Protein to stop ageing identified from mice in space

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Protein to stop ageing identified from mice in space (Image:
Protein to stop ageing identified from mice in space (Image:

New Delhi : Research on mice which were sent to the International Space Station (ISS) has enabled scientists in finding a protein that is capable of slowing down the ageing process, suggests a joint study by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Tohoku University.

The protein, named nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 or Nrf2, has shown positive signs on mice which were used to read the biological changes similar to ageing, Kyodo News reported on Tuesday.

Known as a master regulator of the antioxidant response, Nrf2 turns the stress defence mechanism on and off.

For the study, 12 mice were sent to the ISS in 2018 via a SpaceX Falcon rocket. Half of them were given the protein Nrf2.

The results of study have shown that the mice without Nrf2 experienced speedy changes in blood components similar to those induced by ageing. The group with the protein hardly showed such transformation.

"The results highlight the significance of the role Nrf2 plays in cushioning the impact of space-derived stress," Masayuki Yamamoto, Professor at Tohoku University who led the study, was quoted as saying.

If successful, this could create new ways of treating age related illness among the humans. It could also lead to solutions for space travel-related health risks.