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Antiaging protein also boosts learning and memory

Research in mice suggests additional role for sirtuins

4:10pm, July 12, 2010

Aging and wisdom are supposed to go together, but it turns out that a molecule that prevents one may actually play a role in the other.

Researchers have discovered a new role for the famous antiaging protein SIRT1. It not only fends off aging, but also aids in learning and memory, a new study published online July 11 in Nature shows.

Sirtuins, a family of proteins that includes SIRT1, help to regulate gene activity and have been implicated in governing metabolism and many of the biological processes that lead to aging. In the new study, Li-Huei Tsai, a neuroscientist and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at MIT, finds that SIRT1 also plays a critical role in protecting learning and memory, at least in mice.

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