Cellular Stress, RNA Metabolism and Aging – Myriam Gorospe, NIH Scientist


>>Where is a given
messenger RNA? Is it in the cytoplasm
or the nucleus? How much of it is there? And in the context of
aging, we are interested in understanding how our
cells respond to stress. By comparing how a
young cell responds with how an old cell responds, we’re getting very useful
information about what it is that we lose as we age. What are the types of responses
that our body is no longer able to mount properly
as we grow older? So the stress that we have
used to generate the image that you see here is arsenide. Arsenide is a very
[inaudible] oxidant and oxidated stress is one of
the stressors our bodies have to cope with during
our lifetime. So when we treat these
cells with arsenide, something very interesting
happens and that is that the RNA in the cytoplasm goes to
this distinct fosite [assumed spelling] set of [inaudible]. Fosite…and we know it’s a
cytoplasm because it’s outside of these round larger circles
that represent the nuclide so now the RNA is
assembled in these fosite that we call “stress granules.” And for this image,
we used antibodies that recognize two
proteins called “A2” and “TA1” [assumed spelling]
that we know based on past work and work of other labs as well
as our own, we know that A2 and TA1 both distress granules and they are…they retain the
messenger RNA until the stress in the cell has resolved and
the cell has fixed the damage that took place because
of the arsenide treatment and these structures
that look very nice and distinct will actually
dissolve and disappear. So if we came back two hours
later, we would see none of these stress granules; they will be all dissolved
into the cytoplasm. I think that NIA is very unique in that you have…for example
the NIA is a good example; you have an institute
where people with very different skills, very
different approaches to science, very different study model
systems, they all have in common the same interest in understanding the
process of aging. So we have expertise in
cellar molecular biology, but we can collaborate with
colleagues down the hall who work with animals
and then we can sort of ask the same questions
in an animal model. And then we have colleagues
who are with patients so we can ask the same
questions that are asked here in a very basic…on
a very basic level, we can ask in clinical samples.

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