Pharmacological maintenance of protein homeostasis could postpone age-related disease

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Over the last 10 years, various screens of small molecules have been conducted to find long sought interventions in aging. Most of these studies were performed in invertebrates but the demonstration of pharmacological lifespan extension in the mouse has created considerable excitement. Since aging is a common risk factor for several chronic diseases, there is a reasonable expectation that some compounds capable of extending lifespan will be useful for preventing a range of age-related diseases. One of the potential targets is protein aggregation which is associated with several age-related diseases. Genetic studies have long indicated that protein homeostasis is a critical component of longevity but recently a series of chemicals have been identified in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans that lead to the maintenance of the homeostatic network and extend lifespan. Herein we review these interventions in C. elegans and consider the potential of improving health by enhancing protein homeostasis.

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