance, decline in autophagic cleansing, and tissue atrophy, i.e. processes that enhance the aging process. We will discuss the role of NF-kappaB system in the pro-aging signaling and will emphasize that several longevity factors seem to be inhibitors of NF-kappaB signaling and in that way they can suppress the NF-kappaB-driven entropic host defence catastrophe.

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