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Posted by bio_man   January 2, 2019   341 views
Genes that help control inflammation leads to longer lifespans for humans and other species, and more of these genes a species has, the longer it can live.

Genes encoding some inflammation-dampening molecules are more numerous in longer-lived species, such as humans, than in short-lived animals such as mice. The genes produce proteins known as CD33-related Siglecs. Siglecs are proteins that recognize different versions of sialic acid – sugars that are found at all cell surfaces of vertebrates and some invertebrates.

By distinguishing between different versions of sialic acid, the proteins help the immune system decide which cells are normal residents of the body and which are intruders. In addition, the proteins soothe inflammation in the aftermath of such dangers as injury, allergies, or infection. This suggests that Siglecs also help the body deal with reactive oxygen molecules, which can damage DNA and other cellular components and promote aging.

The chart displayed shows the correlation between a species maximum longevity compared to the number of Siglec genes it possesses.

longevity sialic acid immune system inflammation
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