Aging wrinkles are caused by wrinkles forming in our cells, not on our skin. So says a team of researchers, led by Dr. Irina M. Bochkis, Ph.D. at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, VA. They have made an interesting discovery; that nuclei inside our cells, actually “wrinkle” as we age.
According to Dr. Bochkis, more research in the last several years has focused on finding out how to stop or slow down the aging process. Aging brings with it a host of degenerative diseases such as diabetes, liver disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s. Perhaps, says Dr. Bochkis, the answer can be found at the cellular level.
Aging Wrinkles: Cellular Wrinkles Can Cause Disease
The nucleus of a cell holds our DNA, and the location of our DNA within each nucleus is the engine that drives the aging process.
Similar to how facial wrinkles are due to a lack of collagen, cellular wrinkles are caused by a lack of a substance called lamin. Lamins are a family of proteins that provide the cell with stability and strength.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that lamins support the nucleus. They are located inside the nucleus membrane and they control what molecules go in and out of the nuclear cell. By replacing the lost lamin, it is possible to smooth out the wrinkles of the nuclear membrane and reverse the aging process.
The question is how would it be possible to deliver lamin proteins to the nucleus on this microscopic level? One possibility is to modify viruses to transport lamins to the nucleus. In fact, right now, in gene therapy, engineered viruses are already being used as transporters to deliver new genes by infecting the cells. Restocking nuclei with healthy lamin proteins, will prevent cells from aging. The nucleus will remain, healthy and vibrant.