Molecular biological approaches to aging in Japan: an overview

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Progress in molecular biological investigations of aging in Japan is overviewed. Emphasis is put on studies which, in the author's opinin, appear to have considerable relevance to a definition of aging, i.e. functional decline of cells and tissues with advancing age. (1) Changes in the nucllear DNA, most significantly in methylation, and deletions of mitochondrial DNA have been shown to occur with age. (2) Various aspects of protein metabolism have been investigated, i.e. the fidelity of translation, accumulation of altered enzymes, oxidative damage, and half-lives and degradation of proteins. (3) Japanese researchers have made significant contributions to the understanding of the chemical structure and the mechanisms of generation of paired helical filaments in Alzheimer's disease. Also, studies on β-amyloid peptide are noteworthy. (4) Murine models of aging were developed and molecular biological investigations on them are progressing. Nematodes and fruit flies are also used as models.(5) Changes in gene expression with age have attracted considerable interest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-170
Number of pages12
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1994


  • Aging
  • Altered enzyme
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • DNA
  • Gene expression
  • Molecular biology
  • Protein turnover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Ageing
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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