Re: CHAT: enzyme

Duane Hewitt (
Sun, 21 Jun 1998 21:28:54 -0600 (MDT)

I will do my best to summarize the implications of this discovery.

An extra copy of Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) was introduced into the fruit
fly genome. SOD is an enzyme that renders oxidants less harmful.

This single gene alteration increased the fly life span by 40 percent. I
recall similar results having been obtained previously. The unique aspect
of this study is the claim that the cells which are responsible for
limiting the fly life span have been located and are motor neurons.

This discovery may be more applicable to treatment of Lou Gehrig's disease
more than a general treatment of aging. In humans there is some evidence
that an increase in SOD may be harmful rather than beneficial. It is
suspected that an extra copy of SOD may be responsible for premature aging
in Down Syndrome.

If anyone is interested in the full text of the article it is in the
June issue of Nature Genetics.

Duane Hewitt
The art and science of life extension.

On Fri, 19 Jun 1998, Nicholas Cornwell wrote:

> Does anyone know anything about recent experiments invloving superoxide
> dismutase to prolong life in fruit flies? (In laymay's terms,
> please...;) There's a tiny article in New Scientist's This Week
> section (6 June 1998).
> Tantalising.
> -- --
> Nicholas Cornwell