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Cell Aging: Molecular Mechanisms and Implications for Disease

Cell Aging: Molecular Mechanisms and Implications for Disease

by Christian Behl, Christine Ziegler


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Aging represents a physiological and per se non-pathological and multifactorial process involving a set of key genes and mechanisms being triggered by different endogenous and exogenous factors. Since aging is a major risk factor in connection with a variety of human disorders, it is increasingly becoming a central topic in biochemical and medical research. The plethora of theories on aging – some of which have been discussed for decades – are neither isolated nor contradictory but instead can be connected in a network of pathways and processes at the cellular and molecular levels. This book summarizes the most prominent and important approaches, focusing on telomeres, DNA damage and oxidative stress as well as on the possible role of nutrition, the interplay between genes and environment (epigenetics) and intracellular protein homeostasis and introduces some genes that have actually extended life spans in animal models. Linking these different determinants of aging with disease, this volume aims to reveal their multiple interdependencies. We see that there is no single “perfect” theory of aging and that instead it is possible to define what the authors call the molecular aging matrix of the cell. A better knowledge of its key mechanisms and the mutual connections between its components will lead to a better understanding of age-associated disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783642451782
Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication date: 12/18/2013
Series: SpringerBriefs in Molecular Medicine
Edition description: 2014
Pages: 108
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.01(d)

Table of Contents

1. Aging and cell aging: an introduction

            1.1. Organ systems affected by aging

            1.2. Age-associated functional alterations


2. Cell cycle: the life cycle of a cell

            2.1. Phases of the cell cycle

            2.2. About cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases: proteins that trigger cell cycle                       phases

            2.3. Better save than sorry: the complex control of the cell cycle

            2.4. Last exit apoptosis


3. Theories and mechanisms of aging

            3.1. The telomere theory of aging

            3.2. The DNA damage theory of aging

            3.3. The sirtuins - ultimate hope or fallen star?

            3.4. The impact of caloric restriction on life span

            3.5. Genes that extend life in animal models

            3.6. Free radical theory of aging

            3.7. Protein quality control and aging

            3.8. Epigenetics

            3.9. A holistic view:the molecular aging matrix


4. Selected age-related disorders

            4.1. Age:  the key risk factor for Alzheimers disease (AD)

            4.2. The common biology of aging and cancer: senescence as cancer protection


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