Anti-Aging & Resveratrol

A new study was carried out by researchers with a significant financial stake from the Big Pharma in making resveratrol-like drugs that can block/reduce the aging process, a group led by David A. Sinclair of Harvard Medical School.

Resveratrol, a natural product most famously present in red grapes and red wine is reported to activate a pathway linked to anti-aging effects (atleast in lab conditions).

But the question was how?
Researchers found that substrates with a large, hydrophobic amino acid such as tryptophan which can resemble a fluorophore can help resveratrol activate a sirtuin called SIRT1.

Sirtuins are protein deacetylases regulating metabolism, stress responses, and aging processes, and they were suggested to mediate the lifespan extending effect of a low calorie diet. Sirtuin activation by the polyphenol resveratrol can mimic such lifespan extending effects and alleviate metabolic diseases.

The sirtuin stimulation have been reported to extended yeast cells’ lifespans by up to 60%.

Sinclair’s team thinks resveratrol and synthetic activators induce a change in sirtuin shape that helps substrates bind to the enzyme’s active site. The exact mechanism isn’t clear, but they uncovered one glutamate residue on SIRT1 that is critical for resveratrol to work.

The new findings have illuminated how different sirtuin activators exert selective effects on SIRT1 substrates. That promises to lead to sirtuin-boosting medicines that confer specific therapeutic benefits, with few side effects, by targeting certain SIRT1 substrates and not others. They think pursuing this mechanism could lead to drugs for diabetes, inflammation, and beyond.