How Proteins Age: UCSB researchers and colleagues discover a mechanism that regulates the aging and abundance of secreted proteins
Physiological processes in the body are in large part determined by the composition of secreted proteins found in the circulatory systems, including the blood. Each of the hundreds of proteins in the blood has a specific life span that determines its unique range of abundance. In fact, measurements of their quantities and activities contribute to many clinical diagnoses. However, the way in which normal protein concentrations in the blood are determined and maintained has been a mystery for decades. Biomedical scientists led by MCDB professor Jamey Marth have now discovered a mechanism by which secreted proteins age and turn over at the end of their life spans. Their findings, which shed light on a crucial aspect of health and disease, appear today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.