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Hormone reverses cell aging in clinical trial

(Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo) Telomerase, an enzyme naturally found in the human organism, is the closest of all known substances to a "cellular elixir of youth." In a recent study, Brazilian and US researchers show that sex hormones can stimulate production of this enzyme…
"One of the processes associated with aging is progressive shortening of telomeres, DNA-protecting structures at the ends of chromosomes, like the plastic tips on shoelaces," [professor Rodrigo] Calado said. "Each time a cell divides, its telomeres get shorter. Eventually, the cell can't replicate anymore and dies or becomes senescent. However, telomerase can keep the length of telomeres intact, even after cell division."…
In 2009, Calado and collaborators published an article … showing that androgens, which are converted into estrogens in humans, bind to female hormone receptors in the telomerase gene promoter region and thereby stimulate expression of the enzyme in cells.
"The study we've just published was designed to find out whether the effect we'd observed in the lab also occurred in humans, and the results indicate that it does," Calado said.
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