Research Summary

Post-transcriptional regulators of aging and dietary/caloric restriction

In this project, we will assess the role of age- and dietary restriction-modulated small non-coding RNAs termed microRNAs in enhancement of lifespan and reducing risk factors associated with aging. Understanding how conserved microRNA mediated networks operate to affect the overall lifespan of an organism will illuminate the basic principles underlying the aging process that can be applied to the development of RNA based therapeutic strategies that would mediate their broad-spectrum health-improvement by not only triggering the same molecular pathways that are elicited by long term dietary restriction, but also, counteract late onset diseases.

My laboratory will utilize genetic, molecular, proteomic and metabolomics approaches to:

1. Determine how dietary restriction (DR) and age-modulated microRNAs influence lifespan.

2. Test the ability of DR and age-modulated microRNAs to lower risk factors associated with aging.

3. Identify and characterize downstream targets of DR and age-modulated microRNAs.

At the completion of these studies we expect to identify conserved microRNAs that can mimic the anti-aging effects of dietary restriction in animals that are fed a normal diet.


Figure Legend: Schematic illustrating the main objectives of the Wellcome-DBT India Alliance project.